Badass film…

Carol doing a Q&A at SXSW with Matt Harlock
It’s always good to catch up with people from the “old country”, time to relax and do humour without consequence, and last night I got to go to dinner with Carol Morley, Director of Dreams of a Life, as well as the Cairo, the producer and Andy Whittaker, the CEO of UK distributor Dogwoof. I saw in Dreams of a Life in Stratford down by the Olympic Stadium in December with Lauren and Jamie.

Carol blogged about dinner here in the last paragraph on the Film-4 blog, and for the record, the Football re-union is something we’d like to do, we have not done it yet.

It’s a strange old world though. I first heard about Dreams of a Life when Carol was interviewed on the BBC Radio London Robert Elms show; Robert Elms and I share a love of a all things Flying Dutchman records, and it’s even possible I sold Elmsy one or two; Lonnie Liston Smiths iconic, Expansions was on Flying Dutchman and importantly, Gil Scott Heron had his first album recorded by Flying Dutchman owner and producer, Bob Thiele; Joyce Vincent, the subject of Dreams of a Life met Gil Scott Heron, and the film includes this qoute from Gil: “A pessimist is someone in possession of the full facts.” – I’m guessing neither Robert or Carol realized how square the circle is.

Here are the dates for the remaining screenings of Dreams of a Life at SXSW in Austin. I’m getting a small group together to go Saturday afternoon, please add your name to my facebook link if you’d like to come, complimentary.

ps. Badass? It came from this text I got from Lauren “how lovely! check you out! hanging out with the uk film elite! what a badass!” – ha!

Same SUV, different day

I admit it, I parked next this selfish bad parker deliberately today. I’m going to have to find who it is…. I’m betting it will be someone shorter than 5’8″…

ps. I’m not picking on short people, its just my observation that they don’t have the same spatial awareness as us larger/taller people because they don’t grow up having to duck under things, turn sideways to get through things etc.

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Fee’s how much longer?

I’m so over paying fees for events, it’s such a rip-off. I just bought a ticket for my first ever visit to the One World Theatre here in Austin[the home of star’s from the 1970’s and 1980’s], I’m going to see Ramsey Lewis do Sungoddess Revisited. It was this track and the album, Sungoddess that introduced me to Earth Wind  and Fire and a life long love of their music and harmonies, heck I even got the tattoo in 1976. So I wanted to get a decent seat and went for a “prime seat”, price $75. Yeah, I know.

Then came the sticker shock, for an entirely computerized print at home system, I paid an additional $14.50 in fees. One of the fees was listed as simply a transaction fee, maybe this is the fee they are paying to the credit card company so I could use my card, well I’ll get some of that back as I used a cashback  card. Which still leaves an $11 fee for someone sitting down and typing the name of the event, a description, posting a picture and setting up the web page. Alright, maybe I could pay a small amount, say 20c towards the license of the software, and another $1 max. for the system time on the server, but at best thats’ $4.50. Since they actually use seatadvisor.com for bookings, the fees should be even lower.

I had thought about going their to see the Average White Band in October, but not $14.50 worth of fees. For the record, it’s not that I can’t afford it, it’s that it’s a ripoff and a barrier to entry to those who can’t. Enjoy Sungoddess…

BBC Plans iTunes Competitor With Download Fees For New And Old Shows

Excellent news if it comes to pass. I’ve made some comments on the original paidconnet comments page, including describing why you wouldn’t put the content on iTunes; why the UK License payers are not paying for the content twice; and why the only thing radical about this, is that they have not done it before.

BBC Plans iTunes Competitor With Download Fees For New And Old Shows | paidContent.

Coming and going in 78704

Tomorrow starts the annual rush and crush better known as South by South West (SXSW). Most of the official events don’t actually start in zipcode 78704, but it’s one where it is possibly most noticeable. With South Congress, Auditorium shores, the “Mexican mile” on South First, and lots of new restaurants and alternative destinations in the ‘hood, like Slackerville and plenty of retro and vintage shops hustling for attention, there are bound to be many official and more unofficial events [End of an Ear has 8-bands alone]. Threadgills[South] also in the ’04 has a massive lineup of musicians running from Wednesday through Saturday.

Courtesy of Pigskin Palooza
Someone missing from the scene will be Austins’ close held but now passed Leslie, My neighborhood was certainly made special as he regularly hung out on the front porch of La Mexicana bakery and Flashback vintage. There’s already been an outpouring on Facebook of people saying Austin won’t be the same without him, and it sure won’t. He was found on Feb 16th, unconscious in a parking lot across the street from my house. I wasn’t involved in his rescue this time. I did sit with him once though when he’d collapsed for some unknown reason in the Twin Oaks library parking lot, while I waited for the South Austin Medical center to dispatch a free ride to come collect him. Then there was the Sunday morning when I jogged past him at the bus stop on South 5th and W Mary, again apparently passed out, legs akimbo, wearing a short skirt with his less vital organs in clear display. I ran 3-blocks south before deciding to come back and check on him, yep he was “asleep” and after a few minutes it was clear an ambulance wasn’t required.

Yep, it’s a shame he’s gone, no one deserved to be treated like he was when he was beaten up, and Leslie was afforded some great friends like Debbie Russell and many others. Lesie was though much more than a cross dresser to entertain people on S. Congress and Sixth St. and people should remember that when mourning his passing.

© www.annemariecarson.com

And Austin will be just the same without him, there are lots of other people keeping Austin and the ’04 weird. Just take a trip down to Eeyore’s Birthday Party and you’ll see the spirit in full flow, and that doesn’t include some of the more esoteric and fantasy characters like The Bandit Queen of Lady Bird Lake.

Welcome to the ’04 to all the SXSW visitors, we are all here, because we are not all there.

East End Match Girls and Apple/FoxCon

I was struck by the similarity of the plight and treatment of the BRYANT & MAY MATCHWOMEN in the East End of London, in the 1880’s, and the hi-tech assembly workers at the FoxConn factories in China.

I heard an interview with Louise Raw, Historian and Author, on this mornings Robert Elms, BBC Radio London show, talking about her new book, Striking a Light. The comparison was really only around the plight of the workers than anything else. Thinking about it afterwards the scale of the hi-tech workers is staggering, Wired estimates 1-million workers working on the iPhone alone, which beggars belief.

The clear difference between the two is not just the number of deaths, the illness, the treatment etc. but the nature of the society that allowed both to exist. In the 1880’s the Bryant and May Matchwomen had the ability to incite change and the ability to start a union like organization. In China, it’s not at all clear this is even remotely possible.

If you can catch todays Robert Elms show on the BBC iPlayer, it’s well worth a listen. It should be posted by 1pm Central time, and will be available only for the next 7-days. Unless I get time to rip that section of the show and post to soundcloud.