{ On Limitations and Collaboration }

March 1, 2014 § Leave a comment

“You have to understand your limitations…For me, that’s where collaborations come in.” – Nick Cave

From 20,000 Days on Earth.

This interview from Spex magazine elaborates.

Co-director Jane Pollard she said they shot a 10-hour session between Nick Cave and a Freudian psychologist months before filming the rest. Very smart. She also said Warren Ellis doesn’t really live in a house by a cliff. But he should.

There’s one more screening of 20,000 Days at True/False, today at 10:30 in the Picturehouse. Hey bloggers and friends, what else is a must-see?


{ Three of my favorite things are at True/False 2014 }

February 26, 2014 § 1 Comment

The True/False documentary film festival is a jubilant affair that erupts all over downtown Columbia, Missouri, at the close of each winter. It’s special for lots of reasons. Directors, producers and subjects answer questions at the end of every show. Buskers play onstage before films and fill the streets when they’re off duty (by the way – Did you know Lawrence, Kansas, has a busker festival?). Visual artists install quirky scenes in every corner of every venue. Speaking of which, we planted our last orange trees this evening, which means…

True/False is this weekend!  Here’s what I’m watching:

{ Documentary about Social Capital in the Rural Midwest }

Rich Hill, directed by Tracy Droz Tragos and Andrew Droz Palermo. One of the best interviews I’ve ever done was with these two cool cousins, whose family is anchored in Rich Hill, Missouri. (Actually, you can read that Q&A in Missouri Life on newsstands now.) Tracy and Andrew are compassionate, intelligent, talented people, very gracious with their time and very thoughtful in their responses. I am so excited to see their work on the big screen.

{ Documentary about One of My Favorite Musicians Ever }

20,000 Days on Earth, about Nick Cave. Done. I’m there. When Esquire put him on its list of weird men last month, Tom Junod said, “His songs might be classified as either ‘sacred or profane’ or ‘sacred and profane,’ and that tells you how indispensably weird he is.”

{ Documentary about Science and the Questions it Answers }

Particle Fever, directed by Mark Levinson. It follows six scientists at the launch of the Large Hadron Collider and promises to both excite a general audience and get really philosophical. Sounds perfect.

Anyone want to check the lineup and tell me what you’re seeing?

{ Midwest Diva }

February 6, 2014 § Leave a comment

So what’s this blog all about?

cliftyLet’s start with the name! There’s a long and lovely waterway in Missouri called the Gasconade River. It touches both of the Ozark towns where I grew up, it’s the longest and crookedest stream in the state, and the river is simply beautiful. It’s escaped dams and survived oil spills and who knows what else. For local readers who got the reference right away, consider this a wink in your direction. We’re going to be friends.

“Gasconade” has other meanings. Bravado. Boastful talk. To boast extravagantly. From French gasconnade, from gasconner to chatter, boast like a Gascon.

Once you get to know me, this last part might seem strange. I try to avoid bragging and, frankly, have little patience for anyone who thinks too highly of themselves. But get me talking about Missouri, the Midwest, and people doing awesome things? That’s a gasconade at least 280 miles long.

So while I find my voice and my focus, you can count on this general goal: I will hunt down that hard-working Middle American experience and show it off, trophy-like, on this little part of the internet. Bravado will ensue.

I can only hope to be half the Midwest Diva that Leslie Hall is. Hit it, Leslie!

The pride of Iowa and . . . figurehead of my future canoe? I say yes.

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