BMZ Review: Pulse: A Stomp Odyssey
By Herb Lash
Pulse: A Stomp Odyssey
Written by: Herb Lash
Source: Big Movie Zone
Date: October 2002
These days when the World talks to itself the conversation tends toward dodging bombs and dropping bombs - warriors are everywhere. So, this is a message from High Command, this is a Code Orange directive sent out for your own safety no matter where in the world you are living: Report immediately to your nearest IMAX theater and demand to see PULSE: A STOMP ODYSSEY. It is imperative that you do so in order to be reminded that the best kind of World conversation sounds like music. The film is your vehicle for an around-the-world journey in search of warriors who drop beats, not bombs.
Forget what you might have heard about or seen in STOMP the Broadway stage show - everything in this film was designed with the Giant Screen in mind. The movie is one of the best examples of artful Large Format filmmaking you are likely to see anytime soon. Brooklyn to Botswana, Red Rocks to Jo'berg, thunderous Kodo drums, marching band funk and a Flamenco dancer who teaches you everything you need to know about sex and life - PULSE is a jazz performance, each artist offering up a riff that is entirely its own thing and still part of a tight overall composition. There is nothing episodic here, this is no travelogue of far flung locales bound by gimmicky devices or know-it-all narration. PULSE is among that rare category of Large Format films that proves Large Format filmmaking can be a distinct art form.
The typical Big Movie can't go too long without resorting to a swooping, all encompassing helicopter shot of fantastic landscapes - it's an easy and reliably impressive use of the Giant Screen. PULSE takes a different tact. A variety of human faces are featured in mesmerizing close ups - they stare directly out at the audience, they make funny faces, they make funny noises - they make music. There is a similarity to all of these very different faces, in the same way that the vast array of world beats are essentially related. Eyes, mouths, hair, smiles and flesh become fascinating, fantastic human landscapes - no helicopters needed.
Some might recall the art house film LATCHO DROM which gave us the world by way of gypsy music and culture. PULSE takes the same open ear/open eye ethos and infuses it with the Stomp troupe's sense of Playfulness - B-Boys and B-Girls reaching out to the world. The key demographic for this film is: Human Beings. If you are a Human Being you will like this film. If you are a theater owner, you owe it to your neighborhood Human Beings to show this film. Word of mouth will certainly work its magic- but if there is any Big Movie that deserves to be rewarded with imaginative theater marketing it is PULSE: A STOMP ODYSSEY.
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