This series on HBO is still the most entertaining look at filmmaking. Directors Kyle and Efram bumble their way through The Battle of Shaker Heights, a coming of age film written by Erica Beeney. The message boards on the PGL site alternate between savaging the participants and glorifying them. It’s great human drama.
The Magdalene Sisters is an exciting new film from Miramax. I was working on a similar script about six years ago about fallen Roman Catholic girls in Ireland and their illegitimate children. Ireland had no form of welfare until very recently so daughters were at the mercy of their parents when they strayed from narrow path.
According to the New York Times movie review, these “bad girls” exiled from their families and communities, often after becoming pregnant out of wedlock, were forced to do slave labor in convent laundries that proliferated in Ireland until recently. The existence of these religious labor camps run by the Sisters of the Magdalene Order came to light only in the 1970′s with the discovery of the unmarked graves of women who lived there. After the scandal broke, the laundries were closed, the last in 1996. Some 30,000 women are thought to have passed through their gates. Go the Movie Trailers at Apple to see this and other movie trailers. Bookmark it!
QUOTE FOR 31 JULY 2003
Edith Wharton (1862 -1937)
“There are two ways of spreading light: To be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”
My dad, Leon, and my grandmother, Frances, two of the lights of my life. At times they were the candle and at times the mirror.
My grandmother, Frances Anderl Greening, was a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse and mother of twelve. She raised her family on a farm in Wisconsin. She lit the way for me to become a teacher. She taught me forgiveness, kindness, patience and generosity. She’s been gone for twenty years and I still think of her often and miss her.
My father was more modest. He only had six children, of whom I was the eldest. He taught in the military but spent most of his life working as a machinist. We had a hobby farm in Chippewa Falls and two of the largest gardens I’ve ever had the pleasure of weeding. I learned about responsibility and commitment from my Dad.
Most of my entries tend to be about digital filmmaking, independent film and/or art. Today, I was feeling nostalgic and grateful for those who showed me the way. It seemed like the time to acknowledge them for their contributions.
QUOTE FOR 30 JULY 2003
Henry Brooks Adams (1838 – 1918)
U.S. Historian, Author, Pulitzer Prize Winner
contributed by Cindy Shievitz
“A teacher affects eternity. He can never tell where his influence stops.”
QUOTE FOR 29 JULY 2003
August Stringberg (1849 – 1912)
Swedish Novelist & Playwright, from his play
A Madman’s Diary (1895)
“I loathe people who keep dogs. They are cowards who haven’t got the guts to bite people themselves.”
We looked at so many gifts for him but settled on a rude and obnoxious t-shirt from our favorite store in Phoenix: Jutenhoops. Some of our other favorites included:
- Save Your Breath. You’ll Need It To Blow Up Your Date Later
- Did You Eat A Bowl of Stupid Today?
- Born To Party. Forced To Work
- I Could Eat a Bowl of Alphabet Soup and S**t Out a Better Conversation Than You
- Beer. Helping Ugly People Get Laid Since 1840.
QUOTE FOR 28 JULY 2003
R. Buckminster Fuller (1895 – 1983)
American Inventor, Architect, Engineer
Inventor of the Geodesic Dome
“When I’m working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I think only how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.”
Abraham Maslow (1908 – 1970)
American Behavorial Psychologist and Theorist
“If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.”
Shot on 24P, Once Upon a Time in Mexico (starring Johnny Depp, Willem Dafoe, Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek) looks to be beautifully shot (if the trailer is any indication of how the film will look).
QUOTE FOR 27 JULY 2003
Marshall McLuhan (1911 – 1980)
Guru of Media Culture
Canadian Author, Educator and Philosopher
“I don’t necessarily agree with everything I say.”
“You wil never be wise if you cannot tolerate or admit your ignorance.”
I was recently introduced to HEM (funny name for a band, don’t you think?) and their CD Rabbit Songs. Sort of a contemporary Mississippi John Hurt or Ralph Stanley. On their website, they have an amazing story about how they found their lead singer, a complete unknown who didn’t even have a demo tape. Use RealPlayer to listen to one of my favorites, Cuckoo.
Speaking of music, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel have interesting websites. Personally, I like Paul Simon’s better (colors, layout, design) although, Garfunkel’s site recently underwent a redesign that is MUCH improved. If you’d like, listen to Paul Simon’s Father and Daughter from The Wild Thornberrys.
QUOTE FOR 26 JULY 2003
Moshe Dayan (1915 – 1981)
Israeli Military Warrior who became a Crusader for Peace
“If you want to make peace, you don’t talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies.”
“You always get the front of the hand along with the back.”
Here’s the contest for you: NYC Midnight Movie Making Madness. The second annual contest has a $10,000 grand prize. Early entry deadline is July 31, 2003.
NYC Midnight Movie Making Madness is a filmmaking competition co-founded by two New York filmmakers, Craig Flamm and Charlie Weisman, determined to take digital filmmaking to new heights and put a spin on the standard film festival. It is currently in its second year.
Every team that enters the competition has the chance to make a movie and advance to the final round held in New York City. Finalists will be chosen from each heat by a panel of judges. All finalists will be awarded $1,000 cash and a chance to compete for the grand prize in the final round of the competition in New York City. They then have 24 hours to write, shoot, edit, and submit a movie based on the information given to them. The audience and a panel of judges vote on the best movie. The team that garners the most votes wins the grand prize of $10,000 cash.
QUOTE FOR 25 JULY 2003
Miguel de Cervantes (1547 – 1616)
“Tell me what company you keep and I’ll tell you what you are.”
“Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.”
QUOTE FOR 24 JULY 2003
Aristotle (384 B.C. – 322 B.C.)
Philosopher and Educator
“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”
What a blast from the past! Earlier this week, I was talking about a game I remembered playing when I was about five. My friend, Peter, and I were discussing documentary film ideas (and his thesis) about the current retro craze. Why, we wondered, do people go to such lengths to find and purchase an old item from their youth when the more current item is (generally) cheaper and (probably) better? I lamented that I could not even find that game, Diver Dan, on Ebay. Peter found it! If you’re looking for some item you treasure and long to re-acquire, try Dantiques. They might have just what you’re looking for (at a price you never thought you’d pay).
As a media arts instructor at Mesa Community College (in the Phoenix metro area), I have had hundreds of amazing students who have gone on to do incredible things. Agent 44 (aka Jake Parker) was in my Photoshop classes (and Jim Garrison’s drawing and life drawing classes; and Cindy Peterson’s watercolor classes). He went on to work for Fox Animation Studios in Phoenix, Phantagram in Los Angeles and now ReelFX in Dallas, Texas. I think his work is incredible. Go check it out and, for Jake’s amusement, buy a Missile Mouse t-shirt. The comic book is great, too. Perhaps we’ll see him (Missile Mouse, not Jake) on the big screen one day.
Another student was Kohl Glass, an esoteric, eclectic, eccentric filmmaker at heart. I had the privilege of helping him to make an award-winning student film, The Promethean. The film is incredible (the website is just bare bones right now). Catch it if you can.
“You are right to demand that an artist engage his work consciously, but you confuse two different things: solving the problem and correctly posing the question.”
National Bridge Champion
“Learn all you can from the mistakes of others. You don’t have time to make them all yourself.”
NASA Team Believed Foam Could Not Damage Space Shuttle. Transcripts released today by NASA show that, during the shuttle mission, the shuttle managers dismissed the possibility that foam insulation could damage Columbia. Results from the July 7 test of foam insulation striking the reinforced carbon carbon panels demonstrated the fatal fallacy of that belief. For full report information, visit the Columbia Accident Investigation Board website. Most disheartening are reports that the crew might have been saved had shuttle managers taken that possibility seriously and worked the problem. Then, in twenty years, we’d be watching Columbia 28 just as we watched Apollo 13 a few years ago.