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Blogs Core Competencies - A Proposed Structure for Standards

By Robin King | Wednesday, July 21, 2010 at 5:08pm

This post, together with the last one, is intended to elicit feedback and comments from institutions and companies interested in exploring standards as a framework for further development and to promote discussion on standards development. It describes a simple standards system for discussion.

Blogs DISGRACE (2009) (***1/2)

Based on J.M. Coetzee's Booker Prize-winning novel, this story, on the simplest level, is about it's title. A white man is disgraced. His black student is disgraced. His daughter is disgraced. A black family is disgraced. Taking place in post-apartheid South Africa, a nation is disgraced. But who and why are not as they seem in this enigmatic tale of regaining some kind of grace.

Prof. David Lurie (John Malkovich, BURN AFTER READING) has a dominating sexual appetite. He is drawn to black women, frequenting a black prostitute. He teaches a class on the romantic poets and develops an infatuation with a black student named Melanie (Antoinette Engel). He uses his position of power to seduce her and when they make love for the first time it's not technically rape, but technicalities don't change they way people feel. Lurie aggressively pursues Melanie until the affair is publicly exposed. Instead of trying to defend himself, Lurie arrogantly pleads guilty and flaunts his disgust with the  whole school inquiry against him.

Blogs Made4mobile – Or Is It?

When I first started aggregating content and approached my colleagues in the animation industry looking for distribution rights I would get very blank looks or often silence on the end of the phone as in the hearts and minds of most content providers the mobile was still essentially considered a device for making phone calls. That has changed significantly in the last few years. But ever-the-less the animated made4mobile content business has not become as significant as I anticipated.

Blogs It's not always best to put all of your eggs in one basket

A small piece of advice - even good, honest people make mistakes and use poor judgment. The secret is not to buy into what someone tells you just because you believe the person would never lie to you. Better be cautious, even your mom and dad can lead you astray because they believe you'd make a great lawyer or sword-swallower or pickle maker - A person doesn't have to be a liar to be wrong so while you can respect others' judgment, never set your own aside.

Blogs Do You Deserve Success?

By Lisa Kaye | Monday, July 19, 2010 at 8:59am

Standing in the way of every great dream, each new idea, a desire to excel and the will to achieve is a nagging doubt, an uncertainty, a question you should ask yourself, do you deserve to succeed? Knowing what you want and how to get it are factors in your ability to take hold of your career and forge a plan towards achieving any goal. Looking beneath the surface of where you are in your life now, if you are happy and if you are not, why you may be unable to change could provide the hidden key towards unlocking the door towards your success.

Blogs When in doubt, change it up...

By Lisa Kaye | Monday, July 19, 2010 at 8:51am

Making the most of a bad situation these days takes a lot more than prayer, a glass of champagne, and getting lost in your iPad. If you’ve been lost looking for a ray of hope in the otherwise cloudy skies of the job market, just look up and if that doesn’t help and you are still in some serious doubt, then change it up.

Blogs ENTRE NOS (2010) (***1/2)

This indie drama deals with new immigrants to the U.S., but at its core it's a story of survival. It's difficult to be new anywhere, but what if you had two kids, didn't speak the language and didn't know anyone? Could you make it? How would you do it? This story from the directing/writing team of Gloria La Morte and Paola Mendoza looks at what one mother did.

Mariana (Mendoza) moves from Colombia to New York City with her two kids, 10-year-old Gabi (Sebastian Villada) and six-year-old Andrea (Laura Montana), to reunite with their husband and father Antonio (Andres Munar, CHE). But his life changes too abruptly when they arrive; he's been use to the single life. Soon he tells them that he must move to Miami for a job and will send for them later. Mariana is set to fend for herself after being in a new country for six days. Antonio never calls; he just disappears.

Blogs Blu-ray Buzz – Between Us It's the Red Shoes

This is a jam-packed week. We have a Blu-ray and DVD Pick of Week. Some great classics coming from Criterion. There's also a long list of films I'm curious to hear from readers about, some got trashed by other critics and some our critical darlings.

Blu-ray Pick of the Week
The Red Shoes
Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's THE RED SHOES is considered by many to be one of the best films ever made. Martin Scorsese has said it is his favorite film. The story takes an honest behind-the-scenes look at the rise of a young ballerina. Boris Lermontov, played by Anton Walbrook, is the impresario of the ballet. He takes promising dancer Victoria Page (Moira Shearer) under his wing and begins to control every aspect of her life much to the chagrin of her boyfriend, young composer Julian Craster (Marius Goring). Lermontov is more than a controlling lover type — he wants to be Victoria. The character is one of the most complex ever put on screen. And the standards of 1940s cinema make him all the more fascinating because Powell and Pressburger needed to dance around many tawdry interpretations. The closing ballet number is one of the best dance sequences ever put on film for its artistry of movement and its metaphoric comment on the plot. I can only imagine how his richly filmed early color film looks on Blu-ray. This is an essential for any real movie fan.

Blogs INCEPTION (2010) (****)

An idea can change the world. In Christopher Nolan's mind-bending thriller, big ideas are vulnerable to be stolen within a person's dreams. Powerful businessmen spend millions on setting up projections in their minds to protect them from extractors who are hired by competitors to steal secrets. But what's infinitely more difficult is to put an idea they did not think of in their mind. This is inception.

Blogs INCEPTION (2010) (****)

An idea can change the world. In Christopher Nolan's mind-bending thriller, big ideas are vulnerable to be stolen within a person's dreams. Powerful businessmen spend millions on setting up projections in their minds to protect them from extractors who are hired by competitors to steal secrets. But what's infinitely more difficult is to put an idea they did not think of in their mind. This is inception.

Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio, BLOOD DIAMOND) is a skilled extractor who has been hired to steal company secrets from billionaire Saito (Ken Wantanabe, THE LAST SAMURAI). While Cobb ultimately fails, Saito is impressed with his skills and hires him to attempt an inception on the son of his rival. The mission seems impossible, but Saito promises to use his connections to allow Cobb to return to the U.S. where there is a warrant out for his arrest.

Blogs CREATION (2010) (***)

Controversy surrounded this production when it was trying to secure distribution in the U.S. Major studios were afraid of the subject matter. So what is this shocking film about? The life of Charles Darwin whose work on evolution, an accepted scientific fact. This is still too hot to touch 150 years after the publication of his revolutionary book ON THE ORIGIN OF SPECIE? If this movie about a man who loves his daughter is dangerous than we're in danger from something bigger than this film.

In the film, Charles Darwin (Paul Bettany, A BEAUTIFUL MIND) is suffering great physical and mental pain on whether to publish his findings or not. Alfred Wallace has published an essay that proposes the same theory of species evolving over time, but he doesn't have the facts that Darwin has. Nonetheless Darwin is torn. Part of his hesitation is with his wife Emma (Jennifer Connelly, A BEAUTIFUL MIND), a devout Christian, who worries about Charles not spending eternity with her in heaven. But for Charles the facts are too clear and he won't deny them.

Blogs THE SORCERER'S APPRENTICE (2010) (**)

The NATIONAL TREASURE trio of star Nicolas Cage, director Jon Turteltaub and producer Jerry Bruckheimer come together to try and strike magic again. But with a title SORCERER'S APPRENTICE, the film actually has little magic. There are a lot of pyrotechnics and visual effects, but none of it brings the whimsy or awe that the title suggests.

Blogs THE SORCERER'S APPRENTICE (2010) (**)

The NATIONAL TREASURE trio of star Nicolas Cage, director Jon Turteltaub and producer Jerry Bruckheimer come together to try and strike magic again. But with a title SORCERER'S APPRENTICE, the film actually has little magic. There are a lot of pyrotechnics and visual effects, but none of it brings the whimsy or awe that the title suggests.

In one of those opening voice over sequences that quickly explains the mythology of the world, we learn that Merlin (James A. Stephens, SHERLOCK HOLMES) had three apprentices to help him protect his sorcery secrets from archenemy Morgana (Alice Krige, TV's DEADWOOD). Balthazar (Cage) and Veronica (Monica Bellucci, THE MATRIX RELOADED) were Merlin's faithful servants, but Horvath (Alfred Molina, AN EDUCATION) betrayed him to Morgana. In a move of self-sacrifice, Veronica bonded herself with Morgana, forcing Balthazar to lock her in a nesting doll called the Grimhold, where he later imprisons other Morgana followers like Horvath. Before Merlin dies, he tells Balthazar to search the globe for the Prime Merlinean (really?), a sorcerer who would inherit all the abilities of the great one.

Blogs When is building a shopping mall like making a television game show?

The Mouse Factory is under attack having lost a major Jury decision regarding their accounting practices. Having claimed that "Who wants to be a Millionaire" was kept in the Red despite its tremendous success was too much for a Jury to stomach, awarding a huge settlement to the game's creator.

Blogs Frenzer Foreman Animation Forum (podcast) x 14

Special Guests: Signe Baumane & Isaac Short. On this episode of the Forum, Joel and Alan prognosticate the future of cinema and how podcasts are this century's booming artform. Then, independent animator and bunny-lover, Signe Baumane, presents her perspective on animation as art, art as animation, sex ed, the animated short vs. feature, how to finance your independent animation career, animation as a drug-habit, and how not to be a lonely rapist. All are then joined by 6-year old Isaac Short as he works through his unhealthy obsession with early pioneers of animation.

Blogs Core Competencies - A solution for academia and production

The use of standards serves to free educational and training organizations from unnecessary duplication of effort in curriculum development, makes them accountable for quality of instruction and learning, and frees them to concentrate on the development of story, art direction, character performance, cultural and personal expression and the ability to create globally competitive content

Blogs Blu-ray Buzz – Altman Rarity & Underrated Gem in Spotlight

This week I've selected a Blu-ray and DVD Pick of the Week. One is a little seen Robert Altman film starring HAROLD & MAUDE star Bud Cort and an underrated gem of a dark comedy actioner for a few years back. There is also a quad of releases that I'm interested in checking out and hope to hear more about from fellow fans who have seen them.

Blu-ray Pick of the Week
In Bruges
Martin McDonagh followed up his Oscar-winning short film, SIX SHOOTER, with this action-packed dark comedy. Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson play hitmen who have been sent by their boss, played by Ralph Fiennes, to Bruges, Belgium after Farrell's Ray botches a job. Gleeson is happy to take in the tourist spots of the medieval city, while Farrell fears he will lose his mind from boredom. Even though they are there to keep a low profile, the duo gets wrapped up with local drug dealers, a movie production and a dwarf. At times this pitch-black satire is gruesome, but it all serves the story and complex characters well. Don't miss it.

Blogs Movie Review & Director Interview – 'Despicable Me'

Many people battle for world dominance, but what about villains? Gru is the anti-hero with a long, pointy nose and a grey and black scarf that he wears all seasons, in Universal’s first animation feature premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival. I rate this movie 4 starfish, it’s “Perrific.”

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