Reviews - Specialty Releases


Film Review: Let Fury Have the Hour

Cheerleading for a couple of generations of artists who've viewed their output as a struggle against right-wing politics, Antonino D'Ambrosio's Let Fury Have the Hour is stuffed with "Right on!" moments and attractive image-making. But its fuzzy focus limits the breadth of its appeal—while it's easy to imagine groups of Occupy activists hosting well-received screenings, the doc will be a harder sell in the broader nonfiction arena.

Dec 11, 2012

-By John DeFore


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1368918-Let_Fury_Hour_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

An outgrowth of D'Ambrosio's book of the same title, the film compiles interviews with scores of musicians, artists, writers and so on who fit his definition of "creative response." Somewhat confusingly, while the book centered on The Clash's Joe Strummer, the film lets him loom large in the background—an inspiration for many of its subjects whose own career is barely discussed.

Instead we have a quick-cutting chain of interviews with everyone from Haitian-American author Edwidge Danticat to environmentalist Van Jones. Almost all say interesting things that right-minded people will agree with, but it's often unclear what the movie's trying to make of it all. The film's editing and its heavy employment of (sometimes manipulated) stock footage give the impression of continuously building to big points that never quite solidify.

Had the film stuck to The Clash and its contemporaries, its strong use of Reagan and Thatcher as counterpoint—ideologues setting a societal agenda creative people must counter—would make sense. But D'Ambrosio's younger subjects, like Gogol Bordello's Eugene Hütz and the Fela Kuti-inspired Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, didn't start their careers until the end of the Clinton era (and Fela Kuti himself hit his political-funk prime long before the ’80s).

Perhaps all the artists here would agree that their individual takes on political art trace back to the Reagan/Thatcher phenomenon. That seems unlikely. Failing that, it's hard to understand what D'Ambrosio sees in this varied group that makes them different from, say, ’60s folkies who also envisioned a new way of living through art.

Individual reference points here—the anyone-can-do-it punk scene, the no-gallery-required world of street art—make clear how a specific creative current empowered people. But the notion that all these varied creative bursts constitute a single cultural movement is more implied than asserted, much less argued convincingly.

All this is not to say the film lacks engaging ideas. When a skateboarder speaks of how his hobby caused him to literally see the world differently, when a scientist discusses how great art can teach us to live with ambiguity, one can imagine other, differently focused films that might have sprung from this material. But then we careen into an invigorating sequence connecting dots between Public Enemy and punk and community activism, and we decide we wish the movie would settle on this instead.
The Hollywood Reporter


Film Review: Let Fury Have the Hour

Cheerleading for a couple of generations of artists who've viewed their output as a struggle against right-wing politics, Antonino D'Ambrosio's Let Fury Have the Hour is stuffed with "Right on!" moments and attractive image-making. But its fuzzy focus limits the breadth of its appeal—while it's easy to imagine groups of Occupy activists hosting well-received screenings, the doc will be a harder sell in the broader nonfiction arena.

Dec 11, 2012

-By John DeFore


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1368918-Let_Fury_Hour_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

An outgrowth of D'Ambrosio's book of the same title, the film compiles interviews with scores of musicians, artists, writers and so on who fit his definition of "creative response." Somewhat confusingly, while the book centered on The Clash's Joe Strummer, the film lets him loom large in the background—an inspiration for many of its subjects whose own career is barely discussed.

Instead we have a quick-cutting chain of interviews with everyone from Haitian-American author Edwidge Danticat to environmentalist Van Jones. Almost all say interesting things that right-minded people will agree with, but it's often unclear what the movie's trying to make of it all. The film's editing and its heavy employment of (sometimes manipulated) stock footage give the impression of continuously building to big points that never quite solidify.

Had the film stuck to The Clash and its contemporaries, its strong use of Reagan and Thatcher as counterpoint—ideologues setting a societal agenda creative people must counter—would make sense. But D'Ambrosio's younger subjects, like Gogol Bordello's Eugene Hütz and the Fela Kuti-inspired Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, didn't start their careers until the end of the Clinton era (and Fela Kuti himself hit his political-funk prime long before the ’80s).

Perhaps all the artists here would agree that their individual takes on political art trace back to the Reagan/Thatcher phenomenon. That seems unlikely. Failing that, it's hard to understand what D'Ambrosio sees in this varied group that makes them different from, say, ’60s folkies who also envisioned a new way of living through art.

Individual reference points here—the anyone-can-do-it punk scene, the no-gallery-required world of street art—make clear how a specific creative current empowered people. But the notion that all these varied creative bursts constitute a single cultural movement is more implied than asserted, much less argued convincingly.

All this is not to say the film lacks engaging ideas. When a skateboarder speaks of how his hobby caused him to literally see the world differently, when a scientist discusses how great art can teach us to live with ambiguity, one can imagine other, differently focused films that might have sprung from this material. But then we careen into an invigorating sequence connecting dots between Public Enemy and punk and community activism, and we decide we wish the movie would settle on this instead.
The Hollywood Reporter
Post a Comment
Asterisk (*) is a required field.
* Author: 
Rate This Article: (1=Bad, 5=Perfect)

*Comment:
 

More Specialty Releases

Happy Christmas
Film Review: Happy Christmas

Joe Swanberg's latest feature is a collection of strong individual scenes and performances that never quite finds its statement of purpose. More »

Very Good Girls
Film Review: Very Good Girls

More of a meandering, misguided path than a road to hell, Naomi Foner’s directing debut, starring Dakota Fanning and Elizabeth Olsen as 18-year-old BFFs, is similarly filled with good intentions. More »

The Kill Team
Film Review: The Kill Team

Marine Adam Winfield goes on trial in a case in which U.S. soldiers murdered innocent Afghanis. Strong subject marred by poor narrative choices. More »

Beneath
Film Review: Beneath

Claustrophobics beware: For the bulk of this tightly constructed thriller, the characters are trapped 600 feet underground in a dark, aging coal mine, backed into one tight space after another as they try to elude someone or something with murderous intentions. You have been warned. More »

ADVERTISEMENT



REVIEWS

Lucy
Film Review: Lucy

Drugs unleash the full potential of the brain with tragic results in Luc Besson's sci-fi adventure. More »

Magic in the Moonlight
Film Review: Magic in the Moonlight

Slight Woody Allen period romance is enlivened by appealing leads Colin Firth and Emma Stone. More »

Player for the Film Journal International website.


ADVERTISEMENT



INDUSTRY GUIDES

» Blue Sheets
FJI's guide to upcoming movie releases, including films in production and development. Check back weekly for the latest additions.

» Distribution Guide
» Equipment Guide
» Exhibition Guide

ORDER A PRINT SUBSCRIPTION

Film Journal International

Subscribe to the monthly print edition of Film Journal International and get the full visual impact of this valuable resource for the cinema business.

» Click Here

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Learn how to promote your company at the Film Expo Group events: ShowEast, CineEurope, and CineAsia.

» Click Here