Sunday, February 08, 2015

"Breaking Billinghurst"

(Via Kelly Tow in San Diego.) Please feel free to check out this ultimate fan breaking bad documentary! More about this film from Michael Albright:

"The release of my fan film has taken an unexpected turn. What was supposed to be a not-for-profit tribute to an iconic T.V. series is now a bitter sweet reminder of how vulnerable we are as human beings. My good friend, Eli (who plays the main character) found out on Thursday that he had cyst on his brain. He had been experiencing temporary paralysis, numbness, and nauseatingly-painful headaches, so this explained a lot. Yesterday (the day we released the film), doctors discovered that the cyst on his brain was, in fact, a tumor, so he underwent surgery to have it removed. Eli is currently in recovery after brain surgery. Doctors were able to remove all of the tumor that they saw. He is awaiting the results of the biopsy, which come in on Monday. At that point, we should know whether the tumor is malignant (cancerous) or benign. Eli is a true fan of the show, because he implied in a text message to me that he might try to watch the Better Call Saul premiere from his hospital room. That is dedication. As you watch this film, please keep this man, my close friend, Eli, in your thoughts and prayers. And if you know any other Breaking Bad fans out there, please let them know about our film. #BreakingBillinghurst is free to watch online, and our only goal with this project is to share it with other fans like ourselves. Thank you for reading, and thank you for your support!"

People are so creative! This is an amazing Breaking Bad fan tribute; maybe the best ever! Fran makes a cameo appearance at 15:00. They consult my book at 16:15. So pleased! The best to Eli and the team!

Michael adds:
PS - If you want to learn more about Eli's current medical situation, check out my latest post on Instagram.

#BreakingBillinghurst from M.J. Albright on Vimeo.


Last night, I went to see "Selma". I was curious whether King's relationship with LBJ had been butchered as bad as has been rumored.

I had to leave the movie early (I started coughing uncontrollably) but my impression was the relationship was sacrificed as one of the necessary simplifications of making a movie. Ahistorical, of course, but in order for the real history to make sense you have to make a much longer and more complicated movie. In the movie, LBJ is presented as the head of a unitary government, but in fact there was an alternative Shadow Government of the J. Edgar Hoover's FBI that had created an entirely-false, paranoid, alternative reality about King, the degenerate Communist menace.

The key figure in all this was Stanley Levison, who had once been chief financier of the American Communist Party, but became a King advisor. News that Levison had completely severed ties with the Communist Party in 1957 was never conveyed to LBJ or Attorney General Bobby Kennedy, allowing the FBI to maintain its fiction that King was under Communist control in order to justify wiretaps. In fact, the Communist Party had become moribund by the late 1950's, so the FBI took control of directing funds from Moscow to what remained - to me, a huge surprise! I suppose, in order to end the Communist menace, the FBI could have arrested itself, but maintaining the fiction meant more.

There is a great movie to be made about when a governmental agency like the FBI, that is tasked with assuming the worst about everything, is allowed the freedom to create and maintain fantasies without effective correction from the real world. We live in a country whose government functions according to Dick Cheney's "One-Percent Doctrine", so, if anything, things are infinitely-worse today.

"Stuck Behind Ol' Blue Here"

Tonight, I learned a small lesson about handling provocations. Slow but steady progress in becoming a human being!

I was wearing a blue sweatshirt while walking down a sidewalk outside a busy restaurant at Arden Fair Mall. A group of teenage girls came up behind. "Hurry it up!" the leader admonished. The girl right behind me replied, "I could, but I'm stuck behind Ol' Blue here."

Breathtakingly-rude! I could have waxed indignant, but instead I collected myself, turned and smiled, let them pass, and said something innocuous like, "Guess I'll have to catch up to you then!" They smiled back. A moment of irritation dissolved into a moment of shared amusement. And it was SO easy too, but it required behaving contrary to the script.

I thought about all the similar moments I must have experienced, dating back to high school. All those lost moments!

Progress, slow but sure....

Friday Night Watching TeeVee

They are showing "Gone With The Wind" tonight on TCM. Love the master shots of chaos, the Apocalyptic vision of the Burning of Atlanta, and the florid language:
"Scarlett: [pleads with Rhett as he is about to leave to join the Confederate Army] Oh, Rhett! Please, don't go! You can't leave me! Please! I'll never forgive you!

Rhett Butler: I'm not asking you to forgive me. I'll never understand or forgive myself. And if a bullet gets me, so help me, I'll laugh at myself for being an idiot. There's one thing I do know... and that is that I love you, Scarlett. In spite of you and me and the whole silly world going to pieces around us, I love you. Because we're alike. Bad lots, both of us. Selfish and shrewd. But able to look things in the eyes as we call them by their right names. "
(And don't forget that other fellow just off-screen - General William Tecumseh Sherman - who was one of the few sentiment-free people at the time "able to look things in the eyes as we call them by their right names.")

Just Love Jiří Kylián!

Love anything choreographed by Jiří Kylián at Nederlands Dans Theater. Good sense of humor and theatricality make him a crowd pleaser, but one of the highest quality too: