Skip navigation

Tag Archives: Blake Eckard

GENTRY CO. .Still023

Roxanne Rogers and Blake Eckard

For what seems like for the umpteenth time, headed to the Jeonju Film Festival in South Korea, this time invited to screen They Had It Coming.   This will give us a chance to see some friends, former students, have another taste of delicious Korean cuisine, and see how much things changed in two years.  Don’t yet know the screening dates, but was looking like May 3 and 5.  It’ll be the first public screening, though given that it is heavily talky and quite “American” I wonder what the largely Korean audience will make of it – a real subtitle marathon?   Not going to exactly provide a good reading of how the film works on viewers.

GENTRY CO. .Still028.

GENTRY CO. .Still020


GENTRY CO. .Still032.

Set in Blake Eckard’s home town of Stanberry MO (pop. 1185), we shot in two phases, which, if it were up to my brain to sort it out, I couldn’t say just when.  I think spring and then autumn, 2014 or was it 2013?  Dang if I remember.   While in Stanberry shooting and acting in Blake’s film Ghosts of Empire Prairie, he told us a handful of local stories, embellished in his story-teller manner, and finding these just too juicy to pass up, I asked if maybe we could spin a film around them and him.  Such was the genesis of They Had It Coming.  I tossed in a few things that had been lingering in my files for 20 or 30 years, we each wrote a bit more, and bang, we had a film.  Frank Mosley, Arianne Martin, Roxanne Rogers and Tyler Messner came in, and in pretty quick order (less than a week?)  it was mostly shot, in Blake’s mother, Susan’s, kitchen! Yep, that was the studio space where nearly 2/3rds of it was shot with window light and a black cloth.  While I was off on a trip to Europe Blake used my camera to snare shots (above) of locals when they came into Eckard’s Hardware to shop. Roxanne’s sister Sandy let me use one of her songs, I tossed in a few of my own, Stephen Taylor’s dad, Larry, lent his voice for a smooth TV announcer (he used to be anchor in Boise Idaho news program), and after a short bit of editing on CS6, out popped the film.  My thanks to everyone who helped.

GENTRY CO. .Still017


I sent an early cut out last summer, accruing a list of festival “no’s,” and getting the suggestion from Mark Rappaport, that I should change my title, which had been “True Gentry County Stories” to one of the lines in the film.  I took his advice. They Had It Coming, while itself being a fiction, is simultaneously a kind of tone-poem/essay on the process of “story-telling.”  In my view a rather strange little beast it is, that for some reason gathers towards the end to provide a visceral punch of a conclusion.  I don’t really understand quite how it manages to do so – adamantly skirting all the usual mechanisms used – but it does.

GENTRY CO. .Still030

Blake and Tyler Messner

GENTRY CO. .Still029

Frank Mosley and BlakeGENTRY CO. .Still024.

GENTRY CO. .Still026

Arianne Martin and Blake

GENTRY CO. .Still042


GENTRY CO. .Still044

Upcoming screenings include Coming to Terms in Houston TX, April 23, at the Blaffer Art Museum, and then on May 11 in Austin at the Austin Film Society; Last Chants for a Slow Dance will screen May 10 at AFS.  And something is cooking for Phoenix AZ, just when up in the air.  As is life….


Arrived back from more or less six months on the road, with a small bit having to do with film festivals, screenings and the other chores of the filmmaker life, and settled into my “home” in Butte, and began the final work on two new films – ones mostly shot last September, and November.  Features.  Both looking pretty good.

The trip involved a number of screenings, of older work and new.  For the most part the audiences were sparse, and talk with those showing them suggested this is now the norm.  To my glance the audiences were also generally rather older.  White hair or none.  None of this was a surprise for me – I’d been noticing this trend for a decade and more.  I have my thoughts on it, of course, and shortly I’ll be writing in more depth at

For the moment though, in anticipation of completing these new films (and proceeding on to the other 3 or 4 awaiting editing to completion, not to mention shooting some others and preparing others, along with the Mt. Everest of photography to tend to, painting when the weather shifts, and recording some music), I decided to go ahead and do something I’ve been considering for a while.  Today  wrote the following letter to the Locarno festival, and sent along the same to the Venice festival.


As a past guest of your festival – long ago in the 70’s, and more recently (!) with OUI/NON in 2003, I write to say a few things.

Having made films for now 51 years, and having watched with others the drastic changes in the world of cinema I have decided for myself a few things:

1. I will not fill out festival entry forms, pay entry fees, or other things time and energy consuming; I will  inform festivals of new work and if they wish to see it they can do so on-line (Vimeo with password), or pay for a DVD or preferably BluRay to be sent to see it properly.

2. As for the kind of work I do there is no longer even the hint of a “market” and festivals have become more or less the default “market,” when my work is shown I will need some kind of payment.  A ticket/hotel for some place I might want to go; or money.

I know this may sound arrogant or whatever you wish to call it.  So be it.

I am continuing to make work – by my estimation, and that of some others, certainly up with my best, and hopefully even better.  This year’s Coming to Terms is certainly one of my best. (Ask Mark Rappaport, or Jonathan Rosenbaum.)  Still I’ll be lucky if several thousand people, world-wide, ever see it.

I have two new films virtually finished:

BLUE STRAIT, likely around 80-85 minutes, about a middle-aged gay couple breaking up (though this is hardly a “story” film.)

THEY HAD IT COMING, close to 90 minutes, an exploration in genre, literature, story-telling.

If you are interested in seeing, let me know.

Thank you


I have no idea how this will be received by the festivals – perhaps they will actually understand, and if not generally, then at least individually, make a change.  Or perhaps they will regard it as the whining of a disconsolate old filmmaker fallen from the day’s fashions.  Perhaps they’ll wonder why my secretary can’t do these things, not comprehending that I have no secretary and never did, and that the simple process of filling out ill-designed entry forms is far more hassle than they imagine.  Or myriad other things.  I’ll have to wait and see.

The simple reality from their side is that there are thousands of people willing to go through the hoops chancing for the brass ring, so if my little kvetch irritates them, it’s no problem for them.  From my side it is that whether my film (and I) go to a festival, it will make little difference in tangible terms – perhaps 50 or 500 people will see it; perhaps someone will write something about it.  But almost certain, in the tsunami of films cranked out these days, it will be swept away and out of view and consciousness in a matter of weeks or a month or two.  And I won’t accrue a penny.  There will be no “sale.”  At best I can scribble that the film showed in festival X.   For others it may be that the applause of an audience, or positive words from viewers provides “something” but in my case it really isn’t so.  I need no pats on the back or words of encouragement.  I need to make a very modest “living.”


GENTRY CO. .Still023Blake Eckard and Roxanne Rogers in Gentry County StoriesTHE TALK 2.Still001John Manno and Steve Taylor in Blue Strait

In the next week or so I hope to post a longer, more considered essay on where things seem to stand with regard to this kind of cinema in the current world, and whether there is any more seeming point to it at all.    As you can imagine, I have my doubts.


Sequence 01.Still007Frame from Canyon


Note:  I am in process of setting up a VOD Vimeo channel of my work.  Not being Hollywood or able to anticipate high numbers, my price is $10 to stream, $20 to download.  First one up is Angel City from 1976.   You can buy DVDs for $30+ shipping and processing by PayPal, and BluRay disks for more (I recommend for the HD films and a few others.)

[An update now on June 10 2104:  neither the Locarno festival, nor the Venice festival gave me any response to my letter.  In the case of Venice, I know its director, Alberto Barbera, personally, and addressed to him, along with his staff, my letter.  Whether this signals that my never-more-than-modest leverage with festivals is now in the minus range (some time ago I was instrumental in getting Joao Pedro Rodriguez’ film O Fantom into the Venice competition when Barbera was director earlier, in 2002 or so), or whether raising the topic of the, uh, well, exploitation of filmmakers in the name of “supporting” them was too hot a matter, or whether my missive was lost in the shuffle, I don’t know.  No information at all is not exactly a useful standpoint for speculation – I “know” only that neither festival sent me a word in response, which, at minimum in my view, was “rude.”]


GENTRY CO. .Still019

Four months ago, towards the end of November, I pulled into Stanberry, (pop. 1,185) to stay with Blake Eckard (actually at his Mom’s place), and as circumstances looked OK, shot a film.  I was headed, along with Blake, to the St. Louis Film Festival, each of us to show new films, at the end of the month.  I’d shot and acted in Blake’s Ghosts of Empire Prairie back in May of 2012, and while around had soaked up a bit of the local ambiance.  Just happened to make a jig-saw fit with some things I’d scribbled down some decades earlier, and those things, along with some local tales which Blake knows well and tells with a natural story-teller’s ease, just seemed to leap into each other’s arms.  I asked Roxanne Rogers, who had been in my long ago Slow Moves, and then the newest, Coming to Terms, to make a little detour on her way from LA to her home in Istanbul.  We met up at the airport in KC on the 18th, and headed to Blake’s Mom’s house.  A few days later I went back to the KC airport to get Frank Mosley, who’d also volunteered to come be in it and then went on with us to St Louis.  We were joined in Stanberry by Tyler Messner, a friend of Blake’s since childhood who’s been in almost all of Blake’s films.


GENTRY CO. .Still017

GENTRY CO. .Still018Roxanne RogersGENTRY CO. .Still023Roxanne and BlakeGENTRY CO. .Still027Blake and Arianne MartinGENTRY CO. .Still029Frank Mosley and BlakeGENTRY CO. .Still024

GENTRY CO. .Still030Blake and Tyler Messner

In the next 6 days we shot the film in a simple relaxed way – natural light, a handful of simple set-ups against a black cloth, with Blake telling “real” stories (names changed to protect the innocent) from around Gentry County.  On returning now, Arianne Martin, who was in Ghosts, was here to be in Blake’s new film, Coyotes Kill for Fun, and plays in my film as well.   While I was traveling in Europe Blake wrote a few new scenes and did 10 shots of locals which will get slipped in.  On getting those few one shot-sequences tomorrow I should have it pretty much done, with only some music to record (my own C&W) and a few other small things to add.  Hope to have it done in May or so.  About 75 mins.  I think it’ll be pretty damn good.

GENTRY CO. .Still033

GENTRY CO. .Still032

GENTRY CO. .Still028Locals

The film is a kind of play with literature, story-telling, reality, all with a deep mid-west footing.  Of course, it’s one of my films so it is for the usual audience of (n)one, sure to be seen by extremely few, and ignored by the film biz, large and small.   Nothing to do with making a buck.

GENTRY CO. .Still036

GENTRY CO. .Still037

GENTRY CO. .Still040

GENTRY CO. .Still034

GENTRY CO. .Still043

Broken down on the highway, broken down on the road

My car’s runnin’ fine, it ain’t a problem of mine,

It’s my heart that’s in pieces, you know

     Broken hearts, and busted up dreams,

     All decked out in faded old jeans,

     It’s a story, it’s a story as old as time.

Standing there at a far edge of town,

There’s a broken young man with his head hanging down

And he’s calling,

And he’s falling in front of your eyes.

(partial lyrics from song of mine, circa 1988)

Here in Stanberry, Blake is shooting his new film which I’d intended to shoot for him but I arrived with a nagging cold/flu and have had to lay low here, trying to recuperate.  On the road in two more days, headed to O’Hare to drop Roxanne off for a flight to Istanbul, and then I spend a week and some visiting old friends in Chicago.  Then slowly back to Butte for a summer of work and rest.

GENTRY CO. .Still044

1014351_thumbs up down

In a few months, come January 2014, I will finish 50 years of filmmaking, and trundle on, inshallah, to number 51.  Back in 1963, arriving with $50 to my name in Italy, and put up by a generous family, the Rebosio’s of Cassina Amata, Paderno Dugnano, in what is now the suburbs of Milano, I made my first film.  It was a portrait of their 12 year old daughter, Matilde.  Silent, 13 minutes, it has recently been restored by the Eye Film Institute of the Netherlands (their archival organization) and I will get to see it for the first time in some decades when it is shown at the St Louis Film Festival in November.

IMG_1419Matilde and her husband, 1012

I was 19 when I made it and had no thought or idea of a career, of making a living, or any such thing, nor did I know that I would become a filmmaker.  I was young and reckless and foolish and perhaps of a little minority of my era, diving into the “’60’s.”  In hindsight I think I was a bit crazy, and it seems by some measures I still am.  I vaguely knew I was some kind of artist, and I knew somewhat the price that would involve.  Fifty years on I’ve accrued a mixed reputation, as a person and as a filmmaker/artist.  That reputation wanders all over the map and for the most part was determined by people who never met me, and know very little of me.  According to some I’m chronically reported as the most unknown, under-appreciated, blah blah, filmmaker in America.  According to some I am a hot-headed homophobe, a loose-cannon, with a string of bad relationships in my wake.  According to some I am some kind of cinematic genius; others say my films are the most boring/worst ever.  Most of those with the loudest opinions know me little if at all, and those who speak well or ill of my films most likely have only seen a quarter of them, if that.

Pict0001DavidSecond from left, kinda young.

Most of this public reputation is, as usual, a tiny bit of truth and a large dollop of make-believe, all depending on whom, the ax they have to grind, and whether they know me beyond hi-bye at a festival, or whatever.  After some decades one learns that a public persona is not yours, but whatever others make up.  Something to ignore and perhaps to find amusing.  In my case it is of little consequence since I am of little consequence in that larger world – the little hot-house one of cinema and the arts.   For many reasons – experiential ones – I basically withdrew from that world several decades ago.   I’d had my look at it, and frankly wanted nothing of it.   The film world, whether that of Hollywood, or of the European artsy realm, or the avant garde academic one, is a place of angry (and often very insecure) egos, bombast, corruption, vanity, and all the same things that infect, say, big business or politics.  In Hollywood it is written big, and the tabloids show you the miserable result; further down the scale it’s smaller, but the psychological crap is pretty much the same.   Dog eat dog.  A mostly unpleasant world from which – with a few exceptions – I try to steer clear.  I hardly know anyone in the film or arts world, and those few I know are modest figures, if very serious and good in what they do.  And, most importantly to me, they are good people.  People with whom I like to share time because of who they are, not what they do – though it certainly doesn’t hurt when they make good art too.

jon and davidMy cousin David and me, on the left.

I suppose, in terms of the film-world, I hit my peak around 1993, at the age of 50 – I’d made a few 35mm films, one of which secured a modest theatrical release in the US, and others that were shown on European TV.  All the Vermeers in New York was the ice-breaker, though I’d done many features before and already had a little “reputation” in the narrow little world of avant garde “new narrative” cinema.  I was a festival regular in Berlin, Rotterdam and elsewhere.   Vermeers functioned that way because it was commercially shown, listed in Variety’s top 50 BO accounting (though if you are not in the top 5 it means you probably didn’t make a dime).  To this day if someone says they “heard of” me, and that perhaps they saw a film of mine, it was because of Vermeers – which frankly isn’t very representative of my over-all work.  I think among those in the film biz it meant that I was supposed to slip into the small realm of filmmakers who manage in the USA as sort of Euro-art house directors:  Jim Jarmusch, Alan Rudolph, or Terrence Malick, or even Gus van Sant.  And certainly I could have done that, if I were a different person and a different kind of artist.  But, alas, I could never have, as those I’ve listed have done:  cranking out more or less the same/similar films (narrative, actor driven, and – to my mind – rather conventional, and to me, boring films), and making a nice career of it.  My interests are much wider, and my artistic inclinations run all over the place, with equal weight.  And there are other mitigating things as well, having to do with money, the kinds of people often associated with money, and with politics and morals.  So instead of taking what likely would have been a comfortable safe living that way, I instead moved to Europe, had two unhappy experiences with filmbiz people in Italy and Austria, and as soon as DV materialized in 1996, junked any thoughts of making the kinds of films I’d (mostly) made before, and which the film world anticipated I would and should continue to make.

_L.Ehrlich2010_26711967, Chicago, foto by Linn Ehrlich, shooting LEAHjon-¬L.Ehrlich_2013_1In Chicago, 1971 or so, foto by Linn Ehrlich

Instead I began to do what I really wanted to do:  experiment and play with this new medium, DV, as well as take a serious shot at painting, pastels, and other arts.  For a handful of years following I was confronted with film-maker friends thinking I’d gone crazy, opting for this – as the critics repeatedly and ignorantly claimed – gritty, ugly, etc. medium.  Which it wasn’t, but instead could be incredibly beautiful, and artistically so much more elastic than film, though most using it were enamored of “the film look” and tried to shoe-horn it into looking like old fashioned film.  Few were interested in the new work I did:  the playful London Brief, the long and meditative Nas Correntes de Luz da Ria Formosa, or the essay film 6 Easy Pieces and the many which have followed them – easily as good as anything I did in celluloid.  These showed in a handful of festivals, and promptly dropped from sight – along with me.    In the same period the market-economy religion of America overwhelmed the rest of the world, and basically if it didn’t cost a lot of money or make a lot of money, a film was “worthless” and treated as such.    The once vivid interest in the cinematic arts evaporated into a few tiny academic redoubts, a few serious festivals, and an ever-shrinking little list of showplaces.  Meanwhile “indie” bloomed under various names, as it had since the 70’s – though it seemed mostly a matter of making rather conventional narrative films of kinds that had been made before (but much better) and imagining it was all new.  It wasn’t.  And then we all met the internet, and from Hollywood down to scruffy little artist sorts, we are still trying to figure it out and how it impacts us.  Computer games are now a much bigger business than Hollywood.

  games 4 CE

So, yep, times do change, and from the rear-view mirror seemingly a lot faster than when looking the other way.  So while in a creative sense I’ve been more productive and prolific than I was in celluloid, and certainly from an artistic viewpoint far more adventurous, and in my certainly biased view, making even better work than those films that got such notices as “masterpiece” etc. etc., those many years ago, essentially for the last decade and more I’ve been ignored by the very same critics who lauded me before.  You can look up who those are.  I think in large part this has to do with the relentless commercialization of everything which has resulted in the collapse of alternative press, major media (NY Times and TV) requiring that a work be commercially released before giving space for reviews and comment, and so on down the line.  The small breathing room that existed for people like me 30 years ago has been squeezed out by the glorious globalized Market Economy, though as things are now developing the same forces are deleting jobs left and right, turning tenure into adjunct, and otherwise whipping all but the 5% on top into serfdom.   Just that some of we more expendable sorts had to play canary in the mineshaft.  But worry not – you too are getting shafted!

Jost1 - need dateSMCirca 1981, shooting Slow Moves – foto by Patricia Kelley

Which brings me, round about, to the heading above:


While I have no thought of giving up what I like to do – make things, be it video or painting or photography or music or writing – I do intend to give up this social matter of playing the festival/gallery/press etc. etc., game.   I’ll go on doing what I do, but I won’t be filling out festival entry forms, WithoutABox, or other such things.  I’ll be posting an open letter to festival directors, exhibitors, and the rest, informing them I’ll be working on, as usual, but if anyone wants to show my work, they can check FaceBook or my blogs and see if I have new things and ask me, cover the postage, see it on Vimeo or whatever.  Or they can write me.  If in turn they are interested, and it suits my situation I might take a trip or might not.   I’ll soon sort out putting things on line for VoD so my work is available and accessible (for a price).  But for holding back for festival glorious global premieres and all that – enough.  In brutal terms it really all doesn’t mean a thing for the work I do – being at a festival won’t make a dime of difference in the money I won’t earn.  The probable effect will be not much different than were I to play the game.  But after 50 years I just don’t feel like jumping through these hoops, filling out forms and all the other stuff attached to it.  And I will want to be paid for screenings, in fests and elsewhere, as it happens festivals have become the default public exhibition system, and like our corporate masters they now seem to expect one to labor for free, or worse, cough up a vanity-press submission sum, pay for all costs attached, and all in exchange for maybe a hotel room a night or two, or in a few remaining cases, the airfare to where ever.  Just not worth the candle, especially in the face of a non-existent “market” and a public in thrall to stars and all the rest.   So time to fold the cards.

jon-jost-1Portland, 2012, foto by Mark Eifert thats-all-folks-crpd

My first feature, Speaking Directly, (1973, done after 10 years of making short films) ends with this line, taken from the old Looney Toons.  Well, indeed, it’s been looney, though I gotta confess, the world has been a lot more so.







jon with hat croppedMontana, 2013

In the coming year I hope to do a new blog, which will chronologically cover my erstwhile career, a kind of autobio-filmography with notes on the making of each film, thoughts, self-critiques, and what not.  It’s sort of the kind of thing someone might do were they to have done a book on me, but I never seem to have attracted such interest.  Too much, it seems, an outsider, for our academic friends.

[Another little note: November 22-25 I’ll be at the St Louis Film Festival showing Coming to Terms, along with my first film, Portrait.  In addition I’ll be with my friend Blake Eckard at his screening of The Ghosts of Empire Prairie, which I shot for him and played a role in.  And while there I’ll be given a Lifetime Achievement Award, along with Oliver Stone – whose done a lot better financially than I managed….  And in Lincoln Nebraska, at the Ross Media Arts Center, there will be screenings of my work Nov 14-17 or so.]

Slag heap outside Anaconda, MT

As our ever so good friends on Facebook seem to have changed their format and let you only post video, and not just sound, I post a little thing here.  Song begun 25 years ago, if I recall correctly summer of 1987, while shooting Bell Diamond here in Butte.   And finished it up some weeks ago, for wrap up song for Blake Eckard’s new film, Ghosts of Empire Prairie.

Here, unadorned by much post stuff it is:


Here in Stanberry, Missouri, (pop. 1,230 or so), tucked up in the northwest corner of the state, shooting a film for Blake Eckard, who’s lived here all his life.   The film will be called Ghosts of Empire Prairie.   Aside from shooting the film (SONY XDcam), Blake cast me as a red-neck Daddy asshole.  So far a bar-fight involving a (real) rodeo hand resulted in a nice bruised butt from landing on the floor a few times smack on top of my wallet.  Hard to sit comfortably the last few days.   It’s been now 10+ days, and we seem to be coming to a close – one actress left, an actor leaves tomorrow.  I’m out of here middle of the month.   The smear of time is an odd mixture of small-town slo-mo and the rush of shooting, and I lost track of the calendar some time ago.  Blake has a script of some kind, though the exigencies of reality usually see it tossed under the bus at the first clash between “idea” and execution.  Blake writes in a literary manner, with descriptions which he has no means to actually make happen on screen.

Blake “Buck” Eckard

Stanberry ATM

Those tossed on screen with me include Ryan Harper Gray, who met Blake through me when Ryan did his first role for me, in Homecoming.  He’s done one other film with Blake since, as well as two for me and is up for another for me in August.  He also is finishing his own first film, This Is A Love Story.   Along with Ryan are two friends of his, from Dallas, his erstwhile home-town, though he’s made pilgrimage now to LA.  They are Frank Mosley, himself a filmmaker, and Arianne Martin.   We’re each cast as rural caricatures:  myself the asshole Dad of Lonnie (Gray) and Ted (Mosley), and Dawn, Lonnie’s high-school local slut, bar-girl.   Of this mix Blake seems, in my view, to be making a slice of small town Gothic something.

Ryan Harper GrayArianne MartinFrank MosleyJon as “Burl”

With just a few scenes to go, and 20 minutes in a pretty tight edit, it looks as if Ghosts of Empire Prairie might turn out rather good.  I hope so, for Blake and the rest of us.   While I don’t like to count chickens before they hatch, we did give the Venice festival a little heads up about this film, and if it all works out Blake will submit it for their consideration.  Roll them dice.

Sign in St. Joseph Mo coffee shop

The lady came out of her house as I was taking this picture, and asked “What are you doing?”  And I replied, “I’m taking a picture of the hand coming out of the car’s hood.”   She seemed a little surprised at this straight-forward reply, and then said, “It’s my boyfriend’s ex,” and went back into her house.

Amos Vogel, 1921-2012

Amos Vogel died this past week, signalling perhaps the end of an era in which film existed as something other than a pure financial product.  Amos, whom I met a few times and recall visiting in his Village apartment in the middle of NYU, was an early and ardent champion of film as an art, a provocation, something to stir the soul and mind, and not merely a transitory means to slip X bucks from your wallet.   Long ago, he set up Cinema 16, a distribution and exhibition system for the propagation of art/underground/avant garde.  Later he started the New York Film Festival, which he directed until 1968.   A political radical, he had no qualms in describing himself as an anarchist, and in openly supporting very “left” views.

In his book, “FILM AS A SUBVERSIVE ART” he cited among many others, my own film,  “Canyon.”   In doing so he made clear that his idea of  “subversive” included the sublime.

His death comes at a time when the commercialization of everything in the name of  “the Market Economy” has bludgeoned the kind of cinema he supported into a near-death coma.   I imagine he looked at the “independent” cinema which in its various guises and labels of the last few decades, as a sad denouement for the kinds of work he dreamed of, a sign that indeed the insidious forces at work in “the Market Economy” reduced most young filmmakers to imagining that a modest shift in television sit-com formulas constitutes “creativity.”


The Hunger Games

As if to demonstrate the mental corruption of  Hollywood’s landscape, the makers of the BO smash The Hunger Games, which as of this week has grossed 366 million dollars domestically, released for their promotional picture, the above item.   A modestly careful look at this image shows that while archery apparently plays a major role in the film, no one could be bothered to figure out how to actually shoot an arrow:  aside from holding the arrow rather far from the near-center point on the string which is technically “correct”  one must also wonder by what gravitational magic the arrow manages to hold itself on the wrong side of the actress’ hand.  Perhaps Photoshop?  Or she has an extra finger that grows from the backside of her hand?   Truth being the last pursuit of those who control Hollywood, I imagine we will never get an answer.


From Nathaniel Dorsky’s “Compline

While lamenting the near-collapse of the kinds of cinema which Amos Vogel supported, I do note that a recent screening of works by my friend Nathaniel Dorsky at the Redcat Cinema in Los Angeles, elicited this item in the New York Times.   [For other thoughts on and from Nathaniel, see his “letters” in my other blog.]


Tornado alley

I am presently in Stanberry Missouri, population 1,240 or so, here to help my friend Blake Eckard shoot a new film – I’m doing camera for him (with my equipment) and about 10 days ago he also asked me to act in it, so I will be playing Burl Enright, drunkard red-neck dad, who, if things stick to plan, will get killed by his no-good sons by the end of the film.    I hope I can do a reasonable job of it – in front of and behind the camera.


The Market Economy, aka, Titanic