catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 7, Num 16 :: 2008.09.12 — 2008.09.26


Grant’s recommendations 9.12.08

FILM: King of Hearts

This French film released in 1966 is one of the best comedies about WWI you’ll ever see. Set in a small French town that retreating German troops rig to explode, this farce about escapees from a lunatic asylum has serious undertones. The thinking of Foucault and Nietzsche is lurking behind the scenes here, reminding us of the deep connection between insanity and the “rational” modern age of the twentieth century. We are delighted by the lunacy of the mental patients who gaily dress up as townspeople immediately following their release. But we soon see that they are not the real crazies. In a very satisfying ending, German and Scottish soldiers meet their drab destiny and the real insanity of war is revealed.


MUSIC: K’naan

The Internet makes it possible to hear styles from all over the world on a much bigger scale than any time in the history of music, which seems to suggest that pop music is on the verge of an explosion of new sounds, rhythms and instruments. One great example of the future of hiphop in particular might be found in K’naan, a Somalian-born rapper who lives in Toronto, Ontario. I saw his set at Lollapalooza this summer after purchasing his Dusty Foot Philosopher album. Imagine Bob Marley, Eminem, Lauryn Hill, Wyclef Jean and NAS all rolled into one performer and you have an idea of K’naan’s style. His live show was one of the first of the festival, but also one of the best. The rapper’s conviction and use of live instrumentation seems to point to a promising future. Hiphop had stagnated in recent years with music that capitalized on the fantasy of the champaign-sipping, luxury car-driving pimp. It had a resurgence of past dignity with the rise of Common, Kanye West and friends, but K’naan is taking hiphop beyond the inner cities and suburbs of North America. He is the voice of the African refugee in North America who reminds his listeners that what people are going through in the war-torn countries of his homeland make some of the themes of American hiphop look quite trivial. In “Hardcore” K’naan says, “If I rhyme about home and got descriptive, I’d make Fifty Cent look like Limp Biskit.” Check out tracks from Dusty Foot Philosopher on MySpace and then buy the album.

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