So I've lately been following this great blog/portal site called The Workbook Project. It's all about DIY filmmaking and actually mostly about DIY distribution and marketing of films, going around the middlemen of big distributors, festivals, etc. It's great. But today an entry came up that rubbed me the wrong way. It's about these 6 men (boys?) who are all filmmakers, made 4 films under some indie "company" or group called "New Breed" I guess, and now are on a tour around the country in a van, screening their films.
Ok, great. That's cool. But they're video-blogging the trip and the first video is kind of stupid. First of all it introduces it as "6 dudes and 4 films in a van" or something like that, and nowhere in this video does it talk about what the films are about. Instead it's full of dumb little "dude" moments where they're standing outside of the van cracking dumb jokes and making fun of each other about totally irrelevant shit. Is that supposed to make me want to go see these films? Why?
Interestingly enough, a glance at their tour schedule reveals that they were already in Tucson for a few days last week, but I never heard about the screenings nor do any of the film titles ring a bell at all. I probably saw them listed in the Loft's calendar and had no interest in them at all. Maybe they're trying to cover up the fact that these are mediocre films by surrounding them with ridiculous buzz. But c'mon, this is just the kind of buzz that would drive me screaming in the opposite direction from wherever these "dudes" are heading. If they wanted me to learn, or re-learn once again, that most males, even most indie filmmaker males, are obnoxious dorks who spend most of their time just trying to prove how cool they are, well, they've succeeded, but that's about all I've learned from their vlog so far.
It just disappoints me given the level of material usually posted on The Workbook Project.
At a McCain rally some racist wingnuts were handing out weird Obama "Change" bumper stickers that had the muslim crescent and star as the "C" in the word change, and a soviet hammer and sickle. Muslim republicans and even some (more) rational conservatives confronted them on it. Here's a pretty good video about it by the American News Project:
The local rag I love to hate, the Tucson Weekly, issued a "Best of Tucson" award to Dry River, the little group that runs the infoshop down the street from me and that I'm an on-again, off-again member of. The Weekly determined that we are the "best anarchist collective" in town. Here's the entirety of their explanation:
Anarchy may have gone out of style with the passing of St. Joe Strummer, but here in Tucson, there are still a few flying the black flag. What they do is kind of a mystery. We know they take camping trips, practice consensus decision-making and, mainly, facilitate a space called Dry River. Dry River commandeered the Best of Tucson™ title by giving radicals a place to organize, create and share. Like any good anarchist collective, Dry River has a zine library and a free store, and hosts all-ages punk shows and radical film screenings—but it's the free education that caught our eye. They offer classes in English, Spanish and silk-screening; they're also open to new ideas.
Oh well, even snarky publicity is good publicity. heh.
Brian Boyce, one of my all-time favorite collage videomakers, weighs in with this quick and dirty Palin detournment:
Palin and McCain have to be defeated. They just have to be. I think they will be, but I admit that part of that optimism is denial, because the alternative is just too much to even think about.
My friend Esteban Caliente is hosting a "new" radio program on the new internet radio station in Tucson, Free Radio Chukshon. I say "new" in quotes because the show is a reprise, a re-versioning, of a radio show I did 18 years ago on WCBN, the student radio station I worked at in Ann Arbor. The show is called The Difficult Listening Hour and it's sort of a collage of sound effects, field recordings, interviews, music, all mashed together and sort of conforming to a loose theme... Esteban is even including, mixing in, recordings of the old shows, incorporating them into his new shows. It's a really interesting trip down memory lane, and down the last couple decades of music - both popular and 'experimental'. Listening to the kind of audio manipulations he's doing, and comparing them to the much more rudimentary techniques I had access to in the early 90s is pretty fascinating.
The station has a pretty full schedule already, with new programmng happening for 8 or more hours every afternoon/evening, and auto-shuffle going the rest of the time. It's exciting.