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                        Celebrating the Art of Cinema, ... and Cinema as Art


                                                                                         

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INDEPENDENT'S DAY (MAY 2019):
INDEPENDENT FILMS CURRENTLY IN PRODUCTION,
AND THE FILMMAKERS BEHIND THEM



"Making a film is all work and all worry and all fear and all heartache.
Not making a film is worse" - Sir Carol Reed

     The question remains eternal with philosophers, bar patrons two or three shots in, and anyone who's ever glanced at a mountain of tasks and in an almost chant-like manner muttered to themselves, "Okay, let's get started" -  "Was that 'Ingenious Gentleman Sir Quixote of La Mancha' (affectionately known as 'Don Quixote') mad out of his gourd while the rest of his world lived in a "for-better-or-for-worse" reality, or was / is one of the most popular characters in literary (and psychological) history actually the more sane as he remained faithful to his heart and purpose of soul while the rest of that world - one of convicts, prostitutes, highwaymen and heartbroken lovers - lived a pointless existence? According to Miguel de Cervantes, Sir Quixote was once upon a time a rather level-headed fellow.  A level-headed fellow whose brain eventually "went dry" due to a lack of sleep caused by his 'round the clock reading habits; the infectious subject of most of that reading being tales of age-old knights dedicated to the (even then) long dead notions of chivalry and nobility. Hmmm? ...



 "Don Quixote" (orig. pub. in two parts: 1605 / 1625)

     No sleep? Excessive reading? Out of step with the rest of the world, and infected with a willingness to sacrifice every fiber of one's existence to and for a cause most "normal" people find hopeless? Sound familiar?  Hey, maybe have a sit down and beer with the average independent filmmaker.


     At it's best movie making is the most insane of notions. Any filmmaker will tell you that him or herself. We had a friendly sit down some months back with a producer of more than a few hit films, ... a couple of 'em even popular Oscar winners, ... who flat out acknowledged that it's hard enough getting any film made - even one of those "cookie cutter commercial" ones cineastes love to constantly point to as "an easy to pull out of your a** sell-out flick".  But the actual fact of the matter is that, contrary to what some would call popular opinion, even many of those kinds of films can be such an uphill battle getting made as to make the punishment of Sisyphus seem as difficult as kicking a stone up the driveway. And if a "commercial" or (so called) "sell-out" film is that hard as hell to get made, how simultaneously near suicidal - while creatively noble - is that unique brand of tilting at windmills which is the making of a truly independent film?


     We're honored to present a trio of defiantly independent film makers from around the globe whose combination of personal vision, subject matter, creative elegance ... and old fashioned stubbornness ... has sparked our own imaginations, hearts and cinematic adrenal glands to the point of wanting to let others know as much as we can about them. Are they Don Quixote mad or just more Don Quixote sane and creatively cutting-edge than anyone else you may presently know?  We personally lean towards the later.



Dir. Terry Gilliam (L) and star Jonathan Pryce on the set of the infamously independent
THE MAN WHO KILLED DON QUIXOTE (2019) - in and out (then in again) of production since 1989
    

     Interested in learning more about and / or supporting them and their films? Check out the links accompanying each entry. Drop a line and let them know that you're behind both them in particular and behind the concept of the truly independent film in general. We're pretty certain they'll appreciate it.

     Welcome to our first installment of INDEPENDENT'S DAY.  

                                                                                                                                                      CE
J









THE VENTURES:
STARS ON GUITARS
(Dir. by - Staci Layne Wilson)

     A feature length documentary film on the #1 instrumental rock group in the world, THE VENTURES: STARS ON GUITARS is the story of their rise to fame in the 1960s right up to now as they celebrate their 60th anniversary of playing the best guitar-rock of all time. Not ringing a bell? Well, you know their music. The fiery energetic guitar theme to PULP FICTION? That's their hit song "Miserlou". And the most popular rendition of the original theme to HAWAII FIVE-O? The Ventures took that one to #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart back in the day.

     Produced by Don Wilson, the founding member of The Ventures, and directed by his daughter - screenwriter / director / TV host / novelist Staci Layne Wilson, THE VENTURES: STARS ON GUITARS was granted  unprecedented access to archival material in it's aim to be the definitive documentary on these Rock and Roll Hall of Famers.

     Interviewees include John Fogerty, Jimmy Page, Billy Bob Thornton, Jeff “Skunk” Baxter and many more.

     RELEASE DATE: TBD (to be determined)





     * THE VENTURES: STARS ON GUITARS: Facebook page @ https://www.facebook.com/TheVenturesMovie/

     * THE VENTURES: STARS ON GUITARS - Film FUN Raiser @ https://www.gofundme.com/f/the-ventures-stars-on-guitars-film-funraiser?fbclid=IwAR3xl8v5-X2cF2I6fXdc90ykcyjyULmQlBYgCgNF_mA1oMIR-C3thmYYqkA






BUNNY POO SALAD:
THE MOVIE
(Dir. by - Duncan Skinner)

     Then God said, "Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." So, God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

     And then God thought, "Well, they look bloody miserable. I can't be dealing with miserable people, now can I? For they will bum me out, and I'll probably have to smite the bastards. Whatever can I do to cheer them up?"

     And, after an extremely long pause of approximately four and half nanoseconds, God said, "I know... I know... I'll get some insane people to make a hundred minutes of sketch comedy. Yes, I saw some looney types dicking around on YouTube a while back. I shall command them to make it, for they seem jolly talented and amusing, and it will be awesome."

     And so BUNNY POO SALAD: THE MOVIE came into being - one hundred or so minutes of exceedingly silly sketches filled with merriment, naughtiness and toilet humour... cheap thrills... and even cheaper laughs.

     And God saw that it was good. Even though it was not yet out of post-production, God thought that it rocked. God laughed. God laughed... a lot. And Satan laughed too. For he and God watched it together. On a Friday night. In their underwear. When baked.

     And the looney types who wrote the exceedingly funny scriptures, and who spent over three years of their lives shooting a zillion sketches in their free time (for they had no money), decided to keep going once they had wrapped, for they were in possession of a mountain of material. And the looney types said "Hey... let's start making a second sketch comedy movie!"

     And God said, "Please do. You guys rule. Sorry about the lack of funding and all that, but I really dig your style."  

     And the looney types said, "Yeah..." and got back to work.





 
     * BUNNY POO SALAD: THE MOVIE @ https://bunnypoosalad.wordpress.com

     * BUNNY POO SALAD: THE MOVIE on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/lovely.lovely.Bunny.Poo.Salad/








ISLAND SCHOOL:
CELEBRATING 50 YRS. -
A FIVE PART DOCUMENTARY
(Dir. by - Sean Francis Ellis)


      Produced by Sean Francis Ellis, ISLAND SCHOOL: CELEBRATING 50 YEARS is a five-part documentary recounting the history of Island School, a British Secondary School in Hong Kong, via interviews with current and former alumni. Interviews were filmed in Hong Kong during the school’s 50th anniversary in 2017, and post-production is taking place in Sydney, Australia.

About the Filmmaker:

     When I was 14, my family moved from Sydney, Australia to Hong Kong, where my brother and I attended Island School between 1986 and 1991. First opened by the English Schools Foundation in 1967 (inside a former Military Hospital with incredible views over the city), this unique institution has provided a world-class education to thousands of foreign and local students, during fifty years of rapid growth and cultural change in Hong Kong. Despite my initial culture shock, I adjusted to the fast-paced lifestyle and made friendships and memories I cherish today. When I learned a few years ago that the school building (first opened in 1974) would be demolished to make room for an updated design, I felt a need to make a documentary that would capture the spirit of Island School, and make an inspiring tribute for the next 50 years. 2017 would mark the end of an era, and the start of an exciting new one.



     The documentary has involved more than two years of work, with the support of the school and alumni from around the world - some of whom I interviewed in June, 2017. Featuring photographs and video from each decade, combined with extensive interviews, the film follows a timeline from the school’s foundation, up to the anniversary celebrations - which attracted hundreds of Islanders to Hong Kong - to create an emotional and uplifting tribute. Island School is a vibrant community that brings diverse cultures and people together in a place of learning. Over time, the school has developed a spirit of its own, based on equality, inclusivity and acceptance. The film will uncover human stories of compassion, loyalty, determination, social justice and unity, against a back-drop of political and cultural change.

     Five segments, each covering a decade, will be released as individual downloads, and the completed film will be released on DVD & Blu-ray disc in July/August, 2019. Making this film has been a labour of love, and a chance to learn the school’s unique history from those who were there. I hope Islanders - and anyone else interested in this unique school - enjoys looking back, and shares my appreciation for it. The example of Island School is one of inclusion and tolerance, and that makes this story as timely as ever.






     * ISLAND SCHOOL: CELEBRATING 50 YEARS: view the trailer @ http://www.cinebrand.com.au/island-school-50th-anniversary

     *Support ISLAND SCHOOL: CELEBRATING 50 YEARS @ http://www.cinebrand.com.au/shoppingcart?fbclid=IwAR2sUikCnKFHzwvgUFgOZlLQEdeqfv8mQ0DY-eYsDZxoS4RdrRyR0lTvBLM
(Password: "Islander")




To add your film to the June 2019 INDEPENDENT'S DAY update contact us @


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