BREAKTHROUGH WEEKEND Teaser Trailer

Space Rabbit IndieGoGo

Help make Matt Zoller Seitz's amazing new puppet sci-fi show Space Rabbit! Get great rewards! More here.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Wonderful Town review at Variety

Check it out here.

From the review:

"With minimal dialogue and assured performances from its well-matched leads, pic registers powerfully as a pure romance and as a haunting portrait of a place that has rid itself of the physical reminders of trauma, but where the population remains largely in a state of suspended animation, emotionally."

More here.

- Sujewa

Video interview with Emily "The Toe Tactic" Hubley


Sunday, March 30, 2008

How to recognize evil

If people are getting killed in some place, most likely some evil stuff is happening at that place.

- Sujewa

Stonehenge VI in DC was awesome! :: Some thoughts

Attended the DC area mass indie film auditioning event Stonehenge today; glad I did - briefly met 120 or so actors, collected head shots/resumes, got to know some local filmmakers. Team Jabberwocky, the producers of 'henge, did an excellent job today - all went very smoothly, with zero frustrations to me as a filmmaker attending a 'henge event for the first time. Stonehenge is a great resource for DC area indie filmmakers.

Each of the actors who auditioned had, I believe, 90 seconds (i may be wrong on this, either way, no more than 2-3 minutes) to perform a monologue. The performances that I found most effective; ones that allowed me to observe potential skills of the actors were ones where the actor did not use an incredibly dramatic/shocking monologue. I'll explain; when I was watching actors I was not evaluating the exact monologue they chose, but rather how it was delivered, specially what I call "the low notes" - it is kind of difficult to totally fail on delivering the big emotions - rage, deep sorrow, etc., but it is more difficult to deliver/show the more subtle emotions/states of being - uncertainty, confusion, cautious optimism, etc. The kind of scripts I am writing - comedy-dramas basically - require actors who can hit those comparatively lower notes well. Anyway, this is just 1 filmmaker's opinion, but I found monologues that dealt with shocking or explicit sexuality/related matters such as sexual abuse (sexuality was a topic favored by many of the actresses - well, it stood out - maybe at least 10-20 actresses or more) to be distracting. The topic of the monologue was so huge/complex/dramatic I started thinking about the content of the monologue rather than paying close attention to the performance. Same for monologues that dealt with race & racial conflicts, racial discrimination etc; a topic favored by many of the African-American actors who auditioned today. Me and 2 other filmmakers (one African-American, one from Puerto Rico) compared notes re: African-American actors at the end of the day (because all three of us I believe are looking for African-American actors for upcoming projects) and it turned out that the top 3 African-American actors that we saw today (who we thought did best in that group) all did not perform a monologue that explicitly dealt with race; rather their monologues were either mini-narratives (one was a funny story about a dancer) or were about more lighthearted personal experiences. So, here's what I am thinking - sexual drama and racial conflicts are very big & serious topics, perhaps the 90 sec. or whatever brief audition, audition #1, should be treated like a first date - with the intent of wanting to set up follow up encounters - or, maybe the displaying of wit, charm, with flashes of dramatic possibility/range should be the goal rather than throwing the audience into heavy dramatic situations at that first, brief audition. Again, these are just 1 filmmaker's observations, and no doubt the kind of scripts I am writing now & the kind of movies I enjoy have a lot to do with this preference. All in all, my monologue 1 topic preferences aside :), 95% of the actors I saw today deserve call backs, I believe.

Looking forward to exploring the possibility of working with some of the actors I saw today. Already talked to one, her audition reminded me of a feature script idea that I worked on but shelved a few months ago, perhaps it can be picked back up & produced soon - this actress I saw today might be able to bring to life well the type of character at the center of the story that I am thinking about. We are meeting this week to discuss the project in detail. And there are at least a handful more actors I'd like to speak with in the coming week - need to find 2 actors for my 2 Actors short, just to mention one upcoming project. And when I shoot the next feature, when casting time comes around later this year (May? June?), I'll keep in mind a lot of the actors I saw today.

And that's all for now re: my visit to Stonehenge VI; sleep, Sunday stuff, & work on the DNO DVD next.

Big thanks to everyone who made Stonehenge VI possible and specially to all the actors who came & auditioned. Can't make good indie fiction movies (for the most part) without enthusiastic & skilled actors. Nice to see so many from the DC area in one day in one place.

- Sujewa

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Friday, March 28, 2008

Finished a new short...

... and still working on the feature DVD, update here.

- Sujewa

Trailer & site link for doc Beautiful Losers

I think this trailer is slightly different than the one I posted sometime back:



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And here's the website for Beautiful Losers.

- Sujewa

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Millenium Declaration video

About the video:

"In 2000, 189 nations came together and made a promise to eradicate extreme poverty by 2015. (Extreme poverty is defined as living on less than a dollar a day). This promise led to the Millennium Declaration - a document outlining 8 specific goals to help the world realize this promise."

Video was created by Good.

Orange Line - a new blog for Washington, DC arts

I am blogging about DC arts events & related stuff over at Orange Line.

- Sujewa

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

video link - 17 yr old putting on shows :: Above the Influence call for submissions

First, go check out this video story about a 17 year old who is organizing rock shows in a town in NJ; here - pretty neat.

Related; Above the Influence call for video submissions:

"AbovetheInfluence.com Asks Teens and Young Adults to Submit Videos

Tell the World How You Live Above the Influence

Visit abovetheinfluence.com for the specifics.

This is your chance to be a part of the Above the Influence team and tell the world what you think. Share your version of what it means to be Above It.

Your personal video expression can be almost anything – a dramatization, documentary-style interview (with yourself or others), a montage, or even a commercial-style video that you might create for the campaign. Or tell us how you live above it – you know, how you deal with pressures, stay healthy and avoid drugs. And in the next few months, we’ll pick a few of your videos to post on the site. Be creative, be original and be yourself.

Visit our Web site, AbovetheInfluence.com, for more guidelines to increase your chance of having your video make it onto the site.

SPECS: You can submit videos that are 2 minutes or shorter. Submit your videos online with final, encoded version of video spots not to exceed 20MB.

DEADLINE: Submit your videos online by April 30, 2008."

- Sujewa

Mr. Freedom clips

Weird & interesting:




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About the movie, from GreenCine:

"Mr. Freedom (1969) William Klein moved into more blatantly political territory with this hilarious, angry Vietnam-era spoof of imperialist American foreign policy. Mr. Freedom (John Abbey), a bellowing good ol' boy superhero, decked out in copious football padding, jets off to France to curtail a Commie invasion from Switzerland. A destructive, arrogant patriot in tight pants, Freedom joins forces with Marie-Madeleine (satirically sexy Delphine Seyrig) to combat lefty freethinkers, as well as insidious evildoers Moujik Man and the inflatable Red China Man, culminating in a gloriously star-spangled showdown of kitschy excess. Delightfully crass, Mr. Freedom is a trenchant, rib-tickling takedown of gaudy modern Americana."

More about Klein's movies here.

- Sujewa

The Cool School trailer link


I had to ask around a little (couldn't find the trailer on YouTube to embed), but here is the link to the trailer for the doc The Cool School, a film about an LA art scene that started in the late 50's:

http://www.aadf.org/ferus.html

Flick looks very interesting. I think I remember reading about these guys in an Andy Warhol biography (i think he went out to LA for a show at their gallery Ferus).

- Sujewa

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Race Is A Lie post is back on the web

I had to take it down a couple of days ago when I was redesigning the wilddiner.com site; but the post is now back on the web, on a blog of its own, check it out here. More on the topic coming soon to that blog.

- Sujewa

'08 Tribeca All Access projects

Read about the 37 projects at Filmmaker Magazine blog.

- Sujewa

Snow Angels trailer

I'm Through With White Girls trailer

Monday, March 24, 2008

Slant's Ed Gonzalez's article "Barack Obama: A Story of Race and Politics"

From the article:

" "I turned away, embarrassed for her, irritated with the people around me." Those are Obama's words, about his mother and the crowd at the revival theater, but they could just as easily be mine, describing what I often feel whenever I see predominantly white audiences swoon for obscene films like Crash, Blood Diamond, and Under the Same Moon, wishing they could see how those films pander to white prejudices by condescending to non-white experience, and how that's a symbiotic relationship worth affronting."

Read the rest here.

Thanks House Next Door for the link.

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And let me add something to this discussion and say that there is a lot of experiences that "white" humans and "non-white" humans have in common; so much so that artists should not be afraid to write about or film characters who do not look like them or belong to a different "race". When a unique human character is created it is possible to rise above racial stereotypes in a film.
Actually, a lot of our (meaning human, world wide) other art forms; storytelling, music, literature have, for decades and perhaps centuries, presented the world with multi-dimensional, fully human, non-stereotypical images of people who belong to different groups; in that sense American cinema is probably now in the "early days" of reflecting diversity (of personalities, etc.) within minority/"non-white" populations. Independent film has contributed heavily to this development; with John Cassavetes's Shadows, Spike Lee movies, Jim Jarmusch movies, and works by many other filmmakers who began or stayed outside of Hollywood.

- Sujewa

Sunday, March 23, 2008

David Lynch to the rescue

NYT: Groups Respond to Obama’s Call for National Discussion About Race

From today's New York Times: "The speech Senator Barack Obama delivered Tuesday morning has been viewed more than 1.6 million times on YouTube and is being widely e-mailed. While commentators and politicians debated its political success Wednesday, some around the country were responding to Mr. Obama’s call for a national conversation about race."

Read the rest of the article here.

- Sujewa

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Wild Diner DVD site is up

A site for selling DVDs of my movies has been set up, go here to read about it, & go here to see it. First DVD will of course be Date Number One (4 years after i started writing the script!!!; script was written - for the most part - in early '04!). The Wild Diner DVD site is bare bones at the moment, but it will be full of all kinds of info. by the end of this coming week; info. on ordering the DNO DVD, etc.

A DNO trailer, clips are also on the way; this coming week.

By the end of the coming week I'll be announcing the pre-ordering info. for the DNO DVD. I should be able to start mailing DVDs out before 4/15. Exact dates & more info. coming next week.

- Sujewa

James M. Johnston's short film GDMF

Description: "GDMF is an improv based short narrative about an exotic dancer named Bridgette. An only child raised by a caring yet judgmental single mom, she has grown into an exquisitely disengaged woman seeking her own brand of independence. One night, after performing at a party Bridgette's private and professional lives are catastrophically blurred by an unsettling personal discovery."

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gdmf from Atombomb.tv on Vimeo.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Eat, For This Is My Body trailer :: 3/27 & 3/29 screenings in NYC

Here's the trailer:



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And info. on 2 upcoming NYC screenings:

EAT, FOR THIS IS MY BODY
("MANGE, CECI EST MON CORPS")
the award winning visionary Haitian film
by Michelange Quay

starring Sylvie Testud, Hans St Val Dacosta and Catherine Samie

WINNER GRAND PRIZE MIAMI FILM FESTIVAL 2008
IBERO AMERICAN COMPETITION

OFFICIAL COMPETITION ROTTERDAM 2008
SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL 2008
TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2007
TOKYO FILMEX 2007

The film will be playing in New York City, at the Museum of Modern Art/Lincoln Film Society's prestigious "NEW DIRECTORS/NEW FILMS" Showcase.

Please feel free to share this invitation with friends and lovers of both Haiti and new provocative art cinema.

EAT FOR THIS IS MY BODY
Thursday March 27 9 pm MoMA's Titus 1 Theatre
Saturday, March 29 3:45 at Film Society (Walter Reade Theater)

ticket info: http://www.filmlinc.com/ndnf/tickets.html

Patricia "Under the Same Moon" Riggen interview at GreenCine

From the GreenCine interview:

"Are you American or Mexican?
I was born and raised in Guadalajara, Mexico. I moved to New York City ten years ago, where I got an MFA at Columbia University, in Film Studies. Then I moved to Los Angeles around three years ago.

According to the IMDB, you have made only two short films previously.
Yes, the first was a narrative short subject, 27 minutes long called La Milpa (The Cornfield) It went to 40 festivals, and won over 20 awards. Then I made another 28-minute documentary called Family Portrait about a little boy who was photographed by Gordon Parks for Life magazine in 1968. It deals with poverty in Harlem. This one also went to many festivals and won the jury prize at Sundance. The shorts and their success allowed me to raise money to finance my first feature-length film."

Read the rest here. And check the post below for Moon trailer & review links.

- Sujewa

Under the Same Moon trailer

Nice, a comedy-drama/adventure of a boy approach (at least in the trailer) to dealing with the topic of illegal immigration, will have to check this movie out. Lots of review links at GreenCine Daily. Trailer:

Happy 1 year anniversary ShortEnd Magazine!

I've read some good articles over at ShortEnd Magazine over the course of the past few months (most recently a long interview with Barry "Medicine for Melancholy" Jenkins), and today SM announced their 1 year anniversary. Congrats on 12 months of writing about indie film SM! Go here to read about their first year. They've produced an impressive amount of data re: their coverage (yum, stats :).

- Sujewa

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

"The perception of the American experience is a global commodity with real fiscal consequences the world over"; BARRY JENKINS INTERVIEW























images: a scene from Medicine for Melancholy, Barry Jenkins, MfM poster

"As far as low budget American Independent Filmmakers are concerned, hell yes they can change the world!" - Barry Jenkins
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Barry Jenkins is the writer and director of the new American independent film Medicine for Melancholy.
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I N T E R V I E W
The Can Low Budget American Indie Filmmakers Help Save The World question
Q1- Sujewa: Do you think there is a unique & positive (beneficial to the well being of a nation or a community) role that filmmakers - specifically indie filmmakers - can play in the world that elected officials, business people, and military people cannot do? As in, the entire human experience is heavily framed by story telling; people are taught about who they are or who they are supposed to be through stories - whether it is the stories of the Bible, stories about the Founders of the US, stories about the Buddha, ancient Hindu epics like the Mahabharata - narratives play a central role in human identity - that being the case - can low budget/D.I.Y. indie filmmakers tackle important issues and be in any significant way helpful (other than as entertainment) to everyone else? I personally think that they can. Like I saw The Band's Visit recently, and I thought that was a great example of using an American indie (Jarmusch) or foreign (Kaurismaki) model/style of filmmaking to advance or popularize some ideas that the Israeli politicians, entrepreneurs, or the military may not be able to do as well - basically revealing/reminding people of the human-ness of both the Israelis & Egyptians/Arabs. The positive ordinary-ness of most people on both sides - something that may get lost in the news headlines about the war & each side's grievances & agendas. And it was an entertaining movie. I'll stop here and let you share your thoughts on the positive or negative, if any, implications of filmmakers trying to improve the world through their works of independent, low-budget entertainment. Is it a good thing? Is it being done enough? Can it be done better?
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A1 - Barry: A film professor of mine once dismissed Godard by saying, "Godard is an inferior filmmaker because he believes film can save the world. Everything Godard does as a filmmaker stems from this, and because it's a fallacy (the idea that film could save the world), Godard has and will always be an inferior filmmaker." This was at a time when I was just deciding to become a filmmaker — I didn't grow up with a camcorder — I was a writing student who entered film school because there was one on campus. Godard was one of the first places I turned to study film language because I wanted to view film in a way that went beyond the pictorial embodiment of narrative…so to hear this man say this was like receiving a personal affront. Having considered myself a filmmaker for seven years now, I can see more of what that professor attempted to articulate. Film, in and of itself, may not be capable of saving the world. Not on a grand scale, as in, say, a movie like Fast Foot Nation taking down McDonalds, or, less fancifully, Sicko sparking a revolution in health care. BUT…without a doubt on a much smaller, personal scale, films can certainly effect the individual, causing a ripple that in some ways changes the world…though on a scale so minute (the individual) as to seem to not effect the whole of the world at all. Semantics. Whenever the question comes up I think of this professor and Godard. Of all the filmmakers in the history of cinema, you'd have to say Godard caused some change in this world.
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As far as low budget American Independent Filmmakers are concerned, hell yes they can change the world (see, I'm quietly stepping away from the word "save" and moving towards "change")! On the most basic scale, the perception of the American experience is a global commodity with real fiscal consequences the world over. To this point in cinema history, this "perception" has been primarily dictated by wealthy people in two cities: New York and Los Angeles. I mean think about it: for people in France, Europe, Thailand, Uruguay, et. al, Americans are what you see at the multiplex and on prime-time television. And yet, any person who's spent anytime in this country knows very well there are hundreds, thousands of Americas amongst these fifty states. Filling in the gap between the New York and LA experiences is the domain of the American Independent Filmmaker. "Regional filmmaking." The more we have of it, the less control these monolithic entities will have over our image. Seems grand in these words, but it can be something as simple as a teenager in Modesto, California knowing it's okay to not have a six-figure sixteenth birthday as seen on MTV because some regional filmmaker in Murfreesboro, Tennessee made a film about a simple, familial sweet sixteen ritual on a DVX-100…which said Oregon teenager downloaded directly from the filmmaker via the film's website using Pay-Pal!
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And I saw the Band's Visit at Telluride last year: the entire crowd loved that film, absolutely loved it. It's a wonderful example to site. Absolutely supports your point.
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The Mixing The Personal And The Political question
Q2 - Sujewa: I have not yet seen your well received feature Medicine for Melancholy, but I have read pretty much every review of the movie thus far - so I have a rough idea about what might be in the movie. Sounds like you decided to comment on racial identities and gentrification within a story about a romantic/sexual encounter and its immediate aftermath. Did you at any point think about leaving the politics out of the movie and just dealing with what two characters do on the morning/day after a hook up?
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A2 - Barry: I first got the idea for the film after watching Claire Denis' Vendredi soir, a film that chronicles a one-night stand during a transit strike in Paris. Initially, I thought to make a film that begins the morning following the one-night stand, rather than dramatize the act as Ms. Denis does. My reasoning was that, at my age (then 23), the characters would be much more naive and seek to forge a continuing emotional relationship rather than leave the experience unto itself. Now, I'm no Claire Denis, not even close! So I had to do some serious self-evaluation and admit that I was not gifted enough to posit an entire film on such a base premise (observing two people following a one night stand; Ms. Denis does so in the reverse). The idea lay in limbo until my experiences in San Francisco — my first interracial relationship, a painful breakup, my first extended stay in a city where gentrification was so obvious — more or less dominated my thoughts. Melding those experiences to the frame inspired by Ms. Denis' film, I felt there was enough to proceed with the premise. It just didn't seem worthwhile without them. Plus, as I said, I'm no Claire Denis!
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Q3 - Sujewa: And the second part of that question (Q2) is: are you happy with the balance you were ultimately able to strike between the political and personal content in MfM?
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A3 - Barry: I'm definitely happy with the balance, because at the end of the day the personal and the political are one in the same for these characters (just as it often is in life). The movie presents a wide range of political and personal issues, but they're all rooted in the city more or less, so there's a freedom to move between them engendered by this notion of place as an active agent, an active persona with definite causality. We tried as much as possible to always keep the characters front and center, to have the characters bring the audience into overtly political interludes. It's completely subjective, but I think we succeeded more than we failed in this area…though I'll also qualify that by saying I'm a young director and this is my first film, so we certainly do fail at that every now and again. For some audiences, these "failures" will be an asset worth more than all the rest of the film. For others, they'll inspire eye rolling. I'm fine with that. I'll own up to the film's imperfections.
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The Heavy Influences question
Q4- Sujewa: What I like about what I've heard about your movie is that unlike many recent fiction romantic-drama/romantic-comedy works by low budget, digital, young, American indie filmmakers, you decided to go ahead and include the political dimension of existence of your characters in your movie. I think that kind of entertainment might be a turn off to some, but it reminds me of punk rock - a lot of the bands I've liked over the years - Fugazi, Nation of Ulysses, etc. (actually probably the vast majority of the bands on Dischord) deal with both personal/romantic issues and deal also with politics/social issues. Were you heavily influenced by certain music, and other art work, in creating MfM - as far as the melding of the personal & the political was concerned?
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A4 - Barry: I can't say that I was. As I mentioned in the other question, I shelved the idea years ago specifically because there wasn't much to it, no political consequence. Making a film is hell, especially for someone with no money. For me, there has to be more going on to make the project worthwhile if I'm gonna go broke on it (which I have!). The music I listen to usually runs counter to what I'm working on as an artist. I listen to the most mellow things when dealing with controversial subject matter. Somehow it works. I've never been into punk music or culture. Conscious hip hop? Can't stand it. It's a bit hypocritical, because here I am an artist mixing politics with my art, and yet I'm averse to those things in the music I listen to! With music, I look to lyricists who are more oblique, like Sam Prekop, Jeff Tweedy or Tunde Adebimpe. With musicians like this, just like with the cinema I like most — Claire Denis, Lynne Ramsay and Lucretia Martel — the "imagery" forms a more elusive narrative. In working to decipher the meaning of their expression, you come to political conclusions that are more dynamic than the expression of definitives.
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The Did The Punk/Indie Scene Give You Space To Construct Your Individual Identity question
Q5 - Sujewa: Re: race & individual identity & personal experience; I think race is a manufactured concept - a tool for controlling people (for both good & evil purposes at present, but at its inception an evil tool) - and not a natural division among humans as perhaps male and female is a natural division; race is a political tool. And as far as I can see - race in America definitely puts individuals - or people with a strong sense of who they are that is not heavily dependent on their membership in one or more social groups - in a difficult place because for centuries people were violently separated based on skin color and continent of origin and there is a whole mythology and set of institutions built on those ideas - so, as someone who may have felt a sense of identity separate from what the popular notion of who you were supposed to be - which is based primarily on your ethnic/physical heritage - did you find the punk/indie scene to be a liberating space - since that scene values & celebrates individuality/or thinking/behavior that may be contrary to what the majority in a given group may endorse?
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A5 - Barry: I can't answer this question because I don't think I've ever been in the punk/indie scene. Not to the degree that I could consider myself immersed enough to really be a part of it. For me, the conflict has always been in being in both places at once, embodying "the popular notion of who you were supposed to be" (because I DID grow up in the hood listening to Hot Boyz, playing football and obsessing over Chevy Impalas, and to a large degree the environment you grow up in does inform who you are) while at the same time embracing the scene that "values & celebrates individuality/or thinking/behavior that may be contrary to what the majority in a given group may endorse" (and to be honest, I'm not sure even the punk/indie scene fully embraces those values outside of the extreme end of the spectrum).
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To me this is a lot simpler than we're making it. I'm that dude C-walking to the White Stripes at Pash. And you know what? That's where I want to be and I want everybody to be cool with that. It's all more or less fucked because we attach choice to things that aren't at all relatable, as in, listening to the White Stripes is choosing to denounce black culture and embrace white culture. I mean, what the hell do the White Stripes have to do with culture or ethnicity? But we tie these things to notions of ourselves, especially hip hop to the notion of the African American experience, and one's opinions of these things becomes a lightning rod for things that deserve much more scrutiny. Ha! Did you catch that? I used the word opinion purposely as a ruse. Music to me is not an opinion, but a taste, and here we are in 2008 and a young black kid in the ghetto must be afraid of exhibiting a taste for rock music for fear of "acting white" (and of course, it goes without saying, who the hell decides what behavior is "white"). And a taste?! A taste is so much less than an opinion, but as I began, in 2008 we take these things and allow them to dictate so much about ourselves. This is where the character of Micah in the film stems from. He's a guy with feet in what he sees as two worlds, but he can't be comfortable in either because he's always afraid that having a foot in one will negate his authenticity in the other. It's a total mind job.
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I see where you're going though. And unfortunately, you're speaking from a place I've yet to reach. It goes without saying that a lot of me is in these characters, especially Micah. If I could see my answer to this question through clear eyes, the movie wouldn't exist. For now, all I can offer is the convoluted mess above. My ex and I had a conversation once. There'd been a discussion in a class of hers where the professor argued that race is a social construct. When the argument came home to me, I agreed that, yes, race is social construct, but…it's a social construct so prevalent it's become reality. Ideally, I'd like to be a person who sees race as a social construct and thereby eradicates it from their social interactions but…I'm not sure I can. Medicine For Melancholy is partly a portrait of that tug of war.
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The Does It Look Like MfM Is Gonna Be A Cross-Over Success question
Q6 - Sujewa: Let's finish up with a film scene related question. Is Medicine for Melancholy the Barack Obama of indie films, as some (OK, perhaps just me at this point I think :) have suggested? Does the response you've seen thus far at SXSW and from reviewers make you think that MfM might be popular beyond the indie/punk/alternative African-American & others community, and even beyond the multi-ethnic but largely "white" American indie scene (the collection of consumers, film fest programmers, bloggers, print reviewers, small distributors & the like) and on to the mainstream indie film or just mainstream film scene? Of course every director wants his or her film to be a massive success; but I think I see some elements in MfM that, if properly marketed, can be interesting to lots of movie-goers in America. Like breakthrough indie films of the past, MfM can be an introduction to an interesting segment of the population (indie/punk/alternative African-Americans in MfM's case) that a lot of people in America & beyond that probably do not know much about. What do you think?
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A6 - Barry: "The Barack Obama of indie films." Man, that's some shit. But you know what, Barack's doin' alright for himself so I'll take that, I'll take that. And to go farther down the rabbit hole you've opened, I'll take a page from the Obama playbook and stress that Medicine For Melancholy isn't a race based film, nor is it an anthropological study of black hipsters. The issues of race are present because they drive the character Micah, and in so much as he's a character we come upon in a moment of intellectual crisis, whatever notes on race that can be gleamed from the film are chaotic and shifting, not at all a thesis statement. Class politics drive the film just as much as race, but the issue of race is such a provocative subject it overwhelms all else. That's fine. It'd be untruthful of me to say the issues of race discussed in the film aren't important to me, but I think what comes across in the reviews —which thus far have nearly ALL been written by white reviewers — is that the film is about identity above all else, about resolving one's perception of class and race within the rubric of a setting, the city we choose to spend our lives in (something often taken for granted when we discuss identity), in this case San Francisco, and coming to a point where you're simply comfortable with yourself. What human being on this planet hasn't at some point struggled to come to terms with their identity? It's in this way that the film reaches some notion of the universal experience, and I think that's why the people you mention, the supposed "cross-over" crowd, have responded so favorably.
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And man, I've gotta say, we're talking about the film in very heady terms, but in some ways it ain't that deep. While I don't deny these intellectual elements are integral to the film, it's also a visceral depiction of two strangers coming together, sharing a moment of romance. There's humor and sexual tension, simple human interactions we all experience. It's uncomfortable for me to talk about the film this way, as a "seller," but as much as it's a treatise on the issues we've discussed, it's also a genuine piece of entertainment. Like a smart parent, we're supplying a sugary chaser with the Cod liver oil.
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Thanks Barry!
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For more on Medicine for Melancholy, go here.

And here's the MfM trailer:




- Sujewa

Later on Arthur C. Clarke; great job on all those books & very useful ideas like the internet :: Clarke's 90th birthday video

From Washington Post's obituary of legendary sci-fi writer Arthur C. Clarke, who died on 3/18 in Sri Lanka:

"In addition to his books, he wrote more than 1,000 short stories and essays. One of his short stories, "Dial F for Frankenstein" (1964), inspired British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee to invent the World Wide Web in 1989."

Read more at the Post.

I remember reading Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey in Sinhala as a kid. It must have been the late 1970's, there was a wedding in Rambukkana (the one near Kegalle), near the police station, my family knew the family that was having the wedding, I believe I borrowed 2001 from someone related to the wedding. I don't think I finished the book, but, years later (maybe a decade later), I did watch Kubrick's movie version of the story in America - thought it was very interesting; I guess that's my Arthur C. Clarke memory :)

More on Clarke, from the Post obit:

"Although he rarely left Sri Lanka, he kept in touch with the rest of the world by using the satellite communication he predicted so long ago. He told the Associated Press that he didn't regret never going into space because he had arranged to have the DNA from his hair sent into orbit.

"Some day, some super civilization may encounter this relic from the vanished species and I may exist in another time," he said.

In a 90th birthday video recorded in December, Mr. Clarke said he had only three last wishes: That someone find evidence of extraterrestrial life; that the world adopt clean energy sources; and that an end be found to the long civil war in Sri Lanka."

More here.

And here's Clarke's 90th birthday video message:





- Sujewa

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Obama's speech on race (& re: Rev. Wright)

Yup, another great speech. And yup, lots of people have "difficult" :) relatives so what are ya gonna do? Judging the candidate by his own actions & words should be enough, at least for the sane voters. Anyway, here's the full 37 min. speech from earlier today, if ya haven't seen it yet:

New website for Date Number One

The new website for Date Number One is here.

I used a Blogger blog template to create the site; so it's both a site for a movie & the blog for the movie - pretty convenient (and free, if anyone needs a site for their movie, try that route - it's fast).

The old DNO site will be around for a while, it'll be turned into a DVD sales site & a place for promoting my future projects.

Speaking of DVDs, the DNO DVD is coming along, should have it available for purchase in April (from DNO's new site, old site, this blog, etc.) - for all 6 of you who are eagerly awaiting that DVD :) It'll be worth the wait - the movie is 1/2 hour shorter (now around 90 minutes), & a lot smoother than it was in '06 & '07.

Trailer for the film coming this week.

It's Cinema Eye time!

Go here to learn about all the docs nominated for the first ever Cinema Eye Awards. The awards ceremony is tonight at the IFC Center in NYC. Go to AJ Schnack's blog to read about how the Cinema Eye Awards came into existence. Congrats to all the filmmakers & others who made the event & the awards happen and to all the nominated films & their makers; everyone gets a big round of applause for creating a hot new event for the doc film community.

- Sujewa

First Take Film Festival in Augusta, GA 4/8 - 4/12, late deadline 3/25

This new festival sounds interesting; from their site:

"With the explosion of the film festival market, the circuit has become less about giving new and upcoming artists a platform as it has become just another vehicle for mainstream to strut their “artistic” side. First Take strives to be a return to the festivals of the late eighties and early nineties where visionary young filmmakers, musicians, and now visual artists, can premier the next great song, sculpture, or feature. As a result, the materials the founders will be looking for will be edgy, against-the-grain, and possibly even controversial."

More at First Take Film Festival.

And here's the withoutabox page for the fest.

- Sujewa

Monday, March 17, 2008

City On A Hill trailer

A teaser trailer for a new film called City On A Hill (i believe still in production) from San Francisco. Yup, another interesting looking indie film from San Fran (the first to come out this year being Medicine for Melancholy of course), what's going on? :) Is a mini spike in indie film productivity happening in S.F?

city on a hill - teaser trailer

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Strange love triangle in St. Louis - TEXAS SNOW review


The heart can certainly be a lonely hunter, and unfortunately for a couple of characters in Aaron Coffman's new drama Texas Snow, the heart can also be easily misled, and confused, and overwhelmed, and drive a person to move to Maine and live in an eco-commune in order to escape from the ever present scars of a recent romantic disappointment. Granted, living in an eco-commune in Maine is probably not that bad for you, might even be a very good thing - certainly good for the environment, and perhaps the ideal thing a guy needs in order to recover after being rejected for marriage. Here's the Texas Snow story in bold strokes: girl (Caroline, played by Julia Rust) was dating guy 1 (Lee, played by Ryan Shields), guy 1 thought the girl wanted to get married, he proposed, got rejected, now girl and guy 1 are friends, guy 2 (Jesse, played by John Gregory Willard) is sharing an apartment with guy 1, girl is secretly dating guy 2, and, of course, complications ensue. This is not a story told primarily through dialogue, instead it is a very cinematic event where beautiful photography (by Keith Hueffmeier), music (by Keegan DeWitt, composer for Dance Party, USA & Quiet City), editing, an expertly maintained pace, and just the right tone slowly envelop you and place you inside the sunlit but slightly off-kilter world of three St. Louis twenty somethings. Unlike several recent digital video dramas about the romantic lives of twenty somethings - yes, some Mumblecore movies - Texas Snow seems to be working with a well developed script, and I did not feel any false notes in any of the key areas of craft; well acted, well directed, shot & scored well - altogether a well made ultra-low budget debut feature, one that probably cannot be improved much even with a bigger budget - in the end the film feels just right. Highly recommended for those who can withstand being reminded of the lows and highs of young love.




Texas Snow trailer

Trailer for the new film Texas Snow, by Aaron Coffman:



Texas Snow synopsis:

"When Jesse and Caroline discover a newfound affection for one another they struggle to keep their relationship a secret from Lee, Jesse’s roommate and Caroline’s ex-boyfriend. But when Lee moves away Jesse and Caroline find themselves questioning their feelings for one another."

More here.

- Sujewa

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Sugimoto drive-in

check out the photo here.

about the artist.

- sujewa

Buy your J'Entends Plus la Guitare poster from Film Desk

For that hard core art/foreign film fan on your list, from the new distributor Film Desk.

- Sujewa

Short versions of NYTimes film reviews set to clips (could this kind of thing be a tool for saving jobs of print film reviewers?)

Just discovered this feature at the New York Times site; saw/heard A. O. Scott give a quick review of J'Entends Plus la Guitar and Chop Shop. Check it out. Maybe this is print reviews becoming more multi-media w/ the help of web & video technology. Previously I've only known A.O. Scott as a print reviewer and have not seen or heard him on TV, web, radio, etc. I can see how these quick (they do not need to be quick, why not do a 10 minute version of this?) web video & audio presentations can be created by any print publication (for their web sites of course, and this is far cheaper than making a TV/cable film review show); more work for the print reviewers (or reviewers who traditionally have written just/mostly for the paper version of the publication, w/ a copy of the work being posted on line), and a good way to perhaps hook in "short-attention-span, need video & audio" audience members (maybe after seeing a few of the video presentations they'll want to read the longer text versions of the reviews - on paper or on the web - by the same people who are presenting the web video version). Maybe this is an old idea, feels like a good one either way.

- Sujewa

Selected By...Andrew Bujalski series at Brattle Theater, Cambridge MA 3/14 - 3/19

From the Brattle site:

"a mélange of the films that may (or may not) have influenced a young Bujalski. Included in this wonderful hodgepodge are a mind-bending triple-and-a-half feature of Hitchcock, Marker and Gilliam; an election year special with THE BEST MAN and WILD IN THE STREETS; and nods to Bujalski influences both obvious (Cassavetes) and not-so-obvious (Sirk). Also in the mix, HOHOKAM, an independent, undistributed feature by Frank V. Ross that Bujalski marks as one of his favorites from recent years. Join us for this fascinating glimpse into the mind of a very interesting young filmmaker."

More here.

Thanks Camera Stilo blog for the link.

- Sujewa

Medicine for Melancholy to play in Maryland Film Festival, Philadelphia, Sarasota, IFFBoston, San Fran Int'l

A low budget indie/real indie/D.I.Y. movie that combines a personal story with a political situation well (from what I hear) and features minorities in lead roles? I'm there! Looks like I'll be able to see it at the Maryland Film Festival in May. Go to MfM's site (scroll down on front page) to see if it'll be coming to a fest near you.

In other MfM news, Filmmaker Mag's Scott Macaulay has some positive words re: MfM here (scroll down 'till u see the photo of 2 ppl in front of photos of a lot of other ppl, or just read the whole article re: SXSW '08 :).

- Sujewa

Friday, March 14, 2008

Present Company trailer, review at Hammer to Nail

Hammer to Nail's review of Present Company is a good read; makes the movie sound interesting - sounds like a well done break up story, check it out here.

And the trailer for PC:

Pittsburgh Obama office opening video

Damon, Affleck & others to judge MoveOn's Obama ad contest

Read about it at CNN.

Winner of the contest will get to see their ad aired on national television & will also receive a $20,000 gift certificate for video equipment. More here.

Thanks Cuban for Obama for the link.

- Sujewa

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Medicine for Melancholy review at Cinematical

So when are we going to hear some distribution news re: MfM anyway? Probably soon, 'cause the good reviews are multiplying steadily; check out Cinematical's review here.

- Sujewa

"a monk seen playing a guitar was acceptable, because foreign viewers might conclude that the monk was not from Thailand, but from Laos or Burma"

that line would be funnier if it didn't have to do with real world film censorship (silly & absurd censorship from my pov) in Thailand. read all about the latest re: Syndromes and a Century at Filmmaker Magazine blog

New Aaron Katz interview at Conversation Ball

For all you Aaron "Quiet City, Dance Party USA" Katz fans, a new interview, w/ a little bit about a new script/possible next feature.

Eran "The Band's Visit" Kolirin interview at indieWIRE

Saw The Band's Visit tonight (w/ special guest to DC area James "Off the Black" Ponsoldt & a friend), liked it a lot, & the general consensus from our camp was that Visit is like an early Jarmusch movie, but set in the Middle East, and "with heart". The movie felt both familiar and tense/somewhat suspenseful, but generally charming & hopeful - might have to watch it again.

In celebration, here is the link to an interview with Visit's director.

From the intro to the indieWIRE interview:

"After the screening in last year's Cannes, the applause wouldn't stop, keeping the visibly moved filmmakers and cast in the theater. The film was "The Band's Visit," a first feature from Israeli director Eran Kolirin. Arriving without buzz on the Croisette, it quickly emerged as a gem of Cannes '07, and nabbed the international critic's prize for the Un Certain Regard section. "Band" is a quiet, pared-down film, which like a story by Chekhov, strips bare its characters' lives. Toplined by the great Ronit Elkabetz, leading Israeli actor Sasson Gabai, and gifted Palestinian actor Saleh Bakri, it concerns an Egyptian Police band that arrives in Israel to play at an initiation ceremony for an Arab cultural center."

Read the rest & the interview here.

& here's the trailer for the film:




- Sujewa

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Glory at Sea trailer

Good stuff:



*
& check out this SpringBoardMedia post re: the director of the film, sounds like he could use some assistance at the moment.

- Sujewa

Monday, March 10, 2008

Obama says no to the vice president suggestion

the strong rebuttal:

A possible 100% D.I.Y./indie filmmaking career path model; for people who are interested in that kind of thing

1. You need money to survive & pay bills & keep you in your favorite vices, so, most likely, you already have a day job. Keep it. Get even another one, a part time one, if you feel like it. And look into saving & investing - learn how to do those things well. Having your own money will make you free from investors & other funding entities. Not that there is anything wrong with them, just in case on certain projects you want zero interference from investors or funders, self-funding is the way to go.

2. Buy the gear you need, learn to use it well, take good care of it. Most likely the essential tools are: at least a 3 chip DV camera (1 chip will do if there is no other option) & accessories, lights, sound gear (boom mic, lavs, boom poles, maybe a mixer) & accessories, Final Cut Pro or Express & a Mac to run it on, & all kinds of other post-production programs that you might want to play with. You can always rent or barrow the gear for various projects, but owning it will be cool - if you feel like shooting something one day, you'll have all the gear you need.

3. Make the movie. Tons of info. out there on how this step is to be accomplished. And it can be done for pretty cheap now, under $3K or less in some cases.

4. If you don't feel like submitting to festivals but still want to screen your movie to an audience & get some press, set up screenings. Here's a page on one option for screenings. The key to success with screenings is A TON OF PUBLICITY (& of course having a movie that a lot of people are interested in seeing).

5. If you don't want to or don't feel like you need to get reviews for your movie, just create a great ad campaign; posters, trailers, etc. Get it up on the web, get it out to the world, create interest. But generally it would be a good idea to have someone other than yourself comment on the awesomeness of your movie.

6. Create DVDs for sale. Have them at screenings. Advertise them & promote them whenever & wherever you can. If the 1000 True Fans theory/approach is right, after a while you should be able to make some money from your movie if there is an audience for it (meaning the movie is or sounds interesting enough for people to want to pay for it/own it on DVD). Also make merchandise like t-shirts to sell, for extra revenue. And have a Pay Pal donate button on your sites for all those people who may have seen the movie for free & liked it & want to support your work. Also look for grants. Maybe you might also find some revenue generating advertising opportunities from some local businesses (they get to advertise their business at your screenings, promo material, etc., for a fee). And get your DVD into stores. There is a whole lot of info. on self-distribution out there on the web, read it, see what works for you.

7. And once you are making enough money from your DVDs (or some other current or future method of generating revenue from the movies - web, direct laser beams to the brain, etc.), you can quit your day job. Unless you really like your day job.

8. Repeat, make more movies, release them, make more money (& of course save & invest the $s - make it grow; ya might need it later).

So there, a quick overview of key steps to take if you want to make & release a movie with as little outside/industry interference as possible. And you can mix this approach with some elements of traditional indie film production, marketing & distribution (maybe a couple of investors, maybe a couple of friendly festivals, maybe selling TV rights to a cable channel, etc.) if you feel that it is worth the work.

This is of course only a quick overview, to simply show that it is possible & not even that difficult anymore to make & release indie movies, and each step listed above needs a lot of preparation in order to execute properly - luckily a lot of the info. you need is available for free on the web or in books in libraries or for not too much money in books in bookstores. Study up & get it done :)

- Sujewa

There's gonna be a new indie film screening space in Silver Spring, MD

Not a movie theater that shows indie stuff everyday, but more like a microcinema that will be happening on a regular basis - at first monthly. The people who are starting it are working on getting the venue ready at the moment, hmmm what else - the place will have screenings & parties (good food & drinks for sure), & most likely this new space will begin screenings in May. More on the venue when I get the official OK to reveal the details & also info. on submitting movies, stay tuned.

- Sujewa

The migration patterns of the most talented people

Since US indie filmmaking has at least a little to do with job creation, this October '07 Gallup World Poll article might be of interest to filmmakers, producers, distributors & others involved in building & maintaining the industry. Two important items from the long article so far:

"Gallup is committed to conducting the World Poll for 100 years, but we may have already found the single most searing, clarifying, helpful, world-altering fact. If used appropriately, it may change how every leader runs his or her country. But at the very least, it needs to be considered in every policy, every law, and every social initiative. All leaders -- policy and law makers, presidents and prime ministers, parents, judges, priests, pastors, imams, teachers, managers, and CEOs -- need to consider it every day in everything they do.

What the whole world wants is a good job."

And:

"Twenty-five years ago, virtually every economist, liberal and conservative, forecast that the GDP of the United States would lose its first-place ranking and drop to third. News shows, newspapers, and business magazines predicted that Japan's GDP would be around $5 trillion, Germany's would be around $4 trillion, and the United States would fall to third at about $3.5 trillion by 2007.

The economists were partly right. Japan is at about $4.5 trillion, and Germany's at about $4 trillion too. But they couldn't have been more wrong about the United States. The country's GDP didn't fall. Over the last 25 years, it grew to $13 trillion. The best economists in the world were off by more than $10 trillion.

They were wrong because their economic models didn't include the most powerful variable of all: the migration patterns of the most talented people."

Read the rest of the article here.

- Sujewa

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Evening Class review of Medicine for Melancholy

From the MfM review at The Evening Class blog:

"What is a "Black" person? What do they look like? What do they act like? What kind of music do you associate with them? What part of the city do they live in? What are your presumptions about them? What are your expectations? And why—if you are not Black—should it matter to you? Is it perhaps as Robert F. Reid-Pharr has written in his assessment of Cheryl Dunye's The Watermelon Woman that a predetermined conception of Blacks "has come to lend a certain type of ontological stability to all American identities"? And if two African-American characters are introduced who do not match stereotypes does it induce a kind of vertigo? If say, both are civilized young people compromised by a sense of social displacement, do the forces that create that social displacement appear less than civilized?"

Read the rest here.

- Sujewa

Hammer to Nail review of Medicine for Melancholy

Another positive review for MfM, looking forward to checking this movie out. Read the H2N review here.

- Sujewa

1000 True Fans

Perhaps the number of customers you need in order to make a nice living from your film & other creative work is far less than the number most people would imagine;

"Assume conservatively that your True Fans will each spend one day's wages per year in support of what you do. That "one-day-wage" is an average, because of course your truest fans will spend a lot more than that. Let's peg that per diem each True Fan spends at $100 per year. If you have 1,000 fans that sums up to $100,000 per year, which minus some modest expenses, is a living for most folks.

One thousand is a feasible number. You could count to 1,000. If you added one fan a day, it would take only three years. True Fanship is doable. Pleasing a True Fan is pleasurable, and invigorating. It rewards the artist to remain true, to focus on the unique aspects of their work, the qualities that True Fans appreciate."

Read the rest at the 1,000 True Fans article by Kevin Kelly.

Thanks to Blake "Pink - the web series" Calhoun for the link.

- Sujewa

Thursday, March 06, 2008

video - Susan Rice (Obama's foreign policy adviser) on Tucker

Good stuff; re: Hamas, Canada & NAFTA, etc:

Indecision '08 links: Clintons & Tony Rezko, All of the Obama news in one place, CBC exonerates Obama

Over at the Daily Kos: Clintons got money from Rezko co-defendants

One man's attempt to collect all the Obama news in one place - "Cuban for Obama: One Cuban-Americans Quest to Put All Obama News in One Place"

And finally, re: NAFTA & Cananda & the Obama campaign, good news.

Pink x 25 more

I received the following update from the creator of the web series Pink:

"Thought I'd shared some cool press regarding our web series "Pink". The show was recently acquired by Santa Monica-based company Generate, run by former WB Network CEO Jordan Levin. We're now gearing up to produce 25 more episodes to be released over the summer...

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Great interview with director of Medicine for Melancholy at ShortEnd Magazine

Check out the interview here; it's great because the interviewer & the subject know each other through previous interactions & thus topics are approached from different angles than they would have been had the interviewer been a relative stranger (i think). Plus the interview is long, I like long interviews with filmmakers; specially if they have a lot of interesting things to say. A segment of the interview:

"SM: Looking at both of those characters, I feel the same way about race. Having grown up in white suburbia, I wasn’t forced to think about those issues very often, but if you’re thinking about the conversation you have to have in your head when you begin to think about race, there has to be that part of you that rallies out against it, in the way that Micah does, and there has to be the part of you that doesn’t necessarily want to deal with it, that part that just wants to look at the progress and wants to move on in the way that Jo’ does. For me that worked, because like you said, these volleying thoughts happen in your own head.

I was watching a few days ago, and it’s also set in San Francisco and also about race relations, which is why I’m thinking of it, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? Spencer Tracy’s character in the film mentions that only 12 percent of the city at that point was black American, and this 1967. And, so I was thinking about that film and thinking about this film and wondering what it is about San Francisco that makes issues of race fluster up.

BJ: I honestly cannot say. It’s just one of those things, just something you notice. Obviously, only 6.5 percent of the city is African-American…It’s funny when I was describing the film to someone, I was saying how both of the main characters are African-American, but the film never sets foot in any of the predominantly African-American neighborhoods of the city. I think that’s because the film is more about class than it is about ethnicity. It’s just that Micah is so obsessed with it that that’s what he brings to the story.

I have these conversations a lot where we talk about the middle class, and how in San Francisco there really is no representation of the African-American middle class. And, so a great deal of the African-Americans in the city are living below the poverty line, and they’re wedged into these small sections of the city, and these sections are contained onto themselves. They don’t really get to participate in the city, and I think that’s why for the African-Americans that don’t live in those enclaves, then you really start to notice. You walk around, and you can literally walk twelve blocks and not see another black person. It’s a really interesting thing, and it’s not something you notice until you do it enough times, and you go, “Wow, every day I walk fifteen blocks, and I never see another black person.” It’s just one of those things, slowly, over time, maybe it starts to manifest itself in the back of your head, a certain kind of paranoia that I can’t really describe that I began to feel and that thoroughly got me more and more into the script."

Read the rest here.

- Sujewa

This movie could be big (well, at least by real indie/DIY standards) - MEDICINE FOR MELANCHOLY trailer, review link

There are probably about a dozen, at least, indie movie ideas that deal with ethnic diversity in the US & will also strike a po$itive chord (that $ is for modest financial success - by real indie/DIY standards - low millions?) with a general audience at this point in time; & Medicine for Melancholy (official website) seems like it is exploring one of these ideas - ethnic identity - specifically African-American identity or identities - in an officially post-race, multi-ethnic, comparatively very successful, & post-historical society - specially at a time when an African-American candidate is very close to being nominated for president by the democratic party/an epic historical first. With the right kind of marketing & $s behind it MfM could be a cross-over indie film success (as far as I can tell at the moment, w/out having seen it - MfM does seem to have some great ingredients for a real indie success story, & well positioned; w/ SXSW selection, & most likely many positive reviews coming soon. maybe the flick will do well as an IFC In Theaters pick, if regular theatrical distribution does not happen, of course MfM can also do very well on DVD - again with lots of well thought out marketing. a hook up with a stranger is a universal event for a certain significant chunk of the US population/indie film customers, or at least it is a concept that can be easily understood by many - so, on the basic premise alone, MfM is doing very well. that plus the focus on diversity within the African American group will make this movie very interesting to many people who are into indie film or just interesting movies - i think. aside from all the deep calculations re: MfM being the right movie at the right time, the lead actress looks hot - & that'll sell some tickets :).

Check out Karina Longworth's enjoyable review of Melancholy here.

Trailer:



- Sujewa

Chris Hansen is a Clean Freak

From Chris Hansen's new film Clean Freak:


Clean Freak - Trailer from Chris Hansen on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

India to pay money to save girl babies

From the Guardian article India will pay families to have girls to end foeticide:

"The Indian government yesterday announced a scheme to pay poor families to give birth to and bring up girl children, in a bid to stop the trend of parents aborting female foetuses at the rate of half a million a year.

Families in seven states are set to benefit from a series of cash payments amounting to 15,500 rupees (£193) to poor families to keep their girl children.

Ministers say more than 100,000 girls will be saved in the first year."

Read the rest of the article here.

"Happiness is no fun" - short film by Brendon "Cinema Echo Chamber" Harris

Here's the link to Harris's blog Cinema Echo Chamber.

And here's "Happiness is no fun"; a short described as a "blaxploitation tinged remake of Godard's seminal "Breathless" ":

YouTube video - Warren Buffet's million dollar challenge to the wealthiest people re: taxes

Interesting & even entertaining story (the million dollar challenge info. is near the very end of the clip):

Monday, March 03, 2008

Wired article - "Inside Obama's Surging Net-Roots Campaign"

From the article at Wired:

"From controlling the canvassing operations to corralling e-mail lists, organizing meetings and overseeing national phone drives, Obama's web network is the most ambitious, and apparently successful, internet campaign effort in any presidential race in the web's short history.

"It's sort of MeetUp meets Facebook meets MySpace in one area," Champion says."

Read the rest here.

- Sujewa

DATE NUMBER ONE on Vimeo VOD

Indie Film Blogger Road Trip

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BREAKTHROUGH WEEKEND Teaser Trailer on Vimeo

Breakthrough Weekend teaser trailer on YouTube

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