Whitewash

KOCH header

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. Citizen Koch The sadly ridiculous details of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s election and recall fight are just part of the backdrop for this documentary about the U.S. Supreme Court’s “Citizen United” ruling and the rise of the Tea Party. At the center of it all are the billionaire Koch brothers (and other immensely rich donors), who having been empowered by the court’s decision unleash a tidal wave of legal support for political agendas. To be clear, this is not an impartial doc looking at two sides of a story. That may sound improper, but some things that look politically slanted are actually straightforward facts. Both sides of the aisle have seen their fair share if disgusting behavior, and this doc looks at the actions on the right that led to a heavy loss for the idea of a democracy of the people. The film spends a bit too much time with ex-governor/Congressman Buddy Roemer, but the core message and theme rings true elsewhere as the power of the people is blatantly replaced by the power of the dollar. You could argue that the people of Wisconsin got what they deserved (via the majority vote) as Walker proceeded to dismantle the state’s unions — and you’d be right — but that doesn’t make the damage and nationwide fallout any less distressing or unfortunate for America’s future. [DVD extras: Deleted scenes, […]

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Oscilloscope Laboratories

Bruce (Thomas Haden Church) is a small-town ice plow driver in rural Quebec who has a bit too much to drink one night, heads out for a plow and accidentally hits and kills a man in the middle of the road. Panicked, and still more than a little drunk, he hides the body off the side of a road and heads into the woods in an effort to elude the police and the consequences they bring with them. He awakes the next morning in a plow almost out of gas and nearly buried in snow. Staying out of jail soon takes second place on his list of priorities right behind staying alive. As Bruce scrounges empty cabins for food and checks local papers for news on the dead man we see flashbacks to the days leading up to the accident. Details about his personal life and state of mind are revealed, and a portrait of a sad, defeated man comes into focus. And then we learn that the dead man was no stranger and in fact was a recent acquaintance of Bruce’s. Whitewash is a slowburn thriller laced with blackly comic moments and a blanket of never-ending snow. Even as the tone shifts slightly between the serious and the absurd, the one constant is the cold that pervades the film and everything in it.

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The Rocket

If there was any doubt that this year’s Tribeca Film Festival featured one heck of a varied slate, last night’s awards ceremony put that question to rest. The festival’s many winners included films about rockets, Flemish bluegrass music, an Internet-popular dwarf cat, Oxycontin, Hurricane Sandy, and Thomas Haden Church (well, sort of). The night’s big winner was Kim Mordaunt‘s feature, The Rocket, an Aussie entry that picked up both The Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature and Best Actor in a Narrative Feature Film for young star Sitthiphon Disamoe. Other standout winners include The Broken Circle Breakdown, Whitewash, Oxyana, and The Kill Team. You want variety? Tribeca has got variety in spades. After the break, check out all the winners of this year’s Tribeca Film Festival.

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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