Monday, November 28, 2011

Music Monday: Florence + The Machine - "Shake It Out" + "Take Care"



I missed last week's Music Monday because I was traveling. Actually I was shooting "In A Brooklyn Minute - Week 82" with Debbie Foreman, who is probably my most devoted (only?) Music Monday post reader. So making blog post got lost in the shuffle. Instead we listened to a lot of music. Including the "Shake It Out" by Florence + The Machine

Because I'm still traveling, I'll keep it short.

The song is great - danceable with cool lyrics.
The video directed by Dawn Shadforth is stunning.
Enjoy.


Oh, but wait, what's that? Florence also just did a cover of "Take Care", originally recorded by Drake and Rhianna? Let's just add that to a quickie Music Monday: 

 


And the original recording of "Take Care" by Drake featuring Rhianna




Friday, November 25, 2011

Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site - Atlanta - In Another Minute (Week 82)

The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta, Georgia (established in 1980) includes King's boyhood home and the Ebenezer Baptist Church (he and his father had been pastors there). It also features the Civil Rights Walk, a Gandhi statue, the World Peace Rose Garden, the King Center, a colorful mural about King' life, The Freedom Walk, The Chapel of All Faiths, a modern church, an internal flame and last but not least a reflecting pool and the tombs of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his wife Coretta Scott King.

MLK Historic Site, Atlanta - In Another Minute (Week 82)

My original intent was to make a 1-minute video about my entire trip to Atlanta, where I had gone this week for a screening of my documentary All God's Children at PushPush Theater and to visit my friends Debbie and Rob and maybe catch a glimpse of Mike and Pat.

However, when Debbie and I went on our photo and video safari through Atlanta, I was so moved by the memorial to Rev. King and his message, that I decided to just focus this short minute on the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site

Sign in the Martin Luther King, Jr "I have a dream" World Peace Rose Garden

As mentioned above, there are quite a few elements to the historic site, but I was most taken in by the restored church, with Martin Luther King Jr.'s original microphone and his voice booming over the speakers. What a man, what a beautiful message of equality and peace! So fitting again in our time right now with all the protests here in America and overseas. 

The snippets you hear seem to be excerpts from a variation of the "I have a dream" speech

Now my plan is to upload a few photos of the Atlanta visuals that didn't make it into the video (street art, Oakland cemetery, etc.) to my Flicker page instead. 

I'm especially happy to finally have my dear friend Debbie Foreman in a video. She has been by far my biggest supporter in this "In A Minute" endeavor - not counting Scott, who's great at giving me constructive feedback while I'm editing.

MLK speech excerpt is part of a large mural at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta

If you want to see more, please check out my photo blog post: Photos from the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site (Atlanta).


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Trek Nation Director's Log


The documentary Trek Nation (directed by Scott Colthorp of Atmosphere Pictures) about "Star Trek", its creator Gene Roddenberry, the fans, the cast and crew and last but not least Gene Roddenberry's philosophy of community, equality, honor and an improved humanity, will be premiering in as a TV version on November 30 on Discovery Science Channel.


 

Because the TV version has different limitations compared to the feature documentary, Scott Colthrop and his editor Jessica Brunetto had put together previously, the director has decided to share some videos that aren't in the TV version - together with some other related videos.

Earlier this week we helped him launch his unique web series: "Trek Nation Director's Log".
Over the next few weeks you'll be able to watch: never-before-seen interviews with celebrities and Star Trek commercials he directed before he made the documentary, deleted scenes from Trek Nation and clips from his two upcoming documentaries The Good, True and Beautiful and Blackout, which were both inspired by the philosophy of Gene Roddenberry and those who carry it on.

I personally find the message of creating a better world through tolerance, awareness and kindness simply beautiful and am very proud to be a part of sharing it with the world.

Please check out the intro video and the first two episodes below and share them with your people if you like.

To make sure you never miss an episode and to help spread the message, please follow:









Saturday, November 19, 2011

"All God's Children" screens in Atlanta



The documentary film All God's Children I made together with Scott Solary is screening in Atlanta at the PushPush Theater tomorrow night. I guess you could say it's the Georgia premiere - since there hasn't been a public screening in town. But by now the film is a few years old, so I don't think like that anymore.

What is not old is the subject matter: child abuse in a setting where parents trusted the children would be safe. In the case of "All God's Children" it was the boarding school for children of missionaries where the children suffered abuses at the hands of the other missionaries while their parents were spreading the word of God in the field.

The screening is free and I will be attending to answer questions and discuss the subject of the film. I have heard that there may be some people in the audience who attended the school at the heart of the film (Mamou Alliance Acadmey) - and I'm very much looking forward to meeting them. They may even be willing to share their own thoughts with the audience.

Sunday - November 20th - 7:30pm
121 New Street
Decatur, GA 30030
(Atlanta)
404-377-6332




Friday, November 18, 2011

Occupy Wall Street on Nov 17 - In A Brooklyn Minute (Week 81)




November 17th marked two months of We Are The 99 Percent and Occupy Wall Street.

The original call had been for a 2-months occupation. Now a global day of action was planned for November 17th.

But just nights before the NYPD had cleared Zuccotti Park (aka Liberty Square) in New York City - at the same time as many other occupations were "evicted".

Thursday became a full day of protests, arrests, chants, signs, photos, videos, melees and injured protesters and police officers. I was not able to attend all the marches that went on from early in the morning until the big one at night.


I'm just bringing you a few impressions from a mid-day visit to Zuccotti Park - right at the time when the police came into the park and at least one protester was hurt (the man with the bloody head featured in many papers today).

Because the whole "take pictures and videos show the world via social media" is such a big element of this movement, I decided to post my video footage of the blood on the ground as well.

But I do stand with the sentiment in the end: "we are all people" - including the police officers, who have a really tough job right now.

This is just the 1-minute version. I will release a longer version shortly on my other channel: youtube.com/luciwest 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

DJTerrorBerlin aka Lutze

There are so many videos and webseries that come my way on YouTube, it's impossible to keep up. But the ones I always watch are the experimental, fun (sometimes funny, sometimes serious) and out-there music videos by DJTerrorBerlin aka Lutze (von umme Ecke) in Berlin.

Lutze is a multi-talented artist: a former Berlin DJ who continues to make some of his own electronic music, but mostly makes videos with music by others, including friends and YouTubers.

The first video I saw by him, and still his most popular is the simple classic "Bum Bum Musik"


He's often assisted by his wife and his friend KongzombieBerlin who will don masks and costumes and always a great "who cares" attitude. You can tell how much fun they're having. And then there are the interesting Berlin-area locations: "Analog vs Digital"



Other videos are focused on more serious subjects, like "Hellmarch"



Lutze is also a man of many quotes and leaving nice comments for other video makers, which I really appreciate. Oh, he's also a gifted visual artist. Last but not least he has an amazing collection of exotic animals and plants and stuff, as he's shown in one of his more personal videos: "my home is my castle":



In one of his most recent, and one of my favorite videos he shares about his experience of having a stroke. A very moving and inspiring video that brings the experience close to the viewer: "Schlaganfall Stroke"


He keeps making new videos, so please check out Lutze's YouTube channel: youtube.com/DJTerrorBerlin and subscribe and leave him a nice comment.

On a more personal note, I was very disappointed that I missed the Berlin YouTuber get-together that RixdorferWurstmusik organized while I was in Portugal - because I would have loved to meet all those guys. However then I might have had to dance for the DJTerrorBerlin - Carrera video. Next time...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Music Monday: Lana del Rey - "Video Games"

Lana Del Ray

American singer-songwriter Lana del Ray aka Elizabeth (Lizzy) Grant has a velvety dark voice and an astonishing physical beauty.

Although in some songs she sings in a higher register and some people may not care for the voluptuous (is it natural?) upper lip. Who cares? The song "Video Games" is just plain beautiful.



I also really like the very simple and atmospheric video. Even though this mixture of format and aspect ratio usually bothers me - the atmosphere created is right on.

And because this was so nice, why not also play the other A side from the double-A side single: "Blue Jeans"?
 

Friday, November 11, 2011

National 9/11 Memorial - In A Brooklyn Minute (Week 80)



The National 9/11 Memorial at the site of the World Trade Center in New York encompasses the footprints of the two towers turned into cascading waterfalls and surrounded by bronze parapets featuring the names of the 2,983 people who died during the attacks on September 11, 2001 and on February 26, 1993.

The memorial also includes a visitors' center (which is not yet complete), memorial cobblestones and pavers (which you can sponsor) and many trees, including the Survivor Tree (a pear tree that was pulled out of the rubble after 9/11).

Scott and I postponed our visit to the Memorial several times until we were in the right mindset and had the right weather conditions.

To me it is the combination of the blue sky and tall buildings reflecting in the calmer water at the top of the waterfalls with the water crashing down and being pulled into the deep dark square in the middle of each footprint that makes this memorial so effective and appropriate. The blue sky of September 11, the planes, the tall buildings, the crashing, the height, the deep abyss, the pull down. To see all the names, each an individual is almost too much to take - but again, absolutely fitting.

Along the 9/11 Memorial path

You have to make reservations ahead of time and security at the site is very intense (including airport-like x-rays). We wondered if this is how the memorial would always be or if one day people can just walk in from the street. It's a sad irony that a memorial to the victims of a terrorist attack would have to be so heavily guarded because of the terror we are still experiencing and anticipating. As much as I hate this phrase, I couldn't help thinking: But doesn't that mean the terrorists won?

As my camera looked up from the bottom of the waterfall to the rising new towers still under construction and a plane flying by in the blue sky, I had to tell myself: no, they didn't win. We all lost a lot. But they didn't win. Nobody won.

---
In the next few days I plan to also upload a longer version of this video and share more photos.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

New Occupy Wall Street Video

Knitting for the Occupation


No big drama. No commentary.

Here are just a few new impressions from the Occupy Wall Street camp at Zuccotti Park aka Liberty Plaza.

Filmed on November 1, 2011.

The movement continues...

Monday, November 7, 2011

Music Monday: Jessica Lea Mayfield - "Run Myself Into The Ground"



"Run Myself Into The Ground" by American singer-songwriter Jessica Lea Mayfield is the song that is on super heavy rotation on all my devices right now. I'm not sure if that's a good thing... I just know that this is a great song!

The album version of "Run Myself Into The Ground" is from this year's album Tell Me and is the one I can't stop listening to.



The acoustic version has been around for quite a while.


This live performance comes from the YouTube channel of Crackerfarm, an artist duo consisting of Lindsay Rome and Mike Beyer, who besides being photographers continuously post intimate musical performances by The Avett Brothers, Jessica Lea Mayfield and many other great artists. Definitely worth checking out!

Which brings me to this sad and beautiful duet by Scott Avett and Jessica Lea Mayfield: "Is This Love?"


Free download of the Jessica Lea Mayfield song "Our Hearts Are Wrong".

Friday, November 4, 2011

North Florida - In A Brooklyn Minute (Week 79)



This week's video was made in memory of Henry James 'Jimmy' Capp III.

The passing and memorial service for Scott's uncle Jimmy Capp is personal and wasn't going to be the subject of one of my videos. I wasn't even going to film on the trip to North Florida at all.

But once we were walking around De Leon Springs and St. Augustine it seemed only right to celebrate the beauty of nature, which Jimmy cherished as well.

The images are from the actual De Leon spring waters and the De Leon Springs State Park and the wetlands of the St. Johns River (around Capos Island) just north of the historic town of St. Augustine.

The song featured is "El Topo" - written and performed by my North Floridian friend Jason Matherne

Live Oak Tree in De Leon Springs State Park