“Atramentous” wraps shooting

Atramentous, a mockumentary about the making of a blaxploitation movie with an all-white cast, has officially wrapped shooting. Stay tuned for updates on release!

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Cast
Andrew: Blaine Pennington
Geoff: John Barker
Atramentous/Marshall: Michael Knowles
Five Fingers/Brennan: Chris Robertson
Alistair/Graeme: Pascal Yen-Pfister
Prostitute: Becca Bruder
Sound Girl: Krista White
Beggar: Alex Wright
Interviewer: Nelson Lassiter

Crew
Director/Producer: Greg Starr
Assistant Director/Producer: John Flynn
Associate Producer: Tanya Manderson
The Man: Frank Hooker
Director of Photography: Yessica Curiel-Montoya
AC: Kyle Taylor
AC: Doron Blumfield
Script Supervisor: Aina Segui-Prats
PA: Montgomery Brown
PA: Tristan More

Dario Fo’s radical message for World Theater Day 2013

I’ve made a quick translation of Dario Fo’s biting message for the 2013 World Theater Day. Fo is an Italian actor/playwright/director and the recipient of the 1997 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Years ago, those in power dealt with their intolerance of comedic actors by banishing them from the country. Today, actors and theater companies have trouble finding theaters and audiences, all because of the crisis.

Rulers therefore no longer have trouble controlling those who express themselves with irony and sarcasm because the actors no longer have spaces or platforms on which to perform.

In contrast, during the Italian Renaissance, rulers had to struggle to keep comedic actors, who enjoyed a wide audience, at bay.

It’s been observed that the greatest exodus of comedic actors happened during the Counter-Reformation, which ordered the dismantling of all theater spaces, especially in Rome, where they were accused of giving offense to the Holy City.

Pope Innocent XII,  under harassing demands by the most reactionary faction of the bourgeoisie and the leading clergy, in 1697 ordered the destruction of the Tordinona Theater, whose stage, according to the moralists, gave the greatest number of obscene performances. At the time of the Counter-Reformation, Cardinal Carlo Borromeo, serving in the north [of Italy], committed himself to fertile redemption of the “children of Milan,” creating a clear distinction between art–the highest form of spiritual education, and theatre–the basest expression of profanity and vanity. In a letter addressed to his collaborators, which I recite from memory, he stated roughly the following:

“We, charged with uprooting evil weeds, have taken to sending books containing infamous speeches to the fire pit, to eliminating them from the memory of mankind, and also to persecuting those that distribute these texts in print.

“But evidently, even as we sleep, the Devil works with renewed cunning. How far more penetrating to the soul is what the eyes can see, than what one can read in these sort of books! How far more devastating is the spoken word, said with proper voice and gesture, than the dead, printed word of a book to the minds of boys and young girls! It is therefore urgent that we rid our cities of thespians as we would of unwelcome spirits.”

Therefore, the only solution to this crisis is to hope that a great hunt is organized against us, and especially against the young people who want to learn the art of theater: a new Diaspora of comedic actors, who, by this challenge, will doubtless gain an unimaginable advantage for new performance.

The original Italian below:

Tempo fa il potere risolse l’intolleranza verso i commedianti cacciandoli fuori dal paese. Oggi gli attori e le compagnie hanno difficoltà a trovare piazze teatri e pubblico, tutto a causa della crisi.

I governanti quindi non hanno più problemi di controllo verso chi si esprime con ironia e sarcasmo in quanto gli attori non hanno spazi né platee a cui rivolgersi. Al contrario, durante il Rinascimento in Italia chi gestiva il potere doveva darsi un gran da fare per tenere a bada i commedianti che godevano di pubblico in quantità. E’ noto che il grande esodo dei comici dell’arte avvenne nel secolo della Controriforma, che decretò lo smantellamento di tutti gli spazi teatrali, specie a Roma, dove erano accusati di oltraggio alla città santa.

Papa Innocenzo XII, sotto le assillanti richieste della parte più retriva della borghesia e dei massimi esponenti del clero, aveva ordinato, nel 1697, l’eliminazione del teatro di Tordinona, il cui palco, secondo i moralisti, aveva registrato il maggior numero di esibizioni oscene. Ai tempi della Controriforma, il cardinale Carlo Borromeo, operante nel Nord, si era dedicato a una feconda attività di redenzione dei “figli milanesi”, effettuando una netta distinzione tra arte, massima forza di educazione spirituale, e teatro, manifestazione del profano e della vanità. In una lettera indirizzata ai suoi collaboratori, che cito a braccio, si esprime pressappoco così:  “Noi, preoccupati di estirpare la mala pianta, ci siamo prodigati, nel mandare al rogo i testi con discorsi infami, di estirparli dalla memoria degli uomini e, con loro, di perseguire anche coloro che quei testi divulgarono attraverso le stampe.

Ma, evidentemente, mentre noi si dormiva, il demonio operava con rinnovata astuzia. Quanto più penetra nell’anima ciò che gli occhi vedono, di ciò che si può leggere nei libri di quel genere! Quanto più la parola detta con la voce e il gesto appropriato gravemente ferisce le menti degli adolescenti e delle giovani figliole, di quanto non faccia la morta parola stampata sui libri. Urge quindi togliere dalle nostre città i teatranti come si fa con le anime sgradite”. Perciò l’unica soluzione alla crisi è sperare che contro di noi e soprattutto contro i giovani che vogliono apprendere l’arte del teatro si organizzi una forte cacciata: una nuova diaspora di commedianti che senz’altro, da quella imposizione, sortirà vantaggi inimmaginabili per una nuova rappresentazione.

Stephen McCaffrey does open mic standup comedy

My step-brother Stephen McCaffrey does his first standup routine on a cruise ship! NSFW

SEO time: Dane Cook, Louis C.K., Ricky Gervais, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, David Letterman, Comedy Central, Friars Club, Carrot Top, Gallagher, Barack Hussein Obama

Xotica

The story of a woman who believes men to be pigs and guilty of one sin or another takes matters into her own hands to rid the world of such filth. She poses as an exotic dancer in the VIP section of gentlemen’s clubs where seduces men into her web of misfortune, ending in their death with her signature weapon: a Stiletto heel.

Starring: Fernanda Tapia & Michael Knowles
Directed by: Rachael Brandon
Director of Photography: Noel Woodford
Assistant Camera & Gaffer: Anthone Morone
Music: “Xotica” by Phutureprimitive

NYU Sight & Sound Film Fall 2012

Jimmy McMillan debates my TV

Blames “lamestream media” for not inviting him to debate “real issues,” rent

“Rent Is Too Damn High” Party founder Jimmy McMillan will live-stream his responses to debate questions during President Obama and Governor Romney’s first televised showdown tonight, after being snubbed from the debate invite list. McMillan is currently running for President, with perennial candidate Vermin Supreme as his running mate.

“The mainstream media won’t invite me to debate because they can’t handle the truth. Barack Obama and Mitt Romney don’t debate a damn thing,” explained McMillan. “That’s okay. That’s why I’m here.”

“Jimmy has a unique perspective on the issues that our country faces, and his 2012 presidential campaign has certainly demonstrated a higher regard for the truth than President Obama’s. I’m honored to have him debate my TV.” responded Knowles.

The debate will be streamed live beginning at 9 p.m. on http://www.ustream.tv/channel/michaeljohnknowles.

 

Update (12:45 a.m., 10/4/12): The debate, in Instagram

Debate prep:

Jimmy yelling at my TV:

 

Taking notes:

America: