A photojournalist is caught between success and ethics when a videotape he made for himself of the activities of an activist group at the Republican National Convention accidentally gets into the hands of the network where... more » he works.
"Director Stephen Marshall is best known for his documentaries, including some that are Sundance winners. This is his first foray into fictional mainstream films, and it is a promising effort. I am mystified by the negativity I read here; granted, Marshall is no Costa-Gravas (yet), but I doubt even Costa-Gravas was Costa-Gravas in his first movie. To call the film horrible is ridiculous, and I certainly do not share another writer's belief that there is no chemistry between the leads. Rather I see the natural awkwardness of two people trying to feel each other out as possible mates. Working under extreme deadline pressures with a cast of mostly unknowns and a limited budget, he has exemplified making lemonade out of lemons. Since many of his principals are non-actors, the fact that he gets good performances from them speaks well of his directing skills. He also has a painter's eye: there is one scene with Rosario Dawson and her fictional son, at sunset as they pretend to fly like the pigeons soaring around them, that is starkly beautiful. The street scenes pulse with life, no doubt because they are real. There are some amusing vignettes on the street that add piquancy to the mix. The modestly named rapper "Immortal Technique" has some interesting scenes, but for some puzzling reason appears to be identifying himself as black, when he is clearly hispanic. "Technique" also rips off the Brahms Third Symphony (third movement, trust me on this) for his rap, but no shoutouts to Johannes can be found in the credits to enhance his street-cred. I would like to see more character development, but given Marshall's background in documentaries this is not surprising. The motivation of some of the characters was hazy also, and anyone who has been to Times Square knows the big TV screens there are mute. But so what? These are minor issues, and he will learn. I saw the final cut at Sundance in January 2005, and there was a large and enthusiastic crowd. Marshall spoke to us afterward, and came across very well. I look forward to more from this most interesting young director."
"This Revolution" will not be terrorized
Jason | NC, USA | 01/14/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This film was shot and completed in 100 days. The political bits in the story are what the movie is really about. It is a message that should be heard by everyone. The main character in this movie is Jake Cassevetes, played by music video director Nathan Crooker, who is the videographer, and photographer in the movie. He is the undercover journalist who is the one who ultimately brings us "This Revolution." Rosario Dawson plays the widow of a solider who was killed in Iraq. Her parts in this movie are brilliant.
To address the concerns brought forth by the reviewer "Wes," He states that the scenes between certain actors are painful to watch. While I wouldn't say painful, they are not the most pleasant. However, the point of the movie is not a love story, nor does it try to be. This "movie" is more about the message, than the fictional roles the actor plays. The fictional parts added into the movie are to provide conflict and make us care about the people in the film, while it is not the best attempt, ultimately it's what separates this from documentary.
Wes goes on to complain about how the movie was shot on video. Yes this movie was shot on video, that is because it was shot on location, and was filmed while the events you see on screen were really happening. The actress Rosario Dawson (Descent, Clerks 2) was arrested along with the film's director, Stephen Marshall, while filming this movie in 2004 (this footage is also on the dvd.)
I give this movie a 4, because the movie was interesting and should be seen by everyone."
golgotha.gov | Texas | 03/17/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"THIS REVOLUTION (2004) directed by Stephen Marshall approx. 95 minutes
Documentary director Stephen Marshall takes a shot at a feature-length narrative in 'THIS REVOLUTION'. The results are mixed. The movie made quite a splash before it was ever released due to the fact that both Marshall and star Rosario Dawson were arrested during the taping of the movie.
The main story follows a cameraman sent to get footage of protestors outside the Republican National Convention held in NYC in 2004. He is romantically involved with a co-worker, a corporate newswoman with a generally cynical attitude towards politics. During the course of his work, he meets a single mother whose husband was killed in the recent Iraq War. She mentions that she's become more politically active since her husband's death and wants to make the world a better place for her son to live in. The cameraman is in a way forced to "choose sides" and take responsibility for his role in the media coverage of current events.
Some of the ideas in 'THIS REVOLUTION' are good. The phony superficial dialogue of the corporate news bunch sounds pretty accurate. The profanity littered speech of the activists also has a sad element of truth as well, although this doesn't make them seem more "real", it makes them seem less articulate. Funny thing is that sometimes these two paths intersect and basically say the same thing. For example, there is a scene where rapper Immortal Technique "acts". The corporate girlfriend suggests that they "go get some shots of him in the hood". This is supposed to make her sound ridiculous and it does. Whats hilarious is that when they go to tape him, one of his buddies says something like "this is the sound of the STREETS!" This is a supposed to be a serious line of dialogue even though it sounds like something off of a Funkmaster Flex commercial.
We see many activists interviewed and they show varying degrees of talent. Some of them sound like they are reciting lines from their favorite leaflets whereas others sound more genuine. Activism is an interesting setting for a dramatic movie and I'm surprised that there haven't been more movies along these lines. The politics of the movie are pretty transparent, as we get to hear theories about how certain property should be destroyed and some lines that sounded like they were lifted from the Weather Underground. One activist is given the opportunity to relay the "New Pearl Harbor theory"- the idea that the September 11 terrorist attacks were an "inside job" alluded to in the Project for the New American Century document "Rebuilding America's Defenses". This is unsurprising considering that one of director Stephen Marshall's other projects include a "9/11 truth" documentary featuring militant rapper PARIS.
The most interesting segment is the one with artist Arthur Robins. He used to sell his paintings outside of the Metropolitain museum in NYC. When he decided to take a break and go see the latest show, a woman blamed him for illegally hanging art inside the museum. This led to Robins being harassed not only inside the museum but also later at his apartment by NY police. Amazingly, he was able to record their behavior, some of which is shown in 'THIS REVOLUTION'. His story was also covered by Julie Salamon in the June 12, 2004 edition of the New York Times.
To be honest I was a little disappointed with 'THIS REVOLUTION'. Its a good vehicle for some of the ideas (even if some of the ideas are silly) and the acting from Rosario Dawson and Amy Redford is great. Some of the writing however is over the top and will probably confirm people's perceptions about how activists behave. It has peaked my interest in future projects of Stephen Marshall though."
Julia Darling | 01/09/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this film on Movies On Demand last week and have been thinking about it ever since. A true testament to the importance of this film is that Rosario Dawson and Bloc Party go out on a limb to support Stephen Marshall's uncovering of the most appalling administration of this century. That being said......movie stars and rock bands dont always make the best poster-children, but in this case they do. The performances (newcomer Nathan Crooker especially) show grit and integrity - which is not only refreshing but absolutely integral when the true star of this film is the message, and it shines very very hot."
Susan Smith | Houston, TX United States | 06/23/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Rather disappoint from the star of Spike Lee's 25 Hours, but still somewhat interesting. Would not rush out and purchase it, however."