After a final early morning push just hours ago, Coffee Talk has officially reached its funding goal! Thank you all very much for supporting our project. There are only a couple hours left, so if you’re interested in putting in an extra dollar to make releasing the shorts, sending them to festivals, or making any part of production a touch easier, it would be greatly appreciated. Follow me on twitter, as I’m trying to get the creator to put up a couple additional rewards or stretch goals.
Coffee Talk has taken up a lot of time this past year. While I feel like this year has been a lull for me, in actuality it has been incredibly productive. I have been able to work with meet great people like Stefan, the head and creator of Coffee Talk. Through Coffee Talk, I recently met the wonderful and talented Kim Yaged (She’s amazing! Follow her!). I’ve started working with Alicia Swiz and her live show, Pop Goes Alicia (which is tonight at The Hideout, ahem!), and have reconnected with Filmme-Fatale.
So, with more Coffee Talk officially on the horizon, and my many projects that are in some sort of stasis waiting to be reignited, I feel like 2014 will be a pretty banging’ year, ya’ll. (Speaking of, do you know of anyone that would be willing to let me set a tablecloth on fire in their home?)
Thanks for staying with me. I’ve got fuzzy feels for all of you. Enjoy the rest of your year.
Hey, everybody, we’re five days away from the conclusion of the Coffee Talk Indiegogo campaign. As I’ve said before, Coffee Talk focuses on gay issues, from small to big, and tells condensed stories about situations involving such issues.
I’m really happy to be apart of this project. We’ve got five days to raise just over $200 dollars. I know that this is not an ideal time to be asking for funds. Everyone’s already stressed financially as it is. However, I would like to ask one more time that, if you can, please donate just a dollar. It really helps.
I believe in impactful, powerful cinema, that challenges the mainstream. Coffee Talk, while playful and welcoming, is still that, and I’m so proud to be involved with a project that is helping people feel like they belong; like they’re not alone in their everyday struggles.
If every one my followers donated $2, we’d more than make the goal of this campaign. Just food for thought! Thanks again for reading and following. You’re all great. We’re gonna do this!
“During the lifetime of great revolutionaries, the oppressing classes constantly hounded them, received their theories with the most savage malice, the most furious hatred and the most unscrupulous campaigns of lies and slander. After their death, attempts are made to convert them into harmless icons, to canonize them, so to say, and to hallow their names to a certain extent for the “consolation” of the oppressed classes and with the object of duping the latter, while at the same time robbing the revolutionary theory of its substance, blunting its revolutionary edge and vulgarizing it.”—V.I. Lenin, The State and Revolution (via fourwindsshotgun)
Q: Larry, does the President have any reaction to the announcement—the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, that AIDS is now an epidemic and have over 600 cases? MR. SPEAKES: What’s AIDS? Q: Over a third of them have died. It’s known as “gay plague.” (Laughter.) No, it is. I mean it’s a pretty serious thing that one in every three people that get this have died. And I wondered if the President is aware of it? MR. SPEAKES: I don’t have it. Do you? (Laughter.) Q: No, I don’t. MR. SPEAKES: You didn’t answer my question. Q: Well, I just wondered, does the President— MR. SPEAKES: How do you know? (Laughter.) Q: In other words, the White House looks on this as a great joke? MR. SPEAKES: No, I don’t know anything about it, Lester. Q: Does the President, does anybody in the White House know about this epidemic, Larry? MR. SPEAKES: I don’t think so. I don’t think there’s been any— Q: Nobody knows? MR. SPEAKES: There has been no personal experience here, Lester. Q: No, I mean, I thought you were keeping— MR. SPEAKES: I checked thoroughly with Dr. Ruge this morning and he’s had no—(laughter)—no patients suffering from AIDS or whatever it is. Q: The President doesn’t have gay plague, is that what you’re saying or what? MR. SPEAKES: No, I didn’t say that. Q: Didn’t say that? MR. SPEAKES: I thought I heard you on the State Department over there. Why didn’t you stay there? (Laughter.) Q: Because I love you, Larry, that’s why. (Laughter.) MR. SPEAKES: Oh, I see. Just don’t put it in those terms, Lester. (Laughter.) Q: Oh, I retract that. MR. SPEAKES: I hope so. Q: It’s too late.
This great film is attuned to how people remember trauma: that mix of agony, revulsion and shame, cooled ever-so-slightly by time. Its goal is to make a true story from America’s deep past, which of course stands in for millions of similar stories, feel immediate—so that the viewer can go beyond, or beneath, the historical aspects, and understand the lived experience of slavery.
I’ve had such a hard time trying to write about 12 Years a Slave. Considering the criticisms of previous Steve McQueen films and that fact that I have only seen McQueen’s installation work, I felt like I wasn’t truly able to criticize the direction of McQueen.
12 Years aSlave is one of the most powerful and masterful films I have ever seen. Still, I was seeking to express a concern I had while watching the film. There is, in moments, an artful distance (which this article speaks to), that feels similar to the righteousness of the slave owners within the film. Of course, this film attempts to depict a specific, visceral, historical, painful truth. Is my criticism fair when accounting for this? Considering trauma and memory, isn’t this kind of righteousness the most crucial thinking anyone who experiences trauma can see? An absolute truth? Then, still, one must consider the impact on the audience. Does this pain have an impact? Circular thought returns me to the question of subject matter: Shouldn’t we all bare witness to this?
Matt Zoller Seitz’s article has me rethinking about it all over again. A great read.
“I tell my students, ‘When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else. This is not just a grab-bag candy game.”—
“I’m a transgender person who regularly views both shows, although I honestly watch Colbert less now because of his frequent use of transphobic humor. I’d like to see more of Stewart’s segments mocking transphobic bigots, rather than more segments where we’re the punchline for a cheap joke. Remember, there’s a lot of scared, closeted trans teenagers watching your shows, and those little jokes can do more damage than someone who hasn’t gone through it can possibly imagine.”—
Hey, Everybody. I’m here asking you to support a project that I’ve proudly been apart of: Coffee Talk. Created by Stefan Pfister of Skyrider Films, Coffee Talk is an internet film series about issues within the gay community. Meant to spark conversation, educate, and entertain, I’ve been very happy to be apart of the project.
Last weekend, Pride Films and Plays showed two episodes of Coffee Talk at The Center on Halsted. I’ve been floored by the response we’ve gotten every time we’ve shown Coffee Talk. Even as I was interviewing actors for my episode of Coffee Talk, “Dress,” it was overwhelming to see how touched people are by seeing things that they are concerned about being discussed in media.
This is what I believe good artistic content can do. Bring more diverse imagery into the social sphere and spark discussion and action. I will be working on one of the two final episodes that this campaign will fund. I have done a re-write and will direct the episode that deals with Marriage. And, spoiler, we’re gonna be moving away from the couch!
The other episode deals with the stigma of dating someone who’s age is vastly different from their partner. I want to see this project succeed. I know money is always tight, but please help us out if you can.
This Week, if you live in or around Chicago, you will be broke.
Folks! Tonight, at 5 pm, Pride Films and Plays will be showing the two episodes of Coffee Talk that I worked on! One, “Dress,” is an episode I wrote and directed. The other episode, “My Dad is Gay!,” is an episode that I script supervised.
Also coming up on the horizon:
That very same night, Brainframe will be hosting its 15th event at the Constellation room! I’m going to try super duper hard to be there. I’ve been recommended this show hard for the past month and a half or so.
Finally, if you didn’t know, all of Claire Denis’ films (Friday Night excluded, for some reason) have been showing at the Siskel this month, culminating in the Chicago premiere of her new film, “Bastards.” Lots of film in 35mm. Drool, cineaphiles, drool.
Hey, everybody! If you are in or around Chicago this weekend, the two Coffee Talk episodes I worked on will be screening this Saturday at Pride Films and Plays! This includes “Dress,” the Coffee Talk episode that I wrote and directed.
Info on the screening can be found at the link! I hope to see you there!
“We have been here before. Our history becomes our present so often it becomes difficult to distinguish the two. Politicians and cable news hosts and the naïvely colorblind ask us to forget, most of the country obliges, and black people, again, are left to piece together the fragments of history, suffering, rage, and pain so that we may have hope for something better. Again we advocate for justice. Again we question what justice would even look like. Again we demand that black life be valued. Again we wonder why it never was in the first place. Again we weep, we pray, we march, we raise our voices. Again we prepare ourselves to be let down. And again we ask when will the moment come where we won’t have to go through this again. Again, we wait on the answer.”—Again, We Wait for Answers: Justice for Renisha McBride | The Nation (via guerrillamamamedicine)
The dauntless Chinese fimmaker explains how the wages of capitalism are avenged in A Touch of Sin
Nicolas Rapold recently conducted an interview with one of my favorite living filmmakers, Jia Zhang-ke. Zhang-ke’s most recent film, “A Touch of Sin,” is in this year’s Chicago International Film Festival’s lineup.
I lost him again. He must be in the kitchen. The drinks are in the kitchen, as are ample walls to cling to. I wonder if he found Kathryn. Earlier I could have sworn his argyle sweater was going to eat him whole. I try to be patient. I always think that he’s gotten better and things will be easier for him. Maybe I’m spending too much time thinking about him. I know I am. A relationship shouldn’t be like ours. Sometimes it feels manipulative. He gets upset and drags me in to it. There’s only so much I can take. I hope he’s okay.
“Karen!” Is that Aaron? Yes, that’s Aaron. “Karen,” he approaches, covered in sweat composed of wasted whiskey drinks. “I haven’t seen you in years, how the hell are you? Where’ve you been?”
“It’s all about independence; the ability to choose the path that’s best suited for you.” I fantasized about Evelyn before she said this. It’s just my luck that I decided to befriend a Libertarian at this house party. “There are so many restrictions, you know?” I just nod. I’m on my fifth drink. Drinks always go quicker when you keep your mouth shut. I contemplate going outside. There are more people outside. I want them to all go away. I can never shake the feeling that every single one of these people are staring me between their sweaty, drunken grinding. I want to be anywhere that doesn’t feel like this. What doesn’t feel like this?
“Karen!” Is that Aaron? I fucking hate that guy. Karen always told me he was such a good lay. I get jealous. He can hang at the parties she goes to. And, here I am, feeling guilty, getting drunk.
Zasha: What do I currently do? Right now I’m a post-Colonialist alarmist feminist essayist for the website The Frau, which means I tackle the big issues of 1700s and critique colonialist society. Some people call what I do revisionist history, but I like to think of it as taking what actually…
Inspired by Wrong Like Right's excellent Flash Fiction Friday writings, I tried to give it a shot by writing a piece inspired by this Hold Steady track, which I have not been able to get out of my head since seeing them last weekend.
It was harder than I thought it would be! But, I’ve written a lot this week, so you’ll see something eventually.
Late one night, Neko Case was at the Honolulu airport waiting for a shuttle when she saw a young girl singing and clinging to her mother. The mother suddenly screamed at her daughter, “Get the fuck away from me! Why don’t you ever shut up?”
“It was really awful,” Case recalls of the event which made it verbatim into “Nearly Midnight, Honolulu” on her new album, The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You. “But the kid was like, ‘Eh, whatever,’ and she kept singing. And I remember really admiring the little kid for her pluck, you know—being able to kind of rebuff her mom by just ignoring what a complete cunt she was. But, knowing what that’s like, I’m like ‘Oh, kid, I hope you make it.’”
The song is a tribute to the spirit of that kid and a lament for the baggage that Case knows she’ll always have to carry.
The first-ever trailer for the brand new, rebooted RoboCop explains why they changed the classic cyborg’s look from silver to black. It’s all Michael Keaton’s fault.
Wham Bam Pow’ers! Rhea typing here. Sorry to tip my cards ever so much in that title there but boy oh boy does this RoboCop trailer bum me out. RoboCop is one of my favorite action/sci fi movies (I even like 2!) and while I am ok with people poking around with well established properties that I happen to love deeply (see: Star Trek 2009), this feels pretty gross. I am suspecting that this movie will go beyond simple tonal issues with the trailer and into bad, bad movie territory. It looks like all of the fantastically satirical tone has been removed from the property in service of making a completely empty action flick (which I’m pretty sure the original was making fun of to begin with) that allows 13 year olds in the audience. ALL WHILE INTEGRATING A SEX SCENE. And also removing the female partner.
Paul Verhoeven s RoboCop was a bitterly satirical film commenting on just that, empty action films as well as commentary outside of film itself: governmental war machine, socialism, police state, the drug war, existentialism, feminism, messiahs, urban plight etc. The Total Recall reboot really came and went, so I am hoping that the second Verhoeven re-do suffers the same fate.
What do you guys think?
My concerns are similar. This film may ruin my Michael Keaton Theory*, which is the theory that any movie that Michael Keaton is in cannot be terrible (possibly bad, but not terrible), and will be at least watchable.
*I have not even remotely seen every Michael Keaton movie. But, Batman was good. Multiplicity was watchable. As was that Jack Frost thing, I guess.