James Bond Supports International Women’s Day (2011)  - 2 minute short documentary woman made film.  

Director:  Sam Taylor-Wood aka Sam Taylor-Johnson 
Actors:  Daniel Craig and Judi Dench

Day 53 of A Yearlong Film Viewing Balancing Act.

Watch on olearysreellife.tumblr.com

Loved Bless Me, Ultima (2013), Carl Franklin’s beautiful adaptation of Rudolfo Anaya’s magical novel.  Thanks to my friend Lyn for letting me know how much she enjoyed it.  I watched it this evening on disc from Netflix.

Day 161 of A Yearlong Film Viewing Balancing Act.  Second feature film for today.


Brilliant!  It was great to sit in the University Theatre tonight - now known as IU Cinema - and watch National Theatre Live’s Encore Presentation of Macbeth with a highly engaged crowd of theatre lovers!  Thanks!

It took the space back to its live theatre roots.

Day 170 of A Yearlong Film Viewing Balancing Act.


Over 160 people at tonight’s screening of Kill Your Darlings at Indiana University Cinema.  Applause broke out afterwards.  Wonderful cast.  Radcliffe was terrific as Ginsberg. Ben Foster’s portrayal of Burroughs was particularly enjoyable to the crowd in the thick of THE BURROUGHS CENTURY events unfolding in Bloomington this week.  

Director:  John Krokidas
Writer:  John Krokidas and Austin Bunn
Cinematographer:  Reed Morano
Editor:  Brian Kates

Day 279 of A Yearlong Film Viewing Balancing Act.


Stephen Frears’ Philomena starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan is marvelous.  My sweetie and I saw it this evening at the Landmark.  Thanks to everyone involved.  Just great. Funny and deeply moving.

Day 245 of A Yearlong Film Viewing Balancing Act.


Mosquita y Mari was nominated LAST YEAR for the John Cassavetes Award. Seems fitting that I watched it on the day when Independent Spirit Awards named this year’s nominees in all categories.

I hope it won’t take me a whole year to watch all 44 films with nominations in this round.  

So… about Aurora Guerrero’s coming of age story…. lovely… self-assured and confident in letting the film unfold without trying too hard.  Thanks.  Really appreciated it.  Will look forward to seeing what’s next.  I noticed Aurora just got some grant money from San Francisco Film Society.  

Los Valientes / The Brave Ones — Aurora Guerrero, writer/director; Chad Burris, producer

$25,000 for packaging

Felix Lopez is gay, undocumented and living in San Francisco until his family obligations move him across the country to a small Pennsylvania mining town to join his undocumented sister. Once there, alienated by local and family politics, Felix finds unexpected solace in the company of one person: his sister’s husband.

So I hope that means something good is coming soon.  Meanwhile I’ll look for her earlier shorts.

Oh.. and the two stars of this film were just wonderful.  Will be so happy to see them get meaningful work in the future.

Day 207 of A Yearlong Film Viewing Balancing Act.


Saw Austenland with my sweetie at AMC Bloomington 11 this evening.  We both very much enjoyed it.  Laughed and laughed.  

I do like Jane Austen… and I have to say I really got a kick out of this.  

Have to say thanks to AMC for bringing us another woman directed film.  There have been far too few this year.

Director:  Jerusha Hess
Writers:  Jerusha Hess, Shannon Hale
Cinematographer:  Larry Smith
Editor: Nick Fenton

Day 133 of A Yearlong Film Viewing Balancing Act.


An incredible film:  Wim Wenders’ documentary Pina (2011).

I was out of town - alas - when this film screened in 3D at Indiana University Cinema, but I have had a chance to witness it in 2D on disc… and it moved me to tears multiple times.  The dances and the dancers!  The film work! The music and sound!

Day 82 of A Yearlong Film Viewing Balancing Act.


Finally had a moment to watch Vera Farmiga’s powerful directorial debut Higher Ground (2011).  Exquisite.  Can’t wait to see what she brings us next.  

Day 104 of A Yearlong Film Viewing Balancing Act.


I love how often Sofia Coppola uses the words APPRECIATION and APPRECIATE!  That’s how I feel about her and her creative outpouring… 

Here she talks about her filmmaking career in this lovely video….


I’ve said it before…. and I’ll keep saying it… I love Star Trek.  I relish watching the Star Trek universe morph and evolve.  I get a kick out of watching the films circle back to re-engage themes of exploration, friendship, capability, love, humanity, etc etc etc.  Star Trek Into Darkness, the second film in the J.J. Abrahms era, engaged me on a number of levels.  Despite having blown the Star Trek narrative timeline out of the water in the previous film with the destruction of the planet Vulcan, this latest addition to the franchise recognized itself as the 2nd film in this cycle and honored that knowledge proudly.  I like knowing that we can boldly go where no one has gone before while still retaining qualities of the Star Trek universe that have helped it flourish for close to 50 years.

Yesterday - Day 15 of A Yearlong Film Viewing Balancing Act - my sweetie and I went to the AMC Showcase 11 in Indianapolis so we’d have a high quality experience - visually and sound wise.  We saw the film in 2D, so the fight scenes involving jumping from one flying transport to another did very little for me.  I imagine someone must like scenes of that kind as filmmakers repeatedly include them in action films.  I am not their audience.  

I prefer the personal interactions - conflicts and camaraderie. This film provided that in satisfying ways. 

Strong casting.  Chris Pine continued to impress me with the way he’s carving out his own interpretation of James T. Kirk, while weaving in Shatner like touches.  Zachary Quinto’s Spock continues to evolve as well.  They make a great team.  I have to say though that I was quite relieved to see Simon Pegg come back strong part way through this film.  His vigor and humor enliven every scene he’s in.

Benedict Cumberbatch:  Fabulous.  Riveting.  Complex.  Heartbreaking.  Beautiful.  Alive.  Commanding.  I’m looking forward to many many many more opportunities to see him bring his considerable skills to the screen.

I keep reading that STID had a disappointing weekend with box office of ONLY $84 million.  I hope that doesn’t impede further Star Trek films from emerging in the near future.  Make more.  I’ll continue to show up to enjoy them.  

Live long… and prosper…

If you’re planning to see the film, go soon before someone messes with your head by spilling some of the details and spoils the fun of discovering them for yourself.


Portrait of Lotte - 0 to 14 years in 4 min, Frans Hofmeester’s short film:  Day 351 of A Yearlong Film Viewing Balancing Act.


Today at Brown County Playhouse my sweetie and I saw Get a Horse, Lauren MacMullan’s short animated film, followed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee’s animated film Frozen.  We found it an engaging experience.  I laughed a lot.

Day 237 of A Yearlong Film Viewing Balancing Act.


Unfinished Song, starring the always incredible Terence Stamp, was a wonderful viewing experience… raw, emotional, funny, heartbreaking.  Vanessa Redgrave and Christopher Eccleston’s performances are also particularly moving and memorable.  I just saw Eccleston in Amelia the other day.  I love those kinds of synchronicities in A Yearlong Film Viewing Balancing Act.  Today’s Day 148 BTW.

Director/Writer:  Paul Andrew Williams
Cinematographer: Carlos Catalán
Editor:  Dan Farrell

Watched this on disc from Netflix.  


Plain Sight - a short that plays with perspective.  Streamed on Vimeo.  Honestly don’t know who made this.  "Mustardcuffins" doesn’t really give me much to go on.

Watched this one last night Day 133 of A Yearlong Film Viewing Balancing Act - frankly because it was very short and I hadn’t seen a short and I wasn’t going to break my streak of watching at least one feature and one short from 2003 or later every day….

This one complicates my film viewing balancing act… because I don’t have any gender information to go on… but that’s not going to be too big a hassle over the course of the entire year.  Gender’s not all that easy to define anyway..


This afternoon my sweetie and I went to Brown County Playhouse to see a matinee of RED 2 - an all around disappointing experience.  

This was our first visit to see a film at the playhouse.  Overall the experience at the playhouse was unappetizing, but the sound was appalling. I won’t be returning until they upgrade their sound system. 

We enjoyed the first RED film.  It had a loopy comedic giddiness and crispness of story that kept things moving along.  This sequel was a sodden mess of excessive, unmotivated violence and a complete lack of any urgent plot that would make me care what happens to anyone - despite the inclusion of a WMD du Jour.  I get really tired of film after film requiring protagonists to rescue cities or the entire world from destruction.  It’s just not interesting. 

Too bad.  Dean Parisot’s sci-fi parody Galaxy Quest is a work of genius.  Guess I’ll just watch Galaxy Quest again….. sometime soon… to get the bad taste out of my mouth.

And as for the Brown County Playhouse, I’m sorry to see the space, which used to house Indiana University Theatre & Drama’s summer theatre, devolve into such a sloppy presentation space.   I hope something happens to raise the quality.  

Day 100 of A Yearlong Film Viewing Balancing Act.

Half the series' directing nominees for The 2013 Emmy Award Nominations are women

13. Half the series’ directing nominees are women. Take that, Oscars. Or movies in general. A shockingly acceptable half of the 10 nominees for directing drama and comedy series were female: Lena Dunham (“Girls”), Gail Mancuso (“Modern Family”), Beth McCarthy-Miller (“30 Rock”), Michelle MacLaren (“Breaking Bad”) and Lesli Linka Glatter (“Homeland”).