I love Paris in the springtime

Some surprises are sweeter than others and this one is pure delight. Delight like plum tart with crème fraiche. And champagne. I am more than silly happy about this.

For the last couple weeks, I've been engaged in a reluctant winding down from film fest exhilaration. The circuit is ending. The schedule is slowing. I'm seeing the posters — the new crop of posters for a new series of films. But now we have another screening of Florian Riegel's documentary HOLDING STILL in a place no less glorious than Paris. In an understatement, my spirits are buoyed. 

I was in Paris a very long time ago. I camped inside the city, not far from the last Métro, when camping was crude and campers sparse, and I was near a river loaded with noisy construction equipment and I didn't care. It beat a hotel. I froze. I wore every layer of clothing I had, which wasn't much. The weather shouldn't have been more than chilly. It was freezing. My feet decided to itch maddeningly at night. I did not sleep. I rode the avenues on the back of a motorcycle with a Brit nicknamed Curly in the company of a guy whose moniker (sobriquet, eh?) was Hassle Bebop. My husband was WizKid during those few magical days. Hassle and Curly were returning to London after a sojourn in Spain setting up sound for a rock concert in a cave. All together, we checked out Curly's exhibit in a Parisian gallery.  The precise point of the visit was viewing a manquette of an inflatable dwelling. Inflate a room: Enter. Exit: deflate the room. This was an energy conserving home and it was Curly's design. Curly was ahead of his time and brilliant and out of his mind. We were kids then and everything was possible. I recall also high ceilings from which spun an installation of harlequin metal circus performers. I saved those photos. Somewhere. We made forays throughout the city and shot and lost rolls of precious film. On our last night together, over a tiny butane grill, I seared at least four lamb chops, boiled new potatoes, and tumbled Brussels sprouts in a beurre noisette and served it all to these beautiful, creative, engaging, generous, unshaven, hippie artist/musician/bikers. They thanked me that fourth night for the best meal they ate in that fine city. High praise indeed! I remember it well. You cannot forget what you ate in Paris.

Now HOLDING STILL is in competition again at FranceDoc and screens on Saturday, May 7, 6:00 PM, in the Key Cinema and Wednesday, May 4, 12:00 noon at l' university Paris 8.

If you are in Paris, your schedule is:
Samedi 7 mai à 18h au Cinéma La Clef
Mercredi 4 mai à 12h à l'université Paris 8
Again we have a super fantastic poster to grab. Here's the top. Get it!
While I'm crowing, I'd like to thank David Gerber and Herbie Cassavetes for the memories, memories of Paris, great food and wine, lots of pot, conversation, debate, a zippiest and harrowing ride, late nights, new found friendship, and nicknames. I forget what mine was.

I give you Hassle Bebop (l), Curly (right), moi (centre) et Paris

And I thank you for the ride of a lifetime, Florian Riegel. 

Now, go see HOLDING STILL in Paris! I would.


florian riegel. HOLDING STILL

The film festival circuit 2010 winds down and I get another sweet surprise grazie al Festival dei Popoli, Florence, Italy. 

[Suggestion: Pop this out and watch full screen. I sure did]

As Banshee would write: ARMFLAIL


I don't like upper case | Ireland, y'all?

All along I've been writing about "Holding Still" or 'Holding Still' (see the discrete difference, yes?) (single quotes, better than double) because I'm reluctant to use upper case for more than two letters in a row, such as in state abbreviations (recent notables: AK and AZ. AAAK!) and even then, they're rather uncomfortable for me. But I'm using upper case to be proper.

At any rate, Florian Riegel's documentary film HOLDING STILL is screening at the 55th Corona Cork Film Festival on Tue 09 Nov | 11:30am | Cork Opera House.

Think about it: a week long festival of 300 films from more than 30 countries. Big films, independent films, international documentaries and short films. That's a lot of silver screen, people.

OK, the Cork Opera House. From Cork Heritage Open Day, comes an exceedingly cool photo... I'm borrowing it, please/thank you, because it's the shot I'd take if only I could:

See! Fantastic architecture and not at all the ancient stone edifice you expected. Yup, I expected that also. There is a wonderful history of the Opera House at the site.

And, hey, I am Irish! Irish enough. Enough to wish I were there (sad that I'm not), at the festival, watching with a slew of other attendees. There's a trailer for HOLDING STILL at the bottom of this page. Go ahead. Scroll down and take a peek.

You could go to Ireland. Or you might actually be there already. And if you happened to snap a photo of a certain film up on that screen, you might shoot me a copy. Now that would be quite wonderful.

So go there. Quick.

HOLDING STILL screens also as part of  This is our World on Sun 14 Nov | 12:00pm | Gate Cinema. You have time to get there!


Travel, or being here and there at the same time

A friend wrote to me in email:
It's sort of amazing how you're traveling the world and people are looking at you—your life—on nearly a nightly basis, don't you think?

I realize I'd not been thinking. Not like that. And this friend is unique. He thinks in that way for me and asks the salient questions.

So, yes, it is quite amazing that I'm traveling in this way. Thank you for asking.
When you truly realize that this life and living is an
absurdity, then you join in the dance. You take part in
this absurdity. The body-mind organism continues to live
in the world, but without any sense of personal doership.
Ramesh S. Balsekar
To be alive, to be able to see, to walk--it's all a miracle.
Arthur Rubinstein

I remain wide-eyed and dumbfounded about all this accidental wandering. And a whole lot in awe.

HOLDING STILL, a film by Florian Riegel, is being screened at Duisburger Filmwoche 34 on November 3. It appears I'm going to be traveling again.

Die Duisburger Filmwoche ist das Festival des deutschsprachigen Dokumentarfilms. The Duisburg Film Week is the festival of the German documentary film.


DOKUFEST 2010 KOSOVO has begun!

What are we doing here this week when we could be in Prizren, Kosovo, at the film festival, playing? What I've read about this relatively young but established venue is that it's fun, delicious, rollicking fun.

Major content is being added to the DOKUFEST 2010 website daily. 'Holding Still' directed by Florian Riegel, with photography by Luciano Cervio, and produced by Ute Dilger, is screening on August 5  (there's still time to get there) and is in competition.  

Frankly, I'm rather wild about the idea of Kosovo, so indulge me. This all seems quite the adventure. I mean, Kosovo! I'm posting a screen grab of a bit of the schedule way below. Check here for the complete online listing.

I've linked to fantastic sites and blogs in the sidebar on the right. Please check them out.

I am working with photography. I say this looking at +/- 4,000 new images since I've last posted a photo. We've been busy and distracted on the Gulf Coast, and it's time to be happily productive again. In that spirit, I'm posting provisional, in-progress photos. We're deep into summertime. Kids are in the water, both saline and chlorinated; a friend brings me snapping  juicy plums; gulls dive in for fish or crabs or toes. And it's hot. So hot.

So little of what could happen does happen. — Salvador Dalí

But anything could happen. Someone could make the loveliest, most improbable film and surprise you forever. Things happen. What is least likely to happen, sometimes does. 

So do something you might not ordinarily do. Something even small. Then hold still.


Go. Go. Go!


I'm late! I'm late! I'm STILL HERE at Silverdocs

Silverdocs, Silver Spring, Md. on Wednesday, June 23 and Thursday, June 24 — midday.

Calendar Shorts Program 2: STILL HERE and GO if you live in NYC or DC! It's hot and humid or rainy or too sunny or you just need a break, and these are some dynamite documentaries. Five of them, including Florian Riegel's 'Holding Still.'  Remember documentaries? You love them. You know you do. Sweet bites of nectar laden fruit. The glow on the moonstone. Haiku, plural. Halos of flickering cinema. Distillations. And you may be surprised if you attend. Isn't that almost too much?

Weezer has a cameo. You don't want to miss her. 

I would tell Roger Ebert if I were bold or brave. I'm not. But, read this Ebert piece and this. You'll love him, too.


'Holding Still' at Silverdocs

"Imagine if the last 20 years of your life were lived entirely in one room, yet you have the ability to see and photograph the world outside. This is the story of Janis, a woman whose artistic voice is remarkably unconstrained by physical obstacles or tragedies in her past. "

Imagine me ecstatic. Florian Riegel's film was chosen to screen at SILVERDOCS in SHORTS PROGRAM 2: STILL HERE on June 23 at 10:00 PM, AFI Silver Theater 2, and June 24 at 12:00 PM, AFI Silver Theater 1.   

I remember when we took this photo. It was a year the cicadas appeared. We had spent that sun dappled afternoon with the new camera making time-delay photos of ourselves at the weathered picnic table behind the house. As an adult, there are few bugs you care to play with. The ones that you might indulge on a wine soaked afternoon are vestiges of childhood — ladybugs, lightning bugs, crickets. Or shells of cicadas, the crackling remains of the insects snagged from trees. We played with them that day. Somewhere there are photos of me with exoskeletons stuck on my cheeks, climbing my arms, tangled in my hair.

Cicadas are noisy, the males outdoing the females by virtue of a body built for amplification of sound. Cicadas like heat, and that summer in Texas we had heat. An excess of heat. We were hotter than we needed to be. We were young. I have the photos to prove it.

Florian Riegel's short film 'Holding Still' has been chosen for competition at Silverdocs in Silver Spring, Maryland, this June. This film is a testament to that summer's heat and the personal fallout from that incendiary season. Thank you again, Florian, for documenting the lightning.

If you're in NYC or Washington DC or anywhere, come see this film. You're invited.

'Childhood living is easy to do...Wild, wild horses, couldn't drag me away.' 
— Jagger/Richards


Short Notice: Visit Krakow, Poland in June 2010! KFF | Krakow Film Festival

I am partial to 'Holding Still' with its other-worldly hiss-pop music, and I am exceedingly fond of director Florian Riegel. I understand Krakow, Poland is quite the place to be. So....

Established in 1961 as a national short film competition, KFF is the oldest film festival in Poland. Given the planet's history in the last several decades, how did it do that? How did it persist? Must have been passion. The current iteration is an international festival dedicated to documentary, animation and other short film forms. Check it out: this event is a survivor, and the city is ready for a party. They're celebrating their 50th!

Florian Riegel's documentary film 'Holding Still' is in competition on June 3 at Mikro Cinema at 16:30 and on June 5 at Kujów.Centrum Cinema at 10:00.

The logo is cool as all getout. (I'm learning the awards are about creatures and critters and dragons and such — raar.)

If you're in Poland (and who isn't?), make plans to enjoy a week or so in and out of the dark. Do you remember real documentaries and love short films and animation? They still have them. In Krakow. Go now! Step into the flickering light.


We have a WINNER!


1,000 euros, sponsored by the NRW.Bank

Holding Still
Florian Riegel
Germany 2010, 26 min 30 sec, HDCAM, colour

A film that develops its narrative slowly. Edited to reveal nothing predictable, it takes its audience right into the tensions of a moving story that gradually unfolds to achieve its full power. The fact that the author takes up this story and the way he does it, even though he came across it by chance, is testimony to his ability to recognise an impressive subject and treat it with respect. A thoughtful cinematography steers us through its own images and the protagonist’s, which are her means of access to her world via her laptop. At the end, the perspective expands once more to include the outside world and gives us a moment of respite.

                              Rolling along......! 



While the sun shines

...and our beaches are unsullied, prayer flags fly.

Cross your fingers as well.


Short Film Festival | Oberhausen Germany TONIGHT

If you will be in Oberhausen, don't miss the Festival. (How could you?) And please don't miss 'Holding Still.' Florian Riegel has made a lovely film.

From Different Perspectives:
"Those who hold still do not necessarily see less - they see things differently. The slowdown allows us to peek beneath the surface of the visible world."



'Holding Still' a film by Florian Riegel — tomorrow night

Florian Riegel's short film, 'Holding Still,' is screening again at the ShortFilm / Kurtzfilm Festival in Oberhausen, Germany on Thursday, April 22. Tomorrow. So, if you happen to be in Germany and have a little free time, try to see this short film. Really try! Roman Polanski, Wim Wenders and Gerhard Schröder praise this venue.

BONUS: I love this part. Kurtzfilm / Oberhausen has one of the most fantastic bizarro posters ever. You can download a high resolution image right here!


Get it quick. They're going fast.

Thank you again, Florian.