Oct 032012

Outside of the biggest blockbuster films, Lexington is oftentimes skipped over when it comes to attracting a diversity of films here.  In the spirit of wishing upon a star, I want to initiate a new series of Films We Would Like to See (in Lexington) in the hopes that someone might actually work to ensure these upcoming films get a release here:

Films we would like to see (in Lexington):

Promised Land (USA: Gus van Sant, 2012)

Stoker (USA/UK: Chan-Wook Park, 2013) Continue reading »

Oct 032012

By Keith Halladay

I got into it with Michael Benton on Facebook last week, and I’m struggling to understand why.

Michael is a frequent contributor to NoC, as longtime readers may recognize, and as of this semester we’re colleagues in the BCTC Humanities Division faculty, thanks in large part to his formal recommendation. Prior to that we were graduate students together in the University of Kentucky English Department, and, for a short while when I first moved to Lexington, we were next-door neighbors.

That’s almost a decade of acquaintance, and during that time I cannot recall us arguing even once, about anything. Which seems odd, as we’re both loud, opinionated, and at least a little arrogant. Then again, on matters social and political, we’re more or less on the same side; broadly speaking, we have little to argue about. Continue reading »

Jan 032012

Late-night notes from Lexington, KY, the longest continuously running occupation in North America.*

I had a blast last night at Occupy Lex. Had one of the greatest discussions I have had down there when five college students from different universities, home on break, talked to Steven/me for an hour about the reasoning/intent of the Occupy Movement. They were skeptical at first and it felt like we really reached them (except for the marketing major, but hopefully we encouraged him to at least read Adam Smith — rather than accept blindly what his economics professors say he said).

Then there was the outstanding Grandmaster Cadence written/developed by Dakota/Samuel and sung by 7 of us (also Miran/John/Erol/Steve) at the top of our lungs with great humor and love while it rained outside at night (we were in the main tent which is also a marvel of comfort/warmth). Speaking of humor, spirits were high and playfulness was the name of the game.

Thank you, one and all! Solidarity!

Humbly submitted,

Michael Benton

Lex Oc 87/88

*Continuous European conquest and occupation of the entire North American Continent since 1492, excepted.


Nov 092011

By Michael Benton

“Far from being mindless, violence is usually the cutting edge of ideas and ideologies.”

 —John Fraser, in Violence in the Arts (1974: 162)

I believe that violence is a necessary part of many creative narratives because it is a part of reality. Violence is a part of the human experience. How can we ignore it?

At the same time, I reject simplistic, cartoonish uses of violence where the heroes are shot at a hundred times, receiving perhaps a scratch, while methodically dispatching every person they face. I think it is irresponsible to repeatedly portray, or think of, violence as simply mindless entertainment. Continue reading »

Oct 122011

Something’s happening here

By Michael Benton

The question that must be asked is whether we are witnessing the birth of a new social movement in America. As I am writing this article Occupy Wall Street is starting Day 25 and it is spreading on a national and global scale. There are now Occupations and Meetups in 1359 cities operating in solidarity with the protesters in New York City. (You can find lists of current Occupations across the globe at http://www.meetup.com/occupytogether.) Occupy Lexington was the third city to organize an Occupation when a few protesters gathered on September 29 at noon in front of the Downtown JP Morgan Chase Bank plaza.

I first heard about the plans for the occupation of Wall Street from Adbusters’ editor and writer Micah White in July of 2011. Soon afterward, I saw the ads of a ballerina doing a pirouette on top of the iconic Wall Street bull statue appearing in the magazine’s September 2011 “Post-Anarchism” issue and in various announcements from activist groups.

Courtesy Adbusters. Visit them at http://www.adbusters.org/

The ad that kickstarted a movement. Courtesy Adbusters.

Slowly people started discussing the possibilities of the occupation through emails, in person, and on forums. Continue reading »

Aug 242011

By Michael Benton

This is the start of our seventh year for the Bluegrass Film Society.  We are still dedicated to providing a forum for BCTC film students and filmmakers to watch films from around the world.  Due to our involvement with BCTC’s Peace and Conflict Studies, we also are continuing to choose films that explore conflict as well as meditations on the possibilities for peace.  As always, in the spirit of our Humanities department, we seek to find films that celebrate creativity and imagination.  All films are at 7:30 P.M. in the Bluegrass Community and Technical College auditorium and are always free of charge. Continue reading »