Posts tagged ‘film’

January 9, 2015

A hand for a grip

grip resize

Grips are the superheroes of the film industry. They are real life MacGyvers and without them, no film could ever be properly made. They work 12-18 hour days and almost always come home bruised and battered. They rarely complain. Work pays well for union grips, and not quite as well for indy grips. Unless you’re on a regular series or in the union, there can be dry spells. Dry spells that last too long become droughts and no one thrives in a drought. Grips are the kind of people you want on your team. They can handle anything, solve any problem and they always step up to help. This particular grip is in a drought. That drought was recently complicated by identity theft. I’m reaching out to you in order to help him until the next rainfall. Please consider donating. For the price of lunch, your generosity will reverberate through the cosmos. Click HERE to donate. Thank you.

December 17, 2014

Hollywood Ending (Die Laughing)

hollywood ending meme

As mankind stares into the abyss, perhaps only moments (in Biblical time) away from the end of its reign over earth, it is not zombies, climate change, the big one or Ebola that will give us that final nudge. It’s Seth Rogen and James Franco. Can you think of a more fitting final exit? Could there be a more apropos farewell to our sorry stewardship of planet Earth than through an act of Hollywood?

November 8, 2014

The List No. 3

It occurs to me that it’s high time I make a new list. I started the lists to share interesting cultural developments(usually) in Ventura County, stuff that currently impresses or moves me in some way. Here’s some stuff that has my attention at the moment.

 

make

1. MAKE Ventura

Once referred to as hacker spaces, maker spaces are community-centered, membership-driven industrial environments for nerdy creatives and other people who like to get their hands dirty and their minds expanded. Members of MAKE Ventura are afforded rare access to a variety of industrial tools and machinery related to woodworking, jewelry making, mold making and metalsmithing, including a 3-D printer, laser cutter and vinyl cutter in a cooperative setting. Sharing of tools, methods, ideas etc. is central to the ethos of these collaborative spaces that draw inspiration from the open source movement. MAKE Ventura is open to the public on First Fridays. Visit it online to learn more, or drop by.

hud

 

 

 

 

2. The HUD

A newish art gallery with resident artists and an in-house graphic design studio, the HUD is a cavernous showplace for up and coming regional artists. New artists are showcased every month during a First Friday reception but the venue is slowly incorporating other events such as a juried exhibition on Nov. 15. I especially like the street-inspired contemporary works I’ve seen and purchased there, but the curating is truly eclectic. Run, don’t walk.

butterflys

 

 

 

 

3. Sanctuary of Butterflies

There are 28 days left to raise $64,000 in crowdfunding for this massive film project spearheaded by photographer Cole Smothers and musician/artist Luis Perez. Smothers, who is directing the musical documentary “Sanctuary of Butterflies,” will shadow Perez as he travels way off the beaten path in Mexico’s back country to explore, document and ultimately preserve indigenous art forms that are on the path to extinction. Though the proliferation of crowdfunding campaigns has made many of us weary, this one is truly worth a few of our hard-earned dollars.

michele serros

 

 

 

 

 

4. Michele Serros

Oxnard native and literary wunderkind Michele Serros has been a little under the weather lately. Actually, she’s been quite heroically beating the hell out of cancer, with the undying support of her beloved husband and loyal fans. Despite her cultural influence, the author of the critically acclaimed Chicana Falsa and Other Stories of Death Identity and Oxnard as well as How to be a Chicana Role Model, is by no means rich and the cost of medicine, allopathic and alternative, is almost unfathomable for an extraordinary female from a city most famous for Nardcore the sugar beet and her. It’s not easy to ask people to pitch in on your healthcare, but she’s done so with her characteristic grace and humor. So maybe buy a book, throw a few dollars in the hat and help a sister out. A Latina en Lucha Needs You Mucha!

5. Linda Ronstadt

Early in my journalism career, I regretfully referred to her as part of the Holy Trinity of Trite (which included the Eagles and Jackson Brown). I made a friend out of that faux pas and I learned a lesson about shooting my pen off. Fifteen years later, I caught  the Eagles documentary on Netflix and found myself mesmerized by Ronstadt’s charm and talent. Sadly, she’s suffering from Parkinson’s and no longer able to sing, but wow hers is a voice for the ages.

September 16, 2014

Eyes Wide (open)

I’ve heard the theory that Stanley Kubrick was hired by the U.S. government to fake the Apollo moon landings, but I never knew that during his youth, Kubrick was a crack photographer. (If you were born later than 1970, you probably don’t understand the previous sentence. That’s OK. You have Google.) Turns out the great director of such seminal films as A Clockwork Orange, 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Shining, was a staff photographer for LOOK magazine in the 1940s. You can buy the book, buy me the book, and/or peruse some of them here. I’m particularly fond of this one:

10365_66cm_ 008

January 15, 2014

I used to love J-Law. Now she annoys me.

You want her broken with her mouth wide open 'cause she's this year's girl.

You want her broken with her mouth wide open ’cause she’s this year’s girl.

See her picture in a thousand places
cause she’s this year’s girl.

You think you all own little pieces
of this year’s girl.

Forget your fancy manners,
forget your English grammar,
’cause you don’t really give a damn
about this year’s girl.

Still you’re hoping that she’s well spoken
’cause she’s this year’s girl.

Never knowing it’s a real attraction,
all these promises of satisfaction,
while she’s being bored to distraction
being this year’s girl.

Time’s running out. She’s not happy with the cost.
There’d be no doubt, only she’s forgotten
much more than she’s lost.

A bright spark might corner the market
in this year’s girl.
You see yourself rolling on the carpet
with this year’s girl.
Those disco synthesizers,
those daily tranquilizers,
those body building prizes,
those bedroom alibis,
all this, but no surprises for this year’s girl.

(This Year’s Girl by Elvis Costello)

December 27, 2012

…………………..2012: A List………………

(Hope you don’t get seasick) p.s. it’s all local

massenger

Cassettes were all the rage this year. Massenger was my favorite band.

Recorded Music
Massenger
No//Se
The Pullmen
Kapeesh
D on Darox and the Melody Joy Bakers

Wussy

Wussy

Live Music
Wussy at Zoey’s
Pangea at Indie West Fest
The Pullmen at Bombay
Kapeesh at Red Cove
Alexandra and the Starlight Band at Zoey’s
Miguel Garcia & the Vaquetones at Yolie’s
OFWGKTA at the Ventura Theater (for the sheer spectacle of it)

bob-and-the-monster-promo

Outstanding film! Bob Forrest actually remembered me from the old days.

Film
Bob and the Monster at Indie West Fest

scavenger

Shenanigans at the Scavenger Hunt. (Appropriately, I stole this photo.)

Event
The Local Rock Picnic
86 Scavenger Hunt (I was a secret weapon. Plus, I sacrificed my son’s innocence. See pic.)
Westside ArtWalk

comics comics

Comics and Comics at Hypno Comics

Comedy
Comics and Comics at Hypno Comics

tully

I purchased one of these pieces from Sean Tully. Can you guess which one?

Art
Sean Tully at The WAV
Stacie Logue’s guerrilla bluebirds
Paul Lindhard’s gateway to Ventura
Evan Ames’ and Lauren Mosinka’s yard sale
Everything at Sylvia White Gallery
Michael Pearce at Carnegie Art Museum
Art of Autism at Westside ArtWalk
MB Hanrahan’s Scabenue Calendar

KSSR_logo_p

Story
End Transmission: The Life and Death of the People’s Radio

June 3, 2010

The NEW new art city

Long ago in a galaxy far away, some people in that cool old building on Poli and California streets, decided it would be a good idea to give the city of Ventura an identity.  At the time, (pre-911, pre-economic disaster) cultural tourism was a fairly new concept and people governing the city were beginning to realize how dominant a force the arts were here.  Two plus two equaled California’s New Art City and a marketing plan/identity was born.

Not coincidentally, this came at a time of redevelopment downtown– the Laurel Theater (Rubicon Theatre Company), Ventura Music Festival, the Artists Union Gallery and the Century 10 movie theater, materialized during this period.  At the same time, historic preservation was being embraced as a crucial element of downtown Ventura’s cultural, and was folded into the cultural tourism plan.

All these years later, we have some amazing accomplishments to show for this change in direction: most notably: Bell Arts Factory/Vita Art Center, Working Artists Ventura (WAV), Ventura Film Society and the ongoing county museum expansion (which will partially unveiled on July 3).  Add to that a couple handfuls of art galleries and studios, festivals and a local music scene that if properly fertilized could yield big dollars and national recognition for Ventura, and it becomes difficult to understand why there  is so much empty commercial space downtown.

Clearly it’s time to reassess and reimagine.  We should be proud, we’ve accomplished much, but if we are to survive this economy and a changing market, we need to wise-up.

Recent changes within city government reflect both the need to reshape our vision and the willingness on the part of city officials to adapt. Eric Wallner, formerly the Cultural Affairs Manager for Ventura, is necessarily molting in order to respond, to this somewhat urgent need for a new phase. Wallner, along with others, will be turning his focus to the creation of jobs that will help sustain us culturally and economically. This means finding ways to court businesses that employ creatives and others.

This will undoubtedly be a big part of the discussion at the second annual economic summit “Partnering for Prosperity” to be held Saturday, June 12 at 8 p.m. Anyone interested in taking this city to the next level, artistically, culturally and economically, should consider attending.

May 6, 2010

Good vibes at the WAV: jazz and film

Despite some reports that life at the Working Artists Ventura (WAV) community is reminiscent of Animal House, great things are happening there as its performance space is beginning to show signs of life and the project as a whole is pumping fresh blood into Downtown and Westside Ventura’s arts scene.

Tonight, Thursday May 6,  the WAV launches its first Thursdays series with live jazz featuring Nick Mancini, Bruce Lett, Karl Hunter and Davey Miller. 8 p.m. If the $15 admission seems a bit steep… remember it helps the WAV grow, which enables  many of our artist and musician friends to continue pursuing their respective disciplines, and, other than Davey Miller, the musicians performing this concert are world class. Vibes players, especially accomplished ones, are not in abundance, and Nick Mancini‘s got the chops.

The WAV community has also partnered with the Ventura Film Society for a monthly screening series to debut at 7 p.m. June 2 and first Wednesdays through the remainder of the year.  The first film is Touch the Sound about deaf percussionist Evelyn Glennie.

Jazz and film seem like a perfect pairing with the Westside/WAV zeitgiest. Photographer and historian Stephan Schaefer recently published the “HERO” photo of the WAV pictured above. Pick up VCReporter for continuing updates and calendar information about the Gold Coast’s vast talent pool.

March 18, 2010

We Live in Public at Ventura Film Society Festival 2010

I had the opportunity to see We Live in Public tagged “the story of the greatest Internet pioneer you never heard of.” I already forgot his name.  Josh something or other. While he may have been intelligent and intuitive enough to see the future of electronic communication–social networking, user created content etc.–back when only a few insider geeks were exchanging e-mailmuch of his so-called genius was really an expression of deep rooted emotional/psychological issues. Sure, show me an artist who’s emotionally stable and I’ll show you a poser, but there are degrees of neuroses.

None of that is to reflect poorly on the film. The documentary film which the festival will open with, is a fascinating portrayal of an unlikeable, creative, opportunistic, sad figure during the dawn of the technology revolution when people didn’t know any better.

For me the most poignant and maybe even salient aspect of Josh’s journey to virtual fame and relative fortune then failure and irrelevance, is his emotional relationship with electronic media. It proves that human contact is not essential in order to feel and relate, but electronic interaction may not be the healthiest path to connectivity.

Josh was raised on TV. It was his mother, father,  brother, sister. Later, in the form of web broadcasting it would become his lover. In the film Josh says something to the effect that Gilligan was his biggest influence. Well into his adult life, he pursued his fantasies of living out the story of Gilligan’s Island.

His great contribution to the whole virtual experiment was his “quiet” project, where people were locked into a communal living situation where every moment was committed to video and broadcast live. Participants were essentially owned by Josh, and a decade later he would attempt to sell them back their lives digitally. Those involved (citizens of quiet) became comfortable being watched in bed, at the table, on the toilet, in the shower, having sex, shooting guns, being interrogated and finally falling apart.

Admittedly, it was an brilliant if somewhat mean-spirited exercise. While most of the participants moved on, Josh’s craving to be watched took a new, even more intimate turn as he and his girlfriend broadcast on webcam every moment spent at home while strangers chatted with them and about them.

Ultimately Josh failed to harness the internet for practical and lucrative purposes. (This could actually qualify him as an artist). Unable to distance himself emotionally from the medium, he lost out. Toward the end of the film, we see him attempt to sell his ideas to the founder of MySpace. It’s perhaps the most powerful scene in the film, because after everything, he is unrecognized and his love of the Web goes, once again, unrequited.

All hope is not lost, though. He finds peace and perhaps finally purpose in the unlikeliest, yet most necessary of environments.

You will have to see the film to find out. It screens on Thursday, March 25, 5:30 p.m. at the Lodge. For a complete schedule of films screening at the festival, visit the official Ventura Film Society Web site.

January 22, 2010

More Ventura County love for Haiti

Americans are clearly a generous people, which is evident time and time again when a great need develops anywhere in the world. Earlier this week, Larry King viewers donated $8 million for aid to Haitians during a telethon. Ventura County is following suit and creative types are proving once again to be some of the most compassionate folk around.

Yes, it’s impressive that Amgen donated $2 million, but when those who are struggling give what little they have, it makes a statement — and we all know how little most artists and musicians have. In just a few days, Ventura performer Kiley Ki organized a benefit concert that yielded more than $3,000 and she’s still collecting donations to try to bump it to $4 K.

VCReporter along with Zoey’s Café and Salzer’s Records is hosting a concert at the Lodge this Sunday, Jan. 24 that will feature some outstanding music by Shades of Day, Shane Alexander, Delaney Gibson and others who have been moved by the suffering of those devastated by the quake in Haiti. Ventura Film Society will also be on hand with a small slate of visual offerings to shed light on the plight of the Haitian people even before the great quakes.

Take 2 in Ventura is also hosting a benefit on Sunday with proceeds going to Doctors Without Borders in Haiti. Roller Derby girls, and Oxnard Guitar Center staff will be on hand as well as Gary Boyer and other Ventura musicians.

Salzer’s is collecting shoes for the people of Haiti and Brandon Salzer reports that so far the response has been encouraging.

Latino radio La “M”, 103.7 FM in Port Hueneme will be holding a fundraiser on Saturday, Jan. 23 from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. Proceeds will go the Ventura County chapter of the Red Cross.

Let’s all show up for at least one of these and do what we can. Barring any brief medical emergencies (a common occurance of late), I plan to be at the Lodge with bells on and a few bucks in my hand.

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