Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sasha Grey, Movie Slut

Recently, porn star-turned-legitimate movie star Sasha Grey appeared on Current TV's The Rotten Tomatoes Show to discuss her five favorite movies. Her list of movies explain what really sets her apart from the Jenna Jameson clones of the Porn Industry, and easy to understand why Steven Soderbergh sought her out. After seeing her in The Girlfriend Experience, I'd like to see her in more mainstream (read: non-porn) movies. I think she'd be fun to hang out with, too.

In personal news, I'm wrapping up the DVD and thinking about other personal projects as well.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Odds and Ends: 5/26/09

For the longest time, I prided myself on not watching Jon and Kate Equals Trainwreck. But since I've now invested myself emotionally in their problems, I had to watch the season premiere of their show last night. What I already know of the show I've seen on The Soup, but basically Kate spent the episode whining about the tabloids and about Jon being away. A highlight for me was Kate talking about having to go to Party City "By. Myself." Quelle horreur, Kate! I feel more for the kids than for anyone. Having free things thrown at you is not a way to grow up.

Right now, I'm working on the Lesley Stahl panel, as well as making more edits to the movie. After the Lesley Stahl panel, I'm going to put off transcribing more panels until the movie is done...which is not that far off. I doubt anyone who reads The Film Panel Notetaker is too anxious about the follow-up on High Falls.

Finally, I'm re-designing the blog to suit my summer endeavors. Can't say when the new design will be up yet, but it's based on an old design I started on earlier this year.

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Friday, May 22, 2009

The High Falls Experience

So It's been awhile. To tell the truth, I haven't really missed blogging much.

High Falls is a nice local festival geared toward older people. I'm glad I got a press badge, because in all honesty, I'm not sure if I would've wanted to spend the $175 on it. At the risk of losing my press credentials for next year, I'm going to launch a critique right now:

I think the festival could do more to attract younger people. They showed The 500 Days of Summer (which wasn't too bad, but another post) and Easy Virtue, but a lot of their guests aren't really youth-friendly: even guest (and High Falls board member) Lesley Stahl commented that there weren't too many young people in the audience. From what I observed, most of the main people involved in the festival don't seem like people who are too interested in attracting young people to the festival. I'm not saying they should do away with having people like Lesley Stahl and Lynn Redgrave as guests, but do these people know that Kristen Wiig grew up in Rochester? Or even know who Kristen Wiig is? I suppose that clips from SNL, Knocked Up, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, and Adventureland wouldn't be enough to constitute the 10 minute montages they compiled of each guest to fill up time.

Given how the schedule is laid out, I don't know if these people attend any other festivals besides their own. Other than the movies that win their awards, no film gets a second screening, and the only panels they offer (Lesley Stahl aside) revolve around the recipients of the Susan B. Anthony "Failure is Impossible". When I told one of the staff members that I was doing work on behalf of The Film Panel Notetaker, she asked "What's A Panel?" More panels and more screenings might attract more people from outside the area.

As well as actually giving directions to their venues. I had directions to the Geva Theater from Google, but the address listed at Google was that of their storage building. Printing the directions on their program might have saved me from missing the CCH Pounder Panel.* Their shuttle was hardly ever on time, and they didn't even bother to give their volunteers any schedule as to when the buses show up. I ended up cutting out of Easy Virtue early because I didn't want to keep my brother waiting too long, and I didn't trust the shuttle. When the artistic director remarked that she thought the festival was "running smoothly", I thought, "If it's running so smoothly, why can't they keep their shuttles on time?"

I suppose that the trip was made somewhat worthwhile was meeting and speaking with Jack Garner (anyone who's lived in the Rochester area at some point and is a movie buff knows who he is) and Lynn Redgrave. Meeting Lynn Redgrave was the highlight of the festival, easily. Still gorgeous at 66, I told her how much I loved Georgy Girl, and that I had just seen This Sporting Life (which she's not in) the weekend before. She's a very nice lady, and quite honestly, I'm pleased to meet anyone who was involved in the British New Wave, especially Tony Richardson's sister-in-law (Richardson also directed Lynn in Tom Jones). I should have her panel up on TFPN sometime next week.

I might go again next year if they have some worthwhile guests (like Ms. Redgrave), and I'm not too far away.

Last night, though, I watched Steven Soderbergh's The Girlfriend Experience on Demand. I enjoyed it. Soderbergh said he looked to his own movie The Limey for inspiration, and if you liked that movie (or Out of Sight), you'll probably like this one, too. I thought Sasha Grey did a good job, and while casting her might have been stunt casting, I could see Grey crossing over from porn. She's icy without being stilted, she's vulnerable without being over the top. I hope it comes out on DVD soon enough, since I doubt I'll get a second chance to watch this before 6:30 tonight.

* I did get to meet Ms. Pounder later, and what a nice lady!

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Saturday, May 9, 2009

Little Noises and 'The Limits of Control'

Today I went to Rochester to pick up my Press Pass for the High Falls Film Festival. On the way, I passed by The Little Theatre, Rochester's best known art house movie theater. What are they playing?

The Soloist. And State of Play. Real Art House movies, you know?

The Little used to play all kinds of quirky independent films. I realize this not a great time for the economy, or mainstream independent films, and maybe they're bringing in more mainstream movies to offset losses. Either way, it's a shame. I saw so many entertaining independent films at SXSW this year, and the only reason why they're not coming to The Little is because they don't have mainstream distribution. The Little is a non-profit organization, so it's not like it can't take a chance.

In other Independent Film News,'s Andrew O'Hehir has an interesting interview with Jim Jarmusch about his new movie The Limits of Control. Dunno if this one is coming to The Little, though. Doubt it. Also, Richard Linklater was named Woodstock's Maverick for 2009. I like his response:

"Although the term 'maverick' was greatly devalued in last year's election cycle, I'll humbly take on this honor and as a Texas filmmaker help reclaim the term in the tradition of the famous Texas cattleman Samuel Maverick who refused to brand his cattle. I would like to think it was for humane reasons but the legend goes that he was just too lazy and uninterested in ranching to care. I think there may be an indie filmmaking analogy in there somewhere... regardless, I look forward to being with all of you up in Woodstock this fall."

I only hope I can go back! This should be a good year!

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Friday, May 8, 2009

Some of Me

Yesterday, I saw a psychic. Not the Miss Cleo, $4.99-a-minute variety, but a real one. She gave me what she calls "an intuitive reading". I told her of my cirumstances--that I was currently unemployed, sending out resumes, and going out for interviews--but that it felt more and more like a charade.

She told me that I've been trying too hard, and what I needed to do was relax for awhile. She seemed to emphasize the "relax" part of it. She says that I've been trying to project my future, and that whatever happens next will find its way to me.

Having told her that I'd like to do more traveling after my trip to Austin, she suggested I try doing more of that this summer. I'll have to figure out my finances, but maybe I can work something out. In the meantime, I plan on finishing the DVD and attending High Falls next week.

Also, I read Isabella Rosselini's Some of Me. Aside from the first 30 pages, I read all of it in one sitting. It's not a straightforward autobiography, but a series of reminisces a la Bob Dylan's Chronicles: Volume One, except that Rosselini expounds on her personal philosophy in addition to reminiscing. She talks about her mother, her first husband, Martin Scorsese, and her long relationship with David Lynch.

Now since I've read her book, I can see why she'd want to make short films like this, which have been lately popping up on The Soup:

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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Nixon and Kissinger Out for Burritos

Monday, May 4, 2009

Mo' Editing

I did more editing of the movie this afternoon. I kinda procrastinated throughout the morning, but as I reminded myself: each day I work on it brings me a day closer to having it done. I really hope I've done the last edits on the movie itself, and hopefully I can move on to cutting the interviews. Remember when the audio kept dropping out? I decided to cut out the audio altogether, and just overlap the archive footage with the interviews. I think I've actually improved the movie by doing it. But I'll know for sure when I watch it again tomorrow.

Also, I got this in the mail today. I'm sure the "referral" that they describe in the letter came from my Teen Vogue subscription (which I subscribed to, until very recently). Either way, I think it's funny that they would send this to me, because I'm way beyond their demographic, age-wise.

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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Water Under The Bridge

This morning, I typed up a letter to the manager who fired me. I don't know whether I'm going to send it or not--the letter concerns some things I've recently heard about some of my former co-workers. I got thinking, though. Maybe I need to go away for awhile, perhaps for good. I need to let some water flow under the bridge.

I've been thinking about new ways to make money. As I mentioned a few days ago, I sent e-mails to some local car dealerships. One of them actually replied, and told me they were taking cars to Rochester, Syracuse, and Ithaca all the time, and put my cell phone on file. I might try for a few more dealerships.

I'll be resuming editing the movie tomorrow. I'm not too excited, but I know I have to finish this.

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Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Lion's Share of the DVD is Done.

The interviews went well. First Friday wasn't really that crowded, but I'm thinking it was more the weather than anything else. Otherwise, I'm happy. It's all done, and I can start cutting.

While I was on the Art Walk last night, I came across a flyer for Harpur Film Society at Anthony Brunelli's gallery, and it listed The Lionshare as the movie they're playing this weekend. The Lionshare was directed by Josh Bernhard, who I interviewed for Are You From Bingo? four years ago. I'll have to check that out.

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