Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Business of Fancydancing|
Actors: Evan Adams, Michelle St. John, Gene Tagaban, Swil Kanim, Rebecca Carroll
Director: Sherman Alexie
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama
While in college, Spokane Reservation best friends Aristotle and Seymour took different paths. Aristotle went back to "the rez," while Seymour began a new life for himself as an openly gay poet. Sixteen years later, the ... more »
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Lyrical, angry, and honest
S. Stroshane | Brighton, Massachusetts United States | 11/29/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Although the pacing is choppy, "The Business of Fancydancing" is haunting and powerful. Successful poet Seymour Polatkin returns to his rez for a friend's funeral and faces harsh criticism for the way he used his people for his subjects, then abandoned them. Evan Adams as Seymour is humorous, sly, confused, and finally shattered by his choices. Strong performances by Gene Tagaban as Aristotle Joseph, who serves as Seymour's conscience, and Swil Kanim as Mouse, the mocking, witty friend who dies. He's also a superb violinist. Michele St. John shines as Seymour's early love interest and indigenous singer who has chosen to live on the rez.
Alexie mocks himself as he poses the question, "What's it like when you talk and white people listen?"
I recommend this film to anyone who wants to understand cultural disjointedness and search for self-identity."
UNDERSTANDING AND ACCEPTANCE
Debra Barnes | 06/30/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The first key is to first face the issues. Before you can do that you must admit these issues exist. Sherman helps bring these issues up front, in your face. I find in talking to people about this film, the ones that do NOT like it are homophobics. People also have a hard time watching two Indians beat up a white guy. But these things happen every day. We are not painted red men sitting on a pony. We are all human, and Sherman shows us in all our glory, pettiness, anger, desperation, and most private moments.
The interviewer was the woman I didn't like. I didn't "get" her purpose. In talking to my girlfriend she said we're not supposed to like her, that my girlfriend has seen white people talking to me in this manner. The interviewer is every non-Indian that wants to put the Indian in their place. Knowing this helps when you watch the movie.
I find Gene, Evan, Swil and Michelle breaking all the stereotypes. They are mixed blood, they are gay, they are recovering alcoholics, they are amazing musicians, teachers, and you want to love them for all they are and all they are not."
Five frybread rating!
Debra Barnes | Tucson, AZ by way of Indian Country, SD | 06/24/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Poetically intriguing! I am sure Alexie will be criticized for showing the ugly side of reservation life along with the beauty, but this film sticks with you. It addresses all the angles. It shows the intra-tribal prejudice that happens when someone leaves the rez and becomes successful, and the ones who could have, but chose not to. The images of childhood innocence woven with gasoline huffing and Lysol sandwiches are sad and beautiful at the same time. The great dialog, Alexie's writing, great casting and cinematography make this all around good. It has more "meat" than Smoke Signals, I highly recommended it."
Unforgettable cinematic masterpiece
D. Pawl | Seattle | 04/22/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sherman Alexie, one of my favorite writers, wrote and directed a brilliant debut. The performances are moving and beautiful, and at the same time haunting. Alexie directed this like a composer would a beautiful, tragic suite. I found myself laughing and crying, and also thinking about the universal concept of identity while watching this film. It doesn't matter if you are from the Rez, or from NYC. Returning to your home after breaking away is hard for all of us--especially if rejection is inevitable. I think this is definitely a groundbreaking film. I don't say this simply because Alexie is a Native writer, filmmaker, producer and director. I say this because the film is a brilliant examination of the human condition, done in an unaffected, realistic and straightforward way. What are we left with when we stand at the crossroads between two identities and cultures? Can we ever go back home?"