An AnC Hanukkah Video

In honor of the last day of Hanukkah, I am posting the AnC Movies 2011 Hanukkah video. We made this as an incentive and released it when we gained 80 backers in our Kickstarter campaign. We had been making lots of little videos for this campaign; Dollar Days, Thanksgiving, and then we promised a Hanukkah video next. I asked Barnaby if he had any ideas. He said he did, but he didn't want to talk about it till we were shooting. This is the result.

Just so you know, Charlie and I were both raised Catholic not Jewish. Barnaby's family is Jewish on his father's side, but I suspect he's only slightly more knowledgeable than we are. I can't explain the lack of Greek food knowledge except to say that things fall out of your brain when you're looking into a camera.


A Scene and a Lot of Thanks!!!!!

It actually happened. We made our $20,000 fundraising goal by 8pm EST on December 17, 2011. I'm telling you, our friends and family are stellar. People were giving us shout-outs left and right all day. We gained about 25% of our backers in the last 24 hours of the campaign: friends of friends, friends of friends of friends, even some random Kickstarter wanderers. We also had a lot of our backers upping their pledges at the end, and at the last 30 minutes, the pledges were coming in like crazy. People made sure we got there (if we didn't make the pledge goal, we wouldn't have gotten any money at all). Our friends were blowing up Facebook and Twitter, it was...really cool. I can't tell you how excited, and humbled, and everything else it makes me feel.Thanks.

Now the work begins. Our collaborating composer, Nathaniel Blume, will be busy in the next few months, and we'll be tweaking the final cut of the movie and thinking hard and long about publicity and festivals. It's pretty awesome to know we will be getting our score recorded the way we hoped we could. The sound will be getting finalized, and we'll have a finished movie in a few months. It's almost not believable. It's been so long in the making...

On another note, we promised we'd release another scene from the movie when we got to 150 backers which happened late on the 16th (then we got another 43 backers by the next evening). We did release it, and now, I'd like to share it here on my blog. Obviously there is no music, so just imagine what our awesome score will sound like over it!!


Final hours of Kickstarter.com Fundraising! Help this Movie Out!


Okay, as I write this, our Kickstarter campaign is in its final 10 hours. If we don't make our $20,000 goal by tonight Saturday, December 17th at 8pm EST. We don't get any of the money at all. We are close, but not there yet. We still need help. Here's the link to pledge http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/204199111/science-sex-and-the-ladies

So, I have honestly have no idea who reads this blog, but if you do, I'd sure appreciate if you backed this movie. I don't care how much. It can be a dollar if that's what you can do at this moment. We've had such a lot of positive responses. Our Kickstarter project page has 800 likes on Facebook, and we have some amazingly generous friends, family and fans who are promoting the hell out of us. If we can get even another tiny fraction of that positive energy into pledges, we'll easily make our goal...and remember, you actually get something when you pledge - like a DVD of the movie.

It has been a real tough roller coaster at times going through this campaign, but overall, it's been really lovely to be a part of, and I want to thank everyone out there who has helped in some way so far...Now go get me some pledges!


Our First Scene Release from "Science Sex and the Ladies"

As you may know, we are in the last 5 days of our Kickstarter.com campaign to fund the score and sound finalization for Science Sex and the Ladies. We are 51% to our goal amount, and if we don't get all the way there by 8pm EST on Saturday, December 17, 2011, our backers won't be charged for their pledges, and we won't get any money at all. That's how Kickstarter works - all or nothing. So, we need pledges and we need people to tell their friends about it. If you haven't yet, check it HERE - then pass on the link.

Although I've been kind of an obsessive nervous wreck since this fundraiser began, and it's been frustrating in a lot of ways, it's also been really cool and satisfying too. This is really our first time to truly promote the movie, so it's felt good to know we're getting the word out there. We've also received shout-outs, press, and pledges from some really fantastic feminist people and organizations; Betty Dodson, Annie Sprinkle, BookWoman, Filament Magazine, Early to Bed, The Feminists' Guide to Hollywood, university newspapers, local publications, and a fine arts auction house (http://www.antiquehelper.com/) will be donating a portion of its proceeds to us this Thursday. So, we're getting a lot of support and great press, but we still have a ways to go, so please help out if you can...and spread the word if you're down with this movie.

Now, when we made it to 110 backers, we released a little piece of Science Sex and the Ladies. We chose this one for a couple reasons. 1. It showcases several of our actors. 2. It gives a little taste of how the movie will move through a variety of on-screen and off-screen narrators. 3. It gives away a little about the movie's content, but it's not a full long argument. It is actually the transition between 2 arguments really.
Obviously, there is no music (and it could certainly use some), but it's a nice little cut from the movie....a touch of fun, a bit of cheese, some era costumes. When this scene begins, it has just finished discussing the roots of our modern cultural understanding of female orgasm and sex drive. Then the scene finishes just before discussing why it has changed so little (in some important ways) since then.
P.S. The book that's being read is one of the "sex manuals" for married couples that became quite popular after WWII. Here ya go....


The Future - The SSL Review

The Future is an independent arthouse movie written and directed my Miranda July, who is a performance artist, writer, and director. Charlie and I stopped in St. Louis on our way home from seeing his brother in Kansas to see this movie. We'd been wanting to see it, but we'd missed the short amount of time that it was playing near us. We really liked her previous movie You and Me and Everyone We Know. I'm not going to recommend that one to you unless you feel unfazed by watching, say, John Waters or Todd Selondz movies. Otherwise it might be a little too disturbing, and hey, if that's not what you're into, no need to watch.

Charlie liked The Future a little more than I did, but we both were a little under-impressed - probably because we loved You and Me, and Everyone We Know so much. The Future is about a couple who decides to adopt a stray cat, and then their whole perspective changes, literally altering space and time. The cat sorta narrates the movie, and its voice is Miranda July's but all soft and creaky. July is also the main character in the movie. There were some fun parts to this movie. I don't regret watching it by any means, but it just didn't come together as a nice piece for me.

However, it did have a very small depiction that I thought was worth an SSL review. Normally, I reserve SSL reviews for movies that specifically depict or discuss female sexual release. There are simply too many movies that show sexual acts involving women. If they don't also give the viewer some insinuation or blatant information about how the woman physically responded to that sexual act, then reviewing it isn't a helpful way to understand and critique what Hollywood is insinuating about what is normal and how women should respond sexually.  I made an exception with this movie though, because it showed something a little novel, and I thought it should be recognized.

Sophie, Miranda July's character, becomes interested in a man who is not her boyfriend. She meets with him once or twice. Before she sees him, we see her getting all gussied up. It's obvious there is sexual tension. At one meeting, they are sitting on the couch, and he makes a rather course and abrupt move towards Sophie in a sexual way. She gets up as if she did not want the advance and moves off screen. We then hear a little noise just off screen. I believe it was kind of a gentle creaking of furniture and a little cloth rubbing on cloth sort of sound. It is then revealed that Sophie is just feet away from the man; standing and facing a chair, rubbing her vulva area against it. The man then comes over, pulls down her undergarments (she's wearing a skirt), and then we see a shot of the chair being pushed against the wall in one thrust. That's the end of the scene.

So, I think the part that interested me about this was that Sophie was depicted doing something that is not traditionally a movie sort of thing for women to do in a sexual situation. She was stimulating her vulva area. We don't usually see women doing that or being interested in that, even though almost all women who masturbate do so by stimulating their vulva/clitoral areas, and most (I argue in the movie that it is actually probably all) women who orgasm during intercourse do it by...that's right...somehow stimulating their vulva/clitoral area during the ol' in and out.

I'll skip all the strange emotional stuff involved in this scene, and just point out that the viewer saw a woman in this scene who made a choice to have a sexual interaction, and when she made that choice, she decided to begin it by stimulating herself in a way that is a fairly realistic; a way that may actually stimulate an actual woman. That, in itself, is rare and refreshing. Good work Miranda July.

I give this movie 5 out of 5 vulvas
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