Here in the United States, the month of July is most known as the month of independence and freedom with 4th of July. Fireworks, American flags, and beer flood the streets leading up to the day. But there is another day that is under the radar that all Americans and people of the world should know which is Global Forgiveness Day. Global Forgiveness Day was founded by the Christian Embassy of Christ's Ambassadors (CECA) and was designed to forgive all conflicts in the world, in specific countries all the way down to the individual home and person. CECA has spearheaded this event ever since it was founded back in the late 90’s and in recent years has gained traction all over the world. Global Forgiveness Day takes place July 7th, 2015 and CECA’s biggest upcoming project is enacting it here in the United States.
It’s been 12 years since the release of the critically acclaimed film Red Roses and Petrol hit theaters back in 2003. June 27th is the anniversary of the film that told the story of a dysfunctional Irish family coming together after the death of their patriarch (played by Malcolm McDowell). Once together, some of the family members put parts of the past behind them, which ties in perfectly with Global Forgiveness Day. Although the story has some dark tones and metaphors, love and life are two crucial themes that are played throughout the film.
Too sum it all up, Forgive and Forget! Global Forgiveness Day is something the entire world should stop and think about and really take time to appreciate. With all the violence going on around the world and here at home, this day is something that is very much needed to stop, reflect, and be thankful for the amazing life we all have.
“One good thing about music, is when it hits you feel no pain.” Although Bob Marley was entirely correct with this statement, there are many other great things to consider about music. Today we can get music anywhere and we usually take this for granted. Although it doesn't matter too much what format you are using to listen to music, there is a certain quality about vinyl. Maybe the fact that its tangible, the awesome cover art, or it could be the warmness you feel as the rich sound flows into your ears.
Record Store Day is a throwback to an older format, Vinyl. It is an annual event that celebrates the culture of independently owned record stores by releasing exclusive records. Marc Fayd’herbe, Universal Music’s sales manager, has described Record Store Day as the “single best thing that has ever happened to independent music shops.” Not sure where you local stores are or which ones will suit your tastes? Here is a link to a review of local Orange County record stores. Or you can check out “The World’s Largest Independent Record Store” Amoeba, which has stores located in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Berkeley.
While searching through the local stores be sure to keep an eye out for soundtracks to your favorite movies. For example, Garden State has one of the best soundtracks out there and if you can find a copy of it at a record store you better scoop it up while you can. Requiem For A Dream, Inception, The Royal Tenenbaums, and Pulp Fiction are all great examples of some of the best soundtracks to keep an eye out for. The musical accompaniment to Red Roses and Petrol, originally by Flogging Molly, is full of great moments and is one of our favorites. Another benefit of visiting your local record store on this day are the exclusive vinyls that normally would not have been pressed if it weren't for Record Store Day. So go participate in this growing culture and explore your local record stores.
Happy Women’s history month! Female directors may be a rarity in Hollywood today, but women were a much larger part of the film industry at the beginning of the silent film era. Before film was seen as a lucrative commercial enterprise, filming was often done as an artistic hobby. One of the most influential directors of her time, often overlooked in history books, was Alice Guy-Blache, who wrote, directed, and produced more than 1,000 narrative films in France between 1896 and 1907, and in the United States from 1910 to 1922. She is sometimes credited as the woman who began the narrative story style everyone enjoys today.
During the 1900’s, female directors were pioneers in primitive color techniques, such as hand painting and stamping, and they helped in creating the first examples of sound in film by recording on wax cylinders. By the early teens and the 1920’s men invaded the directing roles and women were pushed to working on writing screenplays. Additionally, at the end of WW1, society pushed women back into their domestic roles as the men returned home from war. Currently only 11 % of films have a female lead actress, and only four women have ever been nominated for Best Director by the Academy. Those women were Lina Wertmuller in 1977 for Seven Beauties, Jane Campion in 1994 for The Piano, Sofia Coppola in 2004 for Lost in Translation, and Kathryn Bigelow, who was the only woman to win in this category for The Hurt Locker in 2010. In 2013, not a single female was nominated in the Directing, Cinematography, Film Editing, Writing, or Music categories, and across the 19 categories only 35 women were nominated in total, while 140 of their male counterparts were nominated.
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It is March once again, and we are celebrating Irish-American films this month! The comedy drama Red Roses and Petrol, starring Malcolm McDowell, is packed full of Irish-American traditions and culture which the viewers can relate to, or identify with in their own families, while the upcoming The Secret Scripture, starring Eric Bana and Rooney Mara, will be bringing the thrilling novel to the big screen.
To further engulf ourselves in the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, here is a hand-picked list of excellent Irish-American films that are timeless, captivating, and filled with the “luck of the Irish.”
Whether that means good or bad luck, it is for the audience to decide!
Be sure to watch "Red Roses and Petrol" this month on Vimeo, indiemoviestore.com and other streaming movie websites.
Top 5 Favorite Irish-American Movies of all Time
Gangs of New York ( 2002 ) - Irish immigrants in 1860’s New York City, led by Liam Neeson and Leonardo DiCaprio, clash with the "native" New Yorkers, led by Daniel Day-Lewis in his brilliant performance as Bill "The Butcher,” and spill blood all over the ghettoes of the Five Points district in Martin Scorsese's post-9/11 tribute to New York City.
The Commitments (1991) - A couple of unemployed Dubliners form an off-beat soul band in filmmaker Alan Parker's 1991 favorite. Winner of the BAFTA for Best Picture in the year it was released, it has also been voted Best Irish Film of All-Time by Jameson Whiskey in 2005. The Commitments well deserves a spot on this list.
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