Showing posts from December, 2007

Funny or DIE, MySpaceTV, YouTube image & audio playback quality comparison

So I took my short "Magnus & The Air Quotes Woman" from a DVD, turned it into an MPEG file (stumbled through that process, don't really know too much about it yet), and then uploaded it to Funny or DIE, MySpaceTV, & YouTube. On this one, the audio was reproduced best on Funny or DIE. The image was reproduced best on MySpaceTV I think. And YouTube was not as impressive as either of the first two. I am sure I bear a lot of responsibility for the quality outcome or perhaps I can improve audio & video playback quality on future clips by learning more about compression, codecs, etc. But for the Magnus short, my favorite for playback quality is the Funny or DIE version. Check all three out below & see which site produced the best playback quality for the short: @ Funny or DIE: Magnus & The Air Quotes Woman on @ MySpaceTV: Magnus and The Air Quotes Woman Add to My Profile | More Videos @ YouTube: - Sujewa

Desperation (a dating video), from Funny or DIE

I thought this video was funny, and sad, which is of course the best kind of funny (well, maybe not the best, but one of the more interesting kinds of funny). Check it out: Desperation (a dating video) on

Breaking up with weird people is hard to do; short film "Magnus & The Air Quotes Woman"

Magnus & The Air Quotes Woman on And the official description: "A man threatens to break up with his girlfriend if she does not change an annoying habit. Starring Christine D. Lee and Rob Morris. Written & Directed by Sujewa Ekanayake. Sound: Fritz Flad. In 2006 & early 2007 this story was a part of the feature Date Number One , now it is a separate short. Release date: 12/29/07. Running time: 3 minutes+ Copyright 2006 - 2007 Sujewa Ekanayake/Wild Diner Films." Happy holidays & happy new year all!!! hope ya enjoy the short. :: Related: "Magnus & The Air Quotes Woman" at YouTube :: - Sujewa

New book - Punk Is Dead: Punk Is Everything!

Heard about it at the Dischord site . Here is a description of the book: "The long awaited follow-up to the 1999 bestseller Fucked Up + Photocopied , Punk Is Dead: Punk Is Everything! exposes the lasting impact of Punk on visual culture worldwide. Hundreds of flyers, photos, set lists, vintage fashions and other ephemera from all of your favorite bands are jammed into this menacing volume. Punk is Dead is massive, featuring a wide spectrum of bands that initially catalyzed the scene, and later fueled its global expansion. Contributing writers such as Wayne Kramer, Arturo Vega, Kid Congo, David Yow, Annie Anxiety, Duane Peters, Marc McCoy, Tony Alva, Don Bolles, Trudie and Pat Smear, flesh out the visual assault. This long awaited follow-up to the highly influential bestselling book Fucked Up + Photocopied - Instant Art of the Punk Rock Movement also features hard hitting interviews with Ian MacKaye, one of the most respected voices of the DIY music underground, and Malcolm McLar

Half-Cocked & Radiation for only $15!

I think I am going to have to spend some of my x-mas/holiday gift cards on these artifacts of 90's indie rock glory . Check out this review of Half-Cocked at, of all places, Variety ! A little bit from the Variety review : "Pic's strong suit is an authenticity unique among films dealing with the slacker and '90s college-radio milieu. Cast with non-actors who play in indie bands and shot on the Southeastern club circuit, it starts out seeming almost like a modern WPA docuabout the young and disaffected in Louisville, Ky., with its p.o.v. thoroughly that of the grungy subjects. Yet it also evinces a crucial measure of ironic distance, which emerges in the tale's ruefully witty unfolding." Get the DVD, & watch a clip, here . - Sujewa

MySpace page for Lars Von Trier produced film All About Anna

Yes, Dogme 95 movies are not the only kind that Von Trier makes. This one is probably of interest to thousands of dudes (and some ladies no doubt) who have never heard of, or care about, Danish film or the Dogme manifesto. Read a little bit about Von Trier's other filmmaking career here , if ya haven't heard about it already. - Sujewa

David Hudson's '02 article about potential of straight-to-DVD for indies still has valid points

In the fast moving digital age indie film world 2002 was a looong time ago, but as I was researching the topic of straight-to-DVD and its possible new & underdeveloped uses for real indie filmmakers, I came upon this '02 article by David "GreenCine Daily" Hudson aka everyone's favorite film blogger. Though some of the things he mentions are no longer questions or possibilities, the following observation caught my eye: "Some argue that without theatrical release, a film won't get reviewed and that without that free but vital publicity, it doesn't stand a chance. But very, very few electronic games are ever reviewed by the New York Times. And yet the gaming industry is bigger than the movie industry. Gamers know where to go for their new[*] and reviews. What's more: games don't get theatrical release." [*david probably meant "news" there] Read the rest of David's article here . Yes, it would make sense to look at the electr

Takashi Miike and "straight to DVD" filmmaking discussion at a Criterion Forum

Interesting discussion at a Criterion Forum about how one Japanese director has made & released quality movies using the "straight-to-DVD" production & release method/avenue. Over here in the US straight-to-DVD has generally been a wasteland (or is considered as such by many mainstream consumers, as far as I can tell), but perhaps real indie filmmakers with good movies can use that method of release in a profitable way (no theatrical release expenses, plus there may be other benefits - like greater independence from relying on festivals & critics/reviewers/bloggers for justifying the existence of a film in the market place; as in - if it is already available on DVD for purchase & viewing, then sales figures & the audience response can determine if more money & time needs to be/can be invested in a given title for further exposure & profit/sales, regardless of what fest programmers or critics think about, or not think about, the movie). Also, as on

Greg "Smiley Face" Araki interview at The Reeler

Check out the interview here . I liked this statement by Araki: "Because I also edit my movies and am really involved in the color timing, I see every movie I make literally 500 or a thousand times, and if I ever made a movie only because I was getting paid I don't think I could take it. You have to love it; it has to be something that's really personal to you that you love." The rest here . - Sujewa

Renew Media's interview with Breakthrough Distribution's Jeff Rosen

Check it out here . Here is a little bit from the introduction to the interview: "And in today’s virtual world, friends, fans and consumers are, more times than not, the same thing. To help harness that and to increase the ability of filmmakers to efficiently reach core audiences, Breakthrough Distribution , in conjunction with several partners, is building a cooperative database which will be called Indiefanbase. The site will attempt to aggregate and mine the fanbases of individual filmmakers, publishers and nonprofits to help market and target creative content and products. I spoke with Jeff Rosen, one of the four team members that run Breakthrough, about the enormous potential of the Internet and what the distribution company has in store for the near future." And here again is the interview link . Might be a useful thing to read for indie filmmakers. - Sujewa

Great essay about how one man survived the 70's with the help of Robert Altman & Woody Allen movies

Check out the long, excellent essay " Alone at the movies; My days in the dark with Robert Altman and Woody Allen " by Mark Edmundson at The American Scholar (thanks GreenCine Daily for the link). Here is a paragraph from it: "Might not this be a little like my own condition, or at least a condition I could aspire to? I could, maybe, give up questing for big and exciting things (Those connections! Those parties! That job!) and stop resenting the people who enjoyed them. I could amble and loaf and look around and perhaps store up a few impressions. I was low on cash most of the time, sure, but I had enough to get by. What I had in excess was what Altman and his camera seemed to have, time—time and a marvelous place to spend it, Manhattan, the greatest paradise for walkers and loiterers and trippers and ramblers ever created. Looking around—affectionately, forgivingly, gently—turned out not to be a half bad way of expanding the day. In this particular ambling m

"Smiley Face" gets a lot of Nathan Lee/Village Voice luv

Critic Nathan Lee at the Village Voice says Greg Araki's new feature Smiley Face is "an eleventh-hour candidate for the funniest movie of 2007". Read the whole review here (thanks GreenCine Daily for the link!). And here's a bit more from the Lee/Voice review: "Confused? Just ride, man: Points B–Y will take Jane, aspiring actress, from an audition that ends with her offering to sell the casting agent a baggie to having a dentist-office freakout in the company of an ├╝ber-dork who might be able to lend her the cash to pay the dealer and give her a ride to the 33rd Annual Venice Hemp Festival. Visiting the house of a former professor in Marxist studies, she'll inadvertently get her hands on an original copy of The Communist Manifesto (and promptly daydream the glorious results of an eBay auction) and later head to a pork-processing plant in the middle of nowhere, and so on and so forth with maximum silliness, deft narrative drive, and dialogue of sust

Got the lead for "Bears", flick will be shot in Atlanta area :: DNO update

The main ideas for my new "no budget" (under $1K, at least that's the budget plan now :) feature "Bears" (working title, more on the flick here ) came from hanging out with an old friend of mine - Brian Papin - in the DC area for a couple of years in the late 90's & early '00s. We had some very interesting conversations/arguments about the world, history, individual abilities & responsibilities, as well as a lot of whacked out funny conversations, and some of those ideas & events should work their way into the movie. Brian is slated to play the lead in the flick as of now. I am going to play a supporting role (didn't know I acted did ya? :) Brian lives in the Atlanta area & has many daily/weekly responsibilities (house! jobs! kids!), so I will have to go down to Atlanta for a couple of weeks & shoot the flick there, since it will be difficult for Brian to come down (or is it up?) to DC for an extended period of time. We are a

Tom Waits - Silent Night & Christmas card...

and now, a word from your local messiah

Flakes was kind of like Reality Bites

Well, satisfied my curiosity about Flakes by watching it; $5.99 & a couple of hours were not horribly wasted. Flakes is a well made movie, but I didn't really enjoy it, but then again watching it was not a painful experience. There are some interesting details in it, I think maybe people who really liked Reality Bites would enjoy Flakes. Flakes is like Reality Bites, except a lot less interesting, but I still think Bites fans might enjoy Flakes. - Sujewa

Must watch Flakes

Looks like f-i-n-a-l-l-y the InDigEnt flick Flakes is available to see (or is coming very soon, can't tell), from IFC First Take . Flakes is playing at the IFC Center in NYC until tomorrow (last day 12/25). Read about the indie cereal store comedy at The House Next Door (not a flattering review, but am gonna watch that thing anyway :), 'cause i likes me some indigent moovies, & it was directed by Michael Lehman, the dude who directed Heathers) Here is a synopsis of Flakes from the InDigEnt site : " FLAKES Directed by: Michael Lehmann Written by: Chris Poche, Karey Kirkpatrick Produced by: Mark Ross, Gary Winick, Jake Abraham, Karey Kirkpatrick Starring: Aaron Stanford, Zooey Deschanel, Keir O'Donnell, Ryan Donowho, Frank Wood, Izabella Miko and Christopher Lloyd FLAKES centers on the mercurial relationship of aspiring rock musician Neal Downs (Stanford), who manages the cereal bar, and Miss Pussy Katz (Deschanel), creator of radically-themed art clothing

A new Straight-to-DVD US indie film movement should be coming very soon :: Micheal Atkinson's top 15 '07 Straight-to-DVD titles

Using video for shooting feature films was looked down on & laughed at by many in the industry & many dreaming of getting into the industry for decades, & then Dogme 95 came along in the late 1990's & changed that paradigm. Self-distribution was, for a long time, the refuge of the "unworthy" in the film world, and then a whole lot of self-distribution activity in the 2005 - 2007 period, undertaken by real indie, indiewood, & Hollywood filmmakers, with the help of some indiewood companies in some cases, made self-distribution cool & in some cases the preferred route for theatrical exhibition. As far as I recall, day & date type release programs from Landmark & IFC were received not-too-enthusiastically at first by many sectors of the US film industry. About a year and some months later, many experts & professional observers are openly praising the value of such release strategies for certain titles. And I think I read somewhere that IF

maybe little dissolves will do the trick on DNO :: January '08 $0 - $1K feature project: "Bears"

Little Dissolves The final version of Date Number One has been done for a while, but I am still iffy about the many jump cuts. I like the jump cuts, do not want to replace them with traditional/match cuts, but maybe the weirdness can be smoothed over (without totally losing the weirdness) a tiny bit by turning the jump cuts into little, fast dissolves, will have to try it out tonight. :: "Bears" (working title) 1. I think bears are funny. The actual animal and many ideas related to the animal. 2. I want to try to shoot a new feature in January '08. 3. I don't want to spend a lot of money on this feature because that would mean more debt. Debt is bad. 4. I think I can keep the budget under $1K (meaning as close to $0 as possible) & still create a very entertaining & loopy comedy with beautiful videography & sound. 5. Nothing more on "Bears" until the movie is done. Also no more on Date Number One until the DVD is ready for sale

"Whale" is cut & other news from Amir Motlagh

Over at his blog Amir sayz : "So, the film known as “ whale ” is officially cut. Just finished picture lock (although, you never really know). It is now in sound design. I am pleased. It is what i always wanted it it become. A trailer should be up very shortly. Whats the film about? Let me see real. OK… ” An Iranian American writer quickly approaching 30 returns back to his mothers house in the suburbs of Irvine California, unexpectedly, with a broken heart, a never ending manuscript and a few telephone numbers from his old life.” " Read more here . Congrats on the progress Mr. Amir. Looking forward to checking out the new movies. - Sujewa

David Lowery is going to Park City with A Catalog Of Anticipations

I haven't visited David Lowery's blog in a while, so I just discovered that one of the latest news items over there is that David will be attending the upcoming Slamdance film fest with his short A Catalog Of Anticipations. Congrats Mr. Lowery, have fun in Utah. Read more about it here . - Sujewa

Giant Robot #51 has an article on Jon Moritsugu and a 300 lb. deer

I was at Silver Spring Borders today trying to spend a gift certificate on Criterion's recent release of Godard's Breathless (no luck there, sold out), & I happened to look at the latest issue of Giant Robot magazine (the one with the drawing of a girl on the cover), & in it found an article about indie/DIY filmmaker Jon Moritsugu 's recent encounter with a 300 lb. deer. Find the magazine & check it out if you are a Moritsugu fan, might be fun. I don't see a link to the story on the GR site , so maybe it is not on line. & of course Merry Christmas & Happy Holiday to all! - Sujewa

Lots of really weird stuff going on underneath the skin of I Am Legend

[ Warning: do not read this post if you have not seen I Am Legend yet. Gives away the ending & major story points. ] A beautiful thing about Hollywood craftsmanship is that it can do a pretty good job of hiding several not-very-compatible ideas inside one movie and making it feel almost natural. I just watched almost all of I Am Legend (came in right before the main title, when the Neville character is hunting dear with his car), of course I need to watch the entire movie again, but so far I think the story might have been better if Anna & her son characters were not introduced, and Neville survives his nighttime run in with the vampire creatures at the docks, and then goes on to discover the cure while the vampires are attacking him in the lab, then uses the cure to save the infected New Yorkers and of course everyone else on the planet. Was it necessary for Smith's character to kill himself when he did? I don't think so. Being an experienced military man who has

The Hub - video for human rights

Read all about The Hub at this Filmmaker mag blog post . And here's a welcome note from The Hub : " Welcome to the beta of the Hub for human rights media and action! The Hub is a place for you to find and upload human rights-related media, and to take action on what you see. Anytime you need further assistance, just visit our Help Center . We hope you'll take the time to explore the Hub - and we welcome your feedback, via the website or via our blog ." More here . - Sujewa

Richard Kern interview at Film Threat

I guess I missed this one when it first came out in September. Here's the interview . And here's a segment: " (FT) What’s the best negative reaction or opinion to your film work you ever provoked? (RC) During the late 80’s in Berlin, a Feminist group took over the small cinema that was screening “Fingered,” robbed the patrons and poured paint on the projectors as a protest against the films. These idiots obviously had never seen the film cause the film they destroyed was not mine but the co-bill. In another German college town the school shut down the screening. We moved it to a secret location but again hooded feminist showed up and threw paint at the screen. This was in the early 90’s. “Fingered” was selected for the Berlin film festival in 86 or 87. When I went up to introduce the film, I got booed. I introduced the film this way: “This film was made as a response to people like you – FUCK YOU!” while giving the audience the finger. This stunt got the film on the fr

D.I.Y. design guide

It's a book and a website . The website has supplemental material or in some cases brief introductions to the topics, and it's free. The book is $19.95 and can be purchased here . Made by people from MICA . - Sujewa

How to create your own drive-in movie theater

Article at Popular Mechanics . - Sujewa

Build your own video projector

(yeah, even though I said I was done with the blogging for '07, this item just had to be blogged) Thinking about building your own video projector? (they are however pretty cheap now, usually $500 or so on the low end, though i did see one for $290 recently) If so, check out the DIY Projector Company website . All manner of instructions, supplies and also theory there. - Sujewa

'07 OK, not as good as '06, need to do more in '08

We've got about 10 days left to go on this year, and there is a lot of holiday stuff coming up, so I think I'll make this my final post for '07. '07 was an interesting year; did a one week run of Date Number One , & got a lot of blogging done. I did more, film wise, in '06, so perhaps in '08 I can be more productive than in '07 - more distribution & filmmaking work. As far as noteworthy moments in the greater indie/DIY film world, I think this year was kind of not that eventful, certainly not as much as '06. Yes, we had more press for that "indie film movement*" or bloggers & film fest people & small distribs promoting films by their friends featuring their friends (although, the IFC center fest featuring those films was impressive for the amount of press it was able to get, and it was a fun event to attend - met some interesting people), but overall '07 did not feel very impressive when it came to Great Achievements In Re

movie baby

From the P.O.V. interview w/ Jay Rosenblatt re: his movie "I Used to be a Filmmaker": "P.O.V.: What is this film about? Jay Rosenblatt: "I Used to be a Filmmaker" tracks the development of my daughter from birth, from 10 minutes old to approximately 18 months, and it also shows the development of our father-daughter relationship. It's about parental love, about my heart opening and about how a relationship develops with a new being. What separates it from just a home movie is that each segment is preceded by a filmmaking term, often used ironically." Read the rest here , sounds interesting. - Sujewa

Baltimore movie theaters with John Waters

At FilmInFocus , John Waters talks about Baltimore movie theaters. - Sujewa

Man vs. Cold/Fever/Whatever, 12 Hours of Sleep, Happy Ending '07

Have not blogged much recently because I was down with a cold/fever/whatever for like, on and off, about 10 days. Finally that's over I think, woke up today after sleeping for 12 hours straight and am feeling more or less fine. Even though I was sick, went ahead with a holiday party at my new apt; we called it Happy Ending '07 - happened on Sat 12/15. Among other activities; Open Water 2, Night On Earth, Mystery Train, and Living In Oblivion were screened on a wall (nice gigantic image, i need to buy me a projector) and all the Kensingtonians (and 1 Rockvillian) who attended had a good time. Back to regular blogging & not finishing up the Date Number One DVD tomorrow (although, I plan on getting it done very, very soon - definitely before this month is out) :). Still need to unpack fully from the move to the new apt. Winter is kind of slow, so I am sure I'll get these lingering projects done while sipping some apple cider in the coming days. Oh, and received a bu

Helmut, Yo Yo, Angela & A Ride to Brooklyn

Received Criterion's release of Night On Earth as a birthday gift this week; that movie is still very funny & good - & the extras on the DVD are nice (of course more would have been better :), liked the essays a lot). Here's a clip from one of the funniest segments of Night, found on YouTube: Buy the DVD here (or get someone to get it for you as a holiday gift, it'll probably be a nice thing to have around). - Sujewa

Rick Schmidt interview at Netribution

This interview may be a little old (can't see a date on it, but it does refer to Schmidt's Dogme 95 movie "Chetzemoka's Curse" - a very good DV film by the way, check it out ), still a good read. Here's the interview . Here's a segment: " Could you outline your history in the film industry? My history "in the film industry" began in 1970 when I shot my first video that became transferred to 16MM and edited to become a short called "The Legal Operation." From there I became roommates with director Wayne Wang (who then wasn't the director of The Joy Luck Club or Smoke of course...just a graduate student in film). In 1973 we co-directed our first feature together, entitled A MAN, A WOMAN, AND A KILLER, which and ended up winning Director's Choice award at the Ann Arbor Film Festival. With that movie I won a $10,000 grant from the American Film Institute (AFI) to make another feature, Showboat 1988-the remake, completing it

Cinematographer Ellen Kuras interview re: Personal Velocity

I want some good looking images in my next movie, so I am digging up DV & or HD/HDV movies that look very good, in order to get some ideas about various image possibilities. Some of these movies have been shot by Ellen Kuras. Here is an interview with Kuras , from '02, at indieWIRE, re: shooting Personal Velocity. A segment: "iW: What attracted you to work on a project like "Personal Velocity"? Kuras: I was very interested in working on the film because it was a whole different format; almost like three short stories. Rebecca Miller [the writer/director] and I worked together on "Angela" and she is such a pleasure to work with. We have a very interesting symbiotic relationship because we are able to see into each other's heads and speak and work on different planes that are not so literal. Also, a lot of the same crew from "Angela" were interested in working on "Personal Velocity" and we were really excited about getting the ga

old time relijun plot points: buddha vs. mara, jesus vs. the devil

jesus vs. the devil the buddha vs. mara some religious art to get you going on this monday morning. when you take two of the most oldest & popular stories on this planet - the journey of prince gotama to buddha-hood & the journey of jesus to christ-hood (is that even a word?, i think so :), you come across two very important "plot points"; that of the buddha resisting temptations offered to him by the demon mara, and jesus resisting temptations offered to him by the devil. so what do we have - two conflicted men resisting evil - a great thing to put in your next screenplay (not specifically those two guys & their temptations, but a character resisting some awesome temptations at possibly great cost to self); it is bound to be popular because it is already a very popular element of human mythology (probably because such actions are necessary for survival in any type of a positive sense - for communities, individuals and organizations). find out more about t

Tracey Moffatt, Nice Coloured Girls

Get an introduction to Australian artist/filmmaker Tracey Moffatt at this wikipedia page . Sense of Cinema has an analysis of Moffatt's film Nice Coloured Girls . A segment: "The film confronts orthodox histories of colonial race and gender relations. The use of colonial documents (through the voice-over of Lieutenant Bradley's diaries) recalls the arrival of the First Fleet and the beginning of dispossession for black Australians. The relationship between black women and white men in the film is romantic and paternal (characteristic of early relations but not of contemporary ones) and this serves to illustrate both the naivety and self-deception of the writers of the colonial documents and the astuteness of the women. The colonists are shown to be naive because they believe the women need protection but the women, in fact, have a clear understanding of how interracial relations work and how to manipulate the situation to their advantage to get what they want. The depic

Scott Rudin, Kathleen Kennedy, William Horberg & several well received indiewood movies

There's a Variety article on the important role the producers played in making No Country for Old Men, The Kite Runner & several other well received indiewood movies. Read it here . - Sujewa

Unraveling Independent Film Distribution

Check out notes from the American Cinamatheque Panel - Unraveling Independent Film Distribution at the Film Panel Notetaker. Here's how it starts: " Unraveling Independent Film Distribution American Cinematheque - Aero Theatre Los Angeles December 4, 2007 Panelists: (BA) Bob Aaronson (Red Envelope Entertainment (REE), a Netflix Company) (GG) Gary Garfinkel (Senior Vice President - Content Strategy & Acquisition, Showtime Networks ) (BS) Barry Schuler (Managing Director, DFJ Growth, Former Chairman & CEO, AOL, Inc.) (DS) David Shultz (President, Vitagraph Films LLC (Theatrical) (TS) Ted Sarandos (Chief Content Officer, Netflix ) (MC) Mike McClellan (VP Film Buyer for Landmark Theaters Corp) Moderator: (MG) Margot Gerber ( American Cinematheque PR Director) (MG) How do you decide which festivals to attend, what you watch and what you distribute? (GG) – I attend Sundance, Toronto, Cannes, and AFM primarily. Showtime is generally more likely to buy from AF

New York Underground Film Festival regular deadline in 8 days

According to the NYUFF site , the regular deadline is December 15. Final deadline is January 15. Festival happens April 2 - 8 in the city that invented independent film. A little bit about the fest, from a Withoutabox e-mail that I received today: " NYUFF has been a great launching pad for its well-regarded alumni, who continue to produce and submit more films to the festival. Some notable Underground alumni include Sam Green and Bill Siegel of THE WEATHER UNDERGROUND; Michael Galinsky and Suki Hawley of HALF COCKED, RADIATION, and HORNS AND HALOS; James Fotopoulos of MIGRATING FORMS, and BACK AGAINST THE WALL; and George Kuchar of HOLD ME WHILE I'M NAKED." Find out more about the fest here . - Sujewa

Youth Without Youth - symbols & motifs, interview with Coppola

Both at Emanuel Levy's site: Youth Without Youth - Symbols & Motifs Interview with Coppola - Sujewa

Yeah, looks like I will have to read Youth Without Youth before watching the movie & then repeat to get it

While working at the bookstore - the day job - I've leisurely shelved (took a while to leaf through the books before shelving them) books by Mircea Eliade and even bought a couple of books by him; dude was deeply into philosophy, linguistics, and religion (even though I have not re-read it in at least three years, I still remember an interpretation of the Buddhist concept of Nirvana by Eliade - it talked about being able to step outside of experiencing the ordinary flow of time in a very significant way; granted, I do not clearly know what that means, but it was memorable because most books on Buddhism do not analyze or talk about exactly what happened during the nirvana experience). Since, as a novelist, Eliade (read bio below) was most likely no hack - a writer pulling together a bunch of exotic ideas in order to merely entertain - I am thinking that maybe there are some valuable ideas behind the very complex story of Coppola's movie version of Eliade's book Youth Withou

Award winning new indie film DIRTY LAUNDRY opens in LA & NYC on December 7

Maurice Jamal's award winning indie film (the description of which reminds me a little of Jim Jarmusch's Broken Flowers) Dirty Laundry opens for theatrical play this Friday December 7 in NYC & LA. Here's the screening info: Los Angeles Mann Beverly Center Cinemas (Inside Beverly Center) 8522 Beverly Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90038 New York Clearview Chelsea Theater West 23rd Street (between 7th & 8th) New York, NY 10011 Dirty Laundry synopsis from IMDB : "A modern-day prodigal son story with a twist. It follows Patrick, a magazine writer, who seems to have the "perfect life," until one day, there is a knock at the door. On the other side stands a secret that brings him face to face with the traditional southern family he hasn't seen in over 10 years." A little bit more about the movie from a comment at IMDB : "a class-conscious New York-based magazine writer whose discovery of a ten-year old son leads him back to the family he

Humanists help bring "Fields of Fuel" to Sundance '08 :: Fuel site

About the Sundance '08 selected doc " Fields of Fuel ", from the American Humanist Association press release: " "Fields of Fuel" is a 90 minute documentary that was filmed over the past 12 years in 5 countries by a team of scientists and filmmakers lead by Tickell, who is an alternative energy activist and humanist. The film explores fossil fuel production and its impacts and provides innovative, ethical and practical solutions. Most importantly, it empowers individuals to change their own energy use as well as the energy use of their communities. The film will be seen in theaters across the nation. A seven-month-long 50-city Community Action Campaign will bring the film to theaters, town halls, events and schools across the country, accompanied by a professional staff of scientists and educators. "Fields of Fuel" is one of only 15 documentary films that were accepted for the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. 3,000 films were submitted to the Festiv

A gi-normous book: 30,000 Years of Art

Curious about art? Ya might want to check out the book 30,000 Years of Art . A description of the book from the Amazon page linked to above: "30,000 YEARS OF ART: THE STORY OF HUMAN CREATIVITY ACROSS TIME AND SPACE is the follow-up to Phaidon's phenomenally successful THE ART BOOK. This is an accessible, fun and informative compendium of world art that offers a fresh perspective on the whole of art history, from 28,000 BC to the present day. It debunks art historical classifications and hierarchies by presenting 1,000 masterworks of art in simple chronological order, demonstrating what was being created all over the globe at the same time. Only here can you find the Venus de Milo next to a mural from the Mayan civilization, or Velazquez' Las Meninas next to a painting from the Chinese Ming Dynasty, an Indian jade wine cup, a ritual Nepalese plaque, a Korean portrait, and Vermeer's Milkmaid. Each work has been chosen for its unique place in the history of art, and as

Drew a movie poster :: Need to screen DNO in Austin, LA, San Francisco in '08 :: DVDs

Got hold of a gigantic/poster size piece of drawing paper last night & drew a poster for Date Number One . It looks fun. I need to pick up some markers & color it in, and whenever I get it scanned, will post it up here. Didn't do any traveling with DNO in '07. So, in '08 I want to show the movie in 3 cities that I didn't get to in the '06 screening travels: Austin, LA, and San Francisco. I had planned on getting to those cities in '06 or '07, didn't happen, so '08 it is - a brand new 365 day period of screening opportunities. If you live in Austin, LA or San Fran & you want to help me put together screenings, let me know . I can display the new hand drawn poster at the next screening. I think I'll be able to come to a final decision on DVD packaging (& actually make some) this weekend, so, maybe by Monday 12/10 I can have DNO DVDs available for sale - f-i-n-n-a-l-l-y (no more bloggin' 'till the DVDs are on sale).

Sri Lankan cricket player breaks world record

Congratulations on an awesome job Sri Lankan cricket team & Muttiah Muralitharan. Read about Muralitharan's achievement that will no doubt have all of Sri Lanka & cricket fans in the sub-continent partyin', here . From the article: "After fittingly breaking the world record for the most career test wickets Monday at Asgiriya Stadium in Kandy, the ground where he created the first of a long list of records as a schoolboy, Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan said he never dreamed of coming this far. Muralitharan fell short in his bid to break the record on Warne's home territory when Sri Lanka toured Australia last month. But the off spinner said it was even better that he achieved the record in his home town." And further down: "The 35-year-old off spinner's achievement on the cricket field has made him a household name in Sri Lanka - and a source of hope and inspiration to a nation battered by decades of civil war. His status as the only Ta

On the bright side, much of the world is at peace

December, the most important month of the holiday season in the US, of the 7th year of the new millenium, is here (or maybe the 6th year of the new 1000 years, based on whether you count 2000 or 2001 as the starting point), and, to me, it looks like that the majority of the people who live on this planet are living in places where there are no wars. By wars I mean large scale fighting; a good example would be battles of WW II, with hundreds of armed participants & much damage to cities and towns. Have the who-knows-for-how-long-now secular & religious projects (kingdoms that used various methods of organization & control go back several thousand years, Buddhism is over 2500 years old, Christianity is over 2000 years old, and the US - the most successful of the secular republics/one with a lot of religious activity nevertheless - is over 200 years old) that aimed, in part, to make nations & the world more peaceful been mostly successful? Looks like it. Here's what I

International Tribal Art & Culture Film Festival in India in 2008 :: IFFTAC-2008 Call for Entries

From a press release that I received today: "VANYA (an enterprise of Deptt of Tribal welfare, Government of Madhya Pradesh) and iiMC(Indian Infotainment Media Corporation) are organising “ International Festival of Films on Tribal Art & Culture 2008”(IFFTAC-2008) at Indore, Madhya Pradesh on 1,2 & 3 Feb 2008. It will be an International event that will bring the best films on Tribal culture and art from all over the world. Mr Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh heads the board of patrons of ifftac-2008. Under the stewardship of Shri Shriram Tiwari as the Festival director, IFFTAC-2008 will showcase films based on the theme of Tribal culture, art, religion, architecture, philosophy, traditions, mythology, history, life-style, food, costumes, jewellery, sports and various aspects associated with them. It will also offer awards and certificates to the participants. There is a competition and any film-maker can enter his/her film. There is no en

Karen "Green Party" Jennings is running for office in Annapolis! :)

I met Karen a couple of years ago at a screening I produced in Kensington, and I knew that she was always interested in making the world a better place, so it is exciting to hear that she is getting very directly involved in politics by running for an office in Annapolis. Check out her letter (most of it at least) to friends & family & support her any way you can if you like her politics & enthusiasm (she's got a website for further info, and the most urgent need seems to be for $500 for mailings): "Dear friends and family, You had to have known that this day would come... I am running for public office! Specifically, I am running for the Annapolis, Maryland City Council in a special election to be held on December 19th. It is a special election because the city council representative for this district has resigned. The Green Party asked me to represent them in the election because I have been active in the community and a lot of people in the district know me.

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