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Friday, December 30, 2005

My 2006 Blog Project: Write about 52 D.I.Y. Features. Submit info, get some press filmmakers!

Time to help build the m*****f***ing US (& world?) D.I.Y. indie film scene up baby! Time to take the overall US (& world?) indie film scene down to the proverbial next hot & sweaty level. Since I have at least a dozen, maybe 15, readers at this blog, my help-my-D.I.Y.-film-brothers-&-sisters-in-2006 project is to write about 1 new (new to this blog in '06) D.I.Y. (do-it-yourself), ultra-low budget/no-budget, self-distributed (or willing to self-distribute) feature length film every week of this coming year.

So, low-budget/no-budget D.I.Y. filmmakers out there:
* Post a comment here about your new feature and include the URL for the project's web site
* E-mail me directly if you do not want to leave a comment, tell me about your movie (e-mail:
wilddiner at aol dot com), my e-mail addy link is available from this blog's About Me type page, or you can go to my web site & e-mail me from there: http://www.wilddiner.com/.
* When you have some preview DVDs, send me one, no guarantee that I will watch it & write about it, but most likely I will, whenever I am not busy with distro work on my new movie Date Number One. Actually, send me an e-mail first and let me know about the film, will let ya know if I wanna see it, so that you don't have to waste time & money on it otherwise. Will give my snail mailing addy through the e-mail.
* Both US & international filmmakers are welcome (but if you are gonna send me a foreign DVD, make sure it can play in the USA - NTSC region 1 I think is the local format)

All right, let's get this thing started. For Week 1 of 2006 (Sun 1/1/06 - Sat 1/7/05) I am going to point my dozen or so readers to an '05 project called Kissing On The Mouth. So here we go:

Filmmaking For The Poor 2006 52 D.I.Y. Features Blog Project
Week 1 - 1/1/06 - 1/7/06, Film 1
Title: Kissing On The Mouth
A film by: Joe Swanberg, Kris Williams, Kate Winterich, and Kevin Pittman
The goods:
This film caught my attention due to a Braintrustdv interview where filmmaker Joe Swanberg revealed his affinity for indie rock scene/industry inspired self-distribution:

"As really good projectors become cheaper and cheaper, and more and more independent-minded people create microcinemas to showcase outsider films, I can image a network that would allow a filmmaker like me to get in a car and travel around the country showing the film to audiences and charging for tickets at the door."

And also because apparently this film openly and clearly depicts people having sex, which is not something you find everyday in the art/indie/DIY films that I check out (haven't seen 9 Songs yet). Anyway, Kissing On The Mouth is about the romantic and sexual drama of four young people. I'll write more about this project after I see it. In the meantime, check out this excellent Braintrustdv interview and check out the film's site.

UPDATE :: 12/31/05 3:17 AM
What am I doing up at 3:17 AM? Don't ask. But the good news is that this blogging thing works pretty well. Less then 24 hours after publishing the above entry, I learned that a couple of filmmakers are already sending me their DVDs to review. One of the movies that I will write about in the near future is The Proper Care & Feeding of an American Messiah. It sounds like a funny & interesting movie. Chuck T. wrote about it a while back. Oh, and Happy New Year!

UPDATE :: 1/1/06 10:38 AM (January Freakin' First 2!0!0!SIX!!!!!!)
Happy New Year for real kids! Kissing On The Mouth's Joe Swanberg just finished making a new feature film called LOL. Here's a part of the synopsis from the site:
" The relationships of three men are explored through their use of technology. Tim is an Internet addict, struggling to give his girlfriend the attention she craves. Alex can't commit to real girls because he's holding out for one he met online. Chris is home from college for the summer, and his cell phone is the lifeline between he and his girlfriend. " Joe's influences include
Caveh Zahedi, Larry "Curb Your Enthusiasm" David and Michael Winterbottom, a pretty fine creative, funny & productive set of peeps to be inspired by I'd say. I believe I will be able to review LOL here on this blog this month. Looking forward to it.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Best Film Blog of 2005: GreenCine Daily

I choose GreenCine Daily as the best film blog of 2005. I first stumbled upon this excellent blog, written for the most part by David Hudson, in early '05 and moved on thinking that it is not a blog but a newspaper or a magazine or something because the production values and the quality of the writing were so insanely high for a mere blog. Then, a while later, I interviewed Jon Moritsugu, and I e-mailed several indie film press outlets, including GreenCine Daily, about the existence of the interview. David mentioned my Moritsugu interview, and from that point on I was an avid reader of GC Daily (now that it was proven that GC Daily is in fact an actual blog in spirit and practice for reasons that I find valuable - accessible to probably anyone who is into film/who is willing to shoot David an e-mail re: a relevant matter). Anyway, GC Daily embodies excellent craftsmanship and a sense of high quality egalitarianism (David writes about unknown excellent indie filmmakers as well as excellent Hollywood classics) and even though it is joined at the hip with the video on demand and mail order DVD company GreenCine, the scope of material covered at the blog makes it evident that GC Daily is not just the house organ or a promo newsletter for GreenCine. Also GC Daily embodies well the D.I.Y. news coverage and direct communication possibilities that live at the very core of the whole idea of blogging. So GreenCine Daily, you rock, excellent work in 2005, looking forward to reading you daily in 2006.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

10 Filmmakers To Watch In 2006

Merry Christmas everyone! And of course Happy Holidays, for all you non-Christian inclined rock stars like myself out there. It's early morning in Kensington, MD and I am still high on the Christmas food, family & assorted holiday related dramas, and I am still in a year-end list making mood. So here's a list that looks forward, all the way to year 2006 - it's the future but it is only 7 days away! All of the filmmakers listed below have recently completed or released interesting sounding movies, will be playing festivals and theaters in some cases, and their work should be available on DVD now or at some point in '06. Some of their recent works I have seen and liked, and for the rest, I am looking forward to checking out their movies in the new year. And finally, applause & drum roll please, here's my !10 Filmmakers To Watch In 2006 list!, in alphabetical order:

1. Kelley Baker
The Angry Filmmaker. He tours with his movies, teaches workshops, has done sound work for Gus Van Sant, has a cool D.I.Y. film distro philosophy, and he's got a 2005 film called
Kicking Bird that I am looking forward to checking out. What will Kelley do in '06?

2. Andrew Bujalski
Andrew's Mutual Appreciation has appeared on several "best of 2005" lists. I saw the movie and liked it a lot. Mutual Appreciation is about an indie rocker who moves to New York City, tries to get settled and working, and starts to draw some special attention from his best friend's girlfriend. Mutual Appreciation played in several festivals in '05, I am looking forward to seeing this movie go in front of a wider audience in '06.

3. Andrew Dickson
As I discovered yesterday, Kensington, Maryland has several connections to the L.A. indie and Hollywood production worlds. Yesterday I met 3 people who live in L.A. and are involved with the movies as producers and or directors. They were all visiting family in Kensington. Andrew Dickson is one of them and he is definitely the more indie of the three. Andrew is currently busy with a very interesting and hilarious sounding performance art piece called AC Dickson eBay PowerSeller. He's got some film projects cooking too, but I won't go into those details here. I am sure we'll hear about them as the new year unfolds. The fact that Andrew took his movie Good Grief on the road like a touring punk rocker in '01 has placed him on my filmmakers to watch in '06 list.

4. Miranda July
How do you follow up a Cannes win and an excellent, odd romantic comedy? I do not know but Miranda probably has some ideas. Looking forward to seeing what she does in '06.
In the meantime, here's the web site for her '05 movie Me And You And Everyone We Know and the blog for that movie.

5. Jon Moritsugu
Last time I spoke with Jon he was working on a script and getting ready to shoot a new feature. So, if it all goes well, Jon should have a new feature done or close to completion in '06, I think. His very enjoyable '03 movie Scumrock was shot on Hi-8 and it won all kinds of awards. Here is a September '05 interview I did with this legendary & inspirational* punk/underground/indie filmmaker. [*Scumrock: !an award winning feature shot on Hi-freakin'-8 (& edited linear using 2 VCRs!!!)!]]]

6. Amir Motlagh
Amir is the hardest working man I know in this indie film show business. He is working on his first feature Whale at the moment. I liked his shorts Still Lover and My Break Ups Into A Million Pieces a lot, so I am looking forward to seeing Whale in '06.

7. Elizabeth Nord
Did you know there is a punk scene in Israel? Never thought about it did you? Me too, until I heard about Liz's documentary Jericho's Echo: Punk Rock in the Holy Land. Looking forward to seeing it in '06.

8. Todd Rohal
Todd's new film The Guatemalan Handshake got into Slamdance '06. I've been checking out his production blog, so it will be very cool to see the results of all the effort.

9. James Spooner
James has a new movie called White Lies, Black Sheep. I still have not seen his previous movie, the documentary Afro-Punk. Will be checking both those flicks out in '06.

10. Caveh Zahedi
Caveh's movie I Am A Sex Addict was my favorite movie of '05. Sex Addict will be playing in theaters in '06, starting with Seattle's Northwest Film Forum on January 6. Looking forward to seeing the theatrical self-distribution campaign unfold, and then the DVD, and then seeing what Caveh will do next. Whatever it will be, I am sure it will be wild.

And of course I am looking forward to seeing how people will react to my new feature
Date Number One when I show it all over America next year. Showed a bit of it to a friend from Seattle last night, he liked what he saw and thinks the kids in Seattle will dig it. We'll find out for sure in '06.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays & Happy 2006 everyone!

Sujewa
*******

Saturday, December 17, 2005

A New Romance, "Good Grief", Fave Movies of 2005

It's been a most interesting & delicious birthday week over in these here parts. Met an awesome new girl at The Cassettes show on 12/9 Fri, been hanging out w/ her a lot, and had my b-day a few days ago, so not much film or blogging work got done this week but I think a lot of important life work - possible raw material for future art work - happened.

When I got to work today I found on my desk a Punk Planet article written by Andrew Dickson about him touring with his movie Good Grief. It is an interesting account of his adventures on the road. Since touring is the preferred & recommended way of low budget/no budget theatrical self-distro for myself and a couple of other DIY film people I know, I am into what Dickson is talking about. Here is a page w/ info. on Good Grief.

And now, ladies, sea horses and gentlemen, my Favorite Movies of 2005, as of 12/17/05 (being movies I saw for the first time in '05, one of these was first released slightly earlier):

1. I Am A Sex Addict
2. Good Night, And Good Luck
3. Mutual Appreciation
4. The 40 Year-Old Virgin
5. Melinda And Melinda
6. Me And You And Everyone We Know
7. Broken Flowers
8. Scumrock (a '03/'04 release, but I saw it for the 1st time this year)
9. Junebug
10. March of the Penguins

Note: This list may be revised on or before 1/1/06. I have not yet seen Syrianna, Munich, The New World, or Match Point.

Thank you & good night! It's back to Date Number One editing for me. Talk to you again in a few days.

- The Sujewa

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Farzad Rostami Delaware Tobacco blog


Farzad Rostami Delaware Tobacco 2 blog


Farzad Rostami Delaware Tobacco 3 blog


Farzad Rostami Delaware Tobacco 4 blog


Farzad Rostami Delaware Tobacco 5 blog


Farzad Rostami – Delaware Small Business Grants page


Farzad Rostami – Delaware Small Business Chamber


Farzad Rostami – Delaware History Trail


Farzad Rostami – Delaware Historical Society


Farzad Rostami – History of Delaware


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Monday, December 12, 2005

Romper Stomper comes to life in Australia

Some news accounts say it was 5,000 White youths attacking Muslim/Lebanese looking people on an Australian beach, and other stories said it was 20,000 - 30,000 people. Well, time to cancel my travel plans to Australia. I don't really feel that having to fight off thousands of neo-Nazis or just drunken idiots or whatever they are as they attempt to stick a broken bottle into my neck would be a fun way to spend my free time. First France, and now the Land Down Under. 1992's "Romper Stomper", one of Russell Crow's pre-Hollywood fame movies, took a fictional look at racial violence in Australia. Come on France & Australia, get your intergration thing going, that White power stuff (or Muslim power or Laotian power or Sinhala power or Tamil power for that matter) is a dead end.

We all die at some point babies, keep your ugly tribalism in check in the meantime. Evil hate action gets in the way of commerce, creativity and productivity and more importantly it gets in the way of enjoying the little bit 'o life granted to us by this sweet and bitter universe.

"Birthing is hard and dying is mean-- so get yourself a little loving in between."
- Langston Hughes
American poet

And while we are sort of on the subject, check out these blog entries I wrote a while back about the false and dangerous but very popular concept of race. People do all manner of wicked stuff to belong easily and to have an easy & simple identity. Flex your head: recognize individuality, reject negative groupthink, hold only the guilty accountable for evil actions - not people who just look like them, and use the legal system to punish people - that's why we have that thing people.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

I Am An Award Addict: 1 Question w/ Caveh Zahedi Re: The Gotham Award

I spoke w/ Caveh Zahedi, director of the film "I Am A Sex Addict", in mid-November when he came to Silver Spring to show the movie. A few days ago he won a Gotham Award. I asked him about how it felt to win the award. Here's the question and the answer:

SUJEWA: Caveh, how do you feel about winning the IFP/Filmmaker presented "Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You" Gotham Award?

CAVEH: It feels great. The Awards Ceremony was a lot of fun, and it's wonderful to be recognized for your work, but the high only lasts a few days, and then you have to win another award...

*

For more on this topic see this December 3rd blog entry from the Filmmaker Magazine's blog.