Monday, December 31, 2012

Too Many Onions

 Pretty much every week I chop up a lot of onions and celery for the following weeks cooking. It's a mass reduction thing...just as easy to chop up three onions for one meal as it is to chop up ten for several meals. One day I thought I would delegate to Stagg to do some "sous chef" work and chop up some vegies for us while I was at work. I kind of over estimated and left him WAY too many onions to chop...but I had already gone to work. Stagg chopped and chopped. He had to stop to have a nap and let his eyes stop watering...and then he chopped some more. When I got hme from work I could smell onions out on the street.
 Then the next day I ran into the landlord as he entered the front door saying "I still smell onions!". He didn't know I was coming out the door into the hall...and I said oh jeez...I got too many onions chopped last night. He said he woke up at 2 in the morning and said to his wife...I smell onions. Oops...yes I bet you did!
Anyways I was able to make all kinds of stews and foods with these great volume of celery and onions. Thanks Stagg!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Border Justice Redux

“I wanted to use the vinyl I’ve been listening to for years – complete with all the pops and cracks. I even kept the sound of the needle being put down on the record. Basically because I wanted people’s experience to be the same as mine when they hear this soundtrack for the first time." Quentin Tarantino

 I made a Coco-Cola Brisket Stew which we ate for breakfast yesterday...and then apple pie and ice-cream...and then we went downtown to see Django Unchained. I believe this was a straight up made with love classic Western movie, of the kind I loved seeing growing up...the kind of movie as a girl I fell in love with the cowboys and felt the betrayal of the bad guys and the need for redemption. Tarantino's new movie gives us this emotional loss and payback and all kinds of fun action on the way.

 I love Kerry Washington and was so glad to have such a strong powerful female actor in this movie up against and with so many intense male characters. Oh the characters and acting is fantastic! Samuel L. Jackson seemed unrecognizable to me. I kept forgetting most of the actors were famous...they were so engaged in their roles. I expected Di Caprio to be good, but he was really maybe the best he's ever been. The surprise of all was how much I got into Jaimie Foxx. I love Jaimie Foxx, but I wasn't sure how he would carry the movie. The movie, the plot, the payoff and deliverance of the story...demands we MUST care about this character Django really depended heavily on Foxx's performance. Django Unchained gave me the feeling I had so many years of watching my old favourites in this genre...movies like Billy Jack, Walking Tall, Death Wish, Coffy, Straw Dogs, Taxi Driver, Carrie, Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia and so many more...

 Why were these movies so popular and meaningful to their audiences? A lot of young people loved these movies at the time because many of them felt injustice. Hatred and bigotry for different colours and races, for gender, for economic status...and those issues have not changed as much as we might like to believe. A lot yes, but they still are there... Django Unchained is absolutely a knot in a string of these movies of the past. Django is right on the same rope. The plot depends upon character...which is also a catalyst as the revenge movies of the 70s. These characters want to control themselves, to control events. But what happens is that no matter how hard a character tries to be someone else, or control themselves, or hold back...their true selves, their true colours will surface.

This works on the bad guys as well as the good guys. We had the most delightful audience. A terrific thing about going to an opening day show of Tarantino's movies is that it's a room filled with movie lovers and fans. And there is applause, cheering, screen talking and a massive community energy in the theatre. Tarantino is one of the few directors who inspires movie audiences to behave like old-school movie's really terrific. At one point when a particular character gets shot...a woman yells out "Dumb ass!". It was delightful! He really was a dumbass and he deserved to be shot. These days so many of us feel we can't get justice at our jobs, or in our government, or in daily life as simple as someone acting with care and courtesy driving.

Studying history can create even more sense of injustice...what if WE were there we say to would I live or act? Some of us really wish we could turn back the clock and take a stand...we want to be a Django. Acting out our revenge fantasies in real life...not good. But having the sense that such injustices from sexism, to racism, to corporate bosses not taking care of their staff...the communal emotion of a movie theatre audience and a movie gives us the feeling we are not paranoid. We are not alone...we are not imagining that the potential for injustice is something we can only have in hindsight. We hope there was a guy like Django in real history. We hope we can do the right thing in our regular lives...even though we kind of know the house always wins.

 The audience wants payback. And Tarantino not only knows that...he showed so much respect to the history and crime of slavery by delivering the payback. Sometimes it is enough that we have release and deliverance from art, if not real life. And this is a mystery of artmaking Tarantino understands.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Magic Tree

Our friend Tricia found a magic tree. You put "water" in the bowl, place twigs into the bowl and let it grow 24 hours. After it grows ou add glitter and a star.
Some little animal paintings for last minute busking...

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Ten Years...

I can't believe it's been ten years since Joe Strummer died. And it still brings tears to my eyes as I type. I believe Joe Strummer saved my life. He and the band The Clash totally influenced how I look at the world. If you've never seen THE FUTURE IS UNWRITTEN you've been missing one of the greatest music movies ever...go watch it NOW! I love you Joe Strummer!!!!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Little Peek

I don't have a trailer yet...but I've been working on it. The only thing I can show right now is a tiny snippet filmed on my cell phone off stuff I'm working on here at my desk. You can get the vibe of the film...

Monday, December 17, 2012


Action has meaning only in relationship and without understanding relationship, action on any level will only breed conflict. The understanding of relationship is infinitely more important than the search for any plan of action. J. Krisnamurti

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Here is Jimi who I've been editing with this week. I placed an ad on Craigslist...and it turns out Jimi lives down the block and it is super convenient. We've got a basic outline of how we're working...We spent about two hours naming all the files. You need to because it can be so confusing if you don't name things to get them into some kind of order. What really eats up a lot of time editing, is rendering one's files. Jimi was telling me how there are all kinds of render farms just for pre-editing. We don't have that luxury so we are doing it little by little. The clips look really good...and I must tell you reviewing the principal photography is really one of lifes pleasures. Now we are sorting the clips out, getting them to sizes and times we 24th of a second at a time.
Here you can click on imgae to make it see the title of the film MAKING SEX and we have the file labeled raw footage. We dig out clip after clip and add them to the previous set of clips.
Here you can see a still from the film. But remember it's black and white...

Monday, December 10, 2012

We Got Press!

WARNING! Shameless plug!

Gee, I'm pretty pleased to say that I was interviewed about my recent production of a short film I've directed and am in editing now called MAKING SEX.

I hope you can stop by this link at Buzz Magazine
If you can...please scroll down the interview and click "like" for the Facebook link. That would really help give a word-of-mouth about this project. I want to get it into festivals and some screenings and attention from press and some one just like you...will really help!

I should have a trailer completed by tomorrow afternoon to post here too!

Lots Going On

Just a quick hello to bloggers and visitors...running ragged doing stuff...but just wanted to post something, anything...

Friday, December 07, 2012

Please Visit!

A dear dear person to me...someone I consider family and friend even though our paths do not cross as much as when we were younger...has a fabulous art site.

She takes wildlife photography...please do me a huge favour and go visit her new website.

NJWight Wild! Photography

Thursday, December 06, 2012

As If We're Not Busy Enough

 I may be officially in lunatic if it's not enough having just moved...Stagg job making a we have a table at an art fair at Old Town School of Folk Music this Saturday. Between 11-4 December 8. Here I am the last couple of days knocking out some small paintings and we have a few we already had kicking around. If you're around the Chicago area please stop by and say hi!!!!


An EPK is an electronic press kit

I've been messing around with these for a while now...I sent out the above video, as a trailer and package, a few years ago looking for production support.  Some of you might recognize yourself in here or someone you know at our mutual online bookclubs...

Below is an example of one of the many synopses I wrote to people trying to get places to stay, funding, hotels etc etc.

Connecting to others on the internet makes you feel more connected.

After ten years of full time participation in two literary web boards where the participants discussed, often passionately arguing, the nature of reality, the meaning of storytelling and the intent of various authors, film makers, or poets and how to cook the perfect dinner I decided to meet the characters on the other side of my computer screen. For real.

I set out to cross North America, (and am planning to visit half a dozen cities in Europe and track down one photographer in India) to match the faces to the opinions of the feisty forum participants of the official Cormac McCarthy Society, the polite web board called "Constant Reader" and a dozen bloggers I had spent innumerable hours with online. Who were these thoughtful, contraire opinionated people and why did we find so much to talk about? Who were they in real life and how had the internet affected their lives?

Social and moral critics often predicted negative and unsavory effects due to the mass adoption of the internet with fears of everything from stalkers to dulled brains in future generations.

Instead, I met with people who had found an emotional satisfaction and human contact through their online friendships and activities. This was a series of people who had not bonded by playing shoot-em-up games, passing hugs on social networks, or found romance through matchmaking web sites...these were people who had bonded through rigorous discussion of philosophical, emotional and literary ideas. These weren't your average chit chat addicts....these were cerebral everyday folks who had raised the emotional value of their lives through meeting strangers online to discuss the meaning of life via books.

To date, I have met and interviewed over 35 people, including anthropologist Grant McCracken
(who I met blogging), have travelled over 11,000 miles, to 19 cities, and collected about 16 hours of tape.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

On Set

 I had a few more scenes to film...and Zandra had her scenes to film this weekend. Above is one of my actors with the shooter on the chicago River this morning.
 Experimenting with hair.
 Christina and Tracy, two of my actors today.
 On location at Irving Park Barber where the owner operator barber, Jon, had a part and allowed us to use his quaint and hip barbershop as a location.
 Back in our living room...Zandra's crew relaxes in our "green room" with lots of snacks.
 Zandra's make up team.
 One of my locations on the river this morning.
And me..."it's a wrap"..flopping down after a busy few days. After filming this morning...Stagg and I had appointments with lawyer nd then went grocery shopping. Whew what a weekend, what a day!

Nothing's Scarier Than Marriage!

I could have eaten every frame of the movie Hitchcock. It's a delicious movie especially for fans. And while I was watching I kept hoping Mister Anchovy and Tuffy P had made their way to see it because it is made for those of us who hold his movies as affectionate fun favourites.

Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren make this movie. It is campy and it is fun and it is about marriage as much as moviemaking. The soundtrack is delightful because it is all light and flowy until anything to do with the husband wife behind Psycho appears and the soundtrack goes classic scary. It's not that there are any surprises in this movie but it is really such a meaty homage to the time period and to an artists crisis mirrored in a marriages possible crisis. I could watch this movie a hundred times because it is total fan porno. The movie isn't going to save the world, it isn't going to provide a paradigm shift but it is good clean movie buff fun! 10/10.

All of the actors are fantastic...but two surprises are the Norman Bates actor, James D'Arcy is excellent. I have never been a fan of Scarlett Johanson who I feel is usually a curse to a movie and can not act very well...but I must eat my words today and give her creds. I thought she was actually very good and I almost forgot it was her in the role of Janet Leigh.

Related Link:

1) Roger Ebert's interview with Alfred Hitchcock, 1969.

2) One of the best books I've ever read on Hitchcock: The Hitchcock Romance

3) I believe a "must read"

4) Two blog posts of mine about author Robin Wood
and here
5) A fave of mine is Wendy Lesser book with excellent essay on Hitchcock blondes

Monday, December 03, 2012

The Baby, The Bakery and A Zombie

 You might remember that my friend tricia's brother passed away a year ago. His best friend has just had a baby and they named the baby boy after her brother. We drove to Wisconsin to see baby Neil.
 Here are the tired parents Kris and Chris!
 Tricia and her mum take turns holding baby Neil.

 My nephew did his own make up for Halloween! what a cute scary zombie!
 Tricia's mu got Tricia and I two amazing coffee mugs...they have villians on them! At long last the villians are getting their dues.
 A beautiful full moon in wisconsin last week.
 Here is a local bakery where we got 3 milks cake. Yum! But look...what a charming nativete scene they have...the esert is craft brown paper, the star is cut from carboard. And look the sheep are next to cacti.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Shoot

A funny peculiar thing about making a movie is how much time you spend getting ready for the shoot. The actual time you are filming and with the actors is so small compared to all the prep. You have to create an entire set of details all ready for an amplified setting ahead of time. So here are a few pictures of us in and around the day of shooting. We filmed 80 percent of my vignettes all day yesterday. I still have one more set of scenes to film next Sunday. The photo of those donuts and coffee were from Friday. Tricia and I went to Wicker Park to do a "studio pull" of a bowler hat from  Goorin Bros.Bold Hatmakers-Since 1895. We stopped for a coffee and gourmet homemade donuts. Oh my god...these donuts are incredible
My cameraman, Xavier, came into town from Milwaukee on Saturday morning. So Saturday night we took him downtown for drinks and to walk around the city. We figured this young guy is gonna wanna get out in the off we went. Stagg, Tricia and I did our best to show him a night on the town. We also went to one of our favourite local places Simones

 Stagg and I in front of  "the corn cob buildings" on a bridge over the river.

 Xavier is looking a little like our adopted son and we joked we're like Bradgelina...
 Tricia and I...
It was a pretty cold day at times, but not too windy and wonderfully sunny. That was great for us as we were outside for many hours filming yesterday.
Two of my characters greet each other as one arrives home and one is BBQ-ing. So Stagg set up the bbq and we cooked up a few pork chops.
Between scenes and right before our last location we stopped at Starbucks to get warmed up. Stagg, Tracy and Zandra joking around while I ran back and forth to get change for the parking meters. This was a nice moment for me to sit down and relax anticipating an indoor location. I can't show you anything from the film...but you can see the women are in some of their wardrobe...
It's a wrap! It felt so good to get the filming done. I've spent the past month obsessing about the scenes, sometimes not able to fall asleep, and to wrap it up last night we celebrated with a little wine and some cocktails.
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