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The Majestic Plastic Bag – A Mockumentary

We seem to cover stories of plastic bags more often than you’d think.

Plastic Bag

I loved Goodbye Solo and Chopshop which Roger Ebert said was one of the top 10 films of the past decade. Here, Director Ramin Bahrani uses a plastic bag to tell an intricate story on dying and the environment. Legendary director Werner Herzog does the voice-over.

Plastic bag scene from American Beauty

Plastic bag scene from American Beauty

I have mentioned this scene before as a (possible) rip-off from a Jem Cohen short. But the American Beauty scene is still quite beautiful. It is so earnest, refreshing from the cold cool Hollywood.

Watch it

Jem Cohen shorts

Jem Cohen shortsJem Cohen shorts

I have been lucky enough to see Jem Cohen’s film on a big screen (and meet him briefly). A traditional avant-garde filmmaker (try explaining that to yourself) whose work has been widely hailed within the NY art community. His shooting style is somewhere between an historian and a collage artist. Little pieces of the wonderful everyday, celebration of odd coincidences. Remember the white plastic bag scene from American Beauty, it was ripped from one of Cohen’s shorts, where the entire film was about this magical, graceful white plastic bag. Though that film has not made its way to Youtube, some of his other work has.

Glueman – Classic Cohen, his ability to be at the right place at the right time.

Lucky Three – A short film on Elliott Smith (Hunter, you can thank me later).

Benjamin Smoke (part 1 & part 2) – Raw portrait about an under-appreciated musician. Part 2 is especially interesting with the locals getting more face time. This isn’t the entire film but two pieces from it.

Buy Elliott Smith CD’s or Benjamin Smoke on Amazon.