Thursday, September 17, 2015

Jeep and Me

Aging. Load exceeds vehicle recommendations. Rust blooms where elements erode or pool. Creaky knees. Stiff hips. Short-term memory problem, will stall if left idle. Range of vision shortened by starring. Left shoulder sagging. Voluntary reflexes work this time, maybe not next. Skin dull overall. Could use a full service day spa for a week. Long miles on the engine, some hard distance. The stopping mechanism needs work. Filters less effective. We adjust. We coast.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Directed by Women Global Viewing Party Genre Day

Today we celebrate favorite categories in cinema, on day 5 of the Directed by Women Global Viewing Party. Watch a movie directed by a woman in whichever genre is your fav. I like film noir, scifi, old romantic comedies, action adventure. I like story, which is not a genre. Every genre needs a good story to keep me interested, including documentary. But I also like the Fast & Furious franchise, which has close to no story at all. There is no flying car crash genre. I claim not to like thriller, but I have a couple favorites that are in that genre. Here is the genre dropdown menu on the Directed by Women website. Netflix has a category of drama with a strong female lead. Drama based on literature. And so on. Drama, comedy, documentary, western, thriller - however you sort or label or categorize there are wonderful films out there to watch directed by a woman. Now's the time to start, while the world is watching with you. Science fiction: Advantageous, directed by Jennifer Phang on Netflix. Animated short: Laika, directed by Avgousta Zourelidi, Vimeo Directed by Women channel. And This Forest Will Be a Desert, directed by Alana Simone, Carolyn Radio (Vimeo DbW channel.) Comedy: Mom Is Dead and I'm Broke, Gitgo Productions directed by Betsy Carson and Kate Kaminski. Drama: Breaking Night, directed by Yolonda Ross, Vimeo DbW. A good start on wildly celebrating women directors, and growing the love of film.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Welcome to the Circus Documentary

Welcome to the Circus, a documentary directed by Courtney Coulson, will premiere at the 2015 Portland Film Festival. The film covers one month during which the circus professionals from le Lido du Cirque Toulouse France, meet and train with the students from The Palestinian Circus School in Palestine. The goal is to be ready for a mobile circus tour for the children of Palestine. The mobile cirque will travel to several cities, ending with a final performance in Jerusalem. Only one student has a blue card, allowing travel in and out of Jerusalem. The rest will have to apply for permits. There are checkpoints from one city to the next: as one performer says, each can be different day to day, hour to hour. The film touches gently on the ongoing chaos that is the West Bank, using visual cues, and the scenery passing outside the bus as the performers move from Ramallah to the scheduled cities. We see through the eyes of circus students: eager to learn, embracing the physical and mental stretch that is circus performance. Coulson is the cinematographer and director, and she uses the final hours of preparation to convey the uncertainty of West Bank life. At 4 a.m., seven hours before the first staging, a juggling act needs revision. We see the troupe training for A Walk to the Moon, a choreography that becomes an analogy for all the performers actually getting to Jerusalem. Noor, a student of the School, begins as our guide to the overarching story: a tale of uncertainty, limits, glimpses of what could be possible if only: all with the energy of youth and determination and hope. Noor is studying to be an accountant because he knows there must be work as well as circus. The le Lido performers are our on-screen eyes, as they, like we, experience for the first time the West Bank through the hearts of young Palestinians who share the love of artistry and athleticism that is circus. Keep an eye on the comic genius of the chef at the school-priceless filming. Welcome to the Circus will be screening at the Lake Erie Arts and Film Festival later in September. Follow the documentary on facebook for more opportunities to watch this extraordinary film.