Thursday, February 08, 2007

INSTANT YANG v.32: SURVIVOR EPISODE TWO; DOORS OPEN, JET LI KICKS IN

Well, it's between weeks, but I had a few announcements to share, and a followup recap of SURVIVOR: RACE WAR to point to, so I thought I'd shoot you guys a midsession shoutout. If I decide to do recaps of SURVIVOR weekly, I'll drop word of a permanent home for them in next week's regular installment.

In the meantime, Carmen and Jen at MixedMediaWatch.com agreed to host this week's capper; if they don't read it and run screaming, it should be up by Monday--assuming their site redesign launch goes off without a hitch. Edit: The site has a new name! Check it out at Racialicious.com. Here's a sample:

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SURVIVOR: COOK ISLAND, EPISODE 2
The first taste is always free, right? Then comes the downward spiral of shame and self-destruction. That's what was running through my mind as I flipped through the recordings on my ever-faithful TiVo toward the second episode of Survivor: Cook Island. I watched the first installment rationalizing that it was for work, every penny goes to my son Hudson's college fund, yessiree, but episode two? Lurid fascination, no excuses.

It struck me that it felt very much like sneaking a peek at, say, Playboy's "Girls of the Ivy League" issue. One might reason that you're just, uh, checking to see if there's anyone you know in there-- HOLY CRAP, THAT'S MY SECOND COUSIN!--but it's mostly just prurience, isn't it?

And this season's Survivor is essentially pornography--the pornography of race. Fetishized situations, featuring idealized, archetypal and stereotypical performers, coupling and decoupling, and, well, people screwing each other. Figuratively. But probably, given the humpity-humpity flashes we've seen of the Caucasian Team, literally as well...

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And now on to the announcements. First off, Red Doors opened this weekend in San Francisco and L.A., so those of you who haven't caught it, catch it. It's eminently catchable--thoughtful, funny, and richly drawn, with a truly awesome ensemble of performances supporting a polished and assured directorial debut by Georgia Lee.

Also opening this weekend, to somewhat bigger ad budgets: Jet Li's Fearless, billed as his last "martial arts epic." Bullshit! But Jet actually means something a little different from what the marketing--and most of the media--has been saying. And the film's his best and most innovatively choreographed one in years.

You can find out the deets on both Lee and Li, and the similarities between their two films in my column next week...yes, I said similarities.

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