Rest Peacefully Dennis Lee Hopper

From May 17, 1936 – May 29, 2010 the world was graced with your presence.

I am was and always will be a huge Dennis Hopper fan. I have seen every one of his films, TV shows and loved his art and photography. I really did love his photography (from the 60s era to now) secondary to his film work. Hopper inspired where others in Hollywood and entertainment didn’t. He always went beyond the norm, and took roles beyond what most actors of his caliber would do. From his smaller roles in “Rebel without a Cause”, “Giant”, “The Twilight Zone”, “Indian Runner”, “Jesus’ Son” and more to his larger roles in the TV series “Crash”, “Blue Velvet”, “The Last days of Frankie the Fly”, “True Romance”, “Swing Vote” and beyond…he will forever be missed.

A few other films he really shined in were “Hoosiers” and “Out of the Blue”.

Incidentally, I have a few characters in my story telling and screenwriting ventures that have been loosely based on Hopper’s life and or persona. He inspired from when I was a young teenager when I first saw his early work through today. I will admit he did pick a few really silly roles…but I think he picked them for variety and just to have fun (I am mainly referring to Space Truckers).

“Easy Rider” (By far one of the best screenplays ever written) and “Colors” were both brilliantly directed by films by him.

Sleep well, old Prince.

A brilliant photo of Paul Newman by Hopper.

The 2010 Mexico International Film Festival

A quick summary note: This was a great festival which reminded me that film is art in its purest form if done right. If done well it is poetry, light, music, and art. In other words, it’s a moving painting that breathes and talks aloud.

My highlights:

One particular short film from Spain: “Dejar A Marcos”, was particularly heartbreakingly good.

Another short film: “Chicken Heads”, a Middle Eastern themed film was really well done and interesting in the choices it created.

The best short film ever (Oscar nominated): “The New Tenants” by Joachim Back was probably the best short film I have seen in years. It featured an aging yet brilliant Vincent D’Onofrio, a crazed Kevin Corrigan, and many other greats. Darkness, comedy, irony love, blood; it was missing nothing.

This documentary in essence is a film that changes how we look at the world as whole and I think every single person on this planet should see it. I have now started looking at everyone as either my brother or a sister or some form of estranged relative. There is too much to say so I will just say go see it. It really changed my life in a few ways.

There were also a few other films that I missed, but that’s life. Often when great films battle with an amazing sandy beach….the sandy beach wins.

Screenwriting stuff:

I did win an “Honorable Mention” in the screenplay competition of the Mexico International Film Festival this year for my original script based on a novella of mine called, “My Happy Afterlife”, which is about a failed LA novelist, and the general whoredom that is Hollywood when it comes to ‘writing’. It was an early draft of my novella which I have since then polished up nicely. I call this script a nice unhealthy mix of Dramedy and Neo Noir. It’s my own stab and jab tribute to misfit writers like myself, beautiful drunks like Bukowski, those that live life fully like Hemmingway, and finally those who lie in the gutter in-between everything (Again, like myself). It’s also a love song of sorts to Mexico, or to my Mexico. It is about all that that I love and find to be so wonderful and so very tragic about it as a whole. I also touch on themes of human rights when it comes to “Illegals”, because to me there is no such thing as an ‘illegal’. All Americans are here from somewhere else, and there is nothing illegal about it. Except for the fact that this land we call America used to be just land for the Native Americans and the Aztecs. So in closing, we (Americans) in essence are the real illegals.

Take that, Arizona. I am also boycotting Arizona, and instead of just doing nothing I am encouraging the world to travel to Mexico. Trust me; it’s quite safe these days.

Now be well, people of the world. I must go and do more creating and living.

Thoughts on Harvey Milk Day…And my reasons for Boycotting marriage–until we can all get married.

I never get too personal in my blog, but today I will make exception. And yes I am falling behind in this blog of mine. I wanted to write a few other blogs about films that I adore, the preview of Tim Robbins’s new amazing play that I saw, and the Tvland Awards and so on but I have been so busy working on some new writing projects that I can’t. This blog is the exception because well, I’m pissed off at you, California (The rest of America too). Also, I am really sick of all the right-wing evangelicals that keep trying to ‘save’ me via leaving nasty religious comments in my blog. Enough, Jesus freaks. I don’t care about your God or more importantly I don’t care about your distorted and sad pathetic lack of ethics for other human beings.

Rewinding back two years to May 22, 2008 (Harvey Milk day before it was declared), my partner Victoria and I went and saw the movie “Milk” and it really changed the game plan in my mind for human rights. Now right off the bat I have lots of friends who are married and unmarried. I know people who just got married. I went to their wedding in Vegas actually, and lots of celebrities as of late are getting married as well. What do all these married people have in common? They’re not gay and they refuse to stand in solidarity with the gay-lesbian-trans community. I hope you all don’t take offense to my allegations, but it’s true to a degree. There is no visible sacrifice from the community of supporters, gay and straight. This is one of the main reasons gay marriage isn’t working or passing in numerous states: There is NO support from the straight community. And by support I don’t mean joining a FACEBOOK GROUP/PAGE, or slapping a bumper sticker on your car. Although many celebrities claim to support gay marriage, only a few have really boycotted marriage in solidarity: Sarah Silverman, Charlize Theron, Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie. The rest of the celebrities that support gay marriage go out and make PSA videos and or no on H8 photos. This all well and good but real change doesn’t come from just celebrities-it comes from all of the people taking a stand together along with congress and local and federal law makers. Let’s try not to confuse this fact.

Now I know joining the latest Gay Marriage equality Facebook page may seem like a real way to support something, but it really isn’t that big of a deal it’s just a click away. Gay marriage isn’t the same as say, “Betty White hosting SNL” or, “No officer, I know how fast I was going it was you I didn’t see” and so on. Let’s try not lump an entire minority of people’s civil rights to just a Facebook page. Do show your support but the “facebook support” is just the first step. Go out in the world do something and become someone who stands up long past when others sit down. I am referring to an actual boycott of getting married in any way shape or form until we ALL can get married. I really don’t understand how people can even get married after the 2008 elections when the actual ban took effect. Sure you might think or say, “I just need the tax breaks or the health insurance or I’m really in love”; well straight people, there are millions upon millions of gay-lesbian-transgender people who also would love those same rights. Taking those rights when others can’t is self indulgent. Participating in a group that disqualifies others makes you a hypocrite, and now a part of an elitist group.

So if you will check out this website:

My partner Victoria Rowe and I both wear our rings proudly and we say “Not until everyone can get married,” because we know it’s just not fair. I say things that I mean and mean things that I say. And let me tell you if you do it long enough you you’ll understand why it’s so important. One of you will get injured and try to see the other in a hospital setting and you’ll be denied and you’ll feel like shit. It’s happened to us a few times.

People ask, what would a marriage boycott do? It wouldn’t give this entire country any revenue related to marriage at all. There might just be more backers of gay marriage when others stand forward and say “Not until we can all get married”.

I really wish there was a modern day Harvey Milk in the gay or straight community, because from where I’m standing no one wants to make those hard sacrifices that help make change a reality. Milk stood out. He wouldn’t have just sat around playing and complaining on the computer-facebook or whatever forum you choose. He stood and did real things in the real world back when it was the only way to do it.

I urge you to go watch old videos of Harvey Milk, MLK, Rosa Parks, or even folks from the Brown-Latino movement. They all made serious sacrifices and weren’t afraid to get their hands dirty and their bodies’ hurt, thrown in jail, or even killed. They had what it takes to go that extra mile down the road to change the world around them: commitment to real change.

I will note and add Lt. Dan Choi is the exception. He’s a very strong leader and gay rights activist. I hope he will keep it up!

Do you have what it takes? Or will you just not care enough to join the boycott? Will you still do nothing-if that’s your thing, that’s okay. Doing nothing is not for me and some people I know.

So I say don’t get married until we all can get married. Maybe I sound critical or jaded well, I am-and every one of you in the United States needs to step it up and stop just watching from the sidelines.

Here’s video from Sarah Silverman reiterating some of what I’m saying:

Finally, Here’s One of Harvey Milk’s Amazing Speeches:

Let’s all try to stand together, and maybe then we won’t fall so easily.

The Pacific: HBO’s best work yet!

I have wanted to write a few blogs about a few great Plays (I will very soon write one for the debut of Tim Robbin’s brilliant new play!)and other instances that I have deemed as of late as ‘blog worthy’ but I have been way too busy with too many writing projects to write anything. I am finally coming up with a little extra time so here goes…a quick note for you all.

I just wanted to express publically that HBO’s new miniseries “The Pacific” is war film making at its best on many levels.

1.Incredible screenwriting and character development. Not once was I bored or left guessing “What did that feel like?” The devil is in the details and in the writing, and this series is solid proof of this.

2.All of the actors in this miniseries are the future of Hollywood. It was as if we were watching an old film full of the old ‘brat pack’ from the 80s-90s a la “Platoon” But these guys are an entirely new group of talented honest and real group of actors who I predict-will take over this town by storm.

3. The cinematography and perspective-the most honest and graphic depiction of war I have ever seen.

Mind you I never served in any form of military but this show is exactly what I would expect to see good and bad. Redeeming and vilifying. If you missed this show, go check it out. And as a final warning just don’t watch it while eating, there are some seriously gut wrenching moments that made even me cringe. I was huge fan of Band of Brothers but this mini blew the Band of Brothers out of the water (bad pun intended).

The most incredible part of it all is that it’s all true, good bad sad and beyond-it’s all true.

That’s all I can say. I don’t want to spoil it for any of you.

Nobody likes a spoil sport anyways…..

Be well