Saturday, September 5, 2015

It's About Time....

So, I'm up here...

 for this...


The 42nd Telluride Film Festival. I think this is the fourth year, (starting HERE)  I have mosied up the canyon and rubbed elbows with locals and those from the East Coast, West Coast and other movie lovers to partake of a selection of secret films, since the line up is not released officially until Friday morning.  Unofficially you can find out via the Hollywood Reporter or Variety the night before.

In past years, do to the generosity of friends with a house in Telluride, I have stayed up there and attended both as an ACME passholder, the mid range pass that gets you in to most things and as a CINEPHILE, that doesn't, which was just frustrating.

Friends having sold their house, this year, I'm driving up the canyon each morning, not a horrible way to start the day...



and  going for free and this afternoon, enjoyed a pairing of documentary on two unknown but impressive Chinese artists and well, a little talk in the park, with...


Michael Keaton ( Beetlejuice, Batman, Mr. Mom, Kramer vs Kra mer), Sarah Gavron ( director of TTF entry Suffragette), Meyrl Streep ( Devil Wears Prada, Bridges of Madison County, Out of Africa, etc.), then on the other side of Moderator- Annette Insdorf that would be Tom McCarthy ( writer of Pixar's  Up). The panel rounded out with Rachel McAdams ( The Notebook, The Time Travelers Wife) and then here to promote their movie, SON OF SAUL...


about those in the Holocaust who had to do the truly dirty work, Lazlo Nemes and Geza Rohrig.

It has been over a year since I have posted anything new "On Popcorn and Movies" because I haven't found anything that interesting to talk about in the world of cinema and television. How many superhero movies can you review? How many regurgitation of old stories can you talk about? So my focus went to my art, my writing and left this movie blog to sit.

Oddly, my last post, on May 5th, 2014 was THIS, a ponder of how often Rachel McAdams movies are about time. No joke, and now here she is...


promoting her new movie with Michael Keaton, SPOTLIGHT...



 about the news-team that finally uncovered the story of Catholic priest abuse of young boys and the church's cover up of the crimes.

So I guess it is time for me to be optimistic that there will be enough fresh things to talk about to keep this blog going for awhile. I already have three more post waiting in the wings and will be heading back up the canyon tomorrow for another day of what the festival has to offer for free or at least with an $30 dollar ticket, once the patrons are all seated. Fingers crossed to get into SUFFRAGETTE tomorrow morning at 8:30. Means I have to leave my house about....6














Monday, May 5, 2014

All of Rachel McAdam's films are...ABOUT TIME


Okay, not all Rachel McAdams films have to do with time, just most of them.

Case in point is the 2004 adaption of the hugely popular book by Nicolas Sparks....


Yup, apparently she looks good in rain. In THE NOTEBOOK, she loses time to the devastating disease of Alzheimers, getting  her memories back when  her husband reads to her about her life...



Then....Deja Vous, it happens again in...

THE VOW (2012)
where she losses her memory in a car accident. Weird similarities do no stop there, she is a repressed artist in both movies, Her lovers played so finely by Ryan Gosling and Channing Tatum aren't deemed good enough by her families, but in both movies, love conjure all....



In THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE, not so much...


based on the popular novel by Audrey Niffenegger...


Adams is not who battles with time but her husband, played by Eric Banna, who has no control over his time travel and  is ripped from those he loves in a moment and hurled somewhere else with no control. It does not go well...

Domhnall Gleesoon, who is better know for being the older brother of Ron Weasley in HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, has a better control of time in McAdams most recent offering...

ABOUT TIME (2013)

though he can only go back as far as the birth of his child to the determent of his family. The ability is passed from father and son and the movie is all Brit with Bill Nighy, also a Harry Potter alum and the crustacean villian from THE PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN'S CHEST, Davy Jones, as his father, who tries to teach his son all he knows about the family's secret ability, before his time runs out...


According to Rachel McAdams IMDB.com page , she will be starring in the Spy Thriller ....


in 2014 and has some more projects in post production, but I think  it is ONLY A MATTER OF TIME, until we see her again  in her favorite genre. Has anyone used that title yet?



Friday, March 21, 2014

I'll Watch About Anything...


Was pondering what I should write about this week On Popcorn and Movies, when Paula, over at PAULA'S CINEMA CLUB...


made it easy, nominating me for a...

Which for sooo many reasons right now, I can't accept, mostly  because part of it is thinking up 11 unique questions  and nominating 11 other bloggers.....ahhh, did I mention that I am doubling up on this posting, I have 30 minutes and then have to go on to the next thing on the list, about 7 other deadlines before end of March. 
But Paula was great in saying "Please don't freak out if you don't have time..." so I won't. But her questions are so cool, I am totally answering them for this blog post, which I have time for, because she did half of it for me...
And here are her questions....
1. St. Patrick's Day was this week. What is your favorite film set in Ireland? 
                                                  

LEAP YEAR is a sweet RomCom starring Amy Adams and the very yummy Matthew Goode, about the Irish Tradition of women asking men to marry them on the occasional Leap Year. Some other sweet romance comedies from the British Isles can be found HERE...
2. What movie job would you  like to try? Director, screenwriter, stunt person, costumer...? 

All of the above other them stunt person or anything in front of the camera. I would totally direct, write or clap the sound card, happily. In my other life, I am actually a textile artist and would  happily sit for months doing embroidery work on epic costumes like those in the LORD OF THE RINGS series.
3. Under  what circumstances, if any, would you appear on a reality TV show?
None.
4. There's a lot of mediocre sequels around, but are there any films that should have a sequel but don't?
I can't think of a sequel of a recent film, but can think of dozens of old movies that the story line is so good, Hollywood should do them again, instead of doing the like 5th Spiderman! Here are two I have bemoaned about ON POPCORN AND MOVIES.  Click on title for my ponderings
                                        

                                             

5. Have you had any brushes with fame...where and who was the famous person?

Well, I have posted how I have been able to see a few famous actors up at the Telluride Film Festival. HERE is a post on how unimpressed the famous dogs of the mountain town are with the top Hollywood actors and directors that come each Labor Day...      
                                 
                                  

6. What is your favorite time of day?

Morning- for the new day and the productiveness and evening- for the winding down and the family time.

7. Who should play in your biopic?

I can't get past the thought that anyone would want to make the story of my life, to think of which sexy Hollywood actress would play me.....right there it would stop being based on a true story.

8. Is there a book that has not been made into a movie that you think would be good?

Yeah, mine! While I have no desire to subject anyone to the story of my life, I would love if one of my manuscripts, either already on paper or in my head were made into a movie....well if I could write it as the screenwriter that is.

9. Sleepless nights....do you get up and do something, stay still and try to relax, or..?

Or... I think up the story lines I hope get published into novels that will be turned in to movies!

10. Do you have a recurring dream?

Yeah, that one where you come to class at the end of the term and can't get your locker open or just wandering through a house that never ends, room into room into room, etc.

11.  Fill in the blank: People would be surprised that I really like....

about every kind of movie and T.V. show out there. Well, I guess not if you read this blog...

Classic Movies...
                                             

All Kinds of T.V Shows...

                                     

Even Espionage ....


and Sci Fi...

Blame my brother, he was older the me and had more control over the remote on a Saturday at home, well, for a long time there was no remote, you got up. I'd watch classic movies until he came around and than it was James Bond reruns and Star Trek.

Probably most surprising, well not, I wrote about it HERE, is I have Dyslexia...that is why I put sooooo many pictures in my postings. Can't stand huge blocks of text. I write novels, but listen to them on tape, and they have to be pretty good to hold my attention, while, yeah, I'll watch about anything.

Friday, March 14, 2014

A sweet locale for a location shoot....


We had to be up in Denver for business a couple of weeks ago and stayed at The Oxford...

picture from their website, HERE

Just up from Union Station...


across from where I finally found a parking space on the seventh level of a tiny parking garage in our four door Chevy truck, but that is another story...

The Oxford was Denver's first luxury hotel in 1891, providing the steamed hot water and a water closet on every floor in the time of bathing in tin tubs and outhouses. 

And, oddly, the day after Prohibition ended in 1933, The Cruise Room...


 opened and has been open ever since...

 The literature on the back of the cocktail menu says "some think it was a Speakeasy. Uhhh. ya, there is no doubt there..

looking at the narrow little entrance that I could just imagine as a false front...hat check room perhaps?


I did a quick Google search and I can't find anywhere a movie has used The Cruise Room for a location shoot. That can't be true, this space is too cool and red...No extra mood lighting required. 

Friday, March 7, 2014

My Long Answer...


In my internet pursuing the other morning, I came across THIS POST ..


from the Mountain Film Festival in Telluride, Colorado. It is a short response to why women are not better represented in the adventure films they preview every Memorial Day during the adventure film festival in Telluride and at other venues throughout the year.
I gave my short answer, answer #1 here, in the comments on their post. Sadly, one hint to the problem, is that I was the only 2nd person to comment in four days.
Here's my long answer, if your interested...
The discussion of women Not behind the camera of Adventure films is pretty much identical to the discussion of why women, who are taking the lead in industries such as law and publishing, areas I am familiar with, are still horribly underrepresented in other creative fields  like the Fine Arts, Commercial Illustration and behind the camera in Film. For more on the utter inequality in front of the camera, go HERE.
Why? I don't know, but I can guess...

Guess #1 ...


Success for women, in general, there are always exceptions, won't come until women are not so highly praised for their attribute in front of the camera. When One of Vanity Fair's big pre- Oscar features, "Slave of the Red Carpet" is about the power in Tinsel Town stylists hold including this quote, big and bold in the center of the page...
" Young girls can get famous today without having huge roles in blockbusters, just by having style," says Fremar. ( Vanity Fair March 2014, page 227)

yikes!

How about, instead of Julia Roberts, half dressed sitting amongst actors fully dressed...


how about Julia is fully dressed and the guys can be half dress, that would be something new, or how about we just focus on these amazing actors and actresses?
Did you know that much of the hype of Georgia O'Keeffe in the beginning wasn't her painting but a photography show of her including nudes put up by her lover Alfred Stieglitz?
When the actor Dustin Hoffman, getting ready for the movie TOOTSIE,  tearfully confesses, discussed HERE in a Huffington Post article, he has opted out of knowing women based on their appearance ( how attractive and thin they are), hum?
And Hoffman is not the only one, according to Dove Soap, 6 out of 10 little girls stop doing active things because of body issues...

 view commercial HERE

If they're right and as a teacher, I think they are, can we really be surprised that there aren't a lot of women submitting adventure films to festivals like Telluride?..........Houston We Have a Problem!

Guess #2 and it is Cosmic or Genetic...


and specific to Adventure films. Far fewer women have the gene and it is as simple and epic as that. Yes, I am all for equality, doubt anyone would argue that after what I just wrote. Actually, I know someone would but please don't.
Men and women were created, wired, what ever you want to say, differently. Adam was cursed to desire after the earth, Eve was cursed to desire after, well, men. Different and equal are to different things.
Hillarys, Shackletons, Powells and Hannibals find first ascents, new river and continents to explore. Bull Elk have antlers, Male Prairie Chickens have showy feathers and the females, they get to be brown and hide in the bush with the little ones.
I came to terms with this inequality, when putting horses away that had gotten out of the pasture, I watched a mating pair of bald eagles...
teach junior how to hunt prairie dogs. They're pretty amazing when you are standing on the ground with them, as they lift upwards, their wing span is hugs. Watching Jr. try to carry off dinner, it accord to me it's not that the Mamma Eagle can't fly, it is she choices not to go very far, until her babies can.
I'm sorry, but contrary to my husband, "Because it is there" is not a good enough reason for me to sleep on rocks, eat sand and try and figure out how to continue potty training a toddler in the wilderness for a week.
Don't get me wrong, I have forded plenty of rivers, climbed my fair share of mountains and slept out in some exotic places including eating something swimming in a broth of hot chilies while the Mexican village women were generously slapping just made tortillas on stone griddles behind us, until my lips felt like they were going to burn off. I went to Art School, love film and could have built a career behind the camera. Except, like many, many women,  I met a boy, fell in love and chose not to fly very far away for awhile.

Guess #3 Someone has to stay back with the wagons, or with the toddler being potty trained...


I would make the same decision today and am very grateful to my husband who works hard to allow me to stay home, though  it is a little disheartening when every year the Social Security Administration sends you a letter to let you know that for the past twenty years you have not paid into your retirement.
We have continued to take our girls into the wilderness. Our oldest first outing was up to Mesa Verde National Park, though in the winter, the pictures are of us taking turns holding  a mini little red and blue baby bag, which she was tucked all warm in. We have pictures of the same bag, five years later, when our second was a tiny baby, this time in Yellowstone.  
We have had every kid friendly accoutrement there is from baby bags, to backpacks to come along bike attachments. I was amazed at how far my husband got up the Klondike trail near Moab pulling our daughter in one of those. Like many families in the West, we just keep upgrading sizes of mountain bikes and skis. 
One many occasion, I have had to be the voice of reason or sanity. X-naying flyfishing while baby was  in backpack. Or declaring, somewhat crazily, balanced in the middle of a shale slide,  that this was Not a kindergartner appropriate hike!
But someone has to be the voice of reason, asking "How many Osprey packs do we really need?" standing in line for one of their local's sale at 7 o'clock in the morning. Or getting on others to clean out their day packs so I won't find hardened cheese sticks, moldy apples and fermenting CamelBaks weeks later. 
Someone has to think of logistics, how many pants do you need for the potty training to continue at 8,000 ft.? When and where is naptime going to hit. When everyone else went off to scuba dive with the turtles in Maui, I rode the Pineapple train with those too little to swim. I confess I hate water, but my point is still valid. 
And then the kids get older and can out bike, out hike you, so you go half way up the trail, send them ahead with their mountain goat father and then sit down and sketch  the crazy people bungee jumping off Corona Arch near Moab...


and then hear just weeks later someone has died doing something like that and being one, you think of their mom...
Which brings us to my last answer for why more women are not  featured in festivals like the Telluride Mountain Film Festival. Do read their response, they are not just looking for Extreme documentaries like First Ascents and thrill rides. They want other films on the cultures and issues facing the wilderness and the people living there. 
I'm not sure anyone would want to watch my films.They would be kind of a "downer" in a feastive adventure festival, pretty much focused on the cost of things.
I have no desire to do documentaries, my interest is in story and feature films but if I was, here are a few films, as a women I'd make...

From The Guardian... a film on Nepal  now requiring climbers to bring down their trash,  and a couple kilos of what is sitting up there, including human remains...


Way to go! That's lesson #1 for preschoolers, "Clean up, Clean up, everybody do your share!"

On the same subject, is a blip I heard on NPR,  HERE of the terrible toil to the families of Serpas killed on Mt. Everest... 

Though traditionally climbers will pass a hat for the widows, most of that money is spent on lavish funerals, leaving little for their families to live on.

I don't know if there is a documentary on this, but would have loved to go along with Brooklyn Illustrator Sophie Blackall, who took markers and paper to a children's school in Rwanda on a Save the Children, UK Trip...


the country just healing from Civil War, near  the "Gorillas in the Mist" mountains.  Read about  and see the amazing trip, HERE.on her blog.

Inspired by KIDS WITH CAMERA , an amazing documentary showing India, a third world country, by a child's eye, I'd give cameras to the kids I now work with out on the Navajo and Ute  reservations and in the isolated communities of the Four Corners and let them show the rest of us their world of double wide trailers, trips to Walmart with their grandparents in traditional broom skirts, kerchiefs and turquoise jewelry, trips to the Sell Barn with their favorite goat, their hidden forts amongst sage brush and cottonwoods and their rooms at home of bare mattresses on dirty floors. Some of it beautiful and some is not so pretty...

                                         


 And, though a real downer at an Adventure Film Fest, I'd make a documentary on who is left behind, when others choose to go seek the rush of adventure. I pondered that, a few years ago, in 2010, up in Telluride for their Indie Films Festival held on Labor Day, after viewing 127 Hours, read HERE...


I compared Ralston, with no attachment then, no wife, no kids,  who as a young man was stuck by a boulder in the Maze district of Canyonlands, Utah, cut his arm off, after five days to...

the documentary I had recently seen about the loss of Andrew McAuley' during what most consider an impossible 1,000-mile crossing of the Tasman Sea between Tasmania and New Zealand in a Kayak. 
McAuley left behind a widow and a small son.
Seems like every Outside Magazine I pick up as an ode' to someone great falling from a Mountain or disappearing somewhere. If I was doing a documentary, after the glow is done and we have moved on to other accolades,  I'd go back and interview those widows, those fatherless children and ask them if they think it was worth it?
I leave you with a newpaper clipping, not that much different from what one might find in the back of a current Outside Magazine...

Why do Men do it? Video cams on top of their helmets? Shackleton says it best "For Honor and Recognition" whether "a safe return" is doubtful or not.
Most women's minds are on other things, I'm afraid.