Sound City Studios


Wikipedia: “Sound City Studios was located in the San Fernando Valley, amidst rows of dilapidated warehouses. The little-known recording studio housed a unique analog Neve recording console and had a reputation for recording drums. Artists such as Nirvana, Kyuss, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young, Rick Springfield, Tom Petty, Rage Against The Machine, and Slipknot recorded groundbreaking music at the studio. The film tells the story of the studio from its early days in 1969 until its closing in 2011.”

Michael Moore in TrumpLand

michaelmooreI enjoyed this hour-long stand-up/one-man-show. I’ve seen several of Mr. Moore’s documentaries and liked some better than others. But none of them prepared me for this. If I had to pick one word to describe this… (I really don’t know what to call it. It didn’t feel like a documentary) I guess I go with “personal.” It felt like he was trying to speak “from the heart” as the expression goes to everyone in America. And to Hillary Clinton. Fuck it, there’s no way to describe this and I’d say just watch it but I’m guessing most folks have made up their mind about Michael Moore just as they have everything else (myself included).

I’m a little unclear on his objective. Can’t believe that many people will see this before election day. I watched it on iTunes. I’ll tell you what this reminded me of (a little), a Louis C. K. stand-up special. It was an hour of Moore standing in front of a theater full of people just talking to them. Some jokes, sure, but he really put himself out there. Left me feeling better and it only cost me five bucks.

Citizenfour

citizenfour_posterWe ain’t the good guys anymore. That was my take-away from Citizenfour, Laura Poitras’ documentary on Edward Snowden. This is far and away the best documentary I’ve ever seen and it was damning. As for who’s a good guy and who isn’t, well, maybe there aren’t any good guys anymore. I’ll tell you who is not a good guy… Barack Obama. Yep, the guy I voted for, twice. Even made some donations to the first campaign. I’d say I fucked up but come on… Sarah Palin?!

As it became clear President Obama was a very different cat than Candidate Obama, I told myself he’s better than George Bush and Dick Cheney. But you know, that doesn’t make you a good guy. It just makes you not those bad guys.

Same goes for the USA. Yeah, there are some countries with really shitty governments. But that’s a pretty low bar. Turns out our shit does stink and it’s time we took a good whip.

At some point in the film I found myself thinking, “Fuck it. I hope the Republicans take the Senate. And the House. A whole bunch of Democrats have been complicit in what the NSA and the rest of the intelligence “community” have been up to and they get no more support or votes for me.

I’ll calm down but I won’t be the same. It’s that strong a film. I’ve turned off comments here but would be happy to discuss privately, one-to-one. With anyone who has seen the film.

Rich Hill


“An examination of challenges, hopes and dreams of the young residents of a rural American town.” That description from the film’s website doesn’t begin to capture the bleak hopelessness and despair I came away with. Be very surprised if the Missouri Department of Tourism includes this documentary in its promotional material.

Let me pause a moment to encourage you to see this film. It’s such a powerful story. Three stories, actually. As I watched I kept thinking, you can’t write dialogue like this. And if you could, no actor could could express this depth of (fill in emotion).

I was born in a small town in Missouri and have spent most of my life here. I’ve been to the places shown in this film. But I don’t think I have ever really seen the people. This film grabs your head and forces you to take a good, long look. Unflinching might be the word I’m looking for.