Tuesday, July 17, 2018

"Lindy Lou: Juror #2": a woman who had helped send a man to execution looks up other jurors


On Monday, July 16, PBS aired an abbreviated version of Florent Vassault’s “Lindy Lou: Juror #2” (2017), official site.

Twenty years ago, Lindy sat on a jury that convicted a man of murders and sentenced him to the death penalty.  After years, he was executed.


Lindy, living in rural Mississippi near the bayous, goes on quest to find the other jurors.  She eventually finds the foreman. One juror asks her not to call again, however.  Generally, the jurors feel that any one of them could have stopped the death penalty.  The lack of remorse of the defendant is often mentioned.
  
The 85 minute film (according to imdb) was compressed to 56 minutes, with brief comments by the filmmaker at the end. Vassault said that Lindy, a conservative woman, became a different person through the jury experience.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

As per Vox: "How Parkland Student David Hogg Beats His Critics"




How Parkland Student David Hogg Beats His Critics”, a short film on Vox Media by Carlos Maza (interviewing) and Coleman Lowndes.


David calls himself Press Secretary for March for our Lives.

Maza develops the idea that the mass of smear campaigns from the alt-right becomes the story, making it difficult to focus.

And some of the stories are really silly.  For example, that he be a 27-year-old crisis actor with a facelift.  Isn’t 27 awfully young for such surgery?  Another is that he is 135 years old, which implies that he is reincarnated into Second Life, or is an alien from another planet, who commutes the 30-or-so light years through a worm hole, and rents his body from Hertz when he is here.  But they used to claim that Mark Zuckerberg is an alien.  It’s too bad the English language doesn’t have a clear-cut conjugated subjunctive mood, to separate out the “alternative facts”.

As for the reincarnation, I think getting to have a 17-year-old body and start over where you left off is a good deal.  Like a car trade-in. 

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Is it such a big deal for cis actors to bend genders, even for "Rub and Tug"?



There is an upcoming comedy film called “Rub and Tug” to be written by Daniella Greenbaum.
  
But by now we’ve all heard the flak over Scarlet Johansson’s apparent initial casting as a transgender character, when arguably a trans person could have been cast.

It has been common place for actors to change genders in film, all the way back to Linda Hunt in “The Year of Living Dangerously”.
  
I admit, I’m not a great fan of seeing men shave their bodies to play trans women, like Jared Leto (I can’t remember the film) or Neil Jordan’s 2005 film “Breakfast on Pluto”.  Even Justin Timberlake likes to shed his external trappings, or as does Jake Gyllenhaal.


But actors do this, and some see it as part of their lives (most of all Steve Carell as “The Forty Year Old Virgin”).  They even do it for the soaps.
  
  
But that’s off the subject of trans.  The New York Post has a story by Jonah Goldberg (a conservative author of a major book on tribalism) in which he excoriates Business Insider for pulling a critical article after the fact by Daniella, after outcry from the “social justice warriors”.   

There was a Canadian film in 2002 called “Rub and Tug” by Soo Lyu, a comedy set in a full body massage parlor.

It seems likely that in the future social justice warriors will complain about scripts that show cis gay male characters as heroes (surviving an apocalypse) but slight gender fluidity. (Like mine.)  Gender meritocracy is coming to be seen as no-no. 
There are plenty of YouTube videos of massages or medical examinations of attractive men, obviously intended to appeal to gay male audiences by surviving the maulings, for example this one in German with “Oskar” 

Thursday, July 12, 2018

"The Collector": Wyler's 60s thriller made fun of the innocently mentally sick, not funny today



I recall a bizarre film that precedes “#MeToo” by a few decades. William Wyler’s British crime drama, “The Collector” (1965), for Columbia.


Terrence Stamp played a bank clerk and butterfly (“OGAB”, from Tiny Tim) collector to took to chloroforming women and keeping them just to have them. But in Miranda (Samantha Eggar) he met his match, a woman who would undo him to satisfy his fantasies.


Somehow, this old satire reminds me of the later “Boxing Helena” even if it isn’t as brutal.
  
I recall seeing it at the old Buckingham Theater in Arlington VA, the building is now a post office. It was a “neighborhood” in a time when movies went from downtown to the neighborhoods. The center aisle went down the middle of the auditorium, which was unusual at the time.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

"10 Warning Signs Tour Heart Isn't Working Proper;y" (short, PSA)



Today we’ll show “10 Warning Signs Your Heart Isn’t Working Properly”.


The illustration of the bald leg with sock imprint marks is maybe the most provocative sign. I can remember sitting in a godfather’s lap as a boy and teasing him about this.

Persistent annoying shadow pains in the left elbow or even a left finger could be a sign.

I recall getting a fundraising call one time from the American Heart Association about “getting the word out”.  But I have my own individualized way of doing that.
  
I still take Losartan.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

"A Day in the Life of a Surgeon", especially at 5 AM





Here’s “A Day in the Life of a Surgeon”, by a young surgical resident, David Hindin, in Philadelphia (Oh, yes, the Phillies, rivals of the Nats). I think that’s the Penn campus, near Drexel.

  
He gets up at 5 AM and buys coffee for the outgoing shift. He shows the little rest cubicle, with a bunk, and lots of textbooks (like Organic Chemistry, and a military surgery book with graphic war injury pictures from Afghanistan). The residents share this sleep space for their 24 hour shifts. 
  
He carries field notes, pens, and a chest tube needle package for dire emergencies in his shirt pocket.
   
He stops short of showing the scrubbing for surgery, which could get interesting.  Maybe that happens in another video.

I’m trying to find out more about  (Sundance’s) “Science Fair”, which has been bought by National Geographic but I don’t know when it will show.  Maybe Magnolia can pick it up for a theatrical showing,  Jack Andraka is on a senior project (Truman scholar, Stanford University) researching Ebola this summer in Sierra Leone, and I have a feeling that material will hit the video and short film circuit in a few months. But Jack will face this routine (from Hindin's video) himself one day if he becomes an oncologist (maybe mine if something happens to me down the road – I turn 75 today).

Saturday, July 07, 2018

SCOTUS-Toons: Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Human Rights Commission (oral arguments in animated film)





Here is a “SCOTUS TOONS: Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Human Rights Commission”.


The oral arguments are overlaid with animation, since video photography is not normally allowed at the Supreme Court.

The arguments concerned not so much “religious freedom” as “compelled speech”, if you regarding decorating a wedding cake as speech.

SCOTUS sided with Masterpiece Cakeshop on very narrow grounds earlier in June with a majority opinion underscored by the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. 

The Masterpiece Cakeshop case has nothing to do with the new Strand Releasing film “The Cakemaker” (reviewed by me on Wordpress).