Archive for the ‘Cinema’ Category

Winnie the Pooh (Disney)

Monday, 12 February 2007; 9:44

Although everything Disney is just one big advertisement directed toward children, The Distillery cannot deny any child (or adult) Winnie the Pooh.

Home page:  Winnie the Pooh
Home page: Disney (redesigned site)

Advertisement (“Mission Zero”)

Monday, 12 February 2007; 8:42

The Distillery is beginning to wonder if Pirelli is as much in the film business as the tire business. First we had the short film, The Call, with John Malkovich and Naomi Campbell. This time it is Mission Zero starring Uma Thurman and directed by Kathryn Bigelow. And, there is that beautiful, bright yellow Lamborghini Ms. Thurman is driving. Nice lineup, eh? This is quite the short film. Yes, it is a bit hokey in places, but it gets the [advertising] message across most ably.

The Distillery was among only 1000 viewers initially selected to preview the film before its general release, but today it is available for the entire world. Folks, this is real online marketing. The films from Pirelli are made specifically for the internet and work superbly as online selling tools. This is beyond mere “rich content.” Who can watch this film and walk away not remembering the Pirelli name? And, who can walk away and not remember Uma Thurman?! (Personally, I’ll take the Lamborghini.)

Home page:  Mission Zero
Home page:

“When The Levees Broke” (Spike Lee & HBO)

Thursday, 24 August 2006; 12:11

One day, Spike Lee will make a great movie. No, not “very good” like many of his previous cinematic efforts are, but a movie on par with movies made by John Huston, Steven Spielberg, and Francis Ford Coppola. But until then, “very good,” “superb,” “insightful,” and “excellent” must suffice as descriptors of his works.

From all The Distillery has seen and read about Spike’s most recent effort, When The Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, he has again produced a superb film. It has that look which The Distillery finds unique and unmistakably “Spike Lee.” It is also “Spike Lee” in that he does not hold himself to a strict timetable. This HBO documentary is four hours long. Still, do the right thing and set some time aside to watch it.

Home page: When The Levees Broke: A Requiem In Four Acts
Film clip (30 seconds): When The Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts
Home page: HBO

when the levees broke house boat graphic when the levees broke quote graphic Spike Lee photo graphic

The Old Negro Space Program (NASSA)

Thursday, 24 August 2006; 8:49

That last NASA posting had me recall NASSA – The Negro American Space Society of Astronauts, and the film documenting it. It is not a Ken Burns film. Although a tad old, some of you may not yet have seen it. Enjoy.

(And before anyone gets upset, I remind you that my grandfather was a member of NASSA. I will not take kindly to any off-color jokes about the film or NASSA.)

Home page: The Old Negro Space Program
Google Video: The Old Negro Space Program

NASSA SpaceBus graphic

Alienware (computers) & Superman (movie)

Thursday, 10 August 2006; 16:05

AlienWare and Superman. Nice fit. Super-fast computers that often look like sinister other-worldly machines and the depiction of a Superman who looks not at all mild-mannered.

Doesn’t that Superman logo on the laptop look exceptionally cool? I want one! However, with only 350 of the laptops being made, I’m likely very out of luck. (You’ve got an Apple logo on your laptop? Gee, I’m sorry to hear that. You have my sympathy. But, we all can’t have the coolest looking laptops, can we?)

If you think only 350 laptops is a limited edition, then how about only 250 Area-51 Superman Desktop Editions? That’s right, regardless of the one you want, you’d better hurry. But remember, AlienWare computers are far from cheap. You might want to take along both credit cards.

The AlienWare-Superman co-branding is almost a stroke of genius. The entire promotional site does not disappoint. It is indeed a super site. Enjoy.

Home page: AlienWare
Co-branding site: AlienWare-Superman
Landing page: Area-51 Superman Returns Edition Notebook
Landing page: Area-51 7500 Superman Edition Desktop

AlienWare Superman laptop graphic AlienWare Superman Desktop graphic

AlienWare logo graphic Superman logo graphic

Garfield 2 (Czech Republic)

Tuesday, 8 August 2006; 10:53

Now where is that translator page? Never mind, the gist is easily ascertained in the Czech Republic release of the movie, Garfield 2. Even more, there aren’t any easily found online translators for Czech to English. So instead, we’ll just let our curiosities lead us.

Should you be planning on traveling overseas and cannot bear the thought of missing Garfield 2, you might take along the worldwide opening dates. You might even consider joining the Worldwide Whisker Web. Or, how about an online Garfield coloring book with virtual crayons?

Home page (Czech Republic): Garfield 2
Home page (Czech Republic): Garfield soccer game
Home page (Czech Republic): Garfield coloring book
Home page (U.S.A.): Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties

Garfield movie banner graphic

Take Back the Capitol

Sunday, 6 August 2006; 17:38


Are you better off now than you were four years ago?

It’s the economy, Stupid!

Those two lines are well-remembered sound bites from previous U.S. presidential elections. For the next presidential election we have, Take Back the Capital, an open source political video project and clip contest dedicated to overturning Republican control of Congress in the 2006 November election, and guided primarily by Sim Sadler, a well-known filmmaker, video artist, and editor out in Los Angeles. It appears Sim and a few of his friends (i.e., video artist Fernando Sanchez, writer/director Paul Liggett, activist Joanne Weldman, and assorted aliens) have grown weary of the current administration and its seemingly incessant blunders. And, they would like your help.

How might you help? You can:

submit a short video clip (a sound bite, a slogan, a gesture, a dance step, etc.) in response to the question “Why must we overturn Republican control of Congress?“. The best clips will win cash prizes and be compiled into a fast-paced music video by producer and editor Sim Sadler, which will be offered for viral distribution via e-mail/cell phone/iTunes ahead of the election.

What’s in it for you? Read on:

The 3 best clips will receive cash prizes of $500, $250, and $100 as chosen by our panel of judges (to be determined). All other clips used in the final video will receive an honorarium of $20. Prizes will be awarded by October 15, 2006.

Not bad, eh? If you think this is your calling, surf on over to Take Back the Capital and review the project’s complete details and all its requirements. You might win a few bucks and/or possibly launch yourself into a new career. At the very least, you’ll have opportunity to meet a few movers and shakers out in L.A.

A sampling of Mr. Sadler’s work:

  • Talk Therapy: Dr. Phil vs Bill O’Reilly
  • Hard Working George: The President’s verbal virtuosity
  • Arnold Debates Himself: The Action Hero vs the Governor
  • The Bush vs Chaney Debate: The Vice-President has second thoughts about GW

    Entries ( Take Back the Capitol

    Sim Sadler video still graphic


    Trudell the Movie (John Trudell)

    Thursday, 3 August 2006; 12:32

    Bob Dylan referred to [John] Trudell’s spoken word/rock and roll album AKA Graffiti Man as the ‘best album of 1995.’ Northwest Native activist Janet McCloud referred to Trudell as .. one of the greatest poets of all time.” Kris Kristoferson referred to him as “a lone wolf.” Not only a profound orator, he is a significant political figure in the more recent history of the Indian people’s movement.

    “Crazy Horse, we hear what you say. One earth, one mother…. One does not sell the earth…. How do we sell our mother?” ~John Trudell, Crazy Horse

    Who is John Trudell? You may not know who he is, but in addition to the persons mentioned above, Angelina Jolie knows him well enough to be the executive producer of his recent recording of Native American music, Bone Days, featuring cuts such as Crazy Horse. Jackson Browne knows him to the extent that he has produced many of Trudell’s other recordings. He is also friends with Sam Shepard, Val Kilmer, and Wilma Mankiller (former tribal chief of my other nation, the Cherokee Nation). In other words, how is it possible that you do not know of him?

    John Trudell also has a movie, Trudell the Movie. Broaden your American culture horizons and take a few moments to view the trailer. (Look for Watch Trailer in the lower-right of your screen.) Also click on Multimedia for additional film clips, some of which did not make it into the final cut, and a few clips of his music.

    In fact, you will find the song, Crazy Horse, in its entirety there. It contains a line that reminds me of a question posed by one of my favorite poets, Pablo Neruda. In his The Book of Questions, Neruda asks, “Does smoke talk to the clouds?”

    Home page: John Trudell
    Home page: Trudell the Movie

    Addendum: John Trudell is a great songwriter. After you have listened, each of his songs at the movie’s web site can be culled from your Temporary Internet Files folder as full-length MP3s.

    John Trudell - Bone Days graphic


    Friday, 21 July 2006; 11:18

    I will introduce you to Ex-Centris, a film production and screening complex, with a powerful clip from The Road to Guantanamo. To quote Forrest Gump, “…and that’s all I have to say about that.”

    Ex-Centris delivers far more than the above. Enjoy this short clip from Ici Naja A Vous La Terre. Another from Lemming, a French film I would love to see if the clip is indicative of the entire film. There are others I’ll let you discover on your own.

    Now click on Rental. Have a look at the interior of Ex-Centris’ Fellini Theater, presented with Quicktime VR. Once there, be certain not to overlook the underlined link Clicking Here, which demonstrates the transformation of the theatre from a conventional movie theater to an exhibition hall that can even serve as a 3D immersive virtual world. And in that space you now find yourself, turn around and visit the Control Room and other points of interest. Very nice indeed.

    While at the Rental portion of the site, be certain to check in at the café and listen to some music by clicking on Albums. In all, quite astounding. I do believe a trip to Montreal is in order.

    Home page: Ex-Centris

    Ex-Centris logo – “The Call”

    Thursday, 20 July 2006; 16:06

    Pirelli makes superb automobile tyres. Along with Michelins, they are the only other tires I trust on my automobile. Given that, I am not completely surprised to discover Pirelli has also produced a great short film, The Call, which is found at

    From Pirelli itself:

    Pirelli Group makes its film debut with the first PirelliFilm, an innovative communication project that will take place over several years and consists in the production of superb short films to be broadcast over the Internet.

    Created for the worldwide promotion of the Pirelli image, which has always been acclaimed for its innovation, quality and brand leadership, this project combines Cinema and the Internet and uses them as a new communication tool that joins the instruments traditionally used by the group.

    The first short film, which can be seen at, is “The Call” starring John Malkovich and Naomi Campbell. The director is Antoine Fuqua, who directed “Training Day” and “King Arthur.” Filmed with a dark, gothic mood in a mysterious, tempting nighttime Rome, “The Call” is a breath-taking thriller of just 8 minutes and 45 seconds that depicts the eternal battle between Good and Evil.

    It took five days to film on various locations – Borgo Santo Spirito, the streets of Rome , and an abandoned warehouse outside of Rome – and 4 months of post production. Nearly 120 persons worked non-stop on the set.

    And we are to expect more of these? Someone pinch me, please. Now, where is Pirelli’s calendar for 2006? (You do know why I’m asking, right?)

    Addendum: After viewing the film for the third time, I have two thoughts. First, it’s amazing what can be done in less than nine minutes with the right talent. Second, if the devil is Naomi Campbell, I’m going straight to hell.

    Home page: Pirelli


    “The Ant Bully”

    Wednesday, 19 July 2006; 15:01

    Lily Tomlin. Nicolas Cage. Merryl Streep. Ricardo Montalban (sans Corinthian leather). Paul Giamatti. Julia Roberts.

    One helluva list of actors and actresses, isn’t it? And what could possibly bring them all together? Answer: The Ant Bully. But instead of The Distillery saying more, why don’t you read what 3 Black Chicks have to say about it.

    Home page: The Ant Bully

    Kid Witness News (Panasonic)

    Thursday, 13 July 2006; 10:12

    Kid Witness News (KWN) is a hands-on video education program created to encourage students in rural or economically disadvantaged areas to develop valuable cognitive, communication and organizational skills through the use of digital video technology. Panasonic developed the program in the United States in 1989 with a global expansion in 2003 reaching out to more than 70,000 children around the world.

    Winners from around the world are invited by Panasonic to the New York area to participate in a weekend of activities to celebrate their accomplishments in videography, and to receive their honors at the prestigious New Vision Awards Ceremony.

    Panasonic knows to get them while they’re young. Its Kid Witness News features award-winning videos made by young students and are perceptions of “The World Through Their Eyes”.

    However, the link is to a presentation of the awards program and does not immediately reveal any of the videos produced by the young up-and-coming student producers. Given that, it does not come anywhere close to the best multimedia content (and in reality, corporate PR) found online. Doesn’t Panasonic realize that the kids’ videos themselves are what people (i.e., consumers) would like to see, and are far more likely to plant the name Panasonic in online viewers’ minds?

    That said, The Distillery has partially viewed the awards presentation video and can point you to actual video footage from the kids themselves at the following points. Use your player’s seek bar to navigate. Beyond those, you are on your own. Everything in between is as boring as watching a video of paint drying.

    9 minutes
    30 minutes
    41 minutes
    47 minutes
    54 minutes
    59 minutes (an excellent one indeed)
    64 minutes (also superb)
    72 minutes
    76 minutes

    Kid Witness News home page: Kid Witness News

    KWN kid graphic Maui news article graphic