Monday, August 8, 2011

8.4.11 - Home Again

40 Days
30 States
25 Screenings
18 Workshops
9000 Miles
1000 Participants
1 Trip of a Lifetime
A heartfelt thanks to everyone who was part of the 2011 Filmmobile National Tour... We'll never forget your generosity, your creativity and your community spirit. The cinematic revolution is alive and well in America!

8.3.11 - California's Callin'

Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, Nevada... And the gas pedal falls off as we approach Las Vegas! We take this as a sign to spend the last night of the tour in a glamorous resort hotel, cavort in the pool and eat an enormous buffet dinner before heading home to the City of Angels in the morning. All good things must come to an end...

8.2.11 - High Plains Driftin'

A zen breakfast at the Boulder Dushanabe Teahouse with Robert Schaller of the Handmade Film Institute and then it's time for the long drive back to Los Angeles... When thick white smoke starts pouring from the exhaust pipe, we're forced to make an unplanned pit stop in Laramie, Wyoming. The first mechanic we call says "Cracked block. Two weeks to fix!" Yikes! But Sean, the zen mechanic at the local GM service center, calms our fears. Turns out, Bluie is just struggling with the altitude a bit. Filmmobile gets fixed up with a little TLC while we watch rodeo on TV ("Man, I miss those days... Bull riding really gave me a thrill!" sighs another mechanic, covered in grease) and soon we're frisking into the sunset with the jackalopes along the high plains byways...  Yee haw!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

8.1.11 - Rockin' in Boulder

After an entire day of eating nothing but junk food (too shameful to even post a photo!), it's time to head to Boulder where healthy living is a way of life. Big salads for lunch, followed by the traditional Monday afternoon tea ceremony at Naropa University (harmony, respect, purity, tranquility... thank you, Sensei Mike!) a dip in the creek, a conversation with the wise old owl, a bike ride (why is Los Angeles the only city in the entire country without a community bicycle program?) and a lovely last screening with friends and strangers gathered together, a gentle breeze blowing down from the mountains and beautiful images dancing on the screen... Bliss.

7.31.11 - From the Plains to the Mile High City

Daybreak in Winner, South Dakota feels like being on the deserted set of a slightly sinister western. We fuel up on diesel and coffee at the L'il Feller Convenience Store along with the hopped-up hunters and motorcycle ridin' couples on their way to Sturgis and off we go. 
At Mission, we stop at the only functioning restaurant in town--a Subway--to ask directions to Grandpa Roy Stone's place on the Rosebud Reservation near Parmalee. Five years ago, we were part of a team of folks from the Catalina Island Conservancy and Farmlab that helped build a ceremonial house; our time on the reservation, listening to many powerful stories of struggle and resilience, was one of the initial inspirations for the creation of the Filmmobile as a means to bring filmmaking tools and education to media marginalized communities. Seemingly untouched by the passing years, Grandpa Roy and his big white dogs come out to greet us; he tells us that, despite a couple of leaks, the house has been well used and much appreciated by the community throughout the seasons.
The road winds like a wagon trail through grassland dotted with pinto ponies and burned out trailers. The act of driving becomes a meditation. We go for miles and miles without passing another vehicle. A sign painted with the single word REMEMBER points off to the empty plain. The small towns contain orphanages, sanitariums and silos. The Goshen County Fair is advertising for a pig wrestler! Who says there aren't economic opportunities out here? It's rodeo time in Cheyenne, Wyoming and the teenage bronco busters swagger around the gas station mini-mart, handsome and invincible in their perfect cowboy hats. The Mile High City sparkles in the distance where my dear friend Betty is waiting up for us... Hang on, lady; we're almost there!

7.30.11 - Corny

Fetch Bluie from the mechanic, score big at the local thrift store and it's so long Minnesota, hello South Dakota! Forget about Rushmore, we make a beeline for Mitchell, home of the world famous Corn Palace, the Oscar Howe Art Gallery, Enchanted World Doll Museum and 1972 Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern, who just so happens to be dining right behind us at the glamorous Chez Louis! Ooh la la!
We spend the rest of day chasing the sun across the plains... Sunset over the Missouri River: magnificent!