Thursday, November 28, 2013

14 Screenwriters Writing By ADAM STERNBERGH: NYT

14 Screenwriters Writing

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Songs of Praise (2006) from Duke and Battersby

Songs of Praise (2006) from Duke and Battersby on Vimeo.

Songs of Praise for the Heart Beyond Cure
Songs of Praise is a 14 minute episodic piece that has been described as “a moving yet relentless experience of contemporary life (human and biological) in the face of moral, physical and environmental degradation” [Emily Jones, Catalogue Essay, Songs of Praise for the Heart Beyond Cure, Dalhousie Art Gallery, 2007] and “…a series of pagan hymns that unearth slight but potent saving graces amid seemingly inescapable pain and anguish." [Jon Davies, Canadian Art, Fall 2006]. Davies goes on to write "Rather than offering transcendence and redemption, these illustrated songs and monologues suggest that the distinction between desperation and hope is a question of degree and not kind.” 

Themes of addiction, violence, the destruction of the natural world and the agonies of adolescence are woven through the work, but as Sarah Milroy writes for the Globe and Mail, the work is “anything but depressing... [it is founded in] a sense of wonder at the endearing weirdness of life and all the vulnerable, furry little creatures immersed in it (especially us).”

Tortured By Joy by Henry Griffin


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Free John & Tarek - Here's how you can help

Help John & Tarek

Who are John & Tarek?

Tarek Loubani is an emergency room medical doctor and assistant professor of emergency medicine at Western University (London, Ontario). He is one of the architects of the Canada-Gaza academic collaboration, a project that has brought doctors from Western to Gaza to train physicians in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS).

John Greyson is a professor at the Department of Film at York University and an award-winning film-maker. He is in the initial stages of working on a film to be produced in the region.

What happened in Egypt?

Two Canadians, Dr. Tarek Loubani and filmmaker John Greyson, were arrested by Egyptian police on Friday, August 16 in Cairo.

They were en route to the Gaza Strip, where they are working on an academic and medical collaboration between the University of Western Ontario (UWO) and the main hospital in the Gaza Strip, the al-Shifa hospital.

John and Tarek arrived in Cairo on August 15 with the intention of traveling to Gaza immediately. Given the volatile situation in Egypt, travel to the border with Gaza was problematic and they delayed their travel plan by one day.

We have heard through sources in Cairo that John and Tarek entered a police station on Friday evening, as they were lost and needed help with directions back to their hotel. At this point they were promptly arrested.  At 4pm Toronto time (10pm Cairo time), Tarek called his primary contact in Canada with the very short message: “we are being arrested by Egyptian police”.

Since their arrest, we have had no contact with either Tarek or John. Canadian consular officials have visited them where they are being held, and we have been told that they are “okay”.

Beyond this, we have currently not been able to confirm their status or condition, or speak to them directly. We are asking Egyptian authorities to release John and Tarek immediately.

We know there are many people eagerly awaiting news and their release, and we will distribute information as we know more.

How can I help?

Check out our “How to Help” page for ideas on how to help Tarek and John’s case.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Stories We Tell (2012) by Sarah Polley - Mockler Micro Review

Highly recommend this documentary by Sarah Polley in which she examines not only a family secret, but also the act of storytelling itself. Even though the documentary explores a subject that involves her directly (the search for her biological father), Polley becomes a fly on the wall of her own story as she interviews family members and friends about a long buried secret, and like the best storytellers, she reveals the most about the complexities of family relationships in what is left unsaid.


Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Big Snit (1985) by Richard Condie

Here's an old favourite. I saw this movie in high school.



Wednesday, August 21, 2013

From One Second To The Next - Documentary - It Can Wait (2013) by Werner Herzog

Xzavier, Chandler, Debbie, and Reggie all know the horrors of texting & driving firsthand. Watch their stories in this It Can Wait Documentary.

Visit to take the pledge, and learn more about the dangers of texting while driving.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Frances, Ha: Mockler Mico Review

Noah Baumbach's new comedy Frances, Ha has lots of great character moments and funny details. Feels a little too close to Girls in terms of story and tone and setting, but overall a pretty good film.  A renter though.
 Frances, Ha Trailer

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Act of Killing by Joshua Oppenheimer: Mockler Micro Review

Highly recommend this unconventional and at times theatrical documentary about the Indonesian genocide supported by the West during the Cold War. Oppenheimer follows a group of death squad guards who carried out the executions against communist Indonesians or those perceived to be communist in 1966-7. The executioners boast and reenact their killings for the camera giving us a chilling look at what humans are capable of.

The Act of Killing

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

At The Movies, The Women Are Gone: NPR

I live in the D.C. metro area, which is a very good place to find films. If you don't live in New York or Los Angeles, it's about the best you can do. I'm within 10 miles of a multiplicity of multiplexes, not to mention four theaters I would consider "art house" theaters or at least mixes of wider-appeal fare and smaller stuff.

According to Fandango and some back-of-the-envelope math, excluding documentaries and animation, there are 617 movie showings today — that's just today, Friday — within 10 miles of my house.

Of those 617 showings, 561 of them — 90 percent — are stories about men or groups of men, where women play supporting roles or fill out ensembles primarily focused on men. The movies making up those 561 showings: Man Of Steel (143), This Is The End (77), The Internship (52), The Purge (49), After Earth (29), Now You See Me (56), Fast & Furious 6 (44), The Hangover Part III (16), Star Trek Into Darkness (34), The Great Gatsby (16), Iron Man 3 (18), Mud (9), The Company You Keep (4), Kings Of Summer (9), and 42 (5).

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The 22 rules of storytelling, according to Pixar

My favourite from this list:

#9: When you're stuck, make a list of what WOULDN'T happen next. Lots of times the material to get you unstuck will show up.

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

LGFUAD: Short Experimental Film

An acronym for “Let’s Get Fucked Up and Die”, this student work is purposely provocative in exploring the artist’s own feelings about growing up suburban.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

25 Turns, Pivots, And Twists To Complicate Your Story

1. The Heinous Fuckery Is Revealed

This is the “first turn” of the story: something happens that disrupts the status quo and this event pushes the protagonist (and perhaps the world around him) into the tale. The king dies! Terrorists attack! My beloved pony has been pony-napped! A vampire just joined your Little League team! This turn, unlike all the others in this list, isn’t optional: storytelling is an act of taking the straight line that is the status quo and kinking it like a garden hose. This first turn — known sometimes as the inciting incident — is why the story exists in the first place.

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Monday, March 11, 2013

Dirty Girls

Shot in 1996 and edited in 2000, this is a short documentary about a group of 13-year-old riot grrrls in Los Angeles who were socially ostracized at their school by their peers and upperclassmen. Everyone in the schoolyard held strong opinions about these so-called "dirty girls," and meanwhile the "dirty girls" themselves aimed to get their message across by distributing their zine across campus. Directed by Michael Lucid. Music: "Batmobile" by Liz Phair.