free markets, free culture

Celebrate theft, embrace cliche, and go see Soul Samurai already!

with 2 comments

Talent imitates, genius steals. In the spirit of yesterday’s quote, here are 3 random picks from the
Cultural Remix Blender:

A) I Heart Wong Kar Wai

I ❤ Wong Kar Wai is a collection of short films in the visually-saturated, melancholic-love style of the famed Hong Kong filmmaker. “If imitation is the highest form of flattery, then these films are pure adoration.”
(Hollywood is the biggest recycler of them all, often to the point of formulaic mass appeal. Some directors strives for exact artistic replicas, like Gus Van Sant’s 1998 Psycho, which remakes the classic 1960 Hitchcock film, scene for scene, shot for shot.)

B) Dutch-style portraiture

Hendrik Kerstens’ quirky portraits are an uncanny take on Vermeer… or any Flemish painting where the women wear odd headgear.

C) Soul Samurai

I’m not usually a play-pusher, a fangirl, or heck, even that excited about “live theatre” but I’m on a mini-campaign for this show since I saw it two weeks ago. Beyond WOM marketing and the standard social media blasts, I’m twitter-stalking the playwright and broadcasting the last shows to relevant mass email groups. I even nudged a freelance writer to pitch a review (accepted by!)

Soul Samurai is great on many levels: writing, set design, acting talent, multimedia storytelling.

But the strongest point was the genre-busting! It had comic books + Kill Bill + Shaft + smart sexy heroines + mixed martial arts + puppets + blaxploitation + live-action digital shorts + philosophical pimp wordplay + post-apocalyptic American Apparel outfits.

And breakdancing. Lots of breakdancing. It takes place in Brooklyn after all.

“All of that… in a play? I’m impressed,” says Cheryl Metzger, who has yet to see it. (Hint!)

“It’s like it was made of all these cliches,” says Catherine Chiong. “Familiar phrases, and things I already knew — but put together in a unique way.”

The force of cliches can be powerful in the hands of a gifted author. Literary critic Umberto Eco tells us that familiar cliches are the force behind films like Casablanca, which is “not just one film. It is many films, an anthology.” It’s love, it’s death. It’s music and seduction. It’s all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, and “we’ll always have Paris.”

Arielle Schiff, fan of the Vampire Cowboys theatre company (producer of Soul Samurai), notes their shows are “always so fun and funny, and then there will be a really poignant moment that is surprisingly touching.”

As Umberto Eco explains it: “Two cliches make us laugh. A hundred cliches move us.”

Show ends March 15. Tickets on sale here, $20 with discount code VAMPFAN.


Written by @hellopanelo

March 3, 2009 at 3:15 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Thanks, Indienomics.
    Soul Samurai = I’m so there.


    March 5, 2009 at 5:57 am

  2. verdantic, right on! it’s definitely an entertaining evening.


    March 5, 2009 at 4:40 pm

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