Archive for September, 2010

Some film festivals cater mainly to filmgoers. Some bring together filmmakers, distributors, critics and others involved in the art and the business of movies but don’t encourage the general public to participate. Certainly events of both types have their functions, and can achieve them with élan.

But some festivals successfully merge the commonly distinct audience- and industry-orientation. Indie Memphis is one of those special events that offers movie-lovers opportunities to see some films that otherwise might not make it to their local multiplex (as well as others that will end up there later on) and brings together the peers and colleagues responsible for those films. The organizers do a great job of putting together a fine, fun event.

Nancy and I are very pleased to have a work from the Poetry in Pictures Series in Indie Memphis for a second time. A Noiseless Patient Spider was part of the festival’s 12th annual programming in 2009. Imperfect Armor will be a part of Indie 13 in October.


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Imperfect Armor will be screening as part of the Los Angeles International Film Festival’s opening night festivities at the Beyond Baroque Theater in Venice on Thursday, October 7. See the film screening list for details. As mentioned previously, the Poetry in Pictures Series short film my wife and I made won a couple of prizes.

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Some books seem engineered to sell big and feel written with the sale of movie rights in the author’s mind. These bids for bestsellerdom take a dramatic event and treat it as if it occurred at the nexus of major forces – history, politics, the environment, the economy, etc. – but without dwelling to much on the boring bits included to make the bloody story seem important.

The Oregonian has posted my review of John Vaillant’s The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival. See the Sunday, September, 19, 2010, edition of the paper if you prefer print.

Vaillant is scheduled to read from The Tiger at Powell’s City of Books on October 1.

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The complete Wordstock Festival schedule has been posted.

I’ll be sharing the McMenamins Stage with Matt Love on Saturday, October, 9, 2010, from 2 to 3 pm. Love’s new book is Gimme Refuge: The Education of a Caretaker. I’ll be reading from Fighters & Writers.

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Philosopher, boxing trainer and newspaperman Gordon Marino has an insightful column about the benefits of boxing – mainly related to the acquisition of the underappreciated virtue of courage – over at The New York Times “Opinionator” blog.

Though in a piece reprinted in Fighters & Writers I dispute remarks Marino made years ago in another boxing-related column at his usual paper, the Wall Street Journal, I do recommend his September 15, 2010, Times piece. (I don’t suggest wading through the readers’ comments, however. There are too many of the reflexive, simplistic “boxing hurts brains” type. Certain kinds of readers must feel the need to say something, anything, even if doing so only demonstrates that they paid little or no attention to the article in question.) I also address the oft-overlooked upside of boxing an essay in my book.

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An image from Imperfect Armor adorns the festival guide for the 2010 Kansas International Film Festival. The still shows a clay elephant, one of several stop-motion puppets used in the film, which also features sand and shadow puppets as well as animation involving paintings and life-action footage. Along with the other animated shorts listed beside the picture, Imperfect Armor is scheduled to show at 7:25 pm on Tuesday, October 5.

Later in the same month, the film (created and directed by my wife, Nancy) will also be shown as part of the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival. Another installment in the Poetry in Pictures SeriesA Noiseless Patient Spider (based on Walt Whitman’s poem) – was an official selection of the 2009 CICFF. Imperfect Armor will be part of the “Relative Thinking” program on Thursday, October 28. (The organizers evidently deemed my poem most appropriate for high school aged “children.”)

As of this writing, the Carmel Art & Film Festival, which will also include Imperfect Armor, has yet to post its schedule.

More to come…

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The October 2010 issue of The Ring includes a story about the Independence Day celebration of the Jack Johnson-Jim Jeffries fight. Joseph Santoliquito’s article focuses on the happy meeting of relatives of two fighters who didn’t shake hands either before or after their bout – something I also reported after returning from the centennial events in Reno.

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