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From NYTimes:
“An Education,” made for less than $8 million, won the audience award at Sundance and was, unusually, also accepted at the Berlin, Telluride and Toronto film festivals. Ms. Mulligan, with her ability to convey simultaneously naïveté and knowingness, vulnerability and strength, has been acclaimed as a future star, and the movie has been generating the kind of buzz that independent filmmakers dream about.

Isn’t it nice to know that for only 8 million bucks, you can toss your hat into the “independent” lotto game and come up a winner?  Hot damn, pony up them chips and get going.


Back in my own personal reality, plugging away editing – slow going – at Piccoli Miracoli and Swimming in Nebraska.  Lots of technical stuff, lotsa crashes….   And mulling things, I stopped shooting whatever the new Seoul film I had begun was going to be.  No money equaled dancing around the schedules of my actors (all 3 very good), of whom two are working jobs (coffee house and fashionista office), one going to school, and all seemingly unable to meet at same time same place except rarely.   I shot a few scenes, but the focus seemed diffuse  –  which it is enough working my way – and I thought more of this and the form would get completely lost.  I just sent them all an email to say I think it’s best we drop it, and if we do carry on, to work out ideas for another film that can absorb the fractured time apparently available.  I wait to see what they say.

Or perhaps its just another sign of my increasing disinterest in making films about people, or fictions about people, or talking heads, or “stories” or perhaps making films at all.  It would be a bit ironic as I’m now equipped with a fine camera, editing, etc. but at least of late it all seems a bit empty – more films for no one, and when there is a little “someone” it’s in a context – festivals – which are utterly unsuitable for seeing what I would like to be making.  And then I casually track the film business and feel as if there is an avalanche of noise called films, to which it seems folly to add more.   Late life crisis?  Artistic equivocating?  Boredom?

And then America is going through its own similar trauma, or some 7 or 8 millions out of their jobs are, and many millions more nervous about theirs are, and it makes for some kind of national nervous break-down, while the government and the corporate news folks make sly with the figures, not letting go with the, well, awful truth:

About 824,000 more jobs may be subtracted from the payroll count for the 12 months through last March when the figures are officially revised early next year, a Labor Department report showed today. The revision would be the biggest since at least 1991.

The bulk of the miss occurred in the calculations for the first quarter of this year, the Labor Department said. The economy shrank at a 6.4 percent annual pace in the first three months of 2009, the worst performance since 1982.

The figures raise the possibility that the government’s calculations continue to miss the mark.

“We are probably still underestimating job losses,” said John Silvia, chief economist at Wells Fargo Securities LLC in Charlotte, North Carolina. “There could be another 30,000 to 40,000” that the data isn’t picking up, he said.

That would mean the loss of jobs for September could turn out to be as high as 300,000, rather than the 263,000 reported today by the Labor Department. Today’s report also showed the jobless rate climbed to 9.8 percent last month, a 26-year high.

Elsewhere I read that the actual unemployment rate is already around 20% in the good old reality-based world.

job lose graph


One Comment

  1. Hello Jon,
    Should I go ahead and send the International Money Order to your school or you prefer Nebraska account?
    Sorry to har it didn’t work out with your latest film. Perhaps it needs more time, or more maturation, or a better carmic configuration, but I wouldn’t for sure see it as a sign to hang it up!
    I believe that an artist ultimately does what he or she does because they have no other choice, regardless of whether they will have an audience to see their work, and because they need an audience to justify their work, and their dedication to their art.
    I always remember the last shot from Jacques Becker’s film about Modigliani.


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