Saturday, January 29, 2011
This is a fascinating, heartbreaking, and socially imperative documentary currently under production - by Andy Myers, a filmmaker based out of UNCW Film Studies (the same program that i graduated from). I have not personally had the chance to meet Andy, however, Shannon Silva, an associate professor of Film Studies at UNCW, an accomplished documentary and experimental filmmaker, and a personal mentor and friend, has sent this message: "One last time for people in nosebleed seats! 40 hours left on this doc's fundraising. If you've got it, share it."
I tend to trust her opinion and support infinitely in matters of documentary filmmaking.
After further exploring the project, I couldn't agree more. It appears to not only be socially significant as exposure of a great injustice with far reaching implications, but also one that is being handled with grace and keen production. I offer my full support and encouragement to Andy as he tackles this ambitious project, and further encourage all that are able to get in some last minute donations. Below is a video sample of the doc in process and a link to KickStarter, an online resource for art fundraising - and all hopes that independent cinema and art continues to flourish with new resources of the sort. I have also included a Bio of the filmmaker and a summary of the project for those interested in exploring the film further.
Out of Service: A Documenary by Andy Myers
Bio for Andy Myers
Andy Myers is a documentary filmmaker earning his BA in Film Studies at The University of North Carolina at Wilmington. His main interests include the link between environmental injustice and societal welfare, gay rights issues, and innovative grassroots endeavors. He is a firm believer in the power of nonfiction film to enact social change and strives to make and support documentaries that serve as tools in the fight against inequality and discrimination.
ANDY MYERS - POSTED PROJECT UPDATE #1
GOODBYE to Don't Ask Don't Tell!
The bigoted, nonsensical policy Don't Ask Don't Tell has finally been thrown out. A lot of work and sacrificice from a lot of passionate individuals has payed off and our senetors and congressmen have finally listened to us, and have decided to do whats right. During the signing of DADT Repeal, Obama quoted Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as saying, "Our people sacrifice a lot for their country, including their lives. None of them should have to sacrifice their integrity as well."
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
If Charlie Parker Was a Gunslinger,There'd Be a Whole Lot of Dead Copycats: Movie Directors and the Means of Production #16: "Movie Director: John Cassavetes, Means: Camera, Hidden Camera Operator, Production: Too Late Blues (1961)"
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
JANUARY 24, 2011 | ISSUE 47•04
"And thanks to careful maintenance through the ages, this massive relic survives intact, instilling in each new generation a sense of awe," Jean- Baptiste added.
The vast chasm of wealth, which stretches across most of the inhabited world, attracts millions of stunned observers each year, many of whom have found its immensity too overwhelming even to contemplate. By far the largest man-made structure on Earth, it is readily visible from locations as far-flung as Eastern Europe, China, Africa, and Brazil, as well as all 50 U.S. states.
"The original Seven Wonders of the World pale in comparison to this," said World Heritage Committee member Edwin MacAlister, standing in front of a striking photograph of the Gap Between Rich and Poor taken from above Mexico City. "It is an astounding feat of human engineering that eclipses the Great Wall of China, the Pyramids of Giza, and perhaps even the Great Racial Divide."
According to anthropologists, untold millions of slaves and serfs toiled their whole lives to complete the gap. Records indicate the work likely began around 10,000 years ago, when the world's first landed elites convinced their subjects that construction of such a monument was the will of a divine authority, a belief still widely held today.
Though historians have repeatedly disproved such claims, theories still persist among many that the Gap Between Rich and Poor was built by the Jews.
"When I stare out across its astounding breadth, I'm often moved to tears," said Johannesburg resident Grace Ngubane, 31, whose home is situated on one of the widest sections of the gap. "The scale is staggering—it makes you feel really, really small."
"Insignificant, even," she continued.
While numerous individuals have tried to cross the Gap Between Rich and Poor, evidence suggests that only a small fraction have ever succeeded and many have died in the attempt.
Its official recognition as the Eighth Wonder of the World marks the culmination of a dramatic turnaround from just 50 years ago, when popular movements called for the gap's closure. However, due to a small group of dedicated politicians and industry leaders, vigorous preservation efforts were begun around 1980 to restore—and greatly expand—the age-old structure.
"It's breathtaking," said Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, a longtime champion and benefactor of the rift's conservation. "After all we've been through in recent years, there's no greater privilege than watching it grow bigger and bigger each day. There may be a few naysayers who worry that if it gets any wider, the whole thing will collapse upon itself and take millions of people down with it, but I for one am willing to take that chance."
Added Blankfein, "Besides, something tells me I'd probably make it out okay."
Link: the Onion
Monday, January 24, 2011
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Rome may have fallen hundreds of years ago, but much of the civilization the Romans built still dots the landscape today. One team of scientists recently unearthed a different kind of Roman artifact that may hold a strange clue to the empire's downfall.
A study of tree rings recently published in the journal Science provides evidence of climate shifts that, perhaps not coincidentally, occurred from A.D. 250 to 550, a period better known as the fall of the Roman Empire...
"Like any large civilization — including the civilization we have today — it was highly dependent on predictability of natural resources," Mann says. "It was very heavily adapted to the climate conditions that had persisted for centuries."
But while the tree rings show variability, there is no data for why these climate changes occurred. Global warming contributes to modern climate change, but Rome fell from power long before industrialization.
"Presumably it was some combination of these external natural factors like solar variability and volcanic eruptions, and just the pure sort of chaotic variability of the climate system," Mann speculates.
This new research may not establish cause-and-effect, but it does contribute another factor to explain Rome's fall. It also creates another clue for scientists sleuthing their way into an uncertain climate future.
For the complete article, follow the Link: NPR
Friday, January 21, 2011
Biutiful (2010), the most recent film by Alejandro González Iñárritu (Amores Perros, 21 Grams) finally received a limited US release on December 29, 2010. Though it seems to be riding somewhat under the radar and receiving accusations from media sources as being "too dismal" (haha, big surprise when the cinematic standard is senseless 3D action) - the ambition of the film, as well as the grueling preparation and performance by Javier Bardem certainly makes this a film of intrigue and one worth viewing seriously. Bardem received Best Actor acknowledgments at Cannes 2010 for his role as Uxbal. Above is the Official Trailer and a short synopsis follows.
Biutiful is a love story between a father and his children. This is the journey of Uxbal, a conflicted man who struggles to reconcile fatherhood, love, spirituality, crime, guilt and mortality amidst the dangerous underworld of modern Barcelona. His livelihood is earned out of bounds, his sacrifices for his children know no bounds. Like life itself, this is a circular tale that ends where it begins. As fate encircles him and thresholds are crossed, a dim, redemptive road brightens, illuminating the inheritances bestowed from father to child, and the paternal guiding hand that navigates life's corridors, whether bright, bad - or biutiful.
Link to Official Site: www.biutiful-themovie.com
Monday, January 17, 2011
Words of Advice for Young People
People often ask me if I have any words of advice for young people. Well, here are a few simple admonitions for young and old.
Never interfere in a boy and girl fight.
Beware of whores who say they don't want money. The hell they don't. What they mean is they want more money. Much more.
If you're doing business with a religious son of a bitch, get it in writing. His word isn't worth shit, not with the good Lord telling him how to fuck you on the deal.
Avoid fuckups. You all know the type. Anything they have anything to do with, no matter how good it sounds, turns into a disaster.
Do not offer sympathy to the mentally ill. Tell them firmly, "I am not paid to listen to this drivel. You are a terminal fool."
Now some of you may encounter the devil's bargain if you get that far. Any old soul is worth saving at least to a priest, but not every soul is worth buying. So you can take the offer as a compliment. They charge the easy ones first, you know, like money, all the money there is. But who wants to be the richest guy in some cemetery? Not much to spend it on, eh, Gramps? Getting too old to cut the mustard. Have you forgotten something, Gramps? In order to feel something, you have to be there. You have to be 18. You're not 18, you are 78. Old fool sold his soul for a strap-on.
How about an honorable bargain? "You always wanted to become a doctor. Now's your chance. Why, you could have become a great healer and benefit humanity. What's wrong with that?" Just about everything. There are no honorable bargains involving exchange of qualitative merchandise like souls. Just quantitative merchandise like time and money. So piss off, Satan, and don't take me for dumber than I look.
As an old junk pusher told me, "Watch whose money you pick up."
~William S. Burroughs
"Most of the trouble in this world has been caused by folks who can't mind their own business, because they have no business of their own to mind, any more than a smallpox virus has." ~ William S Burroughs
~William S Burroughs (final written words)
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Monday, January 10, 2011
Saturday, January 8, 2011
Thursday, January 6, 2011
One hundred and fifty years ago today South Carolina declared its independence from the United States. The move had been in the offing since early November, when Abraham Lincoln’s election led the state’s leaders to fear that Washington would begin to restrict slavery in the territories and in their own state. That was the proximate cause, at least; there was more to it. Beyond the election, South Carolina was no longer happy in a union with the free states, where northern opponents of slavery were allowed to openly denounce the “peculiar institution” in Congress and in their home states.
It’s true, then, that South Carolina seceded over states’ rights: though, as neo-confederates are loath to admit, the specific right in question concerned the ownership of human chattel. One of the South’s persistent complaints was the northern states would not vigorously cooperate in the return of fugitive slaves and that the free states allowed antislavery organizations to flourish.
In other words, for South Carolina, slavery and states’ rights were not mutually exclusive; in fact, they were the same thing. Today too few people understand the intricate legal history that connects slavery to states’ rights — and as a result a needless debate continues, 150 years after secession began...
...South Carolinians no longer trusted the national government, the free states or the Constitution. In that sense, secession was most definitely about states’ rights. But it is vital to remember just which rights South Carolina was committed to defending.
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
The Concert Is Over, But The Audio Will Be Available For Download SoonJanuary 5, 2011
Back in 2002, Iron and Wine was a "band" in name only — a vehicle for the whispered acoustic bedroom recordings of a college film professor named Sam Beam. Beam's rustic musings sang of death and damnation, love and redemption, while packing a surprising degree of momentum and narrative thrust into what only sounded like gentle folk songs.
If it weren't for Beam's softly engaging croon, the Iron and Wine of the forthcoming Kiss Each Other Clean wouldn't always be recognizable to Beam fans from eight or nine years ago. For one thing, he's evolved into a full-fledged bandleader, following 2007's engagingly springy The Shepherd's Dog with a sound that feels fuzzier, even dirtier. The opening seconds of Kiss Each Other Clean sound like no preceding Iron & Wine record — "Walking Far From Home" swaps out the clean acoustic guitars for layers of fuzz and subtly processed vocals — though the album feels like a natural extension of its marvelous predecessor, and even lets rays of sunlight peek in during songs like "Tree by the River."
Like The Shepherd's Dog, Kiss Each Other Clean showcases Iron and Wine's subtly exploratory, even meandering side. But fans of the group needn't wait until the album's Jan. 25 release date to hear the new innovations for themselves: Wednesday afternoon, Beam and his bandmates appeared on WNYC's Soundcheck to announce a surprise live performance of the new album at The Greene Space in New York City that night.
The audio recording will be available for on-demand listening, starting Thursday.