National Film Registry List 2008


nfpfinvertlogoThe Library of Congress has added 25 more titles to its National Film Registry for 2008. According to their website:

The National Film Preservation Foundation (NFPF) is the nonprofit organization created by the U.S. Congress to help save America’s film heritage. We support activities nationwide that preserve American films and improve film access for study, education, and exhibition.

The NFPF started operations in November 1997, thanks to the generous support of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and The Film Foundation. Many in the entertainment and foundation community have pitched in to help.

Our top priority is saving American films that would be unlikely to survive without public support. Over the past ten years, we have developed grant programs to help libraries, museums, and archives preserve films and make them available for study and research. Our grants award federal funds secured through the leadership of the Library of Congress and preservation services donated by public-spirited laboratories and post-production houses.

We also organize, obtain funding, and manage cooperative projects that enable film archives—large and small—to work together on national preservation initiatives. Published through these collaborations are the award-winning and critically acclaimed Treasures DVD seriesThe Film Preservation GuideThe Field Guide to Sponsored Films, and the international database for locating silent films.

The list of movies added for 2008 are:

1) The Asphalt Jungle (1950)

2) Deliverance (1972)

3) Disneyland Dream (1956)

4) A Face in the Crowd (1957)

5) Flower Drum Song (1961)

6) Foolish Wives (1922)

7) Free Radicals (1979)

8) Hallelujah (1929)

9) In Cold Blood (1967)

10) The Invisible Man (1933)

11) Johnny Guitar (1954)

12) The Killers (1946)

13) The March (1964)

14) No Lies (1973)

15) On the Bowery (1957)

16) One Week (1920)

17) The Pawnbroker (1965)

18) The Perils of Pauline (1914)

19) Sergeant York (1941)

20) The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958)

21) So’s Your Old Man (1926)

22) George Stevens WW2 Footage (1943-46)

23) The Terminator (1984)

24) Water and Power (1989)

25) White Fawn’s Devotion (1910)

Check out the official Press Release for more information on each title. 

Go HERE to see the full list of films on the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry List. 


National Film Registry List 2008

Merry Christmas From Jerry Garcia & David Grisman


Simply beautiful and astounding version of God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman performed by Jerry Garcia on acoustic guitar and David Grisman on mandolin, with Jim Kerwin on stand-up bass and Joe Craven on percussion. Merry Christmas, everyone!

Merry Christmas From Jerry Garcia & David Grisman

In Melissa Etheridge’s Own Words


imagephpIn my continuing discussion about gay rights in America and my personal reactions to all that has taken place in the last several weeks, I wanted to post, in its entirety, a piece Melissa Etheridge wrote for the Huffington Post. For those who have been following my blog, you’ll know I wrote just the other day about Melissa Etheridge’s meeting with Pastor Rick Warren, Etheridge’s wife’s response, and my own personal feelings and attitude about what has been happening both in this country and around the world regarding the rights of gay men and women.

Here is what Melissa had to say:

This is a message for my brothers and sisters who have fought so long and so hard for gay rights and liberty. We have spent a long time climbing up this mountain, looking at the impossible, changing a thousand year-old paradigm. We have asked for the right to love the human of our choice, and to be protected equally under the laws of this great country. The road at times has been so bloody, and so horrible, and so disheartening. From being blamed for 9/11 and Katrina, to hateful crimes committed against us, we are battle weary. We watched as our nation took a step in the right direction, against all odds and elected Barack Obama as our next leader. Then we were jerked back into the last century as we watched our rights taken away by prop 8 in California. Still sore and angry we felt another slap in the face as the man we helped get elected seemingly invited a gay-hater to address the world at his inauguration.

I hadn’t heard of Pastor Rick Warren before all of this. When I heard the news, in its neat little sound bite form that we are so accustomed to, it painted the picture for me. This Pastor Rick must surely be one hate spouting, money grabbing, bad hair televangelist like all the others. He probably has his own gay little secret bathroom stall somewhere, you know. One more hater working up his congregation to hate the gays, comparing us to pedophiles and those who commit incest, blah blah blah. Same ‘ole thing. Would I be boycotting the inauguration? Would we be marching again?

Well, I have to tell you my friends, the universe has a sense of humor and indeed works in mysterious ways. As I was winding down the promotion for my Christmas album I had one more stop last night. I’d agreed to play a song I’d written with my friend Salman Ahmed, a Sufi Muslim from Pakistan. The song is called “Ring The Bells,” and it’s a call for peace and unity in our world. We were going to perform our song for the Muslim Public Affairs Council, a group of Muslim Americans that tries to raise awareness in this country, and the world, about the majority of good, loving, Muslims. I was honored, considering some in the Muslim religion consider singing to be against God, while other Muslim countries have harsh penalties, even death for homosexuals. I felt it was a very brave gesture for them to make. I received a call the day before to inform me of the keynote speaker that night… Pastor Rick Warren. I was stunned. My fight or flight instinct took over, should I cancel? Then a calm voice inside me said, “Are you really about peace or not?”

I told my manager to reach out to Pastor Warren and say “In the spirit of unity I would like to talk to him.” They gave him my phone number. On the day of the conference I received a call from Pastor Rick, and before I could say anything, he told me what a fan he was. He had most of my albums from the very first one. What? This didn’t sound like a gay hater, much less a preacher. He explained in very thoughtful words that as a Christian he believed in equal rights for everyone. He believed every loving relationship should have equal protection. He struggled with proposition 8 because he didn’t want to see marriage redefined as anything other than between a man and a woman. He said he regretted his choice of words in his video message to his congregation about proposition 8 when he mentioned pedophiles and those who commit incest. He said that in no way, is that how he thought about gays. He invited me to his church, I invited him to my home to meet my wife and kids. He told me of his wife’s struggle with breast cancer just a year before mine.

When we met later that night, he entered the room with open arms and an open heart. We agreed to build bridges to the future.

Brothers and sisters the choice is ours now. We have the world’s attention. We have the capability to create change, awesome change in this world, but before we change minds we must change hearts. Sure, there are plenty of hateful people who will always hold on to their bigotry like a child to a blanket. But there are also good people out there, Christian and otherwise that are beginning to listen. They don’t hate us, they fear change. Maybe in our anger, as we consider marches and boycotts, perhaps we can consider stretching out our hands. Maybe instead of marching on his church, we can show up en mass and volunteer for one of the many organizations affiliated with his church that work for HIV/AIDS causes all around the world.

Maybe if they get to know us, they wont fear us.

I know, call me a dreamer, but I feel a new era is upon us.

I will be attending the inauguration with my family, and with hope in my heart. I know we are headed in the direction of marriage equality and equal protection for all families.

Happy Holidays my friends and a Happy New Year to you.

Peace on earth, goodwill toward all men and women… and everyone in-between.

In Melissa Etheridge’s Own Words

ROSEMARY’S BABY Remake Cancelled. Thank God!


rosemarys-baby-717831Looks like Platinum Dunes Productions has cancelled their remakes of both Roman Polanski’s classic horror ROSEMARY’S BABY and Kathryn Bigelow’s cult vampire flick NEAR DARK. While not personally as concerned with NEAR DARK, the thought of a remake of ROSEMARY’S BABY sent shivers of dread down my spine. Firstly, because Michael Bay was slated to direct the film. Honestly, I can’t think of a less-inspired choice.

Secondly, ROSEMARY’S BABY reflected the fears of many women at a time when they were fighting to have their personal and social rights accepted, enacted and taken seriously. I have little-to-no faith that a contemporary remake would be able to keep any social relevance. Not because it’s not possible, but because most Hollywood remakes seem to strip the original concept of its social message and, instead, concentrate solely on the action. But I’ll give Platinum Dunes some credit here. Their reason for cancelling the remake?

We couldn’t come up with something where it felt like it was relevant and we could add something to it other than what it was so we’re now not going to be doing that film.”

Thank you, Platinum Dunes, for doing the right thing.

ROSEMARY’S BABY Remake Cancelled. Thank God!

Warren’s Saddleback Takes Anti-Gay Rhetoric Off Web Site


Is it just a political move or something more? Does it matter? I think it’s pretty safe to say, had Obama not chosen Warren to do his invocation, this would not have happened. 

Rick Warren seems to have removed the statement on the Saddleback (Warren’s church) website stating that homosexuals need to repent their lifestyle in order to become members (though they would still be allowed to attend services if they didn’t).

The original message is below as it appeared:

2008-12-23-warrenchurchbansgays

Is this a move in the right direction, or just a momentary omission? I don’t know. But yesterday Warren visited an OUT OF THE CLOSET store in West Hollywood. And, as I posted yesterday, he recently sat down with Melissa Etheridge, who then invited him for dinner at her home with her wife. It’s all very interesting and certainly has the potential to raise awareness. And maybe some small changes will result. Positive changes. 

Time will tell…

Warren’s Saddleback Takes Anti-Gay Rhetoric Off Web Site

Melissa Etheridge, Rick Warren, And This Straight Guy


Okay. I’m a straight guy. Who has been writing quite a bit lately about Prop 8, El Coyote, and the Warren pick. And I’ve taken some heat. And I’ve found some support. But straight or gay, I want to see an America where EVERYONE IS EQUAL. I want to see an America where my friends, family and loved ones all can get married and live their dreams.

And…

I want to try and understand those that feel/think differently from me. Not because I want to support their cause, but because they are a part of the country I live in. Because they are human beings. Because I see no good coming from demonizing ANYONE or distancing anyone to the point where communication and common ground is non-existent or not possible.

e_melissaetheridge2_250Academy Award-winning and two-time Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge sat down and met with Rick Warren the other night. Etheridge’s wife, Tammy Lynn Michaels, wrote about the meeting on her blog. I have posted that blog in its entirety below. I am posting it not to defend Rick Warren, but to add more food for thought. But first…

I wrote a comment the other day on a post. The post  slammed Obama’s choice of Warren to give the inaugural invocation. I tried to voice again my feelings and attitudes at this moment in what is a very heated and sensitive area. This is what I wrote:

I don’t think Obama is saying or suggesting that Warren is right. In fact, he has verbally said that he does not agree with pastor Warren on these issues. That said, it’s a questionable choice. And people are confused, angry, baffled. And with good reason.

At the same time, I voted for Obama and he stated that one of his missions was to genuinely reach out to all Americans, not just the ones who shared his values. George Bush promised the same thing, but once in office, his true agenda became clear. I fully expected Obama to make some decisions that I would find hard to swallow and/or would not be completely in sync with my perfect vision of America. But my perfect vision of America doesn’t exist and probably won’t in my lifetime, if ever. And sometimes moves that seem downright wrong can turn out to be daring, courageous steps toward a greater purpose, toward a true unity. This may or may not be one of those steps and I know there are many who are ready to condemn Obama outright for this choice. While I’m not happy about it, I am willing to wait and watch and see if Obama can actually move us an inch or two closer to an America where people of VERY different belief systems can learn to at least better understand one another and have a more open dialogue.

My knee-jerk response to people like Warren are to get them the hell away from me and condemn them hook, line, and sinker. No room for bigots and racists in my world. But bigotry and racism are still a part of America and religion. A big part, I’m afraid. And there is more to Warren than his comments on homosexuality, as heinous as those comments are. So, while not outright supporting Obama’s choice, I am ready to watch and see what comes of it. He is a smart man, but certainly not a perfect one. I, for one, am willing to give him a chance. Not blindly, but with the understanding that to actually accomplish some of his goals, he is going to have to freak both parties out a little bit. He is (soon to be) the President of the United States. Not the President of the left-leaning members of the United States. So I’m gonna push my knee-jerk reaction aside and put some hope in the notion that change is difficult. For everyone. Myself included. And yes, Obama has reached out quite a bit to the right already and maybe this one is one arm-length too many. But it is possible that this move is less about reaching out to the right, and more about forcing people to come face to face with their most terrifying demons, and learning that we may share some common ground. And that in so doing, we may begin to elicit change. And for that possibility, I am willing to give Obama the chance to at least try. The alternative is someone like Bush or McCain or Palin, none of whom offer me any hope whatsoever. I voted for Obama because he offered hope where before I saw none. And though Obama’s choice of Warren is a tough pill for me to swallow, I’m gonna at least give the man a chance to try and do what he said he would. After all, the biggest positive changes in my life came out of moments I went into kicking and screaming. It’s only looking back at them now that I can fully understand what blessings they really were.

The following is from Tammy Lynn Michaels’ blog:

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 21, 2008

the big rick’s yamaka

OMG. when was the last time i had so many minutes to play with my blog? awesome.

so honey met rick warren last night. well, she spoke to him on the phone beforehand, giving us insight into the man the media has made our latest “HE HATES YOU!” target. if i sit real still and think about it.. it’s almost like reverse smear-the-queer. remember that recess game in second grade (natalie? derek? karyn?), when one kid had the ball, and all the other kids had to chase and kick the shit out of said person, hence “smearing” him? well, at times, it seems that the media presents us with target after target to smear, as if to say to us, “THIS IS THE GUY HOLDING YOU BACK!! GO GIT ‘IM!!!” and it does seem that my lovely gay family is so bruised and bettered and ready to fight back (myself included), that we attack and deem someone ANTI-GAY, and ready to SMEAR, simply when they don’t want the word “marriage” brought into our gay ceremonies. now, if the person doesn’t want gays AT ALL, then i’m gonna chase that one down. but, i’m starting to think that there are indeed some people… some well-meaning and loving people… who are not at all ANTI-GAY, that’s not why they don’t want the word marriage used… they are merely RELIGIOUS. and for religious (archaic) reasons, they want to stay safe and respectful to WHAT THEY’VE BEEN TAUGHT.

let me try to differentiate the two. 

let’s say i am wearing a baseball cap. now what if i want to call it a yamaka? you know- it’s basically the same thing, but one is missing the sun visor. i don’t call my caps yamakas… cuz that is a religious name for a hat that is worn by religious people. now if i apply that thinking to this situation…. i would like to think of it as…. if they afford us the EXACT SAME RIGHTS, then who cares what it’s called? my friend joel can wear his yamaka. i can wear my hat. joel can light his menorah, i’ll light my candle. joel can eat his matzo ball soup, and i can break crackers into my soup. joel and hanna can have a piece of paper with the word MARRIAGE on it, and all 1200 rights… and i can have a piece of paper with who-cares on it, and all 1200 rights. the word marriage is a religious, holy, word that people who go to church on sundays are told belongs to them. like yamaka, menorah, or matzo. 

rick is not a televangelist. rick is not falwell. rick spoke of some “stupid” things he’s said (his word, not mine), some missquotes that were given, and lots of ammunition from the media. all excellent points. (we’re all war-minded right now, you know. it’s easy for the media to distract us by throwing us into our own verbal wars here at home.) ) what to do, what to do…. the rest of the public is given an animation of rick warren… and then my wife meets the man behind the projections, the quotes, the “OTHER SIDE”. and he is warm, caring, effusive, and LOVES gays. since he nearly swallowed honey when he hugged her, i tend to believe him. he wants our gay marriages to be just as respected and embraced as the straight marriages. he just wants to wear his yamaka, and me wear my hat.

anway. hath hell frozenth over? rick warren was humble and kind. honey and i are to go to his church sometime soon. and honey invited him to our house for an afternoon, to be with our family. (w.t.f.)

open minds hearts hands
differences fade.

Melissa Etheridge, Rick Warren, And This Straight Guy