Posts Tagged ‘film’

Greg Reitman’s film, ROOTED in PEACE, inspires us to change from within to transform the world

January 22, 2015

Rooted in Peace PosterThis Saturday, January 24, 2015, PublicVine will host a private screening of Sundance award-winning director/producer Greg Reitman’s latest film, ROOTED in PEACE. The event will be held at the I-Heart Radio Lounge located in the heart of Sundance on Main Street in Park City, Utah. The film will be presented using PublicVine’s innovative social media platform. There will be a live question and answer after the screening with filmmaker Greg Reitman, PublicVine CEO Nam Mokwunye, and writer/producer Scott Zarakin, followed by an after party for all in attendance.

Greg Reitman says one of the most important issues for filmmakers wanting to get their films out into the marketplace is being able “to reach the widest available audience while retaining as much financial control as possible.” He feels PublicVine’s platform will provide “a perfect balance for releasing our new film, ROOTED in PEACE.” And when it comes to reaching consumers for digital transactions on a world-wide level Reitman adds, “PublicVine’s platform is going to be a game-changer for filmmakers.”

PublicVine CEO Nam Mokwunye points out that Reitman’s screening of ROOTED in PEACE “from his channel on PublicVine could be a first in film history.” He says it will only “give us a glimpse of what is possible with PublicVine and what opportunities lie ahead.”

Read the press release to find out more details about this innovative social video marketplace and how it can benefit filmmakers.

About ROOTED in PEACE

Greg_ReitmanROOTED in PEACE challenges viewers to examine their values as Americans and human beings. Today we are at war within ourselves, with our environment, and with the world. Director and award-winning filmmaker Greg Reitman invites viewers on a film journey to take notice of the world we live in, proactively seek ways to find personal and ecological peace, and stop the cycle of violence.

The film relies not only on memoir, but also interviews with such luminaries and activists as Deepak Chopra, music legends Donovan, Mike Love, and Pete Seeger, film director David Lynch, Noble Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire, media mogul Ted Turner, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, green architect William McDonough, physician and best-selling author Mark Hyman, neuroscientists Dan Siegel and Fred Travis, sustainability and nutritional experts, and many more.

Reitman learns from all of them, and heeds Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s words, that if the forest is to be green, every tree must be green; if there’s going to be Peace on earth, then everybody needs to experience that quality of Peace within themselves. And so in asking viewers to do the same, Reitman poses the basic question: How do we want to live?

Reitman’s journey is an example of transformation — how one person can learn to make the necessary changes to enjoy a better life — and in so doing inspire others to want to improve their own lives, and society as a whole.

About Greg Reitman

Greg Reitman is the founder of Blue Water Entertainment, Inc., an independent production company focusing on environmentally conscious entertainment. Widely regarded as Hollywood’s “Green Producer,” Greg produced the 2008 SUNDANCE Audience Award-winning feature documentary “FUEL.” He wrote, produced, and directed the feature documentary “HOLLYWOOD’S MAGICAL ISLAND-CATALINA” (PBS) and returns back on the festival circuit with his latest revolutionary feature documentary film, “ROOTED in PEACE.” He’s currently in development on the motion picture film: “The Roni Levi Story.”

Recently, Mantra Magazine asked Greg Reitman about the Importance of Meditation, how Transcendental Meditation played a role in his life, and why it is important to him as a filmmaker.

FILM UPDATE

ROOTED in PEACE premiered at the 21st Annual Sedona International Film Festival, February 21–March 1, 2015. It was one of five films selected and reviewed for Broadway World by Hebert Paine. See BWW Reviews: ROOTED IN PEACE Meets The Aquarian Conspiracy. An interesting and intelligent review, Paine really understood Greg’s intention in making the movie. He did him and the film justice.

On March 25, 2015, the film was spotlighted in the 22nd Annual Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival at UMass Amherst, Greg’s alma mater.

ROOTED in PEACE will have its Iowa premiere at the Sondheim Theater for the Performing Arts in Fairfield, Iowa, August 2nd. Get tickets here. Related news: ROOTED in PEACE to play Martha’s Vineyard and an Iowa premiere at Fairfield’s Sondheim Center.

A poem in a movie inviting you to be who you are

January 2, 2015

I recently enjoyed watching Words and Pictures, a 2013 film about a male English teacher and a female art instructor who form a rivalry that ends up galvanizing students in a competition to decide the most effective way to communicate, using words or pictures. This battle between mind and heart, ideas and feelings, is also about self-discovery, expressing one’s creativity, and the blocks that get in the way. Cleverly written by Gerald Di Pego, a one-time English teacher, and faithfully directed by Fred Schepisi, it stars Clive Owen, Juliette Binoche, and Bruce Davison. Visit their website for more info: http://wordsandpicturesthemovie.com.

I especially liked the quotes about writing and art, the word vs. the image. A poem by Mary Oliver was supposed to be featured in the film. They never said which one, but kept waiting for permission to use it. By the time the answer came in, no, it was too late, and they had to come up with a replacement. The pressure was on screenwriter Gerald Di Pego. Being a poet himself, and seeing how this was his screenplay, the muse inspired him and he wrote this very vivid and appropriate poem, just in time. Juliette Binoche liked it, which came as a relief to him and the director. I found it online and wanted to share it with you. The poem plays a central role, but you’ll have to see the film to find out who wrote it and how it’s used.

WHO ARE YOU?

I am a small poem
On a page with room
For another.

Share with me
This white field,
Wide as an acre
Of snow, clear
But for these tiny
Markings like the
Steps of a bird.
Come. Now.

This is the trough
Of the wave, the
Seconds after
Lightning, thin
Slice of silence
As music ends,
The freeze before
The melting. Hurry.

Lie down beside me.
Make angels. Make devils.
Make who you are.

As you can see, the poem invites you to create and become who you are, from that gap, the transitional point of possibility, and to share in the experience with another. Here’s a poem I wrote after a special painting class that seems relevant: ArtWords—poem about a creative awakening.

Interestingly, the Special Features part of the DVD revealed that Juliette Binoche, an artist in her own right, offered to do all of the paintings herself, which thrilled both writer and director. Because her character is dealing with physical challenges due to her medical condition, she had to paint in different styles, from portraiture to more abstract. Binoche enjoyed the added challenge and it possibly influenced her own future work.

Here is the official Words and Pictures – International Trailer (2014) HD.

When it comes to romantic movies, here are some of my favorite films where love transcends time.

Canadian Connection: These shoes are made for walking

The featurette also confirmed for me where they had made the film. The story is set in a New England prep school, but was actually shot at St. George’s School, an independent boarding and day university-preparatory school for boys in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, a.k.a., Hollywood North.

I recognized the location, and it reminded me of a story I had heard on a local CBC radio talk show during my stay there. The guest was an English teacher who taught at St. George’s School. One of the topics being discussed was meeting famous people. Listeners called in to share their stories and the teacher related an unusual event that had recently happened to him.

He had gone shopping at a well-known store for comfortable walking shoes. He settled on a particular pair and the sales clerk told him it was a popular item. She said someone famous had been in that morning and purchased a similar pair. She left to find out the name of the celebrity, but got sidetracked, so he left.

He put on his new shoes and, as was his routine everyday after lunch, he went for a walk in the woods next to the school property. While walking along the path, eyes downcast, he saw a pair of shoes just like his, coming his way. Looking up he saw someone he never would have expected to see, especially in the forest. He pointed at him in surprise trying to say his name, but it came out as gibberish. The person mimicked him sputtering his name. It was Robin Williams! I think he was in town at that time filming Jumanji.

They had a wonderful walk and talk together. Robin had asked him what he did for a living and where he worked, which was something he could identify with having played an English teacher at an elite boys prep school in Dead Poets Society. When they reached the edge of the forest, there was Robin’s stretch limousine parked on the street waiting for him. He invited the teacher into the car saying they would drop him off at the school.

Now this man was not the most popular teacher at the school. When they pulled up, he got out of the limo, and all heads turned to look at him. Then Robin lowered the darkly tinted window, stuck his head out, and thanked the teacher for a wonderful time. All the kids’ jaws dropped! And from that day on he was the coolest person at school. Thank you, Robin! God Bless you, wherever you are.

@David_Lynch’s MA in Film program @MaharishiU encourages creativity cultivated by consciousness

October 12, 2014

Des Moines Register’s Kyle Munson profiles the David Lynch MA in Film at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield and Vedic City, Iowa.

On Thursday, October 9, 2014, I hosted The Register’s Iowa journalist Kyle Munson and photographer Mary Willie. Kyle had contacted me during the week because of David Lynch’s announcement to produce 9 new episodes of Twin Peaks for Showtime. This seemed to be the tipping point to finally visit our Masters Program in Film in David Lynch’s name. For information on the David Lynch MA in Film at MUM, visit http://filmschool.mum.edu.

Kyle said his report would appear this weekend. I checked online Saturday night to find Kyle’s video and Mary’s photos about MUM’s DLMA, both in an article: Vedic City film school program enters 2nd year. This is how it appears in the Sunday Register.

The title may appear to be a bit confusing since the David Lynch MA in Film is part of Maharishi University of Management, based in Fairfield, Iowa. But the graduate film department classrooms and offices are located in Headley Hall in neighboring Maharishi Vedic City.

As a result they’ve now retitled the article to read: Munson: David Lynch and the ‘Twin Peaks’ of Iowa. The article starts out referencing one of the most famous lines from David Lynch’s iconic TV series, Twin Peaks.

It’s easier to find a “damn fine cup of coffee” here than in other Iowa towns two or three times the size.

At least a few top-notch coffee shops surround the town square — not to mention a vast array of vegetarian and organic cuisine far beyond the staple pork tenderloin or rural fixture of “Taco Tuesday.”

It’s all part of the familiar plotline about how Fairfield, pop. 9,447, has evolved in the last 40 years into a surprising cosmopolitan oasis on the prairie thanks to the global influx of followers of the late Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. They practice Transcendental Meditation (TM) — at least 20 minutes twice a day — as a means to promote peace and unlock their creativity. They have trekked here since the Maharishi University of Management (MUM) was founded on the former Parsons College campus as a center of “consciousness-based education.”

Kyle interviews Joanna Plafsky, the one who created the program; John Raatz, the new executive director who also brought Jim Carrey to give this year’s commencement address; as well as some of the students who came from far and wide for the graduate film program, including the international scholarship winner, Agnes Baginska, whose film was selected by David Lynch himself. Agnes posted a scan of the full article on her website and her Facebook Timeline Photos. Read the rest of the article here. Click on these titles to see the video and photos.

Kyle Munson’s Iowa: David Lynch starts film school in Iowa

David Lynch starts film school in Iowa

The David Lynch MA in Film at the Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield and Vedic City began a year ago. The second year of the “Twin Peaks” filmmaker-focused curriculum is underway. Kyle Munson/The Register

16 photos: David Lynch film school in Vedic City, Iowa

16 photos - David Lynch film school in Vedic City, Iowa

Fairfield Iowa is the home of David Lynch’s MA film program which encourages creativity cultivated by consciousness at Maharishi University of Management Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014. Mary Willie/The Register

I already put some of the photos up on my Pinterest account, which go on Twitter. Also posted the links to the photos and the video on Google+ and Twitter. Even though I officially retired, I could not pass up this PR OP! 🙂

Related news: Fairfield Creatives Get Started.

DLMA Students & Faculty Participate in Music Video Production

Months later some of our students participated in a music video for Kid Moxie singing the hauntingly beautiful “Mysteries of Love” written by David Lynch and composed by Angelo Badalamenti. The film premiered at The Music of David Lynch fundraiser. Noisey/VICE broke the news, launching the video with photos. Watch ‘Twin Peaks’ Composer Angelo Badalamenti’s Eerie Video for “Mysteries Of Love” with Kid Moxie. See a press release with the video and more production stills: David Lynch Music Tribute Continues with Online Music Video Premiere.

David Lynch on Esquire Network, How I Rock It, talking about Transcendental Meditation

December 21, 2013

How I Rock It: Filmmaker David Lynch & Transcendental Meditation

Filmmaker David Lynch describes how he develops and gains personal happiness and inner peace in his style and work through the art of Transcendental Meditation.

David describes his first blissful experience of transcending

David describes his first blissful experience of transcending

I tried to embed the video but it didn’t work in this space. Click here to see this short (2:20) impressive video on the Esquire TV Network website: It’s really good, as David would say.

In addition to the interview, some of the footage is taken from a pre-screening reception for the film, Meditation Creativity Peace, about David’s 16-Country tour, shown in the Billy Wilder Theater. Watch the hilarious, but informative, post-screening discussion with David Lynch, Russell Brand, and Bob Roth.

Read this lucid description by of his experiences with TM: Daily Reset – A Look Into Transcendental Meditation. And see The GQ Guide to Transcendental Meditation: The Totally Stressed-Out Man’s Guide to Meditation.

Related: Style.com: David Lynch and Italo Zucchelli on their creativity and Transcendental Meditation.

David Lynch, Russell Brand, Bob Roth Q&A after screening Meditation, Creativity, Peace documentary at Hammer Museum

May 24, 2013

David Lynch: Meditation, Creativity, Peace Q&A

Filmmaker David Lynch, comedian Russell Brand, and David Lynch Foundation Executive Director Bob Roth answer questions about Transcendental Meditation following a screening of the documentary Meditation, Creativity, Peace. (Run Time: 41 minutes, April 2, 2103.)

Published on May 2, 2013 by hammermuseum

See related videos: Russell Brand and David Lynch at LA Premiere of ‘Meditation, Creativity, Peace’ Documentary and Watch the trailer for a new documentary film on David Lynch titled “Meditation Creativity Peace”

Enlightenment, The TM Magazine, also reported on the event: Meditation Creativity Peace: How the David Lynch Foundation Brings Change from Within.

David Lynch speaks with Alan Colmes about his 16-country tour film Meditation Creativity Peace.

Visit the new website, Meditation Creativity Peace, for a list of upcoming and previous screenings: http://meditationcreativitypeace.com.

David Lynch receives the Plus Camerimage 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award for Directing

February 17, 2013
David Lynch receives Plus Camerimage Lifetime Achievement Award for Directing © Marta Pawłowska

David Lynch receives Plus Camerimage Lifetime Achievement Award for Directing 2012 © Marta Pawłowska

The International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography PLUS CAMERIMAGE is the greatest and most recognized festival dedicated to the art of cinematography and its creators – cinematographers. This 20th Plus Camerimage Festival took place November 24 to December 1, 2012 in Bydgoszcz, Poland.

Plus Camerimage contributes to the growth of cinematographers’ prestige. The unconventional format of the Festival, which awards films according to their visual, aesthetic and technical values, has turned out to be an alternative for traditional film festivals. As all their guests emphasize – PLUS CAMERIMAGE is unique. Find out more here.

David Lynch in PolandDarek Kuzma talks with David Lynch, the recipient of the Plus Camerimage Lifetime Achievement Award for Directing at their 2012 festival. Different topics are brought up and David discusses the value of Transcendental Meditation for him and his work when answering the 4th question. He seemed very relaxed and happy to be there.

1. Do you feel that your films inspire people or may change their lives?
2. Can you call yourself a believer in the magic of cinema?
3. Now, when special effects, gadgets and digital cinema are so developed, people don’t have to imagine things…
4. What motivates you to keep working even if there are obstacles in the way? A: (2:46–5:02)
5. This edition of Plus Camerimage festival is devoted to the theme of “digital versus film.” What is your stand on it?
6. How do you feel about the Plus Camerimage festival and it’s 20th edition?

This video was published by pluscamerimage2012 Nov 29, 2012.

See the humanitarian work of the David Lynch Foundation healing traumatic stress and raising performance in at-risk populations.

LAist: Zachary Sluser’s Short Film “Path Lights”

October 27, 2009

Short Films: More Than the Art of the Calling Card?

BobbyTyping

We are certainly in a sea change when it comes to media, but for every time someone has cried that the end is nigh, books, newspaper, film–whatever is on its deathbed in a given news cycle–continues to push ahead, continues to march on. In the case of Hollywood, YouTube, Netflix and OnDemad have continued to pull film out of the theater, a process that began with VHS and video rental, and deeper into the home. These media and formats may seem better suited for shorter work, yet feature-length films still reign supreme. But with studios tightening their purse strings and the budget needed for a feature film almost always far beyond the bank balance and fund raising prowess of up-and-coming filmmakers, directors without studio backing have to find other ways to show their vision. So short films–which find their way through world by playing at film festivals and in any variety of online platforms–are the go to, if not most desirable, format for directors looking for that big feature film break.

LAist spoke to one such LA-based director, Zachary Sluser, who’s latest short film, “Path Lights” is making its Los Angeles debut tonight at the AFI Mark Goodson Theater after having played at a number of film festivals around the country, including the Woodstock Film Festival in upstate New York. Based on a short story by author Tom Drury published by The New Yorker in 2005, “Path Lights” was shot in Los Angeles in the spring of this year.

“I think that short films are primarily made as calling cards, either as truncated versions of a feature length or as stand-alone pieces that showcase the director’s style and capabilities. I do think that no matter what the intention is for making the film, once it is being made, it should stand alone as it’s own piece of art,” Sluser said about the role of short film in Hollywood. Considering all of the calling card shorts that must be floating around Los Angeles and remembering those that managed to become something much more–Tod Haynes’ “Superstar,” the all-Barbie cast Karen Carpenter biopic, is a stand out that comes to mind–it seems strange that our city, so synonymous with film, doesn’t have much in the way of outlets for screening and viewing shorts. New York City, so strongly associated with book publishing, offers much more for authors writing short fiction–the short story and novel being analogous to the short and feature film in many ways–with its glut of reading series and various print outlets, including The New Yorker, where Drury’s story was published.

Described as a “thought-provoking, comedy-noir that puts a human spin on the tradition of detective hero films,” the plot follows Bobby (John Hawkes)–who makes his living doing voiceovers for serial detective pulps–as he makes his way through a mystery that appears in his own life. An avid film buff, Sluser kept the noir history, both in film and literature, of LA in mind in shooting the film. “Because Bobby is the voice for these detective serials on tape, and he himself is very much the opposite of the classic “Sam Spade” detective, we chose to use the film noir grammar in ways that show how out of his element Bobby is,” in dealing with mystery outside of the sound studio, Sluser said. “So I think it makes sense that the film is set in the quiet neighborhoods of Pasadena. Close enough to the film noir history in LA, and at the same time quite removed.”

“Path Lights” is screening tonight at 8:00 PM at AFI Mark Goodson Theater in the Mayer Library Building (2021 N. Western Ave.).

By Willy Blackmore in Arts & Events on October 27, 2009 10:00 AM

Every War Has Two Losers, a Haydn Reiss film on poet and conscientious objector William Stafford

October 18, 2009

EVERY WAR HAS TWO LOSERS

A Poet’s Meditation on Peace

A FILM BASED ON THE JOURNALS OF WILLIAM STAFFORD

Haydn Reiss (producer/director) has been making independent films for twenty years that often focus on writers and poets. As a producer for hire his clients include organizations working on the front lines of education, the environment, culture, human rights, politics and health. In 1998, Reiss directed the award-winning RUMI: Poet of the Heart, which was seen on over 100 PBS stations and screened in festivals around the world.

EVERY WAR HAS TWO LOSERS tells the story of how one man, William Stafford (1914-1993), chose to answer the call to war. It is a story of confronting beliefs that swirl around war — Isn’t war inevitable? Even necessary? What about the enemy? Stafford refused to fight in World War Two and served four years in camps for conscientious objectors. Later he was the winner of the National Book Award for poetry.

Other participants appearing in the film include Coleman Barks, Robert Bly, John Gorka, Maxine Hong Kingston, Michael Meade, W.S. Merwin, Naomi Shihab Nye, Kim Stafford, and Alice Walker.

Director Haydn Reiss first met Stafford in 1990 and later produced a one-hour documentary, William Stafford & Robert Bly: A Literary Friendship. That film chronicles the similarities and differences between these two close friends and great poets. Approaches to writing, teaching and the meaning of poetry are all explored in this lively and engaging film. (The film is included as a DVD extra on EVERY WAR HAS TWO LOSERS)

Interview with Haydn Reiss:

Q: What’s the genesis of the film?

HR: In 2006, I read the book the film is based on and that was edited by his son Kim, “Every War Has Two Losers: William Stafford on Peace & War” (Milkweed Editions 2004). It’s fifty years of excerpts from Bill’s journals related to war and reconciliation. As with all of Stafford’s writings, there is a sense of a deep intelligence at work that stays human and available to the reader. There’s humor, heartbreak and a general sense, or assertion, that we human beings are capable of doing better with each other. I’m a father of young children and I have to believe that’s true. More importantly, I had to try and make a contribution to that effort and that’s what I attempted with the film.

Q: How does the book differ from the film?

HR: Obviously there’s a lot more writing and poems in the book than the film. The challenge was to pull journal entries that could be arranged in some form or fashion and create an overall arc to the film. A beginning, middle and end has not been much improved upon in the world of storytelling. All the material could be endlessly mixed since there was no inherent order to it other than chronological. So mix it we did some untold number of times until the cylinders seemed to line up and my editor and I had something we liked. The film brings in its own ingredients of music, images and a remarkable collection of participants.

Q: What do you hope the film does for the viewer?

HR: It would be very satisfying to think that after viewing the film you would ask yourself, at a deep level, what you really believe about war. And the follow-up question of “How did I come to believe that?” I think we have been very successfully indoctrinated into accepting that war is a given, it’s what human beings do. The distinction is, and I think this is what Stafford is saying, is “Yes, we do and can make war. But what else can we do?” The undiscovered possibilities in human behavior are what we should pursue. The die is not cast; imagination and creativity are not in short supply. That this is the real, pragmatic work of the world.

View trailer, download PBS station airings August-September 2010, bios, and purchase a DVD of Every War Has Two Losers.

Also see PEACEFUL POETS: Filmmaker Haydn Reiss on Rumi and Stafford and the Power of Words and A Fascinating Approach to Peace.


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