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Showing posts from February, 2008

Trance writing? A blog entry as a work of art? Year 0 in New Sri Lanka

2008 is Year 0 of the New Sri Lanka.

stream of consciousness/trance like writing/blog entry, relatively unedited, flowing down from past/present/future through my brain to the keyboard to the screen in one session - more to be enjoyed as an inspirational work of art as opposed to being something - a manifesto? that needs to be explained away & or corrected or commented on

Time article Immigration - No Correlation With Crime

From the recent Time magazine article Immigration-No Correlation With Crime:

"Driving these statistics, researchers believe, are the same factors that drive immigration in the first place. "People who make the decision to come here from another country want to get ahead, establish a better life," says Harvard sociology professor Robert Sampson. "That dream is not something they're likely to risk by getting arrested."

Read the rest of the article here.

- Sujewa

The ABC's of No-Budget Filmmaking - articles by Peter Broderick

Someone needs to invent the machine that takes the script from my computer & quickly turns it into a completed movie & burns it on to a DVD within a couple of hours. That would be nice. Maybe Apple is working on that machine. Until that machine comes out on the market we still have to go through budgeting & crews & props & editing & all that good stuff if we want to make a feature. Even though the 3 movies (The Living End, Laws of Gravity, El Mariachi) that Broderick looks at were all shot on 16 MM, this page is a useful one to review before you go out & shoot your no-budget DV or HD feature.

The ABC's of No-Budget Filmmaking

Obama on dealing with hard core jihadists vs. dealing with millions of moderate Muslims

Found this Washington Post web article while doing some research on Barack Obama's views on Israel and on the Muslim world. I am quoting only two paragraphs, but the whole article is worth reading for full context and additional information on the topic:

Under section heading "On opening up dialogue with Muslim world:"

Barack Obama: "...I am not na├»ve. There is a hard core of jihadist fundamentalists who we can't negotiate with. We have to hunt them down and knock them out. Incapacitate them. That's the military aspects of dealing with this phenomenon. Now, somebody like a Richard Clarke would estimate that the hard-core jihadists would gladly blow up this room -- maybe it's 30,000 people, maybe it's 40,000 people, maybe it's 50,000 people. But it is a finite number. And that is where military action and intelligence has to be directed. So all the things I've talked about in the past -- improving our intelligence capacity, improving our all…

Another US first in this epic campaign: Obama's number of donors just went over the 1 million mark

As far as I know this is the first time in US presidential politics that over 1 million people have donated money to a campaign. To become a part of this awesome story, click here or on the pic above & donate some $s to the Obama campaign. Your country might thank you for it down the road, most likely. - Sujewa

New Obama endorsements from 2 DC Superdelegates

From Obama '08 site:

"Washington, DC – Two more superdelegates have endorsed Barack Obama today. Shadow United States Senators Paul Strauss and Michael D. Brown endorsed Obama, citing his longstanding commitment to the rights of DC residents and his ability to unite Americans to bring change.

Senator Paul Strauss said, “I am excited to endorse Barack Obama today. Barack Obama has been a leader for promoting unity and equality for all Americans, and has shown a steadfast commitment to the DC voting rights and full representation in Congress.

“We feel strongly that we should use our vote to uphold the will of the people who by decisive margins chose Barack Obama in contests across the country and by our region’s voters in the Potomac Primaries. Barack Obama inspired voters from every part of Washington, DC to turn out on Primary Day and give him victories in every single voting precinct. His diverse experience, from his days as an urban community organizer, to his service in th…

The Homeless Home Movie

This sounds like an interesting movie:

"The Homeless Home Movie" interweaves the stories of five very different homeless people over the course of a year. They range from a pregnant 15 year old runaway Tina to a couple who live in their car Ken and Debbie as well as a Vietnam Vet West Side who lives out year round, and a man Greg bankrupted after his daughter's long fight with leukemia. Their opinions, actions, and histories come together to expose the harsh realities and problems of homelessness."

Read more about the movie here.

From the Making Of page:

" For years I'd wondered why homeless people were talked about on television but not heard from. In the world of television, as in the world in general, they seemed to be on the outside looking in, the passive recipients of temporary shelter and occasional TV sound bites.

From my own experience, I came to believe that they lacked a direct voice on telev…

Post re: MacBook Air & Final Cut Pro

This article at Ordinary Time blog might be of interest to anyone thinking about using the MacBook Air laptop for video editing using Final Cut Pro. From the article:

"Before you yell - yes, I do understand that this computer is clearly not “designed for” the video professional - but I still think it’s a fair question and no doubt one that will be asked. It’s not uncommon for a product designed for one thing to get adapted by a community and be used in ways the creators didn’t originally envision. I did, after all, go over a year using a Macbook (not Pro) as my main editing system at home even though Apple doesn’t officially support this for Final Cut before upgrading to a Mac Pro this year - and I cut some fairly high profile jobs on this with nobody knowing or caring."

Read the rest of the long post here.

- Sujewa

Burn To Shine 5: Seattle out now

In Trixie DVD's Burn To Shine project bands from one area gather at a house that is about to be demolished & then they perform music. The performances & the destruction of the house are filmed & then lovingly packaged on to a DVD. DVD #5 in the series, Seattle, is out now.

Seattle area bands on the new DVD:

Minus The Bear
The Long Winters
Benjamin Gibbard
Tiny Vipers

Eddie Vedder
Spook The Horse
Blue Scholars
Harvey Danger
The Can't See
David Bazan
Kinski
Jesse Sykes
Triumph of Lethargy Skinned Alive To Death
The Cave Singers

For more about the Seattle DVD & the other 4, go here.

To buy Trixie products, go here.

- Sujewa

Intro to Left-Right politics

Wondering why there is a Left and a Right in politics? This Wikipedia page titled Politics might serve as a good introduction to the entire topic of politics, including the Left-Right thing. From the main page;

"Most political analysts and politicians divide politics into left wing and right wing politics, often also using the idea of center politics as a middle path of policy between the right and left. This classification is comparatively recent (it was not used by Aristotle or Hobbes, for instance), and dates from the French Revolution era, when those members of the National Assembly who opposed the monarchy sat on the left, while those who supported it sat on the right.[37]"

Read more at main Politics article and at Left-right politics article.

- Sujewa

Obama wins Hawaii, Wisconsin, & has over 480,000 donors so far in '08!

The links for the stories:

- Hawaii win

- Wisconsin win

- Over 480,000 donors in '08 so far (they are aiming for 500,000 by 3/4, go here to donate & support an inspirational candidate who may be able to get a lot of useful things done as president)

& here's a little video promoting Obama's Blueprint for Change/"the specifics":

VOA story on Ezra - a film about child soldiers

Both text and video versions of the story are available at the Voice of America site.

From the story:

"Ezra also remembers nothing about the night in which his rebel faction attacked his own village, an attack in which his parents were killed and his sister gravely injured. Much of the film is about the human relationships of the child soldiers, despite their brutalization. Ezra's sister is loyal to him despite her knowledge that he was among the attacking rebels. Ezra also falls in love and marries a girl soldier, eventually trying to flee the country with her and his sister.

The cast includes Sierra Leoneans, Ugandans, Rwandans and Malians, as well as European and Americans of African descent. Most had not acted before, and two had actually been child soldiers. The director, who says the story is based on the Sierra Leone conflict, interviewed a number of child soldiers before he wrote his screenplay. They became a major source, he says, “especially three kids that I met tha…

Your story can help Barack Obama win superdelegates

From an e-mail I received from the Obama campaign:

"Our work so far has taught us one important lesson: that your personal story about why you support Barack Obama is often the most powerful persuasion tool for someone who's undecided.
That's true whether that undecided voter is your neighbor or a superdelegate.

The story of where you're from, what brought you into the political process, the issues that matter to you, and why you became part of this movement has the potential to inspire someone who could cast a deciding vote in this contest.

Our staff will compile stories from supporters like you and make them a key part of the conversation with superdelegates as Barack asks for their support.

Share your story to help persuade superdelegates now:
http://my.barackobama.com/superdelegates

I've received a lot of email from folks asking how best to help with the superdelegate effort, and this is it.

Your note, combined with those of other Obama supporters, will tell the story…

I guess not everyone is a fan; romantic love denounced by Sri Lankan monks as an "undesirable western concept"

Funny. I guess not everyone is a fan of Valentines Day. From an article in Gulf Times:

"Sri Lankan Buddhist monks plan to counter Valentine's Day celebrations in the island with programmes to lure the youth away from romantic love which they denounce as an undesirable Western concept.

The Jathika Sangha Sammelanaya (JSS), a national organisation of monks, will hold Adishtana and Ashirwada prayers Valentine's Day today in a bid to make the youth love the country and the security forces battling Tamil Tigers."

Read the rest of the article here.

Why an organization SWORN TO CELIBACY (that would be the order of Buddhist monks; they are celebate in Sri Lanka) is concerned with romantic love is something to ponder. I guess this is all a left over anti-western attitude in some parts of Sri Lankan society, rising from anti-colonial sentiments from over 60 years ago. Not everyone in Sri Lanka hates romantic love, from what I hear, and in fact I believe love is a very popular …

Sigiriya video clips from YouTube

One of the places I want to visit at some point in the future is the ancient rock fortress Sigiriya in Sri Lanka. There are many stories about what it was; the mainstream view is that it was built by a fifth century king to guard against his brother (check this Wikipedia page for more on that), then there are others who believe that Sigiriya was built much earlier, and, if I recall correctly, might even have been Lankapura - the city of King Ravana in the Indian epic Ramayana (an idea I found in this book). Regardless, a fascinating ancient monument. Check out these videos that depict Sigiriya & also speculate about it:

1. A clip from a German show that speculates about what Sigiriya may have looked like in the past:



2. A presentation of still photos depicting what Sigiriya looks like now (set to some pleasant Sri Lankan music :):



3. This looks like some vacation video from a visit to Sigiriya:



4. A look around from top of (or at least one high level of) Sigiriya:



5. Some great…

A TV first?

From Angry Asian Man, re: two Asian American characters kissing on Cashmere Mafia:

"Can this be television history before our eyes? Several people have written in claiming that is the first time two Asian American characters have been shown kissing on prime time network television. Can this be right? I've been wracking my brain for the last half hour and haven't been able to come up with anything. If anyone can think of a reasonable example that proves otherwise, let me know. I'm curious."

Read the rest of the article here.

- Sujewa

Barack Obama's plans regarding the economy, energy & environment, homeland security, foreign policy, health care, war in iraq & other issues

For people who are interested in finding out about where SuperTuesdayVictorious Barack Obama - the most exciting presidential candidate we've seen in a long time - stands re: various issues, here are some links:

On the economy:
http://www.barackobama.com/issues/economy/

Energy & environment:
http://www.barackobama.com/issues/energy/

Homeland Security:
http://www.barackobama.com/issues/homeland/

Foreign Policy:
http://www.barackobama.com/issues/foreignpolicy/

Health Care:
http://www.barackobama.com/issues/healthcare/

War in Iraq:
http://www.barackobama.com/issues/iraq/

& there's more here.

- Sujewa

LA Times article about the awesome "Yes We Can" Obama video

Well, last night/Super Tuesday settles it (catching up to a brand name candidate, winning more states, raising more $s from small donantions than the rival, ending up with more pledged delegates according to MSNBC - Obama's 838 to Clinton's 834); if things keep going the way they have been going, I am pretty sure that Barack Obama is going to be the next president. A very good thing for the US & the world, most likely.

And some good news on the viral video front for the Obama campaign, from the LA Times:

"The Barack Obama-boosting music video "Yes We Can" hit the Net on Friday and by Super Tuesday it had been streamed a staggering 10 million times on YouTube and the website http://www.yeswecansong.com/.

Produced by multi-platinum-selling rapper-producer will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas, the elegiac, reggae-tinged composition isn't a campaign commercial, per se. To hear him tell it, the song is an impassioned plea for social change. But the video's viral…

Korean American Film Festival, 2/9, NYC

More info at festival's web site.

Some festival details:

"DATE & TIME Saturday, February 9th, 2008

4PM - 6PM Shorts Program
6PM - 7PM Intermission
7PM - 9PM Spotlight Feature Presentation of "Baby"

LOCATION Skirball Center for the Performing Arts New York University 566 LaGuardia Place (Washington Square South)"

More info. here.

Thanks AsianAmericanFilm.com for the link.

- Sujewa

NEH's Rediscovering Afghanistan initiative

From the National Endowment for the Humanities page:

"The National Endowment for the Humanities invites applications for projects that focus on Afghanistan's history and culture. The special initiative is designed to promote research, education, and public programs about Afghanistan and to encourage United States institutions to assist Afghanistan in efforts to preserve and document its cultural resources."

Find out more here.

- Sujewa

CPB's Greenhouse Fund

From the Corporation for Public Broadcasting site:

"The Greenhouse Fund competitively awards grants for industry training and professional development projects for public television professionals and independent producers. The goal of the fund is to prepare public broadcasters and independent producers for entry, advancement and/or leadership..."

Read the rest here.

- Sujewa

(former) Sex workers art show in Baltimore 2/6 Wed

Sex Workers Art Show! happening at Creative Alliance at the Patterson. From their page:

"This wildly successful cabaret-style show is back at the Creative Alliance, bringing audiences a blend of spoken word, music, drag, burlesque, and multimedia performance art from an electric line up of former sex workers and their allies. Intelligent and hot, disturbing and hilarious, the performances offer a wide range of perspectives on sex work, from celebration of prostitutes' rights and sex-positivity to views from the darker sides of the industry"

Find out more here.

- Sujewa

Happy 60th Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka (the post-British colonial version of the country) is 60 years old today. From a Colombo Page article:

"Sri Lanka today celebrated its 60th year of independence from British rule at the Galle Face promenade in the capital Colombo with military parades of tanks and troops while fighter jets flew overhead despite threats of bomb attacks by Tamil Tigers."

Read the rest here.

Happy 60th birthday Sri Lanka.

- Sujewa

Washington Post article about the first Our City Film Festival

Check out the Post article here.

From the article:

"A good starting point to immerse yourself in unofficial Washington is the first Our City Film Festival, a day-long screening of locally based documentaries next Sunday at Busboys and Poets. Presented by Yachad ( http://www.yachad-dc.org/), a Jewish nonprofit group that focuses on repairing homes for low- and middle-income homeowners in the Washington area, the 11 films introduce a memorable cast of characters, from bike messengers and former dope fiends to U Street barbers and kickball aficionados."

Read the rest of the article here.

Here's the Our City film fest site. Festival happens 2/10 at Busboys & Poets. Go here for a list of films to be screened.

- Sujewa

Finding Love in Anti-Romance - Eric "Tre" Byler interview at Entertainment Today

From the interview:

"EntToday: Which filmmakers have influenced you in your own cinematic renderings of relationship?

Byler: The goal is to have the influence come from real life and not from movies. Too many movies are inspired from other movies and that's how the genres become so repetitive and why so many of us are just in-and-out with the studio fare. But the movies that really made me aware that it was okay to tell the stories that were inspired by life as opposed to other people's movies were films like Carnal Knowledge, Five Easy Pieces, Sex, Lies & Videotape, Midnight Cowboy and The Graduate; films where the relationships are so complex.

When I rediscovered that era of American cinema when American studios were making art films, and the best and most talented directors and actors were collaborating on art films, that was when I said, "I can do that." The main difference is that I would say I'm influenced by films that were made longer ago than, s…

Beatific Soul: Jack Kerouac on the Road exhibition at New York Public Library until March 16

From the NYPL site:

"A host of literary and physical artifacts displayed in the exhibition will bring to life Kerouac's career as a writer, from his earliest journals to typescript and manuscript drafts of his novels, short stories, essays, and poetry to diaries, journals and correspondence. Kerouac was an assiduous diarist and journal keeper. In a 1939 journal entry, recorded upon arriving in New York to attend the Horace Mann School for Boys, he wrote, "I wish to say that this journal is a continual refreshing resource for my castle, which surrounds me; it keeps me aloof from teeming humanity; it keeps me in contact with myself. By that I mean that a continual flow of ideas from my turbulent mind find their way into these pages invariably." His journals, diaries, and correspondence reveal a mind consumed with the goal of finding a way to give his experience of life on and off the road its most effective creative expression, and the drafts of his fiction, poetry, an…

Art Deadlines List

Check them out here.

Here's a description from the site:

"Art contests and competitions, art jobs and internships, art scholarships and grants and fellowships, art festivals, call for entries/proposals/projects, and other opportunities, in all disciplines, for art students, art teachers, and artists of all ages. A subscription to the PAID/PREMIUM list guarantees you will be the first to view announcements and have access to ALL announcements."

They have free & paid versions of the list.

Thanks Film Arts Foundation for the link.

- Sujewa

Variety review of The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo

From the review:

"Doc examines the horrific phenomenon of widespread rape and torture of women by rebel soldiers (and, sometimes, government troops and U.N. peacekeepers) during the decade-long civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire). Many of these atrocities, "Greatest Silence" persuasively argues, are methodically carried out to sustain a climate of political and economic instability in a country where valuable natural resources -- including coltan, an ore used in cell phones and laptops -- are exploited by profiteers."

Read the rest here.

Here is a website for Silence.

- Sujewa

Montgomery County, MD grants for artists deadline March 25

From the Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County, Maryland website:

" Types of Grants:
Grants for Creation of New Work—to support the creation of original work
Professional Development Grants—to assist the applicant with his/her artistic/scholarly capabilities and/or business management skills
Community Connections Grants—to support programs initiated by the applicant that bring arts and/or humanities activities to the residents of Montgomery County
Applicants may apply for and receive awards from $1,000 to $5,000"

Find out more here.

- Sujewa

New Jersey Independent South Asian Cine Fest

From an e-mail from NJISACF:

"After an overwhelming success and popularity as well as rave reviews in its first year (2007), the 2nd NJISACF will be held on 19 - 21 September, 2008, at the George Street playhouse in New Brunswick, New Jersey. This three-day cine fest will showcase an outstanding array of more than 30 brilliant films by talented South Asian filmmakers from the USA, UK, Canada, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Burma, Nepal and many other countries. These films will create a focused, lively environment for conversation, education and exploration of issues that face South Asia and the South Asian diaspora, as well as create a prolonged space where the pertinent social-political-cultural issues that form the core subject of these films can be discussed and understood. The screening of the acclaimed feature, short, documentary and animated films of all genres will be accompanied by filmmaker Q&A s, and panel discussions on various topics related to the craft …