May 29, 2015 § Leave a comment
The ‘Human Rights Watch Film Festival’ (films which bring human rights abuses to the forefront, whose goal is for deep rooted legal and social change in order to fight these injustices, and whose message is that personal accountability can and will make a difference), begins a little early. Although the HRW Film Festival doesn’t begin until June 11-21, 2015, and “The True Cost” isn’t actually one of the films showing at HRW, it very well could have been.
In recent years, the media and docs have discussed where are food comes from, how it is processed, climate change and it’s impact on the environment, and our drinking water as a commodity. We are cognizant that fossil fuels produce carbon dioxide (one of the greenhouse gases that contributes to global warming and impacts the environment as a result), that organic produce and dairy can impact our eco-system and overall health, and that recycling plastic or using reusable water bottles can help prevent non-biodegradable waste.
But we rarely, if ever, give thought to the clothes we wear.
The Fashion Industry is the # 2 polluting industry in the world, second to the oil industry!
Who makes your clothes?
Are they still being made in China, or now that China has implemented industrial standards, have the factories been moved to surrounding countries like Bangladesh? 4 million of the 40 million who work in the garment industry, work in Bangladesh. 85% are women.
How much are they getting paid?
What work conditions are the employees subjected to?
Most will recall Rana Plaza, in 2013, which was the deadliest disaster in the history of the garment industry worldwide.
What impact do the chemicals and dyes have on the local rivers and health of those who come in contact with them?
Did you know that just like organic foods, organic cotton comes from non-genetically modified plants that are grown without the use of any fertilizers or pesticides?
Did you know it takes 700 gallons of water to make 1 tee shirt?
What social and ecological impact can the consumer have in implementing changes?
Eco fashion is beginning to and will continue to become more mainstream, but will the clothes be affordable?
Eco-Fashion or Sustainable Fashion: is a part of the growing design philosophy and trend of sustainability, the goal of which is to create a system which can be supported indefinitely in terms of environmentalism and social responsibility.
Repurpose: To reuse for a different purpose, on a long-term basis, without alteration. For example, taking curtains and turning them into a dress.
Eco-Organic: pesticide free clothing.
UpCycling: the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value.
The True Cost at IFC in NYC and Laemmle Music Hall in LA, on May 29, 2015.
Article by Sharon Abella
One World Cinema
May 24, 2015 § Leave a comment
May is Huntington’s Disease Awareness month.
What is Huntington’s Disease?
Huntington’s Disease is a hereditary degenerative brain disorder that results in the progressive loss of mental faculties and physical control. Around 30,000 Americans have been diagnosed, and 200,000 have a 50/50 chance of developing it, though less than 10% of those at risk choose to take the available test. As of yet, there is no cure.
Beautiful filmmaker, Marianna Palka, is 32 years old. Her father began showing signs of Huntington’s Disease when he was 33. She has a 50/50 chance of contracting the disease, and will find out her fate while in the health practioner’s office, surrounded by friends, during the documentary.
Why is the 28 minute HBO doc entitled “The Lion’s Mouth Opens?”
Woodie Guthrie (July 14, 1912-October 3, 1967) was a folk singer and songwriter from Oklahoma, who also played guitar, harmonica, mandolin, and fiddle. He had been an inspiration to Bob Dylan and the “folk revivalists,” a group of young people in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, who were introduced to folk through Pete Seeger, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, his ex-wife Marjorie, and his son Arlo.
Woodie Guthrie, suffered from Huntington’s Disease. He was increasingly unable to control his muscles, and was hospitalized at Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital in Morris County, NJ from 1956 to 1961, Brooklyn State Hospital in East Flatbush until 1966, and, finally, at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Queens Village, NY until his death in 1967. The then 19-year-old Bob Dylan, who idolized Woodie Guthrie, had regularly gone to visit him at Greystone Park. Guthrie died of complications due to Huntington’s Disease on October 3, 1967.
The title of the film ‘The Lion’s Mouth Opens,’ is taken from a poem that Bob Dylan wrote about Woody Guthrie called ‘Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie.’
“When yer head gets twisted and yer mind grows numb
When you think you’re too old, too young, too smart or too dumb
When yer laggin’ behind an’ losin’ yer pace
In a slow-motion crawl of life’s busy race
No matter what yer doing if you start givin’ up
If the wine don’t come to the top of yer cup
If the wind’s got you sideways with with one hand holdin’ on
And the other starts slipping and the feeling is gone
And yer train engine fire needs a new spark to catch it
And the wood’s easy findin’ but yer lazy to fetch it
And yer sidewalk starts curlin’ and the street gets too long
And you start walkin’ backwards though you know its wrong
And lonesome comes up as down goes the day
And tomorrow’s mornin’ seems so far away
And you feel the reins from yer pony are slippin’
And yer rope is a-slidin’ ’cause yer hands are a-drippin’
And yer sun-decked desert and evergreen valleys
Turn to broken down slums and trash-can alleys
And yer sky cries water and yer drain pipe’s a-pourin’
And the lightnin’s a-flashing and the thunder’s a-crashin’
And the windows are rattlin’ and breakin’ and the roof tops a-shakin’
And yer whole world’s a-slammin’ and bangin’
And yer minutes of sun turn to hours of storm
And to yourself you sometimes say
“I never knew it was gonna be this way
Why didn’t they tell me the day I was born”
And you start gettin’ chills and yer jumping from sweat
And you’re lookin’ for somethin’ you ain’t quite found yet
And yer knee-deep in the dark water with yer hands in the air
And the whole world’s a-watchin’ with a window peek stare
And yer good gal leaves and she’s long gone a-flying
And yer heart feels sick like fish when they’re fryin’
And yer jackhammer falls from yer hand to yer feet
And you need it badly but it lays on the street
And yer bell’s bangin’ loudly but you can’t hear its beat
And you think yer ears might a been hurt
Or yer eyes’ve turned filthy from the sight-blindin’ dirt
And you figured you failed in yesterdays rush
When you were faked out an’ fooled white facing a four flush
And all the time you were holdin’ three queens
And it’s makin you mad, it’s makin’ you mean
Like in the middle of Life magazine
Bouncin’ around a pinball machine
And there’s something on yer mind you wanna be saying
That somebody someplace oughta be hearin’
But it’s trapped on yer tongue and sealed in yer head
And it bothers you badly when your layin’ in bed
And no matter how you try you just can’t say it
And yer scared to yer soul you just might forget it
And yer eyes get swimmy from the tears in yer head
And yer pillows of feathers turn to blankets of lead
And the lion’s mouth opens and yer staring at his teeth
And his jaws start closin with you underneath
And yer flat on your belly with yer hands tied behind
And you wish you’d never taken that last detour sign
And you say to yourself just what am I doin’
On this road I’m walkin’, on this trail I’m turnin’
On this curve I’m hanging
On this pathway I’m strolling, in the space I’m taking
In this air I’m inhaling
Am I mixed up too much, am I mixed up too hard
Why am I walking, where am I running
What am I saying, what am I knowing
On this guitar I’m playing, on this banjo I’m frailin’
On this mandolin I’m strummin’, in the song I’m singin’
In the tune I’m hummin’, in the words I’m writin’
In the words that I’m thinkin’
In this ocean of hours I’m all the time drinkin’
Who am I helping, what am I breaking
What am I giving, what am I taking
But you try with your whole soul best
Never to think these thoughts and never to let
Them kind of thoughts gain ground
Or make yer heart pound
But then again you know why they’re around
Just waiting for a chance to slip and drop down
“Cause sometimes you hear’em when the night times comes creeping
And you fear that they might catch you a-sleeping
And you jump from yer bed, from yer last chapter of dreamin’
And you can’t remember for the best of yer thinking
If that was you in the dream that was screaming
And you know that it’s something special you’re needin’
And you know that there’s no drug that’ll do for the healin’
And no liquor in the land to stop yer brain from bleeding
And you need something special
Yeah, you need something special all right
You need a fast flyin’ train on a tornado track
To shoot you someplace and shoot you back
You need a cyclone wind on a stream engine howler
That’s been banging and booming and blowing forever
That knows yer troubles a hundred times over
You need a Greyhound bus that don’t bar no race
That won’t laugh at yer looks
Your voice or your face
And by any number of bets in the book
Will be rollin’ long after the bubblegum craze
You need something to open up a new door
To show you something you seen before
But overlooked a hundred times or more
You need something to open your eyes
You need something to make it known
That it’s you and no one else that owns
That spot that yer standing, that space that you’re sitting
That the world ain’t got you beat
That it ain’t got you licked
It can’t get you crazy no matter how many
Times you might get kicked
You need something special all right
You need something special to give you hope
But hope’s just a word
That maybe you said or maybe you heard
On some windy corner ’round a wide-angled curve
But that’s what you need man, and you need it bad
And yer trouble is you know it too good
“Cause you look an’ you start getting the chills
“Cause you can’t find it on a dollar bill
And it ain’t on Macy’s window sill
And it ain’t on no rich kid’s road map
And it ain’t in no fat kid’s fraternity house
And it ain’t made in no Hollywood wheat germ
And it ain’t on that dimlit stage
With that half-wit comedian on it
Ranting and raving and taking yer money
And you thinks it’s funny
No you can’t find it in no night club or no yacht club
And it ain’t in the seats of a supper club
And sure as hell you’re bound to tell
That no matter how hard you rub
You just ain’t a-gonna find it on yer ticket stub
No, and it ain’t in the rumors people’re tellin’ you
And it ain’t in the pimple-lotion people are sellin’ you
And it ain’t in no cardboard-box house
Or down any movie star’s blouse
And you can’t find it on the golf course
And Uncle Remus can’t tell you and neither can Santa Claus
And it ain’t in the cream puff hair-do or cotton candy clothes
And it ain’t in the dime store dummies or bubblegum goons
And it ain’t in the marshmallow noises of the chocolate cake voices
That come knockin’ and tappin’ in Christmas wrappin’
Sayin’ ain’t I pretty and ain’t I cute and look at my skin
Look at my skin shine, look at my skin glow
Look at my skin laugh, look at my skin cry
When you can’t even sense if they got any insides
These people so pretty in their ribbons and bows
No you’ll not now or no other day
Find it on the doorsteps made out-a paper mache¥
And inside it the people made of molasses
That every other day buy a new pair of sunglasses
And it ain’t in the fifty-star generals and flipped-out phonies
Who’d turn yuh in for a tenth of a penny
Who breathe and burp and bend and crack
And before you can count from one to ten
Do it all over again but this time behind yer back
The ones that wheel and deal and whirl and twirl
And play games with each other in their sand-box world
And you can’t find it either in the no-talent fools
That run around gallant
And make all rules for the ones that got talent
And it ain’t in the ones that ain’t got any talent but think they do
And think they’re foolin’ you
The ones who jump on the wagon
Just for a while ’cause they know it’s in style
To get their kicks, get out of it quick
And make all kinds of money and chicks
And you yell to yourself and you throw down yer hat
Sayin’, “Christ do I gotta be like that
Ain’t there no one here that knows where I’m at
Ain’t there no one here that knows how I feel
Good God Almighty
THAT STUFF AIN’T REAL”
No but that ain’t yer game, it ain’t even yer race
You can’t hear yer name, you can’t see yer face
You gotta look some other place
And where do you look for this hope that yer seekin’
Where do you look for this lamp that’s a-burnin’
Where do you look for this oil well gushin’
Where do you look for this candle that’s glowin’
Where do you look for this hope that you know is there
And out there somewhere
And your feet can only walk down two kinds of roads
Your eyes can only look through two kinds of windows
Your nose can only smell two kinds of hallways
You can touch and twist
And turn two kinds of doorknobs
You can either go to the church of your choice
Or you can go to Brooklyn State Hospital
You’ll find God in the church of your choice
You’ll find Woody Guthrie in Brooklyn State Hospital
And though it’s only my opinion
I may be right or wrong
You’ll find them both
In the Grand Canyon
“Huntington’s disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative genetic disorder that affects muscle coordination and leads to mental decline and behavioral symptoms. Symptoms of the disease can vary between individuals and affected members of the same family, but usually progress predictably. The earliest symptoms are often subtle problems with mood or cognition. A general lack of coordination and an unsteady gait often follows. As the disease advances, uncoordinated, jerky body movements become more apparent, along with a decline in mental abilities and behavioral symptoms. Physical abilities gradually worsen until coordinated movement becomes difficult. Mental abilities generally decline into dementia. Complications such as pneumonia, heart disease, and physical injury from falls reduce life expectancy to around twenty years from the point at which symptoms begin. Physical symptoms can begin at any age from infancy to old age, but usually begin between 35 and 44 years of age. The disease may develop earlier in life in each successive generation. About 6% of cases start before the age of 21 years with an akinetic-rigid syndrome; they progress faster and vary slightly. The variant is classified as juvenile, akinetic-rigid, or Westphal variant HD.” -Wikipedia
“The Lion’s Mouth Opens” airs on HBO on June 1st (9pm to 9:30pm ET/PT).
Article by Sharon Abella
May 17, 2015 § Leave a comment
The “7th Explorers Club Film Festival,” held at their New York City Headquarters, opened with a newly restored documentary by Captain John Noel from 1924. Produced by the British Film Institute (BFI), “The Epic of Everest” documents the official record of English mountaineers, George Herbert Leigh Mallory (June 18, 1886-June 9, 1924), and Andrew “Sandy” Irvine’s (April 8, 1902-June 8, 1924), 1924 British Mount Everest Expedition, which was the third British attempt to reach the peak of the world’s tallest mountain, Mount Everest (29,029 feet/8,848 meters). Make note, that George Mallory had taken part in all three of the expeditions, 1921, 1922 and, of course, the one which lead to his demise, 1924. Although officially a non-climber, Director, Captain John Noel, ascended all the way to the North Col at 7000m, and filmed their activity higher up the mountain with long range cinematography, a powerful telescopic camera and time lapse shots, from Camp 3.
Each frame lasts approximately 11 seconds, so the viewer really has time to focus on Everest’s magnitude from different angles, the temples steeped into its hillsides, the scenery, the explorers, their light clothing, army styled tents, lack of oxygen tanks, cartographers, shepherds, local women churning butter, unique headresses, instruments, native dances, yaks, and donkeys.
Nepal sits where the Indo-Australian plate is pushing itself beneath the Eurasian plate. Located in the Himalayan mountains on the border between Nepal and Tibet, 700 to 1,000 or more people were on Mount Everest during the April 25, 2015, 7.8 earthquake which triggered several large avalanches. Tibetan natives call Mount Everest, Chomolungma, meaning “Goddess Mother of Mountain,” and it goes to show that even with all of our modern luxuries, Northface gear, GPS, and oxygen, we still can not fool Mother Nature.
> 8,000 deaths, 17,000 injured, historic sites ruined, > 5,000 schools damaged, 1,000 schools which collapsed, monsoon season looming, the lack of running water, cholera outbreaks inevitable, clean sanitation, water purification kits, tents and tarps are needed. Here are a list of places to donate if interested:
The closing night of the “Explorers Club Film Festival,” May 16, 2015, ended with a screening of George Butler and Caroline Alexander’s documentary, “Tiger Tiger,” about the threatened kingdom of the Royal Bengal Tiger of the Sundarbans at the southernmost edge of the Bengal Delta. The film will be out on IMAX in a few weeks for all to see.
Article by Sharon Abella
One World Cinema
May 6, 2015 § Leave a comment
460,000 attended this years New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival (the highest since Hurricane Katrina).
No voodoo queens, ie., Marie Laveau, LaLaurie Mansions, “American Horror Story: Coven” or Plantation House tours, here. Instead, film, art, and music, at the New Orleans Jazz Festival was just what Dr. John: Ske Dat De Dat…The Spirit of Satch, ordered. Only a few miles away from the Central Business District, is a horse racing track, known as the Fair Grounds Race Course, where 7 days of music are spread out over the course of two weekends, April 22- May 1, 2015. Walk around the grounds to the 7 stages and 5 tents, and there is sure to be a musician playing blues, jazz, or funk. The local dishes ranging from crawfish pie, po’boys, fried green tomatoes, pheasant, quail, and andouille gumbo, catfish amandine, Creole stuffed crab with potato salad, and mango freeze, are all made under the strictest sanitary guidelines. Although the main acts on the largest stage (the Acura stage), Trombone Shorty, The Meters, Lenny Kravitz, and Jerry Lee Lewis, did not disappoint, my favorites were the local jazz and brass bands (Calvin Johnson Quartet), in the small NOCCA (New Orleans Center for Creative Arts) Tent, and Buddy Guy in the Blues Tent.
Support local and mainstream artists and filmmakers!
One World Cinema
“Les Bosquet” – French street artist, JR, turns the projects into a ballet stage in remembrance of the riots in 2005.
April 26, 2015 § Leave a comment
French street artist, JR, is well known for plastering large posters of everyday people’s portraits on outdoor spaces in favelas, the Gaza Strip, and cities all over the world. In 2014, he collaborated with the NYC Ballet on a ballet called Les Bosquets. Les Bosquets was inspired by JR’s first art project, ‘Portrait of a Generation’ and by the riots that took place in France in 2005, when two teens in Clichy-sous-Bois (a predominantly African American Parisian suburb), were electrocuted when they hid in a power station, because they were being chased by the police.
During the Tribeca Film Festival 2015, JR premiered his 18 minute short film by the same name, The Story of Ladj Ly, ‘Les Bosquets,’ which took over 10 years to make, and turns the parking lot of a project housing complex in the Paris suburb, Clichy Montfermeil, into a ballet stage.
J.ane R.osenthal introduced the film “Les Bosquets” stating that artists tell the truth and can bring something out in us.
When JR took the microphone away from Jane, the artist joked that “it’s a hard act to follow the real JR, Jane Rosenthal.”
The short starts off with a man holding up a videocamera like it is a weapon stating that he has a hard time filming people close to him.
A wall portrait of an eyeball is shown and then once again when a group of ballerinas come together to stand in a line next to one another and their full length polka dotted leotards form the eyes of the main lead principle ballerina.
The two photographers trigger a riot, scores of men begin running away in the rain and thunderstorms, and a beautiful principal ballerina, dressed in a white tutu, appears in the doorway.
They all transition into ballerinas and begin performing on a black paved parking lot. Their shadows are being displayed against the walls of the housing projects, and a helicopter shines their light down on them much like a stage light from a balcony at NYC Ballet would.
Music composed by Pharrell Williams, Hans Zimmer and Wookid.
After the short, JR-street artist, Pharrell Williams (via Skype), Lil Buck-dancer-hip-hop footwork, Lauren Lovette-soloist at NYCB, Hans Zimmer-German film composer, discussed how they all came to collaborate on the project with one another. Very clever. JR, once again, joked that the talk was longer than the short film. Look for his work on the cover of this weeks New York Times Magazine.
Article by Sharon Abella
One World Cinema
April 26, 2015 § Leave a comment
Tribeca Film Festival 2015 Audience Award Winner: Narrative
Fifteen year old Jack, who was perceived to be a delinquent, never had a lot of friends. In fact, growing up in a small rural town, he was relentlessly and viciously bullied and attacked by two older townies. They spray-painted on Jack’s house and face, and repeatedly hit his younger cousin, Ben, with paintballs.
You might be thinking, if Jack was constantly bullied, how did he get his nickname, “King Jack”?
When “King Jack” was younger, his father would put him up on his shoulders, and carry him around the house declaring that Jack was the King of the Couch and the House! Jack’s older brother Tom, became jealous and detested this because Tom was the popular one, therefore, Tom was worthy of being the King, while Jack was merely a scab.
“King Jack” is a coming of age story, where a young teen and his little cousin bond over beer, truth or dare sessions at the popular girls’ house, and running and hiding from the vicious and violent town bullies.
Written and Directed by Felix Thompson.
“With King Jack I wanted to tell a story about the secret childhood our parents weren’t around for: a childhood made up of hazy summer days that were long and idle. Summers were a time when everyone’s parents were stuck at work so you had to fend for yourself. They were a time for learning your first swearword, drinking your first beer or having your first kiss. It’s funny how those moments, experienced far from the prying eyes of adults, seemed to have such a telling impact on the people we eventually became. It was as if those summers were a perfect snapshot of adolescence: a time when a single weekend could change your life.
King Jack is a film about one of those weekends. Inspired by some of the kids and stories that I grew up around it tells the fictional tale of a kid trapped in a cycle of bullying. But though the film has its fair share of harrowing moments, for me this story was ultimately something our character would look back on fondly years later.
There is something inherently romantic about our rites of passage. The memories are worn and faded from frequent reliving and retelling. So while I wanted to capture a sense of realism and honesty, I was also guided by the idea that our story was a childhood fable. One that was scrappy and rough around the edges, but a fable with a heart and a moral nevertheless.”
Article by One World Cinema.
“In Transit” Directed by Albert Maysles- Tribeca Winner Best Documentary Feature, Special Jury Mention
April 25, 2015 § Leave a comment
“In Transit,” directed by Albert Maysles won the Best Documentary Feature, Special Jury Mention at the Tribeca Film Festival 2015.
Much like a Frederick Wiseman documentary, “In Transit”
observes and delves into the stories of passengers on one outbound and one inbound train journey on the United States’ longest cross country route from Chicago to Seattle.
Observe the interactions of the passengers as they describe the reasons why they are taking their trips. From young entrepreneurs, to those escaping reality, the film interacts with passengers who are willing to share their life stories with the audience. You will meet two 21 year old men who are heading to North Dakota to try to make some money working in the oil fields, an elder who tells his new male acquaintance about the time he met Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a young pregnant woman who is keeping the conductors on their toes as she is due to deliver at any time, children interacting with new friends, a father and son playing cards, and hippies playing guitar.
From the snowy mountains to the prairie plains, the scenery, life stories and the interactions with one another, become more and more fascinating.
Article by Sharon Abella
One World Cinema