Saturday, November 5, 2016

𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗹𝗶𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗙𝗮𝗰𝗲𝗯𝗼𝗼𝗸 𝗙𝗿𝗶𝗲𝗻𝗱𝘀

At the risk of being called self-serving (𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘐 𝘨𝘶𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘢 𝘱𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦) I am going to say something I have long suspected about the term “Facebook Friends”. That term is a misnomer and a lie at its very core. I believe the more honorable term should be “Facebook Acquaintance” which better speaks to the truth of what is being transacted here in this den of self-serving, sometimes hypocritical Ego boosting that goes on to pass the time that probably could be better spent reading a good book.

Case in point, I put out a GoFundMe request in a time of horrific sorrow, for my Facebook “Friends” to help me bring a new life into my life, truthfully to assuage my sorrow and provide a distraction so that I would not be faced with missing my best Friend every day. Self-Serving yes but in my view not a bad thing. I had three Friends donate to that cause – one $50 and two $25 donations. Two of those people I have never met and the other I haven’t seen in a number of years. I have another true Friend who gives to me without asking anything in return and we are Good with each other. I help him sort out some personal issues and come to terms with life and he helps me with what he knows to do to help me. That’s true friendship. I have spent the better part of my adult life helping folks sort out with their Spiritual and Relationship issues without asking for anything with the exception of my Spirituality Classes.

However since then which I think was about 3 weeks ago - nothing. My question began swirling in my head, how hard would it be to give $25 to someone you all call a Friend? From the result I would say I am anything but a Friend to you because to truly live up to the term Friend one must at times go a few yards farther down the road to help their friends not suffer so much. Some of the so-called Facebook Friends I know personally – have had coffee with them – ate dinner in their home and I was under the impression I was their Friend. Apparently the feeling was not mutual, but the memory resides.

So again I am requesting Facebook people to change the term “Facebook Friends” to “Facebook Acquaintance”.

An honest enemy is better than a false friend. When in doubt, pay more attention to what people do and less to what they say. Actions not only speak louder than words, they are more difficult to fake.      

In the meantime – if any of you have a need to be comforted, you can have no fear – “Come to me and we will work on your issue together”. Nothing asked – just given….

𝘎𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘛𝘸𝘰 𝘍𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘙𝘦𝘥𝘩𝘢𝘸𝘬

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Latest Neither Wolf Nor Dog movie review




Edinburgh Guide » Reviews » Edinburgh Film Festival
Film Review: Neither Wolf Nor Dog
By Dylan Matthew
Running time:

Scottish director Steven Lewis Simpson is no stranger to either the source material for his latest feature nor the guerrilla film making techniques he’s deployed to bring it to life. Based on the book by Kent Nerburn, this adaptation by both author and director depicts Nerburn’s unexpected journey through Native America’s history, culture and landscape.

Nerburn is summoned by Dan, a Lakota Elder who asks him to write a book about his life and his people’s history. Feeling unqualified, unworthy and reluctant he turns the offer down but events conspire to draw him back in. After a blundering false start, Nerburn (Christopher Sweeney) is all but kidnapped and taken on a road trip around the Native American landscape. Stopping off at key landmarks, Dan and his companion Grover (Richard Ray Whitman) try to educate him in their ways, encouraging him to see and write the story in his own way without falling prey to white men’s guilt-ridden cliches of glorifying an indigenous race.

Dan is played by 97 year old Chief Dave Bald Eagle in a wonderfully honest, no-frills way that only such an elderly semi-professional actor could achieve. His aged face, voice and manner was a joy to behold. A veteran of the D-Day landings, Dave Bald Eagle’s worldly experience is etched into his face and being. So good was his performance that when he falls asleep out of boredom whilst listening to Nerburn’s first efforts being read aloud I incorrectly thought he’d nodded off for real.
And so the journey unfolds with the three souls pottering from dreary rural shacks to the magnificent prairies of South Dakota and Nerburn’s understanding is slowly awakened by his benevolent captors. Relative newcomer Sweeney is the perfect foil to his companions more worldly philosophy playing it with charismatic understatement, a fish out of water, begrudgingly grateful for his new insights and friendships.

Unfurling at a leisurely pace, this is a put your feet up and let it gently wash over you road movie and a real coming of age departure for Simpson. His previous independent features such as the thrillers Ticking Man and Rez Bomb were more pacy action affairs. Here the material is given room to breathe. In one outstanding set piece Nerburn, Dan and Grover drink coffee in a roadside café. Their brief rest is interrupted by a begging drunk who repeatedly enters and leaves the café. It’s both amusing and tragic and without saying very much in the way of dialogue it says a great deal about what has become of some of America’s heritage.

That and several others scenes achieve this quality in spite to the film’s 18 day shooting schedule. To me this sounds like a breakneck speed to make a feature but Simpson likes to work unfussily with a small crew. Undoubtedly this allows for creative freedom but like many guerrilla style films the low to no budget constraints sometimes show up on screen. This is the case here as well where at times the rough edges make themselves known. Easy Rider came to mind, it too had many rough edges, improvisation and a few sleepy moments yet feels like an edgy film holding the viewer to the end. Now put three guys in a car instead of bikes, subtract the frenetic editing, the rock n roll and the drugs but somehow achieve the same result.

Much of Neither Wolf Nor Dog’s power comes from this rawness and the truth of its source. And much of it’s beautiful to look at whether it’s a landscape or Dave Bald Eagle’s solemn face and delivery which is contrasted and complemented nicely by Richard Ray Whitman’s spiky sarcastic performance which also deserves a mention. There are many good laughs too and a terrific throwaway punchline and visual gag in the last scene.

But most memorably the penultimate scene at the site of the Wounded Knee Massacre packs an unexpected emotional punch that lingers long after. Apparently tossing the script aside Dave Bald Eagle improvised his dialogue to Christopher Sweeney and the camera simply followed them. Not that much is seen or said but its deeply affecting as they pass the graves that mark the butchering of dozens of men, women and children by the 7th US Cavalry.

All things considered, including its rough edges, its low budget aesthetic and approach, Neither Wolf Nor Dog is an impressive achievement and feels like an important story made with passion and deserves to be seen by audiences beyond the festival circuit.

Neither Wolf Nor Dog received its World Premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival earlier this year.

There has been one previous print review so for from the screening. An amazing 5-star review.  Click to read review
Now we have to build the films festival campaign to increase the films profile before being ready for release.

Click to view the Q&A from the premiere
Click to view the Q&A from the second screening
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