Thursday, July 2, 2020

2020: Midpoint Musings


There's a far worse pandemic than COVID19.  But fortunately, there's a cure...


We're only half way through the year and it's already clear that, looking back, 2020 will be remembered as the year it all came out; when all the systemic evils of our lives were thrust into the zeitgeist. The economic and judicial iniquities, the racism and bigotry, the oligarchy-run news outlets; the perfect storm of the COVID19 pandemic and social media brought all these monsters out, screaming too loud to be quelled and swept quietly aside this time. 

Sure, those issues were a part of the U.S. before and we had protests and vigils in the past and had some champions to fight to end some of the atrocities.  But for every Harvey Milk there was a Harvey Weinstein; for every Martin Luther King Jr. there was a Roy Cohn; many of the villains working behind closed doors or out of the public eye. But this time, no one could hide from the spotlight that shone on the systems that were failing us or those who were responsible: from the smallest town’s malcontent ranting on YouTube that they were free to shun masks, black, gay and/or transgender Americans and anything else they chose, to the country’s president lying on national television about the border wall, the COVID19 pandemic and his own political prowess—punctuated by inflammatory, finger-pointing tweet storms.  It was all out there for everyone to see: inarguable, infuriating, and utterly irreversible from the analogues of history.

Everyone who looked at all that without filters saw it for what it was; evidence that there was a pernicious pandemic—and not the latest coronavirus, which was temporary—but a pandemic of a contagion causing a lack of empathy.  And lack of empathy is the root of all bigotry, all greed, all injustice.  Because with empathy, we cannot heartlessly harm another living creature without feeling harmed ourselves.  And whether that amounts to killing an animal for food, fashion or sport or denying a human being justice and equal rights, it is a crime against nature and it is what destroys our world.  With empathy for the planet and all its inhabitants, you cannot condone pollution just to line your pockets; you cannot hate someone because of who they are by birth—whether it’s immediately evident like skin color or realized later in life like orientation; you cannot create religions, governments or laws that harm people with dogma or decree.  But we do.  And we are damned forever to live in a world of iniquity and hatred unless we change.  Unless we end the pandemic of prejudice, greed and the abuse of power. 

Fortunately, a cure for this pestilent malfeasance exists. And the cure—as old as the world itself—is love. Because love breeds empathy.  And empathy breeds kindness and respect.  And kindness and respect are what will guide us to make the changes necessary to build a better humanity.  A better world.  A future in which we can—not only survive—but thrive.  Together.  In harmony.  But it is up to us demand those changes in ourselves and our systems.  

There is work to be done and we cannot afford to wait or to be afraid to begin.
 With a brave spirit and a kind heart, we can all do our part, however small.  

And do it, we must.


Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Creating...No Matter What


As the world navigates how to best return to public activity, we can still take refuge in the indoor joys that our creative world has opened up in response to the current pandemic.

As I noted in my last post, thanks to the internet, art is flooding our world in manifold ways.  Opera houses, theaters, and individual artists of all sorts are sharing works, new and old, to help each other connect with our culture and creativity.  It's heartwarming to see how we have opened up new ways to share our lives and our dreams.

I have enjoyed many an offering and, have for the last month, been creating one of my own:  a sci-fi short film that I hope to have completed next month.  Made entirely in quarantine, with fellow actors performing and filming their parts, a fellow writer brainstorming ideas via computer and a lot of hours using what post-production programs I have at my disposal. I hope you enjoy it, once it is ready.

Here are some sneak peeks to whet your appetite.






Till next month,  s
tay strong.  Stay safe.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Resilience


As we are all in the throes of the first pandemic of most of our lifetimes, what I am most moved by is the response from the good people of the world: those who have paid attention to the scientific experts and are doing their utmost to keep us safe and sane in a time of quarantine and isolation.  Not just the heroic people in the medical field, fighting the disease firsthand, but those on the front lines of society’s essential machinery: those who risk their lives to make sure food and supplies are delivered.  And, even more astonishing, my fellow artists who are sharing work in new (and often free) ways to fill our lives with much-needed diversions and delights, with messages of hope, with laughter, with music, with song.


Thanks to the internet, art is flooding our world in manifold ways.  Opera houses are sharing recordings of their works, writers are releasing free copies of their books, museums are offering free virtual tours, performers are doing free virtual concerts—many of these linked to fundraisers to help various groups affected by layoffs, closures, and so on.  There are so many people finding ways to help each other connect and find a little solace in this dark time.  Clearly, the virus cannot touch our creativity, our resilience, our ability to touch one another—even in times of isolation.

Perhaps that is the purpose and power of art: to remind us how interconnected and interdependent we truly are.

Stay strong.  Stay safe.

My two films are free on Amazon Prime:
GARDEN PARTY MASSACRE  (Horror/Comedy)
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KLQRNFV
DEADLY REVISIONS  (Mystery/Horror)
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B016DJB226/






Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Oscar Winner


I'm not writing anything this time. Joaquin Phoenix has said all that needs to be said in his Oscar acceptance speech. Emphasis on "acceptance".

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

2019 Movies To Cheer

Awards season is here.  There were many memorable films full of incredible talent on both sides of the camera.  Some got Oscar nods, some didn't--but that doesn't change the quality of the work.

I haven't seen all the 2019 films that have been lauded, but a few of the standouts for me were as follows: 


JOJO RABBIT: A surreal, utterly original tale--expertly told; as wickedly funny as is it sobering and thoughtful. It’s everything a movie should be. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

BOMBSHELL: This hip and thrilling expose of the women behind the takedown of Fox News’ Roger Ailes is a masterpiece of filmmaking: the acting, writing, directing, editing, costumes, makeup—every element calibrated to perfection. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

PARASITE: A stunning piece of cinema in many ways, what begins as a delicious tale of bad manners loses credibility with each plot twist and jarring shift in tone before coming to its splashy climax and preposterous denouement. Still, it’s a fresh, engaging journey. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

JOKER: A dark meditation on society’s failure to care for the mentally ill, boosted by spectacular cinematography and Joaquin Phoenix’s superb performance. Overlong and borrowing too much from “The King of Comedy”, it still packs a powerful punch. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

ROCKETMAN: "Rocketman" proves that a biopic can be as imaginative as anything else out there. Excellent writing, directing, cinematography and acting offer surprises and delights as we float along with Taron Egon singing his way through Elton John's life.  The jukebox musical has finally grown up...and it's glorious. 
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

AVENGERS: ENDGAME: Too many recent films run over two hours and can't support their runtime, but this final chapter of the series is an exception.  It's a crowd-pleasing, eye-popping piece of old fashioned fun with all the bells and whistles.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2