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January 20, 2012

Brilliant moon

Chronicles the life of writer, poet, and meditation master Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, one of Tibet's most revered 20th-century Buddhist teachers. Known as the teacher of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and of the Royal Family of Bhutan, his life and teachings were an inspiration to all who encountered him.

A close look and a most wonderful person: His joy and laughter demonstrate a very fundamental basic of Buddhism. Displaced, persecuted for his beliefs Master Rinpoche provided joy, insight and kindness to many people. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 54206-D 56 minutes 2010

Posted by mcmike at 03:58 PM | Comments (0)

January 11, 2012

Strange Interlude

Covers the lifetime of Nina, a woman mad with grief after the death of her fiancé in World War I. She marries listless Sam Evans, unaware that his bloodline holds a terrible secret. After her mother-in-law reveals it, Nina consents to protect Sam, who knows nothing, by bearing another man's child as his. Her choice is his doctor and best friend, who falls in love with her.

Yes it is as dramatic as it sounds. Only it gets better. The film is based on a Eugene O'Neill play where the character's thoughts are spoken as a voice over. We can hear them but the other characters cannot. It is quite provocative. The subject matter of insanity and adultery are compounded by the inner dialog we hear. The actors perform their roles with unmatched professionalism. While they know the dialog has to be played while acting for the camera the pacing of the film stays strong but the drama may get a little too thick. ~Mike

Norma Shearer, Clark Gable, Alexander Kirkland, Ralph Morgan, Robert Young, May Robson, Maureen O'Sullivan.

Askwith Media Library 56788-D 110 minutes 1932

Posted by mcmike at 04:46 PM | Comments (0)

Nanjing! Nanjing!

In 1937, Japanese army has just captured the capital of the China, Nanjing. What followed was known as the Nanking Massacre, or the Rape of Nanking, a period of several weeks wherein tens of thousands of Chinese were killed. The film tells the story of several figures, both historical and fictional, including a Chinese soldier, a schoolteacher, a Japanese soldier, a foreign missionary, and John Rabe, a Nazi businessman who would ultimately save thousands of Chinese civilians.

Most of us have seen the images and documentaries of the Rape of Nanking. Seeing this dramatic portrayal adds a deeper understanding to the suffering of the Chinese and the other countries invaded by Japan before the West’s involvement in what became World War Two. It is a testament to Man's cruelty to man. This is the most barbaric and feared outcome of state sponsored groupthink and control. How people can treat each other so horribly is the plague of war. Greater and lesser examples are humanities' scandalous history. We have seen Abu-garab, Rwanda, Pinochet, Vietnam, Stalin, Hitler, the Japanese atrocities, Mao and his cultural revolutions and the list goes on, this history will be a portion of human legacy. Humanity is becoming a less violent species, even though it may not look that way. Humans are becoming less violent. We must be conscious of our legacy and do all we can to understand our past in order to change our future.
This film was shot in color and de-saturated in post production. It has a hard black and white look, although the impression of color is there. The film has had its share of problems it almost wasn't made and it was pulled by the Chinese government from the film festivals however it has made its way to a worldwide audience and even though it is very painful it should be viewed. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 52858-D 127 minute 2009

Posted by mcmike at 03:36 PM | Comments (0)

Writing Desire

"... a video essay on the new dream screen of the Internet and how it impacts on the global circulation of women's bodies from the Third world to the first world. Although under-age Philippine 'pen pals' and post-Soviet mail-order brides have been part of the transnational exchange of sex in the post-colonial and post-Cold War marketplace of desire before the digital age, the Internet has accelerated these transactions. Biemann provides her viewers with a thoughtful meditation on the obvious political, economic and gender inequalities of these exchanges by simulating the gaze of the Internet shopper looking for the imagined docile, traditional, pre-feminist, but Web-savvy mate. WRITING DESIRE delights in implicating the viewer in the new voyeurism and sexual consumerism of the Web. However, it never fails to challenge pat assumptions about the impossibility for resistance and the absolute victimization of women who dare to venture out of the third world and onto the Internet to look for that very obscure object of desire promised by the men of the West. This tape will promote lively discussion on Third world women, the sex industry, mail order brides, racism and feminist backlashes in the West, and on women's sexuality, desire, and new technologies."--Publisher's website.

The aesthetic feel of this documentary is that of a dream or stream of conscious. It almost provides the feeling of surfing the internet with a mixture of text, images and voice over. There are many online sites for contacting women from all around the world for marriage, sex and or companionship, most of which only takes place online. The cultural clash is not experienced through the computer only when the couple prepares to meet. The DVD was released in 2001 and due to the prevalence of the internet some of the "Third World" considerations may not apply today. Women not of the "western culture" may see using this as a way to increase their financial standing, provide a way out of poverty or were sold, as young girls often are, to a person who is more a pimp than anything else. Promising money is more of a trap than a way out of their current situation. In some of the countries where the women are from pornography is illegal and they risk imprisonment or worse. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 51337-D 2001 26 minutes

Posted by mcmike at 03:08 PM | Comments (0)