Film Friday: Frozen

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Sometimes you just have to bow your head, say a prayer and weather the storm.” ~ Unknown

Over the past few days we received a substantial amount of snow, keeping skiers and people at the ski resort in Steamboat Springs, Colorado happy. Christmas is only a few weeks away and the much sought after fluffy, white powder is much appreciated by tourists in this town.

I awoke to thirty below zero this morning – perhaps it is a good day to go to the movies. frozen1Disney’s movie Frozen is playing at our local theatre, and in many other communities around America.Click here for info and ordering Frozen

On this Film Friday, I would like to share the film critique of Frozen by Jon Katz, a bestselling author well-known for his writing about mans’ best friends, dogs.

He has some interesting insight in his review of the movie about weathering life’s storms.  http://bit.ly/Isaow1. If you are a parent or have an interest in this rising generation of children, I’ll bet you will have some thoughts of your own on what Katz has to say.

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Have a great weekend, everybody. Treat your children to the latest Disney movie – Frozen. It is arriving in theatres just in time for the holidays.

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Escaping Political Landscape with Humor

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Happiness is like manna; it is to be gathered…and enjoyed every day. We have to go out of ourselves…to gather it, since it has rained down from a Heaven at our very door.” ~ Tryon Edwards (American theologian 1809-1894).

Yesterday’s blog about fickle Mother Nature made me think of a film that is currently playing in theatres across the country. The title of it, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, sounds like a description of our country’s political and economic landscape at this moment, but I assure you, the storyline is quite different.

The book Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is manna for the soul. I must have read it to my son a hundred times or more, over the course of his growing up. It was a favorite and we returned to it time and time again, especially when we wanted to end the day on a positive note. I could probably recite the text by heart.

cloudy with a chance of meatballs2_The illustrations in the book made us laugh – images of Mother Nature releasing storms of mashed potatoes, meatballs and spaghetti. There were memorable pictures of torrential downpours of salt and pepper, people being flattened by flying hamburgers.

Despite the chaos, the governing body in the town of Chew and Swallow didn’t shut down. The plow trucks were out removing piles of peas and carrots blocking the streets and making order out of mess. They were working hard to solve the problems and change the landscape from rotten eggs clogging progress to a more sunny side up environment.

Now that I have been involved in writing and publishing, I see the book as a great example of how an author, Judi Barrett, used her imagination to create a wonderfully entertaining story for both children and adults.

Ahh… the days of reading bed time stories. My son, Marc,  is now twenty-five years old, and a filmmaker specializing in visual effects. He also works as a film colorist. A perfect way to spend a holiday evening  would be to watch this film  and escape to the fictional town of Chew and Swallow together where we can look in on his world, and he will have fun providing feedback about the movie.

I think I’ll put the DVD on my shopping list for Christmas…..sshhhhh…don’t tell Marc.

Here is where to purchase the movie if you can’t catch it at the theatre. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1985966/ .

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Gatsby Groupies

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 “Show me a hero, and I’ll write you a tragedy.” ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

gatsbyI feel as if I am becoming a Gatsby groupie! Today I walked into the Bud Werner Library, and saw a display case announcing the next One Book Steamboat (a community read). It is The Great Gatsby.I’m in,” I thought, as I proceeded to the DVDs and took out the 2000 production of The Great Gatsby movie by A & E Television Networks. Then I wandered over the computer and put in a reserve for a copy of the book by the same title.

I guess I haven’t had enough of the Fitzgeralds, the Jazz Age and the Long Island social elite even though last summer on my vacation, I took in the movie The Great Gatsby with my sister and I also hawked my mother’s copy of  Zelda and read it.

Truthfully, I was disappointed in the latest rendition of the movie, with Leonardo DiCaprio. The visual effects, I felt, were so over the top and frantic that it distracted me from being able to absorb the tragic tale of wealth and entitlement. The telling essence of Jay Gatsby’s character weaknesses were lost in the visual chaos of the movie, rather being told by the dialogue of the story.

The book Zelda, for me, provided much better insight into the psyche of an artist who “never wanted to give in or give up” despite failure and rejection. The narrative told an up-close and personal story of the relationship between wife and husband, Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald and it gave historical perspective into their friendships with other contemporaries (filmmakers, writers and artists) from the era.

As a lead-up to the community discussion of the novel, on October 10th, the latest Leo Dicaprio version of “Gatsby” will be aired at the Bud Werner Library. I’ll probably skip it. But then again, perhaps with a second look I might have a different opinion. But I hope not to miss what will probably be a very fulfilling discussion on Monday, October 21st.  It will be led by the English teachers of SteamboatHigh School. I hope students are required to join in and read this classic novel.  For more information, please follow this link. http://www.steamboatlibrary.org/events/one-book-steamboat

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Film Friday: Teaching Emerging Filmmakers

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new day films “One of the privileges of being a filmmaker is the opportunity to remain a kind of perpetual student.”  – Edward Zwick

Are you an educator who teaches emerging young filmmakers? The other day I came across a film distribution company that may not be known to visitors who frequent All Things Fulfilling for news about independent filmmaking.

New Day Films is a filmmaker-run distribution company providing award-winning films to educators since 1971. This on-line site “delivers over 230 titles that illuminate, challenge and inspire.”  Many of the films can be digitally streamed directly from the website or delivered in DVD or VHS format.

willard van dykeSince the genre of documentary film is particularly interesting to me, I was drawn to a film called Conversations with Willard Van Dyke. http://www.newday.com/films/Conversations_with_WVD.html. In this film, Van Dyke discusses his belief that “films have the power of film to change the world.”  The man behind his films, Willard Van Dyke,became synonymous with social documentary in the U.S.”

During his lifetime (1906 – 1986), Van Dyke painted portraitures of Americans, through the medium of film, who made their living through hard labor everyday such as steelworkers, cottonpickers and machinists. The Depression, he said, made an everlasting impression on him.Click for info & ordering Willard Van Dyke’s film

Van Dyke was director of the Department of Film at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) from 1965 to 1974. He also began the film department at the State University of New York in Purchase.  In 1978, he received the prestigious George Eastman Award, given by George Eastman House for distinguished contribution to the art of film. 

New Day Films distributes films on many social issue topics, among them:

  • Aging & Gerontology
  • Media, Art & Culture
  • Religion & Theology
  • African-American
  • Multi-Cultural
  • Children & Family issues
  • Sociology
  • Native American Studies

Film educators and film historians may find the perfect film they are looking for to use in the classroom on the website http://www.newday.com.  Check it out.

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Creativity Back Into the Classroom

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“Sometimes you have to create what you want to be part of.” ~ Geri Weitzman

How many of our readers have listened to TED talks? If you get television broadcasts through Roku streaming channels, you can tune in and listen to a large variety of TED talks on all different subjects. Fascinating “ideas worth spreading” are introduced through these presentations.

The other day I listened to an interesting TEDx talk through my computer about the way students learn. Many parents and some educators feel the basic skills-oriented educational subjects of reading, writing and arithmetic (the traditional 3Rs) is failing students, and should be done away with or at least, modified. A good argument for changing traditional educational curriculum in schools is offered on the TEDx presentation called That Immovable Mountain.

Integrating art in classThe presenter of That Immovable Mountain, Charles W. Scranton poses a thought-worthy question. What if we retooled the way children are learning and the three R’s became “rigor, relevance and relationships?” Learning then becomes an interwoven concept between disciplines “bringing creativity and imaginations back into schools.” Would education become more fulfilling for students? This is the premise of the TEDx talk I listened to.

The Big Picture Movement is an alternative style of learning which is designed to reach the needs of disconnected students. According to www.bigpicture.org, “every 12 seconds a student drops out of school in the United States.” A sad but realistic image of how traditional learning is failing students.

To learn more about how art and creativity is being incorporated into select classrooms, you can listen to a sixteen minute presentation called That Immovable Mountain through this link. http://bit.ly/1a0BySQ. It is not too time consuming, it is approximately 15-16 minutes long.

Join us tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling, where independent thoughts, words and views are all part of the business. This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Film Friday: Romance

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Love never gives up, never loses faith, always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance ~ from the Bible

This Film Friday I thought we would focus on romantic comedies.

Here are a list of twenty of the most popular romance movies from 2012. http://www.movie-moron.com/?p=20914. I am pondering over which one my husband and I might enjoy seeing tonight the most. Will it be The Vow,Click for Info & Ordering Perfect Sense Click here for Info & Ordering, The Lucky One Click Here for Info & Ordering or What to Expect When You Are Expecting Click here for info & ordering or shall it be something else?

Indeed, to survive a long term marriage, humor is important as well as devotion that just doesn’t quit, even if the other person in the relationship might be driving you crazy. And believe me, that happens in holy  matrimony.

Heart-shaped-waffles-490x329Today my husband & I celebrate our 33rd wedding anniversary. I ‘m going to share this very short video with my husband, as we sit down to eat our “Eggos” for breakfast. He hasn’t seen it. It’s called My Waffle Wedded Wife.  It’s a good way to start the morning! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3E9U3GDrmI

Do Return to All Things Fulfilling on Monday. This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com  The place where independent thoughts, words and views are all part of the business.

Pearl S Buck Fans: Get Ready

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I am always glad when any of my books can be put into an inexpensive edition, because I like to think that any people who might wish to read them can do so. Surely books ought to be within reach of everybody.”  ~ Pearl S Buck

I learned something exciting today. There is a new publication by the late Pearl Sydenstricker Buck (June 26, 1892 – March 6, 1973), that is about to be released, in October.  The Eternal Wonder will be available on-line and in the brick and mortar book marketplace.Click for Info & Ordering

In her late years, Pearl S Buck resided in Danby, Vermont, a quiet rural community in southern Vermont. Surprisingly, Buck’s unpublished manuscript, a coming of age story, was found in a storage container in Texas some forty years after her death, please visit read this article about the discovery.  http://n.pr/19ZgzTu.

This book will be available in digital format, as well as in print, and it is bound to be popular with fans of Pearl S. Buck. As with many of Buck’s other novels, inspiration for this story came from being the daughter of Southern Presbyterian missionaries and living in China. Her other classic books such as The Good Earth, The Good Mother: A Novel, Sons, East Wind West Wind, This Proud Heart have seen a resurgence in interest since many were out of print and now they have been converted into e-books.

More than seventy of her literary works had been published by the time of her death, and The Good Earth was adapted for film by MGM in 1937. She is a Pulitzer Prize Winner and a Nobel Peace Prize Winner for this masterpiece also. To read more about the life of Pearl S Buck, please visit this link. http://bit.ly/19Z5eD9 

The Eternal Wonder I look forward to reading The Eternal Wonder once it is released. Amazon Books has said The Eternal Wonderis perhaps her most personal and passionate work, and will no doubt appeal to the millions of readers who have treasured her novels for generations.” 

If you are a fan of the great classics novels, many of them are now available as free e-books thanks to Project Gutenberg.

This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. Click for Info & Ordering Do return tomorrow to www.AllThingsFulfilling.com.