Memorial Day

2 07 2008

‘Memorial Day’ is a debut film of my director and also my friends for almost 10 years (I think), Josh Fox.

I’ve been informed about this for years and I’m so thrilled that it’s finally done and, moreover, it was the official selection at the CineVegas Film Festival 2008.

Josh came to see me and Thai friends last year and he gave us details about his film. It is, he said, ‘a cross between Abu Ghraib and Girls Gone Wild’. I was not so sure when I first heard about this but later when he tried to explain the idea, I think it was quite….what should I say…cool and weird.

His idea, if I remember correctly, started from the American’s Memorial Day. It’s supposed to be a day which people remember & be grateful to all sacrifices their soldiers have done for them. But apparently, it’s the same day which young folks & college kids are coming out celebrating wild parties on the beach. Sex, drugs, Rock ‘n’ Roll, vomits, flashing boobs, liquers,…did I mention sex?…are everywhere. So he combines this idea with the most & current controversial topic at that time which is the American soldiers in Iraq. Especially the Abu Ghraib prison pics & video clips which circulating all around the internet a couple year ago.

The result of his film? Of course, nothing else but controversy. According to what I read on the interviews & reviews, so many people walked out of the theatre…not even half of the film yet.
But, somehow, it gained a recognition as one of the ‘ballsiest’ films in this festival.

the trailer of ‘Memorial Day’ by Josh Fox

Here’s someone wrote about this film in the article at indiewire.com

“I think we found our audience by the end,” said Josh Fox, director of the fiercely controversial feature “Memorial Day,” which premiered last week at the CineVegas Film Festival. It was an apt summary of a prevailing sentiment for many filmmakers in town for the event, which showcased a variety of audacious films that would probably get buried at the country’s larger festivals. For Fox, the statement merely reflected the small crowd left in the theater for the Q&A, which followed a screening plagued by a wave of walk-outs during its first hour.

read more on : www.indiewire.com/ots/2008/06/dispatch_from_l_14.html

And here’s what others said;

“The film begins with a stunningly hypnotic 20 minute montage, which takes us, through fragments in constant motion, into a Memorial Day weekend blow out in Ocean City, a military shore town in Maryland that doubles as a locus for bargain basement tourism. We follow a gang of young women, outnumbered by their slightly older-seeming male companions, as they drink themselves into oblivion, spew casual racism, cry, fight, rape––and capture it all via handheld consumer video. …

For its first half, Memorial Day plays like an art film … [b]ut after a transitional scene, in which the location seems unchanged but characters suddenly appear dressed in fatigues, Memorial Day abruptly moves from the world of weekend warriors to an actual war zone. Our drunken racists and rapists––and their victims––are now charged with capturing and guarding anonymous Muslims, their unquenchable but blasé appetites unchanged.

It seems to be consensus that this is, at the very least, the ballsiest film at this festival, although it certainly has fewer defenders than detractors.”

And here’s another source if you’d like to read more : http://blog.spout.com/2008/06/16/cinevegas-memorial-day/

One of my friends said if he ever makes a movie, instead of the ‘so-so’ or ‘it’s ok’ feedback from the audience, he’d rather see people walking out from his film. That would mean something.

Nevertheless, I just want to say to Josh…Well done, my friend. You’ve caused another controversy once again.