It's been almost 6 years now since I had my first experiences collaboratively making fiction films really really fast, back in Portland. Wow. Those were the days!
The closest I've come, creatively, to those times was last weekend, when a team of people, mostly from Pan Left Productions, that included myself, took part in a contest here in Tucson called the 48 Hour Film Shootout. It was a lot of fun and the results are something to be proud of. There was some friction and some toes stepped on, but overall it was suprisingly smooth and most everyone seemed to have a lot of fun.
Here's a totally awesome, bitterly furious rant by Keith Olbermann on MSNBC, a personal commentary on Bush's most recent ludicrous bullshit - our idiot commander-in-chief announcing that he gave up golf in honor of our Iraq casualties. This is the angriest intelligent anti-administration thing I've seen on mainstream TV for quite a while, if not ever. Bravo, Olbermann! You rock!!
I was surprised to discover this morning that Thomas Frank is today kicking off his new weekly Wednesday opinion column in the Wall Street Journal. The editors had this to say about his addition to their team: "Mr. Frank can help our readers understand what's on the mind of the American left as it bids to regain control of the federal government."
Hmm. I'm not sure what to think. Mr. Frank will be familiar to some of you as the once editor of the excellent cultural criticism journal called The Baffler, a periodical of irregular publishing cycle that nevertheless regularly skewered the right wing, capitalists, the rich and the powerful, taking up where the Frankfurt School left off to craft their own particular snarky brand of speaking truth to power.
Frank went on to write The Conquest of Cool, an excellent explication of how the advertising industry changed and was changed by the counterculture of the 60s. A couple books later he wrote the best-selling What's the Matter with Kansas?, an anti-heartland screed against the blue states, or against what makes blue states blue. that went over very well in red states, to which I've just recently read a really interesting and intelligent rebuttal to, a book called "Superior, Nebraska" (named after my stepfather's hometown).
Anyway.... I dunno. What's Frank thinking? Why is he helping the business class understand the Left? So far the column seems more suited for Mother Jones than the WSJ, and seems to be mostly an ad for his new book. Maybe that's his main motivation.
Friday night I did a short DJ set at Dry River's "anti-prom." Don't ask me to define what an anti-prom is. And I'm not sure why I volunteered to DJ. But it was somewhat fun and somewhat successful.
Here's my playlist:
Thatll Be the Day Buddy Holly
Bossa Nova Baby Elvis Presley
Honey Don't The Beatles
Who Do You Love Bo Diddley
Track 09 B.B. King
Rock 'n' Roll High School The Ramones
Chick Habit April March
Holiday Innn Stereo Total
Harley Davidson Brigitte Bardot
Hicky burr Quincy Jones/Bill Cosby
Can You Get To That Funkadelic
Love Revolution Big Star
Best Friends Forever Treasure MammaL
You Make Me High (When You Go Down Low) Lolita Storm
Strange Powers The Magnetic Fields
Hey Mama Black Eyed Peas
Dancing Queen ABBA
Let The Music Play Barry White
Reanimator Amon Tobin
The Pink Room Twin Peaks
The other 2 evenings of the weekend were spent at Dry River too, Saturday to see Andrew Jackson Jihad, from Phoenix, and Sunday to see D-numbers, from Santa Fe.
Last weekend I was in Birmingham, Alabama for one of the twice-yearly meetings of the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee. I was there to film for the documentary on war tax resistance, and also to give people in the committee a status report of how the film is coming along and show them some footage. It went well, and it was nice to spend a few days in a really green and humid place, very different from Tucson.
David Gross was there too and has a pretty complete summary of the weekend on his blog. One thing he leaves out is a direct link to the local Fox News story covering the press conference the group had. In the clip they aired you'll see a split-second shot of me behind my video camera, filming the event for the doc.
I'm kind of baffled that the Fox cameraman would even shoot footage of me, much less that the editor would include it in the final piece. Why is it relevant to the story that someone else was there taping? He didn't shoot footage of the reporter from the Birmingham newspaper who was also there. Weird.
Well, at least the story itself was fairly neutral on the subject and didn't paint the group as some kind of unpatriotic wackos. Perhaps 2 years ago that's the angle that a Fox station would have taken, but opinion has turned so far against that war that maybe even they are moderating their gung-ho pro-Bush stance.
This happened a while ago, 2 months ago, and I edited the video coverage of it a couple weeks ago, but I never blogged about it, that I can remember.
I've started doing "VJ"ing, and my debut was for a Pan Left multimedia extravaganza called Synaesthesia, where musicians improvise to videos they've never seen before. But my set was me improvising live-manipulated-mixed video to music i'd never heard before.
It worked better than I feared. Though I'm not saying the visuals or audio was brilliant. Anyway, here's the video and more info, on the pan left site.
Anyway, I hope to do more of this kind of stuff in the not too far off future.