Showing posts from May, 2007

"The Punk Mariachi All-Stars" (Seznec Brothers & Shervin Boloorian) play sweet songs of D.I.Y. romantic comedy in Date Number One

As I go, for the six hundredth time, over certain scenes in Date Number One while preparing the final version & the DVDs of the movie, one thing that keeps me refreshed is the excellent bluegrass & rock music created by Cory & Yann Seznec (brothers from Maryland by way of France) and Shervin Boloorian (from DC by way of CA & UK & Iran); known, for the purpose of this movie, as "The Punk Mariachi All-Stars" (the band exists in the world of the movie, in our world they do not, thus quotes must always be used when writing their name in our world). More "PMAS"/DNO music notes coming soon. In the meantime, check out the The Seznec Brothers website, they've got some music there. Also check out music by Cory's new band The Groanbox Boys (under Projects, here ). - Sujewa

this is the 3rd summer since we started shooting Date Number One

yup. started shooting Date Number One , my "no" budget self-distributed DV comedy/romantic comedy feature in summer of '04!!! about 3 years later, was it all worth it? F*** YEAH! making this movie has been one of the best things i've done in my life! and the fun is just starting; distribution is gonna kick into higher gear starting this summer. thanks a lot to everyone who has made it possible to come this far with this project. we will all hang & party very soon. - sujewa

Hollywood Is Talking review of Date Number One

Check it out here . From last year. Good stuff, with nice pics, thanks H.I.T! - Sujewa

GreenCine Daily review of Date Number One

From last year. Here is a morsel: "The atmo of DN1 reminds me a bit of a few 60s-era underground films or post-punk works like Downtown 81 or Liquid Sky , though DN1 's cast of characters are a lot friendlier and live a few stories higher on the under/above ground scale. - David Hudson, GreenCine Daily " Check it out here . - Sujewa

Director Mike Tully (Cocaine Angel) Interview from September '06

Originally published 9/06 Forget Factotum man, if you want to experience some modern (not 35MM holly-indie-foreign- wood weak reflections of) down & out seedy existence complete with substance addiction & prostitution, and of course Bukawski esque humanization of the afflicted, go check out Mike Tully's Cocaine Angel . The movie will most likely make yourself feel a lot better about whatever partially self-created & temporary indie hipster tragic situation that your life may be at the moment. Whatever it is, the kids in CA got it worse. A well made movie, here's an interview with the director Mike Tully: Sujewa - Hey Mike, how do you feel about the upcoming NYC premiere of Cocaine Angel at the Brooklyn Independent Cinema series? [note, this happened last year,2006] Mike - we feel very excited about it, of course! to be honest, i haven't really thought about the film or watched it for quite some time, so i'm a tiny bit nervous about how it's going

Cindy Sheehan's Memorial Day letter

Check out peace activist Cindy Sheehan's Memorial Day/"resignation" letter at Daily Kos . Here is a paragraph: " I am deemed a radical because I believe that partisan politics should be left to the wayside when hundreds of thousands of people are dying for a war based on lies that is supported by Democrats and Republican alike. It amazes me that people who are sharp on the issues and can zero in like a laser beam on lies, misrepresentations, and political expediency when it comes to one party refuse to recognize it in their own party. Blind party loyalty is dangerous whatever side it occurs on. People of the world look on us Americans as jokes because we allow our political leaders so much murderous latitude and if we don’t find alternatives to this corrupt "two" party system our Representative Republic will die and be replaced with what we are rapidly descending into with nary a check or balance: a fascist corporate wasteland. I am demonized because I do

On Tavis Smiley: "Right to Return: New Home Movies from the Lower 9th Ward"

Just saw an episode. Good, powerful & moving stuff about the hurrican Katrina disaster's aftermath. Show runs until June 1. Here is a description of the show from this PBS page : "Beginning in January 2006, Oscar-winning filmmaker Jonathan Demme filmed in and around New Orleans, chronicling the lives of dozens of people—each of whom has their own unique story. The result is a documentary on the pioneering individuals and families who have chosen to exercise their self-granted “right to return” to their devastated homes and rebuild their lives following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Tavis accompanied Demme to New Orleans to visit with some of these courageous people who are central to the culture of the Big Easy." Find out more about the show here . - Sujewa

Wrapping up an old topic: making a living through DIY film; some tips, thoughts

Before I jump into "all Date Number One news all the time" at this blog I want to wrap up an old idea that I started talking about at Filmmaking For The Poor blog & then at this blog under its various names: DIY filmmaking as a career or making a living through ultra-low/"no" budget, self-financed, self-produced & self-distributed independent feature films. Initially the inspiration was DIY punk/indie rock: some bands from the 80's & 90's & beyond operated, and some still do operate, outside of the mainstream rock industry & on a smaller scale than their big-corporations-financed cousins. These indie bands (such as DC's Fugazi ) manufacture their own CDs, book their own tours and pretty much are in control of all creative & business aspects of their art making careers. Another area of inspiration is certain ultra-indie filmmakers/films from the recent past: Jon Moritsugu self-distributing several titles, Gene Cajayon self-distrib

Blog's gonna focus just on DNO stuff starting right now

Of course I will wrap up & post a couple of non- Date Number One related articles (Amir Motlagh interview, Jennifer Fox interview, a couple of reviews perhaps) but starting now this blog will focus only or mostly/99% of the time on DNO realted news. It's a big country & a bigger world, a lot of work needs to get done in order to complete the DNO distribution project, which should generate some stuff to blog about on a regular basis. On the next post I can hopefully announce the DNO DVD being available for sale & give some links to some new DNO press; specially stuff related to the 7/12 - 18 run in Kensington. And, from time to time, brief posts about films by friends may get into this blog. But other than that, from now on, all DNO news all the time over here. 'cause we are taking the DNO self-distribution project to the "next step" right now. it should be a most rocking & deeply delicious experience. - sujewa

Saw 1/2 of The Slanted Screen, good stuff

By the time I heard about the PBS airing of The Slanted Screen, a doc about Asian & Asian American men in film & TV, I had missed about half of it. What I saw was good, interesting & hopeful. Also it was fun to see some Asian-American indie filmmakers on the program; Gene "The Debut" (awesome theatrical self-distribution success story) Cajayon & Eric Byler. Here is a description of the program, from this PBS page : "THE SLANTED SCREEN From silent film star Sessue Hayakawa to Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, Jeff Adachi’s film explores the portrayals of Asian men in American cinema and television, chronicling the experiences of actors who have had to struggle against ethnic stereotyping and limiting roles. Through a parade of 50 film clips spanning a century, the film presents a critical examination of Hollywood’s image-making machine. The program includes interviews with actors Mako, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, James Shigeta, Dustin Nguyen, Phillip Rhe

Knock.Knock review

Amir Motlagh is a prolific D.I.Y. punk/indie rock influenced west coast based filmmaker, actor and musician (Shanks and the Dreamers - MySpace ). Although Motlagh has yet to release a feature (a situation that should change this year when his first feature Whale, currently in post-production, is completed), he is the director of over a dozen short films (short short 5 minute films and long short 40 minute films, more information here ) including two of my favorites: Still Lover and My Break Ups Into A Million Pieces. Motlagh's latest short film Knock.Knock tells the story of events that happen in a day in the life of a comedian who is moving a little bit up in the world. The comedian (played by Chris Manz- MySpace ), wakes up and goes to work, has a somewhat amusing encounter with an actress (Lene Penderson) and then has a more dramatic encounter with a former girlfriend (Keaton Shyler). In the end, Manz's character seems to have a new understanding about his past, the presen

a little GoodTimes Kid write up at Boston Globe

Blame it on watching Mystery Train & Stranger Than Paradise too many times, but I do like kind of surreal & funny & minimalist features about odd characters, so, the Azazel Jacobs film The GoodTimes Kid might be a movie that I would enjoy. Looking forward to checking it out whenever I stumble across it (another good thing about these minimalist movies, there's no rush, waiting to watch the movie is almost as exciting as watching the movie; maybe certain movies release certain brain waves - alpha waves? omega waves? and that's why i like watching them even though there isn't much happening on the screen, who knows). Here's a recent small mention of The GoodTimes Kid at the Boston Globe : " "The GoodTimesKid" Written and directed by co-star Azazel Jacobs (son of legendary avant-garde filmmaker Ken Jacobs), this low-fi comedy bounces off the festival circuit and lands with a lovely little splat. It's one day in the life of three hapless

Saw Amir Motlagh's new short Knock.Knock :: review & interview coming up later this week

Just watched Amir Motlagh's new short film Knock.Knock. I liked it, need to watch it again & think about it, will have a review here later this week. The film stars a comedian (Chris Manz, MySpace ) but is not a comedy, it is a light drama about a day, and more specifically a couple of encounters, in the life of a comedian with an internet show. That's all I'll say for now, read the review later this week for more on Knock.Knock. Also, it's been a while since I interviewed Amir ( read Feb '05 interview here ), will try to talk to him about Knock.Knock & his feature-in-post-production Whale & his other feature-in-the-works Micro later this week. Back to working on the DNO DVD for me. Talk to you later. - Sujewa

Guerrilla Film Fest DC June 1 & 2

get all the info. here.

"Ultra-indie filmmakers need to “jam econo”" & other interesting & useful thoughts at Camera Stilo post

Any blog entry that mentions real indie film, 80's punk rock, & yours truly is worth linking to & reading :), so here is a post at the Camera Stilo blog re: the new DIY/real indie/whatever film movement that we are building with each no budget digital feature & barnyard screening & home made DVD sale & private & public web conversations: To Sum It All Up - Independent Music of the 1980s and Independent Film Today. - Sujewa

Richard Schickel on blogging vs. print criticism

Ah, the topic that never dies. Time magazine film critic Richard Schickel joins the conversation at LA Times. Thanks Chuck Tryon for the link. -Sujewa

What's got John Waters, Hal Hartley & Jim Jarmusch?

Apparently a doc called Divine Trash . I just read a chapter called Guilty Pleasures in the Waters book Crackpot where he talks about his "secret" appreciation of art movies, and I was trying to find that chapter on line to link to, but instead I stumbled upon the Divine Trash page. Here is the link to an Austin Chronicle review of the film. Need to see DT. After all, Waters is from Baltimore, a city that's just about 40 minutes from where I type this. And I liked most of Cry Baby, and I think most of that movie about indie/underground filmmaking - Cecil B. DeMented, and all of Hairspray, plus, no doubt, bits and pieces from several of his other movies (and why have I only seen parts of most of these movies so far? perhaps it is time for a John Waters movie night at the Sujewa house). - Sujewa

DJ Spooky interview at Workbook

Go Lance , getting some of the most interesting artists around on tape. Check out conversation with DJ Spooky, the maker of Rebirth of a Nation & many other very interesting multi-media works, here . For more on DJ Spooky (aka Paul Miller) check out his website here . -Sujewa

Saw episode I of Flying, some pre-review notes

Saw the first episode (of 6) of Jennifer Fox's documentary Flying: Confessions of a Free Woman last night. These are some initial positive thoughts regarding the movie, will write & publish a regular review of the work after I've seen all 6 episodes, which I hope to do before the July 4th premiere of the film in NYC . Flying is unlike any movie I've seen before, and I mean that in a good way (perhaps Tarnation was kind of like this, but I have not seen it): filmmaker films her own life and events in the lives of a few friends as they unfold, and discusses some very personal issues: sex, marriage, having or not having kids, divorce and separation and issues related to the aftermath of those events, a serious illness, also on going romantic & sexual relationships. Not only does it take a tremendous amount of bravery and confidence to attempt to make a film like the one Fox has made, it also takes, I imagine, extraordinary organizational & directorial skills in ord

Hal Hartley interview at Filmmaker

I was busy with some less important things today (although, did come up with a great idea for a movie - on the productive side), didn't get to go to the DC opening of Hal Hartley's Fay Grim, do plan on going this coming week. Got my Hartley fix from this Filmmaker magazine interview today, check it out, good stuff . - Sujewa

interesting sentence in a book by Warhol

i am reading a book called Popism: The Warhol 60's, written by Andy Warhol & Pat Hackett (link: a 1990 reprint at Amazon ). ran across an interesting line in the book, Warhol says: " Although I didn't buy a movie camera till some time in '63, it had certainly occurred to me to be a do-it-yourself filmmaker long before then,..." line is on page 29. the fact that he used the term do-it-yourself is interesting to me. the book has a copyright of 1980 so maybe that's not so weird after all. i didn't think artists in America used the term "do-it-yourself" to describe their work until after the punk days, late 70's i guess - so if the book was written around the late 70's, then it all makes sense. but maybe the term was in use in the 60's, at least by some people Warhol knew. who knows. aside from all that, the book is a good read, demystifies Warhol. it could all be an act, but why and how he did things is explained in the b

Flying "like Sex and the City" says director Jennifer Fox

Just received the entire six hours of Jennifer Fox's doc Flying: Confessions of a Free Woman in the mail. Looking forward to checking it out, maybe I can catch at least a couple of episodes this weekend. Browsing through Flying material on the web, this quote by Fox, from a Reeler interview , caught my eye: "...this film is like candy. It's not like taking medicine; it's like eating chocolate. You watch one hour, then you want to watch two and three and four. It's a little bit like a soap opera; you meet characters who reappear who are in different crises in their life and you want to know what's going to happen to them. So you need to think of it more like Sex and the City..." Sounds excellent. Even if Flying is not quite like Sex and the City, I am excited about the fact that it is 6 hours of people talking about interesting aspects of their lives. Always wanted to make a movie like that. Plus, the movie takes place all over the world, another th

Nice LA Weekly article (from '05) re: DC DIY band The Evens

While DIY film as a career path or shall we say the DIY film industry is in its infancy in the US of A right now (indie film/filmmakers as conceived in 80's & 90's rely on indiewood distribution for the most part to make money & sustain themselves, DIY filmmakers self-distribute; and there is only a handful of such filmmakers at the moment - but more are joining the ranks every day), the DIY rock industry, at least what I know of it, is over 20 years old - at least. One branch of these musicians are the DC punk rockers who built Dischord Records ; people such as Ian MacKaye. This LA Weekly article from 2005 talks about how MacKaye & Amy Farina - The Evens -work, and talks about their music. Since DIY rock is older & well established, I check out articles on that movement/industry/scene/whatever-you-want-to-call-it to get ideas that might work for my own DIY film practices. So far ideas borrowed from DIY rock (ultra low budget self-reliant production, self-distri

Way to go CUFF

The Chicago Underground Film Festival sayz: "Fees are not required of entrants who have screened at the festival in the past" Very good, a useful & innovative & filmmaker friendly evolution (unless of course this is the norm in the film fest industry, this sounds like a new thing to me). Anyway, me likes. Submission deadlines: 5/15 THAT'S TODAY! (regular deadline), 6/1 (late deadline). Fest happens August 22-26, 2007 in Chicago, IL. Here's their website . - Sujewa

Peter Sellars's "California Uber Alles" speech at SFIFF :: Speech also about art, democracy, Mozart, and hope in cinema

As the Dead Kennedy's once criticized California by alluding to Nazi Germany, so does renowned theater director Peter Sellars in this long and very interesting speech re: art, the role of the artist in a democracy, culture and its relationship to the well being of the nation and other important ideas. The speech - The State of the Cinema address, was given at the San Francisco International Film Festival on 4/29/07. Here is a portion where Sellars talks about Nazi Germany, the last days of the Roman empire and its treatment of an honest man - a philosopher. Also about the value of digital age storytelling (transcript at SF360 ): "So, state of the state. All of those groups who say, "Why were the German people silent?" And now I have to ask, "Why are the American people silent?" The German people were told that this other set of people were just not human beings, so it didn't matter what happened to them: "Pay no attention as these people just sud

Amir Motlagh news: new Still Lover distro deal, Knock.Knock. completed

Check out all the freshest Amir Motlagh film news at Amir's blog: - New "Still Lover" distro deal - Knock. Knock completed & ready for festivals & screenings & distro - Sujewa

Alternative to Mumblecore: Sujewa Ekanayake, Amir Motlagh, James Spooner

For your next article (or more likely blog post) about, in favor of, or against the Mumblecore film movement, or re: young & interesting real indie filmmakers, consider adding some paragraphs re: 3 exciting, currently very active, non-Mumblecore but low-budget, self-distributing indie/DIY filmmakers who also have made some very interesting movies recently. These people are (in alphabetical order): - (myself) Sujewa Ekanayake films: Fresh Coffee (1992), Wild Diner (1999), Capital Heartbreak & Sweetness: 17 DC Poets (2002), Date Number One (2006). very indie/DIY. self-distributes. - Amir Motlagh films: too many to mention - over a dozen shorts, including popular short Still Lover, & the recent Knock.Knock. currently editing first feature Whale . also prepping to shoot a new feature called Micro this summer. very indie/DIY. self-distributes. - James Spooner films: Afro-Punk, White Lies Black Sheep very indie/DIY. self-distributes. A google search on these filmmakers

Let's show some appreciation to good/favorite internet film reviewing & criticism: ChuckTryon regularly delivers well written reviews

Now that the dust has settled re: last week's debate on the state of internet film criticism & review, I am thinking that as excellence in cinema is ultimately a matter of taste, perhaps excellence in film criticism is also a matter of taste. Film is definitely art, but is film criticism also art? Is journalism art; and is film criticism more journalism/reportage than the creative sharing of one's impressions regarding a movie - a work of art/entertainment? All interesting items to think about, but for the moment let's celebrate the work of a good internet film reviewer: Chuck Tryon . [Full disclosure; I started paying a lot of attention to Chuck's writing after he attended the World Premiere of my movie Date Number One a year ago (something that i did not expect him to do since he was a Catholic U. media professor & my film had absolutely zero - media, press, etc. wise - going for it at the time besides my own DIY promotional work at this blog) & then w

DNO premiere 1 year anniversary party was excellent, pics later today

had a fun time at the party (thanks hostess jen b.!), watched Date Number One with some cast & crew members - was an excellent experience. took a bunch of photos, will upload them later today. sleepytime now. dno is now officially a year old. time for it to get out to the wider world (& for me to also get busy with making the next movie). DVDs will be on sale at wild diner films site later this week, just a couple of little things to take care of first. of course a 1 week run is happening in kensington, md july 12 - 18, with a lot more screenings in other places happening later this year. ok, sleepytime now for real. - sujewa

Flying: Confessions of a Free Woman sounds interesting

Here's what I know about Flying: Confessions of a Free Woman so far: it is a multi-part documentary, 6 hours long all together, in it filmmaker Jennifer Fox discusses her life & the lives of several female friends around the world. This Reeler interview makes the film sound very interesting. Here is a quote from the interview: "[Reeler] For the record, what is Flying about -- if we can summarize the six hours? [Fox] It starts with a personal crisis -- my crisis --about who am I as a woman. You know, entering my 40s, not married, no kids, multiple partners, several abortions and the whole kind of a typical modern woman trying to make sense of my life by talking to other women everywhere -- starting with my friends in New York to my friends on the West Coast, England, France, Germany, Africa, India, Pakistan, Cambodia. Trying to say what we have in common, how are we different, how can I find a mirror for my life when there are no mirrors. I don't have a difficult lif


For kids like me who discovered indie film in the early 90's (and by indie film we meant Jim Jarmusch, Hal Hartley & Spike Lee), this should be a great way to celebrate Mothers Day: From the Pioneer Theater's site : "Join us for this one-time only double bill bringing together for the first time in New York HENRY FOOL (1997) and its sequel FAY GRIM (2006) two major works from acclaimed filmmaker Hal Hartley special guests include: Hal Hartley, Thomas Jay Ryan, Richard Sylvarnes, Kyle Gilman, S.T. VanAirsdale ( The Reeler ), and others to be announced HENRY FOOL Simon (James Urbaniak), a shy garbage man, lives with his sister (Parker Posey of PARTY GIRL and WAITING FOR GUFFMAN, among dozens of other movies) and mother, who both treat him with minimal respect. Into Simon's life comes Henry Fool (Thomas Jay Ryan), a heavy-drinking self-proclaimed great writer who goads Simon into writing an enormous poem. The poem becomes the source of great contr

Mission: Washington update - a print magazine is interested in writing about Date Number One

(Mission: Washington is the mission to get a lot of press, including the mainstream variety - newspapers, magazines, TV, radio & of course internet, in the DC area for the July DNO run) I heard back from one DC focused print publication already re: getting press for the July 12 - 18 run of Date Number One , they like the idea of doing a story on the movie for their July issue. Once & when the thing is done & out, will link to it or will post a copy of the article here. More publicity stuff next week. Getting ready for tomorrow night's "1 year anniversary of DNO World Premiere" party. Perhaps I will have some photos from the party on Sunday. Later. - Sujewa

Hal Hartley on Fay Grim, at ShortEnd Magazine

Here is the intro, from a post on ShortEnd Magazine : "On closing night of the Atlanta Film Festival , director Hal Hartley spoke for thirty minutes about his newest release Fay Grim , a sequel to his 1997 Henry Fool . The following is an excerpt from his audience Q&A. Gabe Wardell: Tell us a little bit about why you chose to make a sequel to Henry Fool this many years later, and what brought you to the process and back to telling the story. Hal Hartley: When I was writing the first one, I knew that what I was writing seemed like it was part of something very long. That was exciting…The actors, during revisions, I would give them revisions for scenes from Henry Fool and take them out as they proved themselves to be superfluous as it were. Together (the actors) would be upset, “Oh, I really loved that scene.” And, I said, “Don’t worry. That will be part of the other seven.” Like good jokes, there was something real, and everybody understood that. We didn’t really take it s

Mission: Washington OR Let's see how much local press I can generate for the upcoming 1 week run of Date Number One (7/12 - 18, Kensington, MD)

The last time I played a movie of mine for a week in the Washington, DC area was in 1999 - my now "suppressed" :) feature Wild Diner played at Cineplex Odeon Foundry in Georgetown for a week. That was also the last time I received some decent press coverage from the Washington Post. 6 years later, the film this time is much better and I've got a lot more experience in producing DIY screenings, so, I should be able to generate a lot more press & get the word out re: the run throughout the DC area. Some facts & figures will be uncovered: how many people actually live around here (5 million?), how many are interested in real indie films?, how do I get the word out to those people?, can I get TV & radio & mainstream print press coverage? All interesting & useful things to figure out. Will post results as I work through the 2 months leading up to the July 12 -18 run of Date Number One in Kensington, MD. - Sujewa

Review Criticism Overkill

Man, this whole thing/now gigantic & getting bigger conversation re: internet film criticism is something way beyond what I was expressing with my criticism of Cynthia Rockwell's review of Hannah Takes the Stairs. I looked for straight/close to traditional reviews of Hannah around the time of SXSW (couple of weeks ago?) did not find a single one, & then a couple of nights ago I saw that GreenCine Daily had linked to Rockwell's review, so I was excited to finally possibly get a chance to read a regular review of Hannah. When I got to Rockwell's blog I found out that The Guardian had also cited her review, so I was even more excited about reading it, 'cause I figured that if GCD & Guardian are referencing it, it might at least be adequate for my needs. But, a regular review was not what I found at Rockwell's site, actually, I don't consider her piece a movie review, but it is thoughts somewhat related to the movie. Anyway, after reading that whole pos

Update from "Angry Filmmaker" Kelley Baker: "May Dates! May Dates!"

From Kelley Baker : "Hey Everybody, It is May, I am home, and just because I am home doesn't mean I am not working... Here is a list of my work shops and screenings for this month. If you are around please come out and see me. May 9th - - Kicking Bird screening @ The Columbian Theater in Astoria, Oregon May 10th - - Kicking Bird screening @ The Coaster Theater in Cannon Beach, Oregon May 15th - - Guest Lecture @ Portland State University May 15th - - Market & Self Distribution Workshop @ The Art Institute of Portland May 18th - - Kicking Bird Screening @ 911 Media Arts Center in Seattle, WA May 19th - - Sound Design Work shop @ 911 Media Arts Center in Seattle, WA May 24th & 25th - - Workshops & screening @ Oregon State University For more info on the Seattle events please go to . As usual I am booking work shops and screenings for the Fall US and Europe Tours starting now. So if you want me in your city, or your country, let me k

James Spooner interview at PunkTV

While searching for a review of James Spooner's new movie White Lies, Black Sheep , I came across this interview at a site called PunkTV - I believe the interview is from this year. Here is a sample: " Speaking of doing what you’re supposed to do let’s talk about White Lies Black Sheep. I noticed a similar theme in this one. It reminds me that as writers we are taught to write about what we know and in this one your African American character is falling in love with a white girl and his friends are maligning him for not being loyal to his race. Tell us about that movie? [Spooner] It is kind of a spin off of some of the themes that are dealt with in Afro Punk. It is done as a documentary/narrative so it’s a blurry line but it focuses on this kid AJ Talib that is a black guy who is involved in the New York rock and roll scene. He’s just more comfortable hanging around white rocker kids than he is hanging around black people from Bedstye which is where he grew up. The

New report says most Hollywood writers still white & male

Read about it at The Hollywood Reporter . This bit of news doesn't affect DIY/real indie filmmakers but I thought I'd post the link in case this blog is read by minority and or female screenwriters who want Hollywood work. - Sujewa

Another well written review of Hannah Takes the Stairs, from ShortEnd Magazine

In this latest conversation that we are having right now at several places on the web re: internet based film criticism & review (here, at Anthony Kaufman's blog , also at The Chutry Experiment , UPDATE: also at Doc It Out and All These Wonderful Things ) one of the ideas that has arisen is that it might help an audience member experience a movie better if he or she knew what the intentions of the director are/where the director is coming from or what they might be attempting to do or say with a film. This review of Hannah Takes the Stairs at ShortEnd Magazine takes the time to think about some of those things, and to look beyond the surface of the movie a little. When dealing with art (specially film art/entertainment) it is easy to say that the movie made no sense or it sucked or the filmmaker failed and move on, but I think the audience is better served by deeper contemplation & analysis of the work by reviewers. Regular audience members (people who are not critics or

Mysterious ways of Jacques Rivette

I have not yet seen any movies by Rivette, but I just read a list of his movies & some of them sound very interesting, need to check them out. Rivette is credited as director on 31 movies, with their dates of release ranging from 1949 to 2007, at this IMDB page . This International Herald Tribune article from February of this year was, for me, a good introduction to the filmmaker. Here is the first paragraph from the article: "Jacques Rivette's movies, like the legendary 12- hour "Out 1" (1971), have heroes who seem to belong to secret societies, characters as enigmatic as their quests: they skate out of control and bump each other in play, or treachery." Read the rest of the article here . - Sujewa

On The Road movie update

Matt Dentler reports from a University of Texas event featuring Francis Ford Coppola : " He [Coppola] said the realization of a planned adaptation of Jack Kerouac's On the Road (which he is set to produce and Walter Salles will direct) will entirely depend on who is cast in the lead roles." Read the full entry here , some interesting stuff re: Coppola's new film Youth Without Youth there. - Sujewa i think i can file this post under the Beats & Film Blog-A-Thon

Todd Verow's cellphone movie Hooks To The Left

Don't know much about it, but here is pretty much all I know re: Todd Verow's new/recent cellphone camera shot movie Hooks To The Left, from the Bangor Films site: " HOOKS TO THE LEFT : " of the most interesting cinematic experiments of the year: Director Todd Verow filmed a auto-biographic travel diary with the camera of a Nokia cellphone ... The result is a mysterious, deeply personal and fascinating masterwork of no-budget film - and proof that creating film art has nothing to do with money..." Goon Magazine " Anyone who reads German, follow the links & check out the article. And let me know if there is an English translation around. - Sujewa

The Huffington Post says Ed Burns's new movie Purple Violets is good

Well, their exact words are: "The film itself was funny, smart, and shows New York at her finest." From an interview with Burns , read it here . Thanks GreenCine Daily for the link. I've enjoyed, to various degrees, pretty much all of the Burns films I've seen (i think that's all of them except Ash Wednesday ). Looking forward to checking out Purple Violets. - Sujewa

ON for '07: DNO distribution, start of 10/30 project. OFF for '07: KRIFF

ON for '07: * Date Number One distribution coming up: - party to celebrate the 1 year anniversary of the World Premiere of DNO (5/13/06) on May 12 (next Sat!), an event for cast & crew & significant others & close friends - DVDs will be available for sale from Wild Diner Store starting on May 13 - 1 week run in Kensington , MD: July 12 - 18 - lots more screenings ! info. coming soon ** Start of the 10/30 (making & releasing 10 features in 30 months) project - shoot feature 1 - working title: Filmmaking For The Poor (FFTP), starting in August, complete editing & start distribution in October/before November :: OFF for '07: KRIFF It is possible to shoot a film part time & also distribute another film PT, while maintaining a FT day job, but I think it would be difficult to produce a film festival while working a FT job and while producing and distributing features. So, The Kensington Real Independent Film Festival (KRIFF) will have to wait

on gun-weilding hobos & arty films

this Salon article was a delight to read. extremely well written. about SXSW '07. - Sujewa

Will Spider Man 3 have a bigger opening weekend than Aquaman?

:) Yeah, the joke is old now (although, I just saw that episode of Entourage for the second time a few days ago), sorry, could not resist. - Sujewa

Oh Kay, f-i-n-a-l-l-y found a well written review of Hannah Takes the Stairs, over at Cinematical

Not that Swanberg's new movie needs any more blog attention (it's gotten quite a bit of blog & other press mentions since its premiere at SXSW in March) but, to sort of wrap up a topic I opened with this post/frustrated rant earlier today, I finally found a more or less traditional movie review of Hannah Takes the Stairs that talks about the movie in a way that provides enough & a right mix of information and opinion that helps me decide, as an audience member, whether I want to check out the movie or not. The review is at Cinematical , written by Jette Kernion. Here is a paragraph: "Hannah ( Greta Gerwig ) seems to be drifting through life. She has a boyfriend, Mike ( Mark Duplass ) whom she seems to like, but suddenly breaks up with him because "he's the funny one. I want to be the funny one." She works for a production company of some sort -- I never quite understood what was going on over there -- with a pair of guys, Paul ( Andrew Bujalski ) and

This is no way to write a movie review

Cynthia Rockwell's "review" of Hannah Takes The Stairs is depressing not because she didn't like the movie but because after reading the entire thing, 6 small to medium sized paragraphs, I can't figure out the following: the plot of the movie or the situation or roughly what happens for 70 - 90 minutes, the main characters & any significant minor characters, who plays the characters, ideas that may have been expressed in the movie, similar ideas and situations that may have been explored in other movies or other art/entertainment and how those compare with the film being reviewed, the reviewer's opinion of the technical craftsmanship of the movie, how real life compares to the world being depicted in the movie. At the very least I would like to learn a few of those things about a movie from a review. (and yes, Rockwell does consider her post re: Hannah a review, as noted here , not just a blog entry reflecting on the lack of female participation in indie

Spidey goes evil and his suit turns black. Hmmmm.

Yes, perhaps just a coincidence, 'cause there are only a couple of colors to depict a character's transformation to evil: black or green or red mostly, maybe even purple. But, the mega movie Spider Man 3 (which i will be seeing next weekend) exists in American history and in this same body of ideas, in the same society we have a history of casually identifying African-Americans and many other non-European/non-"white" people with the color black and also attributing negative human qualities to those people. So, given this history, is it somewhat insensitive to use a black suit to symbolize Spidey's turn towards the dark side? Probably. Specially when there doesn't seem to be any African-American or other dark skinned characters in heroic & positive & significant/major roles in Spidey 3? Yup, probably. But I guess the blame should go to the comic book, since Venom has always been depicted in that medium the way he is being depicted in Spidey 3. Didn'

Amir Motlagh to direct feature Micro this summer :: Filmography & other work

CA based (i think somewhere near LA) talented & prolific DIY indie filmmaker/musician/actor Amir Motlagh (directed shorts Still Lover, My Break Ups into a Million Pieces, plays in the band Shanks and the Dreamers , stars in his & other's movies; see below for a longer list of work) is currently editing his first feature Whale. Amir also recently announced that he will be directing a new feature this year; a micro-budget feature called Micro - a comedy about a filmmaker who is making an ultra-low budget feature. I like movies about making movies, and I like most of Amir's movies that I've seen, so I am looking forward to checking out Micro. I may have a tiny role to play in making Micro; will have more on that in early June. Check out Amir's blog for updates on his projects. I interviewed Amir in '05, read that interview here . Read a more recent interview with Amir, from '06, here . And here's that list of Amir's work that I mentioned on p

In Search of a Midnight Kiss sounds interesting

Because of this review , I definitely want to see it. In Search of a Midnight Kiss ( MySpace ) sounds like a well/interestingly shot (although i hate to use the term) "slacker" comedy/comedy-drama/maybe even a little bit of romantic comedy. Here is a description of the story from Kiss's MySpace page : "Wilson (Scoot McNairy), a twenty-nine-year old guy who has just had the worst year of his life, is new to Los Angeles, has no date, no concrete plans and every intention of locking the doors and forgetting the last year ever happened. That is until his best friend, Jacob (Brian McGuire), browbeats him into posting a personal ad on Craig's List. When Vivian (Sara Simmonds), a strong-willed woman hell bent on being with the right guy at the stroke of midnight responds, a chaotic, sometimes hilarious, sometimes touching journey through the black and white streets of L.A. begins. In the waning hours of the year, emotional vulnerability and bitterly honest humor seem

Getting Straight sounds interesting

i think i am about to enter a 70's stories phase in movie watching. saw 1/2 of a flick about the Watergate scandal a couple of nights ago on TV, looked very interesting, it is on my list to watch. also, Getting Straight sounds very interesting, read about it here . - sujewa

Interview with the stars of The Secret Society For SLOW ROMANCE - 9.7.20

Filmmaker Brandon David Wilson interview - On Covid19, Sepulveda movie, the future, growing up in LA

The Amazing Dan Mirvish! - Making indie movies, from Hollywood - an inspiring discussion