Friday, August 8, 2008

DVD Under the Radar 08/08/08

Camp Out -
Fascinating documentary about a camp for gay, Christian teens is maybe a little more about resolving your faith and your sexuality than it is about simple acceptance (which I'd prefer to see), but I guess for a lot of people that's the first hurdle toward really being happy and accepting yourself as who you are. If you don't have a real concept of some of the hurdles that gay teens face, this is a great primer in understanding.

Tokyo Decadence -
Noted Japanese author Ryû Murakami takes the director's chair for this dark exploration of a young Japanese woman searching for some sort of meaning in the seedy underworld of the Tokyo sex trade. It's graphic without the "porno-" prefix, exploring a grim world where characters try to connect, try anything to stimulate themselves, from sexual fantasties to hard drugs. Through it all the lead character, Ai, retains an impassive air about the potentially degrading scenarios she puts herself in. Obviously this isn't for everyone, but for those whose interest lie in explorations of cultural extremes, in gender politics in cinema, and of contemporary Asian cinema (of the over-the-top variety especially), this will be a fascinating one.

Experience Hendrix -
Two live concerts honoring the late, great guitarist are pieced together here to create a lasting tribute. Performers include Hendrix Experience alumni Mitch Mitchell and Billy Cox, Buddy Guy, Mick Taylor, Living Colour, Robert Randolph, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and many others running through many of the finest moments in Hendrix's catalog. While there have been dozens of Hendrix tributes of varying quality out there since his death, the level of performance here and the guitar heroics on display make this one something special.

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