Monthly Archives: December 2022

Rob Grabow THE YEAR OF THE DOG

The Bozeman Film Society begins their 2023 season of bringing outstanding films to Bozeman with the locally produced film, THE YEAR OF THE DOG, screening at the Ellen Theatre on Jan. 4th. We spoke with Rob Grabow, who wrote, produced, co-directed, co-edited, and starred in, this film.

A portion of the proceed benefits the Heart of the Valley Animal Shelter.

As it says on the film’s website, https://www.theyearofthedogmovie.com/

Rob landed his first movie role at 15 in the Oscar-nominated film starring Ethan Hawke, Snow Falling on Cedars. He’s been hooked since then. More recently, he has had speaking roles in the Syfy series Z Nation and the critically acclaimed film Mickey and the Bear, which premiered at Cannes and SXSW film festivals.

He wrote, directed, produced, and starred in the multi-award-winning short film Method, which premiered at the Chelsea Film Festival, where Academy Award-winning screenwriter Paul Haggis (Crash, Million Dollar Baby) awarded Rob the Best Original Screenplay award. Rob was also nominated for Best Actor and Best Director at the Beaufort International Film Festival. He is an alum of the MFA Acting program at the Actor’s Studio Drama School in New York.

Some of Rob’s more esoteric life highlights include backpacking into Egypt two weeks before the war in Iraq, consulting Bhutan on its public advertising policy, and traveling to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake to write an article for Rolling Stone magazine.

Also featured is Michael Spears, the famous Lakota actor who has lived in Bozeman for 17+ years. Michael Spears’s role as Otter in Dances with Wolves (1990) catapulted him into film, music, and public speaking. Some of Spears’s career highlights since Dances with Wolves include his role as Dog Star in Spielberg’s 2005 miniseries Into the West and his role as Tenkill in Angels in Stardust (2014), for which he received critical acclaim in The New York Times. In 2014 and 2015, Spears played Savanukah in Colonial Williamsburg’s open-air stage production of The Beloved Women of Chota, the first Indigenous-centric production of its kind for Colonial Williamsburg. Spears also works in the film industry as a technical adviser for Native American cultures, soundtrack recording artist, and voiceover actor. When not filming, he travels as a keynote speaker on topics such as indigenous health and wellness, mental health, and Lakota spirituality.

Of course, one of Rob’s co-stars is Caleb, a rescue dog who had bounced between foster homes for years because he was reportedly “too much dog”—is there such a thing? He eventually landed in the loving care of Cathy and Gregg Pittman of the Performing Animal Troupe. His crucial performance as Yup’ik, in The Year of the Dog marks Caleb’s feature-film debut. Rumors of Brando reincarnated floated around set.

Jon Proudstar is a veteran actor of forty-two productions. He is currently a reoccurring character on FX/Disney’s Reservation Dogs. Jon had six big releases in 2021, which include Reservation Dogs, The Heart Stays, Wastelander, Deep Woods, and Mammoth. A product of the Sundance Institute’s 1997 Native American Writers Lab, Proudstar was chosen for the 2005 Directors Lab, where he worked alongside Ed Harris, Stanley Tucci, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and Robert Redford. Some of Proudstar’s more notable films are Bodies, Rest & Motion (1993 Cannes Film Festival), Skinwalkers, Barking Water, and Four Sheets to the Wind. Jon trained at Los Angeles Theatre and with legendary acting coach Joan Darling.

Darwin Lumbattis is a Butte-based Army Veteran who served 16 years including active-duty combat in Iraq from 1990-1992 before retiring as a Calvary Scout. He is an avid dog-safety advocate and founder of the Rocky Mountain Working Dogs. Darwin served as a key advisor on all matters concerning weight pulling — he also proved his acting chops during an audition and landed a key speaking role in the film.

Howard French BORN IN BLACKNESS: Africa, Africans, and the Making of the Modern World, 1471 to the Second World War

Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism Professor, Howard French, was awarded 2022’s Museum of African American History (MAAH) Stone Book Award as well as The Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, for his latest book, BORN IN BLACKNESS: AFRICA, AFRICANS, and the MAKING of the MODERN WORLD, 1471 to the SECOND WORLD WAR, published by Liveright.

Before returning to academia, he was a New York Times foreign correspondent in West and Central Africa, as well as the Times’ bureau chief in the Caribbean and Central America, before becoming their Tokyo bureau chief and then their bureau chief in Shanghai, China. In addition to the New York Times, he has contributed to the New York Review of Books, The Atlantic, The Guardian Longreads and Foreign Policy.

His earlier books include A Continent for the Taking: The Tragedy and Hope of Africa; China’s Second Continent: How a Million Migrants are Building a New Empire in Africa; and Everything Under the Heavens: How the Past Helps Shape China’s Push for Global Power.

We spoke with Howard French on December 20, 2022 via Skype, overcoming numerous technical difficulties.

Articles pertinent to this interview:

World Politics Review Articles written by Howard W. French https://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/author/howard-w-french/

How Africa Can Avoid Getting Scrambled https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/12/19/us-africa-leaders-summit-china-russia-competition-scramble/

Abu Bakr II: Did the King of Ancient Mali go to America? https://www.historicmysteries.com/abu-bakr-ii-america/

The Songhai Empire – Africa’s Age of Gold https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfUT6LhBBYs

African leaders gather in US as Joe Biden aims to reboot rocky relations https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/dec/13/african-leaders-gather-in-us-as-joe-biden-aims-to-reboot-rocky-relations

Archbishop of Canterbury apologises over Church fund’s link to slavery https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-61834511

Netherlands slavery: Saying sorry leaves Dutch divided https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-63993283

US House to remove bust of judge who wrote Dred Scott decision defending slavery https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/dec/15/house-votes-remove-bust-roger-taney-dred-scott-us-capitol

For U.S. Museums With Looted Art, the Indiana Jones Era Is Over https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/13/arts/museums-looted-art-repatriation.html

We ended the 12/23/22 broadcast version of this program with the Ukrainian folk song, Shchedryk, from a recording by Helena Androsova singing all of the voices first with English then Ukrainian Lyrics. It is known in the U. S. as Carol of the Bells. You can hear/view her performance here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqeJ38DThVc

‘Carol of the Bells,’ a Christmas Staple from Ukraine, a Century Later https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/20/arts/music/carol-of-the-bells-shchedryk-ukraine.html?action=click&module=Well&pgtype=Homepage&section=Music

Michael Shermer CONSPIRACY: Why the Rational Believe the Irrational

Dr. Michael Shermer is a Presidential Fellow at Chapman University. He is the co-founder of The Skeptics Society and founding publisher of Skeptic magazine. He has been a college professor since 1979, teaching courses such as Skepticism 101. He was a monthly columnist for Scientific American for 18 years.

Among his books are WHY PEOPLE BELIEVE WEIRD THINGS; WHY DARWIN MATTERS; THE SCIENCE OF GOOD AND EVIL, and GIVING THE DEVIL HIS DUE: REFLECTIONS OF A SCIENTIFIC HUMANIST. His latest book, CONSPIRACY: WHY THE RATIONAL BELIEVE THE IRRATIONAL, is published by the Johns Hopkins University Press.

We spoke with him via Skype on December 5, 2022. The next day, a New York jury found The Trump Organization guilty of 17 felonies, including conspiracy. The day after that, 3,000 officers conducted searches at 130 sites in 11 of Germany’s 16 states against the group, Reich Citizens, whose members it said adhered to a conglomerate of conspiracy theories, including the QAnon cult and the so-called Reich Citizens movement.

Articles and videos pertinent to this interview can be found here:

My Gentle, Intelligent Brother Is Now A Conspiracy Theorist And His Beliefs Are Shocking https://www.huffpost.com/entry/brother-conspiracy-theory_n_61dd94afe4b061afe3b83cec

Attacks on Pacific north-west power stations raise fears for US electric grid https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/dec/09/us-power-grid-pacific-northwest-attacks

Far-Right Group Suspected in German Plot Gained Strength From QAnon https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/08/world/europe/germany-plot-qanon.html?action=click&module=Well&pgtype=Homepage&section=World%20News

Peru’s President Tried to Dissolve Congress. By Day’s End, He Was Arrested. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/07/world/americas/peru-pedro-castillo-coup.html

Bonhoeffer‘s Theory of Stupidity https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ww47bR86wSc

Bonhoeffer on Stupidity (entire quote) http://southsidemessenger.com/bonhoeffer-on-stupidity-entire-quote/

The Five Laws Of Stupidity https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3O9FFrLpinQ

‘Extinction is on the table’: Jaron Lanier warns of tech’s existential threat to humanity https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/nov/27/jaron-lanier-tech-threat-humanity-twitter-social-media

The size of the U.S. Jewish population < 4% of population https://www.pewresearch.org/religion/2021/05/11/the-size-of-the-u-s-jewish-population/

Skeptic Check: Shared Reality http://bigpicturescience.org/episodes/skeptic-check-shared-reality