This is an ever-evolving story of a girl writer and her two greatest loves, the movies and travel. As she hikes the trenches of Hollywood, you're brought along for the ride.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

After A Movie Wraps

I just arrived home after being on-location for 4 months working on a feature called "Nebraska." 

When they make the final call, "That's a wrap!" everyone involved in the making of the film has mixed feelings.  Usually those feelings are a combination of elation, relief, and sadness.  I know this was true for me.  As a tribute to my fellow cast and crew members and to the collaborative process of it all, I wrote the following...

An idea, a character, a journey
A writer wishes upon a star
A director takes the wand
We all come together now

Hoping to tell a story,
Bring it to life in all its glory
Mold a script into something
Everyone can see—

Beauty and reality,
Emotion and heartbreak,
Moments that matter,
Opportunities that scattered—
In dust along a gravel road

Costumes, Construction, Art
Locations, Casting locked,
Actors become characters,
It’s more than fiction now

Black and white we see—
The shadows and the light
Truth and human failings,
Relationships worth saving

Before we know it,
The journey for us ends
Now it awaits the theater,
Awaits the crowd,
This film to share—
That will make us proud

There’s no recipe to create—
A movie with a blessed fate
Worth the heartache and the pain
We did it all together
To create this story,
Told within the frame.

© 2012 by KLiedle
All rights reserved

Friday, December 21, 2012

End Of Days: As The World Turns

 "What people forget," writes Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, "is that we're not without control over the decline of our society.  Nothing ever gets as bad as the apocalyptic people say it will.  There is a restoring force that brings it back to the middle.  And nothing ever gets as utopian as people suggest.  People are not that visionary.  We're somewhere in the middle, disappointingly so."

According to the Mayan calendar, the world was supposed to end today.  Of course, we thought that was going to happen at the new millennium back in 2000.  That didn't happen either, but I remember people being more panicked about it.  Not because the "world was going to end" but because of the supposed catastrophic effects of Y2K.  God, that was scary, wasn't it?

Humans have been predicting the end of the world since well before scientists came up with the big bang theory.  But today?  I woke up this morning.  You woke up this morning.  We didn't vaporize into oblivion.  And when I looked outside my window, the world was indeed still here.  In fact, the sun was shining.  If the world was going to end today, it was going to end in fire.

Enjoy the extra few billions years, the sun has left for us...

If you want to add a thematic element to movie night tonight, I recommend watching Armageddon or Mel Gibson's 2006 Mayan epic, Apocalypto. You could also hunker down and read, The World Without Us.

And here I leave you with one of my favorite Robert Frost poems:

Some say the world will end in fire, 
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice, 
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
is also great
And would suffice.

~Robert Frost

Copyright 2012 by Kliedle

Quotes Reference:
Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of Hayden Planetarium, as quoted in the book, "The Movie That Changed My Life" by Robert Hofler
Robert Frost, "Fire And Ice," originally published in 1920 by Harper's Magazine.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

'Half Emirati' Receives Attention At Dubai

In many parts of the world, people believe that mixed marriages pose a threat to their country's cultural heritage, traditions, and culture.  Children of mixed marriages are often treated differently.  Many of them have a hard time adjusting.  Being 'in-between' two cultures, they don't feel like they're a part of either one.

Recently, I had the opportunity to interview Amal Al-Agoobi, an up-and-coming documentary filmmaker from United Arab Emirates.  She is the director of the documentary short, Half Emirati, which recently screened at the Dubai International Film Festival on December 9, 2012.

Half Emirati  discusses the social implications of mixed marriages for natives of the United Arab Emirates, a nation where the local population only makes up about 10-15%.  This is a personal subject for Amal Al-Agoobi; She is half Emirati and half Syrian.  Although she is from UAE,  she grew up in Belgium which gave her a very European upbringing.  She had a very strong sense of who she was, much due to supportive parents who made sure she got Arabic lessons, religion (Islam), and learned good morals.  Being immersed in European culture gave her both perspective and interest on the subject of mixed marriages in her native country. 'Half Emiratis' are often bullied in UAE and Al-Agoobi wanted those individuals to share their stories. 

When I asked her what statement she'd like to make with her film, Al-Agoobi said her hope is that people will come away from the film believing that "being a part of two cultures, two a positive thing."  It allows one to become more open-minded and more understanding. 

Half Emirati is getting a lot of attention at this year's Dubai International Film Festival.  I was surprised when Al-Agoobi said that she didn't encounter many conflicts making her film.  I felt that being a female filmmaker from a Middle-Eastern country while tackling this subject matter would bring bring many obstacles.  On the contrary, she said that people were amazingly supportive.

"An Emirati male director had loaned us the space and optix digital media supported us with post-production.  My producer was very spot on and because I'm a woman, I actually get more attention and more care.  It's no secret that women in the UAE are beginning to drive the country forward in all sectors of every industry."

Some of the subjects she interviews heard about the film and wanted to take part.  Others she knew personally.  Only a few documentary subjects backed out, saying "they were ashamed of their mothers or fathers... and didn't want people to find out they were 'mixed.' "

 Amal Al-Agroobi is shocked at the amount of press she's been getting. 

"I've been interviewed by national TV channels and international news channels because they all feel it's a big step coming out with a film like this."

I wish her the very best of luck as she moves forward. 

© Copyright 2012 by KLiedle

Dubai International Film Festival