I’ve been researching Westerns for an upcoming project Niknaz and I want to do that will be a Western-new wave Iranian cinema mashup. A Khorest Western. ( And yes, we’re still working on Bailout. But sometimes you need some space from characters in your head to visit others in other worlds).
As part of that research, I’ve been asking folks I know for lists of Westerns (and Western genre inspired films) to watch. Here’s what I’ve compiled so far–anything else I should add to the list?
- BLOOD MONEY aka THE STRANGER AND THE GUNFIGHTER
- BILLY JACK
- BLAZING SADDLES
- BUCK AND THE PREACHER
- DEAD MAN
- DON’T TURN THE OTHER CHEEK
- THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE
- MCCABE & MRS. MILLER
- THE MISFITS
- ONE EYED JACKS
- RED SUN
- RIDE IN THE WHIRLWIND
- RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY
- RIO BRAVO
- THE RUTHLESS FOUR
- THE SEARCHERS
- SEVEN MEN FROM NOW
- SERGIO LEONE FILMS
- SERGIO CORBUCCI FILMS
- THE SHOOTING
- STRAIGHT TO HELL
- TEARS OF THE BLACK TIGER
- THE THREE BURIALS OF MELQUIADES ESTRADA
- THE TRINITY TRILOGY – THEY CALL ME TRINITY, TRINITY IS STILL MY NAME, and BOOT HILL
- WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE (Hindi Version)
- THE WILD BUNCH
I’m excited to share that my new essay “Whose Burden” has been published by Mutha Magazine. It’s a follow up to this unexpectedly controversial blog post from a few months ago.
A few excerpts:
The undercurrent to these discussions is: children are a burden. Some people are saying it’s one they don’t think they should have to carry. Others, that it was one that if I’m a “good mom” I should be willing to sacrifice my interests and desires fully for.
The question on my mind now is: has the medical technology of birth control and insemination made us into individualists? Is the ability to “choose” now a pass to not be interested in supporting the inclusion–and liberation–of all people? (And by the way, it is not a choice for everyone in the U.S. as long as women’s reproductive health options are limited).
As someone who never wanted kids originally, I understand the resistance to “taking on the burden” of other peoples’ children. Culturally, most communities don’t respect peoples’ choices to not have children. People who choose to be child-free often feel marginalized. It’s further compounded with the weight of heteronormativity, patriarchy, and all the feelings of being devalued that come with them. But I don’t think isolating yourself from people with kids is the answer to that oppression. I understand it as a reflex, but it does not move us forward as we build movements for social change. It doesn’t move us forward as humans.
A quote from Ira Glass from an article on Mentorless I read this morning and recommend. A much needed reminder for those of us in the midst of a creative process.
Recently, I’ve been combing over all the great resources on the Cultural ReProducers website–a group of active cultural workers who are also parents.
An excerpt from their manifesto:
* Being a vital cultural creator and an engaged parent need not be mutually exclusive things. No one should feel they have to choose between having a successful career in the arts and having a family. This has been the case for too long.
* The art world, as it is currently structured, doesn’t know what to do with mothers. Or children. Or fathers actively raising their kids. This affects all of culture: the making, curating, reviewing, experiencing and feeling of it.
* Raising children to value and engage with art benefits them, us, and society as a whole. Creating culture with the perspectives that come from raising another human does, too.
You can read their full manifesto here.
My next goal: how to find folks like this in real life to connect with.
Have a narrative film in post-production? Don’t miss out on the Independent Filmmaker Labs deadline in a few weeks.
IFP’s unique year-long mentorship program supports first-time feature directors when they need it most: through the completion, marketing and distribution of their films. Focusing exclusively on low-budget features (<$1million), this highly immersive program provides filmmakers with the technical, creative and strategic tools necessary to launch their films – and their careers.
Through the Labs, IFP works to ensure that talented emerging voices receive the support, resources, and industry exposure necessary to reach audiences. Open to all first time feature documentary and narrative directors with films in post-production.
I’m excited to be on the review committee once again this year for the BlackStar Film Festival here in Philadelphia. The submissions process is now open and eligible applicants are encouraged to submit before May!
The BlackStar Film Festival is a celebration of cinema focused on work by and about people of African descent in a global context. BlackStar highlights films that are often overlooked from emerging, established, and mid-career directors, writers and producers working in narrative, documentary, experimental and music video filmmaking.