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Film First Friday: The Sprinkler Sprinkled (1895)

It’s a simple joke but a profound artistic statement, cinema solely for the purpose of making an audience laugh.

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Film Activism: Vitor Kaingang

Since the advent of the internet the news cycle has gotten woefully short, which is part of why I unearth this video on my site nearly a year after I was asked to add English subtitles to it.

The video is of  Brazilian woman of indigenous descent, Silvia Nobre Waiãpi, reacting with visceral, righteous indignation at the fact that a two-year-old was beheaded in a town square and this person did so with impunity. To best of my ability to search there is still no resolution to this case.

It’s a harrowing reminder that struggles against gross injustice for indigenous populations is not just an American concern, it’s a global one. It’s not something that will be addressed adequately with one series of protests or rallying cries. These peoples still struggle everywhere just to be afforded basic human dignities and rights. Sharing this video, even though it’s supposedly “old news” by this point, is the very least I can to to increase awareness and continue dialogue.

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Music Video Monday: Finn Wolfhard edition

What the world needs now is Stranger Things. Since Netflix can’t see fit to give that to us now, the next best thing we have are the kids in music videos. I recently wrote of Noah Schnapp’s appearance in an amazing video. Then I read Finn Wolfhard is now in a video, and I inadvertently watched an older one first. So here are both of them!

Facts “Retro Oceans” 

Pup “Sleep in the Heat”

DISCLAIMER: It’s a sad dog movie.

 

 

Short Film Saturday- Dictionary.Com’s 2016 Word of the Year: Xenophobia

Yesterday, I introduced a new category for this site in order to free up Saturday for newer or more varied short films. I like this word better as a choice rather than what Oxford chose this year, which I think of as a non-word  that signals we’ve entered an age of Post-Intelligence if we truly embrace it.

Anyhow, Dictionary chose this based on the spike in searches in the US. No doubt linked to a certain campaign featuring a certain guy. To create an accompanying film they got Robert Reich to play on the style of his Facebook videos and he discusses the word well, in context, and with some snazzy whiteboard illustrations. Enjoy!

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In Memoriam: Florence Henderson (1934-2016)

Yesterday was Thanksgiving and one could argue that it’s perennially the most ironic of American holidays, but particularly this year with the political climate and the DAPL standoff.

Then the news hit of the passing of Florence Henderson and the world of TV and film shook anew. If you check on her filmography the fulcrum is The Brady Bunch. However, she always embraced it and always had fun with it as some of these clips will prove.

When The Brady Bunch came to the silver screen in tongue-and-cheek fashion (the only way possible) Florence was there playing grandma. Her version of a grandma was a far “groovier chick”that Carol could hope to be just contrast her to Shelley Long’s hilarious caricature.

Here’s the opening that featured her. And Yes, RuPaul is also in this movie.

 

For the 1993 MTV Movie Awards she and members of The Brady Bunch did spoofs of the films nominated. Here is The Bodyguard.

She also did this brilliant spoof of A Few Good Men.

 

Florence was one of the most stellar examples of someone who far outperformed her material. If that was hard to see in the original show, her takes later on more than prove it. Enjoy, and rest in peace, Florence Henderson.

In closing, if you need some catharsis, and haven’t seen John Oliver’s “ode” to the year, do yourself some good today.

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The Essanay Rejection Letter

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Sure it’s been around the web but the succinctness of this form rejection checklist is enviable for a script-reader even if it isn’t always constructive for the writer. It is, and could be a tremendous object lesson for screenwriters about dealing with rejection and the varying degrees of feedback they might get. Start from this and work in increasing degrees to interact further and polish the concept. Make use of it if needed and check out Open Culture for more gems like this!

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Music Video Monday and an Update

Recently I created a political blog on this domain to have as place to vent in that arena and free my focus for cinema, it would be cathartic. It will not be included in typical update notifications

Why the idea of a political blog, and doing more in general, has come back to the forefront of my thoughts is not just because of the unprecedented craziness of the 2016 election cycle but is one that’s a bit older and I’ve come to embrace.

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Long before the lie of WMDs in Iraq was exposed I was debating doing a serialized story on a daily basis called Why We Fight giving a nod to the Frank Capra film series produced by the US Government about World War II. This version would have been about the nightmare I and others felt it would be, not to mention the tenuousness of our aims and the flimsiness of our pretense for war.

At that time, I had no platform to have it ready for, our involvement in Iraq was not televised to the extent that Vietnam was, so we didn’t live with it in the same way, and I would’ve run out of steam. Keeping a daily idea going from 2003 thru 2010, when active combat ended, is a bit like Sisyphus trying to get that boulder up a hill.

Perhaps the main reason that wouldn’t have been the most suitable idea for a series is that it would be a portrait of despair at a dystopian present with no prescription for remedy. Remedy is the operative word. There are dysfunctions in our democracy that we can cite until we’re blue (or red) in the face but unless we’re willing and able to discuss and push representatives for changes to try and address them it’s nothing but a bunch of bluster, I will add a bit about how to most successfully make that push today.

So that blog will be an attempt to seek active solutions. It will start with a pep talk tomorrow to get the dejected off the matt, and move into calls for action soon thereafter. In the meantime, enjoy this contribution for Music Video Monday.

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“Life During Wartime” from The Talking Heads concert film Stop Making Sense directed by Jonathan Demme, a song whose lyrics have inspired stories of mine in the past and gotten me through some difficult days. Enjoy!