In a Far City of Cathay

by Brandon Tom


Adam Green Unveils the teaser for his newest film Aladdin

In the teaser for anti-folk musician and filmmaker Adam Green's new project Aladdin, a tyrannical sultan demonstrates his power as a victim writhes with pain in a nearby electric chair. A glamourous Bip Ling, cigarette in hand, cruises through the streets in her paper convertible, decadent and carefree. And with one stroke of a questionably shaped magic lamp a wish granting genie appears. All of this, combined with his prolific lyrics, suggests that Green intends to reflect the times of today. The idea that society could use some stirring up from it's indifferent, apathetic slumber. That we learn to open our eyes to what is happening all around us.

Having previously penned nine studio albums and one film, shot with an iPhone camera, the musician is ready to release his Kickstarter-funded feature.

Aladdin—written and directed by Green—will be released together with the film's soundtrack album. "With Aladdin, I wanted to create a single and unified experience to showcase my music, art and writing,” said Green. “When creating Aladdin, I approached the script like it was a song. It has been the creative journey of a lifetime, and I’m so excited to put this out!”

Green's talent and popularity as a musician managed to garner him an impressive cast including Macaulay Culkin, Natasha Lyonne, and Zoe Kravitz.

The film will surely be fun and quirky, but Aladdin has always been a politically charged story and Green's take, though set in modern times, stays true to that.

On the surface, Green's flick seems innocent and playful. A typical fairy tale in which a boy falls in love with a girl. But underneath the film's colorful, handcrafted papier-mâché sets and video game-like quality, Aladdin depicts a world not too dissimilar from our own.

In his satire, Green explores themes of technology, greed, corruption, and government repression through humor, Super Mario imagery, and phallic symbolism His film is timely and his lyrics relevant to the political zeitgeist of today; "Things are not so horrible, now you're not my oracle," Green sings in the teaser's opening, "something died for all time when I saw you conspiring to never lift a finger."

One thing is certain, Green is a consumate storyteller and he has crafted a world for us that's vibrant and romantic. But his lyrics always have deeper meaning and perhaps Aladdin is Green's wish for a more just world, one in which materialism and greed don't exist. A world in which he hopes to change "the very nature of what we wish for."