Sunday, October 15, 2017

Cinema Cycle - That's Entertainment III


CINEMA CYCLE
(Cardio Workout And Reviewing Movies At The Same Time)

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DATE REVIEWED: 10/13/2017


FORMAT: VHS

TIME RIDDEN / FILM LENGTH: 1 hour 57 minutes

DISTANCE RIDDEN WHILE VIEWING: 37.7 miles

TOTAL CINEMA MILES LOGGED: 7696.7 miles

SYNOPSIS: Mining the MGM vaults for more cinematic gold.

CONCEPT IN RELATION TO THE VIEWER: There is individual talent and then there is corporate talent.  This is the latter.

PROS AND CONS:  Not much negative can be said about this series of films.  For the cinephile, it is a gold mine of rare footage that is seldom seen.

Of particular interest in this edition of the series are the outtakes.  The scenes that were filmed but never used in the final cut of the film, or the film was abandoned altogether and never seen.

One comes across more than anything else in this volume, is all of the technical ability that the large studios had to manufacture entertainment on this scale and scope.

To read an overview of this project, check out this status posting.  

This film is a part of my LaserDisc Collection.

Clicking on the title will take you to the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) entry for this film. 

This film was viewed while exercising on my recumbent cycle.  A summary of my time spent working out on my journey through movie-land can be found on Strava.com.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Preparing To Burn




Burning Man 2018: 

If you are one of the many that have asked about this, or thought about attending, this is an early notice for Burning Man 2018.  We are going to attempt to attend our sixth burn in 2018.  If anyone else wants to go with us, I am putting you on notice.

Burning Man 2017 recently wrapped up in September of this year, which means that if you want to attend in 2018, now is the time to start ‘planning’ for it.  Those that wait until three months prior will have a very slim chance of going.

For those that have never been, Burning Man is a difficult event to describe.  In basic terms, “Burning Man” refers to a city that exists once a year for a week in the Northern Nevada desert. The city is called “Black Rock City” (named for the Black Rock desert where it is constructed).

The term Burning Man refers to the large wooden structure of a man that is erected at the center of the city.  He is usually five to six stories tall and made of wood.  On the second to the last day of the city’s existence, the man is burned in a lavish ceremony.

Burning Man is more of a community than an event.  It is based on acceptance, giving, sharing, art and celebration.  It is one of the great festivals of the world, attracting participants from all over the globe.  Attendance is limited to 65,000 per Nevada State Law.  Those applying for tickets always exceeds the number available.



However, these are some of the caveats.  Burning Man is not easy to get to and can be expensive.  There is no guarantee of getting a ticket and a ticket is needed for entry.  The tickets are not cheap.  Once you have entered Black Rock City you cannot leave and return, you can only enter once.  Black Rock City is REMOTE.  There are NO services there, including internet or phone service.  You will be cut off from the outside world.  The city is constructed on a dry lake bed that can be extremely dusty when the wind picks up.  The wait time to enter Black Rock City can be as long as 8 hours at the gate due to the heavy volume of participants.  If you are still intrigued at this point, read on.

Burning Man occurs on the first week of September (Labor Day Weekend).  While the event lasts a week, travel time and preparation also need to be factored in.  Hence, requesting time off (if employed) should be done early in 2018.  The average ‘burner’ takes two weeks off to prepare, travel, attend, travel home and decompress.

The earliest that tickets are available for the event is usually February or March.  The tickets are tiered in price based on the amount available and when they go on sale.  Due to demand, there is a lottery system to give everyone a chance to get a ticket.



The early tickets which are limited (usually a few thousand) are currently going for around $1,000 and are the easiest to obtain.  The larger bulk of the tickets are usually around $400 dollars and are harder to come by due to the demand.  An attendee would need to have a ticket in hand no later than June/July of 2018.  After that, obtaining one can be very difficult, although not impossible.

In addition to the tickets, there are other cost factors involved, including transportation, food, and lodging.  Attendees need to provide their own shelter/dwelling at the event.  Some can be quite simple while others are quite elaborate.  Nothing can be purchased at Burning Man.  No commerce is allowed.

While many attendees sleep in tents at the event, I would not recommend it.  Five days in a tent in the middle of a dusty desert is not a good idea (I have experience with this). 



Overall, the least you would have to spend to attend the event would be $1,000.  The average person will end up spending around $2,000 to attend.  The cost can go down significantly if resources are pooled.

So why spend this much money, time and effort to put yourself through this?  Well, I have attended five times.  My wife Sue has attended twice.  So there must be something about the experience that is compelling.  Either that, or we are masochists.

The size and scope of Burning Man cannot be expressed well in words.  The city is very large and diverse, with streets, a post office, hospital, airport, street lights, and art work that is not be believed.

The central themes of Burning Man is always ‘radical self sufficiency’, ‘leave no trace’ and 'sharing'.   There is a synergistic effect when this many people, expend this much energy to go this far and gather as a group.  Every citizen of Black Rock City is encouraged to participate in the event.  It is hard to be a wall flower in Black Rock City.

This is an overview of the event and not meant to be comprehensive.  There are many other do’s and don’ts regarding attending Burning Man, but this should give you an idea of what to expect.



If you believe that you are capable of making the commitment to attend and would like to join us on this journey to a modern day Brigadoon, drop me a line on social media or via e-mail.

I am not looking for commitments at this point, only a level of interest.  Sue and I will be going regardless.  Everyone that has attend past burns with us have said they would like to return some day.  So here is your chance to see what all the hoopla is about.

Listed below are some links regarding the event.  While some of the images may be compelling and stunning, they cannot communicate the scope and feel of attending.  A picture taken at Burning Man is like looking at the Grand Canyon through a keyhole.  Sure it is impressive, but it doesn’t convey the scope of the real thing.



Links:
Burning Passions - My Google Page for coordinating Burning Man adventures.

Burning Man - The Official Burning Man Website

Flickr Images - Many, many images from Burning Man from Burners who have been there.

Burning Man YouTube Videos - Video that I made after my second adventure to Burning Man

Map Image - The location of Burning Man courtesy of Google Maps


(All images taken by me during my various trips to Burning Man)

Cinema Cycle - Egypt: Quest for Eternity


CINEMA CYCLE
(Cardio Workout And Reviewing Movies At The Same Time)
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13.9 miles

DATE REVIEWED: 10/12/2017


FORMAT: Laserdisc

TOTAL CINEMA MILES LOGGED: 7659 miles

SYNOPSIS: The vanishing treasures of ancient Egypt are chronicled.

CONCEPT IN RELATION TO THE VIEWER: The documentaries of my youth that I used to watch on broadcast television.  Ahhh...memories.

PROS AND CONS:  A fun viewing although like many of these Geographics, they show their age in their production value and narration.

The video transfer to Laserdisc is not the best here, so the picture quality wasn’t as good as I expected.  Some of the stories did not flow well together and the whole film seemed like a bunch of short subject films strung together.  

The narration by Richard Basehart is very good as are some of the representations of ancient Egypt that are recreated for this film.  A good 50 minute primer on ancient Egypt.


To read an overview of this project, check out this status posting.  

This film is a part of my LaserDisc Collection.

Clicking on the title will take you to the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) entry for this film. 

This film was viewed while exercising on my recumbent cycle.  A summary of my time spent working out on my journey through movie-land can be found on Strava.com.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Five Frames - 10/10/2017

Five Frames

Images Taken With A Minolta 35mm/ iPhone 6s Plus / Lytro Illum / Sony Mavica / Google Glass


August Flowers - 1


Old Harley


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Morning Coffee #throughglass
These images and many many more can be found on my Flickr account.

Cinema Cycle - U2: Zoo TV


CINEMA CYCLE
(Cardio Workout And Reviewing Movies At The Same Time)

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DATE REVIEWED: 10/10/2017

TITLE:. U2: Zoo TV

FORMAT: Laserdisc

TIME RIDDEN / FILM LENGTH: 1 hour 59 minutes

DISTANCE RIDDEN WHILE VIEWING: 28.6 miles

TOTAL CINEMA MILES LOGGED: 7645.1 miles

SYNOPSIS: A live concert film of U2 playing Sydney Australia in the 1994.

CONCEPT IN RELATION TO THE VIEWER: The big arena rock concert with a pretty competent band.

PROS AND CONS:  I can now say that I have seen U2 live.

Track List:

  1. Zoo Station
  2. The Fly
  3. Even Better Than the Real Thing
  4. Mysterious Ways
  5. One
  6. Unchained Melody
  7. Until the End of the World
  8. New Year's Day
  9. Numb
  10. Angel of Harlem
  11. Stay(Faraway,So Close)
  12. Satellite of Love
  13. Dirty Day
  14. Bullet the Blue Sky
  15. Running to Stand Still
  16. Where the Streets Have No Name
  17. Pride (In the Name of Love)
  18. Daddy's Gonna Pay for Your Crashed Car
  19. Lemon
  20. With or Without You
  21. Love is Blindness
  22. Can't Help Falling in Love



To read an overview of this project, check out this status posting.  

This film is a part of my LaserDisc Collection.

Clicking on the title will take you to the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) entry for this film. 

This film was viewed while exercising on my recumbent cycle.  A summary of my time spent working out on my journey through movie-land can be found on Strava.com.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Cinema Cycle - North Dallas Forty


CINEMA CYCLE
(Cardio Workout And Reviewing Movies At The Same Time)
North Dallas Forty (1979)
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DATE REVIEWED: 10/05/2017


FORMAT: Laserdisc

TIME RIDDEN / FILM LENGTH: 1 hour 58 minutes

DISTANCE RIDDEN WHILE VIEWING: 29.5 miles

TOTAL CINEMA MILES LOGGED: 7616.5 miles

SYNOPSIS: The camaraderie, tribalism and corporate greed of 1970s football is dramatized.

CONCEPT IN RELATION TO THE VIEWER: Before professional sports became all politically correct and lawyered up.

PROS AND CONS:  Wasn’t expecting a lot on this viewing.  This was somewhat of a controversial film when it first came out, because it painted the American Hero, the football player, as a reckless party animal similar to pack of wild dogs.

This is one of the films that opens that window into the 1970s that many younger viewers will find odd.  The look, the hair, the dress, the mannerisms all scream the disco era.  

I have no doubt that Pro Football was like this back in the day.  Must have been some heady times indeed, before the internet and tabloid news.  

To read an overview of this project, check out this status posting.  

This film is a part of my LaserDisc Collection.

Clicking on the title will take you to the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) entry for this film. 

This film was viewed while exercising on my recumbent cycle.  A summary of my time spent working out on my journey through movie-land can be found on Strava.com.

Cinema Cycle - Ghosts of Mississippi



CINEMA CYCLE
(Cardio Workout And Reviewing Movies At The Same Time)
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DATE REVIEWED: 10/03/2017




FORMAT: Laserdisc


TIME RIDDEN / FILM LENGTH: 2 hours 11 minutes


DISTANCE RIDDEN WHILE VIEWING: 31.8 miles


TOTAL CINEMA MILES LOGGED: 7587.0 miles


SYNOPSIS: The third murder trial of the killing of Medgar Evers by Byron Delay Beckwith is dramatised.


CONCEPT IN RELATION TO THE VIEWER: A good primer in segregation in the south and why it has taken so long to eradicate.


PROS AND CONS:  A competent film.  Baldwin and Goldberg give very good performances as the prosecutor and widow.  It is James Woods performance as Beckwith that really shines here.  Creepy would be an understatement.


The production value on this film is good, although some of the scenes became somewhat formulaic and long.  


One thing is for sure, after watching this, I don’t have a real hankering to visit Alabama in the near future.



To read an overview of this project, check out this status posting.  


This film is a part of my LaserDisc Collection.

Clicking on the title will take you to the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) entry for this film. 

This film was viewed while exercising on my recumbent cycle.  A summary of my time spent working out on my journey through movie-land can be found on Strava.com.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Cinema Cycle - The Beatles: Magical Mystery Tour


CINEMA CYCLE
(Cardio Workout And Reviewing Movies At The Same Time)

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DATE REVIEWED: 09/25/2017


FORMAT: Laserdisc

TIME RIDDEN / FILM LENGTH: 54 minutes

DISTANCE RIDDEN WHILE VIEWING: 12 miles

TOTAL CINEMA MILES LOGGED: 7555.2 miles

SYNOPSIS: The Beatles take a holiday bus tour across rural England

CONCEPT IN RELATION TO THE VIEWER: Beatles home movies and the birth of the modern music video genre.

PROS AND CONS:  It had been years since I had seen this.  As a young Beatles fan in late 1960s, this was the holy grail of Beatlemania, because it wasn’t easily obtainable in the United States.  

It isn’t as good as I recall it being in my youth.  This really is just a bunch of talented lads with no budget, roaming around taking movies of themselves and performing songs.  There really is no premise, storyline or ‘arch’ to the film.  Mostly just psychedelic imagery mixed with odd British humor.

Which was the most enlightening part of this viewing.  This clearly is targeted toward a British audience in the mid-1960s.  Much of the pretext (bus tours of the countryside, vaudeville humor) would not have been understood or gone over well with American audiences at the time.


To read an overview of this project, check out this status posting.  

This film is a part of my LaserDisc Collection.

Clicking on the title will take you to the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) entry for this film. 

This film was viewed while exercising on my recumbent cycle.  A summary of my time spent working out on my journey through movie-land can be found on Strava.com.