Tuesday, October 28, 2014

"An echo from another time."

"Trick or Treat. Smell my feet. Give me something good to eat."

    My earliest  trick-or-treat memory was when my Mom dressed me up as mini- Santa Claus including makeshift beard stretched from cotton balls and a big jelly belly of rolled up winter scarves. In full action mode, pillowcase slung over my back, we were off on an incredible spooky adventure.  With my two sisters in tow, we trekked through our neighborhood and beyond for miles gathering our massive bounty of sweet treat treasures. Upon returning home we dumped our goody bags out on the green shag carpet. Admiring its luscious beauty we wanted to roll around in our candy as if we were the greedy Three Little Pigs in a luxurious mud bath. Our own personal pots of child's gold. Eyes wide as the moon, we stared salivating over the mouth watering deliciousness of every variety of chocolate bar, Sweet Tarts, Smarties, Pixie Sticks, Necco Wafers, caramels, candy necklaces, wax bottles of  drinkable goo and the occasional box of raisins or homemade cookie. No rocks.

     The day after Halloween, stuffing my face with candy, I manically rode my tricycle on our front porch for thirty minutes like the little boy from The Shining, "Redrum! Redrum!"  My energy level measured  Breaking Bad,"meth addict" on the uncontrollable kid scale. This was soon followed by collapsing into a long sugar induced slumber while watching Sesame Street. C-is for cookie, C- is for coma. Candy wrappers littered our living room like the  driveway of a  Dixie trailer park. Next thing I remember, I slowly woke up with sticky orange drool running down my chin. My stomach felt like it was gut checked by Mike Tyson and I had a Tootsie Roll lollipop suspended in my ponytail.

        So once a year let your mischievous monsters and ghostly goblins imagine they inherited Willy Wonka's factory and let it rain M&M's and Skittles. The memories are sure to haunt them forever.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

" You cannot take away hope."

“It takes great courage to open one's heart and mind to the tremendous injustice and suffering in our world.” ― Vincent A. Gallagher, author

      Premiering November 14th, Rosewater is based on the best-selling memoir "Then They Came for Me: A Family's Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival  by Maziar Bahari.   Screenwriter, comedian, actor, producer and host of "The Daily Show"  Jon Stewart makes his directorial debut. Rosewater follows the Tehran-born Bahari, (Gael García Bernal) a broadcast journalist with Canadian citizenship through months of terrifying injustice. 

     Bahari returned to Iran in June of 2009 to interview Mir-Hossein Mousavi, who was the rival of president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.  As Mousavi's supporters began to protest Ahmadinejad's victory hours before ballots were counted or polls closed, Bahari endangered his own life to send footage of intense rioting to the BBC. Soon after, Bahari was arrested by police, and placed under interrogation by an unidentified man who called himself "Rosewater". For the next 118 days, Bahari was imprisoned and systematically tortured. Following an international plea led by Bahari's wife, igniting media outrage in the West, Iranian authorities finally released Bahari on $300,000 bail with an understanding he would spy for their country.

 Rosewater is an unflinching first-hand account of tyranny, oppression and disturbing abuse of political power. It is a story for all times, all nations, all people standing up for their rights everywhere in the world. Released by Open Road Films OddLot Entertainment,  Rosewater features Kim Bodnia, Halah Bilginer, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Golshifteh Farahani, Dimitri Leonidas, Claire Foy, Nasser Faris, Miles Jupp.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

"Begin the hours of this day slow."

O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,

 gifRobert Frost (from A Boy’s Will, 1915)

O hushed October morning mild,

Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;

Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,

Should waste them all.

The crows above the forest call;

Tomorrow they may form and go.

O hushed October morning mild,

Begin the hours of this day slow.

Make the day seem to us less brief.

Hearts not averse to being beguiled,

Beguile us in the way you know.

Release one leaf at break of day;

At noon release another leaf;

One from our trees, one far away.

Retard the sun with gentle mist;

Enchant the land with amethyst.

Slow, slow!

For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,

Whose leaves already are burnt with frost

Whose clustered fruit must else be lost—

For the grapes’ sake along the wall.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

"Shadows of a thousand years."

"Shadows of a thousand years rise again unseen,
Voices whisper in the trees, "Tonight is Halloween!"
~Dexter Kozen

     What makes a song scary? With Halloween fast approaching, the appropriate music has the power to set ghoulish moods for ghostly celebrations or frightening  tricks-or-treater's from the front porch. But what elements of a composition make the hair on the back of your neck stand on end or send a shiver down your spine?   Researcher Daniel Blumstein, professor and chair of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California (Los Angeles ) may have an answer. Blumstein is an expert in animal distress calls or in scientific terms "nonlinear chaotic noise.”  He began exploring the link between nonlinear noise and scary music in a 2010 study of film soundtracks discovering horror scores significantly amp up the creep with blood curdling shock waves. Animal screeches, screams, crying babies, a haunting dissonant piano chord all trigger biologically ingrained responses in human beings. Since music is a huge part of our existence and permeates almost everything we do it seems natural that we associate certain sounds with terrifying moments of suspense. Recall any horror or paranormal movie that gripped your imagination, had you covering your eyes or squirming in your seat. You can shield your view but you can't get the sound out of your head. Sounds move us faster than our visual  perception. Your sense of hearing is never really turned off.  So what scary songs are on your bewitching Halloween soundtrack?  Here are a few to consider.

       My all time favorite creepy composition was created by legendary British band Bauhaus. Considered the fathers of Goth rock music, Bauhaus composed an eerie tribute to late Hungarian actor Bela Lugosi (Dracula). The song "Bela Lugosi is Dead" has been featured in horror films  The Hunger, and 2009's The Collector.

      The Thirst by Wymond Miles
      Dracula by Gorillaz 
      Halloween by The Misfits
      Red Right Hand by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
      Down by the Water by PJ Harvey
      Dark Legacy by  Midnight Syndicate
      The Prestige Movie Soundtrack
      & this hauntingly beautiful classic track from the Exorcist- Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield

Enjoy making your own spooky soundtrack.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

"The emptiness inside holds whatever you want."

"Of this poetry
  I'm left with the
  emptiness of an endless
- Giuseppe Ungaretti

      Director, Alejandro G. Iñárritu's black comedy, Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) was shot in what magically appears to be one long continuous take in only thirty days costing a mere 16 million dollars to produce. Ironically, the same glorified show business types the movie mocks have eagerly turned up their thumbs faster than Arthur Fonzarelli attracts hot chicks  Critics have been raving about the depth of Birdman's superb writing, performances and especially Iñárritu's visionary scope as a director. Emmanuel Lubezki, who won an Oscar for cinematography (Gravity )adds effortless edgy beauty to every scene. Birdman was brilliantly scripted by Iñárritu with  Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr.and Armando Bo.

     Starring, the remarkable Michael Keaton as the brooding former superhero Riggan Thomson, Birdman also features an incredible cast including Edward Norton, Zach Galafianakis, Naomi Watts, Amy Ryan and Emma Stone. The Fox Searchlight film premiers October 17th in limited release.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

"Things are meant to change."

“And all the lives we ever lived and all the lives to be are full of trees
and changing leaves.”
― Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse

 Demo #5       by Lisa More

Afternoon blue fades, horizon pales

Grey skies clutch the clouds in autumn rain

His eyes strike like lightening, thunder rages

dwell within the shelter of embrace

raindrops lash upon lips

in ghostly dance the rising mist forms

beads of crystal lingering on warm skin

diving deeper, gasping for breath

his eyes drown me under surging waves

flooded by his fury, grasping at tides

in the sweetest sinking of my surrender.

Friday, October 10, 2014

"When the world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful."

"When the world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful."- Malala Yousafzai


"Education is education. We should learn everything and then choose which path to follow. Education is neither Eastern nor Western, it is human."- Malala Yousafzai

Monday, October 6, 2014

"Time is an illusion."

"Science is not only a disciple of reason but, also, one of romance and passion."-                       Stephen Hawking, physicist, author       quoteauthors.com


       World renowned physicist, Stephen Hawking is the former Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge and author of international best seller A Brief History of Time. Now at the age of 72, Hawking is Director of Research at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics and Founder of the Center for Theoretical Cosmology at Cambridge (UK). Incredible, right? What's even more incredible is that in 1963 at the age of 21, Hawking was diagnosed with motor neurone disease (ALS or Lou Gehrigs Disease in the States) and given a mere two years to live. Yet despite facing  his greatest fears and an uncertain future he went on to Cambridge to become an extraordinary researcher and Professorial Fellow at Gonville and Caius College. From 1979 to 2009 Hawking held the post of Lucasian Professor at Cambridge, the same chair held by Isaac Newton in 1663.  Stephen Hawking holds over a dozen honorary degrees. He is a fellow of the Royal Society and a Member of the US National Academy of Science and is highly regarded as one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists since Albert Einstein.
       Debuting November 7th in the  U.S, The Theory of Everything, with screenplay by Anthony Mc Carten (Death of a Superhero) examines the life of Hawking, the amazing genius Super Mind as well as an intimate glimpse of Hawking as the resilient, love struck school boy. The film is based on the memoir by Jane Wilde Hawking entitled "Travelling to Infinity: My Life With Stephen" Starring talented, beautiful Brits Eddie Redmayne ("Les Misérables") Felicity Jones ("The Amazing Spider-Man 2") and directed by Academy Award winner James Marsh (Man on Wire) (Shadow Dancer) -The Theory of Everything opens in limited release. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

"You can't buy love but you can rescue it."

“An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language.”- Martin Buber     

     October is Adopt-A- Shelter-Dog Month.  After reading stories and speaking with pet lovers worldwide we conclude sharing our lives with a special animal enables us to reflect on our own happiness. Dogs seem to awaken our sense of joy every single day. They make us laugh. They make us smile. They make us weep They make us grateful. They avert our hearts and minds to the moment. They are loyal, trusting, honest and true. When we lose them we feel intense grief. And just as we cherish our human relationships we rarely regret the short time span loving our four-legged best friends. There is a deep loving bond uniting dog and owner that is only understood by living the experience rather than simply describing it. Once, just once, every human being should own a dog. Owners envision dogs as every thing from wild adventure buddies, skilled trackers, playful protectors, savvy show dogs, furry friends, children with paws or cuddly couch mates. Dogs are more than mere pets. Dogs are family. Planning to adopt your companion from a rescue or animal shelter?  You're saving a life- not just theirs but many times our own. Studies have shown pet owners are healthier and less prone to heart disease and depression than those without pets.
      Now more than ever dogs in shelters across the country need your help to survive. Over population is a serious issue in the US. Over three million perfectly healthy dogs and cats are euthanized every year. Due to overcrowding, animals in high kill shelters may have as little as a week to live before being put to death. There are simply too many dogs surrendered by families or rescued from hoarders or puppy mills to house or save. Shelters lack resources and tragically, euthanization has become the only humane way to control pet population.
     If adopting a pet isn't an option right now, use social media to get the word out about a local shelter or your favorite rescue. Utilize your own blog or website to include information. Post photo's of adoptable dogs. Organize a spay - neuter awareness campaign. Foster a pet until they find their fur-ever home. Donate money, supplies or volunteer. Better yet, ask your local shelters what they need most. Look into the eyes of any animal who has been rescued. Dogs understand love. Do we?