Saturday, April 30, 2011

What is... "BELLFLOWER"?

S. M. Crowningshield
What is Bellflower? The great thing is that the answer to that question doesn’t matter. When discussing a movie, most people usually begin by categorizing: “You’ve Got Mail is a romantic comedy about...” or “Silence of the Lambs is a thriller where...” or “Indiana Jones 4 is a travesty in which...” It’s the film watcher's equivalent of “What do you do?” at a party. 

We need a place to start before we can have a chat with someone, and we often need the same before sitting down with a movie. Studios know this and design their trailers accordingly. Watch the trailer to Rio and it shouts “I’m fun for kids!” while the teaser for Scream 4 whispers “You and your friends are gonna get scared.” 

But watch the trailer to Bellflower and it says....well, huh. It doesn’t say much. A strong, electronic twang and heavy beat reverberates over a greenish hellscape of smoke and dirt. A black, rough looking car with block letters that spell out Medusa sits center frame. Soon a man walks to the beast of car, gets in. Fire spews from the 5-foot high tailpipes and Medusa speeds away. If you like fire-breathing cars it may foretell awesomeness, but even still...what sort of awesomeness, exactly? Blurbs flash on the screen from the likes of the Onion’s AV Club and the Austin Chronicle talking about “mayhem,” “bromance” and “nihilist love story / vengeance tale.” Even the experts who’ve seen it can’t quite classify it, but luckily that’s not Bellflower’s gimmick. It’s merely a side note. 

Most think of unclassifiable movies as shock cinema, too out there for casual consumption. Or maybe as too arty fare from the French New Wave, films from Godard and Buñuel that take oblique hits at concepts like bourgeois culture that most of us simply can’t begin to relate to. Most of these movies are art for artists’ sake. 

Bellflower is art for your sake. It’s a movie you can bring friends to -- you should bring your friends to. These friends can love the Romanian New Wave, or they can love Avatar. It won’t really matter. And nobody needs to fear the lack of context. For those who need that place to start, you only have to watch the movie. It starts you right off in comfortable territory: real life. From the first frame Bellflower is instantly relatable. So feel free to hop in that big, crazy fire-breathing car. You’ll have a fun ride even if you can’t quite classify it later.
Review written by S.M. Crowningshield
Editor: Rod Webber
Published by Reel Zine
© Reel Zine 2011

Friday, April 29, 2011

"WE STILL LIVE HERE" Dir. Anne Makepeace interviewed by Joseph James Bellamy

We Still Live Here is an important film which every modern-day American should see. - Reel Zine

      Âs Nutayuneân
tells a remarkable story of cultural revival by the Wampanoag of Southeastern Massachusetts. Their ancestors ensured the survival of the first English settlers in America, and lived to regret it. Now they are bringing their language home again.
The story begins in 1994 when Jessie Little Doe, an intrepid, thirty-something Wampanoag social worker, began having recurring dreams: familiar-looking people from another time addressing her in an incomprehensible language. Jessie was perplexed and a little annoyed– why couldn’t they speak English? Later, she realized they were speaking Wampanoag, a language no one had used for more than a century. These events sent her and members of the Aquinnah and Mashpee Wampanaog communities on an odyssey that would uncover hundreds of documents written in their language, lead Jessie to a Masters in Linguistics at MIT, and result in something that had never been done before – bringing a language alive again in an American Indian community after many generations with no Native speakers.

"We Still Live Here" plays at The Brattle Theater
2:15 PM Saturday, April 30th
We Still Live Here is part of The International Film Festival of Boston.


FILM REVIEW: CATECHISM CATACLYSM: The New Surrealist's Handbook, by BillyJack Williams 

Todd Rohal is the new Godfather of surrealist cinema. There. I said it. In case you haven’t heard of him, he’s the guy responsible for The Guatemalan Handshake but his latest, Catechism Cataclysm is on a different plane of existence.
Catechism is a Salvador Dali portrait of the mind of a twelve-year-old boy on acid stuck in the body of a priest, jammed into a canoe, swilling a case of beer and rocking out to the Slayer anthology. Rohal achieves this, all while providing the painful belly laughs provided by an all-night marathon of This is Spinal Tap.

The film starts out on a day like any other, (for those of us trying to make up for a life of sin,) in church. Father Billy (Steve Little of HBO’s Eastbound and Down,) is a bumbling, incompetent, viral-video-obsessed priest who lacks the good sense to hide his foibles and idiosyncrasies from his parish. This… and he provides Kaufman-esque belly laughs by yanking the rug out from under our brains ‘til our funny bones can’t take it any more… and start punching the crap out of our stomachs. Rohal’s objective seems to be to twist our minds into a magic-unicorn pretzel, so it is no surprise that his faux-parable spouting Father Billy is a vehicle for bringing the audience on a what-the-fuck-just-happened ride down the murky waters of the river Absurdia only to arrive at a boy-scout camp run by Old Scratch who is presumably messed up on peyote.

On the day that Billy attempts to draw a moral conclusion with the “parable” of an old woman who pulls out a gun on a pair of would-be-thieves, the elder clergy at the Church decide that they’ve had enough. Billy is ordered to reconsider his vocation and sent on a spiritual vacation. Enter Robbie (Robert Longstreet,) the heavy-metal, head-banging roadie/ former boyfriend of Father Billy’s sister. Billy’s sister, naturally is long since out of the picture, but this seems to matter little to our church-going leading man who, as it turns out, has been keeping tabs on his head-banging buddy since high school, and has always been a big fan of his writing. Of course, this is the furthest thing from Robbie’s mind since he can’t even remember Father Billy, and only agreed to the trip to get Billy to stop sending him emails.

The mismatched duo embark on a fishing trip which starts out ordinarily enough, but takes us from kicking back beers, to places in the mind you wouldn’t expect. The trip takes a bizarre turn when Father Billy and Robbie get lost, only to be “rescued” by two sexy-panda-outfit-wearing Asian women with a limited grasp of English. They are accompanied by a stoic trip-guide who speaks not a word until he decides to confess to Father Billy while Billy is falling-down drunk, and urinating in the dark by a tree.

Admittedly, I had no idea what to expect when I fired up my screener copy of the film, but like any good trip, this film is best viewed without any knowledge of what is coming next. So, to do no further injustice to your viewing experience, I will close in saying that this was the funniest film I’ve seen all year. Catechism Cataclysm was like Easy Rider meets The Holy Grail in a canoe. Two epic journeys of epic proportion with enough silly left-turns to keep you doubled-over with laughter for the film’s 75-minute run time. See this movie. I will kill anyone who says this movie wasn’t the funniest thing they’ve seen all year.

Film: "Catachism Cataclysm"
Director: Todd Rohal
Film's website:

Review written by BillyJack Williams
Editor: Joseph James Bellamy
Published by Reel Zine
© Reel Zine 2011

Monday, April 25, 2011



Told mostly in flashback, Sam Moussavi's Amateur Hour is the story of a successful director, "Hayward" (Mark Halpern), financing his first film... by conducting a heist.

His band of then-fledgling filmmakers-cum-criminals is an oddball assortment.

Joey Ibanez as "Richie Boy" is dedicated to the twin endeavors' success... but not so dedicated that he won't complicate matters by synchronizing with the Mayan calendar instead of his co-conspirators' watches.

"Apollonia" (Carolina Monte Rosa) is the luminous, under-appreciated muse of the vaguely morose Hayward. She creates costumes and storyboards for both the planned film and the heist, barely minding, it seems, living in the virtual shadow of Hayward's red-dressed Risky Business-style fantasy girl (Ena Vladi).

For heist-funding purposes, Hayward, Richie Boy, and Apollonia expand their ranks with would-be criminal types of questionable aptitude. Irishman "McGuinn" (Joe Isenberg) is their inside man at the farm whose goat-auction money is their quest. The twinkle in his eyes belies the low wattage behind them. For one thing, he carelessly waltzes his girlfriend, "Persephone" (Caroline O'Grady), into to a crime-plotting meeting. Wild-haired muscle-man "Hardy" (Michael Saltzman) speaks almost entirely in guttural gibberish. Bespectacled "Maynard" (Thomas C. Bartley), who specializes in security alarms, seems the most competent of the caper crew, though he did recruit the other two lugs.

While countless indie films focus on the tribulations of aspiring filmmakers, Amateur Hour refreshes the genre with an original concept. And rather than the usual slapstick, it's almost stately in its execution.

Technically, Amateur Hour is quite accomplished. It has consistently handsome cinematography (shot with a RED One camera), excellent sound, and a fine soundtrack by Tom Nassif and Thievery Corporation. I'd quibble with a detail here and there, such as the hard-audio cuts in early blackout scenes and a couple of jump-cuts that look more like glitches than creative choices. But, in contrast with its title, Amateur Hour is a real movie made on a small budget ($50,000).

What keeps the film afloat is its affection for its ensemble and some winning moments of quirk. Among my favorite touches are the nicely drawn storyboards that map out the caper and occasionally morph into amusing animations. Also amusing, and a little poignant, are Hayward's attempts to interest his fellow felons-to-be in investing in his film.

Some running gags are both entertaining and arguably run into the ground, such as Hardy's mumblemouth, and Hayward's T-shirts with oblique pop-culture references, and the gang's Pulp Fiction-like enthusiasm for a tasty beverage (Virgil's root beer). I've met more than a few indie filmmakers with Hayward's distant mien, so I can't argue with the verisimilitude in the writing and Mark Halpern's fine performance. However, viewers may find it hard to warm to the character.

All told, Amateur Hour stands up as an indie film made at a modest price with solid technique, and representing a distinctive aesthetic. It's a film quite comfortable in its own skin, defiantly unhurried.

Sam Moussavi tells the story of making this, his first feature film, at

Film: "Amateur Hour"
Director: Sam Moussavi
Film's website:

Amateur Hour Trailer from Austere films on Vimeo.

Review written by Justin Fielding
Editor: Rod Webber
Published by Reel Zine
© Reel Zine 2011

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Robert P. Young


"The Joneses" has its premiere tonight at The Boston International Film Festival. The writers, director and many of the cast to be in attendance. 

Festival info:

What happens when you’ve got the face and the body of a grown-up, but the maturity of a high schooler? Well, you play high school games with adult money. That’s the fun we see in “The Joneses,” a quirky film written by Stacey Cruwys and Chris Tyrrell, and directed by the latter. Unfortunately, while you can bounce back from a schoolyard bloody nose, a ride in the ambulance in posh Georgetown, Massachusetts is usually taking you to the morgue. The cast is headed up by four likable leads, as two married couples: James Shalkoski, Jr. and Amy Ulrich  as Mitch and Ally, and Tony Wright and Cruwys as Paul and Suzanne.

The action kicks off following an embarrassing experience on the reality show home makeover show “Space Invaders.” Each couple house-swaps and renovates the others' basement—and while Mitch and Ally adore the other couple’s work, Suzanne despises—on live television--what they’ve done to her place. Suzanne’s lack of grace earns her and Paul the moniker “the bad couple” by neighbors who recognize them later. From then on, each couple (and they are both bad) does its damnedest to corrupt, terrorize, drive apart, or humiliate the other. Sabotaged credit cards. Changed forwarding addresses. Ruined photographs. Faked internet profiles. It’s all there.

For a dark movie, the cinematography stays a lot in the light. It’s refreshing, then, when director of photography Rajah Samaroo opts for more chiaroscuro in certain scenes when the characters are plotting dastardly deeds. These mainly occur with Mitch, and I was always impressed at how the shadows made his already entertaining portrayal much more complex and sinister. Shalkoski’s got a career as John C. Reilly’s evil younger brother if he wants it.

One particularly adept bit of acting and directing comes about halfway into the film, when we discover that Paul—ironically, the most sympathetic character—has been murdered. The murderer was particularly devious, as it was Ally, who fed her friend seafood that he was allergic to while outwardly professing that she wanted to end the feud. Just before Ally’s confession to the murder, Paul’s widow, Suzanne, was offering to let her friends “inherit” some of Paul’s possessions. Mitch shamelessly gripes at the slim pickings that Suzanne has left them. She leaves, and Ally spills the beans. Shalkoski as Mitch does two wonderful turns on a dime emotionally, going from not much more than a boy complaining about the toys he didn’t get at Christmas, to a concerned husband trying to comfort a worrying wife, to finally a man who knows his wife’s (and his) days are numbered.

This 'comedy-of-manners' film got me thinking about an old double standard—a film with an all-white cast is thought to be “universal,” whereas one with an all-black or all-Asian is thought to be “ethnic” or “target marketed.” It disappointed, but didn’t surprise me, that the world of these couples is apparently melanin-free--but then I realized; 1) People do self-segregate, especially if they have the means to; and 2) If Mitch and Ally and Paul and Suzanne had to interact with “the real world” and all its “big boy problems,” we wouldn’t get a chance to peek into the strange zoo cage of upper-middle class WASP-dom. Thanks for the anthropology lesson, Cruwys and Tyrrell! (And you thought you were just writing about your friends!)

And what a lesson. Only in a world where the right china, cashmere, and an ever-ready pizza-boy are king will death and sex be so meaningless. It matters less, for instance, that Paul has a bout with impotence, than that he can lift more than old Mitch at the gym. His wife says as much. One murder is not enough, and next it is Mitch’s spouse, Ally, that takes the dirt nap. But…is she really dead? Or is it just a vindictive trick on Suzanne’s part, so that, once again, she will not be one-down?

These characters and the storyline grew on me. At first, the soap opera-like lighting and the seemingly banal scenario lulled me into a 'been-there-done-that' mindset. But, Tyrrell was far more cunning and his wit was more mordant than I realized. A cake at a wake shaped like someone’s tombstone? A Halloween costume in which the put-upon housewife is literally served up on a platter? Pardon the pun, but delicious!

Despite the constant need to put up a pleasant façade, these pretty, urbane, white thirty-somethings are festering with unmet desires. Why else would they choose to go on reality TV—the lagoon of the obese, the musically tone-deaf, and the low-class? Nobody really loves them for them—so they seek out love in TV-Land. And if having your flaws revealed on a private date is hell, having them revealed at a national level might just drive you to murder.

The twisting and turning ending redeemed whatever small flaws I saw previously in technical execution—as it was well-choreographed camerawork, acting, and pacing. I hope Tyrrell keeps making pictures like this, but goes even deeper into suburban perversion.  Remember when your parents told you not to talk to strangers? The Joneses are those strangers. Don't listen to Mommy and Daddy. Buck the restraining order and catch it tonight at the Boston International Film Festival.

Film: "The Joneses"
Director: Chris Tyrrell
Film's website:
Screening at Boston International Film Festival, May 19th, 2011

Review written by Robert P. Young III
Editor: Rod Webber
Published by Reel Zine
© Reel Zine 2011

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

UtopiaLand Comics: Romney Causes Childhood Psychosis

Hello and welcome to UtopiaLand News.
I'm Mitt Romney
Tonight. Mitt Romney tells us about his exploratory committee, Mitt Romney, Mitt Romney. If you say it enough times, he pops out of a Wedding cake and haunts your children in their dreams until election day. The only way to make him go back in the cake: Stroke him gently and --- aww fuck it. Once he's out, he won't go back in the cake. At least until election day. Also-- make sure to never Comb his hair against the grain. It makes him wonder QUOTE how is this happened in the land that leads the world in innovation and productivity?" END QUOTE.

yes yes yes. We know. Obama this. Obama. Obama Obama. Is it mean, or are all of your memories so fucking short that you've forgotten that the guy who got us into this financial mudslide is George W. Bush? Or was all that just a freaky dream? I do remember sitting back one night after kicking back to Enjoy Sex In The City and endulging in too much Hagen Daz-- when suddenly a slender man in a black vinyl skin-hugging suit came in and began dancing like a worm. When suddenly I looked up and I was in the middle of Afghanistan. There were bullets flying all around me. I didn't know which way was up, or which way was--
Egh hegghm.
It appears I've said too much.
You win this round, Romney.
Just don't think you'll fool us this time with that perfect smile and perfect lips. You haven't gotten any work done since last election. And you're going to have to be Brad Pitt pretty if you want to be president this time.

Elements of "Inventory" Add Up to Great Fun

Joseph Bellamy
Elements of "Inventory" Add Up To Great Fun by Joseph James Bellamy

"Inventory" Premieres at The Regent Theatre Tonight at 7:30 in Arlington

When I opened the envelope containing the screener-copy of “Inventory,” the hilarious new effort from Castparty Productions, a slip of folded paper fell out.

It was a short, industry-oriented note from the producers informing me that I was about to encounter sex, drugs, and foul language. And so I did, giddily. I also encountered the kind of lightning-in-a-bottle comedic magic that infused contemporary ensemble classics like “The Breakfast Club” and “Empire Records.”

The film, a grand-slam giggler concerning the exploits of a group of self-obsessed slackers on inventory day at a small furniture retailer, is side-splitting, clock-punching fun. A brilliant spiritual fusion of “Clerks”, ‘Waiting,” and senior study-hall, “Inventory” is a fresh take on what happens when too much time, too many brains, and not enough motivation are left to ferment in a vat of minimum-wage apathy. Between the romantic musings of the awkward Percy (the quirkily likeable Dennis Hurley), the rising and falling of not one, but two workplace liaisons, and the redemption of a bible-thumping, one-time groupie-rock-slut, Bess (screen-scene favorite Irina Peligrad), the story rings true, and we’ve all been there.

It’s within the framework of the two romances that many of the film’s best jokes are found. Whether it’s the petty sniping between the arrogant Chuck (Ken Breese) and the sensitive Eleanor (Amanda Hurley) or the tongue-in-cheek pillow talk of brusque Greg (Christian Anthony) and the delightfully loopy Zoe (Cat Miller), the pleasures and pitfalls of on the job dating are played to hilarious effect. Did I mention the guy who’s moving on to a better gig, (the too-cool Quentin James) or the foul-mouthed co-worker who thinks they know kung-fu, (the hysterically brash Shelly Nun-Chucks Finnegan.) Sorry about that, I lit up nearly as often the staff at Panda did, so I’m a little less than organized. Like I said, we’ve all been there.

With a crisp, clean visual approach that is less than common in today’s indie-film world and a fun, semi-narrative soundtrack, writer/director/producer Justin Fielding can consider the technical concerns present and accounted for. The camera work was smooth, with the most being made of the single-location setting. The editing and shot-composition were approached in such a way that each exchange between actors not only focused the viewer’s attention, but kept the story on track and in a state of organic motion.

This kind of story is most often played out with a younger cast, usually as an opportunity to show that they can play well with others, ignite chemistry, and have a sense of timing. While all of those skills and more were on full display, I was struck by how many of the cast members seemed to be within my own 30-something age bracket. The overall effect was a sense of heightened reality being lent to the project. Why? The answer is as clear as the black and white of the financial pages.

Many of us ‘adults’ are finding ourselves in the same limbo of job-placement compromises as the staff at the fictional “Panda Furniture.” It may not be in the furniture business, but more and more people are coming face-to-face with a “just-a-job” existence. It’s an existence typified on the screen; an unpleasant, overbearing supervisor, an oblivious, unrealistic employer, and co-workers who seem to not care about the job or the people they work with. The difference in this film’s approach is that previously, characters in these kinds of situations were played as born-losers. Now, it could be anyone of us so called “go-getters.”

Luckily for all of us trudging through the tedium of today’s work place, we can turn to the our friends at Panda Furniture for working-class wit, wholesale humor, and the kind of break-room antics that will keep your funny bone working overtime. If you aren’t sure when you’ll be free to enjoy this first-rate farce of first-shift follies, I suggest faking a sick day. It’ll be well worth the write-up.

True, the premise of the film is something we have all seen before. Workplace comedies were nothing new when “Office Space” informed us all what flair was. What this film offers is the opportunity of recognizing hope. By the end of the workday, we’ve learned a thing or three about the staff of Panda Furniture, as have they from each other. More importantly, we’ve learned that we can make the best of our circumstances, and ourselves, with the least likely of allies. All we have to do is take “Inventory” of our lives.

Film: "Inventory"
Director: Justin Fielding
Film's website:
Screening at The Regent Theater, April 12th, 2011

Review written by Joseph James Bellamy
Editor: Rod Webber
Published by Reel Zine
© Reel Zine 2011

Monday, April 11, 2011

UtopiaLand Comic: Class War/ Superman/ Laurent Gbagbo Captured

Hello, and welcome to UtopiaLand news, I'm Class Warfare.
But first: Class Warfare. What's the big deal? Suffering isn't new. Hellfire is old hat. If this Republican budget plan was really so evil, and the Republicans really don't care about the deficit, what in the name of Krypton do they want?

In lighter news, the new Superman Franchise has cast its new villain, the old Villain from the Christopher Reeve Superman movies. Class Warfare you say? Tax cuts for the wealthiest few Americans? Wrong again. It's general Zod. Who's that you say? General Zod was the guy who escaped from Space Jail to travel to earth and fuck up Superman's shit. Gosh. He sounds like the most villainous of Supervillains. How exactly did he fuck up Superman's shit?

Did he fuck up middle-class tax cuts by ransoming tax cuts for the uber-wealthy? Nope. Did he put on a worry-show for the people of Earth showing his deep concern for us so he could slash and burn federal spending for food assistance and immunizations? Nope. Did he get rid of Medicare and Medicaid? Nope. Burn abortion clinics? nope nope nope.

Well, dammit. This Supervillain is supposed to be the evilest of evil!! But, all he wanted to do was take revenge on Superman because Superman's daddy fucked his shit up. That's some simple Jerry Springer style trailer-park revenge-- Hell- that's some George W. Bush shit. Go figure. I for one believe that this slow apocalypse of Class Warfare the is for the birds. I for one am glad they are bringing back General Zod. If the end of days is upon us, I hope it's a simple ending... And in the final moments Superman gets in a fist-fight with a tornado, not us getting fisted by the Republican budget plan.
That's news. See you in space jail Ivory Coast's strongman Laurent Gbagbo.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

UtopiaLand Comic: Gaytastrophe 2011: The Glennd of Days

Today in headlines, Barack and Boehner still not getting along, Cindy Jacobs hates gay people, and Glenn Beck is leaving his show.

But first: Glenn Beck is leaving his show? Fox News started by conservative nostradamus and Billionaire Rupert Murdoch announced yesterday that his epic love affair with the Glenn-meister... alas-- was finally over. According to inside sources Murdock told Beck, "it's not you, it's me." The conservative couple tenderly embraced, and prepared for Beck's departure. But never fear-- even though they will now be seeing other people, the terrible twosome say they will do their best to work together-- if only for the sake of the kids.

In other gay news, Cindy Jacobs who earlier this year blamed flocks of dead birds falling from the sky on the repeal of don't ask don't tell, made it clear that the tsunami and volcanoes in japan are the fault of the gays too.

Damn those gays who wont they kill next? Volcanoes. Radiation. Its not fair. They're killing everyone. The gays want to bring the end of days. God damn you gays! And John Boehner still hates Barack Obama. See you in hell douche bags!

Indie Film UnderGround: Tonight in Denver

Rod Webber

Hear Ye!!! Hear Ye!!! 
It's John Hartman!
John Hartman, proponent of all things Indie, all things Film, and all things Underground! So, it would only be natural to assume that when John Hartman puts on a film festival... He'd call it Indie Film Underground.

Hartman's goal in creating the event is to bring avant-garde filmmakers out into the open, so that there is a place to see films that aren't necessarily about lawn gnomes. Although, knowing Hartman's sensibilities; German Expressionism, grainy super-8 footage, Dutch angles, I wouldn't be surprised if after reading this interview, he set out to make a film about lawn gnomes. John's films are always boundary-pushing. John's films are always beautiful, but not in that Hollywood way. John is able to find beauty in a darkened corridor in the pit of an old castle. John can find beauty in an old trash can.

To be assured, if John did set out to make a film about a lawn gnome, I'm sure that the way in which he shot it would if not blow your mind, at the very least, allow you to see that garden gnome in a new light. Now, all of this talk of gnomes is not to say that I'm not a big fan of Gnomeo and Juliet.... After all, Gnomeo is (technically) the Bard. But, I think you know what I'm driving at.

Come to think of it, I think that John's film Petrified does have a lawn gnome in it... I will have to revisit that one.

If you are in Denver tonight, check out John's film fest. If the films he has programmed are anything like  the films that he creates, it is sure to be mind opening. Check it out!

Written by Rod Webber

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Connecticut Film Festival Kicks Off with Dislecksia: The Movie

Rod Webber

The CT Film Festival Kicks Off with "Dislecksia: The Movie"

Tonight, The Connecticut Film Festival kicks off in Danbury. Featuring more than 60 films, and jam-packed with film industry workshops and panels, this year’s event (from April 6th to 10th) is sure to be a memorable one.
Festival director, Tom Carruthers says, “every film we’re showing is going to strike a nerve, summoning emotions that viewers may not have felt in years.”

Opening Night, begins at The Palace Theatre with Dislecksia: The Movie, the thought provoking and educational film by Harvey Hubbell. The comic documentary, explores Dyslexia, brain science, educational breakthroughs and the hurdles that are blocking advancements in information of this learning deficiency. There will be post-film discussion and Q&A followed by conversation in the grand lobby of The Palace Theatre when the audience is treated to an upscale film industry cocktail reception to benefit The United Way of Western Connecticut, WeCAHR and Dislecksia: The Movie, sponsored by Union Savings Bank. 

Please visit the festival website for a full schedule of events. We hope to see you there!!

Written by Rod Webber

SENE Festival entertains April 6-10 in Rhode Island

SENE Festival Entertains
by Mike Messier

Artistic Director Philip Capobres and his hard working crew bring us the third annual SENE Film, Music, and Arts Festival from April 6 - 10th in several Providence and Pawtucket, RI locations.

I was a welcomed filmmaker at last year's festival, screening my Wrestling With Sanity Short Film Trilogy, along with several other regional short films, at a very comfortable theater called The Cable Car Cinema (204 South Main Street, Providence). The Cable Car is known affectionately as “the movie theater with couches”. After all the films played at last year's showcase, Alec Asten of Westerly, RI hosted a Q and A session with us local filmmakers. This year, Alec is featuring his own short film, The Phantom Pervert of Poquamuck, as part of this year's regional film showcase, at the Chace Center's Metcalf Auditorium at the RISD (Rhode Island School of Design) Museum on Saturday, April 9th at 5:30pm.

The Cable Car Cinema will also be a part of this year's festival, hosting several screenings throughout the festival. One to take note of is a free screening of Haiti: Triumph, Sorrow and the Struggle of a People by director Jonas Nosile and editor Tim Labonte, who will be in attendance. The documentary has been well received and recently won an Associated Press New England Regional Award.

SENE Fest kicks off with its traditional opening night party at Pawtucket's PeaceLove Studios (200 Main Street, Pawtucket) on Wednesday, April 6th form 6pm – 11pm.. For only $10, party-goers will enjoy complimentary beer by Magic Hat, wine, and hors d'ouevres and dessert by Chelo's restaurant. Music will be supplied by Sarah Ann McGinnis, Lindsay Adler, Allysen Callery and Pat & Sarah Tallarico. Expect a festive, fun and fabulous evening, where you learn more about the week's films, music and poetry events, connect with great people, and tap into a whole new “scene” of South East New England artists.

Kick off your Spring with the week long celebration of the Arts that is SENE Festival 2011!

Hope you choose to join us!

For more information, please visit

Written by Mike Messier
Editor: Rod Webber

UtopiaLand Comic: Government Shutdown/ Bristol Palin Makes A Killing

Today in headlines, The Government threatens to shut down, Bristol Palin makes a killing, and our new segment, What's more American?

But first: Today, the White House expressed frustrations after House speaker John Boehner announced that it aint down with the 73Billion in cuts Dems proposed to the budget. Despite the fact that Barack seems to have met Boehner's original demands, Boehner's response: "Go fuck yourself." In lighter news, Bristol Palin's speeches about abstinence made her a quarter million this year. A clear financial wizard. I say if she can make that much money talking about NOT having sex-- Well screw it-- have her balance the budget.
Either that, or bring out Mini Me from Austin Powers, so he can leave a warm steaming turd on my high school math book.... cuz something aint adding up.

That's news for now. Let's all go make some babies, I can see a bright future on the horizon!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

UtopiaLand Comic: The Governator Trailer Episode

Today's top headlines, Schwartzenegger's Governator trailer has arrived. There's nothing else to report. What can I say? Arnold is king. He's king he's king he's king. Or at least he would be if they got rid of those pesky rules about being an American to run for president.

In other news, that guy who is president now says it is tribunal time for the 9-11 jerk-faces. No civilian court for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. We must bring him to Guantanamo bay for a military tribunal. It is a good decision, and if Arnold was president, he would have made it first.

That is why the time is now for us to use time-travel technology from terminator so that we can bring Arnold back in time to be born in the United States. This way, he can use all of his proven cartoon superhero superpowers to bring these criminals to justice.
Also, when elected, he will use his Governating powers to stop the tsunami, from making the radiation which is making the Godzillas which are taking over Tokyo. He will make Viagra free for everyone, he will CRUSH the birthers, and Gaddaffi, and hunt down bin Laden, and we will live in peace and tranquility for as long as his cartoon stays on the air.

That's news for now. I am UtopiaLand.
Isn't it fun living in the End of Days?

Monday, April 4, 2011

UtopiaLand Comic: Obama's Re-Bid, Terry Jones, Radioactive Milk

Today in headlines Barack Obama uses the internets to announce his bid for re-election, Terry Jones likes getting people killed, and I build a dairy farm in my basement to that I can have radiation-free milk.

But first: Barack Obama formally announced Monday that he would once again be seeking the highest seat in our nation as a representative of the Democratic party, sending shockwaves throughout the nation. With three wars on his hands, including his latest military you got to be fucking kidding me launched without the consent of Congress, most assumed he had switched sides, and this time around would be heading up the ticket for the GOP.

In his announcement, Obama encouraged Americans to protect all the change he had brought in his first term. Okay, sure, he passed his health bill, the act for 9-11 responders, gays in the military. But you can't go blowing up every country with oil and still tell me with a straight face that you're not looking a little like ol' George W Bush these days. I digress.

In lighter news, Pastor Terry Jones (not of Monty Python) burned his Koran, and upsetting the muslim world and Moustache afficionadoes everywhere by ruining that look for everyone. Much like Hitler did with his lip fuzz. Here in the states- I still don't like Rebecca Black or her song.

That's the news. Isn't it fun being a part of end times?

Friday, April 1, 2011

UtopiaLand Comic: James Earl Ray Still a Douche/ Fidel Castro Dies

New photos of an old douche-bag released. James Earl Ray, who assassinated Martin Luther King on April 4th, 1968 is the douche-baggish star of this new photo-spread. The photos reveal the startling revelation that: Once a douche-bag, always a douche-bag. I hope that scientists one day clone him so that he can be released into a dinosaur park, and his flesh can be torn from the bones by a velociraptor.

Also: Fidel Castro died. He was believed to have a robotic colon. That's news for now. I'm Chuck Smilington, wishing you nuclear-radiation-free weekend.