By Gary Meyer
For twenty years my office was in the Saul Zaentz Building in Berkeley. In addition to the movies Saul produced, there were award-winning documentary filmmakers plus post-production talent set in a wonderful environment there that resulted in high profile narrative filmmakers preferring to do their post-production at the facility rather than at the Hollywood studios. You might see a celebrity.
One day in early 2000 I was going to lunch with director Gus Van Sant. Landmark has been an early supporter of his work launching “Mala Noche” and “Drugstore Cowboy” when others were not interested. As the elevator door opened on the ground floor I looked out at the people waiting to get on and in my mind I could hear my bad impersonation, “Bond—James Bond.”
Ideas for a Political Movies Festival
By Gary Meyer
I think it is much healthier to watch reruns (WEST WING, JOHN ADAMS or VEEP) than the returns on Election Night.
Or better yet revisit some great movies.
As the war in Vietnam raged, one of the largest and most successful youth-led resistance movements in American history was growing at home.
Hundreds of thousands of young men opposed to an unjust war said NO to being drafted into the military, risking up to five years in federal prison. Their individual courage and collective nonviolent actions helped end a tragic war and the draft.
By Andrea Chase
If there is a turning point in The Boys Who Said No!, it’s when a judge, decidedly not a part of the counter-culture of the 1960s and 70s, rules that a Vietnam War draft resistor should not go to prison for breaking the law. It is also a turning point in the history of the United States, albeit one far less high profile than the unrest and assassinations that dominated that era. And that is fitting in Judith Ehrlich’s enlightening and absorbing documentary that profiles the eponymous young men who used non-violence in their refusal to fight what they considered an unjust war. Successfully as it turned out. It makes for a film that speaks to the present as eloquently and as urgently to its audience as the resistors did to their audiences 50 years ago.
BY C.J. Hirschfield
About my home town of Oakland, a recent Washington Post article wrote: “Protesters want to defund the police. Homicides and violence are spiking. In Oakland, ideology and practicality collide.”
It was a wonderful juxtaposition shortly thereafter to watch the excellent new documentary Alice Street, which shows Oakland at its multicultural, peaceful, protesting best.
By C.J. Hirschfield
I’ve got to believe that many people are turning to cannabis, wine, and the support of loving family members to get through our current pandemic. And to the extent that each of these supports have been grown organically, all the better.