2012 Movies

2012 movies

This year I kept track of every single film I watched and a few details along with them. I was really excited today to compile my list and see how everything totaled up. I think I’ll do the same this year.

The first film I watched in 2012: TINY FURNITURE
The last film I watched in 2012: TAXI DRIVER


bumper madness

This past weekend was full of movie making. It was awesome. Though a lot of work was involved, I can’t imagine a way I’d rather spend my days.

This upcoming Saturday is the deadline for the Fantastic Fest Bumper Contest so yesterday Jenn and I completely shot and edited our entry, with lots of help from Shawn. It involved tons of cat wrangling, blood, glitter, and of course, time travel. It was so fun to work on and and really rewarding to start and finish a big project all in one day. Plus our bumper is the coolest.

On top of that, we also shot one of Shawn’s bumper entries, which meant dressing up in some crazy lady Chewbacca costumes and going on a murderous rampage, which is always a good time.

Besides all our bumper making we put some finishing touches on my short film which is so close to being finished I can taste it. It’s been a long process for a little film (it’s only 13 minutes) but also an enlightening one. I’m really happy to have brought this idea to life.

Check back later this week and I’ll share our bumper.

Venus Transit

Yesterday was the transit of Venus in front of the sun, and if you missed it, you really missed it as the next transit won’t happen until 2117. Los Angeles is notoriously bad for many celestial events, since most are seen at night and we have awful light pollution. For once, with this daylight occurrence, we had prime viewing conditions and I knew I could not miss it. I headed up to the Griffith Observatory before sunset, with countless other people, to see the tiny planet cross the surface of the sun.

I have always been fascinated by space; the complete unknown held in it’s distance and intangible beauty. In another life, one in which I was better at physics, I could easily see myself studying the planets. The experience of seeing this tiny dot cross in front of a glowing orb affected me intensely. Just a little dot, really a planet nearly the size of our own, traveling in front of the all powerful sun. The magnitude is difficult to put into words. Instead I’ll recommend that you watch Melancholia, Tree of Life and 2001:A Space Odyssey for maybe a glimpse into what I’m talking about.

There was also something great about congregating with all these other people to see it. Many of the telescopes that were set up for viewing were brought by friends of the observatory. I have so much appreciation for these people who sat out in the sun and shared their equipment with the masses so that everyone could see. I loved seeing all the various telescopes and assorted ways of capturing the event. The most astounding view for me was a binocular telescope that allowed you to see a three dimensional image of the sun in excruciating detail.

I shall end this with this stunning video of the entire transit. Were you able to see it?

Sundance 2012

I’ve only been to the Sundance Film Festival once before, when Shawn’s film IGNITE played. That year, everything was overwhelming and new. This year, I came with a plan and everything was exciting. I didn’t get to see all the films I wanted to (Room 237 for instance, and V/H/S) but I was really please with what I did see. That’s not to say I loved every film I saw either, but I thought I’d share a few of my thoughts.

I have to say this was my personal favorite of what I saw at the festival. Written and directed by Marialy Rivas, Young and Wild is fun and racy while also being surprisingly serious. It is the story of a 17-year-old Chilean girl with an unrestrained sexual appetite, a devout evangelical family and a blog to talk about it. Go figure I’d like a film about a blogger. It was entertaining and touched on more than just the obvious; really a story about family, love and finding your way. It had a realistic, honest tone, but was laced with the playful writing of youth. I hope this film finds a larger audience and hopefully winning the World Cinema Screenwriting award will help make that happen.

This film, starring and directed by Mark Webber, is a sentimental portrait of a man struggling to raise his young son on his own after the death of his child’s mother. For the most part, this film has staggeringly authentic scenes that make you feel as if you’re watching an expertly shot and well edited home video. This is due in part to the fact that Webber’s real life son, at 2 and a half, is not really acting but rather being filmed in situation. And let me tell you, that kid is a charmer. The overall emotional tone is touching as you see Webber’s struggle to keep his life together. The End of Love manages to capture something rare and true in the depiction of this father and son, something that draws you into the story. I wish more films could be in touch with this sort of realism.

An absurd look at a fantasy life in Los Angeles, Wrong, gives you a glimpse into the strange world of Dolph after his dog is stolen. The film is much like a bizarre dream, with oddball characters and nonsensical settings (an office that rains indoors, a man that repaints random cars for no reason). It is for sure an amusing trip and is at the same time unremarkable. I definitely enjoyed the curiosity of it all. As a side note, I would recommend checking out this fun short by the director Quentin Dupieux’s (aka Mr. Oizo).

Already there is controversy around this film as it spawned a handful of hecklers at various screenings, including ours. To be honest, I am almost tempted to not mention it at all just to not give it any more press, but my blog doesn’t really count as press so I shall continue. Also, I’m going to include a spoiler so you can just skip this if you want. The big complaint about Compliance is that this film uses rape as entertainment and is thus exploitation. Personally, this isn’t even my problem with the movie Even though as a feminist I oppose the concept, I think it was shot and edited in a way that at least attempted to avoid this. My problem with the film is that it is boring. It’s boring and predictable and not worth the time it took to watch. It defends itself by the fact that it is based on true events and attempts to be a study of the individuals involved. Unfortunately, it never fully captures the motives or intentions of any of the characters and has the emotional depth of a bad tv movie. Instead of watching this film, I propose you instead read about the true events it is based on and you’ll get the full horrific effect. Some things don’t require artistic reinterpretation. That being said, Shawn thought it was compelling and interesting so there’s that.

p.s. These photos have nothing to do with these film, except that I took them in Utah.

2011 in Review

Here I am, snuggled up on the couch, with my little cats, and the sun shining in over my shoulder. I’m welcoming 2012 with open arms. I feel as if there is a new hope and openness with the turn of the year and I am trying to embrace it with hard work and creativity. In moving forward, I also think it’s important to look back and to find your current place. So here is a glimpse at all the wonderful things that happened in 2011.

cream and sugar

January was filled mostly with wedding planning. I sent out our handmade book wedding invitations. My mother and her friends threw me a beautiful bridal tea party filled with exquisite china and scones. We also celebrated vegan pizza day. Yum!

February was the month we got married. So that was the best ever.

We started March on our honeymoon in New Zealand. We hung out with alpacas, went camping and hiking and had an amazing time. When we got back, I introduced you to these little creatures in our home and we made toadstool terrariums. I also shared photos from our rehearsal party with Seabirds Truck and took you all on the adventure of making our wedding cakes.

In April I finally was able to share the beautiful photos from our wedding. We found a new place to live, packed, moved and then had a huge, wonderful, fancy Easter brunch.


In May I did a lot of cooking. I made fresh bread, chocolate chip cookies, and mint infused vodka. I also finally got my own camera. We celebrated Memorial day with BBQ and s’mores.

tofu pesto sandwich & soup

In June a tragic thing happened, our favorite restaurant, Pure Luck, closed its doors forever. We went to the second Vegan Beer Fest, ate awesome food and sampled a ton of great beers. Kim and I launched A Moveable Feast, a vegan secret supper club. I started making our wedding quilt, even though I’d never made a quilt before. I started writing a little bit more about films I love like The Piano and A Woman Under the Influence.

red white and blue cake

July was filled with fun events. We attended the Renegade Craft Fair in downtown Los Angeles. Plant Based Parties had a kickoff dinner and we sampled some great vegan delicacies.  To top it off, we threw a Batman birthday party for Shawn’s brother, Kyle.

August was exciting because I performed my first aerial silk routine since I was a teenager (and even posted a video). I made possibly my favorite pizza ever. There was a little glimpse into our home and some of our collections. Not to mention, Kim and I pulled off an amazing Spanish style secret supper.

In September, I finally shared a few rooms of our home, including the bedroom and dining room. I made some more crazy dishes like fried green tomatoes and vegan nutella.

October was huge. To start it off right, we went to the horrorthon at the New Beverly. Our film, Brainwashed Love, was in the LA Femme Film Fest. I made lentil loaf. I decorated the mantle with smiling pumpkins and made cute bat cupcakes. Then of course we had our 4th Annual Halloween Horror Movie Marathon, which was crazy and a huge success. Plus, I made Shawn his very own black velvet cape.

November held some life-changing experiences. We had a fantastic Thanksgiving at Madeleine Bistro. I turned 28. We went to AFI Fest and saw some of my favorite films of the year including Snowtown, Oslo August 31 and Kill List. It was so inspiring to see such well crafted films. Then, we went to our dear friends’ wedding in Ojai, which I attempted to dye a dress brown for.

And finally we’re in December. This past month was full of celebrations for holidays and friends. I finally finished our wedding quilt. We went on a really nice little trip to Palm Springs. I got a surprise delivery from a new friend. Last, but not least, we spent the holidays on the East Coast with Shawn’s family and had quite the adventure. I’ll get to share some tidbits from that over the next few days including some fantastic restaurants we went to.

Looking back, this past year has been filled with wonder. I feel truly lucky and fulfilled. I can’t wait for what this year brings, as there is so much in the works. I’m nearing the finish of writing our second feature film, a psychological thriller set in the woods, that I’m so excited about and honestly really proud of. Both Shawn and I have a few short projects that we’re going to put together as our major goal of the year is to make more films. We’ll be going to at least two film festivals in the next few months and in just a few weeks I’ll be attending Altitude Design Summit. Major stuff. I love it. Hooray for 2012!