Archive for June, 2012


Look for “The Battle of Little Sayler’s Creek” – Next air date on The Documentary Channel Dec 20th at 3:00am (ET) Check local times or set DVR to record. Follow #BLSC on Twitter.

Here’s an excerpt from Cynthia Fuchs’ review on The Documentary Channel’s Memorial Day Marathon – Read full article here: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/159112-documentaries-for-memorial-day/

“…Battle of Little Sayler’s Creek offers a series of interviews with re-enactors, dressed in Confederate and Union costumes, describing both the historical figures’ experiences and their own, how they endure physical hardships an imagine psychological ones. Sometimes these difficulties have to do with philosophy (“I have a few times portrayed a Confederate soldier,” notes one player, “And I just didn’t feel comfortable doing it”) and sometimes with some very basic logistics, as when Surgeon Major James Mills explains the rudimentary nature of medicine at the time, the lack of instruments, and yes, the prevalence of amputation: the film doesn’t linger on these disturbing aspects of reenactments, but Mills makes sure you’re aware of the pain endured.Image

The documentary does include some observations regarding the politics of the war, including both sides of the argument over what the South was fighting for (state’s rights or slavery), a young woman playing a woman who disguised herself as a man in order to fight (“As long as I keep my mouth shut, they cant tell”), a first-time black re-enactor’s self-description (“I think its gonna be fun because I get to ride horses, which is a thing I love to do”) and an admittedly subjective overview offered by Wendy Lee Oliver, the president of the Sayler’s Creek Reenactment and Preservation Committee. The event regularly brings tears to her eyes, she says: “I know how General Lee felt,” she adds, concerning what “we down here in the South call… the war of Northern Aggression.”

As Battle of Little Sayler’s Creek cuts from interviews to battle scenes, it suggests both the participants’ investments and how they might look from another perspective, not exactly skeptical, but not wholly devoted to the war as a cause, either, whether as a fixed history or as a political identity marker…”

Cynthia Fuchs is director of Film & Media Studies and Associate Professor of English, Film & Video Studies, African and African American Studies, Sport & American Culture, at George Mason University.


5th excerpt from my two-man play REMOTE CONTROL. Did you ever feel like your life was interrupting the television commercials?

Los Angeles 1980′s. Harold & Fred watch television: they become the characters they watch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HAROLD AND FRED’S APARTMENT – LATE AFTERNOON
Harold and Fred on the couch. Harold is transfixed by the TV; Fred is distracted trying to remember something with no luck.

FRED: …Don’t you hate it when you try to remember someone’s name and it’s gone right out of your head.
HAROLD: (quickly) Who were you trying to think of…?

Fred strains to remember.

HAROLD: That’s a trick. Sometimes if you do that it might pop back in.
FRED: No. Shhh! Wait a minute! It’s right on the tip of my tongue…What was his name? The one who died?
HAROLD: I don’t know who you’re talking about.
(pause)
Anyway, that’s the first thing to go.
FRED: Shhh!

Fred struggles to remember the name.

HAROLD: (needling) Short term memory.
(pause)
Short term memory is the first to go. It’s all over.
You’re as good as dead.
(pause)
Did you know, there’s a small fish – what was it called?
(pause)
I only read about it last week.
(pause)
Anyway, this small fish has a very short memory. It’s swimming about in this small tank up and down and around and every time this fish turns the same corner, it’s a brand new experience for it!
(pause)
So! There’s something good to be said for the loss.
FRED: What are you rattling on about?
HAROLD: Short term memory. It’s the first to go. There’s one other consolation though, isn’t there?
FRED: What’s that?
HAROLD: Well, your long term memory supposedly improves with age. When you get even older and more senile, you’ll remember everything from years ago as if were yesterday.
(pause)
Unless you’re too busy trying to remember where you put the tubes that go up your nose.
(pause)
In twenty years from now you’ll remember your dead friend’s name clear as crystal. It’ll take it’s place in a shining list with hundreds of other little things you forgot or misplaced. Things you didn’t even want to remember will pop up: like the manufacturer’s tag on a lost sock…
FRED: I was just thinking: if your short term memory fails when you’re young, how can your long term memory possibly improve? There’s obviously nothing to inform it. How does that work?
HAROLD: I don’t know, it’s probably.
FRED: (lights up) Henry Bringham!
HAROLD: What!
FRED: That’s the guy who died! Henry Bringham…or Bingham.
HAROLD: Well? What about him?
FRED: (lost) I don’t know, I can’t remember what I wanted to say about him now.

BLACKOUT:

REMOTE CONTROL is available as an audio drama on iTunes, Amazon & Audible.com (US & UK) and recently aired on radio across Canada.


4th excerpt from my two-man play REMOTE CONTROL. Did you ever feel like your life was interrupting the television commercials?

Los Angeles 1980′s. Harold & Fred watch television: they become the characters they watch.

Image

HAROLD & FRED’S APARTMENT – LATER – DAY
Fred and Harold sit on the couch wearing bathrobes.  Fred, with his hair in curlers, scours the LA Times Help Wanted ads.  Harold raises the remote and aims it at the TV (i.e.The audience).

FRED: I can’t find a thing.
(pause)
Your unemployment check came today.  Did you get it?
HAROLD: Yeah.
FRED: How long do you think you can stand not working?
HAROLD: It doesn’t bother me anymore really.
FRED: How’s that then?
HAROLD: That’s ’cause I’m ahead of my time.
(pause)
In the future there’ll be massive decreases in the working population, won’t there?
(pause)
Technology will’ve taken over eighty per cent production of the Gross National Product.
(pause)
The government will be forced to pay people not to work.
FRED: Why would they do that then?
HAROLD: They wouldn’t have much choice, would they?  Could you imagine masses of hungry, desperate, people with no money?  Crime would be rampant and uncontrollable. That’s why the government would be forced to pay people not to work.
(pause)
The government pays me not to work now.  I’m ahead of my time.
(pause)
Pass me some chips then.

Fred slides the chip bowl over to Harold.

(more…)


@DOC_Channel: NEXT 6/22 1:30PM (ET) – Battle of Little Saylers Creek youtube.com/watch?v=EKfJsU… #BLSC Set DVR

The Round Table

Here’s an excerpt from Cynthia Fuchs’ review on The Documentary Channel’s Memorial Day Marathon – Read full article here: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/159112-documentaries-for-memorial-day/

“…Battle of Little Sayler’s Creek offers a series of interviews with re-enactors, dressed in Confederate and Union costumes, describing both the historical figures’ experiences and their own, how they endure physical hardships an imagine psychological ones. Sometimes these difficulties have to do with philosophy (“I have a few times portrayed a Confederate soldier,” notes one player, “And I just didn’t feel comfortable doing it”) and sometimes with some very basic logistics, as when Surgeon Major James Mills explains the rudimentary nature of medicine at the time, the lack of instruments, and yes, the prevalence of amputation: the film doesn’t linger on these disturbing aspects of reenactments, but Mills makes sure you’re aware of the pain endured.Image

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3rd  excerpt from my two-man play REMOTE CONTROL. Did you ever feel like your life was interrupting the television commercials?

Los Angeles 1980’s. Harold & Fred watch television: they become the characters they watch.

Image

HAROLD & FRED’S APARTMENT – DAY
Harold is in his bathrobe and Fred is in his frock on the couch playing solitaire.
HAROLD: It was her muddledheadedness that was the problem.
FRED: Couldn’t follow a line of logic?
HAROLD: That’s it exactly.  We’d go and see a film, for instance, a war film that was about the horrors of war.  The film clearly champions peace and tries to show that war is stupid…
FRED: …And does it by showing the atrocity.
HAROLD: Well, of course.  She would get so stuck on the idea that the film was glorifying violence by showing it at all, that she’d instantly dismiss this film that essentially agreed with her point of view.  Well, you want to have a conversation with someone like that about what the film was all about but you can’t, can you?  You get stuck in the debris of irrelevance.
FRED:Right.  So what happened?

(more…)