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Monday, March 31, 2008

GLASS: A PORTRAIT OF PHILIP IN 12 PARTS screens Weds. April 2nd

AFI's 7th Annual Music Documentary Series starts Weds April 2nd with GLASS: A PORTRAIT OF PHILIP IN 12 PARTS at 8:00pm at Arclight Hollywood.

Check it out! You can buy tickets here.

I used to be a little bit obsessed with Philip Glass - I used to listen to the Koyaanisqatsi soundtrack every single day when I would write everyday! I just downloaded it from iTunes because I lost the cassette tape (yes cassette tape) years ago but, it's still gorgeous and inspiring and awesome. I love that he maintains a sort of Zen approach to his art saying, "You don't like my music? Listen to something else?" I listen.

Director Scott Hicks (SHINE, SNOW FALLING ON CEDARS) will be in attendance and around for a Q&A after the film.

I hope you can make it.

The rest of the series runs Mondays and Wednesdays through April at Arclight Sherman Oaks and Arclight Hollywood and Closing Night is May 7th at the Skirball Cultural Center with DON'T LOOK BACK and a reception to follow.

For more info and tickets, please go to the website:

Thursday, March 27, 2008

It's not too late to get to Ann Arbor!

The Ann Arbor Film Festival is still going strong even after all the censorship shite they've been through and runs through Sunday.

You can see the whole line up here.

Christen McArdle totally rocks and this festival is celebrating 46 years!

It's time to watch!

AFI Dallas starts today!

AFI Dallas starts today, no sophomore slump here!

They have some great films, you can see the full line up and tickets are available here.

Lane Kneedler and I will be blogging for AMC/TV about AFI Dallas - you can read our posts here.

In the meantime, some nice press already, I'm looking forward to seeing more.

Here's a photo from AFI FEST, Michael Cain is on the far left and Sarah Harris is in white - James Faust was in a movie which is where I hope to see you all in Dallas.

Obama in 30 seconds!

Okay, I am completely behind this and wish I had the skills and ability to describe Obama in 30 seconds! I tend to wax poetically on and on and on... I need to learn to be more concise but if you have these skills - here's your chance.

Josslyn's essay to Sekou

My friend Josslyn Luckett published this beautiful essay and I think ya'll should read it! Here is an excerpt... The full gorgeous letter can be read here at Ishmael Reed's Konch Magazine under the In this issue/Essays section.

Eulogy for Sekou

"May this Letter Find You Now, In the Best of Spirits Somehow"*

Dear Sekou,

I admit I was immediately sprung on you early 90’s NYC. Raised in Irvine, California, sure, I had four groovy UCBerkeley years under my organic hemp belt, but that didn’t quite prepare me for your “Bodega Republic.” I'd never met a real life, fine-assed, poet from Harlem with a name I couldn’t pronounce talking 'bout reparations and Deep Time with a didgeridoo soundtrack. Being grown, blissfully partnered and busy composing transcendental shout outs, you appropriately never gave me even one second of shallow time play (ahh, if only I'd been so lucky to be so politely and succinctly blown off by the handful of knucklehead poets I got strung out on in months to come...but that's not this blues). Years later we were once again in the same place, Williams College, at the same time, early 2001, for a black performance art conference where we'd both been invited to speak and perform. Calmer now and a bit more grown myself, I still hoped for "long conversations and the philosophical ramifications of a beautiful day" with you, but conflicting schedules permitted me only the pleasure of catching the tale end of one of your workshops. I remember you telling the group about a night you heard a recording of Pablo Neruda reading his poems on the radio, and you wept even though you hardly spoke a lick of Spanish. Your point was truth rings true no matter what language if your ears and heart and pores are open.

New Directors / New Films

Some wonderful films playing in New York this week in the New Directors / New Films film series.

Saw these two articles that were great, one from the New York Times and the other from Indiewire. Both "Jellyfish and "Munyurangabo" played at AFI FEST this past year.

If you are interested in "Munyurangabo" and Rwanda, you should take a look at JB Rutagarama's personal documentary "Back Home".

I'm a huge fan of Aza Jacobs, we've screened all of his films at AFI FEST and his new film "Momma's Man" was just sold to Think Film.

And "Frozen River" won an Award at the Sundance Film Festival and is produced by the fantastic Heather Rae who made "Trudell".

Such a great line up, if you're in NYC check them out.
Full schedule and ticket information is available here.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Sadly, one less human on the earth, but more stars.

"Behind every man now alive stand thirty ghosts, for that is the ratio
by which the dead outnumber the living. Since the dawn of time, roughly
a hundred billion human beings have walked the planet Earth. Now this is
an interesting number, for by a curious coincidence there are
approximately a hundred billion stars in our local universe, the Milky
Way. So for every man who has ever lived, in this universe, there shines
a star."
– Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Documentaries Rock!

There's a really nice article in Indiewire about the first Cinema Eye Awards.

Congratulations to AJ Schnack and Thom Powers for this excellent event and their celebration of documentaries.

I was honored to be a part of the voting community for the awards and so glad that these films got some well deserved attention.

It drives me crazy to hear Jason Kohn talk about his frustrations in the small audiences for documentaries, his movie rocks and you gotta see it!

Every year when we're programming for AFI FEST, the documentaries are often the strongest films submitted and all you want is for people to see them and be changed by their stories.

The audience is growing, but there are so many amazing documentaries that need more eyes on them.

Echo Park Film Center Events

Some really awesome programming at the Echo Park Film Center the next few weeks.
Check it out, I love Paolo and Lisa who run that place, they are Cinema Revolutionaries!

I'm psyched to see DINO'S DRIVE IN and who doesn't love GI Joe?

Echo Park Film Center
1200 N. Alvarado Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026

FILMS – 8 pm
A rare chance to see some silent shorts projected on the 9.5mm film
format (introduced in France in 1922), featuring the UK's only major
silent comedian Walter Forde. Followed by a talkie, Wild Seed (Brian
G. Hutton, 1965) an atmospheric B/W tale of two drifters featuring
rebel/musician Michael Parks in the last narrative production from
D.A. Pennebaker's aptly named, Pennebaker Productions. These films
have NEVER been released on official videos or DVDs…some films still
have to be seen on film! CURATOR IN ATTENDANCE!

8 PM
In 1995 ex Carnival Art front man Michael Petak released his
critically acclaimed album Pretty Little Lonely, produced by T Bone
Burnett, on Slash Records. Pretty Little Lonely # 13, A Musical
Documentary is the video companion to the CD. Petak, his dog Diggity
and a handful of friends traveled across the Southwest loaded with
Canon High 8 cameras and a DAT Machine, interviewing all walks of life
about love while also shooting music videos for most of the songs on
the album. This will be the first time the documentary will
be screened to the public, so buckle up and come join us for the ride!

The GI Joe Stop Motion Film Festival is the nation's first festival
dedicated to screening works by stop-motion artists who use GI Joe or
similar figures (12" and/or 3 3⁄4 sizes) as main characters or actors.
We have 25 films from all over the world including films from Brazil,
Netherlands, Canada UK and Taiwan! More info:

Stehen Cobert and product placement

I saw this article today about The Cobert Report.

Stephen Colbert is taking his show on the road. The faux-conservative comic will broadcast "The Colbert Report" from Philadelphia April 14-17, taking 80 staffers with him to cover the crucial Democratic primary.

Colbert's news-skewering program will be calling its coverage "The Colbert Report: Dorito's Spicy Sweet Pennsylvania Primary Coverage From Chili-delphia -- the City of Brotherly Crunch!," a nod to Colbert's new partnership with "the first name in electoral snacking."

I love this, this is true sponsorship integration!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Puddle Blog

I think this is just brilliant!
I wish I had thought it up.
Every puddle should have their own blog.

Spider - Jury Prize winner at AFI FEST

This awesome short film SPIDER with an exceptional ending won the AFI FEST 2007 Grand Jury Prize for shorts.

You can watch it here and buy it at iTunes.

You should buy it.

Race and Politics 2008

It's all happening!
We are the change we've been waiting for....

Monday, March 17, 2008

AFI Music Doc Series

Our Seventh Annual Music Documentary Series is starting in April!
Check it out!

I do realize that PURPLE RAIN is not technically a documentary but it is Prince's story and it's a concert film and it totally rocks!

I like to think outside the box, and just a few short years after "Purple Rain" was relased... Erroll Morris' "The Thin Red Line" will begin the blur of documentary and narrative forever.

Tickets are on sale now for Scott Hicks awesome film, GLASS: A PORTRAIT OF PHILIP IN 12 PARTS

I love Philip Glass, Don't miss it.

Mr. Rogers Day March 20

When I was in college, I used to wait tables at the Red Lion in Salt Lake City. One night at the end of my shift, I got a new table - I was just about ready to leave so I pawned the guy off on my friend.

The next day my friend told me that the guy who would have been my last table was Fred Rogers - yes that Fred Rogers and that he was so nice and when she brought the check he asked her how much a quarter of school was at the University of Utah and for the tip - he left her a check written out to the University for that amount!

I love Mr. Rogers, I should have stayed and waited on him.

But you can still honor him on March 20.
Stay warm.

Duck Season to Lake Tahoe

In 2004 we screened the US Premiere of "Duck Season" at AFI FEST. It went on to win the Grand Jury Prize of AFI FEST and Director Fernando Eimbcke and Producer Christian Vladelievre were at the festival for both sold out screenings.

Eimbcke is such an extraordinary talent - back then I wrote about the film:
"DUCK SEASON is a flawlessly executed highly stylized romp from writer/director Fernado Eimbcke. Keeping the tempo lively with fluid editing and stylized direction, Eimbcke elicits exceptionally articulated performances from his young cast, revealing an unforgettable film reveling in the confusion that accompanies adolescent love and friendship, loneliness and growing up."

Two months after our screening Eimbcke was named by Variety as one of the ten directors to watch.

Last week in Guadalajara, I ran into both Fernando and Christian at the film festival and I was able to see Eimbcke's new film "Lake Tahoe". Such a wonderful film, and shows that he was worth watching! "Lake Tahoe" teams up Eimbcke again with Vladelivre, it's not as light as his first film but that's not a bad thing. This film has such depth and layers are revealed naturally as the story unfolds making this a very powerful film.

One of my favorite blogs: has a couple of nice articles about the film and more about Guadalajara which is an amazing festival.

It's so exciting when you see filmmakers in a certain region making films that are so unique and unusual that the rest of the world has to stop and take notice: there's some magic happening in Mexico, Romania and the Philippines.

I can't wait to see Gerardo Naranjo's new film! "Voy a explotar"

Saturday, March 15, 2008


This is like one of my favorite dreams - David Lynch on an iphone talking about iphones... all they need next is to add a mirror and pan out!

This is still one of my favorite David Lynch quotes...


Jean-Pierre has been on a Michael Haneke retrospective in our living room - I love his movies once and never again, so I've been hiding in the bedroom watching Harry Potter to drown out the sounds.

Several years ago when I worked at the Los Angeles Film Festival, Alfonso Cuaron was the guest director. At the filmmaker retreat the weekend before the festival, Cuaron chose to screen Michael Haneke's FUNNY GAMES to the filmmakers mostly because he knew it would spark dialogue and it'd get everyone talking. He was right.

I walked back to my room at the Ojai Spa in the dark, disturbed and terrified of all the spa workers in their all white outfits.

Now Mr. Haneke has remade the film in English proving that all these young splat pack filmmakers have got nothing on him.

If you want to freak out your friends go here...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Anvil and Mike Plante in the hot tub!

Okay so I was in Guadalajara this weekend with Mike Plante from Cinevegas and Cinemad and he was telling me that he interviewed Anvil in the hot tub in Sundance...
And here they are - man, I'm jealous!
Anvil rocks as I've said before in this blog!