Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Intolerance at a Supernatural Convention

This post was written by a member who attended BurCon, a Supernatural convention in Burbank.

Two weeks after the convention I am still bothered by my experience there. I finally decided what happened should not pass without comment. The GHPALS blog gives me the forum to vent that I need, and I thank my fellow members for allowing me to use it.

I love the show Supernatural, so when I read about the convention in Burbank I eagerly bought a silver ticket. I saved up so I could stay at the Marriott and really enjoy myself. Mostly I did.

The timing, it turned out, was unfortunate because it started two days after the Presidential election. As we all know, the voting results shocked a great many people who had assumed Mrs. Clinton's election was assured. 

The disappointed and upset included the major Creation staffers and most of the actors appearing at the convention, and they were very vocal about it. Several of them made negative comments about Trump supporters as well as the President-elect. Audience members cheered these remarks, sometimes enthusiastically.

I was one of the finalists in a trivia contest. The last two contestants were always asked where they were from and audience members cheered the location. I answered "Orange County" and the moderator sniffed disdainfully. Evidently he knew Orange County usually voted Republican. I wanted to shout, "We voted for Clinton, you asshole!" but of course I didn't. 

At one point the audience was asked if anyone there voted for Mr. Trump. No one raised a hand.

There had to be someone in that room who voted for him, but no one subjected themselves to the scorn that would have been heaped upon them. I wouldn't have. 

Not raising your hand in such a group is not an act of cowardice. It's an expression of "I don't need the hassle."  The crowds at Mr. Trump's rallies was an indication of his popularity. I know the rally here in Costa Mesa was packed.

Misha Collins was obviously devastated by the election results, since he had campaigned for Mrs. Clinton. He had the grace not to bash Trump or his supporters.

Mark Sheppard, Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki made no comment on the election. It's not relevant to the show we were all there to celebrate.

I have read many blog posts reporting on Supernatural conventions. They always say fans are friendly and embracing newbies. I had been looking forward to that happening to me. It didn't, I'm sorry to say. 

Instead I sensed I'd stumbled into an exclusive club, one where only people who thought a certain way were welcome. 

That feeling was reinforced by the flyers someone left on horizontal surfaces throughout the hotel. The tone deafness of the author, who must not have sensed the absurdity and condescension inherent in such a note, is obvious. Trying to be inclusive, the result was exclusive and offensive. If you aren't on this list, you aren't respected because you don't deserve to be.

At least that's how I felt, a white female of European descent who may, or may not, have voted for Mrs. Clinton*, who respects everyone without needing to know their race, ancestry or sexual orientation,

* I'm a firm believer in the sanctity of the secret ballot.

Does the Bechdal Test Work for TV?

The other day our members had a heated discussion about the Bechdal test–Does it work for TV?

Originally created to judge the lack of good female characters in movies, the test asks 3 questions:
  1. Are there two female characters?
  2. Do they talk to each other?
  3. Do they talk about something other than a man?
To pass, the answer to all three must be yes.

Naturally given the nature of our membership, long and involved discussion ensued. Weighty issues were thoroughly considered and consensus was finally reached.

Our conclusion:

  1. The Bechdal Test can only be applied to the entire run of a TV show, not individual episodes.
  2. It is not a good test because a character's role is more than just dialog with another woman. Given the time constraints of fixed length episodes, there is rarely time for conversation that doesn't drive the plot forward in dramas. In comedies the conversation often is the point.

We reached these conclusions by testing a variety of popular shows from the past.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Naturally this was the first show we discussed. It passes the test and has great women role models.

Xena, Warrior Princess Ditto.

Dr. Who Rarely do two women talk to each other in this show. Donna and her mother were great exceptions. Leela didn't talk much at all, but she was certainly a strong female character.

Battlestar Gallactica Starbuck. Need we say more? Who cares about conversations when there's a character like her in the show.

Supernatural The show is about two guys. Any other character, male or female, is subservient to that. Yet the show has given us Charlie Bradbury, Jody Mills, Ellen & Jo Harvelle, Mary Winchester, Abbadon, and lots of other string female characters.

Ghost Whisperer Two female characters often talk about things other than men, though the husband and son tend to come up frequently in their conversations. Not every woman is a babe in it.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Clearly this show flunks since there's rarely two females in an episode.

Another Period Lots of women talking about lots of things, so it passes the test and provides employment to many actresses.

The Beverly Hillbillies Grannie and Elly Mae had lots of conversations that weren't about men, covering topics like possum stew and animals in the cement pond. Elly Mae was the sweet but idiotic eye candy, but completely independent and not looking for a man. Miss Hathaway was a hilarious stereotypical successful but man hungry professional working woman. Granny was the matriarch who everyone deferred to, though they didn't always obey. Were these women good role models? We decided they might well be because they were always themselves and no one demanded they change.

Green Acres Lisa Douglas often talked to Mrs. Ziffel and the lady plumber/contractor, and they rarely talked about men (though Arnold was a male pig). Lisa's conversations with her mother-in-law were almost always about Oliver though. Can't say this show had any meaningful roles for women, though everyone in it accepted everybody else for who they were, quirks and all.

Bewitched Samantha and her Mom always talked about Darren. This show didn't have meaningful roles for women since Sam had to change to fit her husband's ideas of a good wife.

The X-Files Dana Sculley talks to all kinds of women about all kinds of things, so it passes the Bechdel test. Plus she's on heck of a female role model.

Wonder Woman Diana Prince/WW talks to a variety of women (my personal favorites are the German agents in the first season). They rarely talk about men.

Hazel (Does anyone remember that show? It's on reruns here.) The maid talks to women about all kinds of things, rarely about men.

The A Team The lady newspaper reporter often talked to women clients, and it was usually about how the team could help. Or two women clients talked about their problem, usually caused by men. Does this count? This show flunks. But who cares–it's too fun to watch.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Win a Gold Pass to a Supernatural Convention bySupporting a Charity

We are great fans of Supernatural. Readers of this blog must be aware of that.

The actors and actresses who work on that show are great supporters of small charities that make direct impact on individual lives. That's not to knock the big ones, like Goodwill or the Red Cross, but everyone has heard of them. There are thousands of charities that aren't publicized but deserve support and publicity.

Ruth Connell, our favorite witch Rowena, has given us the opportunity to join her mega-coven and support My Hope Chest, a charity that helps breast cancer survivors pay for reconstructive surgery.

Creation Entertainment, the company that puts on those fabulous Supernatural conventions (some of us are going to the one in Burbank in two weeks) is supporting her efforts.

Anyone who buys, or has bought, something from Ruth's collection, will be entered in a drawing for a gold pass to a 2017 Supernatural convention. That would get you in the best seats, everyone's autographs and a whole bunch of other good stuff.

I bought the scarf.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Overdue: The Final Unshelved Collection Kickstarter Campaign

The twelfth and final collection of Unshelved, a comic strip about a library.

We wrote how uncool it is that Unshelved has decided to shelve themselves and will cease producing new scripts very soon.

As a last hurrah they are publishing one last book, Overdue, through a Kickstarter campaign.

And how cool is it that it's fully funded. In fact, it's raised more than double its goal.

We've all dibbsed our copies. Why don't you? You've got 12 days left to do it.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

How Cool is This?

  • There really is a Hell. It's in Michigan. You can buy a square inch for $12.95 or become Mayor for a day for $100, and it's name was official in 1841, so it isn't just a tourist trap.
  • The new season of Supernatural. The first two episodes have been great. Though next time there's a Sam in the shower scene, he should take his shirt off.
  • Unshelved, the cool library-based webcomic, has raised more than twice its goal on Kickstarter for publication of its 12th collection. We helped.

How Uncool is This!

 South Coast Plaza will light its Christmas tree before Thanksgiving. At least this year it's soaked in fire retardant.

Unshelved, the cool library-based webcomic will stop publishing new strips 11 November.

Creation banned booze at Supernatural conventions. Makes you wonder what happened to cause this action.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Wonder Woman Now UN Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women

The United Nations has made Wonder Woman an Ambassador for the empowerment of girls and women. We here at GHPALS had a rousing discussion about this action.

Member A: "What an absurd choice as a role model for empowering young girls. I love Wonder Woman, but she's an appalling example of female empowerment. Sure she's more than capable of holding her own against men. She's an Amazon, born and bred.

"But how does being born into a society where women are empowered already inspire someone born into a society where women aren't? The Amazons don't take in women from outside their world They don't often help anyone outside their tribal island. at all. 

"Furthermore, they are just as close-minded in their approach to men as other tribal societies are in their approach to women. Nothing in the Wonder Woman story has her fight to get an education or avoid female genital mutilation or forced marriage. Nothing in her story gives girls any useful or helpful suggestions that would help them evade such practices."

Member B: "Come on! Wonder Woman is the ultimate in woman power! She fights just as well as the guys. Why wouldn't she inspire a kid? No one cares about her origin story."

Member C: "Give me a break! She's fictional."

Friday, October 7, 2016

How Cool is This1

  • Gwen Briscow's Jubilee Trail  is an e-book! Available iBooks and Amazon, this amazing historical novel focuses on the Santa Fe trail and Southern California before the Gold Rush.
  • NFL Sunday Ticket. We can watch every Bears game legally instead of via a kind stranger's illicit stream.
  • Westworld Is Ed Harris good or evil? Is the phrase "These violent delights will have violent ends" the equivalent of a contagious bacteria? What's with all the milk?
  • Tours at the Tallman House, Rock County Wisconsin Historical Society On one tour the guide is a real estate agent trying to sell you the house. On another the visitors are treated like applicants for a servant position.
  • The Latest Trailer for Supernatural Season 12. Watch It Here. Sam and Dean are fighting the Nazis necromancers again. Lots of favorite characters are back. Many sneaky references to previous episodes, like the billboard for Mystery Spot.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Banned Book Week Day 7: Did anyone ever censor your reading?

In honor of Banned Books Week (September 26 through October 1, 2016), GHPALS members are reporting their answers to five prompts suggested by the Banned Book Week coalition.(See our post Banned Books Week.)

Our final prompt also came out of our discussions of the other prompts. Did anyone ever censor your reading?

As always, our members' responses were spirited.
  • When I was a freshman in high school during the Vietnam War, my Mom ran the library at a hospital where wounded soldiers were sent for treatment. Publishers donated boxes and boxes of remaindered books so they could get a tax deduction. Most of the titles were useless–few young men want to read Beowulf or Sir Gwain and the Green Knight, titles dumped because the covers were redesigned. Mom would buy mysteries and thrillers with her own money and bring home the great literature. One of those books was an English translation of The Satyricon. I picked it up because the cover said it was Roman and the world's first novel. It didn't say anything about it being racy. My Latin teacher saw me with it and confiscated it until she could talk to my Mom. She gave it back to me later that day, smiling when she handed it to me. My Mom had said it was OK for me to read because I wouldn't understand any of it. I didn't.
  • My English teacher  was fired when it was learned we were reading John Locke instead of some dumb novel on the approved reading list. We had to read The House on Mango Street as our next assignment and I lost all respect for the English department.
  • I was running the Scholastic Book Fair at my daughter's middle school when some parents asked me not to sell the Harry Potter books. I moved them to a prominent location instead.
  • My mother once tore up a paperback book because it was "just dirty." I had already read it, but the book was certainly pornographic and had no redeeming social value whatever. Mom didn't object to the book being sold, just the location of this copy. "There's a place for books like this," she said, "and it isn't in my house."

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Banned Book Week Day 6: Which banned book character would you want to have lunch with?

In honor of Banned Books Week (September 26 through October 1, 2016), GHPALS members are reporting their answers to five prompts suggested by the Banned Book Week coalition. (See our post Banned Books Week.)

Today the prompt is Which banned book character would you want to have lunch with?

Our members' answers:
  • Tom Sawyer. I have always wanted to be that clever.
  • Long John Silver Think of the stories he has to tell. He could even cook the meal. Oh, Treasure Island was never banned? Why should that disqualify him?
  • Mr. Darcy, but only if he were single. I bet I could steal him away from Elizabeth. Surely Pride and Prejudice was banned somewhere.
  • Atticus Finch so I could find out if he was really the man portrayed in To Kill a Mockingbird or the guy portrayed in Go Set a Watchman, a book I personally choose to ignore.
  • Holden Caulfield so I could punch that snotty brat in the nose. I had to read that book in high school because my English teacher and every other English teacher in this country loves that godawful book. I'd rather have read a real classic.
  • I looked over the 2015 list and there isn't anyone I'd want to meet, much less dine with. Instead of trying to ban books for their content, why don't people try to ban them because they're crap?
  • Professor Snape He's the most interesting character in the Harry Potter books. If not him, then Luna Lovegood. She's cool.
  • Uncle Scrooge And before you get snotty, comic books ARE BOOKS. And they were banned in some places, thanks to some wacko psychiatrists. Me, I'm grateful to them because MAD Magazine came out of it all. My favorite Disney character was never threatened. How can you not want to dine with the Richest Duck in the World, who's "tougher than the toughies and smarter than the smarties."
  • Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. I was surprised to find A Study in Scarlet on one of the lists, but someone complained about its depiction of Mormonism. Wouldn't everyone like to talk to these two men? 
  • Tarzan of the Apes. Surely someone somewhere has banned the Tarzan books because of their treatment of Africans or Apes, or violence or something or other. He's the guy I want to meet, though he'd probably eat his meat raw while I waited for mine to cook.
  • Hanibal Lector because he's such a good cook. 
We came up with a final prompt to stimulate discussion during Banned Books Week. Tomorrow we'll post the answer to Did anyone ever censor your reading?

Friday, September 30, 2016

Banned Book Week Day 5: Who in your life has most influenced your love of books and your right to read?

In honor of Banned Books Week (September 26 through October 1, 2016), GHPALS members are reporting their answers to five prompts suggested by the Banned Book Week coalition.(See our post Banned Books Week.)

Today the prompt is Who in your life has most influenced your love of books and your right to read?

Our members' answers:
  • Carl Barks and Don Rosa These two men wrote and drew wonderful stories about Scrooge McDuck, Donald Duck and the triplets, Hewey, Dewey and Louie, that have enchanted me for years. Other writers and artists have contributed their work, but Mrs. Rosa and Barks are the best.
  • My Aunt Vivian. Every birthday and Christmas she gave me a wonderful book. She introduced me to Marguerite Henry, whose books I loved even though I didn't like horses. She gave me Richard Halliburton's Complete Book of Marvels when I was 12 and it was magic to me.
  • My parents because they were always reading. Reading was as natural to us as breathing. When comics were being attacked as bad for children, I heard my mother defend them to a neighbor. "At least she's reading," Mom said. I married a reader. My kids are readers. Too bad we all have different tastes in books. As my husband says, "We'd be rich if we didn't read."
  • Mom and Dad They read to me when I was little and bought the new Nancy Drew book for me whenever I saw one.
  • My Grandma (Mom's Mom) She watched me after school and always read whatever I had to read. We had some good talks, even about books she thought were way over my head. She used to complain that we were reading garbage instead of books that had stood the test of time. I remember one conversation about us having to read Grendel instead of Beowulf. And the time she saw the syllabus for my "English literature class" and spotted Russian and French novels on the reading list. She went with me to school open house and asked the teacher why an English Lit class wasn't teaching English literature. All she got in response was a blank look. Naturally at the time I was embarrassed and humiliated, but now I'm proud of her.
  • Mr. Caldwell, my Sophomore high school English teacher. He was fired halfway through the school year because he didn't believe in the school's reading list. Thanks to him I read John Locke and some classics before another teacher took over the class and the curriculum was dumbed down.
  • Georgette Heyer. I devoured her books and through her discovered Jane Austin and James Fennimore Cooper. Heyer is considered a romance writer, which is a crying shame since her books are so much more. She was a true heir to Austen.
The Banned Books Coalition developed prompts to stimulate discussion during Banned Books Week. Tomorrow we'll post the answer to Which banned book character would you want to have lunch with?

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Banned Book Week Day 4: Which book would you go to jail defending?

In honor of Banned Books Week (September 26 through October 1, 2016), GHPALS members are reporting their answers to five prompts suggested by the Banned Book Week coalition.(See our post Banned Books Week.)

Today the prompt is Which book would you go to jail defending?

Our members' answers:
  • The Harry Potter books because they introduced so many children to the joys of reading. They've been challenged in a lot of countries because they involve magic and witchcraft.
  • Mein Kampf I know this choice will offend some people, but isn't that the point? Hitler's book was highly influential.
  • The Koran, The Bible, The Talmud and any other sacred religious text. Freedom of religion, the right to worship whatever way we choose, is another fundamental American right that must be protected.
  • Lady Chatterly's Lover because they couldn't keep me in jail over it. I think the only publication you can be arrested for possessing is child pornography. I'm OK with banning that.
  • The Junior Woodchuck Guidebook If you've ever read Don Rosa's Guardians of the Lost Library you'd know all the world's knowledge throughout history is distilled in it.
  • Are you serious? This is America! I can't be thrown in jail over a book anymore. 
  • What a hard question. Why would I be jailed? For possessing a copy? I'm not a publisher or writer. Could they toss me in jail for reading it? They can't wipe my memory yet, thank God. I have to really think about this one because I want to defend them all.
  • I can't answer that question. It's too hard. I know if I was arrested one some censorship-related charge, I'd call the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund immediately. They'd help me out.
The Banned Books Coalition developed prompts to stimulate discussion during Banned Books Week. Tomorrow we'll post the answer to Who in your life has most influenced your love of books and your right to read?

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Banned Book Week Day 3: If you could go back in time, which book would you give your younger self?I'

In honor of Banned Books Week (September 26 through October 1, 2016), GHPALS members are reporting their answers to five prompts suggested by the Banned Book Week coalition.(See our post Banned Books Week.)

Today the prompt is If you could go back in time, which book would you give your younger self?

What an interesting bunch of answers we got.
  • I'll tell you a book I would never, ever give anyone. It's that dumb Dr. Seuss book that everyone gives graduates, Oh, the Places You'll Go! It's full of cliches and crappy advice that makes my eyes roll just thinking about it. Ugh!
  •  I'd give myself one of Richard Halliburton's books. Any one of them would do. He wandered around the world right after college and wrote  interesting and entertaining books about his experiences. I'll never forget his story of standing on top of the Matterhorn and fulfilling a lifelong dream–spitting a mile.
  • I'd give high school self Jack London's The Sea Wolf. It shows a character who given the right opportunity could have ruled the world. It taught me never to underestimate anyone, no matter the job they hold or their place in society. I also learned not to trust ferries.
  • The Murder of a Nation, by the US Ambassador to Turkey Henry Morgenthau. It's an important book about the Armenian genocide by the Turks. The Society did a blog post about it a few years ago. 
  • Bill the Galactic Hero, by Harry Harrison. "If your poor, don't go to Heliore." A life lesson learned in that phrase alone.
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and all the sequels. It wasn't written when I was a kid, but I would have loved it. Ditto Lemony Snickett's books, A Series of Unfortunate Events.
  • Richard Halliburton's Complete Book of Marvels After listening to another member talk about it, this book sounds awesome.
The Banned Books Coalition developed prompts to stimulate discussion during Banned Books Week. Tomorrow we'll post the answer to Which book would you go to jail defending?

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Banned Book Week Day 2: Which banned book would you memorize to prevent being lost to the sands of time?

In honor of Banned Books Week (September 26 through October 1, 2016), GHPALS members are reporting their answers to five prompts suggested by the Banned Book Week coalition.(See our post Banned Books Week.)

Today the prompt is Which banned book would you memorize to prevent being lost to the sands of time?

Our members' answers:
  • Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. The two best American novels. I laugh every time I read them and they capture Americans perfectly.
  • Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson. It's probably the best written book I've ever read.  You are right there when every event happens. I don't care if it's not on the banned books list. That's the book I'd want to save.
  • This may seem trite to you, but I'd memorize The King James Bible because it is one of the most influential books ever published and because it has such beautiful language. I'm not particularly religious, but I love The Bible because whenever church is dull, there's always something in it to read. They keep them in every pew. At least they do in Protestant churches.
  • Anything by Carl Hiaasen, because I laugh all the way through them and they make me happy. I'll need something like that if books are being lost to the sands of time.
  • Mother Goose because I'm horrible at memorizing. I could probably remember the nursery rhymes because they're short.
  • Pride and Prejudice because it is the best book ever written about male-famale relationships.
  • The Last of the Mohicans because I loved it so much as a child. Uncas was my hero.
The Banned Books Coalition developed prompts to stimulate discussion during Banned Books Week. Tomorrow we'll post the answer to If you could go back in time, which book would you give your younger self?

Monday, September 26, 2016

Banned Book Week Day 1: What Book Would You Ban?

In honor of Banned Books Week (September 26 through October 1, 2016), GHPALS members reported their answers to five prompts suggested by the Banned Book Week coalition (See our post Banned Books Week.)

TheAmerican Library Associations tracks censorship efforts at school districts and libraries across the country. (The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund provides advice and guidance to school and library boards dealing with such attempts.) Each year the ALA compiles a list of the books attacked that year.

As part of this effort members reviewed those
lists as discussion stimulants. One of our more vocal members expressed the opinion that some of the books on the list should be banned because they are just plain lousy books.

Naturally that stimulated discussion, and the question was asked, What book would you ban?

Readers. please remember that GHPALS and its members are fully committed to the First Ammendment and the right of free speech. We are joking here.

  • Catcher in the Rye It's over taught because every English teacher loves it and their students hate it. I hated it and still do.
  • Any book that retells a classic from the villain's point of view. Come up with your own story and stop trying to make the bad guys into good ones who are just misunderstood.
  • The Hunger Games series. It's really creepy that a series about children killing each other is so popular. 
  • Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States. This snarky piece of garbage has distorted more children's views of American history than Parson Weems did.
  • Go Set a Watchman It was criminal to publish it and tarnish Harper Lee's reputation. Someone ought to protect authors from greedy relatives and caretakers like they're protected from censorship.
  • Ghost written autobiographies of political candidates. 
  • Ghost written books of any kind when the actual writer is not attributed authorship.
  • Any book that hasn't been properly edited or proofread. 
  • Anything by Barbara Cartland or any other author whose paragraphs are one sentence long.
  • Kate Chopin because she's boring and an awful writer. If she weren't a woman no one would teach her in school. Louisa Mae Alcott writes so much better, but we can't teach her because she was popular and writes about people who are happy.
  • T.S. Elliot. I hate his poetry. When my son was five he accidentally tore the dust cover of a book at Crown Books. The first and only time he harmed a book. I told him we had to buy it now, then I noticed what it was and threw a fit. Of all the books in the store he tore The Collected Poems of T.S. Elliot!
  • A House on Mango Street because I just hated that book in high school. Hated, hated, hated.
  • Nothing. Let anything and everything be published and sold or given away. The stuff that's good will last and the stuff that isn't won't. I work at the library book sales and the tables are full of books that were best selllers years ago and no one now remembers.
  • The statistics book I had to read in college. I hated it so much I took a hole saw to it when the quarter was over. It now has a 3-inch hole right down the center.
  • I can't think of any book I hate enough to ban. Zoo was terribly written, but I wouldn't ban it. The Twilight Series was lousy, in my opinion, but people loved it so I wouldn't ban it. Cat's Cradle is my favorite book, and there are some people who'd ban Vonnegut. One man's meat is another man's poison.
The Banned Books Coalition developed prompts to stimulate discussion during Banned Books Week. Tomorrow we'll post the answer to Which banned book would you memorize to prevent being lost to the sands of time?

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Newport Beach Film Festival Is Looking for Reviewers

The Newport Beach Film Festival has sent out a request for volunteers to screen and score the films submitted for the 2017 Festival (April 20-27).

You won't get paid, but you might see the next Oscar winner. Crash was shown first at the NBFF.

Here's what their site says is required of volunteer reviewers:

  • An average of 30 hours of viewing by mid-February 2017 per Reviewer, with a minimum of 5 hours watched per month.
  • That all Reviewers read and refer to the Reviewer Manual for guidance.
  • That it can be confirmed that every film for which a Reviewer has entered a score has been watched all the way through from beginning to end by that Reviewer. 
  • That Reviewers make reviews based solely on the quality of the film.
  • That every score submitted include written comments explaining the Reviewer’s decision. 
  • That Reviewers communicate with the Reviewer Coordinator about any difficulties they have, technical or otherwise, in carrying out their reviewing commitment. 
  • That Reviewers not be affiliated with any film that is submitted for review for the 2017 NBFF.
Want to try it? Just click on the NBFF Film Reviewer Application.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

How Cool is This!

  • The contest to design Toni's wedding dress. She's marrying Brad in the comic strip Luann and they're looking for the right dress. Entries due October 3, details here.
  • A Mad Max Fury Road prequel! The Australian Herald Sun reported the  script is said to focus on the backstory of Furiosa,
  • Carl Hiassen's latest book, Razor Girl. It's Hiaasen. Enough said.
  • Free Jumbo Jack when Rams score 2 touchdowns. Now if they could only make one.
  • Star Trek Stamps. Even the US Postal Service knows 50 years of a good thing, though the designs are lame.
  • Tarzan at the Precipice, by Michael A. Sanford. This book about Tarzan's adventures in Canada takes place right after Jane rejected him in the first book. It fits right in with Edgar Rice Burroughs' classics.
  • Jared Padalecki & Jenson Ackles "Family Has Your Back" campaign. The latest design supporting Always Keep Fighting celebrates 12 years of Supernatural while funding a fabulous charity.
How uncool is this? Dog poop that people don't pick up. There's one in my front flower bed right now and I'm disappointed about the gross inconsideration of humanity.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Happy Batman Day!

Today we celebrate The Dark Knight in all his incarnations. 

What a great opportunity to hang out those Halloween bats early!

Here on Goat Hill, Batman Day special events will be held at: 
  • The central Costa Mesa library on Park Avenue, right in the heart of Goat Hill.
  • Metro Pointe Barnes and Noble
  • The Pottery Barn at South Coast Plaza Crystal Court
Nearby Barnes and Noble stores are also having events (Fashion Island, Huntington Beach,  Irvine), as is the Tustin Library. Click here to find a location near you.

DC has arranged special sales of Batman-related items at all kinds of internet shops.

There's a special Batman Day Activity Pack for children and families that includes all kinds of fun:
  • Coloring sheets
  • Activities based around the children's book Bedtime for Batman.
  • Make-it-yourself masks–several styles of Batman plus other characters
  • Puzzles, games, word searches and coded messages
  • A knowledge quiz (our members did pretty well on it)

There’s even a drawing with prizes worth over $2,000! Fun items included come from DC Collectibles, DC Comics,, Bendon, Bleacher Creatures, Capstone, DK, Fisher Price, F.Y.E., HarperCollins Children’s Publishing, LEGO, Pottery Barn Kids, Scholastic, WB Games, Wish Factory and more. Enter Here through September 26.

We'll all be looking for the bat signal tonight. 

    Friday, September 16, 2016

    Comics for the Troops

    Comics for the Troops

    Another box is on its way, this one to Kuwait, thanks to the customers at our favorite comic store:

    Alakazam Comics management made room on the counter for our box and their patrons and management drop in comic donations. When the box is full, we pick it up and look on for someone in the service who wants comics.

    There was just a little space in this box, so our members added some snack treats and a bag of candy corn. Halloween will be here before you know it, after all.

    Thursday, September 15, 2016

    Celebrate the First Amendment-Read a Banned Book!

    Banned Book Week Starts September 26

    GHPALS members are a great believers in the US Constitution's first amendment. The one that gives us free speech. The one that lets US citizens say whatever dumb and stupid thing we want. The one that lets us offend each other. The one that we should all honor by remembering the words we were all taught in childhood, "Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me."

    From time to time threats to that freedom crop up and people need to be reminded of our First Amendment rights. 

    Banned Book Week was created by a national alliance of organizations committed to the freedom to read whatever we want whenever we want.  Naturally the  Comic Book Legal Defense Fund  is one of them (if you haven't already, donate to it now). We're big supporters of it.

    Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982 according to the American Library Association.
    This year Banned Books Week is September 25-October 1.

    Join the GHPALS in reading one of the 10 most challenged titles of 2015, according to the American Library Association:
    1. Looking for Alaska, by John Green
    2. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E.L. James
    3. I Am Jazz, by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings
    4. Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Peak Out, by Susan Kuklin
    5. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon
    6. The Holy Bible
    7. Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel
    8. Habibi, by Craig Thompson
    9. Nasreen's Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan, by Jeanette Winter
    10. Two Boys Kissing, by David Levithan
    Next week our blog will report members answers to the following prompts:
    • Which book would you to to jail defending?
    • Which banned book character would you want to have lunch with?
    • Who in your life has most influenced your love of books and your right to read.
    • Which banned book would you memorize to prevent being lost to the sands of time?
    • If you could go back in time, which book would you give your younger self?
    Think about what your own answers would be.

    Tuesday, September 13, 2016

    Revised GHPALS Logo

    We have revised our logo in response to the City of Costa Mesa's lame attempt to imitate ours. They sold T-shirts and caps with a line drawing of a goat standing on a hill, an obvious imitation of our logo.

    As we PALS stared in outrage at it we realized it was our own fault because there was nothing on our logo to link it to us. Of course our loyal members and followers recognize it immediately, but to strangers it would mean nothing.

    We called oyal member and artist in residence Marion Rutledge.

    She immediately added GHPALS and its meaning to the hill.

    Unfortunately this caused dissension and rancor as some members chose to raise the "missing books" issue that we'd beaten to death years ago. At least this scribe thought we had. See the GHPALS Logo post, written before we learned about the city's clothing sale.

    Marion remains adamant that Reading Rainbow incorporates books adequately, and it's hard to dispute that a TV show where important people read books to children does not incorporate literature.

    The majority of our members thought Marion's design was really clever and the drawing should stay the way it is. They won, after they bought a round of drinks for the dissenters.

    Possessed and Obsessed-Celebrating Supernatural Day!

    We here at GHPALS have never made a secret of being part of Supernatural fandom. Our scribe has purchased a silver ticket for Celebration's con in Burbank in November and we're all envious.

    Today is a special day for the Obsessed and Possessed fans of this special show. Hot Topic even sells a T-shirt to help us celebrate. Check out the design----->

    Today is the 12th anniversary of Supernatural's premiere on September 13, 2004. Several of us watched that first show. Here are some of our memories:

    • My daughter was 13 and we watched the show together. She was a big fan of Hercules, Xena, The X-Files and The Lone Gunmen. She subscribed to the Supernatural magazine and kept all the issues. She bought the season dvd sets as soon as they became available, and was so distraught when one of her friends didn't return Season Two she bought another copy. The friend finally returned it and she kept both sets. By the time she left for college she'd lost interest, but I remain Possessed and Obsessed.
    • Supernatural is the wonderful show it is because it mixes humor with horror. It is never ponderous or unleavened (that's a word I use for shows that never lighten up). For the last two weeks I've been rewatching Battlestar Gallactica with my daughter and it is just so deadly serious all the time–I can hardly stand it. Supernatural's cast, crew and writers all understand they are creating entertainment, and that's what we get. That's why the show will have fans forever, like Star Trek, Star Wars and Dr. Who.
    • I first learned about Supernatural when I sat through a panel at Comic-Con. I was there because I wanted to be sure I had a seat for the panel that came afterwards. Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki seemed like such nice guys and the clips made the show sound so interesting I rented the dvds. I've been watching it ever since.
    • How can you not love a show where two hot guys keep us all safe from the things that go bump in the night? I certainly sleep better at night knowing they're out there.
    • I love the show and I love the fan fiction people write. My favorite author is K. Hanna Korosy and my favorite story is currently The Polyglot because I think it perfectly captures the characters of Sam and Dean. 
    • I love the show because there are so many wonderful lines. Everyone remembers the funny ones, like "I lost my shoe," but there are lines that you can pattern your life around, like these:
      • You don't have to be ruled by fate. You can choose freedom.
      • You always have a choice.
      • We'll figure it out. We always do.
      • It doesn't matter what you are. It only matters what you do.
    • My favorite show of all time is the Supernatural episode The French Mistake. It is the finest example of meta in television, yet it wasn't nominated for any awards. I have nothing but contempt for the Emmys because they overlook shows like this one. 
    • I've watched the entire series many times. I always rewatch it during tax season as it makes doing my return seem trivial instead of onerous. I don't watch Season One on Netflix though, because the music is different. Something about not having digital rights or something. I know lots of people come to Supernatural through Netflix, and I feel sorry for them because they don't see the show in it's true form.
    We're all looking forward to October 13 and the first show of Season 12.

    Thursday, September 8, 2016

    Your Opinion Matters to Warner Brothers!

    Your Opinion Matters to Warner Brothers!

    At least that's what the flyer inside my Supernatural Season 11 dvds says. My copy came from Amazon Monday, and I immediately tried the link:

    The first screen is a Non-Disclosure Agreement. I promised not to disclose any proprietary information and they promised not to release any information about me. Any ideas Warner Brothers gets from my survey response becomes their property. 

    I was OK with that, and you should be too. Unfortunately I didn't learn anything new about my favorite show.

    I liked that it told me up front that it would take about 15 minutes. I had the time so I continued.

    The survey asked questions like why I bought the dvds, what bonus features did I watch and like, then went on to cover the entire series. The survey asked what seasons I'd seen and how I watched them.

    I really liked that I could select many responses instead of having to pick one. Many factors go into a decision to purchase a TV show, so I picked such things as "I'm a big fan of the show," "I can access it forever," "I own previous seasons and wanted to complete my collection," "I wanted to watch it over and over again," and "I wanted to watch it whenever I want to." 

    I also liked that the survey included "Streamed or downloaded for FREE from an unofficial source" in its list of streaming options in the question, "How have you watched the show?" I also liked that it allowed me to make different selections for each season because I do watch the seasons differently. I refuse to watch Season One on Netflix. The music was changed because the rights agreements didn't cover digital versions, or at least that's what I've been told. DVDs only for Season One for this fan.

    Warner Brothers wanted to know how I first watched the show. I've been watching it on live TV since the first episode of the first season. Our family subscribed to Titan's Supernatural magazine and owns all the Season Companions.

    Asked why I would be interested in watching Supernatural Season 12, I thought hard about the answer. Here's what I finally wrote:

    I have been a fan of the show since the first episode and unlike any other show I have watched the main characters have grown and changed. While Sam and Dean retain the essential natures shown in that first episode, they have grown from boys to men. They have made allies and enemies, found ways to work through every problem they've encountered, though not without some heartbreaking losses along the way. Through it all, they've stuck together and tried their best to help other people without expecting or receiving any thanks. Throughout it all there has been excellent acting, writing, directing and production values, amazing interactions between the cast and their fans and an obvious dedication to quality on the part of every member of the crew. 

    Besides all that, I thought Season 11 was wonderful. It showed Sam and Dean really thinking about what they were doing with their lives and their work, what their real responsibilities are to the rest of the world, the best way to clean up the mess they'd made (sometimes talk is better than action) and, most importantly, their place in God's creation. Season 11 tied up some loose ends and set up fascinating possibilities for Season 12. I for one am looking forward to learning about the Old Men in the British branch of the Men of Letters, what Lucifer is doing now that he's loose and how Mary Campbell Winchester's presence impacts Sam and Dean.

    Win Four New Science Fiction Novels from Read It Forward

    Want to get some great reading? Read It Forward often has giveaway contests. This week's offers some exciting new science fiction novels. We here at GHPALS often ignore these contests because most of us aren't into "literary fiction," but we do keep track of them. 

    The current contest offers:

    • Good Morning, Midnight, by Lily Brooks-Dalton
    • The Devourers by Indra Das
    • Sleeping Giants, by Sylvain Neuvel
    • The Last One, by Alexandra Oliva

    We're hoping one of our members wins so we can all read them.

    Read It Forward Science Fiction Books Giveaway

    Friday, September 2, 2016

    Our Logo

    This post is written in response to a question posed by a new member.

    Marion Rutledge drew our logo at the request of our membership. All her life Marion has drawn for her own amusement and the PALS have often giggled at her work.

    When she was 10 she was singled out at a Comic-Con drawing panel for children. The instructions were to draw a dinosaur. The instructors said hers was the only one that showed action. One of her dinosaurs was chasing another one, "to eat him," she said.

    We wanted a childish logo, not a polished one, because none of us are polished professional anythings except aficionados of art and literature of all types. 

    We wanted it in black and white so we didn't have to use color inks when we printed it.

    The main image of a goat on a hill was obvious by our name. Marion complied.

    The rest of the image was all Marion's.

    We asked that our logos how a goat reading, to reflect the Literary nature of our society. Marion, however, is a fan of the visual and theatrical arts.

    So we got a goat staring at a television. He is, however, watching Reading Rainbow.

    Comic-Con Pros and Cons

    Summer is almost over and GHPALS are drifting back into town. There was lively discussion at a recent informal gathering of PALS as we argued the pros and cons of going to what is considered by many to be the world's biggest celebration of popular arts, San Diego Comic-Con.


    • It can be fun. 
    • Sometimes one can learn something new.
    • One can see and talk to people one finds interesting.
    • Publishers give away books.
    • Panels can be interesting and one might discover something new.
    • It gets more expensive every year. It seems like everyone who has a business in San Diego tries to make a whole year's profit in one week.
    • It gets more crowded every year. There are many events/programs outside the convention center that draw unregistered people. 
    • The crowd control in Hall H in 2016 was absolutely appalling. People trying to get in had to share a narrow aisle with people trying to get food. The solution was to limit entry into the Hall even if it was practically empty. All of us watched this with incredulity. Those of us in the Hall received many texts from frustrated friends waiting in lines outside when there were zillions of available seats inside.
    • Some of our favorite vendors have stopped going because the Con has little to do with comics anymore. 
    • It is too spread out now. If you give blood you lose half a day because the blood drive is so far from the convention hall. It is a long walk to redeem the promo tickets, if you get one.
    • It is too hard to get a badge or a hotel reservation. It's become a crap shoot.
    Five years ago we would have argued the panels make the Con, but now one can watch them in the comfort of one's own home without waiting in ridiculous lines.

    We all agreed that there would have been many heat stroke casualties at 2016 Comic-Con if it weren't for the intrepid street vendors who sold water for $1 a bottle.  Though they were out to make a buck, like true Americans, these men and women did not gouge Con goers. If only the hotels and restaurants followed their example.

    Wednesday, May 11, 2016

    Why We Support Our Local Grocery Store Chain (Stater Bros.)

    We love the Stater Bros. grocery store here on Goat Hill, the one on 22nd St. and Newport Blvd., because it is compact yet fully stocked and run by friendly folks. The cashiers are always polite and responsive to cheerful conversation.

    Sunday's Orange County Register showed me another reason, their support of our troops. Stater Bros. will send a free care package featuring their brand of goodies, snacks and more to service member deployed overseas.

    If you have such a person in your family, just send an email to with the service member's name, title and address.

    Tuesday, May 10, 2016

    Sampler 17: Black Widow

    The PAL assigned this sampler is not a Marvel fan. In fact, she's an anti-Marvel fan since she hated Spiderman as a kid. She couldn't stand the whiney, angsty Peter Parker. She was a fan of well-adjusted heroes, like Superman and Batman. Or maybe it was more she was raised to suck it up and deal with things.

    Anyway, we were all curious how she would react to Black Widow Forever Red and were surprised to hear she enjoyed it. The young fencers bored her but she liked Natasha. She made a mistake dumping a kid on the government and not staying in touch with the child though. That decision will probably have consequences.

    The sampler's back says children all over the globe begin to go missing. Apparently that's what the rest of the book is about, but none of it is in the sampler.

    Monday, May 9, 2016

    Sampler 16:The Shepherd's Crown, by Terry Pratchet

    The PAL who picked up this sampler has never read a book by Terry Pratchett. Everyone else was eager to hear her reaction because Terry Pratchett is a much-loved author among our group. One of us has even ordered his books through Amazon UK because they were published in Britain months before their US release. Mr. Pratchett was an original mind whose works have delighted millions and we were all sad when he died.

    Back to The Shepherd's Crown. Our reader reports:

    "Of course I loved this sampler. As a GHPAL, how could I not love a book that features a potty-trained goat that can count. 

    Sunday, May 8, 2016

    The Costa Mesa Historical Society Hosts an OC History Exposition May 22

    The flyer says everything. Many of our members will be going. The scribe will promoting the Southern California Genealogical Society's Genealogy Jamboree in June.

    Friday, May 6, 2016

    Free Comic Book Day is Tomorrow!!!

    Want to find a comic store? There's a website to find one for you. Free Comic Book Day Website

    As for us, we're going to our favorite store, Alakazam Comics. It's our favorite because we used to go to its satellite store on 17th before it closed just before the Great Recession. 

    What Makes Effective Promotional Material for Films

    As promised we're posting a blog on promotional postcards for films. We certainly had the opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of various graphic designs as we watched ticket buyers look over the varied selection in front of our laptops. Certain cards were looked at often while others were ignored. We ran out of the ones with the most appeal.

    The best cards have a graphic that creates curiosity. The Population Zero card sucked everyone right in. It was the most examined of any card in front of us because the picture was so striking. Everyone who picked it up turned it over and read the back to see what the film was about. They found it isn't about zero population growth.

    The Film Title must be prominent and clearly visible. Look at this card. We had several people ask us why the film wasn't in the program because they thought the title was You Are Invited. It isn't. The title is American Wrestler: The Wizard. Compare this card to Population Zero's, where the title is prominent and could not possibly be missed.

    The card must convey information about the film that gives the reader some idea what the film is about. A one or two sentence synopsis is good, but the length isn't as important as the information conveyed. The card for Madtown had several paragraphs while Population Zero's had one.

    A few well-chosen words can do the trick, especially when images will show what the film is about. The card for the Russian film Battalion. did this effectively. Nearly everyone who picked it up took it with them because the images drew them in. Personally your scribe wishes the filmmakers hadn't put a big red sticker across the woman's chest because it hid her uniform, but you can't miss when the film would be showing. 
    The card must list a website or Facebook page where more information is available. It can be on the front or the back, but it must be legible. 

    The promotional material can be blank on the back. I like them that way because I use postcards to send brief notes to family. 

    Size, or form, should follow function. In other words, it should be determined by how it will be distributed. Postcards aren't the only effective size and they are expensive. One Big Home's filmmakers passed out a a cost-effective half-page flyer that didn't have a brief synopsis of the film. It was effective because he talked about the film to the people who took the paper from him. The flyer was just a memory trigger.
    Avoid Cliches. Silhouettes and people looking soulfully across a body of water are overused images.

    Here are some of our favorite cards.
    We sat across from this poster for The Lennon Report for 8 days and saw something new all the time.
    This card reflects the Cat, Bird Coyote's unique imagery. Too bad the sticker covers some of the graphics.

    The film Year by the Sea is based on a best-selling book and the card looks like a book cover. This card was popular.

    A minister's robe decorated with rainbow wheels gives an impression of the theme of An Act of Love. The back has a one sentence synopsis of its story.

    Isn't this dog the cutest? Of course you wants to know what he's looking at, so you want to see the film and learn why How You Look at It matters.

    Monday, May 2, 2016

    The Perfect Ending to a Good Story (Ruin and Rising, by Leigh Bardugo)

    August 2015 we wrote a post a sampler for Leigh Bardugo's Six of Crows. We went on to read the three books in Ms Bardugo's trilogy: Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm and Ruin and Rising. They were wonderful. Six of Crows not so much, but that's a different posting.

    This post is about the end of the third book. After all the struggles are over, the dead are buried and peace has returned. The central characters, a boy and a girl,  are together, as they deserve to be, living in their childhood home, raising children like they had been raised.

    The last page has one of the finest story closures we have ever read, and we must share it with our readers. You don't have to know their story. It is enough to know it's the end of it.

    The boy and girl had both known loss, and their grief did not leave them. Sometimes he would find her standing by a window, fingers playing in the beams of sunlight that streamed through the glass, or sitting on the front steps of the orphanage, staring at the stump of the oak tree next to the drive. Then he would go to her, draw her close, and lead her to the shores of Trivka's pond, where the insects buzzed and the grass grew high and sweet, where old wounds might be forgotten.

    She saw sadness in the boy too. Though the woods still welcomed him, he was separated from them now, the bond born into his bones burned away in the same moment that he'd given up his life for her.

    But then the hour would pass, and the teachers would catch them giggling in a dim hallway or kissing by the stairs. Besides, most days were too full for mourning. There were classes to teach, meals to prepare, letters to write. When evening fell, the boy would bring the girl a glass of tea, a slice of lemon cake, an apple blossom floating in a blue cup. He would kiss her neck and whisper new names in her ear: beauty, beloved, cherished, my heart.

    They had an ordinary life, full of ordinary things–if love can ever be called that.

    Saturday, April 30, 2016

    The 2016 Newport Beach Film Festival Logo and Promotional Video

    We ticket sellers spent a great deal of time looking at promotional materials, including posters and postcards. These were created to persuade people to watch a film and some designs were more successful than others. Soon I'll write a blog post on them.

    2016 Newport Beach Film Festival
    This one concentrates on  2016 Festival logo and catchphrase, We're Being Watched. The eyeball was everywhere. Some people told us they found it creepy, others really liked it. Not many people noticed that the pupil was really an island. Look closely and you can see waves and a beautiful sandy beach.

    I like it.

    We're Being Watched was the Festival's catch phrase. It's an effective one because it covers both the films individually and the Festival as a whole. The eyeball encapsulated that.

    I didn't like the phrase on the back of my volunteer shirt. A bit too Big Brotherish for my taste.

    The Festival's promotional video ran before every film. It ran continuously on computers in the filmmakers' Hospitality Suite. It's unique, and everyone who watches it will never be comfortable in the bathtub again. Many Festival goers told me they found it creepy, but others, especially young people, thought it was clever. It certainly supports the Festival's theme because everyone is watched and watching. 

    Watch it for yourself, and make up your own mind. 2016 Newport Beach Film Festival Promotional Video

    Friday, April 29, 2016

    How to Sell Out Your Film Showings at a Festival

    Here's some hints to filmmakers who want their films shown to sell out crowds at film festivals.

    Talk to the ticket sellers. Those volunteers get all the questions: what should I see tonight? What's playing that's good? What can you tell me about this film?

    Of course the ticket sellers can look the films up in the program. So can the ticket buyers, but they want to know more than that.

    If the filmmakers take the time to talk to us, to tell us about their film, to pass on some of the excitement they feel about their baby, we learn enough to pass on that excitement.

    When someone buys a ticket for that film we can say something positive about it that reaffirms his/her decision to see it. That makes them more inclined to see another film.

    Ticket sellers get excited when a film sells out. They get even more excited when they see it sell out because they encouraged people to see it. We gave each other high fives when we sold that last ticket. We were excited for the film maker.

    Leave promotional cards with the ticket sellers. That gives us something tangible to Festival guests when we discuss a movie. It also gives them something to take away when the film they want to see is sold out. Many people asked us how they could see the films they'd missed, so the card should tell them how to follow the film on Facebook, or give a webpage they can visit to watch for future showings.

    Posters are nice, but Festival goers can't take them home.

    Bring your extra tickets down to the ticket booth so they can be given away. A Festival visitor will almost always go to a film when the ticket is free. Your film will have a larger audience and you just might make a fan for life.

    Engage the public yourself. Several filmmakers hung around the ticket area, making themselves available to interested people, as Jesse Shapiro of Nobody Walks in LA did. As the photo to the right shows, he stood near a poster of his film, ready to talk to anyone and everyone. We ticket sellers could point to him and say, "There's the filmmaker right over there." People's eyes would light up and they'd look at him with awe. His film had three showings, two were sold out. Phil Furrey, the man behind Since: The Bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 engaged in conversation with people as they walked in the mall. His film sold out it's first showing and a second was scheduled.

    Thursday, April 28, 2016

    The Latest from the Newport Beach Film Festival

    2016 Newport Beach Film Festival
    Yesterday I worked tickets at Big Newport instead of the nerve center at Fashion Island. Carol (the Big Cheese in Charge of Ticketing) sent me there because the computers there are wonky and she honors me by believing I can handle them. One worked fine, but the other was indeed wonky so our customer service was not up to the standards to which we aspire. But we managed to get everyone into their films on time.

    Battalion was well received, judging from the comments people made to me as they left the theater. Several stopped by the ticket table to thank me for telling them about the film. One woman's grandfather fought in World War I and the fighting-in-the trenches scenes really impressed her. The filmmaker told me the German trenches were paved with running water and electricity, which certainly wasn't the case in the Russian trenches. The filmmakers were given access to uniforms and artifacts from the War so they could recreate them for the movie, which had a $10 million budget. Since I loved this film when I screened/reviewed it for the Festival, I was really glad for it.

    Since: The Bombing of Pan Am Flight 103's audience had to be forced out of the theater and a second showing has been scheduled for today. Several family members of people who died were present, as were former Pan Am employees. I wish I'd been there.

    No Greater Love, the film about the Army chaplain and the unit he served with in Afghanistan, was apparently excellent because several people stopped by to tell me how much it affected them. On Monday the chaplain who was the subject of the film had stopped by the main ticket counter at Fashion Island and my co-workers couldn't wait to tell me about the film when I returned from working at Big Newport the first time.

    Nobody Walks in LA's director Jesse Shapiro spent time outside the ticket booth yesterday morning, talking to anyone who was interested in hearing about his film before its 10:30 showing. It plays again today, it's third showing. He answered my questions about the money they earn from Netflix and iTunes. Someday when I have time I'll write about it. He has been so nice to us and offered to send us a screener since none of us could see it. Working 12-hour days cuts into movie watching.

    I have to run off to work the last day.