Saturday, November 24, 2007

Creepy Washington & NAMAC Youth MAFIA

Hellooooowwwww. How was everybody's four day weekend? I went to Idaho, and on the way i found some super awsome locations for shooting a spooky horror movie, or an eatheral dream sequence. It looked like literally the middle of no where, it was just endless mild hills completely covered in a smooth layer of snow, and fog everywhere so it looked like there was no end to it, no civilization, very creepy. it was near WSU, very eastern washington.

ANYway, the videos that were made at the Austin NAMAC youth MAFIA (Make A Film In A (day)) event are posted on youtube, so check them out. Me, a kid from austin, a kid from baltimore, and another kool kat from i-dont-know-where made the short Sebastian & His Picture:

Each group was picked at random, and given a prop and movie genre also at random. Each group was required to utilize the prop as much as possible and stick to the movie genre. We all had 24 hours to do it all. It was fun. mostly. i fell asleep at the computer. but totally worth it.

over and out,


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Tell Me about YOU!

Happy Thanksgiving all!

This is a call for your HELP. I am writing big papers for both my Philosophy and CHID classes about Reel Grrls. This is because we are awesome, of course. For my Philosophy class I am writing about the continual struggle and movement of, and need for women's rights. For my CHID class I'll be bring in various ideas from the Englightenment and the desire for information etc.

I would like your input to use as quotes for my paper. Tell me anything, really ANYTHING! I would like to hear from anyone and everyone. The grrls, mentors and staff. Post here. Email me. Call me.

Tell me about:

1. Why RG is important to you? Why is media literacy important?
2. What have you learned? Why do you study media and film?
3. What is it like for you to be a female in today's society?
4. What have you learned about yourself at RG? Talents, Identity, Questions, Ideas etc.?
5. How has working with other women mentors and grrls your age affected you? How do you observe multi-generational collaboration at RG? How does RG work to reverse hierarchy within our program?

Thanks for your input.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Assia Djebar

Assia Djebar is the pen-name of Fatima-Zohra Imalayen (born June 30, 1936), an Algerian novelist, translator and filmmaker. Most of her works deal with the obstacles faced by women, and she is noted for her feminist stance. Djebar is considered to be one of North Africa's most famous and influential writers, and was elected to the Académie française on June 16, 2005, the first writer from the Maghreb to achieve such recognition.

She was the first Algerian woman to be accepted at the École Normale Supérieure, an elite college in Paris.

In 1957, she published her first novel, La Soif (The Thirst). (Fearing her father's disapproval, she had it published under the pen name Assia Djebar.) Another, Les Impatients, followed the next year

In 1996 she won the prestigious Neustadt Prize for Contribution to World Literature, and the next year, the Yourcenar Prize.

1. La Nouba des femmes du Mont Chenoua, 1977
This film combines narrative with documentary to tell the varying stories of different women in Algeria. “Returning to her native region 15 years after the end of the Algerian war, Lila is obsessed by memories of the war for independence that defined her childhood. In dialogue with other Algerian women, she reflects on the differences between her life and theirs.”
2. La Zerda ou les chants de l'oubli, 1979

some, not all.

Raúl Ruiz 1941 -

sentences about him:
From Chile and one of the most prolific filmmakers of the last 50 years.

trained as a painter. spent some years at the U of Santa Fe, Argentina's cinema school.

something of an outsider among the politically oriented filmmakers of his generation his work being far more ironic, surrealistic, and experimental.

Married to filmmaker and editor Valeria Sarmiento.

Also writes stage plays.

film advisor to the Socialist Party in Allende's coalition (1971-1972) - forced into exile in 1973 following Pinochet's coup - settled in France.

incomplete filmography:

The Latest:
1990) After spending $1000 on sets, Ruiz attracted Manhattan performance artists from the Wooster Group, author and lesbian anti-hero Kathy Acker, porn fave Annie Sprinkle and fellow directors Jim Jarmusch & Barbet Schroeder for this paean to the Mexican soap opera, crossed with "The Untouchables." Vicious philosophers, selectively deaf TV stars, and a mysterious trail of boots lead into the unknown...

After several years producing and directing low-budget telefilms, he began working with larger budgets and "name" stars in 1996 with Three Lives and Only One Death, Marcello Mastroianni's penultimate film. The following year he directed Genealogies of a Crime, starring Catherine Deneuve.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Alejandro González Iñárritu

Alejandro González Iñárritu is a Mexican filmmaker, producer, director, writer, editor and film score composer. He is most well known for his recent films Babel, 21 Grams and Amores Perros. He also directed several short films and worked as a TV producer, radio DJ and TV commercial cameraman before breaking into the movie business. Iñárritu studied filmmaking in the United States and his last two films were made in Hollywood. He has been nominated for two Oscars (he was the first Mexican to ever receive an Oscar nomination for best Director!) and his work has won numerous awards outside the US.

One cool thing that I learned when researching Alejandro González Iñárritu is that his first feature-length film, Amores Perros, which is also the only one of his that I've seen so far, was originally conceived of as 11 short films. After 3 years and 36 drafts of the scripts, he and screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga decided to narrow down the 11 shorts and expand them into three interlocking narratives for the feature-length film, which eventually earned him enough acclaim that he was able to launch his career internationally.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Trinh Minh-ha

Trinh Minh-ha:

Trinh Minh-ha is a filmmaker, author, composer, and professor of Women's Studies and Rhetoric at UCBerkley.
She has made 7 films and written 10 books.
Her most famous film is Reassemblage, but she has won awards, such as the blue ribbon at the AF&V festival for her other work.


Night Passage (2004)
Fourth Dimension (2001)
A Tale of Love (1995)
Shoot for the Contents (1991)
Surname Viet Given Name Nam (1989)
Naked Spaces - Living is Round (1985)
Reassemblage (1982)

*Please note that there is not too much info on her on the internet so this is a little sparse. Many apologies.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Reel Grrls rocked the FCC hearing!!

I am so proud of all of you Reel Grrls, thanks for coming out and being a part of the people's voice demanding a stop to media consolidation!

Check out our coolness:

Sami Kubo's testimony is at about 4:23 in this clip

Lila's testimony is at about 5:37 in this one (I love how you can see the RG crew in the background giving me a standing ovation afterwards, thanks guys!)

Camille, testifying as Sami Muilenburg (or maybe not), can be found rockin the house at about 5:05 in the 8th audio file (3rd from the bottom) on this page.

Monica, dressed as a Media Consolidation zombie, was quoted in The Seattle Times AND King 5 News (hmmm... both the exact same quote... more evidence of media consolidation or not?)

You can also see some fabulous zombie footage (and lots more video footage from the FCC hearing) on the homepage of SCAN. The media cheer video is called "FCC 2007 Protest 1" and the zombie video is "FCC 2007 Protest 2." Note that I threw these clips together really quickly for folks to grab footage from, they're not fully edited pieces, but you can also download the full resolution video files if you'd like to use them yourself here.

And if all that's not enough FCC hearing coverage and you STILL want more, then as always check out the Reclaim the Media website.

Phew! That oughta keep you busy for awhile. Thanks again, RG, for caring so much about media justice, and for making your media activisty instructor so damn proud!

Monday, November 12, 2007


the FCC hearing was awsome guys, the hardest of core. it was all very inspiring to see so many different kinds of people so enthusiastic about the current state of media and how its totally NOT the hardest of core. there was vegan food too, always good for the tummy.

there were two 12 year olds there, they were surprisingly eloquent. there were zombies (one of which was monica) that danced to thriller, all very symbolic of media consolidation.

well, i went home after my testimony, and i put the TV on for the 10 pm local news on fox, and all they said about the FCC hearing was that one of the panelist supported consolidation, and made audience reactions sound like they were supporting this too, nothing like what really happened. they didnt even show ANY public comments at all. they only pointed out the "advantages" of media consolidation, and made it seem like everyone at the hearing was supporting it.


I'm going to go scream in a hole now.

Over and out.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

More FCC testimony examples

Hi all,

You asked me to provide you with more examples to help you shape your own public testimony at the FCC hearing this Friday (4pm-11pm at Town Hall, get there as early as you can!).

Click here to see a bunch of transcribed testimonies from the last FCC hearing at the Seattle Public Library November 30th. And here to listen to a one-hour audio special that KBCS put together after this same hearing collecting many (not all) of the testimonies.

My testimony is somewhere in the middle of this radio special, but since you asked I've also transcribed it below for you. I don't think it's perfect, and I haven't yet figured out exactly what I'll say this time, but if you do need a hand shaping your own testimony or want me to look over a draft that you've written I am totally available.


Lila's testimony at the FCC Hearing November 30th, 2006

"Hello, my name is Lila Kitaeff and I’m here today to speak as a media maker. I work with Reel Grrls, a filmmaking and media literacy program for teenage girls. Our youth are bombarded by corporate media every single day, giving them the same, often harmful, messages over and over. We teach them how to make their own media because we think it’s so important that everybody have a voice and a right to communicate and those independent platforms must stay open.

I also work with PepperSpray Productions, an all-volunteer activist video collective. Our work plays on Seattle Cable Access Network and ten other stations nationwide. We cover events where, more often than not, the corporate media outlets don’t even bother to show up.

I want to speak very briefly about an event that we covered this past summer; a Radio Barnraising in Woodburn, Oregon, a town with a majory latino population. The farmworkers’ union there, PCUN, had been buying airtime on a local commercial radio station. But when the station found out that they were organizing farmworkers on the air, they kicked them off before their contract was up. So with the help of the Prometheus Radio Project and hundreds of volunteers, PCUN built their own low-power FM radio station. Big media had closed the door in their faces. How incredible that this was the only way they could make their voices heard.

We demand more low power FM licenses and no elimination and de-funding of public access. Thank you."

Tropes tropes tropes

So I really enjoyed class yesterday, and appreciated everyone being so on-point about looking for stereotypical tropes in mainstream media productions. I thought it tied in pretty well with our exploration into the world of the FCC too (I'll be posting more details about that shortly; zombies anyone?). Anyway, below are a couple of really excellent shorts/previews looking at stereotypes in film around specific groups of people of color. Check them out and post your own ideas about what tropes you see:

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


This weekend, after probably picking the last 10 movies in a row, I decided to be a good, fair girlfriend and let Trevor pick. Bad idea... because there I was for two hours watching Transformers.
On the positive side, it'll give me a lot to complain about here.
For one thing, total male gaze.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

If you could actually see the whole scene here, somehow her stomach is like glowing? Interesting use of lighting?
The plot almost killed me too... the Transformers found the main guy by surfing ebay.
Here's my film lenses:
Formalist Film Theory: Pretty impressive special effects, but that's about it. Use of lighting to draw eyes to female subject.
Auteur Theory: He made the Bad Boys movies (which a critic called "Two hours of explosions and witless banter) and created a playboy centerfold.
Postcolonialism: I guess you could call the Transformers as colonists to a new planet.
Queer Theory: Not a trace.
Feminist Film Theory: Typical girl used only to help the role of the leading male, and pretty with a bad edge.

I was thinking back to the whole idea about the male figure playing the "baby looking in the mirror" type role for the viewer. A watching male could see themselves in the main character, but in a more perfect light.
Buff's character is really nerdy and timid, and I was thinking about why. I can see that by making the main character timid, but still getting the hot girl and beating the Transformers, guys can see hope for themselves and they like it.

thats all.
<3 sam.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Darjeeling Limited on Monday 5:20pm

Ok grrls

Thanks to Ruth's awesomeness and your votes it looks like we'll be going to see "The Darjeeling Limited" at Meridian 16 in downtown Seattle at 5:20 tomorrow.

I'll be arriving at the movie probably right before showtime, so I'm not yet sure how we'll do the meetup thing, but I will absolutely post a plan for it by this evening. And if you aren't able to get back to the blog later to check it, just call me if you're confused: 206-228-6076

I'm excited!

Soldiers of Conscience

So this isn't at an AMC, it's at SIFF cinema, but it's a documentary that's supposed to be really good. With Teen Tix you can get in for $5, for adults its more.
It's a 7:30 show, and even if it's not the Monday movie, let me know if you're interested in seeing it with me sometime this week (it's playing until Thursday.)
Except not Wednesday, because I work.

- Sami

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Reel Grrls Thesis movie this Monday: CAST YOUR VOTE BY SATURDAY NOON!!

Ok grrls,

So we are going to see a movie in a theater (we love you Ruth!) this Monday afternoon/evening. Cast your vote for which film we'll see by posting a blog entry by SATURDAY AT NOON with your top two choices listed. Here are the movie choices:

1. Blade Runner @ Cinerama 4:45pm
2. Elizabeth: the Golden Age @ Pacific Place 4:15pm
3. The Heartbreak Kid @ Pacific Place 5:15pm
4. The Martian Child @ Pacific Place 5:25pm
5. Michael Clayton @ Pacific Place 4:20 or 5:20pm (if this is your vote, let me know which you'd prefer)
6. In the Valley of Elah @ Uptown 4:15pm
7. American Gangster @ Oak Tree (up North!) 7:00pm
8. Dan in Real Life @ Oak Tree (up North!) 5:25pm
9. The Darjeeling Limited @ Meridian 4:10pm or 5:20pm (if this is your vote, let me know which you'd prefer)
10. The Kingdom @ Meridian 4:50pm

I'll post to the blog on Sunday with the movie we'll be seeing and information for meeting up.