Saturday, August 30, 2008

Lots of Battlestar Galactica episodes part of the treatment

Had some cold/fever type thing (almost fully recovered now) the last couple of days. So I slept a lot & when awake watched a lot of Battlestar Galactica episodes on DVD (didn't watch any episodes fully when they first aired). Pretty decent story telling & entertainment. About the show, from Wikipedia:

"Ronald D. Moore tackled the reimagining with realism in mind, portraying the shows heroes as being part of a "flawed" humanity, and drawing inspiration from the September 11, 2001 attacks and their aftermath. In the reimagined series, many characters struggle with deep personal flaws; for example, Adama and his son have a profoundly dysfunctional relationship, while Colonel Tigh is an alcoholic. Their enemy is capable of living among them unnoticed and willing to carry out suicide attacks, allowing an exploration of moral and ethical issues brought up by the War on Terrorism. The show has dealt with Cylon and human suicide bombers, the torture of prisoners, and a struggle motivated by intense religious differences. To add to this realism, the creative direction also redesigned Galactica with a decidedly 'retro' submarine look, approximating the function of an aircraft carrier, using bullets and missiles instead of directed-energy weapons such as lasers."

In the episodes I've seen so far (about 6 of them, from Season 1 & 2 I think, plus Razor) they haven't explained why the Cyclons are so pissed off at the humans, but I guess they'll explain that at some point.

The new, female, Starbuck looks a lot like Greta Gerwig in some episodes.

I am glad they kept the same look for the fighter jets, that's one thing I remember clearly from the 80's/original version of Galactica.

I like this new version of Galactica better than the 80's version. Specially the multi-ethnic casting, and the many significant roles played by women.

- Sujewa

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Jenkins & Melancholy in Toronto

Jenkins & Melancholy sounds like either a 60's or early 90's band. But what we are talking about here is filmmaker Barry Jenkins showing his movie Medicine for Melancholy at the Toronto International Film Festival. indieWIRE has a nice interview with Jenkins; apparently breaking up is good for indie film:

(iW) "Please discuss how the idea for "Medicine For Melancholy" came about...

(Jenkins) This film spun out of breakup (lame, I know) and a filmmaking drought in the four years after graduating college. I hadn't made a film, not even a single short, since leaving film school and this breakup brought me face to face with where I was in my life and where I was and wasn't heading. When you're in a relationship, that union serves as a sort of buffer to the world. It didn't matter that I was a filmmaker, yet wasn't making films. I was in love. Being tossed out of that shell was a wake up call. The film literally grew out of those two realizations, the pain of heartbreak and a desire to prove my chosen craft. Once I opened myself to letting my personal experiences here in San Francisco inform the narrative, the movie was born."

Read the rest of the iW interview here.

- Sujewa

And, perhaps more importantly, Atlanta Film Fest is open for '09 submissions

Atlanta is a sexy town, and of course the Atlanta Film Festival is run by some very cool people (many from Maryland, so you know that the chances of the ATL fest selections being eclectic & interesting are high), so, go explore the possibility of sending your new indie masterpiece south to the ATL.

- Sujewa

9/8 is regular deadline for features for Sundance '09

More here. I think I'll try to get Indie Film Blogger Road Trip edited by then so I can submit it.

- Sujewa

Real Indie success

(note: whenever I say indie in this post I most likely mean real indie - low budget/no star/off-Hollywood/affordable-to-create-for-many-humans movies, not multi-million dollar indiewood stuff like Juno, thnx!)

A film like Slacker or Stranger Than Paradise would be far more affordable to make now; on digital video - but, the likelihood of such unique/interesting off-Hollywood movies being made in great numbers is still slim, and the chances of such indie work getting wide distribution is still small.

It is however far more easier now than in the early Jarmusch (late 70's) & even early Linklater (late 80's) days to get started with filmmaking due to digital video and the availability of filmmaking information on the web.

So, what, if anything, guarantees success in the indie world? And is it easier to achieve now than, let's say, 20 years ago? Well, it depends on how you define success. It is far more easier to make a feature length film - using digital video (can be done for around or under $2K - Texas Snow is a recent example) - and tell some people about it (web; sites, blogs, e-mail), and make it available to view & purchase on DVD (1000 DVDs can be made for around $1300 - $1500 from Disc Makers & other companies). Those factors, along with the availability of hundreds of new festivals - showcases - makes the current time period a better one in which to get an indie feature filmmaking career or habit started. Success could be defined as making an interesting movie and making it available for audiences. That kind of success is easier to achieve now than in the 80's (because it won't cost as much & the information on how to make it happen are easier to come by). Now, the Hollywood kind of success; making lots of money from a movie - that's always been difficult with indie films and at this point in time it may be more difficult to do with a good or great first time or second time feature than it was back in the 80's - due to several factors including competition for leisure time from many entertainment options that did not exist in the 80's.

There is one thing that has not changed; a quality crucial to getting indie movies made: dedication & perseverance. Ultimately, back in the day (Micheaux, Cassavetes, Sayles, Waters, Jarmusch, Lee, Araki, etc.) and now - the kind of people who will achieve any kind of success in the indie film world will be the ones who are 110% dedicated to the art/entertainment form and stick with it, continue to develop, and continue to go after the goal of making indie movies & actually succeed in making a movie ever so often. Such people, in the worst case scenario, will at least leave behind a body of work - several films. That, simple existence of movies created by someone, may be the most significant marker of success; ideas & viewpoints will be shared with new people (people new to indie film, or just younger people who were not alive or interested when the movies got made) and perhaps these new people will get something positive out of the movies; maybe an entertaining moment, maybe a shock to the system that totally re-writes their world view (hopefully for the better). Since there will always be a movie that makes more money & directors who become more famous than the ones who are famous now, and since all of this will end - ultimately - the wise thing (probably) to do is to really take a hard look at the challenges and see if making indie films is the thing that you absolutely want to pursue above all else in your life, in the relatively small (even if you live a healthy 70-80 years or so) amount of time that you have on this planet. If it isn't, go figure out what else you'd like to do with your time & go get it done. If, however, making indie films is the thing that is more attractive to you than anything else you could do in life, then dig in. Even with the availability of low budget production & distribution options, such a deep commitment is necessary, I believe, to get any kind of an indie movie made let alone a good or great one.

So, the good news, at least for some people who are worried about there being too many movies or too many good movies - making indie movies & getting them distributed has always been hard, and probably will always be so; meaning, only the deeply committed people - such people are usually few in number in most areas of life - will achieve a significant amount of success in the endeavor. Paper is cheap, but the world is not overrun with great literary masterpieces or even a ton of entertaining/creative books. There is a lot more of the human experience left to reflect and explore in books. Digital video & computer based editing & web publicity is cheap, but we are not being overrun with awesome indie movies. I think for the committed artist/filmmaker there will always be room for creating good or great works. And creating such works is most likely an option only for the committed filmmakers because film is not an easy art to master; it takes a while.

Being an indie filmmaker, or being an artist of any kind, is its own greatest reward. For most people no amount of money is enough and no amount of fame is enough. But, if you think you'll get your happiness primarily from being able to create & share movies - then being an indie filmmaker may lead to a rewarding existence for you. Everything, however, has a price. First & forever it takes a deep commitment to be an indie filmmaker. After that you need tools; luckily for you the tools you need to make movies are now much more readily available than at any point in the entire history of the medium. So now is a great time to be alive & active as an indie filmmaker. Jump in now if you've always wanted to do it, and if you are doing it, get deeper into it; for, I think, that - commitment/perseverance/getting it done regardless of the obstacles - is the path to all manner of success in indie film.

- Sujewa

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Seinfeld Vision

Outside of cable - and by cable I mean HBO - NBC has some pretty good shows. Check out a full episode of 30 Rock:

Trailer for upcoming UK indie film Bunch of Guys

Being non-"white" & concious of the artificiality of race theory & living in Europe - the home land of the current version of race theory (the one that helped out with European colonialism) popular in the world - must be, at the least, very interesting (when it doesn't totally suck). Looks like the new UK indie feature Bunch of Guys will touch on some of that reality:

Bunch Of Guys

Gabe Wardell's latest notes on the changing landscape of professional film criticism

From Gabe's blog:

"Bob Longino's coverage has centered on the film scene, interviews, and local coverage. Because of the seriousness with which he approached film culture, the Atlanta Film Festival has thrived in recent years. Coverage in the paper of record is invaluable to a non-profit event such as ours. Since we cannot afford to buy ads on par with a studio or commercial distributor. By running photos, stories, articles, interviews, and recommendations the AJC elevated a slate of "unknowns" to the level of commercial and studio releases. Without a full time critic with the history, knowledge, and critical acumen of a Bob Longino on staff, I fear that festival coverage will suffer mightily. Making it all the more difficult to reach out to the masses. Coverage in the paper lends credibility, respectability, and legitimacy to smaller indie works. Without it, such projects will suffer without mainstream coverage.

On behalf of the Atlanta Film Festival, and as a resident of Atlanta with a serious interest in the health of the film-going community, I am devastated by this news."

A lot more here.

- Sujewa

Finalized Date Number One DVD cover & face designs, ordered a test/proof copy

So, at long last, step 1 in the 2 step process of creating retail DVDs of Date Number One is done. More on that here. At this rate around mid-September I should have the DNO DVDs available for sale. At least a couple of years later than originally envisioned, but on the bright side, only a couple of years later :)

- Sujewa

50 years later some French New Wave directors still at work

Yeah, that's right, 50; five zero - years, half a century later some of the French filmmakers who re-invented cinema & gave new meaning to it are still making movies. The Independent has the story. From the article:

"You might also have expected a "New Wave" to be a quick-burning phenomenon. But while Truffaut may have called for a symbolic slaughter of moribund patriarchs, he wasn't out to kill all parents: he and his peers established a different pantheon of precursors, most famously Hollywood directors such as Hitchcock, Hawks, Ford and Fritz Lang. There were idols closer to home, too: Renoir, Bresson, Jean-Pierre Melville, Roberto Rossellini. These elders were themselves notable for sustaining long careers: their teaching was that, whatever challenges the film industry or world history threw at you, you had to keep filming. The New Wave generation similarly contrived to endure, to make features even when there seemed to be no money to make them with or, for that matter, no stories to tell. Rivette has made a career of pulling no-budget projects from the jaws of disaster: both Don't Touch the Axe and his hall-of-mirrors fantasia Céline and Julie Go Boating (1974) emerged overnight from the collapse of other projects."

Read the rest here.

Thanks GreenCine Daily for the link.

- Sujewa

Monday, August 25, 2008

Friday, August 22, 2008

TEXAS SNOW Friday August 22 Kensington, MD

Friday, August 22, 2008
7:30 PM
Capital City Microcinema
Kensington Row Bookshop
3786 Howard Ave
Kensington, MD 20895
venue phone: 301-949-9416
Event contact: Sujewa Ekanayake,, 240-354-3394

About the movie: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.

The Chutry Experiment
One of the things I most enjoyed about Texas Snow was Coffman’s attention to the way that twentysomethings communicate, the late night confessions and revelations that usually take place several hours (and usually several beers) after most sane people have fallen asleep. The pacing, underscored by Keegan DeWitt’s score, in fact recalled David Gordon Green’s lyrical All the Real Girls.[full review]
DIY Filmmaker
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.[full review]
Hollywood Is Talking
Coffman is minimal in dialogue and directed his actors and cinematographer (Keith Hueffmeier) to follow suit, and the result has a certain poetic vibe that avoids many clichés.[full review]
Rogue Cinema
by Brian MortonTexas Snow is a beautifully photographed and written movie, the acting is great… three out of four cigars…[full review]

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Schools in southern states beat African American female students - Human Rights Watch

What? US schools beat their students as a part of their disciplining process? Are we all of a sudden in like the 1830's? Did the country go through a time machine without me noticing it? Read the messed up news at Human Rights Watch. From the HRW article:

"The report found that in the 13 southern states where corporal punishment is most prevalent, African-American students are punished at 1.4 times the rate that would be expected given their numbers in the student population, and African-American girls are 2.1 times more likely to be paddled than might be expected. There is no evidence that these students commit disciplinary infractions at disproportionate rates."


"The report documents several cases in which children were beaten to the point of serious injury. Since educators who beat children have immunity under law from assault proceedings, parents who try to pursue justice for injured children encounter resistance from police, district attorneys, and courts. Parents also face enormous, sometimes insurmountable, obstacles in trying to prevent physical punishment of their children. While some school districts permit parents to sign forms opting out of corporal punishment for their children, the forms are often ignored."

Read the rest of the article here. Reform time baby, reform time. Also, lawsuits time. Also, time to move your kids out of schools in the south.

- Sujewa

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Reeler at work

Or rather The Reeler Stu VanAirsdale trying to work on a recent weekday morning in Manhattan while I am taking photos of him & asking him questions for the blogger doc. Thanks for the patience Stu.

- Sujewa

That's an awesome view

That's Indie Film Blogger Road Trip doc subject Anthony Kaufman hanging out at his balcony; with Manhattan in the background & Brooklyn below.

- Sujewa

Richard Rodriguez interview

Interesting interview with author Richard Rodriguez at Scott London's site. From the interview:

"London: Do you consider yourself more Mexican or more American?

Rodriguez: In some ways I consider myself more Chinese, because I live in San Francisco, which is becoming a predominantly Asian city. I avoid falling into the black-and-white dialectic in which most of America still seems trapped. I have always recognized that, as an American, I am in relationship with other parts of the world; that I have to measure myself against the Pacific, against Asia. Having to think of myself in relationship to that horizon has liberated me from the black-and-white checkerboard.

London: Do you think of yourself as an Indian?

Rodriguez: Yes, although it was something I did not know about as a child. I had an Indian face, but I never saw it as Indian, in part because in America the Indian was dead. The Indian had been killed in cowboy movies, or was playing bingo in Oklahoma. Also, in my middle-class Mexican family indio was a bad word, one my parents shy away from to this day. That's one of the reasons, of course, why I always insist, in my bratty way, on saying, Soy indio! — "I am an Indian!" I think it's an important thing for a Mexican to say, especially now with the rebellion in Chiapas. Mexico has to confront her Indian face, and yet she refuses to do so. When you turn on Mexican television, it's like watching Swedish TV: everyone is blond."

More here.

- Sujewa

Funny video art - The Final Countdown

What is the immobile video camera trying to tell me? Horrible cover, but funny video overall. Andy Warhol might have enjoyed this.

Searching for otherness in media images

From Racialicious (thanks Stuff White People Do for the link):

"I grew up trying to spot the otherness in whites—such as Janet on “Three’s Company” or the star of “Wonder Woman,” who, it turns out, is half-Mexican—because I was hungry to see myself represented in a medium in which my kind was mostly invisible. But that’s not the only reason I make such connections. On a subconscious level, I believe that I respond to white society’s rejection of blackness by projecting blackness onto whites. The rationale is that, if whites are part-black themselves, their racism doesn’t just amount to hatred of people of color but to a sort of self-hatred. In this way, it is easy to see how racism isn’t just damaging to its so-called targets but to society collectively."

Read the rest here, interesting stuff.

- Sujewa

Monday, August 18, 2008

Free movie of the day: COFFEE AND CIGARETTES

Yup, the whole movie, free, from Hulu:














1 - Farzad Rostami Delaware Tobacco - 100s of help wanted ads from Delaware post

2 - - Farzad Rostami Delaware Tobacco Film site post

3 - Farzad Rostami Delaware Tobacco - post re: development in Africa

4 - - Farzad Rostami Delaware Tobacco - post re: energy & environment jobs

5 - - Farzad Rostami Delaware Tobacco post re: Nike, NASA sustainable challenge

Farzad Rostami Delaware Tobacco

Farzad Rostami Delaware Tobacco blog post 3/24/13:

Farzad Rostami Delaware Tobacco – Florida:

Farzad Rostami Delaware Tobacco – New York:

Farzad Rostami Delaware Tobacco – California:

Farzad Rostami Delaware Tobacco 2 – Recent Links:

Farzad Rostami Delaware Tobacco 3 - Win the SEO Game:

Farzad Rostami Delaware Tobacco 4 - Facebook News Feed Overhaul:

Farzad Rostami Delaware Tobacco 5 - Popular News Websites:


Farzad Rostami Delaware Tobacco blog

Farzad Rostami Delaware Tobacco 2 blog

Farzad Rostami Delaware Tobacco 3 blog

Farzad Rostami Delaware Tobacco 4 blog

Farzad Rostami Delaware Tobacco 5 blog

Farzad Rostami – Delaware Small Business Grants page

Farzad Rostami – Delaware Small Business Chamber

Farzad Rostami – Delaware History Trail

Farzad Rostami – Delaware Historical Society

Farzad Rostami – History of Delaware

:: some web marketing stuff here

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2013 Delaware Small

Business Grants page Great page, check it out here. :: A blog post

from FaVisit Tobacco Expressrzad Rostami, Delaware blog. Delaware History Trail -
Historic Sites Check out Delaware History Trail - Historic Sites.  Very

interesting. :: A blog post from Farzad Rostami, Delaware blog. History of Delaware – Wikipedia From Wikipedia's History of Delaware page:

"The history of Delaware as a political entity dates back to the early colonization of North American by European settlers. It is made up of three counties established since 1680, before the time ofWilliam Penn. Each had its own settlement history. Their early inhabitants tended to identify more closely with the county than the colony or state. Large parts of southern and western Delaware were thought to have been in Maryland until 1767. All of the state has existed in the wide economic and political circle of Philadelphia." Read the rest at Wikipedia.

Tobacco industry tobacco growing sales Tobacco Express SAFETY NEWS RELEASE AND OF
AND TOBACCO September 20, 2012 CONTACT and Tobacco at Claymont
Store and Information Farzad Rostami, 50, Wilmington He was on a Date September 19, 2012
Location - Tobacco Express, 671 Naamans Road, Claymont A 50-year-old Wilmington man The
owner of the business, Farzad Rostami, was not was conducted Rostami in
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2013 Delaware Small

Business Grants page Great page, check it out here. :: A blog post

from FaVisit Tobacco Expressrzad Rostami, Delaware blog. Delaware History Trail -

Historic Sites Check out Delaware History Trail - Historic Sites.  Very

interesting. :: A blog post from Farzad Rostami, Delaware blog. History of Delaware – Wikipedia From Wikipedia's History of Delaware page:

"The history of Delaware as a political entity dates back to the early colonization of North American by European settlers. It is made up of three counties established since 1680, before the time ofWilliam Penn. Each had its own settlement history. Their early inhabitants tended to identify more closely with the county than the colony or state. Large parts of southern and western Delaware were thought to have been in Maryland until 1767. All of the state has existed in the wide economic and political circle of Philadelphia." Read the rest at Wikipedia.


Check out this Cuban cigars article at puffing  From the article:

"According to Best Premium Cigar of the World and tobacco and wine specialist James Suckling, Cuban cigars from Habanos S.A. took the majority in the list of the Top 10 (2012). The expert said he has been smoking Cuban cigars during 2012, and would still call havanas one of the most amazing cigars."

Read the rest of the article here.

:: Visit Tobacco Expres FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2013

For your next visit to NYC! Check out the page here.

Check out the page at Tobacco Farm Life Museum site.


A little bit of Coffee & Cigarettes

Check out the clip, buy or rent the DVD, nice little movie:

Brandon Harris interviews James "Off The Black" Ponsoldt

At Spout, check it out. Here is the intro:

"Relaxed and genteel with a disarming smile and quick wit that strike you immediately upon meeting him, James Ponsoldt, the Athens, GA native who made a big impression at Sundance 06′ with his tragically underseen Nick Nolte high school baseball umpire drama Off The Black, is a well-rounded guy. He has a masters degree from Columbia, was the president of his class at Yale, edited the student paper, was a receiver on the varsity football team and reads modernist literature with regularity. Perhaps more importantly, the Filmmaker Magazine contributor and Sundance Institute Lynn Auerbach Screenwriting Fellow for his adaptation of Benjamin Percy’s Iraqi war short story Refresh, Refresh was also one of the founding members of Yale’s Porn n’ Chicken club, where students gathered to watch XXX films and eat fried chicken."

Read the rest here.

- Sujewa

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Slow Down at Washougal

From M. David Lee III:


Triple Sticks Productions, is proud to announce our feature film, “Slow Down… You’re Dating Too Fast!” will screen at the “2008 Washougal International Film Festival” August 21th – August 24rd on Saturday, August 23rd, between 10am-6pm. (

The film chronicles five adults trying to work and date in modern society. Instead of the tried and true approaches to dating, these brave souls look for love in a most unusual way… “Speed Dating.”

“Slow Down… You’re Dating Too Fast!” is a comedy that will show you just what happens when you take a “different” approach to dating… this is NOT how your parents did it.

“I think we have a phenomenal screening time! When you go to the theater to see the film, I think folks will walk away really smiling and laughing and that's what we had hoped would happen when we made the film. I can't wait until Saturday!"

M. David Lee III
Producer, Writer, Director, D.P., Editor

Our official screening location and time are:

Slow Down... You're Dating Too Fast!
Saturday August 23rd between 10am-6pm
Washburn Auditorium
1201 39th St.
Washougal, WA 98671

Additional Notes:
- There are 32 speaking roles.
- The film was shot in Memphis and Mississippi
- It was made for under $1,000.00 dollars
- It was shot in 6 days

In addition to screening at the 2008 Washougal International Film Festival, “Slow Down… You’re Dating Too Fast!” made it’s World Wide release on DVD, Monday July 21st. To purchase a copy of this amazing film, log onto our web site at: For more information on Triple Sticks Productions, this film, stills, or to schedule interviews please contact: OR (901) 351-8032"

My chances of hooking up with that hot actress from Ally McBeal have seriously diminished

Damn you Ellen (but congrats to the couple).

- Sujewa

Friday, August 15, 2008

Bigfoot carcass in Atlanta?

According to this New York Times article, a body of a dead Bigfoot has been found, and it is in a freezer somewhere near Atlanta. Read more at NYT. If this does turn out to be a real Bigfoot body, I am gonna have some bragging rights over someone for a long while to come (I've always thought that Bigfoot, aliens, undiscovered live dinosaurs left over from the dinosaur age were very much possibilities, while most of my friends do not believe that is the case). Of course deepest sympathies go out to the family of the dead Bigfoot.

- Sujewa

Russia using cluster bombs in Georgia - Human Rights Watch

From Human Rights Watch site:

"(Tbilisi, August 15, 2008) – Human Rights Watch researchers have uncovered evidence that Russian aircraft dropped cluster bombs in populated areas in Georgia, killing at least 11 civilians and injuring dozens, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch called upon Russia to immediately stop using cluster bombs, weapons so dangerous to civilians that more than 100 nations have agreed to ban their use.

“Cluster bombs are indiscriminate killers that most nations have agreed to outlaw,” said Marc Garlasco, senior military analyst at Human Rights Watch. “Russia’s use of this weapon is not only deadly to civilians, but also an insult to international efforts to avoid a global humanitarian disaster of the kind caused by landmines.” "

Read the rest of the article here.

- Sujewa

New Video Digital may be the people to talk to about getting your indie movie on iTunes

Check out indieWIRE's profile of New Video Digital.

- Sujewa

Metropolitan yo

If Whit Stillman movies are your thing, here's Metropolitan (& some commercials):

Masher - what Hollywood Is Talking folks are up to when they are not blogging

Here's Episode I of a new web serial called Masher:

Thursday, August 14, 2008

"Federal officials considering a rule allowing health care workers to refuse to provide contraceptives" - Houston Chronicle editiorial article

From the Houston Chronicle (heard about this story through Friends Are My Art Form blog):

"Health and Human Services officials are considering a draft regulation that would classify most birth control pills, the Plan B emergency contraceptive and intrauterine devices as forms of abortion because they prevent the development of fertilized eggs into fetuses.

The rule, which does not require congressional approval, would allow health care workers who object to abortion on moral or religious grounds to refuse to counsel women on their birth control options or supply contraceptives. It would forbid more than half a million health agencies nationwide that receive federal funds from requiring employees to provide such services. Pharmacists could use the rule as a justification for refusing to fill birth control prescriptions, and insurance companies could cite it as a basis for declining to cover the costs."

Read the full article at the Houston Chronicle.

And if you don't like what you find out, go here to do something about it.

- Sujewa

Back from the land where all the waitresses are from Russia & all the indie film bloggers live in Brooklyn

While in NYC earlier today I eat at two restaurants; one in Manhattan, one in Brooklyn. The servers I had at both restaurants were from Russia; good people - talked about the war over there with one while I eat (was running short on time at the 2nd place, no time for small talk).

All the NYC bloggers I interviewed for Indie Film Blogger Road Trip, except for two (Geldin in Queens, VanAirsdale in Manhattan), live in Brooklyn. I also know of several other bloggers that live in Brooklyn. It is possible that most of the blogs you read today were written by writers living in Brooklyn - it's the Brooklyn Renaissance 2008 style baby (the Brooklyn Digital Renaissance?). Filmed the very final blogger interview for the doc this afternoon - with Anthony Kaufman - guess where?

More on the trip tomorrow, with photos & links, after I get some sleep.

Thanks a lot Vamoose bus for a quick ride to & back from NYC. Vammose folds space, they have the spice.

- Sujewa

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Able Danger in DC

"9/11 Conspiracy Thriller ABLE DANGER Plays 9/11 Truth Film Festival at Busboys and Poets in DC

WASHINGTON, DC, August 12, 2008 – ABLE DANGER, the acclaimed independent conspiracy thriller by filmmaker PAUL KRIK, will make its Washington, DC, debut as part of the the Alliance for Global Justice's and's 9/11 Truth Film Festival at Busboys and Poets. The festival starts at 6pm on September 11 in the Langston Room of Busboys and Poets located at 2021 14th St NW. Other films playing in the festival include Alex Jones' "Terror Storm," a history of false flag operations, and "The Reflecting Pool," a dramatization of an investigation of the official story on what happened on 9/11. More info at

That same evening in New York City, ABLE DANGER opens for an exclusive week-long engagement at Two Boots Pioneer Theater. More info at

ABLE DANGER is the story of Thomas Flynn, a Brooklyn 9/11 truther (played by Adam Nee), who falls into a noir pastiche when a mysterious Eastern European beauty (played by Elina Löwensohn, Independent Spirit Award nominee for “Nadja”) arrives at his bookstore-café with irrefutable proof of American secret intelligence involvement in the planning and execution of 9/11. When Thomas is implicated in the murder of his friend and employee, he’s forced to unravel her complex web of lies while attempting to fight his natural attraction to her. As it turns out, she possesses the Able Danger hard-drive, the smoking gun that proves the identities and methods of the real architects of 9/11, and Thomas is willing to risk everything to expose the truth. The film gets its title from the real secret government program of the same name that destroyed 2.5 terabytes of data in March 2001, and the café featured is based on the very real Brooklyn café for radical readers, Vox Pop.

With a Masters Degree in existential philosophy and a background in TV commercials, most recently known for his Kanye West mock-infomercial viral (as seen on YouTube), Krik has created ABLE DANGER, his first feature film. It has been blazing the festival trail, starting at the International Film Festival in Rotterdam where it premiered in a 400-seat theater, selling out all three nights, and opened the Brooklyn International Film Festival where it received Outstanding Achievement in Production. It then screened at Cannes, and was an Official Selection at the Transylvania, Philadelphia, Pifan (Korea) & Warsaw film festivals.

- Sujewa

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

La Vie de Boheme at BAM on Tue night

From BAM's site:

"La vie de bohème (1992) 100min Tue, Aug 12 at 4:30, 6:50, 9:15pm

› Buy Tickets

Directed by Aki Kaurismäki
A playwright, an artist, and a musician struggle to make ends meet on the Left Bank in modern-day Paris. “Aki Kaurasmäki is one of my heroes, and this film in particular had a direct effect on GTK. It’s pretty much perfect, and says it all while being funny and precise. I got a chance to thank Aki for his films in person, his response was that I ‘should enjoy youth while it lasted.’”—Azazel Jacobs"

Yeah, good job on the Olympics opening ceremony China, but what's up with killing people in Tibet?

On Tropic Thunder, certain kinds of movies that win Oscars, other matters

Nice post by Charles Judson at ATL 365 blog; from the post:

"And folks on the other side should keep in mind that the end of the Blaxplotation era didn't usher in a new age of enlightened and well rounded black characters. That took another 20 years."

Read the rest here.

- Sujewa

Does blogging help other creative writing or does it hurt it?

Blogging is certainly good for generating publicity for films, speaking as a filmmaker, and it is also good for creating a community; gives several people something in common, new friends are made, etc. But, being a filmmaker also means being a creative writer; movies are first created on paper (most fiction movies) and that kind of writing is different than journalistic writing (reportage, getting the facts down & getting it to the readers in a certain form) or publicity focused writing (such as blog posts created to announce a DVD's availability, a film screening, etc.). Creative writing requires periods of not writing a lot; instead thinking, jotting down small notes, research, wrestling with panda bears, exploring info. on new things. So, if you are in the habit of blogging daily, might that get in the way of making progress on your fiction film scripts? Perhaps. Maybe such temporarily-off-the-record writing (as work done on fiction feature scripts are not readily available for readers immediately as blog posts are) needs to be done on certain days with blogging set aside for other days. Because a little bit of blogging (also blog reading) can lead to a lot of blogging on one day. Also, a little bit of creative writing can lead to a lot of creative writing in one day. So, for me at least, it may be best to designate certain days as possible days to blog & certain days as definite days to work on scripts; to make sure that the need to write is not fulfilled by blogging & that fiction feature scripts get done.

On a related note, did not blog all day or spend any significant amount of time reading blogs yesterday (the day that ended 16 minutes ago :), and it was not bad - got a lot of other work done. So, it is possible that life without reading blogs or blogging may not suck. I was away from computers & engaged in finishing up a large task; moving 300 or so boxes, and that made it easy to not think about blogs. So, maybe having something relatively big or important going on is one way to get away from blogs. But what happens if I end up getting an iPhone or some such device where I can check out blogs while on the road, or while doing other stuff ???

Keeping 'net activity to some blogging (on a weekly basis), occasionally checking MySpace, checking e-mail couple of times a day/as needed for biz, updating web sites as needed for biz reasons, may be good limits to have as far as time spent doing stuff on or for the web.

Religions of the future will no doubt have laws regarding internet use.

Definitely not gonna get on Twitter or Facebook. I've got enough internet-work addictions.

I wonder when newspapers were first invented if some people got really into them; spent hours a day reading them, or making them/writing them before being a journalist became an actual profession. Let's try to find out, on the web of course.

- Sujewa

Sunday, August 10, 2008

infinicine is alive

check it out; brand new site, live in its current form since 8/8/08.

- sujewa

Saturday, August 09, 2008

2 example of relatively poor/not focused on wealth building & ultimately marketers of an intellectual product who have reshaped the world

Being an agnostic, I approach religion primarily as a human creative/intellectual product (which allows me access to any positive universally human elements contained in religions while shielding me from superstition, tribal mania & other "down sides" of religion). And the dissemination of religion, the work being performed by religious organizations, as possibly interesting & useful (to base other organizations/work on) examples of how humans organize to carry out certain tasks, to help themselves, in many cases.

Let's take a look at 2 religions; Christianity and Buddhism, from the perspective of analyzing success or failure of these two organizations (very broadly speaking) on Earth. And to see if there are any ideas that are useful to indie filmmakers in the story of those two organizations.

Christianity is said to be a little over 2000 years old. Buddhism over 2500 years old. By any current/modern day standard of durability of an organization; a company, a nation, etc., these two are massive successes.

Christianity reshaped Europe, and then was itself reshaped by the Enlightenment. Buddhism reshaped Asia, and was itself reshaped by European colonization & competition.

Both organizations (again, very loosely speaking) offer ways with which for their audience (to use an entertainment industry term) to deal with existence. On a smaller scale, movies perform a very limited degree of the same function (often offers escapism, sometimes offers hope, sometimes useful instructions, and sometimes community & support for various projects).

What were the big corporate and intellectual competition for these two organizations, in the beginning? I guess you could say the Roman Empire for Christianity, and Hinduism for Buddhism. Though their competitors at time of inception were wealthier, better organized, & more powerful, both Christianity and Buddhism - 2000 to 2500 years later - have out survived and have achieved far more than the Romans or Hinduism of long ago (this one is a little bit difficult to see; but Buddhism led to a reform in Hinduism, and at present Hinduism is largely confined to India, while Buddhism is an international religion; also is relevant to a lot of "secular" life in Asia). How was this possible?

There are many answers to that question, but two that are worth looking at, from the perspective of an indie filmmaker, are: 1. universality/ease of access - it was relatively easy - after a while - for anyone to buy into/become a part of the two religions mentioned; far more easier than becoming a Roman to a useful degree or battling with the caste system and other limitations/barriers in Hinduism, and 2. focus on the need of the audience/being able to adapt relatively quickly to the need of the audience/missions of service.

As indie filmmakers compete with Hollywood for audiences, it may be useful to analyze how low cost, service oriented intellectual & emotional products such as religions (in this case Christianity and Buddhism) became, ultimately, far more successful than their bigger & wealthier competition at the time.

Indie filmmaking is very accessible for filmmakers, we should look at our films and see if they are also accessible for people who share our space & time with us; perhaps, even if we are generally focused on niche stories & story telling, ever so often we could make more accessible movies in order to bring in new customers/audiences to better support our on-going filmmaking & distribution practices.

Also, one of the key elements that have lead, in my view, to the success of Christianity & Buddhism in this world is their focus on service. Are there ways that individuals & organizations with the ability to make & distribute movies - indie filmmakers of the present basically - can be more useful to the community/people who live near where we each live (or for that matter, anywhere in the world - since our reach is long now due to the web)? Assisting people is a great way for them to learn about, and hopefully get a positive impression of, your organization, or you, and maybe ultimately your movies.

Religion is magic, and cinema is also magic. The fact that religious organizations (again, outfits that disseminate ultimately an intellectual & emotional product/experience, much like movies) started by relatively poor but committed people have achieved vast successes on Earth may be a source of inspiration and hope for indie filmmakers who compete against much wealthier & powerful rivals.

- Sujewa

iTunes & indie filmmakers

Scott Kirsner looks around to see if iTunes is accessible to indie filmmakers; to sell their work through the service. From Kirsner's post in CinemaTech:

"I’ve harped on this issue since 2005, the year that Apple first started selling movies and TV shows on iTunes. Since then, iTunes has become the dominant marketplace for legal movie sales and rentals; in June, Apple said iTunes users were renting or purchasing 50,000 movies a day. (Apple’s rivals, like Amazon Unbox, Movielink, and CinemaNow, have never disclosed how many movies they sell and rent – but my belief is that they’re bit players.)

So how do you get your movie sold on iTunes?"

Read the rest at CinemaTech.

- Sujewa

Possible final poster for the blogger doc

Friday, August 08, 2008

Shooting Untilted NYC Comedy 9/15 - 11/15 & updates on the other 3 current projects

While the momentum thingy is happening (or while I think it's happening) & while I still don't mind being relatively poor & working hard, important things/film projects will get done in the coming weeks & months; an update:

- Date Number One DVD project: After 10 straight days of work I have this coming weekend off, I plan on fixing 2 sound issues & then creating the master DVD so that I can order some copies to sell starting later this month. This project is way overdue for completion & release (started it in 2004!), but that's cool, sometimes it goes like that.

- Indie Film Blogger Road Trip doc: Filming some final interviews the middle of next week, continuing with editing next weekend, should be completed at the end of this month/August. Then it'll be sent out to festivals.

- Actress: Script & some casting & some location selection work is happening. Official pre-production work will begin around 8/15, and I expect the film to be shot, in the DC area mostly, by 10/1. Editing after that, probably will have it completed by Jan 1 '09.

- untilted NYC comedy - Looks like I have a place to stay FT in NYC starting 9/15, so work on this project will begin around then; this is a relatively light & easy project as far as physical production is concerned; so I expect it to be shot by 11/15. Editing after that, I'd like to have the film edited/completed by 2/1/09.

All projects are feature length, in digital video, & are ultra-low budget.

So that's what I'll be doing for the rest of my summer, all of fall, & most of winter - most weekends & some night. On the bright side (or the brighter side, I guess making movies is its own reward) I should have 4 new features, all completed in '08 or early '09, in distribution (DNO on DVD & some screenings, other 3 movies at hopefully fest screenings or other screenings) by the middle of '09. And all of them available on DVD by late '09.

All projects made possible by DIY ultra-low budget production & self-distribution philosophies & methods devised, discussed & popularized by hundreds of filmmakers over the years, the generous & very significant/essential assistance of friends & supporters, & $s from day job work.

Pretty cool, pretty cool.

- Sujewa



Indie Film Blogger Road Trip

At DIY Filmmaker Blog's Facebook Page


BREAKTHROUGH WEEKEND Teaser Trailer on Vimeo

Breakthrough Weekend teaser trailer on YouTube

Good Reads