I just saw Lynn Shelton’s pleasant dramedy Humpday (2009). In it, the main character Ben (Mark Duplass) is a transportation planner in Seattle, Washington.
The film doesn’t explain the significance of revealing Ben’s occupation of a planner, but I think it may have to do with Ben’s wanting to do something spontaneous and outrageous (a contrast to the boring and orderly profession).
Kind of late notice, but if you have a few spare hours tomorrow night (5 December 2012), California Watch and The California Film Foundation are sponsoring a FREE screening of Sascha Rice’s documentary The Future State: California State Of Mind and panel discussion afterwards from 5:30-9:00 PM PST at the California Museum (1020 O St, Sacramento, California).
California has long embodied the American Dream: a place where creativity, innovation, and possibility prevailed. But today, public schools have gone from first to worst, universities are overcrowded and financially failing, roads are congested and crumbling. Water and environmental resources are shrinking as demand increases and pollution spreads. The political process seems to be stalled in a state of paralysis and the massive budget crisis has created real gridlock.
The event is FREE, but please register. The screening begins at 7:00 PM following an early evening reception.
Huell Howser; host of the long-running series about the Golden State, California’s Gold; retired earlier this week. I enjoyed Howser’s straightforward shows about California and its many undiscovered and overlooked gems.
I just read an article on Indiewire titled “What We Lose When We Lose Video Stores” that was republished from Hammer to Nail about the closing of the neighborhood video store Reel Life in Brooklyn, and an interview by Alex Ross Perry with Reel Life store owner Joe Martin.
There have been plenty of articles recently that chronicled the falls of Blockbuster and Hollywood Video, but this time feels different. Instead of reading mostly about the might of big box stores on small mom and pops, this article highlights the positive effects that passionate business owners and passionate people can have on their neighborhoods.
You can head over the article to read it in full, but here are some interesting takeaways (including a bit about video collectors, which I myself actually was one):
– Economics of video stores
– Death of collector’s editions of videos and DVDs
– Loss of local film expertise and strong likelihood that hard-to-find titles WILL ONLY be found online
– Loss of video stores means yet another lost opportunity at human interaction (i.e., neighborhood space)
– Relationship between independent cinema and video stores
I leave with this standout quote: “I don’t want to consider a future populated by people who grew up without nice places to go and explore their developing interests with a stranger whose opinion they trust.”
Director Michel Gondry addressed this inevitability in his 2008 film Be Kind Rewind with Jack Black and Mos Def. It’s worth watching.
So to summarize: there are less local bookstores, there are less local video stores. What will fill our neighborhoods? There are only so many bars, restaurants, and art studios…
Secretary for Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan discussed homelessness in America on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Monday 5 February 2012.
Please watch the two segments as Shaun explains the recent successes in the Obama administration that will eventually lead to an end to homelessness by 2015. As daunting as this task seems, he stresses that this is wholly achievable. Good luck.