Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category
I am volunteering my assistance to Dorothy Palmer who has been in show business as an agent for 40 years. Dorothy runs a talent agency from her apartment near Columbus Circle, New York. She also acts as an agent for movie scripts and a “finder” of investors attracted by the glamor and high returns of investing in movie productions. While Hollywood often seeks 100 million for a movie, many of the “Indies” (Independent films) are produced for 2 to 5 million and potentially yield a higher return.
Here is an example of what such an investment can do for the investor:
Many years ago, profits depended solely on the theatre box-office. Now we have at least 23 ancillary markets, which tremendously increase the return of monies to the investors. “Gone With The Wind” was produced over 70 years ago and still sends checks to the investors and their families. “Wise Guys” was shot for 7 million dollars and earned 280 million dollars in videocassettes alone! “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” was shot for 6 million dollars, made over 300 million dollars and also spun a TV series.
LIST OF ANCILLARY MARKETS
1.) DVD sales and rentals worldwide (rsult in enormous returns)
2.) Video cassette sales and rentals wordwide
3.) Television and Cable (including Pay-Per-View and premium channels
6.) Sound Track
7.) Recording of music from film
a.) royalties paid each time the music is played in the media
8.) Books (royalties)
9.) Product Placement deals
a.) Payment for showing products in a scene (airlines, Coca-Cola, pianos, etc.)
10.) Hotels and Motels
11.) Libraries and Schools
12.) In-transit movies (for airlines, buses, and trains)
13.) Pilots used to sell Television Series
14.) Sequels (films to follow from the original)
15.) Hospitals and Nursing Homes
16.) Overseas products
23.) Language Changer
24.) Investors can DEDUCT whatever they invest from their taxes.
NOTE: INVESTORS GET 50%
20th Century Fox distributes many of these films.
Talent Agency, Inc.
New York, NY 10019
I rented and watched all 28 episodes of Ramanand Sagar’s RAMAYAN in Hindi with English subtitles. I watched about 30 of the 60 Mahabharat episodes. When I saw the scene in this video with the vigorous back massage I remembered listening to Prabhupad’s American chela reminisce about how he would use liniment oil and give Prabhupad Bhaktivedanta Swami a vigorous back pounding for ayrvedic health. It is said that among the Jain renunciates devotees will give them as puja a foot massage and it is the only example of massage in religious practice.
I benefited much from several years of fellowship with a Guyanese Hindu Mandir, Bhuvaneshwar, in Brooklyn. I was sad to learn that the Pandit, Prakash Gossai (from Mahaica Creek) passed away from a heart attack almost 2 years ago. I feel that India (Bharat) is the mother of all religions and only someone raised in the multicultural and pluralistic atmosphere of India can truly appreciate the nature of all religions. The Roman Catholic priests whom I meet from South India such as Mangalore have a far deeper grasp of the nature of religion than those priests whom I meet from places such as Ireland or Italy. Even the Muslims that I meet from India seem to have a broader and more tolerant viewpoint.
It is not simply that we forget but also that we repress and embellish as it suits our needs:
The political scientist Graham Allison claimed to have used Rashomon as a starting point for his magnum opus, Essence of Decision, in which he told the story of the Cuban Missile Crisis from three different theoretical viewpoints (and, as a result, the Crisis is described and explained in three entirely different ways).
The Rashomon effect is the effect of the subjectivity of perception on recollection, by which observers of an event are able to produce substantially different but equally plausible accounts of it. A useful demonstration of this principle in scientific understanding can be found in an article by that name authored by Karl G. Heider.
It is named for Akira Kurosawa’s film Rashomon, in which a crime witnessed by four individuals is described in four mutually contradictory ways.
Karl G. Heider (March 1988). “The Rashomon Effect: When Ethnographers Disagree”. American Anthropologist 90 (1): 73–81.
Ruth, I am watching and re-watching the video with the Director Commentary turned on. There is also a long interview with the two performers in which they both make a joke about how they were not paid. Both performers stated that they could not turn down such a unique opportunity with such a great script an SO much dialog! I am sure they get some percentage of the film’s proceeds. But the shear exposure of such a stellar performance in this unique split-screen vehicle is worth more to them career-wise than any month-long vacation. I am not certain but I get the feeling that all the shots were done in a month or less. I will post more (on my page) as I learn more. Many scenes were shot against a “green backdrop” and then the scenery and even passers-by were added as “layers” with the Mac film editor (I think it is called “Final Cut”).
Most of the film was shot in L.A. During the love-making scene the L.A. police actually knocked on the door and the director had to show them some of the movie on the laptop but the officers were familiar with the Independent Film (Indie) Corps. and realized it was legitimate.
The director mentioned that when it came to the sex scene, there were lawyers involved about what could and could not be shown. The actress suggested that she undress beneath the covers, and the actor then enters the bed and does likewise so there was far less nudity that other scenarios. When the actor takes off his shirt (at her request) she sees his “love handles” (extra belly flab) and she laughs and says “You are FAT.” The actor is praised as very brave for INSISTING that the shot stay in the film (and that scene evokes the most laughter of any scene when it is shown around the world.) The director explains that he asked the performers for ONE HOUR in bed (but get your drinks and bathroom first) and they did give him one solid hour (part of the time he was discussing with them details/expressions/gestures and part of the time they were moving the cameras around to get every possible angle for the editing phase.)
This was the director’s FIRST film. They filmed in only TWO WEEKS in December. December is the ideal time to get a performer for 2 weeks because it is a hard month for agents to book anything serious.
Andy Klein points out that Moore’s movie is the first Hollywood feature to have the word “capitalism” in the title. The most powerful statement of the entire movie is made towards the end of the movie: Capitalism is an evil and one cannot regulate evil. The power of the above statement is rivaled only by a corollary question: WOULD JESUS BE A CAPITALIST?
Capitalism and Communism have been so polarized for a century that any criticism made of one is automatically assumed to be praise for the other. Michael Moore seems to have some third ideology as an alternative to Capitalism but does not say anything more specific than what Roosevelt proposed a year or so before his death.
I never realized that Michael Moore was raised as a Roman Catholic. Michael Moore deals at length with Roman Catholic doctrines of social justice. Moore overlooked one of the most powerful statements by a Catholic bishop in modern times. ”When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint,” said Roman Catholic Archbishop Dom Helder Camara. ”But when I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.”
Here is a quotation from the official Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church which illustrated the Church’s position regarding the economics of poverty. This is to be found in Article 7 “The Seventh Commandment: You shall not steal,” paragraphs 2401 through 2463. Notice that the seventh commandment establishes the right of private property, for without some recognition of private property there could be no such thing as stealing for everything would belong to everyone. Hence one cannot accuse Catholic doctrine of supporting views expressed by French anarchist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon in his book “Property is Theft.”
Article 2402 of The Catechism states that “The goods of creation are destined for the whole human race. However, the earth is divided up among men to assure the security of their lives, endangered by poverty and threatened by violence.”
Article 2403 of The Catechism states that “The right to private property, acquired by work or received from others by inheritance or gift, does not do away with the original gift of the earth to the whole of mankind. The universal destination of goods remains primordial, even if the promotion of the common good requires respect for the right to private property and its exercise.”
Article 2406 of The Catechism states “Political authority has the right and duty to regulate the legitimate exercise of the right to ownership for the sake of the common good.”
Consider the exercise of “eminent domain” when highways must be constructed. Consider the anti-trust laws which prevent any single Corporation from becoming so powerful that it would exercise unfairness in the competitive market place.
The final article that I wish to quote from The Catechism is Article 2441: An increased send of God and increased self-awareness are fundamental to any full development of human society. This development multiples material goods and puts them at the service of the person and his freedom. It reduces dire poverty and economic exploitation. It makes for growth in respect for cultural identities and openness to the transcendent.
Some historic figures shown in archival footage are:
William Black …
George W. Bush
Congressman Elijah Cummins
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
“What Michael Moore is really going after is the corporatism that has made profit a goal beyond all ethical considerations. (Whether this is an inevitable result of all stripes of capitalism is a different argument.) And his alternative seems no more radical than an extension of 70-year-old New Deal ideas.” – Andy Klein
Michael Moore is obviously a brilliant man. Brilliant men can violently disagree with one another, as once can easily see from old television debates between two brilliant men such as William F. Buckley, Jr. and Noam Chomsky.
“Michael Moore has produced a jerry-rigged jeremiad about free enterprise..” – JOHN ANDERSON
The movie opens with a long comparison between ancient Rome and modern America. A growing gap between the many poor and the wealthy few is the kindling wood for rebellion. Some people saw “A Tale of Two Cities” as Dickens’ warning to Great Britain that they too might suffer a bloody revolution if they did not to anything to address the grievances of the oppressed and underprivileged. Moore shows a family in Peoria Illinois losing their farm and their heritage. Capitalism involves more taking than giving. Vultures and bottom-feeders feast on Bank of America foreclosures. Profit motive drives many an injustice. Moore finds, in an economic bill of rights proposed by FDR, who died before he could enact it, a blueprint for a way out of this mess. Companies that take out something actually called “peasant insurance” on employees who are worth more dead than alive.
“It’s easy to be No. 1 when you have no competition,” Moore says, referring to the war-torn economies of Japan and Germany.” Duane Dudek. “An exploration of the root causes of the global economic meltdown culminates in what Moore sees as the biggest robbery in American history: the transfer of U.S. taxpayer money to bail out private financial institutions.” – John Del Signore
“Plutonomies” are economies where only the actions of the wealthiest individuals actually matter. What’s different in “Capitalism” is the way Moore actively appeals to gun-toting, God-fearing Americans, with religion playing an especially vital role in the film’s one-sided debate. Moore interviews several Catholic clergy who condemn capitalism as evil and insist Jesus Christ would live outside the system. Father Derik Peterson says that Capitalism is a sin. Moore wants to get his viewers outraged and shake them out of their complacency. You may not always love his tactics, but his intentions are near impeccable. The wealthy used to have to pay a 90% tax rate.
A person’s identity is no longer connected with what he DOES but rather with what he OWNS. Jonas Salk could have become wealthy by selling the polio vaccine to some pharmaceutical company, but instead, he placed it in public domain for the common good of all. Ronald Reagan used to do advertisements for Van Heusen shirts. The rich wanted to turn the bull of unbridled prosperity loose. The plot was to destroy unions by the wholesale dismantling of the infrastructure. Sales of antidepressants skyrocketed during recent years. Flint Michigan, the birthplace of General Motors, became a city on welfare.
Wilkesberry PA Child Care. A total of 6,500 children were convicted to feed that profit motive driven penal system. Robert Powell and Judge Conahan were co-conspirators in the Child Care scheme of imprisonment for profit. One teen named Hillary made a Myspace page which criticized the government and went to jail. Problems arise when a for-profit company is given a task which should be done by state and federal government.
Hero pilot Captain “Sully” Sullenberger gives testimony in Congress that pilots earn less money than the managers of some fast-food chains. Starting pilot pay is $19,000 and they must apply for food stamps. When students graduate, they are burdened with loan debts of $100,000. Airlines skimp on safety in an effort to make a profit..
Phil Gramm was the whistle blower on the 2005-2006 Citibank confidential memo which projects that the society will become a plutonomy of the top one percent. With a growing gap between the rich and the poor, the peasants might revolt. Democracy’s majority rule is like two wolves and one sheep voting on what is for dinner.
Isthmus engineering robotics is cited as an example of an employee owned company which prospers and yet is fair to all employees. In one bread factory co-op the average assembly line worker earns $65,000 per year.
Professor William Black points out the problem that too few gifted students are going into the field of science to work for the common good, because more money is to be made in the world of banking finance.
The mathematics of financial instruments like derivatives is so complex that it is difficult to investigate the legality of such codes. Alan Greenspan gave the signal to tap into home equity like a personal piggybank. During the crisis of Iraq and Afghanistan, 10,000 FBI investigators were diverted from the area of financial crime, to home security, just at a time when lender fraudulence was epidemic.
Moore makes Bush look like a fool in one scene by likening Bush to a chicken-little, terrorizing the public with the fear that the sky was falling, the financial sky that is, instilling the fear of a Nightmare on Wall Street; an Armageddon, so that the people would pass laws which grant exorbitant powers without accountability.
Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Washington Mutual – collapsed because of a fundamentally unsound system built upon sand instead of bedrock. Citicorp and Travelers merge to make the largest bank in the world. Insane housing derivatives contributed to the economic collapse.
Fearing marshal law in America proponents of the Iraq Resolution advocated to wave all laws. But our justice system is sworn to defend against all enemies foreign AND DOMESTIC. Is Michael Moore the voice of a John the Baptist crying in the wilderness to make ready for the coming day of judgment? Moore hints at back room deals with Democrats; a conspiracy carefully planned. A.I.G. gave 6.8 billion dollars in bonuses in the wake of the financial collapse.
The carrot was held out to the public that they TOO could be rich some day. Schwarzenegger said he left Europe for America because the socialists ruined a chance for opportunity in Europe.
SONG: AINT NO POWER LIKE THE POWER OF THE PEOPLE.
You have become squatters in your own homes.
Scenes are shown of the Windows and Doors Company sit-down strike. A decision was finally made to pay off workers and hope revolution goes away. “How do they sleep at night” asks one journalist of the architects of this economic collapse.
During a 44 day strike in Flint, Michigan by General Motors workers, FDR sent national guard to fight off the goons and union busters. FDR planned new goals for human happiness: universal Health care, housing, pension. Europe and Japan got those things after the war, during reconstruction. The Italian constitution of 1947 guaranteed equal rights to all women. The suffering never comes to the Bernie Madoffs, but to the poor victims of the Katrina flood. A suggestion is made to replace Capitalism with Democracy. The movie ends with the song: Awake ye workers from your slumber.
from a Facebook thread:
Estelle: When someone says they “Love you” and it turns out they don’t, it is always a crushing feeling to endure. At times I feel alone in that, but then, like this evening, I realize how many others likewise have experienced that hurt, or are hurting, or are terribly alone. Understand, everyone is of worth, only some use “LOVE” like a vampire taking blood!
Janis: What is so upsetting is that one hears the words, yet the partner’s ACTIONS say something else entirely different. How can a person love another yet be totally unwilling to compromise?
Estelle: When one uses love as leverage, it is to satisfy self, not to actually love. Meaning to say it is want; I want, I need, I “love” myself! I want what I want! It is not love, as love always is about enriching another.
William: Not to get all Christian on you (because I am not), but I just now searched on “call no man worthless for whom” knowing that I would find this anecdote: Hundreds of years ago a wandering scholar named Muretus lived. He was very educated but also very poor. He became very sick, and he was taken to the place where the destitute were kept. The people who cared for him did not know that he was a scholar and that he understood the scholar’s Latin. One day the doctors were discussing his case in Latin and they were saying that he was a poor creature of value to no one and that it was hopeless and unnecessary to expend care and money on attention to such a worthless human. Muretus looked up and answered in their own Latin, “Call no man worthless for whom Christ died.”
I am also reminded of that stunning line from the movie Shall We Dance: Beverly Clark: We need a witness to our lives. There’s a billion people on the planet… I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things… all of it, all of the time, every day. You’re saying ‘Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness.
With the help of the family he works for, a robot goes on a 200-year quest to become human.
Hallie Kate Eisenberg
John Michael Higgins
George D. Wallace
Paula Dupré Pesmen
Bruce Kenneth Wagner
Kevin “Tiny” Ancell
Directed by: Chris Columbus
Executive Producer: Dan Kolsrud
Created by my Facebook friend Nyc Labrets
My response to a Facebook post of a children’s school play which is shockingly violent and murderous and uses forms of profanity in the dialogue. This is a children’s production of Scarface.
I certainly understand why you would see this as shockingly wrong and I do not blame you for your reaction. But in all honesty, as I watch this, I reflect that the children are merely imitating the adult world of entertainment. I was the very first of the television generation in 1954. Every morning at 5am I would watch old WWII news reels. I could not wait for WWII so I could be a true manly hero and kill Germans and Japs. Since 1954 I have seen 10,000 different ways to commit homicide, genocide and even intergalactic planetary destruction. I have watched political candidates campaign on the strength that they “actually defended” us by blanket bombing villages of women and children. Perhaps the adults simply encouraged the children to be dramatically creative and it is the children who naturally chose the theme. We are horrified whenever we see children exposed to violence and sex. And yet the real world is run by very violent and very sexual adults. IF it were the case that these children later reflected that violence is a poor solution to life’s problems then perhaps we might see this academic exercise in a different light. If adults are sincerely horrified to see children using profanity (albeit bowdlerized) and dwelling upon killing and sex then perhaps we should start with ourselves. Gandhi said “We must ourselves BECOME that very change which we wish to see in the world.”
William – “What we have here is a failure to communicate”
I’m not horrified in reality, but simply amused. This particular form of mock horror is something of a Gen-X signature, indicating a cynical worldliness in reaction to a thing we believe would be clearly contextually inappropriate had it’s participants or architects only had the distance to see it in proper perspective, and is usually conveyed by dramatic over-exaggeration.
This is why we have things like Demotivators, Fail Blog and Regretsy. We celebrate the inadequacies of Man…. See More
Thus, something we would find that confirms those inadequacies in a particularly amusing and/or counterintuitive manner becomes the “Worst. Thing. EVAR!!!!” (one can throw in a deliberate misspelling and extra punctuation as an additional cue that one is not, in fact, serious in one’s objection, but I tend to think that gilding the lily).
There’s also a somewhat deliberate suspension of disbelief simply in order to experience the thing as reaffirming one’s view. We *want* this to be a fail because it would speak so elegantly about the logical absurdity of the ‘Free to Be You and Me’ Boomer mentality, that this is the world their abandonment of standards and quality for personal fulfillment handed us. So we ignore the fact that the video seems staged and is almost certainly deliberately viral and play along, becoming willful participants.
Or it could possibly be that in this particular instance you are wrong and I am write but it is our nature to feel very uncomfortable about being wrong and we scurry about gathering many reasons and justifications why we really were totally correct, perhaps brilliant, yet misunderstood through some shortcoming in our audience. If you are indeed right and I am lacking then I have at least helped you to belatedly elaborate your real thoughts on the matter. But does the failure of communication lay at your feet or at mine? Notice that your opening sentence is rather vague on that point.
You are an excellent friend to have on Facebook for a fellow Johnnie because you make me think and serve as a sparring partner to exercise my declining intellect. I am just trying to have some fun rattling your cage.