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July 17, 2008

The unlikeliest film tie-in of the day: The Exiles skateboards



Milestone Films' The Exiles, presented by Charles Burnett and Sherman Alexie, a restoration of Kent McKenzie's 1961 fiction film in film noir tradition, the story of Native Americans in Los Angeles' Bunker Hill District as they struggle during the Bureau of Indian Affairs “relocation period," boasts the most unlikely but strangely thrilling product tie-in in an age. Writes Milestone's Dennis Doros, "Possibly the very first tribute of its kind for any classic film release, we are particularly pleased that The Exiles has struck a chord with Native Americans throughout the US and Canada. It is interesting to note the coincidence that it was Douglas Miles' own San Carlos Apache Reservation in Gobe, Arizona where Kent Mackenzie first conceived the idea of The Exiles when he visited in 1957. Mackenzie's stark vision serves as the template for the (often misunderstood) stark artistic vision(s) of Douglas Miles as he re-creates scenes from the film... Using spraypaint, exacto knives and found objects, imagery from The Exiles comes to life via Miles' singular vision. His guerilla art method provides the backdrop for the collision of two works of art/artists exploring the so-called native experience. A perfect combination. The results being a one-two punch that builds interest and respect for The Exiles film, director, music and cast." To cite two of the many celebrations of the film, here's Manohla Dargis at NYTimes: "The restoration and long-delayed commercial release of The Exiles, a 1961 film about a largely forgotten corner of that deceptively bright city, is nothing less than a welcome act of defiant remembrance..." And Richard Brody at the New Yorker; "[T]he night photography alone would make the film immortal." The film's website. The site for Miles' Apache Skateboards. Coverage of his work here. [Below: a clip from The Exiles.]



Trailer for The Exiles.]

Posted by Ray Pride at July 17, 2008 07:46 PM

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