By Admin | January 26, 2005

Directed with great flair by Canadian filmmaker Annie Bradley, “Tongue Bully” is nonetheless an insufferable affair. Little more than a way long music video or commercial for ethnic diversity, the film is at least thankfully short. It is not a documentary nor a work of fiction so much as it’s a celebration of the poetry and performance of an artist named Learie E.A. McNicolls, presumably the titular tongue bully, against the “exquisite backdrop of Havanna.” Throughout the film, McNicolls sashays, taps, and raps very artfully about such timeless issues as love, human expression, symbolic slavery, and personal salvation. Mr. McNicolls is clearly a very talented guy and looks great against the exotic urban grunge of Havanna, so stylishly captured by Bradley’s lens. It’s just that to this critic, the spectacle of performance art is something best appreciated in the flesh or between beer commercials with beautiful women, and rather irritating on celluloid. Moreover, don’t proclamations like “I think, I can” and “If you want freedom, you got to rehearse” just seem a bit too clichéd for this sort of thing? But hey, maybe it’s just me.

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