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Ode to Billy Joe (1976)
I don't agree with those saying Billy Joe was gay, by far
This film makes you long for a romantic, sultry south, and portrays the confusion of youth and coming of age. Billy Joe was drunk, and sometimes people do things when they're drunk that they wouldn't sober. Even afterward, he's still pleading his love to Bobbie Lee. I have no doubt he is straight, and truly loves Bobbie Lee, but an event caused him to doubt himself and created tremendous guilt and pain. It was something that happened, and like many who may have had a brush with 'teh_gay' they are confused, thinking that it makes them gay. One experience does not make him gay. Perhaps it wasn't outright rape, but it was an adult taking advantage of a youth who did not normally drink. I also think most people tend to WAY over-analyze the film. It's Hollywood, it's a decent film...sit back, watch it, and enjoy it or don't, but don't make the mistake of trying to see things that aren't there. Actually, I though Billy Joe might be a bit what you might have called 'mentally deficient', with his flowery expressions, effusive emotions, and goofy choice of clothing/shoes. I thought perhaps that's why people were so dismissive of him. But I don't think there is any question he has raging hormones, and they are directed at a girl. Most gay youth at this point would be dealing with the confusing that their raging hormones are set off by, and directed towards, someone of the same gender.
Also, I don't know how some people have the time frame wrong. Bobbie Lee mentions it's in the early 50's, and someone else mentions we don't know her age. She tells Billy Joe she's only 15 and her dad won't let her date until she's 16.
The X Files: Anasazi (1995)
Does anyone on the show do RESEARCH?
Chris Carter could have saved himself a LOT of headaches by having someone do a little simple research on Navajo culture. All these Navajos claiming to not know the language? If they were raised there, it's likely their first language, so the kid asking what grandpa said doesn't pass, nor does the DC woman only recognizing TWO WORDS, and recognizing them as 'modern'. Any Navajo could tell you what the words are, though yes, it would take a Code Talker to decipher it. Also, Navajo was not the only native language used in code talking. In addition, Anasazi does NOT mean 'ancient aliens', and "Hosteen" is NOT a name, but a term of respect for an male elder, pronounced 'Hah-steen' not 'Hoe-steen'. I can see why the Navajos jumped on Carter for all the boo-boos in this episode. Otherwise, great and enjoyable, but if you're familiar with the culture, these mistakes and others are GLARINGLY obvious, which does kill the thrill a bit.
Smoke Signals (1998)
Love the movie...love Adam Beach...
Sherman Alexie noted in the published version of the script that you get a more authentic portrayal by using NATIVE actors for NATIVE characters. I couldn't agree more. The subtle nuances that your average white actor can't carry off. Plus, having lived in the Spokane/C'D'A area, it was very familiar to me. When the bus reached "Phoenix, Arizona", I sat there staring thinking...'that looks SO familiar!'...It's the Spokane Greyhound Station!!!! I'm thinking, "Oh, Anj lived across the street there in that haunted apartment...wonder if it's still there...". And Adam Beach...what can you say? Mmmmmm.... Interesting to note that at the time of filming, Evan Adams (who plays Thomas Builds-the-Fire) was studying medicine, and was eventually doing his internship in ER med at a Vancouver, BC hospital! I was ready to go up to Canada and injure myself..."Owie, doc! Hey, you look like Thomas!!!" Much better looking without the glasses, goofy braids, and goofy teeth. In online native chats, we're always getting on the mic and quoting lines. Every Native American seems to own it and has seen it hundreds of times! Just an awesome film all around! Did I mention Adam Beach...mmmmmmm????
Excellent, must see!!!!
I've seen reviews by 'critics' who hated it, hated Graham Greene's character, etc. They don't like it because he's not the happy-go-lucky smiling injun they want to see. It's obvious Arthur is not human, but a personification, or materialization, of Peter's sweatlodge vision. "You dreamed anger, and your anger is real"...and it's taken on a life of it's own. When his work is done, when he's taught Peter to take more than a passive stance, he returns to his world. But you also see that spirit is going to be carried into future generations by the precocious Polly, the little girl at the beginning and end of the film. I love Budd's babbling once pain/infection/delirium takes place. And I hope his ordeal has taught him a thing or two about his cavalier destruction of not only the land, but aboriginal rights and greed.
Many have dismissed this film as 'too Hollywood' or fictionalized. Many don't understand just what went on in 'The Incident at Oglala'. Others wonder why it was so under-promoted. The US Government doesn't want anything promoted that shows their VERY dark side. Many US citizens do not know, do not want to know, or refuse to believe that their government does the exact same things that we chastise other governments for. I'm Native American myself (Cherokee/Powhattan), a tribal volunteer, and a Native Activist. The FBI has a file on me. My phone is tapped. This is what happens when you're involved in activities that reveal what your government is really up to. Yes, it is a 'fictionalized' account, but if you're familiar with the story, you know that Fred Ward is former chairman Dick Wilson, who helped the US Government to draw attention away from the fact that he was selling off 1/8 of the Pine Ridge Reservation for uranium mining, without the rest of the people knowing. Jimmy Looks Twice is vaguely based on Leonard Peltier (though I don't think anyone has claimed Leonard could shapeshift), and Maggie Eagle Bear is an excellent description of Anna Mae Aquash, who was murdered--the FBI tried to have her illegally buried under an assumed name, then just as Jane Doe, and because she had distinctive jewelry on her hands that couldn't be removed due to post-mortem swelling, they CUT OFF HER HANDS...sent them off allegedly for 'fingerprinting', and what do you know? They got lost. The book by Peter Mathiessen, "In the Spirit Of Crazy Horse" was kept from publishment for 8 years by the government who did not want the story out. Some of my fave lines? Cooch's "ARM is on it's last legs, Ray..." And Crowhorse's reaction to Ray's threat about withholding information, "So sue (Sioux) me..." And the scenery is so stark and beautiful. I cry every time I watch it. Fast action shoot-em-ups despite a yard full of kids? It happened. That's not Hollywood. The FBI was shooting up an 'encampment' full of women and kids at Oglala. They don't care. The only good Indian is a dead Indian. It's been this way for 500 years, and it continues today.
Almost Heroes (1998)
I do agree with one line...
"Lewis and Clark, Lewis and Clark, I'm SO SICK of hearing about Lewis and Clark" I *had* to see this film, as I live at the end of the Lewis and Clark trail, in Pacific County, Washington. I was also on the Comemmoration committee, so I'm definitely sick of Lewis and Clark. But in all, I found the film disappointing, especially the ending. If you're going to film about a historical event, at least attempt to do some research. The SW Washington/NW Oregon coastline is NOTHING like the northern California coastline where this was filmed. It might be amusing for those completely ignorant about the entire historical event, but for those raised on the facts, it was disheartening. Chris Farley was about the only highlight to the whole thing. Whomever made this film should be subjected to a full month of a certain local 'historian' and his constant raving, romanticized, self-absorbed blathering on the subject, ad nauseum.
Black Sheep (1996)
Funny, but confusing for a Washingtonian...
Being from Washington State, it has an extra appeal, but at the same time, confuses me since I'm well aware of the locations they mention. I don't think that's actually the governor's mansion, for one, but the town of Buckley is at the foothills of the Cascade mountains, and Garfield County is WAY on the Eastern side of the state, yet they switch back and forth between the two locations with minutes of ease, and Garfield County is also rather dry desert, with the Blue Mountains sparsely forested in pine, but a lot of the scenery is pine and douglas fir. Also, the credits list Buckley and Monrovia...there is no such place as Monrovia, WA. Busey's character steals the rental car in Buckley and turns up living in Garfield County? How's THAT for coincidence? Otherwise, it's funny 'brain candy'--no serious mental value, just fun to watch. I particularly enjoyed the nitro leak (as if ANY cop car is going to have a hemi and nitro boosters...even in a small town! Cops just aren't allowed to custom alter their vehicles) and the word play. Not to mention our gubernatorial candidate thinking loosening his tie is gonna make him 'cool' at Rock the Vote...