Monday, April 27, 2009

it's them... isn't it?

I just saw this amazing film from Quebec at the San Francisco International Film Festival. Here's the write-up from the SFIFF newsletter:

It's Not Him, He Swears
Vandalism. Breaking and entering. Arson. Suicide. Not typically the stuff of a movie centered on a ten-year-old boy, particularly one who plays with kites and has a sweet tooth for Fudgesicles. But Léon, the protagonist of Quebec director Philippe Falardeau's It's Not Me, I Swear!, is one maladjusted mischief-maker, coping with his parents' separation and his mother's abandonment to disastrous effect. Falardeau, who appeared at the Festival in 2007 with the farcical Congorama, was careful to ensure his film would “blend humor and drama simultaneously.” The movie opens with an incident that is both horrific and bizarrely amusing, setting the tone for a comedy wrung from tragic circumstances. “The opening scene, it's absurd,” said Falardeau. “When you look at it, it's funny. But when you actually think about it, the situation is not funny. And life is like that.” When one audience member commented that he was “profoundly disturbed” by the film, Falardeau noted that “about 20 percent of the audience always has that reaction. But oftentimes a viewer's reaction to a film says more about his personal experience rather than the film itself.”

Sometimes, he said, kids are better judges of what's truly unsettling. “In Berlin, this film was shown to a theater of 11-year-olds. I didn't think they should see it. In my mind, this was a film for adults. But, it turns out that the children take it better than we do. They laugh much more. The thing that traumatized them most was the kiss” between the two child stars. When asked how he worked with his exceptional leads—a ten-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl—Falardeau shared a secret. “Candy. We threw candy at them when they were good.” In reality, he rehearsed for weeks with the kids, who, despite their lack of experience, turned out to be professional and intuitive actors. “We would discuss the characters and Antoine L'Écuyer, the young actor who played Léon, would be dead-on about 80 percent of the time. And professional actors are just children anyway. So there's almost no difference.”

It's Not Me, I Swear!
screens next on Tuesday at 1:00 pm.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Poem For Spring

One of my favorite places in San Francisco, The Red Poppy, has a mailing list that I've subscribed to for the past several years. Today I received this Pablo Neruda poem from them, and now I offer it to you.

A Poem for Spring

(Poem 14 from Neruda's Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair)

Every day you play with the light of the universe.
Subtle visitor, you arrive in the flower and in the water.
You are more than this little white head I hold tightly
like a cluster of grapes between my hands every day.

You seem like no other since I've loved you.
Let me spread you out among yellow garlands.
Who writes your name in letters of smoke among the stars of the south?
Ah let me remember you as you were then, before you even existed.

Suddenly the wind howls and knocks against my shut window.
The sky is a net crammed with shadowed fish.
Here all the winds come to give, all of them.
The rain strips off her clothes.

The birds pass by, fleeing.
The wind. The wind.
I can only fight against the power of men.
The storm gathers dark leaves
and lets loose all the boats that last night were moored to the sky.

You are here. Ah, you don't flee.
You will answer me to the last cry.
Cling to my side as if you were scared.
But once a strange shadow ran through your eyes.

Now, now too, little one, you bring me honeysuckle,
and you're perfumed all the way to your breasts.
While the sad wind gallops killing butterflies
I love you, and my happiness bites your mouth plum.

How you must have hurt as you accustomed to me,
to my solitary and savage soul, to my name that drives everyone away.
We have seen the evening's first star burn so many times, kissing our eyes,
and over our heads the twilights untwist in revolving fans.

My words rained over you, caressing you.
I've loved your sunned, mother-of-pearl body ever since.
Until I believe you own the universe.
I will bring you elated mountain flowers, Chilean copihues,
dark hazelnuts, and rustic baskets of kisses.
I want to do with you
what spring does with the cherry trees.

translated and (c) Mark Eisner

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Monday, April 13, 2009

Global Spirit

The series I edited for Link TV, "Global Spirit" premiered on Sunday evening, but you can also watch the episodes online. The New York Times also wrote a favorable review about our series. I highly recommend it, so please take some time to check it out.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Out of the ashes, rises the Phoenix

I wrote a letter to the Universe this morning. It was a visualization about my future life partner, and how I imagine we will be together. The vision made me feel very supported and happy. It was as if he were already here in my life, and all I have to do now is keep walking down my path, and all the love, beauty and happiness that I visualized would soon be here.

Monday, April 06, 2009

our eloquent prez

This post is way overdue, and for lack of anything better to say at the moment, I give you these profound words from da Prez.