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Showing posts from February, 2012

The Long Goodbye Workshop - Saturday March 3rd from 12:30pm to 3:30pm

On Saturday March 3rd from 12:30pm to 3:30pm, please come join me for my next workshop at the Central Sierra Arts Council - and my  favorite film of all time (it has some competition, but I really love this movie): Robert Altman’s astonishing, groundbreaking, quirky, funny, sometimes dark, mostly mysterious, semi-gangster, semi-whodunit, always entertaining and fun 1973 adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s classic Philip Marlowe novel, The Long Goodbye.   (One of the major innovations of the film is that it is set in the 1970s, and not the 40s or 50s like other classic Chandler and hard-boiled detective movies such as The Maltese Falcon.) I love this film for too many reasons to list here, and it has had a vast influence on both my life and my writing. (See my earlier blog post, Why I Love Robert Altman's The Long Goodbye, for some sense of my passion.)   Both the book (written in 1953) and the movie (filmed 20 years later, but somehow in a different universe) ma

Steve Jobs On Meditation

"If you just sit and observe, you will see how restless your mind is. If you try to calm it, it only makes it worse, but over time it does calm, and when it does, there's room to hear more subtle things - that's when your intuition starts to blossom and you start to see things more clearly and be in the present more. Your mind just slows down, and you see a tremendous expanse in the moment. You see so much more than you could see before. It's a discipline; you have to practice it." Steve Jobs (in the Walter Isaacson biography, Steve Jobs )

Chris Burden's Metropolis II (VIDEO)

I love this video of Chris Burden's Metropolis II installation, currently at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), especially the sudden silence and stillness amid all the movement. Los Angeles is still the city of my soul, the city that is most extraordinary and beautiful and vibrant and surprising - from the beauty of Mulholland Drive and the canyons and Malibu and Topanga to the Walt Disney Music Center and, yes, even the 405, especially the rise toward the Valley as it passes the Getty. This is for anyone who's ever been stuck in LA traffic at 138 mph!

Thinking of Jesus - and the Religious Right

Enrique Irazoqui as Pasolini's remarkable Christ. The religious right should be blessed with an eternity – and I mean an eternity – of viewing Pier Paolo Pasolini's astonishing, beautiful, reverent and truly radical (as Jesus was, according to the gospels) The Gospel According To St Matthew , which I first saw when I was fourteen, was blown away by, and still - as a Buddhist for 21 years - think is a work that touches god, or whatever word you wish to use for truth, love, light and, the power to be compassionate and brave. Pasolini was a Marxist, a self-proclaimed atheist (although this film makes that hard to believe, and he later talked about his "nostalgia for faith"), a homosexual, had been sentenced in Italy for blasphemy - yet accepted an invitation by Pope XXIII in 1962 for a dialogue with non-Catholic artists and wound up making the only film about Jesus that has ever truly moved me. The music score alone is fantastic, surprising and unforgettable (

John Campisi - CAA Agent (VIDEO)

A wonderfully informative and revealing 4 minute interview with my friend and former CAA agent, John Campisi, which captures the reality of being an agent better than anything I have seen. John very deftly captures the challenges, the opportunities and the hard work of being an entertainment agent - and stresses the all-important nature of "building relationships" within both the agency and the business.

Chocolat - and musicians from Swing Gitane - at the Arts Council on Friday February 17th

Enjoy a Valentine-themed treat at the Central Sierra Arts Council's next FRIDAY NITE FLICK on Friday February 17th , when you will be swept away to a "Night in France" with Lasse Hallstrom's highly acclaimed romantic comedy, Chocolat - together with a live performance by members of Sonora's own home-grown, heavily French-influenced jazz ensemble, Swing Gitane additional treats, including wine, port, cheesecake squares...and, of course, chocolat! The musicians of  Swing Gitane  start performing at 6pm, while the treats and refreshments are served, then I will say a few brief words about the making of Chocolat , and the movie will begin at 7pm - with a new, improved projection system, thanks to the ever-generous sponsorship of Ridge Schneider of Sonora Subaru. Tickets are just $5 per person. Wine or port is $3, cheesecake squares are $2...and the chocolates are on the house, courtesy of the Central Sierra Arts Council. Amusez-vous bien!

Paradise's Paper-Bag Penguin

Paradise's paper-bag penguin, made at a craft session at the Sonora library. We love the Sonora library, a great resource not just for books but for storytelling, crafts and other activities.

Sunset In Our Neighborhood

Photograph: Alexander Chow-Stuart.