Spectrum Check

While I’m falling a little behind in my music reviews, I still had two new film pieces go up at Spectrum Culture this past week. First there was a review of a new documentary that uses one man’s personal experience, documented with a series of video cameras, to illuminate the ongoing challenges of the conflict between Israel and Palestine. While its homemade origins instill some humility into the film, it was also fairly complex and required a certain amount of deftness to detail its strengths and weaknesses. It was a nice challenge to write the review.

I also wrote on another documentary for the other piece I did this week: the latest entry in our Oeuvre series on director Spike Lee. My prior contribution to the series was for a film that I actively wanted to revisit, but this time out I specifically requested 4 Little Girls, his first foray into non-fiction filmmaking, because I felt fairly guilty that I’d never seen it. We used to have a videotaped copy it (made from one of its many HBO showings when it was first made and released) floating around the house for years, but I never quite mustered the energy to watch it. This reluctance wasn’t because I thought it would be bad, but because the subject matter required a certain mustering of mental and emotional fortitude to sit down with it for a couple of hours. Luckily, this assignment finally gave me necessary cause to do it.