movies: a great place to knit

if you have the right pattern, that is. ujein from knitknit: profiles + projects from knitting's new wave is great for film viewing, as it involves long strips of garter-stitch that you can do in the dark without thinking. i got a big chunk done on friday night watching black dynamite, the opening night gala feature of toronto after dark.
an awesome parody of '70s blaxploitation flicks, it hits all the marks without ever getting tired. this kind of project always runs the risk of saturday night live syndrome - think of all of those sketches based on once-funny jokes that chug along until they run out out of juice, usually long after the audience has. black dynamite is more like a louis armstrong solo that keeps hitting higher and higher notes. the tone is set from the outset with an ad for anaconda malt liquor (which later becomes integral to the plot).

the film takes aim at every stereotype of the genre, as well as stereotypical black characters (the oversexed pimp, the earnest activist) and the authenticity of street talk itself, but in a very playful and plot-driven way. actor/writer michael jai white plays it beautifully, never breaking character (even as a boom mike looms inches from his forehead) as he goes from slick ladies' man to kung-fu battle to "poignant" flashbacks to outrageous exposition. he's a one-man army out to fight for justice in a slick polyester suit, with too many quotable lines to count. the final fight scene against his ultimate enemy is just indescribable, but perhaps the finest moment is a scene in a restaurant when he has a wait-that's-it moment, and connects the dots with his posse in the ludicrously erudite way.

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