Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sleep Dealer Opens in LA & New York

It's finally here. While the buzz has been electric for over a year as New York's Alex Rivera made the film festival circuit with a sci-fi film that turns that reinvents the genre. If you've ever read Gibson's Nueromancer, imagine that with a heavy dose of Fuentes, Borges and Cortázar and even a peek of Bolaños joining the cyberseer on the page. Rivera has crafted a riveting chronicle of a world where immigrants are still shunned but connected via nodes to a network that allows them to operate robotic labor from the big border cities such as Tijuana. We get all of their labor but none of their actual physical presence, an idea I'm sure the minutemen and the zenophobes will go simply apeshit over.

Though I only caught snippets of the film at LALIFF last year, I look forward to seeing it in a bona fide movie house, chocolate crunch loaded popcorn with a smidgeon of butter included. Confession: I had a Mr. Spock doll as a child. I treasured a mass produced lithographic portfolio collection of early acrylic and watercolor renderings which would eventually become the storyboard designs for Star Wars. When I discovered the still as yet unfulfilled promise of the internet in the pages of the dark and foreboding cyberpunk novel that started it all, I was home. Alex Rivera is the international heir to the noir prophecies unfurled in those early tomes. Look for an official review of Sleep Dealer in the pages of an upcoming issue of Brooklyn & Boyle. I promised not to describe in detail the ski trip a former girlfriend and I took with Alex and a former girlfriend of his so as to spare everyone the nostalgic resurgence of romantic melancholy (everyone says, "enough already, vato. Give it a rest!"). Maybe it'll go in the book. Reindome desenfrenadamente about now!!!  Let's hope I can corner Alex at the NALIP conference (which I'll attend without a badge by the way to help Josefina Lopez at her book table) long enough for a real sit down interview.

And on the subject of the upstart Eastside arts and life magazine now headed for it's fifth installment, it was a monumental pleasure talking to Ruben "Funkahuatl" Guevara. I'm probably scooping a local weekly by mentioning the fact that he's going in their annual "people" issue. But he'll also be published almost verbatim in Brooklyn & Boyle over the next several issues. The first segment, as told to your most grateful editor/publisher, is tentatively titled "Ruben Guevara on Music, Eastside Arts and the Tao of Love." Stay tuned for more. The next issue of B & B has got a music and film focus, but we'll be exuberantly proud to publish a spring poem by Peter Harris, a bard's bard and arts educator who I happen to have some serious history with. He attended a journalism workshop at Berkeley about 20 years ago for writers of color with my sister Joanne and now widely published author Luis J. Rodriguez. Only fitting, by the way, that Ruben Guevara has been helping Tia Chucha (the bookstore/cafe Rodriguez founded in el valluco de San Fernando) with fundraising strategy. We come full circle yet again.

I know, I know... I've been less than diligent here, pero ya saben... we have been far from fallow. Trying to score a photo of Ollin for the cover and may wind up having to write the story myself if another extremely talented but also extremely busy scribe doesn't come through.