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Movies review: 'Courting Condi' & 'The New Ten Commandments' (2008)

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  • Peter Dow
    Well Christmas and the New Year (or the holiday season as President Bush and many Americans like to say) is a time for watching a good movie or 3 and so I
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 27, 2008
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      Well Christmas and the New Year (or "the holiday season" as President Bush and many Americans like to say) is a time for watching a good movie or 3 and so I would like to recommend 3 movies here, each with something to entertain or to inspire you.
       
      (1) Courting Condi (USA - 2008)
      (2) The Ten Commandments (USA - 1956)
      (3) The New Ten Commandments (Scotland - 2008)
       
      (1) Courting Condi (USA - 2008)
       
       
       
      Well I have not seen this movie yet
      (I have no idea when or if the movie is showing in Scotland though it may be showing in England in June 2009 at a movie/film festival
      No sign of the movie going straight-to-DVD either though the movie is not being screened at Stanford any time soon if the website's news section is anything to go by)
      so I am really only reviewing the website of the movie which does though contain a list of reviews by people who have actually seen the movie.
      "Can one man with a dream win the heart of the world's most powerful woman? " asks the website.
       
      Em, "No!" I think is the answer to that one but no harm in trying.
       
      "Courting Condi is the first musical docu-tragi-comedy ever! Part Borat, part Fahrenheit 9/11, part Chicago -- the film follows a love-struck soul's hilarious, emotionally engaging, and ultimately shocking quest to woo Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice" explains the website.
       
      The website movie trailers and scene teasers reveal the tragic-comedy elements
      • (1) Who the "star" is. "A portly musician, former child actor (famed as Buzz in Home Alone)" says the website.
        "Famed" oh sure, he IS going to live forever.
      • (2) The star "Devin" is way too fat to stand a chance with Condi  or with other athletic women I guess. Condi dated American football players in her youth and I think she likes Michael Jordan the basketball player too but this fat guy Devin does not have the athletic physique or the fitness to appeal to Condi.
        If Devin was serious about courting Condi he would get down to the gym every day and stop stuffing his fat face with food he does not need.
      • (3) If he sucks at the gym, Devin also is confronted with the lesbian/bisexual rumours about Condi.  He has his tatoo removed for Condi but not his genitals thankfully. Not that Condi is any less disinterested in post-op then pre-op male-to-female transexuals so far as I know.  On the subject of male genitals, they appear blurred in the website trailer when the producer and Devin do a nude scene.
      • (4) As a docu-tragi-comedy movie-star Devin is unlikely to appeal to Condi who does like movie-star Denzel Washington  yes but Devin is not in the same movie-star hall of fame. Sorry Fatso.
      • (5) Devin tries sending Condi music discs as a way to her heart. Hey Fatso, we've tried serenading her already (for example, me with my music videos) and it doesn't work!
      • (5)
      I must admit I did laugh at the "Raided and bugged by Condi's goons" teaser scene.
      What the website does not reveal is what if anything the movie's researchers have unearthed about Condi's love life such as kiss-and-tell stories from former lovers - now that would be interesting.
       
      So Devin is doomed to fail in Courting Condi (welcome to the club Fatso ) but perhaps the movie does court those movie-goers who find Condoleezza Rice so fascinating or controversial?  

       
      I have added a link to the website of the movie to Rice for President Yahoo Group's "We Love Condi" folder
      as follows -
      Courting Condi - the movie
      Can one man with a dream win the heart of the world's most powerful woman? (Em, "no" I think is the answer to that one but no harm in trying - LOL - P.D.) Courting Condi is the first musical docu-tragi-comedy ever! Part Borat, part Fahrenheit 9/11, part Chicago -- the film follows a love-struck soul's hilarious, emotionally engaging, and ultimately shocking quest to woo Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
      http://www.courtingcondi.com/
       
      I am not sure though if the 'Courting Condi' movie makers have quite understood the depth and seriousness of the love that Condi inspires in her most devoted followers (though I will reserve my final judgement until I have seen the movie) which brings me to my next review.
       
       
       
      (2) The Ten Commandments (USA - 1956)
       
      This was on TV here in Scotland yesterday and gosh this movie is older than I am but it tells the story of Moses leading the Egyptian slaves to freedom and I guess the movie must have had quite a resonance in the USA with its segregated south at the time it was released.
       
      Here are links to a couple of trailers on YouTube -
      But for me the absolutely best bit of the movie was at then end when someone said to the old Moses
       
      "You are God's torch that lights the way to freedom. I love you."
       
      That brought a tear to my eye and it made me think about Condi.
      That's the sort of way I think of Condoleezza Rice, that she is "God's torch that lights the way to freedom"  though I am not religious except in my feelings for Condoleezza Rice in whom I have a lot of faith.
       
      I doubt that "Courting Condi" has a moment like that in it but I will watch it anyway to see.
       
      Now to my final movie review.
       
       
       
      (3) The New Ten Commandments (Scotland - 2008)
       
      I should confess at the beginning that I appear in the first of the ten chapters of this Scottish-produced human-rights documentary movie (“film” as we Britons say) so this is not really an unbiased review as far as the first chapter is concerned but more of a plug and to inform you that you can watch the 10-minute chapter of the film I am in by downloading it from my website or, for a limited period only perhaps, watch it on YouTube.
       
      Chapter 1 -
      The 'Right to Freedom of Assembly' chapter (directed by David Graham Scott)
       
      • Peter Dow's republican protest against the Queen at Holyrood
      This chapter profiles me (Peter Dow) and features my protest against the Queen at the Scottish Parliament, Holyrood, Edinburgh and it is now available for download from Scottish Republican News.
       
      Perhaps for a limited time only, this chapter in which I star can be seen on YouTube too, entitled 'Scottish republican socialist Peter Dow, author and protester'.

      Scottish republican socialist Peter Dow, author and protester (YouTube)
       
      The other chapters of 'The New Ten Commandments'
       
      • Aamer Anwar, lawyer, defending a contempt of court charge
      • Jim Swire, campaigning on Lockerbie Pan Am flight 103 bombing
      • Anti-slavery-sex-trafficking, Suicides-concerned and Asylum-seekers campaigners
      Also featuring
      • Kenny Richey liberated from death-row. Scotland's 20 years he missed
      • Enhanced interrogation techniques - the sheep's perspective
      • A narrated comic about a man who liked to ride his bike in private
      • Thespian musings
       
       
      This is a quote from the publicity information about the film
       
      There is no such thing as a "pure" culture. The horrors perpetrated during the Second World War in the name of such a mistaken belief led largely to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. The United Nations adopted this document in an attempt to make human rights a reality for everyone. Every single person has rights and each one of us has the duty to stand up, not just for our own rights, but also for those of others.

      60 years on, Scotland now has its own Parliament and a multi-cultural population that can trace its ancestors not only to refugees from the Second World War and the subsequent decolonisation of the now-defunct British Empire, but also to more recent political and geographical upheavals. The result is a vibrant, integrated and occasionally challenging culture within which stories of human rights abuses sit alongside tales of human rights recognition.

      To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Lansdowne Productions and the Scottish Documentary Institute have gathered together some of the most talented filmmakers and visual artists based in Scotland today. Collectively they have created the feature length documentary, 'The New Ten Commandments'.

      United by a single theme – Human Rights in Scotland – the film communicates a variety of artistic visions whilst exploring the real life stories of those for whom the Universal Declaration has intimate meaning. With a rights culture that tackles issues surrounding torture, slavery, liberty, justice, privacy, freedom of thought, expression and assembly, the right to asylum as well as the right to life, the film is both an emotionally powerful journey and an exercise in passionate filmmaking of the highest calibre.
       
      The Wikipedia article is more matter of fact -
      The New Ten Commandments is a feature-length documentary film which
      premiered at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in 2008.
      The film was produced by Nick Higgins from Lansdowne Productions and Noémie Mendelle from the Scottish Documentary Institute and has 10 film-chapter directors for each of the 10 chapters of the film - Kenny Glenaan, Douglas Gordon, Nick Higgins, Irvine Welsh, Mark Cousins, Sana Bilgrami, Alice Nelson, Tilda Swinton, Doug Aubrey, David Graham Scott, Anna Jones.
      The film's unifying theme is human rights in Scotland with each chapter illustrating one of the "New Ten Commandments" - 10 articles chosen from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
      The 10 film chapters of The New Ten Commandments
      1. The Right to Freedom of Assembly - Director, David Graham Scott
      2. The Right not to be enslaved - Director, Nick Higgins
      3. The Right to a fair trial - Director, Sana Bilgrami
      4. The Right to freedom of expression - Director, Doug Aubrey
      5. The Right to life - Director, Kenny Glenaan
      6. The Right to liberty - Directors, Irvine Welsh & Mark Cousins
      7. The Right not to be tortured - Director, Douglas Gordon
      8. The Right to asylum - Director, Anna Jones
      9. The Right to privacy - Director, Alice Nelson
      10. The Right to freedom of thought - Directors, Mark Cousins & Tilda Swinton
      The film was scheduled for its first television broadcast as "The New 10 Commandments" in Scotland on BBC Two Scotland for Sunday 7th December 2008, 22.50.

      External links
      The New Ten Commandments webpage.
      http://www.newtencommandments.co.uk/
      The New Ten Commandments at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.
      http://www.edfilmfest.org.uk/films/the-new-ten-commandments/
      The New 10 Commandments as a BBC Programme.
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00fz35z
      My review of the other chapters

      To sum the film up - human rights is a really important subject material - that is true for each of the human rights featured in each of the 10 chapters in the film. However, each chapter is unique in its own film-making style and deserves to have its own reputation as an individual 10 minute short film, whether of the highest calibre or not quite so high!
       
      I liked the chapters which starred people I know from Scottish public life and politics - such as the chapter about Scottish human rights lawyer Aamer Anwar in which Scottish socialists I know made an appearance too.
       
      The chapter about asylum seekers was good. The chapters which made specific political points identifying actual people I could relate to, who were fighting for their or other people's human rights, I liked the best.
       
      To be honest in one or two chapters I was scratching my head and fidgeting in my seat because I found them too obscure or arty-self-indulgent and apolitical for my interests.
       
      There were also a good number of laughs throughout which helped to lift the mood thankfully, given the grim seriousness of the subject of human rights.
       
      I don't know of any plans to screen this new film outside Britain yet (other than extracts like mine on the internet) but no doubt the producers would love to hear from anyone who wants to show it anywhere.
       
      Well that ends my film review for 2008. Happy New Year to you all when it comes!
       
      - Peter Dow,
      Owner, Rice for President Yahoo Group
       
      Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice speaks about David Welch, ...
      Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice speaks about David Welch, Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs, at the State Department in Washington, December 18, 2008.(Yuri Gripas/Reuters)
       
      Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice gives a hug to Assistant ...
       
      Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice gives a hug to Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs C. David Welch at the announcement of his retirement from the State Department on Thursday, Dec. 18, 2008 at the State Department in Washington.(AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)
       
       
      U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (R) greets David Welch, ...
       
       
       

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