The opening of <em>The Act of Killing,</em> which<em> </em>seems like something out of a Bollywood musical, has a happy energy about it. But as we'll learn, the two men in the center led death squads in the 1960s, when an estimated 1.2 million Indonesians were killed. In Joshua Oppenheimer's astonishing documentary, they obligingly re-enact their crimes.
Executioner Anwar Congo (left, with a prop dummy) appears in the film — sometimes as a victim of atrocities he participated in or oversaw.
"Genocide in Indonesia." Those words probably don't make you want to rush out to see a new movie.
But what if we add these: Genocide in Indonesia, with gangsters, cowboys, dancing girls, men in drag and splashy musical numbers. They're all part of the year's strangest documentary, The Act of Killing.
Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer have been very good to the New York tabloids.
First, they delivered lurid scandals for cheeky newspaper headline writers to work with. That's like rocket fuel for the tabs, which thrive on conflict and scandal and aren't nearly as cautious and measured as the broadsheets.
Then, after resigning from office — Weiner from Congress, Spitzer from the governorship — each decided to make an against-all-odds return to elected politics this year.
Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 4:14 pm
Steve Martin is a true Renaissance man, having run the gamut of accomplishments from acting to writing to art collecting. He's also an award-winning banjo player, offering easy, lilting banjo melodies alongside former New Bohemian Edie Brickell's lyrics on the duo's latest album, Love Has Come For You.