October 28, 2008

This is what I — nay, we — want to see

A team of brave souls led by director/author Adam Klugman (of the Progressive Media Agency) gave something very special to the Democratic Party of Oregon: a election narrative worth believing in and fighting for.

Watch it:

©2008 Democratic Party of Oregon / Progessive Media Agency.

Message to every other Democratic or progressive party in the union: Copy this. You want to run our communities and our nation? Say it as if you truly, irrevocably mean it.

We're waiting.

Meanwhile, our Fellow Americans, don't hesitate to cross–embed and even KeepVid and spread it far and wide. (How many iPod Touch® players could you slap this one in?)

October 26, 2008

The neighbo(u)rs you never knew

One big H/T to Marie–Lynn Hammond for getting the word about these two chaps named "Vlad" and "Boris," who have a musical message for the Republican Vice–Presidential (just a heartbeat from Presidential) hopeful.

Suffice it to say that the Flight of the Conchords lads have nothing to fear from these guys:

Best to take the telescope before they change their minds.

October 22, 2008

Creature Features — starring Max and the Marginalized

With Samhain (a/k/a Hallowe'en) on the distant horizon, what could more scary than to follow our musical heroes Max and the Marginalized as they take their own perilously Fantastic Voyage — albeit far scarier — inside the body of… John McCain?

Hey, since he won't release his medical records, why not?

Enjoy "To Your Health," if you dare:

©2008 Max and the Marginalized.

On YouTube, no one can hear you scream.

Of course, if you're still standing afterwards:

©2008 Robert Greenwald / Brave New Films.

Watch it, and sign an open letter which pushes for the inevitable.

October 21, 2008

Outsource this? I think not.

Want to see what a nearly–privatized American city would look like?

Come aboard with the US crew of Al Jazeera's Inside USA program to visit Sandy Springs, Georgia. Apart from the police and fire department, virtually everything else about this ritzy city is run by, of all entities, the defense contractor CH2MHill ("see h two m hill"), which made money through outsourced opportunities in Iraq and post–Katrina New Orleans, Louisiana.

Looks too good to be true? It really is, and it has its negative consequences to boot:

Then stick around for part two — an extended interview with thespian Jane Fonda, who put down roots in Georgia many years ago and has found herself more involved in the state (and other causes) than ever (as evidenced in the first part of the show):

©2008 Al Jazeera.

A very fascinating episode.

H/T to the Brave New Films people, who dealt with outsourcing in a big way with the feature Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers.

For now, cherish your municipal government, and work to make it better.

And tell the CH2MHill cult (and their ilk) that your township or county is off limits.

October 19, 2008

House Lights: The biggest impressions

Even as I have nighttime footage from New York City's Times Square imported into my computer system, I am haunted by the opening strains of Act 3 from the aforementioned Turandot — the minor section just before the big number "Nessun dorma!" (No one is sleeping) kicks in. (My favorite movie moment using this section of the opera: Ken Russell's segment in Aria. But if your fave films include The Killing Fields, then you, too, know this aria.)

Classical music (including opera) has always had a huge impact on me, even since I listened to WQXR when I was a child riding in my father's car. I suspect it will play a huge role in some of my future movies. Fads in music come and go, and yet what the late Leonard Bernstein called "serious" music still endures somehow. (Amazingly enough, so has WQXR, even as the alliance of National Public Radio, Public Radio International, and American Public Media has come to define the classics on radio.)

But by no means is it the only influence. It's on a list that also includes (in no particular order):

Japanese TV drama from the 1970's onward (HKFlix has a great selection of recent shows and movie spin–offs),

The music of Louisa John–Krol,

People Like Us (a/k/a Vicki Bennett), Negativland, John Oswald (also at the FONY website), and the Evolution Control Committee (enough said),

The music of Cyoakha Grace O'Manion and Land of the Blind,

The films of Peter Watkins (Privilege is finally available legally on a Region 1 DVD, as is The Freethinker),

The music of composers Michael Nyman and Philip Glass,

Classic Motown recordings from the 1960's (including even the live sets),

The movies of Damon Packard (read about him over at Pop Matters, and then have a look at what he's done to date), and

Home movies — the more exotic they are, the better (Collectie Filmcollectif has posted a few good ones over at the Internet Archive).

Of course, how they'll be filtered through the use of Esperanto will be the interesting part. I'd prefer to let the Japanese TV drama influence dominate, because producers favor shooting on tape instead of on film. (I have a feeling that Damon Packard will nevertheless be in there somewhere. Even if you don't notice.)

Are you finding your voice as a movie maker, or trying to? What influences you the most?

The Projectionist's raw footage is loaded

The view from within Apple's iMovie®. Wait for the Kino view, though.

Yes, your Projectionist has finally done it. To the strains of a 1972 live recording of Giacomo Puccini's opera Turandot (on the budget Gala label — the most the Projectionist can afford these days), he loaded some 21 minutes of raw video shot in and around New York City's (in–)famous Times Square (it gave up the skin trade for this?!).

Some of the footage is a little unsteady at normal speed and will be slowed down a little. Other shots will likely get superimposed, one on top of another as soon as we get a chance to sort things out.

We're saving the raw footage for Kino practice on our Linux (Kubuntu = Ubuntu + KDE) boxes, by the way. For fun and profit who knows?

(One small postscript: I was saddened to see that my favorite Japanese restaurant, the cash–only Sapporo Restaurant, is no more. So I found myself over at Teriyaki Boy just north of Times Square. Not as much variety, but at least I can eat good there.)

October 16, 2008

Europe wishes to register a complaint

As if one Joe the Plumber (a/k/a Sam Joe Wurzelbacher) getting his 8.5 milliseconds of fame (from the October 15 Presidential debate at Long Island's Hofstra University) wasn't enough of a problem… as if Barack Obama's ever–increasing lead in the polls wasn't itself enough of another matter… and as if the presence of vengeful McCain/Palin supporters wasn't in itself still yet another headache that hasn't been properly addressed… what more could be heaped on the Republican ticket?

In two words: John Cleese:

Fetchez la vache!

October 14, 2008

House Lights: The legislation that wouldn't die! (on either side of the border)

Ugh. The Anime News Network is the bearer of bad news:

On Monday, United States President George W. Bush signed into law the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property (PRO IP) Act, which will allow authorities to seize property in civil copyright cases and will create an "Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator" position to oversee the government's efforts in copyright enforcement...

This means that if you're busted for Copyright violations in the States, you forfeit your equipment as well as your rights.

Meanwhile, Canada's Conservative Party wants to resurrect a tougher, meaner version of the States' own Digital Millennium Copyright Act. This one would not only increase the penalties for unauthorized downloads, but it would also make any declared "circumvention" of Digital Rights Management (DRM) schemes illegal.

Don't go to sleep yet, not even with Canada's elections winding down. The battle's only just started.

October 13, 2008

House Lights: Now we know this means war

Last night, while in New York City recording street footage, your Projectionist took some down time inside the Virgin Megastore in Times Square (to buy the aforementioned Negativland DVD, Our Favorite Things, along with CDs of music by Bela Bartok, Nikolai Rimsky–Korsakov, Pitor Ilyitch Tchaikovsky, and Giacomo Puccini). One title I considered — but decided to pass on this day — was a new Disinformation/Brave New Films DVD (Region 0 NTSC, I believe) of The Real McCain: Less Jobs. More Wars. (Maybe later this week?)

I bring this up because this past Friday, Robert Greenwald and company filed a lawsuit aimed at talk radio shock jock Michael Savage.

While this came about because the jock managed to get YouTube to cancel BNF's account over one video criticizing Savage's condemnation of Muslims in general (here's a post which includes Savage's original complaint), it's clear that this is about far more, as the "No Savage" campaign makes quite clear.

You can read more about the lawsuit here, and take a look at the video that caused the stir (which for some strange reason I can't embed here).

For those new to the story, have a read of this excerpt from Rory O'Connor's book about shock talk jocks, and this item from Crooks and Liars which shows what happened when the "No Savage" campaign kicked in.

I expect this will not be the last word on the subject. Stay tuned.

House Lights: Black screen of death?

Your Projectionist had a great time scarfing up video footage from the wilds of New York City's Times Square — all of it finding its way somehow into a mash–up video he is working on. (He got some twenty minutes' worth, plus a decent amount of still images as well — more than enough to work with. And he didn't even get arrested, which is a big plus.)

There'll be more on the video eventually, but for now we share with you this amazing sight showing a Planters® sign and something very ominous where some looped video footage apparently should have been:

And some wonder why your Projectionist prefers his Linux (Ubuntu) and Mac gear…

Speaking of mash–ups: He also came home with Our Favorite Things, a whammy of a DVD (Region 0 NTSC) & CD package by one of his fave mash–up acts, Negativland. It's on Other Cinema. Look for a review eventually.

October 11, 2008

Flashback: Unfinished business

A couple of videos produced by AGIT–POP Communications have been on my mind lately.

One of them was made to ask why the United States went to Iraq and are still there:

Another one, made for Avaaz.org dares to ask if it's possible that Westerners and Muslims actually share common wishes (such as for real Middle East peace talks, perhaps?):

These are two of the best that AGIT–POP has done to date.

Your next president: John McHoover Heaver

Only someone like John McCain can campaign for Big Brother:

So where, do tell, is Room 101?

October 10, 2008

Think on your neighbours

The United States aren't the only nation with an election weighing heavily on their shoulders. Take a look at this viral item from Canada making the rounds:

You'll find more at the Canadian liberal–powered Had it with Harper! website. Just when you thought the McCain/Palin ticket in the States was bad enough (and we won't deny that, believe me)…

No sleep 'til Poland!

Heads up, everyone: 350.org wants the next President of the United States of America — be it Barrack Obama, John McCain, Cynthia McKinney, whoever — to be part of the next United Nations Climate Meetings, which will be held this December in Poland.

The upshot: To get the United States, a long–time global polluter, to reform and join the world in dealing with climate change, at last.

Of course, the current Commander–in–Thief will still be in the White House, but he will have no say on what comes out of this gathering.

The idea: Create lots of video invites, and upload them to the 350.org website:

And here's how you can send the invite:

Both videos ©2008 350.org.

Got a camera that can hook up to your PC, Mac, or Linux box? Got a Blip.tv account? Got your message firmed up? Get cracking!

October 9, 2008

But seriously, Mrs. Palin...

The American News Project also has some questions for Sarah Palin. Only these questions cut deeper: They're about her kind of Christian faith. And about where Christian fundamentalism could lead to.

Watch it:

©2008 American News Project.

And start drafting your own questions. Because very few in the mass media here are (apart from Keith Olbermann, that is).

Scary. Very scary indeed.

Just a few questions, if you don't mind

MSNBC's Keith Olbermann has a few questions for Republican Vice–Presidential hopeful Sarah Palin (She Who is a Heartbeat Away from the U.S. Presidency) — mainly about the company she keeps (from the 7 October 2008 edition of Countdown) :

©2008 NBC–Universal.

Lots of viral video embedded in this one. For added punch.

October 7, 2008

In memoriam: Ken Ogata

If your fave films include Narayama bushiko (The Ballad of Narayama) (1983) and Vengeance is Mine (Fukushu suru wa ware ni ari) (1979), you'll be saddened to hear of the passing away of Ken Ogata, as reported by The Japan Times. He was 71 years old.

Words fail your Projectionist right now.

Quick! What's wrong with this (moving) picture?

Apologies from your Projectionist, who is working out the kinks in what will be his first public video project (he has to decide when will be a good day to shoot in and around New York City, among other concerns). The final cut could be ready by early November. (It won't be an Election Day–timed piece, however. Just so you know.)

In the meantime, Jesus' General dares you to take this piece seriously.

Have fun, kids.