Sunday, May 23, 2010

and now i,m in another part of the earth

on a weird italian computer

near cinque terra on the top of a mountain in a hostel! but it,s a very nice one

still hoping to get to holland

had a really lovely last evening in cannes, my classmate the moviestar james franco took us out at part of his crew and we got to go to all of the fun parties including something kind of amazing in cap d,antibes then partied till the sun came up with famous people who will never remember me but i,ll remember them and it was fun watching lohan break the law, paris hilton act like a fun frat boy (in a good way) calling for a round of shots in a fancy black tie dress, and benicio del toro sit around being cool. ps james and his peoples who i dont know if they want to be anonymous are very very nice and down to earth two thumbs up

i cant properly express myself with this keyboard
all the typing comes out like i,m a perpetual tourist
i know i can make an exclamation point!

have had some great adventures but alas it,s not all roses and lindsey lohan
for example the french people
(sorry to the good ones)

ok, if you,re curious whats up dude just google cinque terre and then you,ll perhaps understand although i,m not sure the internet knows enough about whats going on over here

me neither

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Cannes Report: Fair Game

Just saw Doug Liman's Fair Game starring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn. It was truly spectacular in every way. Expertly shot, performed, written, scored - every damn thing. Serious Oscar contention for cast and crew.

My senior thesis as a philosophy major asserted (if I'm going to oversimplify) that one can create a greater critical self analysis - an essential process for any oppressed group to become liberated - via expression - for example in film (my example was with comedy). WHICH IS SO TRUE IN THIS FILM.

I quit a career in politics in 2005 after Bush won his election for the second time.
Were I to continue to pursue this career I would have most likely been a sheep, shepharded in law school, formed into a beaten down cog in a machine (Yale or Harvard lawyers fair better in the "make a difference" realms due to their inherent power and positioning).

I've always wanted to smack people in the face with the truth about who women are and what we are capable of - and I want to see it properly depicted in the voice of the people - how we talk about ourselves and others - and so I want to see it properly depicted in film - whether it be simple fun comedy or a serious dramatic piece. I believe film is the medium for change and giving voice to women with personality and strength who are not heard or seen. I want to show depictions of strong women as they are - and I truly believe that if I can make films that show this, it will change how women are percieved and treated. I also believe I could accomplish this personally by achieving career excellence in a male dominated field such as film directing. SO aside from wanting to make some damn good comedies - this is my life's goal.

After seeing Fair Game by Doug Liman - I see an extremely effective film that has given voice to people who were silenced - It can make a bigger impact than those who try to make a difference in politics and are silenced. Speaking up is exactly what films can do. Fair Game is excellent and I look forward to the impact it makes. Thank goodness for Valerie Plame's story it was placed in competent hands.

It's also a pleasure to watch!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cannes Report number next

Saw Tanner Hall - a film made largely by women ( headed by writer/director team Francesca Gregorini and Tatiana von Furstenberg), and it's damn excellent in many ways, so I'm sad that the script fell short in certain moments taking away from a film with huge potential. Either way I think it will be successful and enjoyed by a variety of audiences. The acting and general shot direction is fantastic. The characters are real and complex, and one of the most wonderful portrayals of teen girls I've seen in film. The problems lie in some cheesy moments - the evil mom and the end for example - just really really didn't work. Solid acting performances came out of each and every cast member - from Chris Kattan (which suprised me) to Amy Sedaris and Tom Everett Scott (I'm already a big fan). Especially impressive were the teen performances from Rooney Mara and Amy Ferguson. Those two absolutely blew me away!

Almost saw Blue Valentine - hugely buzzed about with packed screenings - starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams with music by Grizzly Bear (and ps - been loving Blue Valentine producer Lynette Howell on the panel circuit - Lynette if you read this, I'll work for you any day!) BUT I wasn't up for the emotion at the moment - word is it's incredibly moving and sad. Hopefully I have one more chance to see it before Cannes end.

Catching Fair Game bright and early in the morning!

Arrrggg! I love me some movies.

Other stuff
- Saw Stephen Frears speak - interesting tidbit about his directing style - he picks actors he loves first and gives them a lot of freedom. Doesn't hold rehearsals ahead of shooting and feels he must respond to the moment and the set in the space, then rehearses there before going for takes
- Was selected for a short film competition so I got a free Flip Cam! Shot the short today and uploading it tomorrow - wish me luck cause the prize could pay for this trip. And I'm feeling guilty about the euros that been droppin so ... if you like me, knock on wood for me please!
- Going to help location scout in Italy next week!!! Going to Cinque Terre and the Alps. I'm so excited and extra excited to find affordable adventures.
- My final week in Europe will most likely be with friends in Majorca in Spain. Yes I'm doing it all on the cheap!
- Probably won't be able to visit family in Holland but spoke with the Holland Film Commission while here and intend to shoot something in Holland next summer.

Cannes Report

Hey dudes,

Here's the reason I'm in Cannes:
- I have a short film on the Short Film Corner
- To learn the market - Cannes is the most important international film market, and I'm learning quite a bit about the business of movies, and the most valuable bits about how you can actually sell your blood sweat and tears at the end of the day.
- To make contacts with those who could fund my blood sweat and tears, or those who could contribute blood or sweat to my existing pile.

And I'm also here for adventures, and to see films. Here are the films I've seen - (so far the dominant themes of the market at Iraq war, bad economy, 3D, and there's LOTS of puppy films):
- Police Dog Dreams - a Japanese film about a little girl and her dog and their dreams to be a police dog team. F'ING AWESOME. I have the poster. and it is AWESOME.

- a 3D presentation from Korea with robots and dinosaurs. the robots outshine the dinosaurs by far. 3D offerings are EVERYWHERE. audiences - get ready for your eyes to be exposed to this comeback technology from the 80s and let your mind explode with extra dimension (I think it's just a trend that will last 2 years max!)
- Main Street - great cast (Ellen Burstyn, Orlando Bloom to name a few) but we left after 30 mins into the film. BAD EDITING. TERRIBLE EDITING. Shots were misused, it should have started way later in the first scene, the opening montage was boring and repetetive. Could be great if it was edited properly
- Every Day - Liev Schreiber, Helen Hunt, Carla Gugino. Bad writing. Liev not right in this part (though a good actor), and Helen Hunt's hair was overdone which was a weird and mal-fitting choice. Left after 30 mins
- Company Men - Great film, Academy Contender - Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, Chris Cooper. Strong acting, good story - VERY UNINTENTIONALLY SEXIST - Women were never portrayed in relevant roles, in real life women are executives and there were none. We should have seen a female lead along with the men, also there was a token black role - cheesy and the black dude isn't as real a character as the white leads. And the one female business woman had to get naked which wasn't necessary and that actress should have had to do that to tell this story. HOWEVER it was a moving, scary examination of corporate downsizing and layoffs. Ben Affleck's story ark was so extremely true to life, and this will strike a real nerve with those of us deeply afraid of the impact of this economy.
- Tamara Drewe - A really fun film made by Stephen Frears who knows what he's doing. The end is hokey, but otherwise it's great fun and will do well. Great ensemble cast.
- Of Gods and Men (Des Hommes Et Des Dieux) - French film about monks in a monastery in Algeria facing up against violent terrorists while trying to support the village they inhabit. We saw this one on the proper red carpet last night! So fun. The film is absolutely beautiful and moved me to tears. Very well acted. Loved those old men monks! Was so moving to see the actors and director receive a long standing ovation at the end of the film. The most brilliant scene is at the dinner table where we spend time with each character as we experience quiet moments with each as they evoke their viewpoint and experience. One criticism is the overuse of the technique to stay on shots a long time - he should cut a lot of shots shorter (even though its clearly a style choice) because it is being overused, and he will lose the audience and they will be bored or their minds will wander. He needs to keep the long shots in the important moments we need to feel most, and cut some landscape shots, etc because its taking away from the film! It's quite a moving experience a la Schindler's list (but very different style wise from that film)

Other happenings:
- got to see a panel with Doug Liman! He's such a competent director, I admire him so much! Hope to catch Fair Game. Will write about what he had to say about fair game - and the fact that he DP's many of his own films! - later
- Stephen Baldwin is poking around. I think his kids made short films here
- Saw Javier Bardem walk into his press conference!
- Visited Grasse. Got rained on :(
- So far the highest scoring films in the festival are Mike Leigh's Another Year - and 2nd highest is the film I saw, Of Gods and Men. Biutiful by Innaritu and with Bardem scored very very low! Worst score so far is yakuza film Outrage by Kitano- and Kiarostami's film with Juliette Binoche got mixed reviews.

Ok bye now.

Friday, May 14, 2010

I wanted to take a break from movie business and learning the ins and outs of the film market for a moment and watch a movie at this Cannes Film Festival. I'm really interested in seeing some of the films that will premiere in the Lumiere (that's the glamorous theatre) - especially Stephen Frears and Doug Liman's new films. Also interested in seeing Woody Allen's, Inarritu (sp?) and Mike Leigh's. Couple of other films playing on the market look good like Blue Valentine (I will try to see that) and The Kids are Alright (I missed that cause I was being important for a minute).

Up until 5:30 today I hadn't seen any films in Cannes yet. (The Fantastic Mr Fox on the plane was Fantastic. It's Complicated and Crazy Heart were 'eh') At 5:10pm I was charged 5 Euros and 60 cents for a glass of perrier in the Hotel Gray du'Albion.

AND AT 5:30 I SAW:
National Lampoon: Dirty Movie


oh you want a review?
ok. you.
It's actually got a lot of hilarious moments - surprising. Love everything Chris Meloni ever does. I think he could make Mein Kompf funny. The film is good, aside from the part where they degrade women beyond being funny, and beyond the way the other groups of people they make fun of are degraded. Each group that's made fun of is addressed and questioned, but the degradation of women is never questioned for a second, making it even more offensive. I especially love their depiction of an all male film crew ... etc. A movie like this you'd say, "yeah but it offends everyone!" it does - and it is totally funny yes - I recommend it as the PERFECT thing to play at parties - easy to get while drinking. There's some priceless whacky moments. And it's a really cheap movie, which I think audiences will notice and won't care. Still I'd like not to be sucker punched by sexist comedies all the damn time. It would make me happy not to be! The tits in the movie don't help and could definitely be removed (people stopped laughing during those parts and it slows the pace of the film), as well as calling the dumb blondes "sweety" errrr anyhow - there are some priceless fun moments and it has it's place in your dvd player when you want a stupid funny movie. Will kill in frat houses and belongs at parties. Viva La France.

PS - NYC comedians Livia Scott and Todd Levin were in the movie! And I've seen the seller of the film Mystery Team advertise their movie, so that's fun to see familiar faces on the poster. And ... hmm other comedy news. Seen Andy Serkis cast in a couple new comedies, and something with Isla Fisher, and something with ... I forget, time to eat a baguette. AU REVIOREE

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

no time

only time for trying to finish an edit of my film and then feeling badly about self - note to people: filmmaking, probably many creative processes, involves LOTS and LOTS of beating yourself up about not being where you want to be yet. Just sayin!

Leaving for Cannes on Sunday!! YEAH

A couple things:
Something we did in camera class

Lighting Exercise from Jessica dela Merced on Vimeo.

A girl bored with her life turns to her imagination...and Lady Gaga

Starring Heather Fink
Sexy BG dancers: Ryan Johnson, Greg Lemaire, and Charles Rogers
Director and Camera Op- Jess dela Merced
DP- Ed Barnes
Crew- Janelli's 2nd section woot woot!

Shot on super 16mm film

These are fundies

Marina Abromovich lady makes people cry by looking at them in a museum. Oh these crazy modern times!


A great job opportunity!

Hunter S Thompson really hated contracts.


PS you can see a screening of my 7 min comedy short film: Saving Mr Whiskers - starring Will Hines, Eli Newell, Ann Carr, GL Douglas, Madison (my niece), and Tiger the cat.

There will be screenings of the 1st year films in NYU's Grad Film program on Thursday May 6 from 3pm-9pm, and Friday 11am - 5pm.

Mine will be showing during the 7:30pm block.
Thursday May 6
@ NYU Tisch Building
721 Broadway @ corner of Waverly (between 4th and 8th streets)
room 109 (ground floor)

SUBWAYS: NR to 8th Street, 6 to Astor Place; ACE or BDFV to W4th
Street parking is often available after 6pm.