Friday, February 25, 2011

Maybe only 28 people read this blog (or used to, I admit, the blog went on hiatus for a bit). And maybe none of my loyal readers have school aged children (or maybe they do?) but the film I am about to draw your attention to is bigger than just children (!) because it is about the whole of America's Future….please read on.

WAITING FOR SUPERMAN (2010) is at once horrifying, heartbreaking and… hopeful. I urge EVERYONE to see this film. Kids are our future. We've heard it said plenty of times. It's the truest of true, and yet we've heard it so many times, we often take it for granted. Or at least, I do.

But this film isn't just about kids, it's about a whole lot more. And Davis Guggenheim does a fantastic job of showing how interconnected we all are in the struggle to change the system. Anyone who's paying taxes has a stake in the outcomes. Please find this film in theatres, netflix, OnDemand, etc and TALK ABOUT IT.

On another note, this film was passed over for an Academy Award nomination. This "snub" is revolting to me. Not because I think it is the greatest documentary film ever produced, or even of 2010; but it sure is a wildly important film of at least the last 10 years.

Here's my gripe: publicity. Being nominated for an Oscar draws a certain cache of publicity to a film. Purely because it is nominated will that pique the interest of the common man. Purely because it is nominated will it rest on lists built around award shows: historically preserved with a link on wikipedia and referenced with bullet points in the New York Times AND E!. That's a wide audience. People will talk. People might even be inclined to engage with the topic of the film…if, let's say, the film is calling people to action.

Gosh, what a dereliction of duty. What a missed opportunity for greatness. The Academy could have brought this conversation to the table of millions of people. Not just parents with school-aged children in the house. Not just teachers and union organizers and policy makers. People with CASH. People with PASSION. People that VOTE. Heck, people that just want a band wagon to jump onto. Why not nominate something that matters. Or…was it political all along?

Gosh darn it.



Friday, February 18, 2011

The Journey Motif

Last week I saw the encore presentation of HOOD TO COAST (2011), a journeyman's film akin to SPIRIT OF THE MARATHON (2007) at the Fenway 13. Following four teams through the drama of the race (198 mile relay race from Mt. Hood down to the beach, hence the name) the filmmakers were then able to magnify each teams' own personal drama with universal topics ranging from aging, mortality, health, adventure, coping mechanisms, to competitive edge and joy of sport.

As much of a fan as I am of H2C and SPIRIT, I knew going into the Mt Washington project that I would not be doing a journeyman's film. I would not be shadowing a runner. It's been done. The challenge has been to find a new way to show the race and its drama. A new way of linking the story from one mile marker to another. Admittedly, I'm on the proverbial edge of my seat wondering if Suzy Smoker is going to make it through mile 1, let alone 26.2 miles of the marathon. Will Old Man Joe crush his already arthritic knees on that downhill? Can College Boy Wonder break the record? The finish line is always the end, isn't it?

Or is it?

Friday, February 11, 2011

...And we're back!