Jul. 6th, 2008

semiotic_pirate: (Juicy Oranges)
Let's keep them wild. Let's keep them free.

This is the PBS website on the documentary. This was a beautiful film. If you have a chance to watch it, take that chance. It has a boom-de-yadda feel to it. The most hard-hitting moment for me was when Mark talks about his need to find a right livelihood.

From Amazon's website: "Quiet patience and an observant eye turn a seemingly unpromising subject into a rich and fascinating movie. The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill captures the life of Mark Bittner, a gentle (formerly) homeless musician who's befriended a flock of wild parrots in a neighborhood of San Francisco. Following Bittner, the camera zooms in on individual parrots, revealing their individual personalities and the traits of their species. This leads to Bittner's own life, the network of friendships that support him, and the ways in which the parrots--a non-native species--interact with both the natural ecosystem and the city government; just about every topic opens up another until a flock of colorful birds represents a microcosm of nature and society.

Filmmaker Judy Irving has created an exemplary documentary simply by paying attention to the details of the world around her subject. Everything you expect from a Hollywood blockbuster--romance, violence, humor, sorrow, strong personalities in conflict--is here in spades, except that the heroes and heroines have bright red and green feathers. Utterly rewarding. --Bret Fetzer

PBS links to Mark's book The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill - A Love Story With Wings as well.

The following essay, written by Mark in 2007, describes what brought on the need to talk about and bring these parrots to the attention of the public mind. It also describes the battle to allow them to continue to be free and wild.


In the spring of 2007, I found myself in the awkward position of working for the passage of an ordinance that prohibits the feeding of San Francisco's wild parrots in city-owned parks. While the great majority of people I've spoken with have understood the reasons for my stand, a few others have had difficulty with it, regarding me as a hypocrite. Yet it was entirely consistent with everything I've said and done throughout my association with the parrot flock. During the struggle to get the ordinance passed I was unable to talk about the issue in a very public way. I felt constrained by the very situation I was working to stop. This is my explanation of what happened.
Read more... )
semiotic_pirate: (ron growling)
Vegas Trek Attraction Closing

CBS and Cedar Fair announced that the Star Trek: The Experience themed attraction in the Las Vegas Hilton will close on Sept. 1, confirming news first reported on TrekMovie.com.

The decade-old attraction--which includes two Trek-themed motion simulator rides, Quark's bar and restaurant and a shopping arcade--has seen attendance and revenues fall for years, TrekMovie reported.

CBS held out the possibility that The Experience might find new life in some other form, telling TrekMovie, "We're extremely proud of the 10-year run Star Trek: The Experience had in Las Vegas. We're currently exploring several options to continue The Experience for the public to enjoy for years to come."

Robert Picardo, who plays his Star Trek: Voyager character of the Doctor in the "Borg Invasion 4D" portion of the attraction, expressed sadness at the news. "I'm very disappointed about it," Picardo told reporters in a conference call. "It seems the hotel changed hands, and the group that bought it, the new owners, have been eyeing that large amount of retail space lustfully for some time, so it breaks my heart a little bit to no longer be my own theme park ride."

Lost Metropolis Scenes Found

The German Murnau Foundation, dedicated to film preservation, reported that long-lost portions of Fritz Lang's seminal silent SF movie Metropolis have been discovered in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Staff members of the Museo del Cine Pablo C. Ducros Hicken in the Argentine capital found the missing scenes--about 25 minutes' worth, or 25 percent of the original film--in a 16mm negative. The footage had been cut after the film's original release and was thought lost forever.

The Wiesbaden-based Murnau Foundation, which holds rights to Metropolis, plans to incorporate the scenes--which reportedly enhance narrative logic and clarify the film's story--into a new restored version of the movie, in cooperation with the Argentine film museum.

The newly discovered scenes include the character of Georgy in his "reduced" state, a character named Slim and his transformation into an apocalypse-preaching monk and a car journey through the city of Metropolis.

Third Narnia Shoots In Mexico

The third installment of Disney and Walden Media's The Chronicles of Narnia franchise will move its production to Mexico from New Zealand, where the previous two installments shot, Variety reported.

Production of the first two films--The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian--was based in New Zealand largely because of government tax incentives. Weta Digital and Weta Workshop, which created most of the films' effects and props, also are based in that country.

By contrast, the third movie, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, to be directed by Michael Apted, needs several large sound stages plus a massive water tank: The title of the film refers to the ship that serves as a major set piece.

Because of that, production will move to Rosarito, Mexico, and set up shop at Baja Studios, where Titanic, Deep Blue Sea and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World were shot.

Location shots in Australia will still be filmed as planned. Production originally was slated to start in October, but will now likely begin in January.


1. If you are a Trek fan and still haven't made it to this attraction - you better either go before they close it, or start writing letters of protest. Those of you with editorial access to the media, start making a stink.

2. I am so not surprised they found this footage where they found it.

3. Anybody know when this movie is going to finish production and be released? This was one of my favorite books in the Narnia series. The site appears to have a lot of good movie-karma-history too, those were three wonderful films.

----- Also looking forward to the November release of the HP:HBP movie -----


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