Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Two chilling articles on the Bush administration's fiscal bankruptcy and moral bankruptcy.

Two excerpts:
Fiscal: "For most of the past three decades, the current account was in the deficit, largely because imports were larger than exports. Now, we also pay more in interest to the rest of the world than we earn on our assets abroad, adding to the deficit.

Moral: "The New York Times reports that prisoners held by the US military at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan were made to stand for up to 13 days with their hands chained to the ceiling, naked, hooded and unable to sleep. The Washington Post alleges that prisoners at the same airbase were "commonly blindfolded and thrown into walls, bound in painful positions, subjected to loud noises and deprived of sleep" while kept, like Jose Padilla and the arrivals at Guantanamo Bay, "in black hoods or spray-painted goggles."

Bush has not just facilliatated the end of the "American Century", he crashed it into the ground on so many fronts. I just think of Gore Vidal's observation that it'll take two generations to undo the damage done by this administration.

Gore Vidal:
"We are a declining power economically in the world, and the future now clearly belongs to China, Japan, and India. They have the population, they have the educational systems. They have the will. And they will win. And we will -- we only survive now by borrowing money from them in the form of treasury bonds which very soon we won't have enough revenue to redeem, much less service. So, I put it down to economic collapse may save the United States from its rulers."

Friday, December 15, 2006

Lou Reed's "Berlin"

A nice piece in the Rolling Stone about the show we're filming now @ St. Ann's Warehouse in DUMBO.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Beautiful War Photo

"Palestinian security officers guard the vehicle that unidentified gunmen shot at, killing three sons of a Palestinian intelligence chief loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas, in Gaza.
The gunmen shot at the car, which was dropping the children at school."

A strikingly beautiful picture of strikingly brutal violence.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Michel Gondry's Feet

Michel, the director of "Be Kind, Rewind", sent out an email with this video attached......He wants the world to see that he and his feet can solve a Rubik's Cube.
  • Michel's Miraculous Feet
  • Walking Art

    I was having lunch near Union Square in NYC today and afterwards ran into Daniel's stall on the west side of the park. An Argentine native, he takes amazing digital pictures of NYC icons, photoshops them and then prints on metallic paper. Luminous and unusual. I bought a few for friends and I'm feeling compelled to buy his "Wonder Wheel" for myself.
    If your in town, walk over and check him out.
  • Walking Art
  • Sunrise

    today's sunrise in Brooklyn. Pretty spectacular.


    "While threats to the food supply have been growing, food-safety regulations have been weakened. Since 2000, the fast-food and meatpacking industries have given about four-fifths of their political donations to Republican candidates for national office. In return, these industries have effectively been given control of the agencies created to regulate them.

    The current chief of staff at the Agriculture Department used to be the beef industry's chief lobbyist. The person who headed the Food and Drug Administration until recently used to be an executive at the National Food Processors Association.

    Cutbacks in staff and budgets have reduced the number of food-safety inspections conducted by the F.D.A. to about 3,400 a year - from 35,000 in the 1970s. The number of inspectors at the Agriculture Department has declined to 7,500 from 9,000."

    The lack of oversight isn't just in WMD's and intelligence. Read the rest on AmericaBlog.

    Sunday, December 10, 2006


    A perfect night launch for Discovery last night. Spectacular.

    World Quiz

    This is tough. World Map Quiz

    Saturday, December 09, 2006


    I took this photo with Ellen as we were travelling to a location during the last days of Be Kind. I just retrieved it from the camera phone. At the time, I thought it looked like a William Eggleston shot.

    Film Maker Magazine

    A good article on Ellen and the Gotham Awards.
  • Film Maker
  • Thursday, December 07, 2006

    Get Lost Jim

    "Jim Baker is one of these rare people that comes along once in a while who's smart — smart not only intellectually and from experience, but street smart," says former Deputy White House Chief of Staff Michael Deaver.

    Back in 1990, Baker convinced Syria to join the Gulf War coalition against Saddam Hussein. Now, he wants this George Bush to talk to Syria ... and Iran, too.

    "It has to be hard-nosed, it has to be determined," Baker said in a television interview in October. "You don't give away anything, but in my view, it's not appeasement to talk to your enemies."

    But this president may not be in much of a hurry to accept Baker's ideas about that — or much else. Asked if Baker would help implement the report, a spokesman for Mr. Bush said, "Jim Baker can go back to his day job."
  • Read the whole story here.
  • Wednesday, December 06, 2006

    Cheney's Daughter

    This is approaching surreal. A top republican operative, selfish hedonist and daughter to "Shooter" Cheney, Mary Cheney is expecting a child with her longtime (don't call it a marriage) partner of 15 years. This should have a few evangelicals pissed. I wonder if it's a "snowflake baby"?
    Words fail me but luckily John over @ AmericaBlog has the details.

    Tuesday, December 05, 2006

    December 5th, 1933

    It was 73 years ago today that the 21st amendment to the constitution was passed and prohibition was abolished in the States. Everyone was able to inbibe once more. The first city to enact emergency legislation to get the booze flowing again was none other than Seattle.
  • Modern Drunkard Magazine has an excellent history.
  • Dewar's Scotch has more history and fun.
  • Monday, December 04, 2006

    Freedom River

    "...this animated parable traces how the erosion of freedom, like the pollution of natural resources, can occur so gradually that both evade the attention of a busy and preoccupied nation." Words written in 1971 of this Orson Welles narrated short film but strangely potent today. It's a bit of history repeating.
  • Freedom's River
  • Gotham Awards pt.2

    Some more snaps of El's big night. It was a fun party.

    Sunday, December 03, 2006

    Powerhouse Arena

    Located in DUMBO, Powerhouse Arena has a huge exhibit going on now of 1970's nightlife photography. It's all about New york City, Studio 54 and the craziness that went on. Halston, Bianca, Liza and Liz dancing with hubby Sen. John Warner. Photogs like Larry Fink and Ron Galella are presented.
  • Powerhouse Arena MySpace page
  • Last Week

    Last week was exciting for me. No sooner had I returned to NYC then I was off to meet Ellen and her sisters for lunch. They were in town to see El grab an honarary award @ The Gotham Awards.
    Ellen's agent was also in town for the festivities and we all piled into a car and went to Pier 60. Cocktail hour was a boisterous affair. Everyone talks in first names and the fun part is trying to figure out who they're talking about. I saw some old friends.... Cindy Toland, Producer Lemore Syvan and fave director Mary Harron. When we finally sat down, our table had "celebraties" Billy Baldwin and Rosie Perez. Both presenting awards. Both nice folks, although Rosie seemed a little tipsy when she gave her introduction to the documentary film winners.

    Sam Mendes introduce our girl and Ellen gave a very nice, very gracious speech. Like the Academy Awards, these events tend to drag towards the end and people begin to leave so it was nice that Ellen got the first award of the night.
    The following day, she and I met down @ St. Ann's Warehouse in DUMBO to meet with Lou Reed's people about a concert film we will be doing.

    Our director will be famed artist and 90's luminary Julian Schnabel. A very likable man and after some lite conversation about animal psychics, we chatted a bit about the show and what he is expecting. Our next meeting will be on tuesday where we will be meeting master Broadway lighting designer Jennifer Tipton.

    The following night, my friend Betsy invited me to an exhibit of Malawian photographs that a friend of hers had taken. Kip Myers was there to talk about his work and to raise money for the We Are One Academy, an orphage for boys who have lost both parents to AIDS.

    What's Next?

    Two fascinating pieces today in cyberspace.
  • Five editorials in the Washington Post debate if Bush43 will be America's worst President.
  • Both Newsweek and Time wonder if Bush will change course when the Baker Commission reports this week.
  • Thursday, November 23, 2006


    Sometimes it's a surreal experience living in Hollywood. Last night while BBQ-ing, we noticed that there was a huge light show coming from the Hollywood and Highland area. While we were attacking our steaks, we learned it was Jay-Z doing a comeback concert with a new cd. I'm sure having Hollywood Blvd blocked off annoyed a few people trying to get home on Thanksgiving eve.

    Notes on Altman

    Maverick American director Robert Altman died earlier this week @ 81 years of age. I first was aware of him when we were shown "McCabe and Mrs. Miller" in film school. Next time was an ex who had a bootleg of Altman's classic, "Three Women". He was a great filmmaker but I won't remember him for his films.
    What I will remember Robert Altman for is what he said about the dead. In one of the most ascerbic eulogies ever, Altman said of Don Simpson when the drug addicted producer died, "I wish he had lived longer so he could've suffered more". Brutal, to the point and instantly memorable.
  • Biskind's "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls"
  • Wednesday, November 22, 2006

    Seven Profile

    I love this snap of Seven I took the other day.

    Instead of.....

    "Republicans vacating the Capitol are dumping a big spring cleaning job on Democrats moving in. GOP leaders have opted to leave behind almost a half-trillion-dollar clutter of unfinished spending bills."

    Instead of doing their duty, this Republican Congress is going to punt. Or as Crooks and Liars put it....."Never send a Republican to do a Democrat's job".
  • Yahoo News
  • Be Kind, redux

    I'm finally getting around to looking at some pics that were given to me. Here are a few.

    The unbounded excitement that can sweep a film set.

    A little bubbly at the halfway point.

    El and Mos share a moment after a night of shooting.

    Yours truely perfecting his balancing abilities.

    Sunday, November 12, 2006

    The Father Returns

  • Newsweek Online
    Dad has bailed him out all his life....except this time there's 2,800+ dead bodies involved.
  • Friday, November 10, 2006


    I love this new ad campaign for Kodak.

    It's Official.....He's Certifiable

    "And years from now, when America looks out on a democratic Middle East growing in freedom and prosperity, Americans will speak of the battles like Fallujah with the same awe and reverence that we now give to Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima."
    Bush @ Dedication of the National Museum of the Marine Corps Nov.10, 2006
  • Full Trancript
  • Tuesday, November 07, 2006


    I hope every reader in the United States is planning on voting today or has already sent in their absentee ballot.

    “This is the most important vote that you’ll probably ever cast. Because should this gang of thugs continue in the two houses of Congress, there isn’t any chance of getting the Constitution back." So says Gore Vidal.
  • You can see the whole Gore Vidal interview @TruthDig
  • Friday, November 03, 2006


    The sunrise in Hollywood yesterday was this wierd pink color. It was just after sunup and only lasted about 20 minutes. But with the morning fog, it was freaky and beautiful.

    Pat Marella

    Some great time lapse photography from retired train man P Marella.
    There's a hyper reality to his work that's fantastic.

    Black Brownies

    The last day on "Be Kind, Rewind", we were shooting on the upper eastside of Manhattan. We only had 2 short scenes to shoot with Danny Glover. But in the afternoon, some neighborhood boys, Jacob and Sam, came to the back of the electric truck looking for Jack Black. We had to tell them that he was not there that day. That he was back home with his family in Los Angeles.
    The boys left their note and a plate of brownies with us. Although we were the profiteers of the sweets that day, I think it's a testament to Jack's popularity. That everywhere we went, or whoever you talk to, he has a great reputation and people genuinely like him. Deservedly so.
    All the stars were very generous with the locals in Passaic and it undoubtably made life for us all there more pleasurable.

    I Shot Andy Warhol

    One of my electricians (Jim F.) on the last film also worked with Ellen and I on "I Shot Andy Warhol" back 1993. It is one of the early faves on mine. Mary Harron was a fine director to work for. She and Dan had written a fantastic script and being able to see Lily Taylor act it out each day was a joy.
    It's great seeing those 13 year old pictures, taken at the beginning of a career and knowing that we've all gone on to bigger and better projects..