Monday, March 23, 2020

It was 125 Years Ago...

The Lumiere Brothers debuted their first film, Workers Leaving the Lumiere Factory, on March 22, 1895, in a private screening for a small group. Workers Leaving the Lumiere Factory would go on to become the first Lumiere film on their program of subjects shown before a paying audience at the Grand Cafe on the Boulevard des Capucines, later that year on December 28, 1895.

Although not the first film, nor the first film publicly exhibited, nor even the first film publicly exhibited on a screen, Workers Leaving the Lumiere Factory has become seen as the symbolic moment that "the movies" -- as we think of them today -- were born.

In his book Flickers, Gilbert Adair writes of Workers Leaving the Lumiere Factory:
"La Sortie des usines Lumiere is, after all, a work of art. It demonstrates, no less than the Lascaux cave drawings of which it may be said to be the exact filmic equivalent, the axiomatic truth that art is, ultimately, whatever lasts."

Thursday, March 05, 2020


I went to a local filmmakers lounge event last night and showed Unknown Number to the group. It was a great event -- a nice size, good atmosphere, and a welcoming place to show the movie, get some feedback, and network with other filmmakers.

I'm very pleased with the response I've been getting to Unknown Number so far. I've submitted it to a festival that I'm waiting to hear back from. Whether I decide to submit it to further film festivals will depend on how it fares in this one. The cost is just too high for me to submit widely if the responses just aren't there. But we'll see.

I really enjoy the experience of meeting and chatting with other filmmakers, actors, or just anyone who wants to be involved in the experience of making a movie. I immediately get that sense of being among kindred spirits. It's very encouraging to experience that when it sometimes feels like I'm off in my own little corner of the world doing my own thing in solitude. It's nice to know there are other folks out there working toward the same goals, aspirations, and dreams, and to have a chance to connect with them.

Sunday, March 01, 2020

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)

I watched Tarantino's latest film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, again last night. It was the third time I'd seen it, and enjoyed it as much as ever. Two of my favorite moments are the montage sequences of Hollywood at night. The first occurs after the day that DiCaprio's character has been shooting his TV episode and Pitt's character has a run-in with the hippies at Spahn Ranch. Pitt picks DiCaprio up at the studio and drives him home, and we see Hollywood at dusk as the sun is going down and the town is lighting up, accompanied by the Jose Feliciano's rendition of "California Dreamin'". The other scene occurs when DiCaprio and Pitt arrive home from Italy and prepare to go out for one last night on the town before DiCaprio settles down to married life with his new Italian wife. We see Hollywood coming to life, with the neon signs of the movie theaters (specifically the Cinerama Dome) and restaurants lighting up.

It's just so evocative of the attitude and spirit of the movie, and conveys so much of the magic of Hollywood that Tarantino captures in this movie.