Monthly Archives: September 2010

Independent Film Week

Last week was IFP’s Independent Film Week, and for the first time I volunteered to help out; I’ve been tempted ever since we moved here, and this year I finally decided to move my schedule around and make it happen, even though I was only able to go three days (three is better than none!). All the IFP folks, like Erin O’Kane the Volunteer Coordinator, were fantastic, and it reminded me again how supportive and communal the independent film scene is–another reason I love living in New York.

I was working in filmmaker registration and with the documentary film screenings–where I got to see some great rough cuts on social topics–but I was also able to attend several panel discussions–not every one that I really wanted to see, but certainly several of them, and I got to bump into some great filmmakers like Ry Russo-Young and Fred Seibert. Continue reading

New Mormon Messages Contest

I’ve been pleased to see the populist nature of the Church’s new online Mormon Messages videos. I’d love to give a long review of them sometime soon, but long story short the Church is finally coming around to the idea that films by and about rank-and-file members of the Church can be their best promotional material, i.e. that a grassroots approach to propaganda featuring the simple bearing of testimonies is a better way to approach video-based proselytizing than the top-down heavy-handed didactic model that’s been favored since the 1980s, Continue reading

Polygamists on TV Sunday

Just a quick note, in case you haven’t heard, that TLC will premiere their new reality show about a polygamist family, Sister Wives, on Sunday at 10/9C (I’ve never known what that means–10 Eastern Time?) Anyway, check your listings and DVR the whole thing–polygamy’s finally met reality TV! Inevitable, I guess. I’ll try to watch it and post some thoughts–plus on last week’s TV movie The 19th Wife, which you still might be able to catch–as soon as I can.

Claude Chabrol

“There is no new wave, only the sea.”

Claude Chabrol, the man frequently cited as fathering the New Wave, passed away in Paris last week at the age of 80. I realize I’m tardy to the party in paying tribute to him–due, essentially, to my getting this blog up and running last week–but I would be remiss if my first regular post was about anything or anyone else. Others who are more conversant with his full body of work have already written about him, and I’ll link to those in a second, but I’d like to at least mention my first direct exposure to his work, which was watching Le Boucher (1970) nearly a decade ago. Continue reading

Opening remarks

Hi. My name is Randy Astle and I’m an actor, critic, screenwriter, and director of films, transmedia, and children’s media, mostly television (see my kids’ media blog for more on that). “Notes of a Mormon Filmmaker” reflects my long-time interest in cinema and Mormon culture–and especially the confluence of the two.

The blog is centered around two projects of mine, both of which I plan to release in mid-2011. Continue reading