Strange Culture (2007)
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as Steve Kurtz
as Steve Kurtz
as Hope Kurtz
as Robert Ferrell
as Phil, Phil/Lynn Hershman Leeson
Critic Reviews for Strange Culture
Outrage overkill that gives as much weight to the government trashing Steve's house and locking his cat in the attic as it does their desecration of the First Amendment.
As sad as it is to realize that youth activism in this country is dead, it's sadder still to find yourself agreeing that they have a point.
Somewhere between documentary and dramatization, fact and impression, Strange Culture molds one manâ(TM)s tragedy into an engrossing narrative experiment.
A terrible personal tragedy and a penetrating case study in the intolerance and paranoia that still surrounds avant-garde art in America.
Slipping in and out of character, variously embodying, studying, and commenting on their counterparts, the actors manage both dramatic reenactment and its deconstruction with aplomb.
Echoing the 2006 Oscar-winning German film The Lives of Others, Leeson's film is a scary testament to the power of fear.
Audience Reviews for Strange Culture
[font=Century Gothic]On May 11, 2004, SUNY Buffalo professor Steve Kurtz was preparing an exhibit for the Critical Art Ensemble at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art on genetically engineered food when his wife of 27 years, Hope, died suddenly. Authorities investigating at his home found petri dishes and legally purchased bacteria and - I believe the technical term is - freaked out and cried terrorism.[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]"Strange Culture" is a movie stemming from that incident which includes interviews, news footage and video that one person was clear-minded enough to have of their being subpoenaed but it mostly consists of reconstructions. Other recent films like "The Road to Guantanamo" and "Touching the Void" went a similar route, because talking heads could not capture the visual impact of those stories. Here, it is because Kurtz cannot discuss certain details pertaining to his case. So, he and his wife are portrayed respectively by Thomas Jay Ryan and Tilda Swinton who also comment as themselves.[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]The movie is doubly scary as it is not only about an innocent man being accused of terrorism but also shows how badly the FBI blundered through the case. But I am doubtful their interest in the case is because of Kurtz's activism against genetically engineered food.(Director Lynn Hershman-Leeson dealt with theoretical science in "Conceiving Ada" and "Teknolust.") And I am not sure how much of an issue genetically engineered food really is, but more information would not hurt.[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font]
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