Monday, February 29, 2016

Movie Filming in DC — Jackie Kennedy Bio Pic

Here you can see what would be the dignitaries that walked behind the caisson that carried the body to the church.

Ran into this on my way from the gym to the Newseum yesterday. It's a bio pic on Jackie Kennedy.

Here's a little more info on what they were shooting:
Be on the lookout for actors Natalie Portman and Peter Sarsgaard, the stars of “Jackie,” the film about the aftermath of President John F. Kennedy’s 1963 assassination, which is filming around Washington this week.

The production shot most of its interior action in France but is coming to Washington to get the kind of scenery you can’t re-create, including the backdrop to the famous JFK funeral procession from the White House to St. Matthews Cathedral, according to casting notices sent out last week from Central Casting to potential extras and stand-ins.

Portman plays the titular role of the former first lady, and Sarsgaard portrays JFK’s brother then-Attorney General Robert Kennedy. The flick is being produced by Portman’s “Black Swan” director, Darren Aronofsky.

And Washington should get used to Portman: she’s also presenting her directorial debut, “A Tale of Love and Darkness,” March 6 at the Washington Jewish Film Festival.

This great old car.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Ann Hornaday Talking Oscars at the Newseum

Another wonderful Oscar program at the Newseum with Ann Hornaday of the Post. This is my fifth year going. It is always interesting to listen to her insights on movies. And her predictions of who will win the major awards.

This year there was talk about the lack of diversity in the nominees. She said that's due in part who makes up the members of the academy. Older and of course much more white the general public.

Hornaday wrote about it the Post:
The fact is that the kind of crossover filmgoing that African Americans have had to engage in for practically a century represents a existential bridge too far for white filmgoers who are accustomed to being the cultural standard (and who have the luxury of tuning out on the rare occasion when they’re not). At the Oscars, this assumption has taken a subtle form of condescension in the name of “diversity” that perpetuates black protagonists as the often subservient “other” and not the norm. With a few very welcome exceptions, when the Academy has recognized an African American film or performance, it’s been for a project that was explicitly about racism and race relations and usually a historical period piece, rather than a present-day thriller, love story or drama that happened to feature mostly black people.

Hornaday taking a bow as she enters the talk.

She adds in the article and expanded on this in her talk:
Just as culturally fluent filmmakers know that blinkered homogeneity is commercial and artistic death, culturally literate viewers don’t need to see someone who looks exactly like them on screen in order to relate, escape, identify or simply be entertained. Filmgoers who see crossing over as a bridge too far aren’t just depriving themselves of the riches to be discovered on the other side. They risk being left behind when the entire structure comes crashing down.
 During the Q&A, I asked if she thought going to up to ten nominees for best picture was worked. My point was the reason behind this was this move was touted by the Academy as a way for small films to get nominated along with blockbusters too. I said it doesn't seem to have worked that way. She agreed with me up to this year. When she pointed out that several of the best picture nominees had done very well at the box office. She thought maybe this year will start changing that.

On another topic, she was asked about Star Wars by the moderator. She said she really liked it. The film didn't take many risks. But she added it brought the franchise back to were it was originally. SHe like the new characters even BB8 which she thought was cute. She thought the next film was the one where things would start taking off.

In all a fun afternoon at the Newseum.

Light Yards at Yards Park

What to do on a Saturday night in Washington, DC?

Go to Yards Park and see giant inflatable lighted bunnies, of course. And what a delightful way to spend your Saturday night. It was a big draw for kids but there were lots of adults there too. Just a fun time.

Light Yards is:
the innovative art installation spanning two weeks and three weekends at The Yards Park will kick off on Saturday, February 20 from 7pm to 10pm with a large-scale projection mapping visual display set to the beat of a live DJ set. The event’s focal point and medium for the light display will be a 48 x 24 x 20 foot Point Cloud, and 12 x 12 x 12 foot Cube, constructed of industrial steel with illuminated white cubes designed by New York based light artist and architect John Ensor Parker. These light sculptures will remain throughout the two weeks and will be joined by giant luminescent rabbits by artist Amanda Parer starting on Saturday, February 27. Kicking off their US tour, families are invited from 3pm to 6pm to delight in the sight of the enormous glowing bunnies, while enjoying children’s activities, including a giant Lite-Brite. That evening from 6pm to 10pm, The Yards Park will again meld music and art with a performance by electric violinist DJ Manifesto. In addition, food and beverage will be available for purchase on Saturday the 20th and 27th during the featured events.

Enjoy this unique sensory experience with family and friends, and complete your evening with a meal at one of the many restaurants located within walking distance at The Yards.

The Main Draw — Bunnies

The Bunnies

More of the Bunnies!

The Bridge at Yards Park

This was really cool. There are lights along the top of the bridge and they change color. It makes for a really good effect. More on that on a post below.

The Juggler at Light Yards

Who know that the pins jugglers used could be lit up. This guy was great and the lighted pins certainly added to the entertainment.

Point Cloud by John Ensor Parker

The View Behind the Waterfall

There is a waterfall that you can walk behind. You look out and see the bridge that is part of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail at Yards Park. The bridge has lights on it that change color. This is what you see when looking through the waterfall at the bridge. It is very cool.