By Stephanie Zacharek
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Charles Taylor
By Melissa Anderson
By Inkoo Kang
By Amy Nicholson
By Sam Weisberg
Flynn's line-drawn black-and-white animations pack numerous punches within their tiny time frames; he'll premiere Catloop, in which the heads of a cat and a bird swirl through a never ending monochrome mandala, curlicuing into eye-bending fractal eddies, punctuated with throbbing strobes and swooping synth gurgles. Ara Peterson (of the defunct Forcefield crew) contributes Treetops, an undulating checkerboard that twists and morphs into a liquefied Bridget Reilly painting, intercut with flashes of kaleidoscopic color; the whole is set to a Black Dice track of the same name. Ben Jones, Jacob Ciocci, and Jessica Ciocci of Paper Rad will perform in a new configuration dubbed Dr. Doo Man Group. Jones promises (via e-mail) an "all cardboard band" with videos from their recent P-Unit Mixtape, which adds a new level of ominous gangsta bling to Paper Rad's trademark multi-layered Ritalin-romping kiddie-website montages. It all adds up to a virtuoso vision of art-making as never ending playtime, cut through with a propensity for ego-evaporating death spirals. ED HALTER
DUST TO GLORY
Written and directed by Dana Brown
IFC Films, opens April 1, Regal Union Square
The documentary Dust to Glory follows an annual race up and down the Baja peninsula, an event, like professional dodgeball tournaments, better left to ESPN 8, the Ocho. More than 1,200 competitors hit the unpaved desert road to a Survivor-ish soundtrack, piloting everything from unmodified pre-1981 Volkswagen Beetles to high-suspension trucks and dune buggies that negotiate corners with the grace of an inebriated kangaroo.
"This isn't about a race," says writer-director Dana Brown, who narrates. "It's about the race, the human race." Let's hope not. The movie is monotonous, storyless, and at under 100 minutes, interminable. The only excitement derives from a rivalry between two Honda-sponsored motorcyclists based on intra-corporate politics. Fitting, since global capitalism is the unnamed subtext of this witless colonial enterprise.
As in his flaccid surf pic Step Into Liquid (2003), Brown stages meetings between the local children and his yahoo protags amid heartwarming product placement. For good measure, the director tosses in empty compliments to the landscape ("it's an emotion, that's what Baja is, something you feel"). But Dust to Glory's Mexico is nothing more than a blank canvas for advertising and American machismo. BENJAMIN STRONG
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