Monday, August 29, 2011

Rod Webber Band "Bang" at The Burren

An oldy but a goody.
Going through the archive to get some more of this stuff out there.

Rod Webber: Guitar/ Vocals
Luke Bellamy: Drums (off camera)
Matt Ferrel: Bass/ Vocals
Chris Canney: Lead Guitar (mostly off camera)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Fanny, Annie & Danny @ White Sands International Film Festival

Christmas hasn't come soon enough this year? Check out Fanny, Annie & Danny at White Sands International Film Festival this Saturday.

The film is a hilarious dysfunctional family gathering which has been served up with a Christmas turkey full of peyote... Or bad-brown acid... Or you take your pick of which form of "crazy" you like your family during the holidays. The film is a film which needs to be seen, more than it can be explained, since it is as I imagine a variation on what many of us experience when the holidays roll around. Thankfully, we've been given the opportunity to laugh at it-- so if you're in the are and you can make it down, check it out, or go to the website for updates on the DVD release. A fun time will be had for all, and excellent for stocking stuffers!

Fanny plays at the White Sands International Film Festival, Sat, Aug 27th @ 10am. Q&A following with filmmaker Chris Brown and actor Jill Pixley. 

Fanny Website

Written by T.S. Harmon
Editor: Rod Webber

Saturday, August 20, 2011

PJ Pacifico at Levitt Pavilion Aug 19th

PJ Pacifico. Mix up a little Cat Stevens and James Taylor and add a pinch of country, brought to you circa 2011, and you've got yourself PJ Pacifico, the man who has been hitting the stage for up to 4 nights a week for the past year. Pacifico is promoting the material from his third and latest recording, Outlet out on Viper Records this past June. Pacifico's mellow vibe and rich harmonies are the perfect companion to a warm summer night with good friends... Preferably sipping on a cool drink.

Pacifico has got gigs booked through the fall throughout the country, which means that if he's in your neck of the woods, it will only be for a short time. So, check him out while you can. He puts on an amazing show, backed by a truly talented line-up. Check him out!

PJ Pacifico Website

Written by T.S. Harmon
Editor: Rod Webber

"TRACES" at The Union Square Theatre NYC

JJ Bellamy
I have just finished watching the amazing multimedia, multi-discipline show Traces. The show bills itself as 'circus on the human scale' and they truly deliver. Never mind the big ticket show with the foo foo names, Traces is circus minimus played to the max! With an overhead projector and minimal props, these 7 amazing performers get right what it takes  certain big name shows millions of dollars and rockstar soundtracks to get wrong. If you are looking for an amazing theatrical experience in New York City, skip Broadway and catch Traces!

by JJ Bellamy

Traces Website

Friday, August 12, 2011

Trailer for John Hartman's "Planet Diva"

Check out the latest madness from John Hartman & Reel Groovy Films: Planet Diva!

John is a mad scientist, whose brain should be placed on display, so that we can all be as inspired as he is!

Monday, August 8, 2011

LOOK! UP ON THE SCREEN! by Joseph James Bellamy

JJ Bellamy
All of you who read my work regularly know that I am a huge fan of comics and the superhero sub culture. It should come as no surprise to all four of you that I was very excited to see Captain America: the First Avenger. Having seen it, I can now say with total clarity that it was absolutely, positively, totally…adequate. I could not help but think a character with such a sense of legacy, not to mention importance, to the upcoming Avenger’s film franchise deserved a weightier, deeper treatment. Luckily, the cure for exposure to the kryptonite of a lackluster superhero flick was near at hand.
Superheroes (HBO, Monday 8/8, 9pm) Michael Barnett’s documentary look at the real-life superhero movement saves the day. The film focuses on a cross-section of the movement’s more interesting advocates, with origins as diverse as an EMT student, a married couple, and even reformed drug addicts and criminals. Through the eyes of such dedicated individuals as Master Legend of Orlando, Mr. Extreme, securing the streets of San Diego, and the hyper-organized New York Initiative, we see a world in the grip of real evils. While at first it seems ludicrous to even consider dressing up in bright colors and body armor to become a symbol of justice, the subjects of Superheroes are far from kidding. Let us not forget that in the real world, Bruce Wayne would be considered a bit of an eccentric nut.

The look and approach of real-life superheroes is certainly extreme; it is easy to ignore their message in favor of ridiculing their appearance. Beneath the masks, costumes, and somewhat awkward tendency to speak in dramatic phrase, are considerate, compassionate people, who help wherever they can, from pitching in at hit-and-run scenes to bringing life-saving basics to the homeless and helpless of their community. Some are even willing to put their lives and safety on the line, confronting drug dealers and conducting coordinated anti-street crime stings. 

I was impressed and inspired by these people and their cause. I found myself reminded of why I had run around the backyard as a child, with a towel tied around my neck and my arms outstretched before me. The heart of this film is spoken in earnest by Mr. Extreme, “It doesn’t take super powers to be a superhero,” he says, protective goggles in place, Wanted flyers in hand. “It takes being super motivated and doing super deeds.”

Leaping into action Monday night @ 9pm on HBO, Superheroes is a hopeful delight, a positive, real-life crusade for justice that is not to be missed!

Written by by Joseph James Bellamy
Editor: Deb Bellamy

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Joseph James Bellamy performing "That Word"

An inspired performance by Mr. Joseph James Bellamy at Reel Fest 3.
There are more of these coming soon including performances by Kieran Ridge Band and Molly Zenobia, so check back soon!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

ReelFest 4: In Washington DC!

Reel Fest is pleased to announce that Reel Fest DC will be taking place this fall at CDIA, 1055 Thomas Jefferson St., N.W., Washington, DC, 20007
After three successful seasons in Boston, MA, ReelFest is branching out.  Join us in the nation’s capital for a showcase of some of the country’s finest independent filmmakers.

Washington, DC is a city with a rapidly expanding independent film presence, spectacular networking opportunities and has recently been dubbed the documentary capital of the world by filmmakers and press alike.

Read our full Mission Statement

Click on our Press Page to read about Reel Fests in the past.

Contact RodWebber [AT] for additional info, etc.

FILM REVIEW: Fanny, Annie & Danny, by SM Crowningshield

Fanny, Annie & Danny delves into ground that Hollywood has broken into many times before, the dreaded dysfunctional family holiday. In fact, the theme resonates enough with audiences that itʼs become a movie-type. Consider this excerpt from The Big Wigʼs Movie Makinʼ  Bible (pg. 83)*:

THE DYSFUNCTIONAL FAMILY HOLIDAY movie shall be a dark comedy, bitter dark. This movie shall begin with an out-of-touch sibling who shall come home unexpectedly for the holidays. Each sibling shall represent personality extremes, at least one shall have a money, drug, or impotence problem (or why not all three?). A wacky significant other shall join the fun. Tempers shall flare and aggravated hijinks shall forthrightly ensue. The bitter dark comedy shall then become sweet, resolutions sprinkled with a touch of schmaltz shall occur and shall do so just as the oven dings with the beautiful turkey dinner

So Fanny, Annie and Danny, three siblings, are coming home for the dreaded dysfunctional family holiday. In this case, itʼs Christmas -- albeit to be held a week early simply because the domineering matriarch says so. But this is indie cinema, not Hollywood, and happily the director and writer Chris Brown knew he didnʼt have to play by the rules. He starts off from the playbook, sure, but letʼs just say that the beautiful turkey dinner never quite arrives.

We first meet Fanny playing a recorder -- not a flute! -- in her room at a group home. Fanny keeps her hands obsessively clean while her room remains a complete mess. Her sister Annie is a dental assistant whoʼs constantly thinking about her wedding (to the wacky significant other) despite the fact that she herself has set the date nearly two years away. And then thereʼs Danny, the big shot in LA who hasnʼt been back home for a while but suddenly announces that heʼs coming for Christmas.

Itʼs this sequence that puts the family dynamic on display. Dad, who takes Dannyʼs call, mumbles a pleasantry as he continues doddering passively about his day. He maintains a blank stare whether heʼs in the shed rifling through war mementos or on the couch-suffering through his dictatorial-wifeʼs constant shouts. The delightful raspy-voiced Colette Keenʼs mother Edie tolerates no dissent (or, for some reason, Fanny) and quashes it quickly with a grinding shout. Yet her heart suddenly switches on with the mere mention of Danny. Her raspy yell turns to a raspy burble of joy. Such an obvious bias toward her brother should bother Annie, but sheʼs too busy with her own fawning to notice.

There are many things that Fanny, Annie & Danny doesnʼt quite succeed at, but this is an example of what it gets right. It doesnʼt feel the need to explain each character, it doesnʼt point too boldly at what you the audience are supposed to notice. The entire family only seems to like the one member who they donʼt really know. Director and writer Chris Brown lets you see this without putting it dead center in a close up. Overall, the script has a casual take on this particular dysfunctional family holiday and the characters that inhabit it, and thatʼs a good thing.

But such casualness doesnʼt work for everything. Some scenes in Fanny, Annie & Danny fall flat, and the actors arenʼt always completely in sync with their own characters. An early scene in which Fanny hears bad news from her boss seems to meander around lost, taking far too long to deliver very little information (or interest). But you can easily argue whether this is an attempt at mimicking real life or not. Many indie films refuse to make tidy scenes with the proper “bump” at the end to roll you into the next, and many of them succeed at it. The direction, acting, and editing here occasionally succeed, but perhaps too often donʼt.

The things that this movie does well, it does very well. There are absolutely moments of brilliance, such as the MIDI-music enhanced lead up to the final shot. But the things that it does poorly take their toll and no doubt for some people, that toll may prove a bit too high. Nonetheless, Fanny, Annie & Danny is a functional movie about dysfunctional family holidays. Just make sure you toss out your copy of The Big Wigʼs Movie Makinʼ  Bible when you see that turkey go into the oven.

* = Canʼt find this particular title on Amazon? Uh...keep looking.

F, A & D plays at the White Sands International Film Festival, Sat, Aug 27th @ 10am. Q&A following with filmmaker Chris Brown and actor Jill Pixley. 

Fanny Website

Written by S.M. Crowningshield