[Age-of-Stupid] Finish yr chicken tikka masala before reading

Franny Armstrong franny at spannerfilms.net
Mon Feb 15 10:54:40 GMT 2010

Happy Valentines,

As predicted by everyone who knows us, we have so far completely  
failed to retire from a) Age of Stupid, b) filmmaking, c) climate  
change and d) indie film distribution. We also failed to close down  
our office, to wade through the enormous backlog of sorting'n'filing  
or to go on holiday.

Lizzie, tho, has managed to make a big life decision, deciding to take  
on another mega-project  - think Global Premiere but with more  
timezones - which she'll no doubt be filling you in on soon. She  
starts her new job any day, but in the meantime is currently on a  
train to the Berlin film festival to talk about Stupid's crowd-funding  
model, which is genuinely a hot topic of conversation in the world of  
indie filmmaking: at the Rotterdam festival last week her talk was  
introduced with "If you're not obsessed with The Age of Stupid, you  
will be after you hear how they did it" - and then the festival  
proceeded to launch their own crowd-funding scheme to allow their  
festival-goers to support new filmmakers.

Indie Screenings
We've decided to re-launch our Indie Screenings website (through which  
1,314 screenings of Age of Stupid have so far been organised) on March  
9th with eight other save-the-world films. We're busy getting the  
films licensed and rebuilding the site, but were wondering which films  
people particularly fancied seeing? All the obvious big docs of the  
last few years will either be on there or not on there cos of problems  
with the rights (ie a distributor/broadcaster owns the film and  
doesn't want it on Indie Screenings, which means there's nothing the  
filmmaker can do about it). Any thoughts? The only criteria is that  
they have to have a clear social action message.  (BTW, apologies if  
you've written to Indie Screenings recently and not got a response.  
It's been in transition and there hasn't been a spare person to answer  
all the emails for a couple of weeks. But Rhiannon's on the case now.)

Food Inc on at your local movie house - MONDAY 15th ONLY
Remember the wonderful and brilliant Eric Schlosser from McLibel? He  
who wrote Fast Food Nation and is able to summarise corporate  
wrongdoing more niftily than anyone else currently alive on the  
planet. Now he's only gone and produced America's smash-hit (10th  
biggest all-time @ box office and No 1 DVD after a big Oprah splash)  
doc of the year, Food Inc. We schmoozied along to the UK premiere last  
week and can confirm that a) it's a fab film and b) nobody who sees it  
will ever be able to eat factory farmed meat again. So probably best  
to go for that curry before heading to the movies: Food Inc plays in a  
handful of cinemas round the country all week (Dundee, Bristol,  
Edinburgh, Inverness, London, Liverpool) and on Monday 15th it will be  
in cinemas across the country for one night only. List of cinemas here  
and audio interview with Eric and director Robert Kenner describing  
the film here.

Valentines 1: Carbon Speed Dating
Edinburgh Uni hearts 10:10 sooooooo much. The lucky students and  
academics are getting busy with practical winter gardening workshops,  
bike maintenance sessions, film screenings (no prizes for guessing  
which) and carbon speed dating, whatever that may be, as part of the  
Edinburgh University 10:10 Week. Alarmingly, the budget they've raised  
to run the university 10:10 campaign is bigger than the pot of cash  
we've managed to come up with to run the whole campaign across the  
whole country. Ha ha ha. Eek. (Please donate here.)

Valentines 2: Making Babies
The Guardian have brought up the environmental issue which dare not  
speak its name in a big feature article: "Eventually we'll be extinct  
anyway, but it would be so much nicer if we phased ourselves out  
through natural attrition... you know – the way a company reduces its  
workforce without firing anyone." I was interviewed for the piece  
during the Copenhagen Stupid Show madness and then spent the next few  
days worrying about what I'd said. But my quote is fine and I have to  
admit that this is about the only subject which tickles my filmmaking  
fancy... You heard it here first...

Animation 1: The Impossible Hamster
Stupid animating dude Leo Murray - who worked on the opening formation- 
of-the-universe sequence - has joined forces with the New Economic  
Foundation's top dude Andrew Simms - who's also on the 10:10 board,  
it's an incestuous world - to produce the youtube sensation known as  
The Impossible Hamster:  "crazy consumption and really gross domestic  

Animation 2: Coalition of the Willing
V cool new climate change project made by animators linked only by the  
interweb:  "‘Coalition of The Willing’ is a film that discusses how we  
can use new internet technologies to leverage the powers of activists,  
experts, and ordinary citizens in collaborative ventures to combat  
climate change. Through analyses of swarm activity and social  
revolution, ‘Coalition of the Willing’ makes a compelling case for the  
new online activism and explains how to bring the fight against global  
warming to the people."

Depressing 1
Anyone who's been reading this mailing list for the last few years may  
have a chronic case of climate fatigue, but we're delusional if we  
think the general public is suffering too. A scary piece in the New  
York Times explains that, rather than 2009/Copenhagen being the moment  
that climate went mainstream, what actually happened was that the  
number of media stories went down compared to 2008. Whoops.

Depressing 2
10:10's No 1 cheerleader, the Guardian's Ian Katz, convincingly  
explains why the situation as of February 2010 is desperately worse  
than the desperate situation we were in just three months ago: "[the  
effort to secure a global deal] is like asking a jellyfish to climb a  
flight of stairs; you can poke and prod all you want, you can cajole  
and you can threaten. But you are asking for something that you just  
can't get".

On that cheery note, I hope the attached amuse.

See you


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