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Space is the Place back to product details

A confused mess, but you should see it to understand Ra
written by brakhage April 5, 2005 - 9:40 PM PDT
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful
A truly bizarre and disjointed film, which makes attempts at being a blaxploitation movie, a B-movie science fiction picture, a performance document, and a philosophy lecture by a cult leader - and succeeds at none of them. In one of the extras on the DVD, the film's producer says that he was blown away by the Arkestra's live performances and wanted to get that energy on film. Once the director and Ra became involved, the decision was made to make a narrative film instead, which to me is a bit of disappointment - I think I would rather just have Ra and the gang do their thing on stage ...
That said, it's still a gas to watch Ra cruising down the street with his Egyptian-attired attendants, blowing up a strip club with his piano, or just spouting gnomic utterances. I'm sure that once the opportunity of being in a movie presented itself, Ra wanted to get as much of his cosmic black liberation message out as he could, which means that his fantastic music is often set aside in favor of Ra saying things like 'we live on the other side of time'. But there are some hilarious performances, like Christopher Brooks as the Channel Five-Jive journalist who's co-opted but climbs on the ship with Ra and company (well, the black part of him anyway) at the end. A fun film that's extremely dated and silly - but valuable because it shows Ra as reacting against the materialism and despair he saw around him.


(Average 7.56)
45 Votes
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