So the Canadian low-cost carrier pulled off a stunt for the ages, when they played Santa for two plane-loads of passengers. It’s also pretty brilliant viral advertising (look, I’m reposting it!) and absolutely makes me much more likely to travel on WestJet in the future. In a world filled with corporate Scrooges, WestJet is a bright spot! Do yourself a favor at watch this clip.
If you don’t already follow Food Beast TV yet, you should It’s a series of great “How To” videos that will change the way you think about eating many foods, including apples, bananas, pomegranates and even cookies, among other things. Some of these are funny and some are really practical, like the one I tried, just now. I ate an apple, just like this:
And this is what was left when I was done:
Such a small change in habit, such a huge realization!
Congratulations to director Kirby Dick and producer Any Ziering for the pickup of their powerful new doc The Invisible War by Cinedigm Entertainment Group and New Video. I saw the film at Sundance and in addition to being a great film, it’s extraordinarily important in these times of increasing violence against and institutionalized subjugation of women. [Trailer and other videos at the bottom.]
In my wrap of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival I wrote of the film: “A heart-breaking and shocking look at rape in the military, Dick’s film details the pain, shame, horror and lasting damage caused by the attacks as well as the shocking hypocrisy and cover-ups endorsed by the military establishment.”
Some stats from the US Department of Defense: 20% of ALL servicewomen have been sexually assaulted while serving. Women who have been raped in the military have a PTSD rate higher than men in combat. An estimated 500,000 women have been sexually assaulted in the US military. In 2010, according to the Department of Defense, there were 3,158 case of sexual assault within the U.S. military. It is estimated that more than 80% of those who are sexually assaulted don’t report it.
The film presents many more statistics, equally as disturbing.
While the subject matter is grim and at times the film is emotionally tough to watch, I will categorically say that this is a film everyone must see, especially educators. It’s a film that could potentially cause a sea change not only in the halls of Congress but in the high schools of America.
At the Q&A following the Sundance world premiere, a 17 year-old young woman in the audience stood up and said that while she had never been physically assaulted, verbal abuse was the norm in her school and she felt that every high school student needed to see the film because boys were not being raised to respect women. It was another poignant moment in the most emotional Q&A I have ever witnessed.
This is my favorite new band and I’m telling you all to go to You Tube, watch their stuff and then buy their CDs. Seriously. Now.
Even though “We Are Young” is a big hit (and an amazing song) I suggest you start with their debut Aim and Ignite and then move on to Some Nights. Nate Reuss’s voice is extraordinary and the rest of the trio (Andrew Dost and Jack Antonoff) play everything else, pretty much. Reuss uses his voice like an instrument and even the occasional use of the vocoder simply adds another instrument to the mix. Their first album, heavy on the string arrangements and personal storytelling in the lyrics brings The Decemberists’ The Crane Wife to mind. (It’s not a concept album, though.)
I’ve only listened to Some Nights twice, so I hope to post a more complete review next week.
In the meantime, here’s a couple of videos. The first is an acoustic version of “We Are Young (feat. Janelle Monáe)” which might actually knock me out more than the album version. First of all, Reuss and Monáe are so damn nice to look at, right? She’s absolutely stunning! I met her once, very briefly after a show at South by Southwest. After putting on an amazing, high-energy performance that knocked the audience on its ass, she was so wiped out that she could barely speak. Maybe she was saving her voice, but she suddenly seemed a small (she is a pretty slight young woman) and almost timid thing and genuinely awed by the fact that she’d just blown us all away. The second video is of a live performance of the beautiful ballad “The Gambler” from their first album.
Until this year, the only big time film industry awards show I had ever been to was the Independent Spirit Awards and it’s been almost 10 years since the last time – and who can forget Elvis Costello’s “surprise” opening of the show with (“What’s So Funny ’bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding?”). I had never been invited to any of the guild awards shows and to be honest, I was pretty curious about them. We all know about the Golden Globes and how fun they seem to be (how many drunk winners can you remember over the years?) but what about the SAG awards? PGA? WGA? Well, this year I finally got invited to one and to my surprise, it was a lot of fun.