Category Archives: film

Richard Gray MURDER AT YELLOWSTONE CITY

Richard Gray has directed movies such as Robert the Bruce, Broken Ghost and Sugar Mountain. His latest film, MURDER AT YELLOWSTONE CITY, is the first feature length film to have been shot at the new Yellowstone Film Ranch outside of Pray, MT.

In this interview, we discuss the challenges of filming during Covid; his partnership with Livingston’s Carter Boehm and Chico Hot Spring proprietor, Colin Davis, in building the Yellowstone Film Ranch; their efforts to help pass The Montana Economic Development Industry Advancement (MEDIA) Act; and prospects for the Montana Film Industry after its passage.

The Bozeman Film Society will be premiering MURDER AT YELLOWSTONE RANCH on Friday, July 22 at the historic Ellen Theater. They post this at their website: The once peaceful and booming Yellowstone City has fallen on hard times, but when a local prospector strikes gold, things seem to be turning around. Any hope is soon shattered when the prospector is found dead and the Sheriff quickly arrests a mysterious newcomer. But nothing is so simple in this sleepy western town, and more than a few of the locals have secrets to keep and reasons to kill. As the brutal murders continue, pitting neighbor against neighbor, Yellowstone City goes down a bloody path to a final showdown that not all will survive. 123 minutes. NR. Starring: Gabriel Byrne, Thomas Jane, Isaiah Mustafa, Anna Camp, Aimee Garcia, Emma Kenney, with Nat Wolff, and Richard Dreyfuss.

We interviewed director/producer Richard Gray on July 11, 2022.

Articles pertinent to this interview:

https://bozemanfilmsociety.org/event/murder-at-yellowstone-city/

‘Murder at Yellowstone City’ Review: A Well-Crafted Mix of Traditional Western and Murder Mystery Elements https://variety.com/2022/film/reviews/murder-at-yellowstone-city-review-1235301280/

Yellowstone Film Ranch https://bigskyjournal.com/yellowstone-film-ranch/

Alana Waksman WE BURN LIKE THIS

The film, WE BURN LIKE THIS, is a debut feature written, directed and produced by Alana Waksman.

It’s a coming-of-age story of historical trauma, survival, and healing. When 22-year-old Rae, a descendant of Holocaust survivors, is targeted by Neo-Nazis in Billings, Montana, her ancestors’ trauma becomes real. It’s inspired by true events and features a terrific ensemble cast of largely Montana actors, as well as film crew.

We spoke with Alana Waksman on June 10, 2022.

From the website https://www.weburnlikethis.com/

director’s statement
I never met my grandparents. They were taken from their homes near Radomsko, Poland in 1942 and survived forced labor camps as young teenagers in Russia. I have been told that my grandfather survived a period of time by eating grass. After the war, my grandparents found themselves at a displaced persons camp in Germany. This is where my dad was born, and two years later they were able to immigrate to Brooklyn, New York. My grandparents were proud to be Americans, but my father grew up ashamed of his immigrant and Jewish identities as it was often the reason he was singled out, threatened, and bullied.
The day after the 2016 election, Neo-Nazi pamphlets showed up on the doorsteps of Har Shalom Synagogue in Missoula, Montana where I was living at the time. For the first time in my life, my family’s history was suddenly very real. 
I made this film in order to sort through my thoughts about my identity, the inherited effects of historical trauma, and what self-acceptance and self-love looks like. We Burn Like This is my debut feature, which I have been developing for the last seven years. It is my contribution to the greater healing of Jewish bigotry, which continues to be even more important, timely, and urgent.
The storming of the capitol on January 6th was a continued reminder after an exhausting and frightening four years that we are living beside much hatred and rage, and our new administration does not erase the true colors and feelings of our fellow Americans. I believe that it matters to share this story and inspire discussion about Jewish identity and historical trauma in present day America.
May we find a way to forgive, accept, and love ourselves and others. May we find the perfection even in the darkest times and in the darkest memories. May this film be a part of that process, and may we all radically heal.
-Alana Waksman

Only love can stop war: a Northern Cheyenne chief’s call to the world https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/jun/17/only-love-can-stop-war-a-call-to-the-world-from-a-northern-cheyenne-chie

Chikara Motomura: JOURNEY TO HOKUSAI

Chikara Motomura produced, wrote, directed, edited, and did the cinematography & sound in his film, JOURNEY TO HOKUSAI, which follows Marin County artist, Tom Killion, from his northern California studio to Kyoto, Japan, to study with 5th generation master print makers to learn how to print in the Japanese wood block tradition of Katsushika Hokusai.

In but four and a half days, he produced beautiful wood block prints using the ancient techniques on paper made by “Living National Treasure,” Ichibei Iwano, ninth generation master papermaker.

Moonlit Sierra Pines by Tom Killian (2018)

Sara Dosa: FIRE OF LOVE

Sara Dosa wrote, directed and produced the extraordinary documentary, FIRE OF LOVE. It premiered at this year’s Sundance Festival as the Day One film in the US Documentary Competition, & won the Jonathan Oppenheimer Editing Award for Erin Casper & Jocelyne Chaput’s superb editing, as well as raves from critics. Her work has won a Peabody Award for AUDRIE & DAISY and an Emmy Award for REMASTERED: TRICKY DICK AND THE MAN IN BLACK.

National Geographic Films acquired FIRE OF LOVE for release in 2022. It screens at the Mendocino Film Festival audiences on June 3rd & 4th at the Coast Cinemas.

FIRE OF LOVE recounts the love between, and work of, two young French volcanologists, Katia and Maurice Kraffts, whose courageous exploration and documentation of volcanoes revolutionized our understanding of Earth processes. They dedicated their lives to trying to answer questions like “what forms & re-forms the world.” and “What is it that makes the Earth’s heart beat, her blood flow?”

They were one in their obsession with volcanoes, but they were complementary in their approaches and division of labor, which certainly advanced the success of their work. When asked if they were the only volcanologist couples in one of their many media appearances, Maurice said he “doesn’t think there are any other couples, & if there are, I pity them, because it’s very hard for volcanologists to live together – it’s volcanic…. We erupt often.”

FIRE OF LOVE is dedicated to the 43 people who lost their lives on Mt. Unzen on June, 3, 1991, which is when Katia and Maurice Krafft were finally consumed by that eruption they were studying.

You can hear our 2015 interview with Gillen D’Arcy Wood about his book, TAMBORA: THE ERUPTION THAT CHANGED THE WORLD here: https://forthright.media/2022/05/25/gillen-darcy-wood-tambora-the-eruption-that-changed-the-world/

Why Was the Tonga Eruption So Massive? Scientists Have New Clues https://www.wired.com/story/why-was-the-tonga-eruption-so-massive-scientists-have-new-clues/?utm_source=pocket-newtab

Jessica Watkins SPECIALish

Jessica Watkins is a stand-up comedian, actress and producer, whose documentary, SPECIALish, is being released on May 11, 2021 through Random Media. Combining her love of standup and adventure, SPECIALish follows Jessica’s  2014 walk across America. She spent over 8 months on a solo walking comedy tour beginning at Lewes, Delaware and ending in Oceanside, California. She performed standup in a dozen states along the way, pushing a running stroller full of gear and living off the kindness of strangers. She filmed over 300 hours of footage chronicling her experience, recorded a comedy special upon return to tell her story, and combined the two to create the award winning documentary, SPECIALish, which was the winner of Best Film at The Broad Humor Festival and Best Film at New Filmmakers Festival NYC .

You can find out more about Jessica Watkins and SPECIALish by going to her website:

jessicawatkinscomedy.com or via instagram @ ajessicawtkins.

Beth Ann Kennedy Bozeman Film Celebration/BZN International Film Festival

On August 14, 2020, we spoke with Beth Ann Kennedy, artistic/managing director of the Bozeman Film Celebration, about how she came to create the BZN International Film Festival, whose first season was in June of 2018. Her training in speech, music, dance and the dramatic arts, from the early 1970s, as well as her decades of experience acting, directing and producing in theater and film, contributed to her success in bringing to Bozeman what has become an annual Film Festival. Her excellent interpersonal skills and work with business and international government leaders, educators, entertainment celebrities, musicians, choreographers and thousands of American youths, prepared her for the gargantuan effort of coordinating the many people and jobs required in bringing a film festival into reality. After only its second year, the BZN International Film Festival was listed by Film Freeway among the top 100 festivals in the world. We asked her about her experiences, challenges, and goals over the past three years, and about re-creating the festival during a pandemic. Our conversation in a garden includes commentary from the neighborhood birds and dogs.

Members of the 2019 BZN International Film Festival Staff

Some of the 2020 BZN International Film Festival Staff, dutifully socially distancing. Beth Ann Kennedy in white top at center.

The Great American Lie – Soraya Chemaly

Screen Shot 2020-08-15 at 2.51.47 PM.pngEmmy Award-winning filmmaker, and First Partner of California Jennifer Siebel Newsom’s newest documentary is The Great American Lie. The film exposes social and economic immobility, viewed through the lens of our gendered values.

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After the response to her first film, Miss Representation, which came out in 2011, Jennifer Siebel Newsom created The Representation Project.

Our guest today on Radio Goes to the Movies is Soraya Chemaly. She is the Executive Director of The Representation Project, which has produced two more feature length documentaries examining the harmful impacts of the role gender exerts in our culture for both males and females, as shown in the second film, The Mask You Live In.

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The third film, which is being screened at the 2020 BZN International Film Festival, is THE GREAT AMERICAN LIE.
Soraya Chemaly is an award-winning writer, activist, and media critic. She writes and speaks frequently on topics related to social justice, free speech, violence, and technology. The former director and co-founder of the Women’s Media Center Speech Project, she has long been committed to expanding women’s civic and political participation and the power of socially transformative storytelling.

Soraya-Chemaly_Please-Credit-Karen-Sayre-1024x520
Her work as a writer, activist, and organizer is featured widely in media, books, and academic research. She is the author of the seminal book, Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women’s Anger.
Soraya currently serves on the national boards of the Women’s Media Center, Women in Journalism, and the DC Volunteer Lawyers Project. We spoke with her on August 12, 2020.

Screen Shot 2020-08-15 at 2.52.06 PM.pngNewsome interviewing journalist Charles M. Blow for The Great American Lie

Here is the link to the article cited in the interview:

Treatment of vice presidential contenders highlights struggle to overcome patriarchal status quo By Jennifer Siebel Newsom and Soraya Chemaly   https://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/article/Treatment-of-VP-contenders-shows-struggle-to-15465771.php

 

 

Zac Titus & Alexis Titus – TWO YELLOW LINES

Father-daughter actors, Zac Titus and Alexis Titus joined us on Radio Goes to the Movies to discuss their film, TWO YELLOW LINES, which is premiering at the virtual 2020 BZN International Film Festival. It won the Best Narrative Feature Award at the festival.

A006_C004_0611EN.0001387“Veteran smokejumper Jack Elliot fells trees on a steep mountain slope high in the Montana wilderness. He’s one of a five-man crew harvesting beetle-infested pines. It’s a long road from the frenetic lifestyle of a smokejumper, but after losing most of his unit in a runaway backcountry fire, the tranquility of a quiet wood is a welcomed peace.A015_C006_0615LD.0000735.jpgHis phone rings.  Jack’s estranged ex-wife can’t pick up their teenage daughter from camp in Wyoming.A031_C002_062154.0001565.jpgAfter the fire, Jack lost himself, and consequently lost his family. He hasn’t seen either of them in five years. Hesitant at first, he agrees.A033_C014_0622CT.0000506.jpgWhen Jack arrives at Sky Camp, it’s not exactly what he was expecting. He pulls in on his ’98 Dyna, sleeping bags latched to the back, eating the dust of a black G-Wagon. When Hanna sees her Dad, out in the middle of nowhere, atop a twenty year old Harley, it’s not exactly what she’d had in mind, either. Reluctantly she gets on.A021_C018_06172U.0001754.jpgOver the next four days, we watch these two strangers battle as they ride across the wild Montana landscape and sleep beneath her bounty of stars. Watching his baby grow into a young woman, and seeing her hero shrink to a man, a battle that starts off as face to face, slowly becomes back to back.

Screen Shot 2020-08-13 at 5.58.42 PM.pngBut the mountains, the passersby, and the small seat of a motorcycle can only do so much to bring them together. The rest is up to them.”                                       from the website,  https://www.twoyellowlinesfilm.com/

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