Today’s interesting reading and viewing material:
- First, I just wanted to mention the video blog over at Robert Greenwald’s Brave New Films. I’ve been feeling guilty about pointing out all of the recent crush videos without also linking to some of the more substantive videos out there and Brave News Films is doing an excellent job of compiling some of the more informative political videos out there, One of my recent favorites features Barack Obama describing in detail what the Iraq War is costing us in terms of education and health care. It’s a powerful video, one that reminds me of why I was drawn to Obama in the first place. Also worth checking out: Fox Attacks! The Environment, a video that illustrates FNC’s consistent distortions regarding global warming. One of the strengths of Greenwald as a filmmaker (and others at Brave New Films) is documenting the ways in which Fox News (and other conservative pundits) spread misinformation, often by repeating certain points endlessly, as we saw in Outfoxed. There’s some good stuff here, so I’ll try to make more of an effort to highlight it in the future.
- On a related note, here’s a photograph taken from the NAACP-sponsored forum for Republican Presidential candidates, which other than Tom Tancredo, features eight empty podiums. It’s worth pointing out that all nine Democratic candidates showed up for their NAACP forum.
- Anne Thompson has an interesting article in Variety on the increasing interaction between celebrities and fans via the web. Some of this information is familiar to me. I knew, for example, that Zach Braff had blogged the making of Garden State (and beyond) and that Leo DiCaprio had a fairly active fan site where he sometimes discussed his political views. But this is a really useful overview of these celebrity web activities (and, of course, she’s absolutely right to point out Michael Moore as an absolute master of using the web to promote his films and his politics).
- Cinema Tech called my attention to Ghita Loebenstein’s article on the portable video phenomenon. Loebenstein describes events such as “YouTube Tuesdays” where people gather in a local bar and collectively watch selected YouTube clips. YouTube Tuesdays are sponsored by Is Not Magazine as a way to raise money for the print version of their magazine. The article also describes the Portable Film Festival, which curates videos submitted from around the world. As video becomes increasingly portable and as audiences seek out collective “movie” experiences, I think these activities could become more commonplace. And, of course, there are few geographic barriers–portable film festivals could be started anywhere, in small towns, big cities, wherever there is interest.