GOP May Skip November Board Race — With a presidential election likely to bring Democrats out to the polls in droves, Republicans are saying, privately, that it’s likely they will not be running a candidate for County Board in November. Republican Mark Kelly received 43.5 percent of the vote to Democrat Libby Garvey’s 49.2 percent in yesterday’s historically low turnout special election. [Sun Gazette]
D.C. Premiere of H-B Grad’s Film Planned — Fresh off a big win at the Sundance Film Festival, “Fishing Without Nets” will be holding its Washington, D.C. premiere next month. The short film, created by H-B Woodlawn grad Cutter Hodierne, will be premiering at a “surprise location” on Saturday, April 21. Tickets are $15. [Eventbrite]
Sun Gazette Sold to Texas Company — The weekly Sun Gazette newspaper has been sold to HPR Hemlock LLC, a newspaper investment firm out of Fort Worth, Texas. A company executive says the Sun Gazette and its sister publication, Leesburg Today, will retain autonomy at the local level. The Sun Gazette had previously been owned by another Texas company, American Community Newspapers LLC, which declared bankruptcy in 2009. [Sun Gazette]
H-B Woodlawn grad Cutter Hodierne has emerged the big winner in the short film category at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival.
Out of more than 7,500 submissions and some 64 short films screened at the festival, Hodierne’s Fishing Without Nets has earned the top jury prize for Short Filmmaking. The jury, which included Beavis and Butthead creator Mike Judge, said Fishing Without Nets provided a unique perspective on the issue of Somali piracy.
“By approaching a story of epic scope with an intimate perspective, this visually stunning film creates a rare, inside point of view that humanizes a global story,” the jury said. The jury award was announced last night. Hodierne will be formally honored at Sundance’s Awards Ceremony, hosted by actress Parker Posey, on Sunday.
Fishing Without Nets was written, directed, produced and edited by Hodierne. Filmed in Kenya, the 17-minutes film is a fictional story about Somali pirates, told from the perspective of the pirates.
Hodierne is now working on a feature-length version of the film.
When Cutter Hodierne got the call, at 11:00 p.m. on the day before Thanksgiving, he assumed it was a prank.
The voice on the other end congratulated him for his short film, Fishing Without Nets, being selected to the Sundance Film Festival, one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world. After the caller repeatedly assured Hodierne that he wasn’t being pranked — “that’s what everybody I call says” — the realization set in: this 24-year-old H-B Woodlawn grad and college dropout was mere weeks away from presenting his film at the festival that had helped the careers of indie film icons like Kevin Smith, Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino, Paul Thomas Anderson and Steven Soderbergh.
“This is just a big dream since I picked up a camera for the first time,” said Hodierne, 24, in a phone interview.
Fishing Without Nets was written, directed, produced and edited by Hodierne. It is a fictional story about Somali pirates, told from the perspective of the pirates. Filmed in Kenya, utilizing amateur Somali actors, the short is a testament to Hodierne’s perseverance and resourcefulness.
Together with producing partners Raphael Swann (another H-B Woodlawn grad), John Hibey (also a co-writer), Harold Otieno and Abubakr Mire, Hodierne managed to overcome challenge after challenge over the course of three months to complete the filming of the 17-minute film.
“Most of the guys cast as pirates were just local Somali guys living in Kenya who looked the part,” Hodierne said.
Then there was the matter of obtaining guns from the police for the filming. The Kenyan government, which has strict gun laws on its books, was not easily persuaded that Hodierne and his small crew were trustworthy enough to be given (real) automatic weapons.
“People are very suspicious of anybody trying to rent a bunch of guns from the police,” he said with a laugh. Eventually, Hodierne got his way — and his guns.
Then Hodierne found himself in a real-life life-and-death situation. He and his producing partners were robbed at gunpoint by a group of men. After giving the armed men everything they had, Hodierne and company were marched out to the ocean.
Did Arlington “Fare Well” in General Assembly? — Despite the failure of Arlington’s two top legislative priorities, the Washington Post thinks the county did okay. In related news, County Board Chairman Chris Zimmerman told the paper that the county will probably not replace the $1 million in tourism funding lost by the expiration of Arlington’s hotel tax surcharge. [Washington Post]
AP Scores Rise in Arlington — Arlington students are taking Advanced Placement exams in record numbers. Meanwhile, the average score on AP exams rose last year. [Sun Gazette]
Local Cyclists, Pedestrians Look to Europe — “Wouldn’t it be great to have the kind of bike facilities that can be found in many parts of Europe right here in the DC area?” asks the CommuterPageBlog. To that end, the Arlington County Bicycle Advisory Committee will be screening a film on Monday that explores the bike and pedestrian infrastructure in Europe. [CommuterPageBlog]
Flickr pool photo by Christaki
Freezing Rain and Snow Hits After Dark — It might not have been the monster storm that’s now hitting New York City and southern New England, but a relatively short period of freezing rain and snow made for some slippery conditions during rush hour last night. Most of the inch or so of snow we received is expected to melt today. If, however, unshoveled snow in front of someone else’s property is causing problems, you can report it via the county’s snow reporting form. Meanwhile, if you’re flying out of Reagan National today, you can check flight status here. Numerous flights have been canceled.
Dyszel Doc to be Screened at Artisphere Tonight — Dick Dyszel is a local television legend. During the ’70s and ’80s he played popular characters like Bozo the Clown and Count Gore de Vol on the Washington airwaves. “Every Other Night Is Halloween,” a documentary about Dyszel’s improbable career, will be playing at Artisphere. The film also examines the “de-evolution of local television” and the rise of the internet. The screening starts at 8:00 in Artisphere’s Dome Theater. Tickets are $6.
Shooshan Secures Financing for Founders Square Building – The Shooshan Company has successfully secured $100 million in financing to build the future headquarters of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in Ballston, part of the Founders Square development. (It’s worth noting that two workers were injured from a fall at the construction site yesterday.) A company representative says the financing allows them to concentrate on the construction of the building, which will be the first in Arlington to meet the DoD’s Minimum Anti-Terrorism Standards for Buildings. [GlobeSt.com]
But Clarendon resident H. Paul Moon is not your average government lawyer. He’s a composer, playwright and blogger who only recently added filmmaking to his list of side-projects. Earlier this month, he became an “award-winning” filmmaker at Arlington’s Rosebud Film and Video Festival.
Moon won the festival’s “Best of Show” award for El Toro, a short experimental film that seeks to make a visual connection between Spanish bullfighting and the passion of the Christ.
Armed with “modest” video equipment during a trip to Madrid, Moon attended a bullfight in the Plaza de Toros, a violent experience he says he does not want to repeat. Several months after returning home, Moon found inspiration and decided to turn his travel video into a film.
“I juxtaposed those bloody bullfighting scenes with carefully composed shots inside Madrid’s central cathedral, and heavily processed my edit with light manipulation and other visual effects to create a sort of dream-like meditation set to music,” he said. Then, one year after his trip, the Rosebud judges bestowed “an unexpected an encouraging honor” — the festival’s top prize.
“This was the first festival screening that I ever received since starting to make films 1-1/2 years ago,” Moon said.
It will almost certainly not be his last. Moon has continued cranking out experimental/environmental/landscape films inspired by his extensive international travels. In addition to the abstract and non-narrative, he has also been working on documentaries that profile performing artists.
Currently, Moon says he’s hard at work on a “biographical portrait of the American composer Samuel Barber.” The choice of documentary subject reflects the fact that Moon — a prolific creator of art — is also a voracious consumer of art.
“When something fascinates me, now I can’t stop myself from making a project out of it,” he said.
El Toro currently is not available online, but you can watch some of Moon’s other films here.
Photos from El Toro courtesy of H. Paul Moon
Domestic violence against women isn’t always committed by men. One in four women experience domestic violence in their lifetime regardless of the sexual orientation, race, socioeconomic status, age or educational background.
To help mark Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Arlington Central Library will be screening three films that explore the subject.
“My Girlfriend Did It” was first released in 1995, but its message is still as relevant and powerful now as it was back then. The documentary by Casa de Esperanza will be screened on Sunday, Oct. 17, at 2:00 p.m. at the Arlington Central Library Auditorium.
Also on the film agenda is “Telling Amy’s Story,” which explores the events leading up to a domestic violence murder. That will be screened this Sunday at 2:00 p.m. Next Sunday “Sin by Silence,” about female prison inmates learning to stop the cycle of domestic abuse, will also be shown at 2:00.
The series will kick off on Friday at 8:30 p.m. with a “tour of Arlington as seen through the eyes of Hollywood producers in ways both novel and creative.” The presentation will feature video clips and photos from the dozens of movies and TV shows filmed in Arlington, along with commentary from former Arlington Film Commissioner, current Arlington Virginia Network executive producer, and long-time movie buff Robert Farr.
Then, on Saturday, the films themselves will begin. Like Friday’s presentation, the films will start at 8:30 and admission is free. Here’s the schedule and each film’s Arlington connection.
- June 19: The Blind Side (starring Arlingtonian Sandra Bullock)
- June 25: Breach (scenes filmed in Arlington)
- June 26: Heaven Can Wait (starring Arlingtonian Warren Beatty)
- July 9: Clear and Present Danger (scenes filmed in Arlington)
- July 10: Sweet Charity (starring Arlingtonian Shirley MacLaine)
- July 23: Mission Impossible III (scenes filmed in Arlington)
- July 24: Shark Tales (voice work by Arlingtonian Katie Couric)
Hear screenplays written by budding (and brave) local screenwriters — then offer gratuitous praise or withering (constructive) criticism.
The colorful list of screenplays to be read include “Plus One,” about a retired couple who “attempt” to have a threesome, and “BETA VHS R.I.P.” about a Betamax salesman whose world is turned upside down in 1982 when a Japanese salesman comes into town with a VHS player.
Anyone planning to attend is asked to RSVP here. It’s free and organizers say the public is welcome to participate.
The reading is being held at Arlington Independent Media HQ (2701-C Wilson Boulevard, next to Comcast). Doors open at 7:00.
See a list of the screenplays to be read, after the jump.
Star Trek, featuring the swashbuckling William Shatner and measured voice-of-reason Leonard Nimoy, was the first film shown as part of Crystal City’s Star Trek-themed, summer-long outdoor film festival.
Each installment of the Star Trek series plays Monday evenings at dusk in chronological order, which means next week will spotlight the 1982 classic Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan*.
Audience members are encouraged to bring blankets and a few snacks. While a few Star Trek fans could be seen in Federation t-shirts, it seemed that most fans left their Spock ears and other costumes at home.
Following yesterday’s boffo Trekkie turnout, Crystal City announced today a new contest for residents who want to vote on which films will be featured during next year’s film film. The series will adopt the theme “By the Numbers” and feature twelve films with numbers in their title (for example: The Whole Nine Yards or The 40 Year Old Virgin).
Visit http://www.crystalcity.org/ to vote for your favorite numbered film (or suggest your own, although the existing list of numbered films is pretty exhaustive). Crystal City will announce the twelve winning films on August 16, before the last film of the season (last year’s Star Trek, the blockbuster J. J. Abrams relaunch of the franchise).
* Speaking of Wrath of Khan (fun fact), did you know that Marc Okrand of the Washington Shakespeare Company is the original inventor of the Klingon language? Furthermore, the Rosslyn Spectrum and Marc Okrand are producing the Shakespeare play By Any Other Name entirely in Klingon this September, and it will feature George Takei in person. Repeat: George Takei reciting Shakespeare in Klingon at the Rosslyn Spectrum this September.
Another weekend, another long list of things to do in Arlington.
“The Shat Ball” with The Raspberry Brothers — NYC comedy duo The Raspberry Brothers is back at Arlington Cinema ‘N’ Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike) to rip on another classic cheeseball movie. This time, they aim their barbs at William Shatner’s performance in Star Trek V. From 9:30 to midnight.
Edward Scissorhands Under the Stars – Speaking of cheeseball movies, the latest installment of Rosslyn’s I Love the ’90s outdoor film festival brings us Johnny Depp’s 1990 classic Edward Scissorhands. The flick starts around 7:30 at Gateway Park (1300 Lee Highway).
Fifth Annual Arlington Youth Film Festival Premiere — Arlington Independent Media will screen the finalists for the 2010 Arlington Youth Film Festival. The festival was created to showcase the talents of our local middle and high school students. Doors open at 3:00 p.m. at The Comedy Spot in Ballston Common Mall (4238 Wilson Boulevard).
Classic Rock Concert At Potomac Overlook Regional Park — Local classic rock band Second Wind will headline the first outdoor concert of the season at Potomac Overlook Park amphitheater (2845 N. Marcey Road). The family and picnic-friendly concert will start around 7:00 p.m.
Bike DC Community Bike Ride — See more info from our earlier post.
Virginia’s Fastest Bartender Contest Finals — Crystal City Sports Pub (529 23rd Street South) will host the final round of the Virginia’s Fastest Bartender Contest, starting at 8:30 p.m. The proceeds will go to the Tender Hearts Foundation, which helps children with congenital heart defects.
There’s a lot more on the agenda for Sunday — browse our events calendar for a full list.
Rosslyn’s “I Love the ’90s” outdoor film series started off with a crowd-pleaser Friday night. About 150 people crammed onto the field at Freedom Park to watch Alicia Silverstone, Brittany Murphy, and Paul Rudd in the 1995 classic teen comedy “Clueless”.
Space was at a premium. Most of the crowd arrived with picnic blankets in tow about an hour before show time.
Sultana Khan was there with friends about an hour and a half before the movie started with plenty of sandwiches, cheese, hummus, and other munchies.
“Seriously, this movie is, like, amazing,” she enthused, chanelling the flick’s San Fernando Valley spirit. “It’s a standard, and Cher is a total Betty.”
Several picnicking groups knew the script by heart, which meant a good section of the audience recited aloud one of the most memorable lines in the film:
“Why should I listen to you, anyway? You’re a virgin who can’t drive.”
“That was way harsh, Ty.”
This coming Friday the “gnarly” SNL-skit-turned-blockbuster Wayne’s World will be playing on the big screen. Others films in the series include Airheads, Home Alone, and Johnny Depp’s highly underrated Cry Baby.