Thursday, February 23, 2006

In Memory of Dad

Shortly after two o'clock in the morning, my dad, Jon Brett Jensen, passed away.
Thank you to all of you who have been there for the last fourteen years of his battle. Thank you for your prayers and service for him. I will get information about the funeral services as soon as it is finalized.
Sir, I love you. -ry

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Sundance hangover

Where did January go? I'm telling you--wait--I can't tell you. I have written and rewritten this post, and there is just no way to do it. I don't want to get dooced, so I will refrain. I can say that I worked 208 hours in the last two weeks. Other than that tidbit, I will withhold my work-related opinions about the last month from this public forum. (Soapbox dismounted.)

Working that many hours doesn't leave one with much time to catch an actual movie, but I can say there were many which I do hope to see. Politically, there are two movies I hope to see. One is a movie with Al Gore called "An Inconvenient Truth". It talks about the global warming phenomenon. Another was a biographical movie about Ralph Nader called "An Unreasonable Man". There were also two Hispanic movies I would like to see. One is called "Quinceanera", and the other is "De Nadie". Really, the list of movies I want to see isn't realistic. Honestly, I haven't seen more than three movies in a theatre in the last couple of years. Still, I have to name the rest of the movies I would have liked to see. I also include tidbits for you.
"God Grew Tired of Us"--If you are going to see one movie from Sundance, this is the one I would have to recommend. It is the story of a few of the 27,000 Sudanese refugees known as the "Lost Boys". Christopher Quinn helps us see the great story that has unfolded without much acknowledgement from the more developed countries. This film earned both the Grand Jury Prize for a Documentary and the Audience Award for a Documentary.
"Wordplay"--This one may not be for everyone. No, it's not risque or vulgar. It is about crossword puzzles, and it looks great.
"No. 2"--The cultures of the pacific islands have always fascinated me. This is a comedic look inside on family from New Zealand. The few clips I saw had me rolling around hysterically in the control room of my station.
"Iraq in Fragments"--Agree or disagree with the war, I don't care. This movie is beautiful enough to have earned two awards for James Longley's spectacular cinematography and documentary directing.
"American Blackout"--This movie talks about two of my loves, politics and the media (I hate the term "media", but that is another story for another day that most of you probably don't care about).
"Dear Pyongyang"--This is a documentary about a Korean family in post-war Japan. It does not have the look of a visually stunning movie, but it still peaks my interest to here the family's story.
"Black Gold"--I want to do the sequel to this one. It is about the trade of coffee--not oil--as black gold. The movie explores the exploitation of coffee workers in Ethiopia. The push is made for fair-trade coffee. The Colombian side of the story needs to be better told.
"The Illusionist"--Edward Norton and Paul Giamatti battling for world domination (and Jessica Biel) in 19th Century Vienna.
"Lucky Number Slevin"--I've never been a fan of Josh Hartnett, but I am a fool for the whole mistaken-identity-leads-to-lots-of-fighting-and-cute-girls thing. Plus, you get Morgan Freeman, Lucy Liu, and Bruce Willis involved in the whole thing. OK, so it's not the deepest movie of the lot, but this is a full disclosure posting.
Speaking of full disclosure, I have to admit that I did meet quite a few of the actors, directors, and/or producers of these movies. Yes, I may have been swayed by my association with some of them. Trust me, though, there were plenty of movies I heard great reviews about which I could care less to go see. Unfortunately, a bunch of those are going to make it to theatres, and I will have to hear about them again (Darwin Awards, Stay, Friends with Money).

Even though I didn't get to see any movies, I did meet some cool people who will probably never remember me, but it was still fun to meet them. I have promised multiple people that I would list those people on my blog at some point, so I will give it a try. I met Robert Downey, Jr., Dito Montiel, Shia LaBeouf, Chazz Palminteri, Good Charlotte, Sting, Amber Tamblyn, Kristin Hoffman, Lyfe, Terrence Howard, Hadjii, Roger Ebert, and Lisa Guerrero. The guys from Good Charlotte were genuinely nice to the whole crew. I talked to Terrence Howard a couple of times during the festival, and he was probably the nicest star I met. Of course, Amber Tamblyn could be nice, but I was to busy trying not to make a fool out of myself to really talk to her. You may not recognize the name of Kristin Hoffman, but she is a wonderfully talented musician who you will be hearing from within the next year.
No, I didn't meet a million people or see any of the 120 movies, but I did have a job to do. I feel I did it well. If you look around, you could even see some of my stuff on the web, but I'm not giving out the links. Frankly, my assignment was pretty boring.
Now that everything is done, I'm glad to have seen what I did. I'm also glad it only lasts for two weeks. If you were able to be here for any of the festivities, I hope you enjoyed yourself. As for me, I hope my next Sundance experience comes as a spectator.