20 November 2008

via my email

One good thing about having a blog that people used to read back when you updated it is that you get on a lot of mailing lists and whatnot that generally keep you up-to-date on what's going on, even if you're out of the loop entirely.

Plus, follow enough people on Twitter and you get a pretty good idea.

Anyway, in my inbox yesterday is an email from the folks at Rooftop Films, a festival/screening series in NYC that you've probably heard of (but has not screened any of my films, even though they totally should). I'm in a generous mood, so I'll help out.

Here, I'll let Danielle take over. This is what she asked me to pass along:

Submit your movies! In May 2009 we will begin celebrating our 13th year of bringing the best underground films in the world outdoors and to the rooftops of New York City. Submit your films and videos now and participate in one of the most unforgettable, unique, filmmaker-friendly, independent film events in the world!

• A complete list of rules and regulations are available on the Rooftop Films Website.
• Films can be submitted via Withoutabox.com or directly to Rooftop Films
• General deadlines and fees have changed since last year: Earlybird: $9, postmarked by January 5, 2009; Regular: $13, postmarked by February 02, 2009; Late: $16, postmarked by March 1, 2009; Without A Box Extended: $16, April 1, 2009 (Without A Box members only).
• Rooftop continues to accept films year round, but if you want to guarantee that your films will be considered for the 2009 Summer Series please make sure to submit them on or before the deadlines.


The 2009 Summer Series will run from May through September and will feature more than 200 daring new films, all screened outdoors, in front of big, loyal audiences in parks, along the water, and on rooftops overlooking the greatest city on earth. More than 15,000 people attended Rooftop screenings in 2008, making it one of the most popular festivals in New York City. The 2009 Summer Series will surely feature even bigger crowds, even more beautiful venues, and more incredible films.

So there's that.

18 November 2008

Smoke Jumping

One of the things I learned during my last trip to LA (well, maybe not learned as much as had confirmed) was that Entourage is more fantasy than reality. Naturally, this isn't a surprise at all, and doesn't even detract from my enjoyment of the show, but it's interesting in that for the vast majority of people, this distinction is never made.

In fact, I know people who are pretty sure that Entourage is a pretty accurate representation of how things out there operate. They're also convinced that batting average is a good measure of a baseball player's value, but that's a different post.

That being said, one of the things that's been bugging me about this season (besides the increasing realization that Edward Norton won't show up) is the trouble the writers have had working Vince's new-found work ethic into the show. They've had him up early reading his lines (hell, he's actually reading his lines) and showing all sorts of Motivation and Determination, but he doesn't wear it well. Part of the fun of the show (especially as it exists more as fantasy than reality) is how little effort or concern Vince shows toward his career, how Eric and Ari fret over his projects, only to have him shrug his shoulders and have everything work out just fine. It's a nice counterpoint to Drama's maximum effort career, but over the last season or so, the show has been giving Vince more ownership of his career and despite that (because of that?) the career seems to be going in the opposite direction.

And, by the way, did Drama's show get canceled or does he just have the easiest shooting schedule ever? How does he have all that time to be on set with Vince?

Anyway, part of me was interested to see if the show could pull off the hard-working Vince and really turn him into an actual actor. That, in addition to Rhys Coiro's Billy Walsh, is one of my favorite storylines. So I was really intrigued by the promo for episode 10, particularly the lip quiver interaction between Adrian Grenier and Stellan Skarsgård that indicated that perhaps our man would be tutored and whipped into shape by ze German.

But then, the full episode airs and...nothing. Vince doesn't see the lip quiver and the animosity continues. Ok, fine. So Vince is going to revert to his carefree ways. Until the next morning when he tells Turtle that, in fact, he's been up all night studying his old movies. Yet, on set he can't seem to pull himself together. Or, as may be the case, the director is making it impossible for him, but I saw the same thing in the performance the director did, so I don't know. I just don't know.

And that's what I find most frustrating. I can't figure out which it is, and I don't get the sense that the writers know for sure themselves. Now there's no movie and the show is back where it started the season. What have they gained? Nothing, it seems.