Monthly Archives: May 2019

M.A. Taylor: The Creepy Line

 

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In his documentary, THE CREEPY LINE, M.A. Taylor takes a critical look at the power of internet companies to control information, influence consumers and the electorate, and dominate 21st century culture, economics and politics.

The Creepy Line_Graphic 7.pngIn particular, Facebook and Google dominate the global internet, resisting meaningful regulation by government.

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Former Google CEO, Eric Schmidt, said that Google operates right up to what he calls “the creepy line,” controlling platforms that seem not to be connected to it, and blocking access to individuals without recourse, appeal or explanation.th.jpg

Canadian university psychology professor, Dr. Jordan Peterson, had his youtube channel removed after he wrote against pending legislation in the Canadian Parliament.

The Crepy Line_Robert Epstein.pngDr. Robert Epstein had all of his Google apps from email to website abruptly blocked. He found that there was no service department to explain or remediate this violation. He has conducted numerous experiments demonstrating how platforms such as Google can change opinions of voters and consumers to astounding degrees.

Taylor asserts that unlike corporations such as Apple and Microsoft, which deliver products – for hefty prices – companies like Facebook and Google don’t sell us products: we ARE their product. Their data collection and increasing surveillance of almost every aspect of our lives, which they sell to other companies, the government and anyone they choose, should be of concern to citizens everywhere who value democracy.

 

 

Courtney Quirin – GUARDIAN

We speak with Courtney Quirin, whose film, Guardian, won the JURY PRIZE for BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE  at this year’s SF IndieFest. Guardian will be screened at the Mendocino Film Festival this Saturday, June 1 at 5:30 in Crown Hall. It has been described as a cautionary tale about the role of science in environmental decision-making and the repercussions of its censorship. But that is totally inadequate to describe the human focus, the magnificent cinematography and the emotional impact the film has.

Courtney Quirin’s background includes a Master’s Degree in Wildlife Management from U of Otago in New Zealand, which included going to the highlands of Ethiopia to identify the nature and extent of farmer-primate conflict. Then, on to Ohio State U. to investigate urban coyotes for her PhD, but just shy of 2 years into that degree, she realized that her true passions lie within documentary film and investigative journalism. So she earned her Master’s in Journalism and Documentary Film from the U.C. Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. She has reported for the Associated Press in South Africa, Al Jazeera, Bay Nature Magazine and Mission Local in California.Doug+paddling-5.jpg

Doug Stewart has been a Guardian in the Great Bear Rainforest since 1977, living on the Surfbird with his wife, Carol, & monitoring over 129 creeks & streams. SURFBIRD.jpg

After Doug, Stan Hutchings is the 2nd oldest Guardian. He began as a teenager in 1979.Stan.jpg

After the interview with Courtney, we reported on the US Navy’s proposed Training & Testing, reading a PSA from Thaïs Mazur:

The Navy is seeking Federal Regulatory Permits under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to do weapons testing off the Mendocino coast, requesting a seven year permit to do the testing and training 12 miles offshore.
This is part of the larger Northwest Navy Training and Testing from Alaska to Northern California. The coast of Mendocino is a major migration route for gray whales and humpbacks.
The Navy is proposing activities that include anti-submarine warfare exercises involving tracking aircraft and sonar; surface-to-air gunnery and missile exercises; air-to-surface bombing exercises; and extensive testing for several new weapons systems.
U.S. Navy training exercises in the Pacific Ocean could kill, injure, or harm dozens of protected species of marine mammals — Southern Resident killer whales, blue whales, humpback whales, dolphins, and porpoises — through the use of high-intensity, mid-frequency sonar, which harass whales, dolphins and other marine mammals, 12.5 million times over the next five years. The use of sonar has been directly connected to many instances of beached whales, that have died from erupting lungs, ruptured ear drums and organ damage after military sonar exercises. Sonar exercises have also been found to cause mass strandings of whales.
The Navy is accepting comments on the DRAFT Supplemental EIS through June 12, 2019. Here is the link:
https://www.nwtteis.com/PublicInvolvement/Public-Comment

All photos credited to Courtney Quirin

Liz Miller – THE SHORE LINE PROJECT

Liz Miller is a documentary maker and professor interested in new approaches to community collaborations and documentary as a way to connect personal stories to larger social concerns. She is a Full Professor in Communications Studies at Concordia University in Montreal and teaches courses in media production, methods in co-creation/ research-creation, Latin American film, Media-and-the-Environment, Food Systems and more. Her films/educational campaigns on timely issues such as water privatization, immigration, refugee rights and the environment have won international awards, been integrated into educational curricula and influenced decision makers. Liz Miller’s The Shoreline Project, which in a series of 2 dozen short films takes us around the world to meet people from myriad cultures and backgrounds, creatively responding to increasing realities of climate disruption, will be at this year’s Mendocino Film Festival in two formats: The film collection, The Shore Line, will screen at the Matheson this coming Saturday June – 1 at12:30 pm. The full interactive exhibit of The Shoreline Project, will be on display at the Festival Headquarters in Odd Fellows Hall,  during the entire festival.

Screen Shot 2019-05-29 at 3.41.54 PM.pngSefali is a Green Rhinos Youth Leader in Maipith, Sundarbans, India. After a devastating cyclone hit in 2009, she organized fellow students to plant trees around their homes and school.

Screen Shot 2019-05-29 at 3.40.35 PM.pngMatias Asun exchanged his job as Director of Greenpeace in Chile to become the Ambassador from the newly proclaimed Republica Glaciar after concluding that the Chilean government had abandoned glaciers. He lobbies the Legislature and pertinent boards to gain protection for them from mining companies and climate disruption.

Screen Shot 2019-05-29 at 3.40.57 PM.pngIoane Teitiota of the island nation of Kiribati was the first person in the world to apply for climate refugee status in New Zealand. Although his island is expected to be completely inundated within 20 years, the Immigration Board ruled that he and his family were not in danger of dying, so they were sent back. Noting that if he were granted asylum on grounds of climate change it would open the floodgate for millions of others ironically confirmed his reason for being granted asylum.

Screen Shot 2019-05-29 at 3.41.24 PM.pngWill Nelson is a biologist and a member of the Metlakatla Stewardship Council. They are engaged in using helicopters to map inter-tidal archeological sites to document their heritage in present day British Columbia, which they have maintained for at least the past 14,000 years. Structures such as clam gardens and clam middens establish their long-standing claims to the land to protect sensitive coastal areas from development.

 

After the interview with Liz Miller, we reported on the US Navy’s proposed Training & Testing, reading a PSA from Thaïs Mazur:

The Navy is seeking Federal Regulatory Permits under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to do weapons testing off the Mendocino coast, requesting a seven year permit to do the testing and training 12 miles offshore.
This is part of the larger Northwest Navy Training and Testing from Alaska to Northern California. The coast of Mendocino is a major migration route for gray whales and humpbacks.
The Navy is proposing activities that include anti-submarine warfare exercises involving tracking aircraft and sonar; surface-to-air gunnery and missile exercises; air-to-surface bombing exercises; and extensive testing for several new weapons systems.
U.S. Navy training exercises in the Pacific Ocean could kill, injure, or harm dozens of protected species of marine mammals — Southern Resident killer whales, blue whales, humpback whales, dolphins, and porpoises — through the use of high-intensity, mid-frequency sonar, which harass whales, dolphins and other marine mammals, 12.5 million times over the next five years. The use of sonar has been directly connected to many instances of beached whales, that have died from erupting lungs, ruptured ear drums and organ damage after military sonar exercises. Sonar exercises have also been found to cause mass strandings of whales.
The Navy is accepting comments on the DRAFT Supplemental EIS through June 12, 2019. Here is the link:
https://www.nwtteis.com/PublicInvolvement/Public-Comment

Parker Phillips – THE BYGONE

p-1.jpegBrothers Parker and Graham Phillips co-wrote, co-directed, and co-produced a magnificent contemporary Western, THE BYGONE, which tackles difficult issues such as sex trafficking, missing and murdered Indigenous women, the decline of ranching, and the corrupting influence attending resource extraction.p-8.jpegWhen a young rancher, Kip Summer, played by Graham Parker, crosses paths and falls in love with a Lakota girl, Waniya, from a nearby reservation, her mysterious disappearance sparks a search that uncovers a harrowing past and hints at a dire future.p-3.jpegThe awful realities of sex trafficking among the man camps and bars in fracking site boom towns, and the inability of overwhelmed local law enforcement to cope leads to a dramatic series of show downs and shoot-outs in the best Western tradition.p-1.jpegThe well researched screenplay is rich with symbols and informed with a sensitivity to historic and current inequities between Indigenous and Anglo cultures, as well as the conflicts between ranching and fracking. The ensemble cast was clearly dedicated to portraying each character’s role with utter conviction.p-4.jpegThe cinematography serves the action far better than the normal Western and is deserving of its own award.

The Bygone will be having its premiere at the BZN International Film Festival on Friday, June 7 at 8pm in the Rialto Black Box. The filmmakers expect to attend for a Q&A.

For more information or to purchase tickets: bozemanfilmcelebration.com

 

Graham DuBose & S.K. DuBose – THE LAST BEYOND

Cemetery_bts7.JPGTHE LAST BEYOND is an intimate western set in Montana during the Great Depression about death, love, and rebirth. It follows a rancher named Stratton Eiseley who loses his father to illness and his ranch to foreclosure setting him adrift. Stratton Funeral 050619.jpgShortly after he meets three people and they change each other’s lives. Joe Running Elk and his grandfather, Flying Bear, are Pend o’Reille Indians who like Stratton feel like they’re living in a world that has left them behind. They become fugitives from twentieth century America and take to the mountains to make whiskey and restore their connection to the land. Joe-Opening.png Noah Watts, who plays Joe Running Elk, is a member of the Crow and Blackfeet tribes and grew up in Bozeman, MT.  Flying Bear 1.pngStephen Small Salmon, who plays Flying Bear, is a Pend d’Oreille elder from the Salish-Kootenai Reservation. They converse in Salish with English subtitles.Stratton and Gracie 050619.jpgAs Stratton falls in love with a writer named Gracie Loren it seems that their lives are improving, but trouble follows them.Gracie 4.pngTHE LAST BEYOND was filmed in Livingston, the Gallatin National Forest, Paradise Valley and other locations familiar to the Gallatin Valley community. Graham&Sara (CH) 050719.jpgHusband and wife filmmakers, writer/director, Graham DuBose, and  editor/producer, S.K. DuBose, will be attending the screening of THE LAST BEYOND, which will be having its premiere at the upcoming BZN International Film Festival on June 7, 2019 at 3pm in the Rialto Black Box.

For more information or to purchase passes:    bozemanfilmcelebration.com

 

Rick Moulton – Voice of America: Lowell Thomas

 

VOICE OF AMERICA – LOWELL THOMAS & THE RISE OF BROADCAST NEWS is featured at the 2019 BZN International Film Festival on Saturday, June 8th in the Hager Auditorium of the Museum of the Rockies at 3 pm. It’s an extraordinary story about Lowell Thomas, whom many call “The Father of Broadcast News,.”

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Even if he had not been the major pioneer in that regard, he was an incredible adventurer and film director and producer, bringing footage from forbidden countries such as Afghanistan and Tibet long before any others, and in the case of Tibet, just in time before their ancient culture was radically disrupted and dispersed by the Chinese Communist invasion.

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Lowell Thomas and his stalwart cameraman, Harry Chase, were the only ones to film T.E. Lawrence during the WWI Arab Rebellion against the Ottoman Empire.

2.1.3.1.2.1509.7b.2.jpgLowell was largely responsible for Lawrence’s fame after presenting pioneering multi-media productions using photographs and film to more than 3 million theater goers.

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Rick Moulton directed VOICE OF AMERICA – LOWELL THOMAS & THE RISE OF BROADCAST NEWS.

 

Sarah Menzies – Afghan Cycles

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AFGHAN CYCLES follows young Afghani women, who brave physical danger and cultural taboos to follow their love of racing bicycles competitively in contemporary Afghanistan.

AfhanCycles6WEB.jpgAfghan Cycles was awarded the Special Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the Seattle International Film Festival, as well as the Best Documentary Feature at the Brooklyn Film Festival, both in 2018.

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Sarah Menzies and her team follow young women in Kabul and Bamiyan Province as they join the Afghan National Women’s Cycling Team and learn bicycle racing under very difficult conditions.

002_SM_AFG_6518.jpgA main focus of the film is Frozan, whose mother – pictured above with Sarah Menzies – encouraged her to join the team, a dream she had not been able to achieve for herself.

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Not only girls are inspired by the women’s racing. In Bamiyan young boys expressed the desire to emulate them as well.

Afghan Cycles is featured at this year’s Mendocino Film Festival on Saturday, June 2nd, at the Coast Cinemas in Fort Bragg at 10:30 a.m.  More information at:

mendocinofilmfestival.org

It will also be featured at The BZN International Film Festival on Saturday morning, June 8, at 10:00 a.m. at the Rialto Black Box.  More information at:

bozemanfilmcelebration.com

 

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