In some way this is a post about Köln, the city in Germany where I was born…

Never Look Away (IMDB) is a new movie by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, who also wrote and directed The Lives of Others (IMDB), the brilliant movie about 1984 East Berlin that won an Oscar in 2007.

Never Look Away is loosely based on German artist Gerhard Richter’s life – who is named Kurt Barnert in the movie. His art professor in the movie is Professor Antonius van Verten, who is modeled after Joseph Beuys. The story isn’t a documentary by any stretch. For example, Gerhard Richter studied at the art school where Joseph Beuys taught, but Beuys wasn’t his teacher. In fact Gerhard Richter has let it be known that the film is a gross distortion of his biography. Does it matter? I think not, because the story is moving and inspiring, the film beautiful. The movie is over three hours long, but *feels* much shorter. I watched it at the Tampa Theater, where I have performed numerous times since the mid-Nineties, and where this guy was the opening act for the movie:

And how does all of this relate to Köln? Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck was born in Cologne, and Gerhard Richter has lived in Cologne for more than two decades.

Video Library

Fundraiser by Casey St. Charnez : Help Lisa Harris Keep Video Library Going!
Lisa S. Harris opened Video Library in August, 1981, as Santa Fe’s 1st video rental boutique. Today, the Vid is the last video store in town, still serving the film buff audience after all these years. It has long been a destination for locals to meet up at the counter, and discuss movies, dogs, and life itself.

In 1981 Video Library was the first video rental store in Santa Fe. A few years later, after big chains like Hastings and Blockbuster moved in, Video Library was the best video rental store. And now Video Library is the only video rental store in Santa Fe.

The selection of independent American productions and international films is outstanding, as is the knowledge of the staff. As you can tell I am a huge fan of this retro Video store. Actually it is not retro, because it has simply never changed since it opened 37 years ago, except to add more movies, of course…

If you live in Santa Fe you ought to check it out and, perhaps, rent a movie.

Short film

lens culture photography weblog
A short film shot entirely with a cell phone camera on location in New York and Sydney has won the $20,000 first prize at Tropfest in New York.

Proving once again that ideas trump quality, inspiration trumps budget. Fancy recording gear means nothing if we don’t have ideas.