Category Archives: my film clips

Biographical summary part of my “Unified Documentary”

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This sequence is a summary of my “different life”, showing the highlights and controversies in each period.  Then supplementary videos will go into more detail about each incident.

I did these initially by putting them onto Power Point with slides.  Later, I’ll use Final Cut to replace the slides and make everything flow and look better.

BIO Part 1:  Childhood in Arlington VA, 1943-1961

 

There needs to be a lot more detail about the piano lessons.

BIO Part 2:  William and Mary, fall 1961

 

BIO Part 3:  Back home, and then Inpatient at NIH (1962)

Part 3A – note about Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 while patient at NIH

 

BIO Part 4: First wage earning job at NIH while going to GWU and living at home

Part 4A – Kennedy Assassination in 1963 while working at NBS

BIO Part 5:  Graduate school (1966-1967)

 

Part 6:  Army (1968-1970, Basic Training covered above)

 

(First published: Monday, April 13, 2015 at 10:45 PM EDT)

My first cut now at the “Do Ask, Do Tell: The Unified Documentary” video

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Today, I sketched out a very rough cut of my “Do Ask, Do Tell: The Unified Documentary”, which is supposed to convey the material of the three DADT books assuming the viewer isn’t familiar with any of them.

That is different from, say, the 2014 DADT-III book which presumes familiarity with the first two in the series.

I simply talked into the camera.  I will add much more material (through Final Cut Pro, which I recently got for a MacBook Pro), and especially much relevant video (stills and moving), mostly of places I have actually visited and that relate to the material being discussed.

Some of what I saw may sound disturbing or controversial, so please interpret this in context, as “work in progress”.

OVERVIEW Part 1 explains why I wrote the DADT-1 book (1997).  I still think most young adults today are not familiar with the culture surrounding the male-only military draft during the Vietnam era and the “morally corrupt” system of deferments that essentially meant that some lives are more worthy than others, and that some lives can be sacrificed for the “common good” of others, definitely an idea that modern libertarianism overcomes.

OVER Part 2 jumps to present day, and presents the dilemma that modern Internet self-broadcast creates.

OVER Part 3 covers the period that I was at NIH in the fall of 1962, covers the way my homosexuality was perceived by others, as a kind of self-imposed eugenics and a distraction not only to my own future ability to have a family, but (because of the idea of a “commons” of culture) also to that of others around me. Since I went to GWU at night, I was the only “patient” who knew that the Cuban Missile Crisis was going on. The external politics did not encourage “family values”.

There is some more video about my “William and Mary Expulsion” in 1961 at my other WordPress blog,  here.

OVER Part 4 outlines the environment of my screenplay “Do Ask, Do Tell: Conscripted” with a crude home model railroad n-scale and Brio layout.

Part 5 illustrates the layout with some “driver education”. Actually, the first crash isn’t OK, as a 3-wheeled motorcycle (“Easy Rider”) is rear-ended.

(Published Thursday, April 2, 2015 at 7:45 PM EDT)

“Do Ask, Do Tell” video summary stream work starts

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Thursday, Oct. 30, I visited Shrine Mont (in Orkney Springs VA), the Wolf Gap-Big Scloss area on the W Va line, and the start of the Forts Valley.  I made three simple videos to get my “Do Ask, Do Tell Overview” video summary stream work started

The first video (3 min) is my “Video Zero” and is shot in a parking lot at Shrine Mont at Orkney Springs, VA.  This was the site of many church retreats for me in the 1960s.

I lay out the idea that, as someone who is “different”, I have to balance self-expression with meeting the needs of others.  I say that this inducts to a moral issue that relates to sustainability of a democratic society.

 

Here, at the mouth of the Forts Valley (near Front Royal, VA) I lay out the idea that “talkativeness” (or “verbosity”) and “servitude” are two concepts to be balanced.

Here, I discuss my first example of “coercion” trying to influence my values.

 

Many more examples will be provided with time.

(Published Saturday Nov. 1, 2014 at 8:30 PM EDT.)

Added, based on trip to Hawsbill Mt, Nov. 5, 2014

Moral debate — zero (the two extra hikers walked into the shot accidentally and then left)

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More of “Bill’s Clips” (including a simulated air raid drill in 2002)

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I do want account for all my other filmmaking from the Past.

In May 2003, I showed four or five clips of a simulated “attack” on the University of Minnesota campus at the Flaming Film Festival at Intermedia Arts on Lyndale Ave.  in Minneapolis.  The film would be called “Air Raid” (or “Bill’s Clips“).

The links are:  1,  2,  3, 4, 5.

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These items are on a 34 minute DVD called “Do Ask Do Tell” which I stitched together with iMovie in 2003.   I should get this uploaded with a DVD ripping program (like this or DVDX like this).  I should do this, too, with my 58-minute Hamline lecture from 1998.  No recording exists of a similar talk at the University of Minnesota in 1999 or Dakota Unitarian Fellowship in 2002.

The hits at that 2003 festival were two gender benders from Josh Margolis, Joanie Loves Tchotchkies and Joanie Loves Furbies. 

(Published Saturday Oct. 18 at 11:45 PM.)

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Easter Sunrise Service, Arlington National Cemetery, 2014, my video clips

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I made some video clips of the Easter Sunrise Service on Sunday, April 20, 2014 at Arlington National Cemetery.  Here is the footage that I have.

Easter Sunrise Service, Arlington National Cemetery, April 20, 2014, 6:30 AM

Part 1 Stanford, “Danny Boy”

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7 Sermon

Part 8 “He Lives”

Part 9 Handel, Hallelujah Chorus

Part 10 Handel, conclusion

Army Chorus at Nationals Game April 27, sings “God Bless America”

“Come Hell or High Water: The Battle for Turkey Creek”, question and answer session at DC Environmental Film Festival

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I made six video clips from the Question and Answer session for the film “Come Hell or High Water: The Battle for Turkey Creek” at the Carnegie Institute for Science on 16th Street in Washington DC (happens to be right across the street from the First Baptist Church if the City of Washington DC, in which I grew up in the 1950s and 1960s).

The subject of the film is African American activist Derrick Evans, who had worked as a history teacher in Boston before starting to visit his homeland in Mississippi more often. The Turkey Creek bayou is a natural wetland and was settled by freed slaves during the Reconstruction, who were able to own land here in a segregated society.  The land is threatened by over-development, which makes it even more susceptible to natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina and then Rita in 2005. The film is directed by Leah Mahan and has been carried on Mississippi PBS.

Evans gave up his career (even as a teacher) to become an activist.  During the QA I asked him if he was economically OK now, and the answer seemed to be, not really.  Was this an OK question?

Another speaker said that more people needed to be willing to live in the Gulf area.  Saying that people shouldn’t “choose” to live in higher risk areas just doesn’t cut it morally.

Here are the clips

Clip 1

Clip 2

Clip 3

Clip 4

Clip 5

Clip 6

I start writing screenplays (Part I)

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I first started developing screenplay scripts for my “Do Ask, Do Tell” material in 2002 while still in Minneapolis, shortly after my “career change” had started with “The Layoff”.  I often attended a screenwriting seminar in a local college building on Hennepin in downtown Minneapolis, where we did table readings for some of our materials.  Some scripts got selected for formal table readings, as at the Jungle Theater near Lyndale and Lake St., or sometimes in one of the theater auditoriums in Block E on Marquette.

I did get one “film” shown at the Flaming Film Festival in May, 2002, shot on a Sony Camcorder.  It was called “Air Raid” or, alternatively, “Bill’s Clips”, and runs about six minutes.  The simplest way to present the films is to give the first link, here   all the way through “airraid4.mpg” and also “plane2.mpg”.  The idea is that someone is walking on the streets near the University of Minnesota campus when an apparent enemy attack starts.  Post 9/11, it was pretty effective.  The festival was sponsored by Intermedia Arts in Minneapolis (on Lyndale)

Once I came back to Arlington VA, I took at least two adult education classes in screenwriting offered by the public school system (small tuition), taught by Carolyn Perry.  I started renting films from Netflix, and the very first film I watched this way was “In Praise of Love” (“Eloge de l’amour”, 2001), a New Wave film in two parts by Jean-Luc Godard. It’s interesting because of its birfurcated, two-part structure, black-and-white and then color, the second part occurring before the first (as opposed to “beginning, middle and end” in conventional screenplays). The film is meta-styled and layered, about an author’s making a film about several couples, including a particular person with connections to the past connections to the resistance in Vichy France.  It seems scattered rather than tightly focused, and that’s an idea that comes back in my own work.

I’ll add that on a cold Saturday in early 2002, I tried out for a part in the short film “The Retreat“, by Darin Heinis, in which some allied soldiers at the Battle of the Bulge encounter ghosts of Germans, and other supernatural artifacts.  I almost got a part of one of the Nazi ghosts.  I’m not sure what to make of that.  I would eventually see the film at Bryant-Lake Bowl in Minneapolis at an IFPMSP monthly screening party.

This train of thought, regarding my scripts, will continued soon.

Published: Sunday, March 2, 2014 PM 4:50 PM

 

My speech at Hamline University in 1998 (with cable rebroadcast, and videos)

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I’m going to start introducing my own work in this “Media Reviews” blog, in order to build up to my future plans, and to supplement the “footnotes blog” for my new “Do Ask Do Tell III” book.

On February 25, 1998, I gave a lecture on my first book to undergraduate students at Hamline University in St. Paul, MN.  Students took notes, like they were going to turn in themes to professors.  The lecture was arranged by a graduating senior from Hamline whom I had met through the Libertarian Party of Minnesota after moving to Minneapolis on September 1, 1997 – actually at a reception (and informal booksigning party) somewhere around one of the lakes in town in late October (it was still mild that Sunday night, which I remember well).

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The 56-minute talk was carried on Channel 6 on Minneapolis Cable in March, 1998.  I have made a DVD of it.  Using older technology of over a decade ago. I extracted some videos from it.  I’m not sure yet how easy it would be to get this onto YouTube or copied onto this site, so I will give the link to the first file on the “doaskdotell” site.  There are 34 such files, each well less than a minute.  I do think I talk constructively about the “Relationship Paradox” (file 30) and that there is tension between independence as a virtue for the individual and interdependence as necessary for society,

The MPG link to the first file is this:

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I would be accompanied at some libertarian book fairs by Edmund Contoski, who published under the imprint “American Liberty Publishers”, link here.

One of these is “Makers and Takers”, the title of which is self-explanatory.  Yes, it does remind us of Ayn Rand.  The other is a novel “The Trojan Project”, where the author imagines a telephone virus.  I thought it was fanciful at the time, but then Stephen King came up with “Cell” in 2006.  And now, smart phone malware is a big security issue, and certainly fits well into the NSA spying scandal revealed by Edward Snowden.

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I would later give a similar speech at the University of Minnesota March 31, 1999, and a related talk to the Dakota Unitarian Fellowship in Rosemount, MN in February 2002.

(Published at 11 PM EST Sunday, Februrary 16, 2014).

Update: Oct. 20, 2014

Thumbnails for DVD of the Hamline lecture. I’ll start working on YouTube transcription soon.  See Nov. 30, 2015 post.

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The unfinished documentary “American Lynching” by Gode Davis; also, controversial films on abortion

lynch4On New Year’s Day, January 1, 2003, a Wednesday, while I was staying with my mother in Arlington over the holidays (I was still living in the Churchill in Minneapolis) I drove my rented car to West Warwick, RI (very near Providence) to visit filmmaker Gode Davis, who is since deceased.  It was a mild day, with rain and fog but no snow on the way up (but wind-driven flurries all the next day as I came back).

We met first for dinner in a Friday’s restaurant, and he said immediately, he could tell from my artificial body language that I, like him, have at least mild Asperger’s syndrome.  We had spoken on the phone numerous times.  He had said he had been an Army officer, had been married and was also bisexual and was very concerned about “don’t ask, don’t tell”.

Then we retreated to his modest Cape Cod home on St. George St., and watched all the footage of his documentary “American Lynching”.  I think about 40 minutes of interviews and various narratives had been assembled.  I actually spent the night before driving back.

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In June 2005, he came to Washington to tape some interviews at the Capitol about a Senate resolution to apologize for the government’s not doing more about the past wrongs associated with lynchings since the Civil War.  Senator George Allen (VA), Mary Landrieu (LA) and victim James Cameron were interviewed.  Gode took a lot of footage, and I took my own footage of some of the same material.

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My own footage:

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To play these in Windows, click once, and then click when the box appears on your screen,  These were taken with an older Sony Camcorder.

Gode had called to ask if he could stay at my home, but at the time my mother was in charge (as I was looking after her) and I could not return the favor.  That is an idea that I ought to be able to address now.

In fact, there are several sites in Alexandria, VA where lynchings occurred in the late 19th Century, such as this

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this

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and this.

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The estate has a website “americanlyncing.com” which right now Google warns as possibly being hacked. It comes up cleanly in Firefox with Webroot Secure Anywhere in a Windows 8 environment, so I am having Webroot check on the reason for Google’s warning (link)  Note: Webroot’s initial reply is that it did not find anything wrong with the site.

Gode’s one YouTube video, from 2006, about ten minutes, also appears on my Blogger Movie Reviews blog, Dec. 24, 2013, but I’ll re-present it here for convenience.

The logical next step is to contact the estate and see what is being done with the materials and if some sort of effort can be assembled to fund and finish the rest of the project.

In February 2003 there was a fire at the Station Disco in West Warwick, RI.  David did become involved in a city’s investigation of the disaster.

There’s another controversial film around, “South Dakota” (no relation to “Nebraska”) by Bruce Isaacson, a long drama about two young women dealing with abortion. The production company is Lionheart, and it is very difficult to find out any information in when it will show up. I would wonder if the controversy of the film’s subject matter is provoking concerns.   I have reviewed both “Lake of Fire” and “After Tiller” on my Movies blog (look for the “Right to Life” label).

Update: March 9, 2015

A disturbing incident with a University of Oklahoma fraternity, now closed down with students likely to be expelled, shows the problem is still with us, CNN story here.   The expulsion letter published by ABC on Facebook is quite graphic, here.

 Update: March 15, 2015

I have had some occasional discussions with the estate about my past contact with Gode.  I can’t report details now, but I believe that there will be more news in the reasonably near future.

Update: April 2, 2015

There are reports of a noose incident on the Duke University campus in North Carolina, story on Jezebel here.

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Update: August 15, 2015

I recently visited the executor of Gode’s estate in Rhode Island.  More details will be available in the reasonably near future, I hope.  It is apparent that the focus of Gode’s work was “extra legal violence” that has neighborhood or peer social approval, and isn’t limited just to race.