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Friday, October 31, 2008

Rachel Getting Married- Anne Hathaway Gets Dramatic!!

If you want to see a movie that is gripping and one that shows the love of a family, Rachel Getting Married may be the ticket you want to buy. This movie, starring Anne Hathaway, Bill Irwin, and Debra Winger ( I didn't realize it was her until late in the movie!) deals with a young woman, Kym(Hathaway) who has come home for the weekend from a rehab clinic, to attend the wedding of her sister Rachel. While many may think that this has to be a happy occasion with it being a wedding and Kym coming home, very soon they start to see and feel tensions. Anne Hathaway's emotional performance, Bill Irwin's quiet intensity, and Debra Wingers chilly performance as a mother who has basically ignored her daughters during their highest achievments, make this movie what it is.

Anne Hathaway really had me on edge watching this film. As Kym, she's a tiny, loaded cannon
just waiting to explode. Kym has come full circle as a recovered drug addict. She attends her rehab meetings, follows the steps necessary for treatment, and is trying to do better for herself. However, despite all of these things, Kym has a hard shell. She has been alone and away from her family during her stint in rehab. When Kym comes home, this is where the tension begins. She has to deal with her over protective father (played wonderfully by Bill Irwin) and also deal with the attention her older sister Rachel ( played by Rosemarie DeWitt) is getting due to her upcoming wedding. It is a an astronomical amount of attention that Rachel gets. Kym struggles to let her voice be heard, and at times she even has to interrupt conversations to get a word
in. Alas, the loaded cannon of Kym goes off. Hathaway justs lets loose her performance as Kym.
She is outspoken,unapologetic, and is comfortable in her own skin. When I saw Hathaway in this
performance, I forget for a moment that this was the same girl from the movie, The Princess Diaries!! Hathaway's model looks still hold in this movie as in her other movies, but she tries to take her acting to another level.

Bill Irwin, as the over protective but loving dad, Paul, does a good job in this film. Irwin gives his performance a quiet, yet dominant trait. He shows his love for his daughter Kym, offering her her favorite sandwich when she gets home, making sure she eats, and always checking to know where she is when she goes out of the house. I saw elements of my own dad in Irwin's character. As the character Paul, he also tries to hold everything together when his family seems to be
going crazy. Being that it is his daughters wedding, their is alot of action and planning to be done, emotions run thick, and of course Kym is home so thats double for Paul to worry about. Irwin's acting is wondeful; he doesn't try to overdo his role or underplay it. He simply shows a dad who loves his family and his two daughters.

Debra Winger ( remember her from the film "Legal Eagles"??) made me really not like her character in this film. This was a good thing though. Winger's character, Abby was supposed to be this way. Winger plays the estranged mom to Kym and Rachel. She has been out of her girls' lives, missed important moments, and basically remarried and moved on without them. When Abby comes back for Rachel's wedding, you feel as if she is a guest rather than the girls mom. Winger plays Abby really well. I felt the chill between her and her daughters, and felt that this woman has lived a totally different life from her daughters by her persona and character.

Overall, Rachel Getting Married is a nice film. I have to mention the excellent performance by Rosemarie DeWitt as Rachel. She played to the fullest this older sister who is showered with so much attention, that at first you might think of her character as really selfish and self centered. It seems like Rachel wants things to be run her way, and her voice is the only one that matters. But, as the movie progresses, you see that Rachel in her own way is trying to deal with Kym coming home, accepting her back into her life. Also, once Rachel sees how hard it is for Kym to adjust back to family life, she opens up to her and becomes the big, loving sister that she should be. A beautiful scene that shows this is when Kym comes home after attempting to kill herself. Kym gets to feeling so hurt from her mother and the past ( Kym accidently killed her younger brother), she tries to end her life. Thankfully, Kym doesn't succeed in this attempt, and goes back home. When Rachel sees her sister return home ( which happens to be on Rachel's wedding day, moments before she is to walk down the aisle), Rachel helps Kym get herself together, just showing love that is truly touching.

Rachel Getting Married... a good film!! If you have not seen it, go see it. It will make you feel the power of family and of redemption.

Kevin & The Weinsteins make an Apatow flick

..Or at least they try.

What starts off as a whip smart, raunchy, slacker comedy.. the type Kevin Smith does so well, comes to a screeching halt in the final act when he suddenly expects us to embrace his attempts at turning the film into a schmaltzy romantic comedy, with declaration of love monologues that would put even Nora Ephron in a diabetic coma.

Zack and Miri, played by Seth Rogen and Elisabeth Banks, respectively, are old friends who are struggling to make ends meet. Meanwhile at their 10 year high school reunion they run into an old class mate dating a gay porn star ( a scene stealing performance by Justin Long.)

This gives the pair the brills Idea of making their own porno (hence the title douche).
What follows is a sex and gross out comedy romp that plays like Porky's meets Clerks (and if that's not a great formula for a movie.. I don't know what is).
Unfortunately problems arise when Zack and Miri end up falling for one another and the film plummets into cliche chick flick oblivion.

It seems as if Mr. smith doesn't really know how to balance the sophomore humor with genuine emotion the way, that some may argue, Judd Apatow is able to do so successfully. (I'm not one of them but...)

Smiths attempt to build a hit the Apatow way.. by using many of Apatow's regulars: Rogen, and Craig Robinson, and themes: Maturity stunted adults finally growing up through the power of love is both obvious and essentially unsuccessful. what could have been a light hearted good time is weighted down by a clunky ending... and Kevin Smith is much smarter than that.

Trailer Trash: The Happening

We didn't Listen!!!!

The Failed List:

A list of random things and Films that just Failed. Dog gone it!, they tried but it just wasn't good enough, but hey with out the fails we wouldn't know when we have success. so thanks, thanks for sucking so hard.

1. Michael Phelps hosting SNL: Don't know if it was the stiff acting. mechanical reading of the cue cards. the constant staring of said cue cards, his awkward Herman Munster appearance or just crappy SNL writing, but goodness this was a train wreck we were more than happy to turn away from.. dude stick to jumping into water.

2. King of the Hill gets cancelled: WOW!, this show was still on? Who watches this? really? I mean besides the trailer park demographic whose desperate to see any representation of themselves on that "glowy Box thing". Plus with all the attention and buzz FUNNY and relevant adult cartoons like Family Guy, South Park and the Boondocks guess there just wasn't any room for a dull family like the Hills, and to think.. they cancelled Futurama before this crap. Blasphemy!

3. Chuckies much older sister trying to distance herself from the family legacy. Embrace it Bitch!

4. Mark Wahlberg in "The Happening": Probably the closest will get to seeing Marky play gay on screen.


Robert Blecker Wants Me Dead

How on earth can a pro-capital punishment crusader and a death row inmate be friends?

That question pulses at the center of ROBERT BLECKER WANTS ME DEAD, an often disturbing, sometimes funny, documentary film about passion, murder, and the American death penalty.

Robert Blecker is one of the country’s most impassioned crusaders for capital punishment. A self-described “emotive retributivist,” Blecker teaches at the New York Law School in lower Manhattan. From there he conducts his one-man crusade to save capital punishment from the mounting wave of moratoriums and death-row commutations. Blecker teaches that death is the only just penalty for “the worst of the worst” – the small fraction of the nation’s convicted murderers who have surrendered their right to live by the irredeemable viciousness of their crime. His credo is: “Some people deserve to die, and we have an obligation to kill them.”

Daryl Holton is one of those people. In 1997, Holton shot his four children to death with an assault rifle in Shelbyville, Tennessee. For these crimes, he was given four separate death sentences.

In ROBERT BLECKER WANTS ME DEAD, we see the two men meet during Blecker’s 2005 research trip to Riverbend maximum-security prison outside Nashville.

While chatting with Holton in an impromptu interview, Blecker discovers to his shock that this multiple murderer not only possesses a keen legal mind and a wry sense of humor, but that Holton has declined to file any of his permitted appeals, and seems to invite his own execution with a mixture of calm and even courage. The two men discover a strange philosophical kinship.

So begins this puzzling and engrossing relationship. For the next year and a half – by phone, by mail and even the occasional visit – the condemned man and the scholar warily spar with one another through a roller-coaster of death-watches, postponements and court-ordered stays, all the while exploring together the meaning of mercy, justice, and the morality of the death penalty.

But the clock is ticking down toward Holton’s last moment, when Tennessee’s electric chair will grimly test both Holton’s apparent certainty, and Blecker’s dedication to his lethal theory of justice…

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Indie pick 'o' the day: Kidulthood

Hey look its a British KIDS! except without all the gratuitous shirtless scenes.. frank depictions of sex and about 10 years too late.
even after these twelve years passed Larry Clarks' 1996 classic still beats this film in shear audacity, making Menhaj Hudas 2006 British teen slice of life seem like a younger sibling just trying to catch up. Sorry little bro you cant fit big brothers Timbs, if only because he wore them first and rocked them with a lot more purpose.
Kidulthood follows a group of young west London teens throughout a day off,
the result of one of their classmates tragic suicides. What follows is your requisite bored kids with no supervision: drugging, stealing, revenge plots and even a little prostitution thrown in. unfortunately the end result just seems unfinished, coming off more like an episode of the teen drama Skins than any actual "gritty" feature.
It seems too polished, too After School Special to leave you with that unsettling caution that KIDS did all those years ago and that helped make it a pop culture classic.
The young actors seem willing and able but the director just seems to be holding something back. I kept waiting for the ante to be upped but it seems like the film just chickened out.
Apparently Hudas just released a sequel to the film over-seas titled: Adulthood, lets just hope between the previous film and the sequel the film maker has done a little growing up.

Let Me Tell You Bout Yo' Self: CW

Uh, uhhhh! A sistah is tooo upset right now!
Here I was, Monday night, getting myself all comfy and what not to watch my show.
Ladies I think you know where I'm going wit this Gu Gu Girlfriends!!
Yesss! That is my joint.
I just love watching bug eyed Joan Clayton act a damn fool on that show. That sistahs love life is a bigger mess then mine and hell, both the mens I'm with got records and been on them "Whose yo daddy?" Maury episodes at least 3 times. They were not the father.
but you know what else they got? That's right...
Neck tattoo's.
Oooohh weee. If there is one thing Shaniqua Jenkins loves, it's a ruff neck brotha with a neck tattoo, shit he don't even got to spit the game right if he's working wit that.
Face like Biz Markie and he could still get the digits.. he had me at "Holla back shortie" mmmm.
Anyways I was cold chilling in front of the tv had my big dollar bag of Funions some Pork Grinds and a glass of Mad Dog 2o/20 tryna see what mess my gurls get into this week. My favorite is the freaky light skinded girl she be bugging and she know how to get down, but I do miss that bougie heffa Tony Childs sometimes.
So I turn on the CW and don't see nothing but some pale lilly white faces. The CW talking about stay tuned for an all new Gossip Girl.
I was like "aint this about a bitch"
so I call my girl Bonquisha to see what the wrap is, cuz I got my Girlfriends watching steez on lock.

Them mofos cancelled girlfriends!
You don't even know how heated a sistah was. I was about ready to get to Slicing. Then bonquisha started talking about how Raekwon had got him a little bootleg side hustle going and if I wanted to get some movies 4 for $20, and I'm like,
"first of all I dont know how much money I done lent to that knuckle head Raekwon in the first place so if anything them boot legs need to be free for me.. or at least give a sistah a discount".

then Bonquisha starting wilding out, about how she think I'm tryna get wit her thick ass apple headed man. so I had to hang up on her, A sistah was not in the mood, plus my Funions was getting cold.
I like to put em in the microwave for about 52 minutes so they nice and toasty then sprinkle a lil butter up on em. mmmmm. got my mouth watering just thinking bout it.
So i decides hell! I'm already watching this, let me see what these crazy white folks is up to, cause them bad ass kids be the most out of control ones.
News flash Shelly and Roger them "time-outs" for yo kids aint working.
That's why they going around shooting up schools and what not.
anyways I checked out this Gossip Girl mess, then I heard they did a remake of that show I didnt watch the first time it was on: 90210, and I got to thinking, CW you wonder bread mofos cancelled Girlfriends for two versions of the same damn whiny show.

First off. what the hell CW even stand for? "Cracka Wonderland"? cuz thats sure as hell what it look like. I mean at least they got Michael from the Wire on 90210 but damn they sucked out all that boys swagga.

Throw him around a bunch of rich white people and they drain ya flava. half the time i felt like i was watching screech in black face.
but when he was on the wire he killed it. that was messed up how he did my boy snoop though, but hell throw a neck tattoo on him and its OVAHH! he's a lil cutie.
Don't even get me started on that lil black accessory they got on Gossip Girl, they got this sistah following this white girl around like her lil sidekick not saying nothing.. I was like uhh uhh, can the sistahs rise please? Like the great Maya angelou said "have a lil self respect bitch"
I wish that bitch would think I would follow her around like Im Fonzworth , let that heffa talk to me any damn way she feel like.. I will get to body slamming.
memo to Gossip Girl: yes "black people do talk" hell you might not like what we have to say cuz we'll curse ya ass out in a second but we'll talk like a mutha. during a movie in the theatre, on our cell phones at the DMV, mad loud on the subways even when our girls is sitting right next to us we will TALK.
shit you might as well have just left her off the show..only thing she do is piss me off when she show up.
She can't dress worth shit, I mean has this heffa never heard of Baby Phat?.. plus that tired ass doo she rocking is too done.. I will hook her up though. get her some purple highlights with some on point patted down S-curls..have her looking like home girl from
Total.. a Starrr.
"Can't you see what you do to meeee?" ooh taking me back. that was my joint.
Anyways, like I thought before, them white kids was all over the place. bed hopping, parents on drugs, Sleeping with eachothers mothers, and what not. They need to get it together. plus it was on TV so they couldnt show no good stuff. hell I liked Gossip Girl better when it was a movie anyways.

And what is up with that middle aged blonde girl they got on that show talking about she in highschool Pahlease. Serena, Sereta something.
bitch got crows feet like a mug.
She smiled in one scene so many damn lines popped up on her face looked like a Walmart on christmas eve.

I mean I know ya'll are prone to cracking prematurly but damn. Somebody get that heffa some Lubriderm with the quickness.
I'm a cosmopologist so she need to take my advice. You got to lather it up before you go to bed.. right under them eyes and them mouth lines..
hell gurl for you I reccomend at least a bottle a night, just get up in that leathery ass skin and smooth it out.

Both shows are a mess. though you know what?
I tuned out of that 90210 in the first 15 minutes. Bunch of big heads on stick bodies in miniskirts whining about being rich and shit.
Thank you but Nooo thank you. a sistah struggeling to pay her cable bill and I'm sposed to care about why mommy and daddy don't pay yo rich ass any attention?
gossip girl was basically the same thing except they had like a mixed girl up in there too so, I paid a little more attention, and that one dude.. Chuck is kinda cute. He aint a rough neck or nothing but I think a neck tattoo can remedy that up right quick.

Your garbage CW, yall shoulda never cancelled girlfriends.. and then yall moved "The GAME" to fridays?
ya'll know I'm getting my ass ready to go to the clubs on a friday night.. I see how ya'll living!. thats alright.
least we still got TV ONE.. lets see how long before them crackas take THAT away from us.

Anyways I gots to go "NY Undercover" bout to come on... haven't seen it in awhile but I love me some fine ass chocolate Malik Yoba.
... That show still on right?

Warmest Regards:
Shaniqua, Alvarez, Jenkins

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


BreakPoint is a dramatic tennis metaphor in this film . After learning from her doctor that her life will change forever, Gabrielle has to make the decision to give up or keep playing. Who knows what will be served up next?

Directed by Jamie Broadnax

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

SEEN O' The Day: The Witches

Remember the movie The Witches??? It's one of my cult favorites!! Well in the spirit of our upcoming scary holiday, let's take a look at a scene from the classic 1990 film The Witches. The Witches is totally a kid's flick and it's not quite a horror film, but ya gotta admit, if you saw the transformation of Angelica Huston's character approach you in the dark , by yourself, at midnight, on'll be scared!

The scene is a little lengthy, but you gotta see the whole clip to appreciate the scene!

P.S. Rowan Atkinson a.k.a Mr Bean is in it too!

Tribeca Film Institute Announces First Annual TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund Recipients; GIVES $110,000 to five projects

[New York, NY – October 28, 2008] The Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) has announced the selection of five film projects to receive financial and creative support from its inaugural TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund, supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Out of 130 applications submitted, the five projects chosen will receive a total of $110,000. The TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund supports narrative projects that tell compelling stories about science and technology or portray scientists, engineers and mathematicians as major characters.

The projects were selected by a committee made up of filmmakers Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler, Requiem for a Dream) and Steven Shainberg (Fur, Secretary), producer Caroline Baron (Capote), producer and writer Ann Druyan (Contact), Columbia University Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor of Biological Sciences Darcy B. Kelley, and former Director of the National Institutes of Health, co-recipient of the 1989 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine and President and Chief Executive Officer of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Dr. Harold Varmus.

The selected projects selected and funding are:
· Face Value - $40,000
· The Radioactive Boy Scout - $40,000
· Alva - $10,000
· A Noble Affair - $10,000
· Kitty Hawk - $10,000

"The TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund affords us an opportunity to provide funding at a crucial time in the industry,” said Jane Rosenthal, Co-Chairman of the Board, TFI. “These are projects we would like to see brought to fruition and we are happy to be able to support them with funding and our vote of confidence.”

“We are delighted to partner with the Tribeca Film Institute in supporting these five film projects that showcase the tremendous box office appeal of science and technology themes and characters,” said Doron Weber, program director at the Sloan Foundation. “We expect Face Value and Radioactive Boy Scout to be produced within the next year – there is already significant industry interest and attachments – while developing the other promising scripts for the future.”

“It was exciting to read so many interesting and compelling stories with scientific themes,” said Caroline Baron. “It makes you realize how big a role science plays in all of our lives. The committee feels strongly that we have identified projects where Sloan funding would have the greatest impact.”

Films funded tell stories of a screen siren’s unheralded talents as a pioneering inventor, the true story of a boy scout trying to build a nuclear reactor and win his father’s respect, the controversial life of Thomas Edison, Marie Curie’s passionate personal entanglements on the path to the discovery of Radium, and the intense family drama and intrigues behind the extraordinary achievements of the Wright brothers.

Selected projects for funding:

Face Value - The story of screen siren Hedy Lamarr's little-known vocation as an inventor and scientist. Working with avant-garde composer George Antheil, with whom she had a passionate affair, Lamarr patented "frequency hopping" to aid the US military in WWII. Little did she know, it would become a key component in most current wireless technology.
Director: Amy Redford; Producers: David Baxter, Gretchen Somerfeld;
Screenwriters: Gretchen Somerfeld, Jose Rivera

The Radioactive Boy Scout - Based on the true story of a 16-year-old Boy Scout in Michigan who, in 1995, attempted to build the core of a nuclear reactor in his backyard shed and was shut down by the Federal government.
Director/Screenwriter: Greg Harrison;
Producer: Danielle Renfrew, William Horberg;

Alva - Was Thomas Edison America's greatest inventor, or a clever thief with a pioneering acumen for marketing? Alva explores the life of Edison from a precocious young rule breaker, to the full blown 'Wizard of Menlo Park'.
Screenwriters: Alex Lyras, Michael Dorian

A Noble Affair - Marie Curie was one of the leading feminist figures of the scientific world, facing obstacles in her professional and personal life, both exacerbated by gender discrimination. This is the story of how she proved the existence of the element Radium, thereby paving the way for many discoveries in nuclear science and earning her a second Nobel Prize.
Producer: Anil Baral
Screenwriter: Kathryn Maughan

Kitty Hawk - The story of the Wright Brothers, the original aviation pioneers, that chronicles their journey and struggles towards the first manned flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
Director/Screenwriter: Tim Kirkman
Producers: Joshua Astrachan, Lucy Barzun Donnelly, Gill Holland

Submissions for the 2009 TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund open November 12, 2008 and will be accepted through January 9, 2009 (postmark deadline). Fund recipients will be announced in the spring of 2009. Visit for further rules and information on submissions.

About Tribeca Film Institute
The Tribeca Film Institute is dedicated to creative innovation in film and media arts. The Institute creates original programs that draw on the unifying power of film to promote creativity, understanding, tolerance and global awareness. Our commitment is to educate, entertain and inspire filmmakers and audiences alike, while strengthening the artistic and economic fabric of New York City and its Lower Manhattan community.

For more information visit

About the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

The New York based Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, founded in 1934, makes grants in science, technology, economics and the quality of American life. Sloan’s program in public understanding of science and technology, directed by Doron Weber, supports books, radio, film, television, theater and the Internet to reach a wide, non-specialized audience.

Sloan’s partnership with Tribeca forms part of a broader national program by the Sloan Foundation to stimulate leading artists in film, television and theater to create more realistic and compelling stories about science and technology and to challenge existing stereotypes about scientists and engineers in the popular imagination. Over the past ten years, Sloan has partnered with six of the top film schools in the country—AFI, Carnegie Mellon, Columbia, NYU, UCLA and USC—and established annual awards in screenwriting and film production. In addition to the Tribeca/Sloan Screenplay Development Program, the Foundation has initiated screenwriting and film production workshops at Sundance, the Hamptons and Film Independent and honored new feature films such as the recent Flash of Genius, Sleep Dealer, and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. Sloan is also supporting several new plays at the Ensemble Studio Theater and Manhattan Theater Club and John Adams’ acclaimed opera Dr. Atomic currently at the Metropolitan Opera. For more information, please visit

Monday, October 27, 2008

Gotham Screen Film Festival

At Tribeca Cinemas: Gotham Screen

What: The 2nd Annual GOTHAM SCREEN Film Festival
Are you a discerning New York moviegoer who likes to discover fresh, new film talent? If so, get your tickets today for this weekend's GOTHAM SCREEN Film Festival, which is sure to showcase cutting-edge feature, documentary and short films from independent, first- or second-time directors, as well as international releases making their East Coast or US debut. GOTHAM SCREEN's Opening Night feature, Left Bank, is a thriller that features archery, mysterious disappearances, and life in Antwerp.
Pretty Ugly People, the festival's Closing Night film, stars Missi Pyle as a formerly-obese woman in for a surprise when she debuts her new self. Browse the online film guide to read about all the offerings, including short films, a staged screenplay reading, and more!When: Thursday, October 30—Sunday, November 2 (That's this weekend!)
Where: Tribeca Cinemas, New York City
How: Tickets are now on sale. Buy yours today!
Learn more about GOTHAM SCREEN

Learn more about Tribeca Cinemas Box Office Information::Tribeca Cinemas54 Varick Street New York, NY 10013 (at Laight Street, one block below Canal Street)(212) 941-2001

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Indie Pick O' The Day: Chuck & Buck

Are you in the mood for love?? How about a homoerotic masochistic love story? Well that's exactly what you'll get when you pop in the DVD and watch Chuck & Buck. The film tells the story of Buck who comes off as being mildly retarded, but really he's just a man-child who refuses to stray away from his childhood. Buck has a childhood crush on his best friend Chuck. A simple twish of fate bring these two together under unfortunate circumstances after Buck's mother passed away. They meet at her funeral and reunite once again as friends. Although the years that passed has changed and matured Chuck, his old pal Buck has remained the same and wants to go outside and play as if he never grew up as they parted as friends.

Chuck who lives in Los Angeles, kindly tells Buck that he should come by and visit sometime. Poor ol Buck sees that remark as more than just a friendly invitation and moves to Los Angeles permanently where he begins stalking Chuck. The movie begins to become even more bizarre when Buck decides to write and produce a play about Chuck and their friendship.

The film won an Independent Spirit Award in 2001 for Best Feature under $500,000. It was also nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance. Pretty compelling performance by Mike White who plays Buck and also wrote the screenplay. You might have seen his written work too in a little unknown film called School Of Rock.

The movie is weird and bizarre, but quirky and cute in its own way. A creative effort by the director and writer and shot on a shoestring budget.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Remember Mystery Science Theater 3000?

I loved that show! I used to watch that show and afterwards pop in a movie and provide my own comical commentary. Of course, I was by myself. With no audience. In the dark. Okay way too much information, but at the CMJ Music Marathon and Film Festival, they decided to showcase the talents of The Raspberry Brothers. They screened the film The Lost Boys---a Corey's classic of course and I was laughing out loud the whole freakin time.
The funniest thing the commenters pointed out to the audience was Corey Haim's wardrobe during the movie. I never noticed how gay it really looked!!! Like seriously, what was the set costumer thinking?!? Also there is a quick shot when Corey shuts his closet door and there is a pic of Rob Lowe with an open shirt and oily chest. Was there some homoeroticsm in this movie?? I'm just sayin! I never noticed, but the Raspberry Brothers did!!

Basically the comedy trio did a short presentation of the film and there was a moment midway into the film that they stopped the DVD. The three guys went in front of the movie screen and re-enacted a scene from the film. It was pretty hilarious. Remember the scene with Corey Haim in the bathtub taking a bubble bath and singing the song "Aint Got No Home". In case yall forgot what scene I'm talkin about look at the infamous clip below:

Well the Raspberry Brothers didn't quite re-enact it the way the film was shot, they did it in their own sophmoric kind of way. It was pretty there was some brief nudity. Which was kinda of weird for me. The picture above is an old screening date for the trio...but for more info go their website.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

CMJ Film Fest Review: The Brothers Bloom

The Brothers Bloom is a cute quirky film quite reminiscent of The Darjeeling Limited and no it wasn't because the film shared the same NYIndieSeen favorite talent Mr. Adrien Brody. BUT...I digress and say that this movie is what I like to call a smunny flick. Smunny movies are films that are smart and funny at the same time. The film is about two brothers played by Indieseen favorites Adrien Brody and Mark Ruffalo who are both con-artists. They've been conning since they were kids. Really...kid cons.

The movie begins that way and then takes us to the present as the brothers-- who are now adults in their prime. Our friend Bloom, (played by Brody) is jaded by his conniving ways and wants to retire from the swindling business. However, his brother Stephen (played by Ruffalo) who sees what he does as an art form, persuades his sibling to pull off just one more con. The ultimate plan to extort 1.75 million dollars from a wealthy heiress.

Of course the plan goes awry when Bloom finds that he's falling in love with the girl played by Rachel Weisz. However, in my opinion; one of the funniest, cutest, and interesting characters in the entire movie has absolutely little to no dialogue. Rinko Kikuchi , who also had a mute role in the film Babel, plays Bang Bang the 3rd "silent partner" with tha brothaz. The wardrobe attire of the actors is quite the sense that we forget this film is set in present day, but their outfits look like this film should have taken place in the late 19th centry and maybe very early 20th. I love Bang Bang's wardrobes and "Olseneque" bug eyed sunglasses. She's got a cool swagger with her constant smoking and condescending attitude. Lovez it!

The movie literaly takes us around the world as the the crew takes us from Prague to Mexico to New Jersey. An interesting film that was recently screened at the Hamptons International Film Festival and is scheduled in limited release on December 19th. If you're a fan of smunny movies you'll love The Brothers Bloom. A heist film mixed with romance, lies and deceit. What more can you ask for??

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

CMJ Day 1: Registration Day

Today is Day 1 of the CMJ Music Marathon & Film Festival. The streets of Washington Square South are littered with NYU students, press, and indie music connoisseurs.

The next event to be reviewed here will be The Hip Hop Renaissance: A Cultural Rebirth? Feat. Q Tip. Could be interesting or maybe not?

So far the festival is catered more to the independent music community than film, but anything that deals with indie we certainly support. It should be interesting how each day will unfold and I look forward to seeing a number of new films being screened during the festival....including some movie with Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks...yall know what I'm talkin about.

CMJ Music Marathon & Film Festival

Tonight is the opening night of the CMJ Music Marathon & Film Festival!!!

Here is an intinerary of today's events! NYIndieSeen will provide to you live and direct as much insight as possible about the films premiering at the festival this week.

If you're in the city, stop by and check it out and support BOTH independent film and musicians!


Join us for The Hilfiger SessionsKicking off the CMJ Music Marathon - Tuesday October 21st, 2008At Terminal 5 – 610 West 56th Street , NYC – Doors open at 7 PMFEATURING: LOUIS XIV, Young Lords, and Special Guests.RSVP to rsvp@tommy-usa.comAnd check out previous HILFIGER SESSIONS exclusively on


Location: Surta – 16 First Avenue (at First Street )
Open Bar, Performances by Sarah White followed by a DJ set from the Beatards

Music Recommendations For Tuesday October 21st

Chairlift – breezy synth pop from Brooklyn - The Annex, 10/21/2008
Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson – devastating singer-songwriter from Oregon via Brooklyn - Bowery Ballroom, 10/21/2008, 9:00:00 PMLykke Li – Swedish singer with serious pop flair - Bowery Ballroom, 10/21/2008, 11:00:00 PMPhenomenal Handclap Band – sprawling, killer electronic/dance outfit - Music Hall of Williamsburg , 10/21/2008, 12:00:00 AMWale – great, nuanced hip hop from DC - S.O.B.'s, 10/21/2008, 10:00:00 PMDel McCoury Band legendary guitarist w/his two sons - Highline Ballroom, 10/21/2008, 10:00:00 PM

Film Recommendations
The New York Premiere Of Zack and Miri Make a Porno (Thursday Event)
(Dir. Kevin Smith, USA , 102 min) Will take place on Thursday, October 23rd - 7 p.m.Regal Cinemas Union Square , 850 Broadway AvenueLegendary for finding the humorous and heartfelt in life's more vulgar moments, Kevin Smith has helmed what might be his raunchiest film to date. Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks play low-income working shmoes with a bright idea to score some cash: homemade porno! Who wouldn't wanna watch that?

Post-screening Q&A with director Kevin Smith.
Panel Recommendations For Tuesday October 21st
It’s Broken, Fix It
11:00am-12:15pm / NYU Kimmel Center , 4th Floor, Eisner & Lubin, Room 401
This panel will be an in-depth discussion on new models for the music industry and how they integrate to make a system that is profitable and fair for all.
Scott Austin, CEO, Authentik Artists
Dallas Austin , Artist/Producer/Owner, Rowdy Records
Steve Yegelwel, President, S-Curve Records
Chris Gannett, VP Strategic Marketing & Business Development, Sony BMG Music Entertainment
Ian Rogers, CEO, Topspin

A Jazz State of the Union Forum
3:30pm-4:45pm / NYU Kimmel Center , 9th Floor, Room 909
This panel featuring the legendary Slide Hampton, will deliver compelling conversation about changes in jazz music along with the state of the jazz industry.
Locksley Wellington Hampton / DBA Slide Hampton , Owner/President/Founder/Composer/Arranger/ Master Trombonist, Slide Hampton Musique
Eli Wolf, Vice President, A&R, Blue Note Records
Guy Eckstine, Partner, Iconique Music Group
Anthony Charles Hammond/ DBA Tony Charles, VP-Director of Marketing, Slide Hampton Musique/Owner, The Anthony Charles Agency
Jana Herzen President, Motema Music

A Performance Rights Organization Cage-match
3:30pm-4:45pm / NYU Kimmel Center , Shorin room 802
The Arena: Comic Book Heroes; an unsigned P.R.O.-less band, their entertainment attorney, and 3 P.R.O.'s. If you ever wondered what the difference was between ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC, and if you’ve ever wondered how these industry giants deliver the Ben Franklins, watch them battle for the John Hancock! To raise the stakes, the band will be announcing their choice PRO at their CMJ showcase later that night.

The Hip-Hop Renaissance: A Cultural Rebirth? (Feat. Q-Tip)
3:30pm-4:45pm / NYU Kimmel Center , Eisner Lubin

Monday, October 20, 2008

Cinereach Awards $5K to 4 Filmmakers in 2009 Fellowship Program



Jeremy Kipp Walker, Nicole Kassell, Renee Bishop, and So Yong Kim
to be Paired with Young Filmmakers

New York, NY (October 20, 2008) – Nurturing the next generation of socially-conscious filmmakers, Cinereach today announced the four young filmmakers selected to participate in its 2009 Reach Film Fellowship Program.

Launched in 2006 by a group of young filmmakers, philanthropists, and entrepreneurs, Cinereach, a non-profit media organization, works to celebrate socially conscious filmmaking from fresh, exciting and thought-provoking viewpoints.
Now in its second year, The Reach Film Fellowship is an intensive, six-month program in which four filmmakers work with mentors and a team of advisors to take their films from script or treatment through completion.

The fellows will each receive a $5,000 grant and be paired with mentors, including Jeremy Kipp Walker (Half Nelson, Maria Full of Grace), Nicole Kassell (The Woodsman), Renee Bishop (Farmers’ Almanac TV of Savannah, GA), and So Yong Kim (Treeless Mountain).

Designed to support the filmmakers in every part of the production process, the program also provides fellows with resources such as free film stock from Kodak, software from Showbiz Budgeting, and advice from veteran indie producer Susan Leber, who will be “on-call” to consult during Fellowship.

During the course of the program, the filmmakers also participate in workshops led by industry insiders such as producer Susan Leber (Down to the Bone, Adrift in Manhattan), documentary director Edet Belzberg (Children Underground, The Recruiter), screenwriter Afia Nathanial, an acclaimed independent filmmaker from Pakistan, and director/actor Paola Mendoza (Still Standing, Autumn’s Eyes). Director and cinematographer Ellen Kuras (The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Summer of Sam) will lead a Master Class this evening as part of the RFF program kick-off.

For the first time this year, an additional $5,000 grant for best film will also be presented to one of the four Fellows. The award will be presented at the 2009 Reach Out celebration in spring 2009, where the winner’s film will also be screened. Kodak will also present an award.

The 2009 Reach Film Fellows are:

Brendan McQueen (Fiction) – A student in Columbia’s Film Studies program, McQueen’s project, Skip Rocks, weaves a tale of intergenerational alienation and connectedness between a 12 year old girl and a grandmother suffering from Alzheimer’s.

Jules Monteyne (Fiction) – A New York University graduate, Monteyne’s film, I Go to War with Everything That Doesn’t Make Sense in a Bathtub, explores racial tension and stereotyping among teenagers, and how adults in their lives influence that tension.

Dena Greenbaum (Fiction) – A New York University student, Greenbaum’s project, Blues tells the story of two boys, a religious Jew and African American who develop a friendship through their love of Jazz during The Crown Heights, Brooklyn riots in 1990.

Danielle Russell (Documentary) – A Savannah College of Art student, Russell’s Bridging the Gap depicts a highly segregated school system that revives the spirit of the Civil Rights movement and infuses it with a new call to action.

“As young filmmakers, we understand how difficult the transition can be from student to professional in the film industry,” said Phillip Engelhorn, Cinereach founder. “Our mission is to connect talented young people with resources and access to industry leaders to create films addressing tough issues. We are excited to see the four films develop over the next six months.”

The Fellowship recipients were selected by a judging panel that included Benjamin Goldhirsh, Founder and CEO of GOOD Magazine and Reason Pictures; Renée Bastian, Founder and President of Belladonna Productions, Inc.; and Phillip Engelhorn, Cinereach Founder.

2008 Reach Film Fellowship alumni include Nicholas Bruckman and Annie Waldman. Bruckman’s latest film, La Americana won Best Documentary Film at the 2008 New York Latin Film Festival. Waldman’s RFF documentary So the Wind Won’t Blow It All Away was accepted to the St. Louis International Film Festival, San Francisco Documentary Film Festival, Bay Area Now and the 2008 CMJ Music Marathon and Film Festival.

Last year’s mentors were Albert Maysles (Grey Gardens, Gimme Shelter), Rachel Grady (Jesus Camp, Boys of Baraka), Sandi DuBowski (Trembling Before G-d), and Afia Nathaniel, an acclaimed independent filmmaker from Pakistan.

The 2008 Reach Film Fellowship is sponsored by Kodak, Showbiz Software and the Savanna College of Art and Design.

Gotham Independent Film Awards

Starting December 2nd at New York City’s Cipriani Wall Street, the new name for the awards, making the subtle shift from the Gotham Awards to the Gotham Independent Film Awards™.

Presented by IFP, the nation's oldest and largest organization of independent filmmakers, the Gotham Independent Film Awards™ is one of the leading awards for independent film and the first major honors of the film awards season. The awards provide critical early recognition for worthy independent films, such as past winners Juno (2007), Half Nelson (2006), and Junebug (2005) - all of which went on to earn numerous awards and Oscar™ nominations for their stars Ellen Page, Ryan Gosling, and Amy Adams, respectively.

Garnering four separate nominations – the most for this year – is Ballast, Lance Hammer’s directorial debut and multiple-award winner from festivals as diverse as Sundance , Berlin , Deauville and others. The film is currently being self-distributed by Hammer’s Alluvial Film Company with the help of marketing consultant Steven Raphael’s Required Viewing. It was nominated for Best Feature, Breakthrough Director, Breakthrough Actor and Best Ensemble Performance.

Six films received two nominations, including Antonio Campos’ directorial debut from Cannes Afterschool; Courtney Hunt’s Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner Frozen River; Jonathan Demme’s current release Rachel Getting Married; Charlie Kaufman’s directorial debut from Cannes Synecdoche, New York; Woody Allen’s latest Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Tom McCarthy’s sophomore effort, The Visitor.

A total of 22 films received nominations in six categories: Best Feature, Best Documentary, Breakthrough Director, Breakthrough Actor, Best Ensemble Performance, and Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You™.

New this year, the recipient of the Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You™ will receive a cash award of $15,000 provided by Artists Public Domain, the non-profit dedicated to supporting the artistic vision of filmmakers working outside of the commercial mainstream, and D.R. Reiff & Associates Inc., a full service brokerage firm specializing in Arts & Entertainment Insurance.

“Contradicting the doom and gloom stories about the state of independent film, 2008 has proven to be an extremely strong year for an immensely diverse group of filmmakers tackling a range of subjects and forms in new and dynamic ways,” says Michelle Byrd, executive director of IFP. “Impressively, nearly 50% of our titles are directorial debuts.”

IFP previously announced that actor Penélope Cruz, president of HBO Documentary Films’ Sheila Nevins, and filmmakers Gus Van Sant and Melvin Van Peebles will be presented with Tributes at this year’s awards ceremony.

Selecting this year’s nominees were 18 critics, journalists, and film programmers (see list below). Final award recipients will be determined by separate juries of writers, directors, actors, producers, casting directors, composers and others directly involved in making films. The recipient of The Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You™ award will be determined by the editors of Filmmaker magazine, a publication of IFP, and a curator from The Museum of Modern Art.

The 18th Annual Gotham Independent Film Award™ nominees are:

Best Feature


Lance Hammer, director; Lance Hammer, Nina Parikh, producers (Alluvial Film Company)

Frozen River

Courtney Hunt, director; Heather Rae, Chip Hourihan, producers (Sony Pictures Classics)

Synecdoche, New York

Charlie Kaufman, director; Anthony Bregman, Charlie Kaufman, Spike Jonze, Sidney Kimmel, producers (Sony Pictures Classics)

The Visitor

Tom McCarthy, director; Mary Jane Skalski, Michael London, producers (Overture Films)

The Wrestler

Darren Aronofsky, director; Scott Franklin, Darren Aronofsky, producers (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Best Documentary

Chris & Don: A Love Story

Guido Santi & Tina Mascara, directors; Julia Scott, Tina Mascara, Guido Santi, James White, producers (Zeitgeist Films)

Encounters at the End of the World

Werner Herzog, director; Henry Kaiser, producer (THINKFilm / Image Entertainment)

Man on Wire

James Marsh, director; Simon Chinn, producer (Magnolia Pictures)

Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired

Maria Zenovich, director; Jeffrey Levy-Hinte, Lila Yacoub, Marina Zenovich, producers (THINKFilm in association with HBO Documentaries)

Trouble the Water

Tia Lessin & Carl Deal, producers/directors (Zeitgeist Films)

Best Ensemble Performance


Micheal J. Smith, Sr., JimMyron Ross, Tarra Riggs, Johnny McPhail (Alluvial Film Company)

Rachel Getting Married

Anne Hathaway, Rosemarie DeWitt, Bill Irwin, Tunde Adebimpe, Mather Zickel, Anna Deavere Smith, Anisa George, Debra Winger (Sony Pictures Classics)

Synecdoche, New York

Philip Seymour Hoffman, Samantha Morton, Michelle Williams, Catherine Keener, Emily Watson, Dianne Wiest, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Hope Davis, Tom Noonan (Sony Pictures Classics)

Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Scarlett Johansson, Rebecca Hall, Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz (The Weinstein Company)

The Visitor

Richard Jenkins, Hiam Abbas, Haaz Sleiman, Danai Gurira (Overture Films)

Breakthrough Director

Antonio Campos for Afterschool

Dennis Dortch for A Good Day to Be Black & Sexy (Magnolia Pictures)

Lance Hammer for Ballast (Alluvial Film Company)

Barry Jenkins for Medicine for Melancholy (IFC Films)

Alex Rivera for Sleep Dealer (Maya Releasing)

Breakthrough Actor

Pedro Castaneda in August Evening (Maya Releasing)

Rosemarie DeWitt in Rachel Getting Married (Sony Pictures Classics)

Rebecca Hall in Vicky Cristina Barcelona (The Weinstein Company)

Melissa Leo in Frozen River (Sony Pictures Classics)

Alejandro Polanco in Chop Shop (Koch Lorber Films)

Micheal J. Smith, Sr. in Ballast (Alluvial Film Company)

Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You™


Antonio Campos, director; Josh Mond, Sean Durkin, producers


Taylor Greeson, producer/director

The New Year Parade

Tom Quinn, director; Steve Beal, Tom Quinn, producers

Sita Sings the Blues

Nina Paley, producer/director


Jake Mahaffy, director; Jake Mahaffy, Jeff Clark, producers

The nominating committees for the Gotham Independent Film Awards™ announced above are as follows:

Nominating Committee for Best Feature and Best Ensemble Performance:

Ty Burr, Film Critic, The Boston Globe

Scott Foundas, Film Editor / Film Critic, LA Weekly

Dave Karger, Senior Writer, Entertainment Weekly

Carrie Rickey, Film Critic, The Philadelphia Inquirer

Nominating Committee for Breakthrough Director and Breakthrough Actor:

Cynthia Fuchs, Film Critic, PopMatters and

Robert Koehler, Film Critic, Variety

Rob Nelson, Film Critic, Minnesota Post

Andrew O’Hehir, Senior Writer,

Nominating Committee for Best Documentary:

Cynthia Fuchs, Film Critic, PopMatters and

Owen Gleiberman, Film Critic, Entertainment Weekly

Tom Hall, Director of Programming, Sarasota Film Festival

Ronnie Scheib, Film Critic, Variety

Nominating Committee for Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You™:

Joshua Siegel, Associate Curator, Department of Film and Media, Museum of Modern Art;

and members of the editorial staff of Filmmaker Magazine: Scott Macaulay (Editor-in-Chief), Nick Dawson, Mary Glucksman, Jason Guerrasio, Brandon Harris, Ray Pride

2008 Gotham Independent Film Awards™ – Alphabetical List of Nominated Films


Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You nominee

Breakthrough Director nominee

August Evening

Breakthrough Actor nominee


Best Feature nominee

Best Ensemble Performance nominee

Breakthrough Actor nominee

Breakthrough Director nominee

Chop Shop

Breakthrough Actor nominee

Chris & Don: A Love Story

Best Documentary nominee

Encounters at the End of the World

Best Documentary nominee

Frozen River

Best Feature nominee

Breakthrough Actor nominee

A Good Day to Be Black & Sexy

Breakthrough Director nominee

Man on Wire

Best Documentary nominee


Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You nominee

Medicine for Melancholy

Breakthrough Director nominee

The New Year Parade

Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You nominee

Rachel Getting Married

Best Ensemble Performance nominee

Breakthrough Actor nominee

Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired

Best Documentary nominee

Sita Sings the Blues

Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You nominee

Sleep Dealer

Breakthrough Director nominee

Synecdoche, New York

Best Feature nominee

Best Ensemble Performance nominee

Trouble the Water

Best Documentary nominee

Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Best Ensemble Performance nominee

Breakthrough Actor nominee

The Visitor

Best Feature nominee

Best Ensemble Performance nominee


Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You nominee

The Wrestler

Best Feature nominee

Sponsors of the 18th Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards™ include Premiere sponsors The New York Times and Nokia. Presenting sponsors are A DIAMOND IS FOREVER, Focus Features, Stella Artois and Variety. Official Spirit ABSOLUT VODKA. Additionally, the awards will be promoted nationally in an eight-page special advertising section in The New York Times this December.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Ok I Guess All Is Forgiven

Okay, I really don't mean to bloody up the blog with posts about Marky Mark Wahlberg, but I give the guy props for coming on SNL last night and poking fun at himself about the Andy Samberg sketch a few weeks ago.

But you gotta ask yourself...was he just being a good sport? Or was he trying to shamelessly plug his new film Max Payne?

Things that make you go hmmmmmm.....

Friday, October 17, 2008

THE ELEPHANT KING opens in New York today October 17th, 2008

From the producers of the Sundance sensation, Eagle vs. Shark, and in the compelling vision of award-winning filmmaker Seth Grossman comes a timely story of lust, love, jealousy, and finding one's place in the world.

THE ELEPHANT KING is a provocative and stirring story of two American brothers, Oliver and Jake Hunt, adrift in an exotic world they don't fully understand. The film stars Academy Award® Winner Ellen Burstyn as a domineering mother who dispatches her young, introverted son Oliver (Tate Ellington) off to Thailand to do everything he can to lure his reckless, older brother (Jonno Roberts) back home to the US to face pending fraud charges. Oliver finds the intoxication of Thailand hard to resist, especially when it has a face as alluring as Lek’s (Florence Faivre).

As Oliver falls deeply in love for the first time, Jake slips deeper into despair, and the seams of their relationship begin to come undone. When the true extent of Jake's decadence and self-destruction is revealed to Oliver, he is forced to decide whether he will save his brother's life or his own.

Mark Wahlberg Can't Take A Joke

So here at NYIndieSeen, we're really not tryin to diss Mark Wahlberg. Really. But ya know I just can't help but upload this clip of Marky Mark tryin to act all hard and shit and acting like he's gonna kick Andy Samberg's ass. If you wanna know why he's pissed off at Andy Samberg, then click here. In my opinion, I think its a front. Mark Wahlberg tries to act like he's this tough kid from Boston that's a wise guy, but I think he's as sweet as his character Elliot Moore in The Happening. Well, maybe the word "sweet" is a bad choice of words. But c'mon now, Mark is too busy keepin his pretty face from gettin mangled up cuz he's got his career to protect. least he's got his off-screen career to protect.

Okay...maybe I just secretly want him, which is why I'm hatin. Or maybe becuz he can't take a joke and doesn't have to act like a prick. Sorry...the I just spilled my last cup of haterade all over myself.

HIFF Film Feature: Pray The Devil Back To Hell

Another film to come out of The Hamptons International Film Festival this week!

Pray the Devil Back to Hell is the gripping account of a group of brave women who demanded peace for Liberia, a nation torn to shreds by a decades-long civil war. The women's historic achievement finds its voice in a narrative that intersperses interviews, archival images, and scenes of present-day Liberia together to recount the memories of a few of the women who were there.

In 2003, Liberia was a country devastated by decades of political dislocation, humanitarian crisis, and street-to-street urban warfare. Charles Taylor, then President of Liberia, had emptied the country's pockets as creatively as any dictator in memory. His ascent to power led to the deaths of thousands of people and a nation in complete ruin.

Out of the wreckage, more than 2000 Christian and Muslim women throughout the country began to organize and banded together in an effort to bring an end to the fighting. At great person risk, they protested creatively and persistently for peace in the worst days of brutal and protracted civil conflict.
The Academy Award-nominated team Gini Reticker, Kate Taverna and Kirsten Johnson teamed up with Abigail E. Disney to produce this powerful documentary feature.

Check out the trailer below:

Pray the Devil Back to Hell won the 2008 Best Documentary Feature Award at the Tribeca Film Festival and will open in limited release on November 7, 2008.

Free Screenwriting Workshop in NYC

Screenwriting Seminars with Ela Thier

Free Workshop: Wed, Nov. 5
Weekend Seminar: Sat-Sun, Nov. 15-16
Weekly workshop: Thur evenings, Oct. 23-Dec 18
Also included: "REGARDING OBAMA: a short lesson in US history.

"I've been writing scripts for over twenty years, and learned more in three hours than I have in the last two decades" -Eddie Aronoff

Ela Thier's free evening seminar includes a portion of the weekend seminar and is designed to function as a complete workshop in it of itself. New and veteran writers are warmly welcome.
Wednesday, November 5, 6:30-9:30PM(Presentation begins at 7pm)
Free and open to the public. RSVP is required.
For location, additional details, or to make a reservation, visit this site:

(Reservations not accepted by phone or email. RSVP through website only.)

WEEKEND SEMINAR: Story Structure & The Creative Process
New and experienced writers will gain a battery of tools to help bring both skill and inspiration to every draft: Maximize the emotional impact of your work: Tell memorable stories and learn how to evoke the emotions you intend in your audience. A dozen film clips shown to demonstrate the concepts.

Dissolve writing blocks: Jump-start the creative flow
Ease and simplify the development process: Rather than battling a script for years, learn how to break down the process into small, manageable, and effective steps.
Study story structure: Learn how to keep a story engaging from start to finish by focusing on characters rather than plot.

Network: Gain specific tools to building a network of support and marketing your work.
Saturday, Nov. 15, 10am-6:00pmSunday, Nov. 16, 10am-5:00pm
Cost is on a sliding scale of $285-485 (you choose the fee, payment plans possible). Partial scholarships are available on a financial-need basis; see site for details.
Follow this link to view: TestimonialsCourse DescriptionWorkshop ApplicationInstructor's Bio

Meet regularly for eight weeks and receive regular feedback as you:
Become a more disciplined, prolific and efficient writer
Deepen your command of story structure
Write more compelling characters and relationships
Achieve the emotional impact that you intended for your story
Become your own best story editor
Network with other writers for long-term support and possible collaborations
Discuss the business of screenwriting

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Directed by Annie Sundberg and Ricki Stern, The End of America will make its world premiere at the 2008 Hamptons International Film Festival on Friday, October 17, 6pm at the Ross School (18 Goodfriend Drive, East Hampton).

The film screens again on Sunday, October 19, 1:30pm at South Hampton Regal (43 Hill St., South Hampton). This compelling new documentary is an adaptation of Naomi Wolf’s The End of America, a word-of-mouth phenomenon from publisher Chelsea Green. The book was on the New York Times Best Seller list for more than five months. When some enterprising students videotaped Naomi’s lecture tour in support of The End of America and posted it on YouTube, more than half-a-million people viewed and passed the video around, creating a truly grassroots movement—achieved solely by word of mouth with no outside promotion.

Clearly, something unique is afoot. This vital information is resonating with concerned citizens, and Naomi Wolf has proven herself to be the right messenger. The End of America details the ten steps a country takes when it slides toward fascism. It’s not a “lefty” tome, rather a historical look at trends in once-functioning democracies from modern history that are being repeated in our country today. It gives any reader (or viewer of the lecture) a much-needed history lesson and constitutional refresher. Most importantly, it puts the recent gradual loss of civil liberties in the U.S. in a historical context. The average American might not be alarmed at AT&T selling our private information to the Bush administration, but when this action is seen as part of a larger series of erosions and events, a pattern emerges with unfortunate consequences that become disturbingly clear.

Naomi Wolf takes the idea of “civil liberties” out of the realm of something that applies (or fails to apply) only to scary terrorists and “enemy combatants” and compellingly empowers the reader/viewer to understand that rights like habeas corpus and due process of law are not only worth protecting in the abstract, but vital to the USA as we know it. Ironically, and although he said it in a different context, Constitutional abuser par excellence Dick Cheney’s words are true when it comes to our rights: the American way of life is non-negotiable. With The End of America, Wolf has established herself as America’s preeminent citizen-defender of the Constitution.

This documentary film brings The End of America fully to life. Acclaimed and award–winning documentary filmmakers Annie Sundberg and Ricki Stern (The Trials of Darryl Hunt, The Devil Came on Horseback) have created a film with an Inconvenient Truth-style, multi-camera version of Naomi’s incredible lecture with an interactive audience. Interstitial break-away segments, featuring both talking-head and “fly on the wall” interviews with grassroots political leaders, military generals, intelligence community top brass (who are willing to talk on camera about the uselessness of “intelligence” gained through torture), and innocent victims of our gradually eroded civil liberties, will anchor viewers emotionally to both the historical echoes and present-day consequences of the erosion of our Constitution. There is an audience of concerned American citizens clearly hungering for this information. In this pivotal election year, The End of America documentary film seeks to accompany Naomi’s best-selling book as a clarion call for citizen awareness—and for the protection of the Constitution that defines and unites us as Americans.

Dumb Bitches: Why Has Fangoria Gone to Hell?

Each of us got into independent cinema through a different route. For some of us, the gateway drug took the form of American auteurs like Soderberg, Tarantino, and Anderson, while others got their feet wet with outrageous European cinema from the likes of Fellini, Bergman, and Antonioni. For some, it was the bizarre stylings of John Waters, while others grooved to the freakish insanity of Ed Wood. For me, the big, gaping doorway was Fangoria magazine.

In the late 1980's, the horror genre was a wasteland, a cinematic red-light district, frequented by adrenaline junkies, moral reprobates, and the occasional social satirist with a strong stomach and a hearty streak of nihilism. While the video stores in my area had a thin selection of "genre" films, the local record store kept a nice stock of bargain-priced low-budget gore flicks in stock. As I pored through them, trying to decide between a badly dubbed version of Tenebrae and the lurid promise of Mother's Day, I soon realized that I needed someone or something to guide me through the maze of genius and dreck.

In time, Fangoria became my guidebook, my advisor, and my shopping list. In well-written, thoughtful articles, it introduced me to artists like Rick Baker and Tom Savini, auteurs like George Romero and Sam Raimi, and great fans like Forrest Ackerman. I learned about the personalities that put together these films and I learned to view movies through the eyes of the director, the scriptwriter, and the actor. In short, I learned to be a critical moviegoer, not merely a passive consumer.

In late high school and college, my tastes began to wander away from horror and into other esoteric cinema. I started working my way through the "great directors" and "best films," learning about the many paths that independent cinema used to present messages that were fresh and new, relatively unscathed by the corrupting influence of test screenings and rewrites. Although I stopped reading Fangoria, I often found myself wishing for a similarly well-written guide to the broader world of independent cinema.

Recently, I was feeling a little nostalgic, so I picked up the latest copy of Fangoria. To say the least, I was not amused. Over the last couple of decades, the independent, honest voice of my childhood had become transformed. Sure, it still had the same lurid covers and many of the section titles sported the same names, but the cover price was a whopping $9, placing it out of the range of many customers. Worse yet, the extortionate cost yielded "reviews" that were little more than puff pieces, a few retrospectives, and a lot of advertisements. Gone was the analysis, the interviews, and the prickly journalistic voice that had made Fangoria such a useful resource when I was a kid. The new version was clearly a thinly-disguised license to print money, an income generator that had traded honesty for ad revenue and sincerity for cynical greed. In short, Fangoria had well and truly been de-fanged!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fri. 10/24 - Celia Maysles' Wild Blue Yonder

(New York, NY) October 15, 2008 – Rooftop Films is proud to announce the New York Premiere of Celia Maysles debut feature documentary, Wild Blue Yonder( The screening will be taking place Friday, October 24th, at 9:15 PM at the National Arts Club (15 Grammercy Park South) and there is no charge for admission with an RSVP.

The event is presented by Corra Films, Cactus Three, The National Arts Club & Rooftop FilmsPress can RSVP by emailing All others can RSVP on

Just seven years old when her father David Maysles (Salesman, Grey Gardens, Gimme Shelter) died in 1987 from an unexpected stroke, Celia Maysles grew up having no idea her father and his brother Albert were pioneers of verité documentary filmmaking. Determined to uncover the secrets surrounding her background, Celia set out on a quest to rediscover her father by using his own artistic process: verité filmmaking. In Wild blue Yonder, Celia takes us on a daring journey to the past, to understand the father she never knew. Along the way, she encounters unexpected difficulties as she tries to reach out to her uncle Albert Maysles, who is surpisingly reluctant share with Celia the the hundreds of hours of unused footage of her father.

A story about missing links, legacies lost and found, and the passion of filmmaking, Wild Blue Yonder takes us deep inside a conflicted family where filmmaking remains the ultimate means to uncovering the truth.Featuring: Celia Maysles, Albert Maysles, David Maysles, DA Pennebaker, Susan Froemke, Judy Maysles, Lois Wright, Big and Little Edie Beale and more. Special guest: Grey Gardens' Lois Wright!

Venue: National Arts Club Address: 15 Gramercy Park South (at 20th Street between 3rd and Park) Directions: 6, R or W to 23rd Street or any train to Union Square MAP8:45 PM: Doors Open 9:15 PM : Film Begins Admission: FREE if you RSVP.