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November 29, 2011

We Still Live Here (Âs nutayuneân)

The Wampanoag are celebrated at Thanksgiving as the Indians who saved the Pilgrims from starvation, but their linguistic heritage remained largely forgotten until Jessie Little Doe Baird discovered hundreds of documents written in their ancient language. Her efforts, which led to the reclamation of the Wampanoag language and culture, are explored in this documentary film.

This is wonderful. To see the revival and reuse of an almost lost language. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 55625-D 56 minutes 2010

Posted by mcmike at 10:34 AM | Comments (0)

November 28, 2011

Returning Fire

Interventions in Video Game Culture
Video games like Modern Warfare, America's Army, Medal of Honor, and Battlefield are part of an exploding market of war games whose revenues now far outpace even the biggest Hollywood blockbusters. The sophistication of these games is undeniable, offering users a stunningly realistic experience of ground combat and a glimpse into the increasingly virtual world of long-distance, push-button warfare. Far less clear, though, is what these games are doing to users, our political culture, and our capacity to empathize with people directly affected by the actual trauma of war. For the culture-jamming activists featured in this film, these uncertainties were a call to action. In three separate vignettes, we see how Anne-Marie Schleiner, Wafaa Bilal, and Joseph Delappe moved dissent from the streets to our screens, infiltrating war games in an attempt to break the hypnotic spell of "militainment." Their work forces all of us -- gamers and non-gamers alike -- to think critically about what it means when the clinical tools of real-world killing become forms of consumer play.

Exposing the war culture video gaming; There is hope, groups and individuals are becoming more engaged in the software aspect and the online presence; taking control, offering options or "tagging" with graffiti the virtual environments. Through these games a generation of children, are militarized and ready for war. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 56363-D 44 minutes 2011

Posted by mcmike at 10:03 AM | Comments (0)

The Billionaires' Tea Party

From the tea parties to healthcare and climate change, America's conservative citizens revolted against President Obama's reform agenda. But just how real were the roots of this supposedly grassroots uprising? Was it, in fact, an example of 'astroturfing', which is the practice of manufacturing citizens groups for the purpose of delivering corporate messages? Curious to find out, Australian filmmaker Taki Oldham went undercover to investigate. What he found was astroturfing on a scale greater than he could have imagined. This film offers a look at how corporate elites are exploiting the anxieties of ordinary Americans.

A lot of good people are exploited by those who have the purchasing power. This documentary brings to light the abuse to the American democratic system for extreme ideologies by those who practice economic terrorism. It is very unfortunate that people who need help fall victim to this type of radicalization which ultimately undermines their situation. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 56362-D 56 minutes 2011

Posted by mcmike at 09:48 AM | Comments (0)

The Shock Doctrine

Disaster Capitalism in Action
Using 'shock therapy' as a metaphor, the film investigates Naomi Klein's central idea of 'disaster capitalism.' When countries are jolted by catastrophic events such as war or natural disasters, they are often subjected to totally unregulated 'free market' remedies that benefit corporations at public expense.

Excellent. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 56343-D 78 minutes 2009

Posted by mcmike at 09:46 AM | Comments (0)

I Know Where I'm Going!

A headstrong young woman travels to the Scottish Hebrides to marry a rich industrialist. On the way, she meets a young naval officer and realizes that some things are more important than money.

A great film. Directed as only Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger can. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 32232-D 91 minutes 1945

Posted by mcmike at 09:25 AM | Comments (0)

The Trip

When Steve Coogan is asked by The Observer to tour the country's finest restaurants, he envisions it as the perfect getaway with his beautiful girlfriend. But when she backs out on him, he has no one to accompany him but his best friend and source of eternal aggravation, Rob Brydon.

Visually beautiful countryside and the food looks outstanding. The film has a subplot of truth and dedication to relationships. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 56267-D 112 minutes 2010

Posted by mcmike at 09:15 AM | Comments (0)

November 23, 2011

Human resources manager/ Tell your Children

"The Human Resources Manager of Jerusalem's largest bakery is in trouble. He is separated from his wife, distanced from his daughter, and stuck in a job he hates. When one of his employees, a foreign worker, is killed in a suicide bombing, the bakery is accused of indifference, and the HR Manager is sent to the victim's hometown in Romania to make amends. Far from home, on a mission to honor a woman he didn't even know but has somehow grown to admire, the HR Manager fights to regain his company's reputation and possibly his own humanity".

This is a very fine film, a journey of growth and understanding. ~Mike

Tell your children (Meséld el) "A little girl manages to escape the horrors of the Holocaust. Decades later she is confronted by a group of Neo Nazis. History repeats itself. Based on a true story ".

Excellent short film saying so much visually in a short amount of time. One of the best I have seen. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 55727-D 110 minutes and 5 minutes 2010

Posted by mcmike at 10:09 AM | Comments (0)

Le concert

Thirty years ago, Andrei Simoniovich Filipov, conductor of the Bolshoi orchestra, was fired for hiring Jewish musicians. Now a cleaning man at the Bolshoi, he hears the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris has invited the Bolshoi orchestra to play there. He gathers together his former musicians and a young solo violin virtuoso to perform in Paris in the place of the current Bolshoi orchestra. If they all overcome the hardships ahead, this very special concert will be a triumph.

A wonderful film about the success of survival. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 55880-D 107 minutes 2011

Posted by mcmike at 10:05 AM | Comments (0)

November 18, 2011

The unholy three

The scheming ventriloquist Prof. Echo, disguised as Grandma O'Grady, heads a robbery ring that includes a feeble-minded strongman and a cigar-chomping little person, the latter masquerading as Grandma's grandbaby.

What a strange and funny movie but don't mess with the unholy three. However it is a chance the see Lon Chaney Senior in action. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 54848-D 71 minutes 1930

Posted by mcmike at 11:05 AM | Comments (0)

November 14, 2011

Talking cock

A young man's doomed attempt to dotcom his father's illegal loansharking business ; a banker who loses his mobile phone and his senses ; a waitress in a bao shop who resorts to teaditional (and unsanitary) methods to woo the object of her affections ; and a teenage heavy metal band who are forced to transform themselves into a boy band ... plus a lot of other really silly 100% Singaporean skits! Based on www.TalkinCock.com, Singapore's top humour website, this crazy multi-cultural comedy features REAL Singaporeans, not the usual boring TV personalities!

Funny, silly and a darn good movie. Lots of fun. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 56517-D 80 minutes 2002

Posted by mcmike at 10:00 AM | Comments (0)

The Robber

A champion marathoner leads a double life as a serial bank robber, sprinting between fixes, and away from police cavalcades, as many as three times a day. A lean, visceral study of pathological compulsion from Austrian director Benjamin Heisenberg, featuring a riveting central performance by Andreas Lust.

Suspenseful yes, and a lot of running. Excellent performances and a very good story line. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 55983-D 97 minutes 2011

Posted by mcmike at 09:56 AM | Comments (0)

Terry Pratchett's Going postal

When Moist von Lipwig is caught for his trickery, he is given the option of becoming the next postmaster or falling down a deep pit.

A two part film of a man who learns the error of his ways. Set in a sort of 19th century England where "Clacks" (light emitting towers) are used as a type of internet. Honorable mention goes to the great actor David Suchet, known (in America at least) for his Hercule Poirot role in Agatha Christie Mysteries. His part in this film is nothing like the Poirot charactor and he plays it masterfully. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 56246-D 185 minutes 2010

Posted by mcmike at 09:16 AM | Comments (0)

The day I became a woman

The story of an Iranian woman at three stages of her life.

A charming yet bittersweet film, three movies, of three different women coming of age in Iran. It is an engaging and very interesting look into Iranian women and their places in society and along side men. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 55817-D 78 minutes 2000

Posted by mcmike at 09:10 AM | Comments (0)

November 11, 2011

Page One: Inside the New York Times

This documentary chronicles the transformation of The New York Times newsroom and the inner workings of the Media Desk, as the Internet redefines the media industry by surpassing print as the main source of news. At the heart of the film is the burning question on the minds of everyone who cares about a rigorous American press, Times lover or not: what will happen if the fast-moving future of media leaves behind the fact-based, original reporting that helps to define our society? This up-close look at factors and actors that produce the "daily miracle" of a great news organization is a nuanced portrait of journalists continuing to produce extraordinary work under increasingly difficult circumstances.
Special features: Featurettes: Carl Bernstein on the real threat to newspapers (3 min.); Emily Bell on keeping journalism relevant (2 min.); Sarah Ellison on the mind of Murdoch (4 min.); Additional scenes (22 min.); Journalists react to "Page One" (3 min.); Q&A highlights with the cast and filmmakers (17 min.); Tim Arango with João Silva in Iraq (5 min.); Also from Magnolia Home Entertainment (10 min.).

Excellent. Insight for everyone trying to look into and understand the effects of web based advertising on the newspaper industry. The New York Times holds its ground and makes the hard choices to change and reinvent itself. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 56240-D 92 minutes 92 minutes

Posted by mcmike at 10:32 AM | Comments (0)

Invisible Invaders/ Seventh Planet

Invisible invaders. Aliens, contacting scientist Adam Penner, inform him that they have been on the moon for twenty thousand years, undetected due to their invisibility, and have now decided to annihilate humanity unless all the nations of earth surrender immediately. Side B. Journey to the seventh planet. A U.N. space expedition to the planet Uranus discovers a bizarre world right out of their own heads, featuring places and people the crew members recall from childhood. It's all part of a fantasy created by the planet's master, a giant, pulsating brain that can also turn their worst thoughts into reality.

I really should have a rainy Saturday category. These two films are wonderful examples of low budget 1950s science fiction. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 55917-D
Invisible invaders: 67 minutes 1959
Journey to the seventh planet 77 minutes 1962 In color

Posted by mcmike at 10:25 AM | Comments (0)

Glory to the filmmaker! (Eiga kantoku, banzai!)

Takeshi Kitano plays a version of himself in which he's a struggling director cycling through a number of different genres in an effort to complete his latest project.

(Beat) Takeshi Kitano is one of Japan's greatest actor/directors. In this film he exposes his deadpan comic sense while those around him are slightly insane. This is a very funny film, although probably not suited for the whole family. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 55704-D 105 minutes 2007

Posted by mcmike at 10:17 AM | Comments (0)

November 09, 2011

King Kong (Blu-ray)

The original 1933 classic in glorious black and white, newly restored, and digitally remastered. A moviemaking expedition to a fantastic island is filled with dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures. A gaint simian becomes lovestruck with the film's blonde starlet. King Kong is captured and is brought to Manhattan, where he goes on a rampage, culminating in the fateful finale atop the Empire State Building where he cradles his beloved and swats at machine-gunning airplanes.
Special features: Commentary by visual effects veterans Ray Harryhausen and Ken Ralston ; interview excerpts with Merian C. Cooper and Fay Wray ; I'm King Kong: The exploits of Merian C. Cooper ; RKO Production 601: The making of King Kong ; test footage ; The lost spider pit sequence ; trailer.

I cannot believe the difference in quality. It is like watching the movie for the first time. I was amazed. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 53004-B 100 minutes 1933 release (2010 Blu-ray release)

Posted by mcmike at 03:32 PM | Comments (0)

Leadership and the new science

Explores a simpler way to manage complex organizations.

Fantastic and wonderfully insightful. The practice of Chaos Theory in relation to complex human relations and business organizations. ~Mike

Discussion lead by Margaret J. Wheatley

Askwith Media Library 24831-H (VHS tape) 24 minutes 1993

Posted by mcmike at 03:19 PM | Comments (0)

Phantom the Submarine (Yuryŏng)

A crew of anonymous sailors control the top secret Korean nuclear submarine known as the Phantom. After killing his captain, a naval officer became an unwilling crew member when the government officially erased him from existence.

An outstanding and little known film. The story takes place while nuclear brinks-men-ship is in play. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 41434-D 103 minutes 2003

Posted by mcmike at 03:04 PM | Comments (0)

The President's last bang (Kŭ ttae kŭ saramdŭl)

A wildly funny whirlwind of anarchy, violence, and sex. Depicts the brutal reality and ensuing chaos of a political coup with unapologetic frankness, unexpected humor and unrelieved intensity.

A very stylized interpretation of historical events. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 42936-D 104 minutes 2006

Posted by mcmike at 02:56 PM | Comments (0)

Mostly Martha (Bella Martha)

Martha is the chef who fusses and obsesses over each dish before it leaves the kitchen. The demands of her job and her natural shyness keep her from meeting new people. When her sister suddenly dies, Martha adopts Lina, her eight-year-old niece, completely changing both lives. Martha gets unexpected help from Mario, her hunky new sous chef, who is not only a whiz on the chopping block but knows sundry magic tricks and jokes to keep Lina's spirits afloat. Just as Martha starts to grow attached to the girl, Lina's erratic father shows up demanding that he take her back to Italy with him.

This film is a poetic look at food and love, passion and compassion.
~Mike

Askwith Media Library 35196-D 107 minutes 2001

Posted by mcmike at 02:39 PM | Comments (0)

The Man From Planet X

An alien arrives on Earth to seek help for his dying planet, but he is confronted with hostility. Takes place on a lonely Scottish island.

Above they fail to mention that the alien planet is on a course to crash into earth. The alien also hypnotizes local villagers to labor for him. One person's hostility and greed has ruined yet another chance for humans to meet and learn from outsiders. This story has your standard cast of characters, The scientist, the newspaperman and the love interest (the scientist daughter), the greedy scientist who just happens to have a shady past and the unaware, suspicious locals. All this combined to make a well, pretty run of the mill 50's sci-fi. Honorable mention must go to the alien's special costume and the special effects of the approaching Planet X. This is a great rainy, Saturday afternoon film. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 55632-D 71 minutes 1951

Posted by mcmike at 01:34 PM | Comments (0)

November 08, 2011

My Girlfriend is an Agent (7-kŭp kongmuwŏn)

Soo-ji and Jae-Jun were once a passionate and stable couple until Jae-Jun decidede that he could not put up with her lies anymore. But all Soo-Ji was trying to do was hide her secret identity as a secret spy with the government.

This is a fun movie. Filled with action, laughter and a struggling romance. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 55641-D 114 minutes 2009

Posted by mcmike at 02:59 PM | Comments (0)

Blacking up: Hip-Hop's Remix of Race and Identity

"Hip-Hop was created by urban youth of color more than 30 years ago amid racial oppression and economic marginalization. It has moved beyond that specific community and been embraced by young people worldwide, elevating it to a global youth culture. The ambitious and hard-hitting documentary Blacking Up: hip-hop's remix of race and identity looks at the popularity of hip-hop among America's white youth. It asks whether white identification is rooted in admiration and a desire to transcend race or if it is merely a new chapter in the long continuum of stereotyping, mimicry and cultural appropriation? Does it reflect a new face of racial understanding in white America or does it reinforce an ugly history? Against the unique backdrop of american popular music, Blacking up explores racial identity in U.S. society. The film artfully draws parallels between the white hip-hop fan and previous incarnations of white appropriation from blackface performer Al Jolson to mainstream artists like Elvis Presley, the Rolling Stones and Eminem. It interweaves portraits of white hip-hop artists and fans with insightful commentary by African American cultural critics such as Amiri Baraka, Nelson George, Greg Tate, comedian Paul Mooney and hip-hop figures Chuck D., Russell Simmons, M1 of Dead Prez, and DJ Kool Herc".

Hip hop has become the music of the youth of the world. The Askwith has films and documentaries from all over the world where hip hop music is used in one form or another. Hip hop can be both international and local at the same time. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 53341-D 56 minutes 2009

Posted by mcmike at 02:09 PM | Comments (0)

Bill Moyers Journal. The Reverend Jeremiah Wright speaks out

In this program, Bill Moyers interviews the Reverend Jeremiah Wright -Senator Barack Obama's pastor - in his first broadcast interview since he became embroiled in controversy over decontextualized sermon excerpts appearing in the media. Offering a full view of the man and his ministry, the Journal chronicles Dr. Wright's career; goes inside his church, the Trinity United Church of Christ; and gets his take on black liberation theology and the sermons at the center of the media firestorm.

Reverend Wright is a great man. You cannot help but understand and sometimes agree with his point of view. Do not judge by soundbites alone. Watch the interview and make your decision. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 48759-D 58 minutes
Episode originally broadcast April 25, 2008.

Posted by mcmike at 12:29 PM | Comments (0)

Satya, A Prayer for the Enemy

Since the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1950, more than one million people have been tortured, executed or starved to death for their role in demonstrations against the Chinese occupation. This film focuses on personal testimonies of Tibetan Buddhist nuns who have taken the lead in this resistance by fearlessly staging courageous demonstrations for religious freedom and independence. Study guide available at www.brunofilms.com

A government can overwhelm resistance. The commitment of individuals is not only powerful and heartbreaking but inspirational. Perhaps Buddhist nuns are the only way to inspire humankind to achieve the reality of dignity. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 47570-D 28 minutes (1993 VHS release, 200? DVD release)

Posted by mcmike at 12:07 PM | Comments (0)

The Dawn in tulad ng dati

The Dawn, originally composed of Teddy Diaz, J.B. Leonor, Caloy Balcells, and Jett Pangan. During the second half of the 1980s, the band had risen to become the most influential musical rock group of the time. At the height of their popularity, their leader, Teddy Diaz is murdered. The remaining members decide to continue on with the music but eventually disband in 1995. In 2000, the Dawn reunites. Tulad ng Dati starts in 2006. It revolves around the character of Jett Pangan who is nearing his forties. Jett has lost his passion for music and life and entertains thoughts of retiring from the band. On a fateful night, Jett is assaulted by a burglar and goes into a coma. He wakes up with no memory of his life after 1988. He remembers that he is 19 years old and is at the peak of his career with the Dawn. Not satisfied with how things turned out with his life, he tries to change everything back to the way it used to be. The path he takes while finding his place in this strange new world proves itself to be a tough, emotional, and sometimes hilarious journey.

I would say this is a drama and not necessarily a documentary. The film is very well done. The music is excellent. The name of the group "The Dawn" ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 56526-D 105 minutes 2007

Posted by mcmike at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

Castaway on the Moon (Kim Ssi pʻyoryugi)

A failed suicide attempt leads a heartbroken man to live a life in the wilderness. A reclusive young woman, who takes close-up shots of the moon and has not left her apartment in years, spies him and comes to think of him as her own alien.

A sweet film of two individuals who are isolated from society for different reasons. They both learn to communitcate with each other over a very long distance. There is hope. Enjoy. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 55669-D 116 minutes 2010

Posted by mcmike at 10:53 AM | Comments (0)