Posted on 29 June 2012 | 2 responses
Posted on 26 June 2012 | 2 responses
Another review to keep the ball rolling:
This week, we hit Portland!
Posted on 22 June 2012 | 2 responses
Check out some reviews on Grassroots! Here we go!
John Hartl, Seattle Times:
Robert Horton, The Herald:
Macguffin Movie Review:
Posted on 22 June 2012 | No responses
SIFF has been such a whirlwind, so much so, I’ve barely had time to write about it. Jason, Beartobelieve (yes an actual polar bear that’s been following me around) and I have gone from one Seattle landmark to the next, hoping to spread some political positivity. We’ve ridden up the Space Needle, we’ve interviewed candidates, we’ve gone to screenings and parades and even hit all the T.V. stations to spread our message creating our own grassroots campaign for our Grassroots movie. It’s enough for a movie montage!
It’s been such a wild ride getting our little movie going, and finally it’s hitting the big screen. Away we go!
Posted on 7 June 2012 | No responses
Posted on 24 May 2012 | 1 response
I’m not sure I need to explain why I’m hoping my comedy about grassroots politics might have an interesting life during this 2012 election cycle of super PACs, super media and super political spin sucking the hope and energy out of what we’ve been calling democracy for a long time.
We’ve always loved the little guy from Mister Smith Goes to Washington to Norma Rae to… And if the little guy is funny, committed and works hard, well, I’m hoping people will like him even more.
I can’t claim I was prescient while making the movie, Grassroots. I mean who could have predicted Occupy Wall Street or Romney and Obama’s embrace of super PACS?
Movies take too long from script to finished print. You have to be lucky. I’m hoping we’re lucky. Although I I did suspect that the issue of grassroots might just hit a cord, as the tsunami of super PACS, super media and super political spin has been building quite awhile. It’s not really much different than the Hollywood studios’ love of super heroes — banking on them selling tickets — that swept not just this country, but the world.
And maybe that’s the way the Republicans and Democrats are hoping to sell us on who we should vote for.
Although the two often go hand in hand, starring Jason Biggs of American Pie fame, Joel David Moore (Avatar) and Cedric The Entertainer (much of the great comedy of the last five years) will play well as the 2012 Election approaches. Though, to be honest, I can’t claim I was prescient about how comedic the political scene would become. Or how tragic. And nothing fits better with tragedy than comedy.
Making a movie takes too long to be able to predict anything when you finally cross the finish line with opening and closing credits, music and all the rights and bills sorted out.
Posted on 28 March 2012 | No responses
The operator of Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant has said damage to one of the reactors is much worse than previously thought.
A probe inserted into reactor two at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant revealed lethal doses of radiation and that the level of cooling water inside was far lower than expected.
But operator Tepco says the plant remains in a cold shutdown.
The plant was severely damaged by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Since the crisis began in Fukushima prefecture, the operation to contain it has been hampered, reports the BBC’s Roland Buerk in Tokyo. Tsunami damage to instruments has made it impossible to know what is happening inside the reactors.
On Tuesday workers managed to insert a probe into reactor number two for only the second time and found damage worse than expected.
Radiation was up to 10 times the fatal dose, the highest yet recorded at the plant. The level of water cooling the melted-down nuclear fuel was also far lower than expected.
The other two melted-down reactors, which are yet to be examined closely, could be in an even worse state, our correspondent adds.
The probe showed the view from above the water surface inside the primary containment vessel
Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) says the finding does not affect their assessment that the nuclear fuel is being safely cooled.
But it could make decommissioning harder, as special equipment will have to be designed to withstand the radiation.
The plant’s supervisor told the BBC last month that he was concerned about the fragility of the cooling system.
It relies on hoses snaking around the site and pumps mounted on the back of trucks, and could be vulnerable to strong aftershocks or another tsunami.
Before the Fukushima disaster, nearly a third of Japan’s electricity was generated from nuclear power.
The government has been carrying out stress tests on nuclear power stations to try to persuade people living nearby that they can resist strong earthquakes.
But local communities have been refusing to allow reactors to be restarted after routine maintenance, which has to take place every 13 months.
On Monday, Japan shut down another nuclear power station, leaving only one of the 54 nuclear reactors in operation, which is due to be switched off in May.
Posted on 25 March 2012 | No responses
There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better, for worse, as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till. The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried….
Posted on 19 March 2012 | No responses
How does one process what’s happened these last two week? Forget about Romney, Obama, super PACs, the sputtering economy. Something else unfolded that I suspect will be noted by historians as ushering in the real paradigms of our incoming millennium. (Millennia are long, so we’re still at the very beginning of this one.)
From the video’s high level of craft; the unprecedented response (nearly 100 million hits); the storm of criticism; the issues of gay bashing; the tawdry melt-down of Jason Russell, its filmmaker and star – could it get any stranger and confusing?
But isn’t the future always strange and confusing…and emotional, and overwhelming, even frightening?
But why an historical moment?
Because of the emergence of hope on a globally, deep level, despite the dreadful news that comes at us every day. The video, Kony 2012, was crackling with it, just as in 2008 Obama rode it into the White House.
Hope always seems to be dashed when it hits reality. And so it has happened here with Kony 2012 (and with Obama). But the scope of this hope seems far different from in the past. And isn’t it emerging nearly everywhere – crackling in the Middle East, like it crackled around the stained tents of Occupy Wall Street and was showing its face in the Tea Party movement, not to mention Africa, in Kony 2012? And everywhere this hope has been met with a combination of violence, cynicism, betrayal and/or manipulation from the powers that be.
But hasn’t it always been that way?
Because hope is dangerous – ask Romney trying to corral his party, Obama with his plummeting polls, Mabaruk, wherever he is, Assad with his Ipad and tanks. Because this level of hope is saying the future can be far better – and different. Which means these vacillating, power hungry leaders are in real trouble, including Kony.
Which perhaps is why I cried when I watched Kony 2012 and why nearly 100 million people took a half hour of unprecedented U-tube time to watch the video. Hope. And I know I’m not alone, when I sobbed. And I’m sure I’m not alone, crackling with life and energy, after watching it.
And maybe The Invisible Children is a right wing zealot organization (maybe not), but as a progressive I feel a profound connection to the direction towards which Kony 2012 points. And my father’s heart has been (more than a little) broken by how Mister Russell will have to one day explain his perverse actions to his lovely young son. But I believe he was swept up in the tsunami of what hope brings.
You want to make fun of him? He/she who is without sin go ahead – cast that first stone. I’d suggest an alternative. Be there for him and those that work at Invisible Children, etcetera. Guide them. Bring them into other aspects of this new millennium (gay rights as an example) as they have helped bring us into a part of the future.
The most dangerous thing that could happen to the powers that be and the brutal status quo is that we, the “little people” gather together – religious right, atheist left and all the people in that vast in-between – standing up for humanity, learning from each other and helping each other with grace, courage, profound forgiveness and – yes – hope.
Posted on 19 March 2012 | No responses