Monthly Archives: June 2015

Some thoughts on A Deadly Adoption

As Heather's World Turns


Since I was actually at home on a Saturday for the first time in months, I decided to take it easy this weekend. I needed a break from my usually overscheduled life and kicking back and staying close to home seemed to be just what the doctor ordered. That meant that I was in front of my TV at 8 pm Saturday night when Lifetime debuted their Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig movie, A Deadly Adoption. There was no way that I was missing that. I grabbed some ice cream and curled up on the couch, curious as to what I was about to witness.

I had been looking forward to the debut of A Deadly Adoption partially because I had absolutely no idea what to expect from it. Would it be a parody of Lifetime movies, full of over the top acting and akin to a sketch that…

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Want Work You Love? Show Up.

Truth and Cake


Every now and then, I wake up feeling angsty. Jealousy pokes at me with its thorny little hands. It’s so rare these days but once upon a time it was the norm: that wash of fear and lack of graciousness. I used to stuff it away and ignore it. Nowadays, I celebrate it and lean right on in. I get nice and close so that I can hear what it’s whispering. Wanna know what it tells me?

It says, “This isn’t about anyone else. It’s all you, baby. In this tiny moment, you have forgotten your purpose.”

It’s my uncomfortable, handsy alert system. It’s there to remind me who I am and why I’m here. It urges me to show up.

“Purpose” used to sound like such a grand term to me–intangible and fluffy. I tried to reroute it. I took the practical approach. “If I can figure out…

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Woody Allen talked about the younger generation

“And when people always talk about the dumbing down of America, of course, I think that’s nonsense that one generation would be dumber than another generation. It’s so silly because the generation now is so much smarter than my generation in so many ways. But I am surprised that we used to go to all those art houses and my friends — and we were not intellectuals — I mean I was a guy who went to baseball games and basketball games and played ball in the street and didn’t get through one year of college. We all were thrilled by Bergman and Fellini and Antonioni and Godard, and Truffaut of course, and Resnais. This generation doesn’t seem to have much patience for the kinds of films that thrilled us when we were young adults in the city. I don’t know why that is. I don’t know why there isn’t a thriving cinema of high class films that you call art house films now. Or at the very minimum the young college kids today are not watching with great interest these films that I’m mentioning. All the Bergman films. All the Fellini films. The Truffaut films. I don’t know why they are not watching them from the past or that there isn’t an equivalent now for them to enjoy and buzz over.”

“When I talk to Emma — and Emma is someone who will do it because she is interested in film and it’s a career and she’s a serious actress — and I tell her you got to see “A Streetcar Named Desire” or you got to see “Cries & Whispers,” she will listen and do it because that’s her bread and butter so she cares about it. But I’ve sent kids going to very good schools –Yale and Harvard… very good schools — to see the Bergman films. I’ve screened them for them and it meant nothing to them. They didn’t care.”

On working with actors

“My feeling is that when they meet me they see quickly that I’m not anything to be nervous around. I’m more nervous than them. I’m very nice to all the actors and I never raise my voice. I give them a lot of freedom to work, to change my words, and they see in five minutes that I’m not threat. That they’re not gonna have to worry. They are not dealing with some kind of cult genius or some kind of formidable person. Or someone who’s a temper tantrum person. You know, they see right away that this guy is going to be a pushover for me. And I am.”

“I noticed that over the years I’ve grown more and more confident in the instinct of the actors and I let the actors really, you know, change my words, drop speeches they don’t like, change them, put them in their own words, add things. I give a great deal of freedom to the actors and they like that and it makes them feel relaxed and it makes them feel like they don’t rigidly have to do written lines. They can make themselves comfortable with the speeches, say them with idioms that are comfortable for them. And it helps.”


Genevieve Adams on acting career

“Be creative, and make your own work.  Don’t wait around for other people to give you permission, because they’ll tell you it’s impossible when it’s NOT impossible.  You just have to be persistent and follow through.  And if you’re someone who gets things done and likes to finish things then it doesn’t have to be a masterpiece.  It’s all about the process and creating instead of sitting around waiting for things to perfect, or waiting for the screenplay to finally be ready.  You just have to jump on the grenade and just go for it!  Also, the second piece of advice I can give is value your relationships and value the people believe in you and also people in the business….try to be around the people whose work you admire…get close to those people and be near those who are doing what you want to be doing.  Somehow, if it’s meant to be, it’ll work out.  You have to maintain your relationships with people, because this business is entirely BUILT on relationships and friendships…people WANT to want to work with people and those they know are reliable, professional, and good people.  So it’s very powerful to BE professional and classy…that goes a long way.”

“With the really good actors, they’re usually smart, and smart people are usually smart enough to be kind to those coming up, and both of them I was so lucky and felt honored to be in their presence.  And it’s cool to watch them work also, how they do what they do, see how relaxed they are in front of a camera, how they can just be themselves and be natural and authentic. Even in extreme circumstances, you know, freezing in the diner we were shooting at or we’re shooting in the middle of the night and how film actors are up against the elements, you know?  And with the example of Kristen [Wiig] and Liam [Neeson] (in view of a side comment I made about huge actors and having the impression it’s all ego out there, but then hearing it’s NOT that way) they’re both incredibly successful, and I think to BE that you have to be smart and I think people that have long and interesting careers ARE, and smart enough to be generous.  In this business, things can change really fast and you want everyone to speak well of you, like in any business.”


Shira Piven on Welcome To Me

“There are less and less creative outlets [because] we mistake our creative impulses as our impulse to put ourselves on television, regardless of whether we have anything to say to try to promote ourselves or make some kind of show about ourselves.”

“I feel very, very strongly that this movie is really about what’s going on in our culture right now as far as social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr. All of these modes of promoting ourselves, communication through self-promotion, reality TV… I mean, there’s a reality TV show that my 10-year-old daughter watches and the woman who is the lead of the show just last season had what looked to be an emotional breakdown on the air. And no one knew! Everyone is sort of oblivious, like ‘What’s she doing? Why isn’t she showing up for our kids?’ It was a show called Dance Moms. I watched this woman and she’s having a mental breakdown and no one is aware of it.

So, I feel like it was a parallel to our movie in a lot of ways. What Eliot wrote is very timely and very much an expose of our self-obsessed, media culture and the kind of direction it’s going in.

It also has a little more dimension than that… There’s a piece of Alice in there that that is creative and artistic, someone who wants to express herself. In a way, we’re giving ourselves as a culture the benefit of the doubt. There are less and less creative outlets [because] we mistake our creative impulses as our impulse to put ourselves on television, regardless of whether we have anything to say to try to promote ourselves or make some kind of show about ourselves.

We met people when we did screenings who have borderline personality disorder and several said they have their own webcast, they have their own podcast, they have their own variety show… it’s amazing!”

” Totally. And I think there are more outlets and I think in a way, that’s good. I think we see Alice realizing her creative side and the end of the movie connects with that. I won’t give it away, but also the end of the movie connects back with her endless need to continue to televise herself. Some of us live our lives on Facebook these days … It’s pretty absurd what things you find on Facebook. … We’re all in our own world, trying to get seen.”

On sexism in film business

I don’t know, yet. My first film was very low budget and in the world of low budget film festival films… the male-to-female director ratio is pretty much 50/50 to my understanding. The higher the budget, the less female directors there are.

The statistics speak for themselves and I think a lot of it is connected with the fact that… studios are fixated on their young male audience and in stories that are about young men and a lot of action-adventure. Whether it’s fantasy adventure or some type of violence involved, There is this kind of feeling that [these movies] are for men first, so they think that means by men as well. So… the statistics speak for themselves.

Personally, I come from a theater background and I haven’t felt a real sense of discrimination in the theater. Starting out in film… I feel like I have to prove myself like anyone else. I’m excited to be able to perhaps be paving the way as a female director. But yeah, it’s a good question. I can’t really speculate, but if I were to go up for a job directing a feature tomorrow, I think I would probably have the fact that I am a woman working against me and the fact that I’ve directed two features and have less experience than probably many of the people that they would hire. So, it would be hard to say which one would work against me more!

I think that we all have to continue to do our work and do the work that we love and that’s probably when we’ll do our best work. Hopefully, [we can] bring a consciousness to Hollywood and try to nurture more stories and more movies that would invite more female directors… But, whether or not the stories change, definitely there are women capable of filming any of the films that are directed by men out there. It would be nice for there to be a real sea change for that to happen.”

Source: Thecelebritycafe

Muốn giỏi như thầy


6TrogpAkcHôm qua thầy mất 1 giờ đồng hồ soạn một bài kiểm tra từ vựng thật hay cho học trò, nhưng phản ứng của các bạn không được tích cực. Sau khi nghe các bạn than thở bài kiểm tra của thầy khó quá, thầy buột miệng nói một câu với ý hài hước: “Mọi người cứ học đúng những gì thầy giao cho thì sẽ không thấy bài kiểm tra khó. Muốn giỏi như thầy thì học đi, đừng than thở nữa!”

Nói xong về nhà suy nghĩ thấy câu nói của thầy thật là phản tác dụng. Câu nói đó lúc đầu thầy tưởng sẽ “truyền lửa-tạo động lực-gây cảm hứng” nhưng vô tình lại tạo cảm giác “lệ thuộc” cho học trò.  Các bạn sẽ suy nghĩ lệch lạc là chỉ cần học đúng những gì thầy dạy là đủ, và phải học với thầy…

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Dance, fall, hurt your toe and butt, walk like a freak, and be proud of it!

Today marks the day I can finally do an a la second turn and injure myself for dance. I had no ideas how much a dance injury means to me until now. I used to see ballet dancers’ feet on the internet and cringe, thinking of how painful that is, how gross it is for people to see your feet like that. But now after I danced bare feet in a dirty room and then fell in my butt, my toe looks grosser than any of those images I saw, and yet I am so proud of it. Now I understand why dancers keep doing what they do regardless of the pain, the humility they have to suffer when they hurt themselves because of dance. Not because people will admire ballet dancer since they sacrifice so much for the art. Believe me, many people just cringe and swear to themselves they’ll never do the same stupid thing. The thing that keeps dancers dancing even though the excruciating pain bites them, hard, everytime, is the exact feeling of it, feeling of the injure right here, so clearly, feeling every inch of it on my skin, my flesh, the feeling that reminds them they have danced so hard until they break their bones, and that they finally do something worthy for their art and there’s no need to feel shame anymore.