SIFF ‘08 – Masa’s previews: Heavy Metal in Baghdad and Patti Smith: Dream of Life

by masakaman

Heavy Metal in Baghdad

Acrassicauda is Iraq’s only heavy metal band. Life is complicated if you want to be a metal head in Iraq. It’s not because your bandmates aren’t showing up in time for a practice or are getting high to “feel it”. Going to practice could cost your life in Baghdad. Daily routines like getting from point A to B require guns for protection, and any fighting is better reserved for survival. Not only that, organizing a live show is nearly impossible. Often there is no electricity and for their own safety people have to obey the 7PM curfew. Getting death threats is just another problem you have to deal with. Heavy Metal in Baghdad is more than the usual music documentary film in that it’s directed by rads Suroosh Alvi and Eddy Moretti, who believe that heavy metal rules! The story follows Acrassicauda before, during and after the invasion. As film goes on, you get a unique view of a young generation’s life in Iraq. In 2006, the UN reported that 80% of all Iraqi singers have fled the country and that 75 singers have been killed in Iraq since the U.S. invasion started. No matter: Acrassicauda still rules! And they are not gonna give up their dreams that easily!

Saturday, May 24, 2008 @ 9:30 (buy tickets)
Sunday, May 25, 2008 @ 11:00 AM (buy tickets)

Patti Smith: Dream of Life

I used to stay up all night, listening to “Poppies” from Patti Smith’s Radio Ethiopia over and over. That was my first high except I wasn’t on anything. I didn’t even understand English then, but I followed her voice and music as the intoxicated night followed me. Patti Smith: Dream of Life takes viewers through a kaleidoscope of emotions — sorrow, anger, silliness, humiliation, adoration, love, familiarity, happiness, friendship, helplessness, and some many others — in that you’ll feel touched, you may even cry if you need to, and you’ll feel your blood get hot as she exclaims what you wanted say but you couldn’t. Is this Rock ‘n’ Roll? You think you are shit? Get ready, get ready. Don’t buy bullshit, DON’T BUY IT !!! This is Rock ‘n’ Roll, you are the shit! Smith’s poetic narration takes consciousness back and forth between the reality and dream. Equally beautiful images were shot over 11 years, cataloging her performances, poetry, diary writings, art, and photography. From the depths of her subconscious, she talks her philosophy. Dream of Life is a good place to start if you haven’t already dove into the world of Patti Smith and a good place to check yourself before you continue on.

Sunday May 25, 2008 @ 9:00 PM (buy tickets)
Wednesday May 28, 2008 @ 4:00 PM (buy tickets)

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