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The Tampa Bay Watershed and Its Importance To You -- Part Three....Proposal to Sell Off Our National Forest Lands   by William Moriaty
"V For Vendetta"  by Mike Smith
Alone  by Nick King
Everything But a Grammy....Movie Notes....My Favorite Films -- Chapter 10: "Fast Times At Ridgemont High"  by Mike Smith
Nolan's Pop Culture Review, 2006!
    Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our seventh calendar year!
Number 312  (Vol. 7, No. 11). This edition is for the week of March 13--19, 2006.

6 Years, 7 Volumes, and 312 Issues
  • The Tampa Film Review for March
  • Solfege Studios Opens in Clearwater
  • The Tampa Film Network Meeting for March
  • Yes, boys and girls, Nolan's Pop Culture Review, which began as "Nolan's Newsstand" in the year 2000 celebrates its 6th anniversary, Sunday, March 19th! Many of you have been with me since my very humble first issue. We have come a long way since then and I have a lot to be thankful for.

    But first, some math...
    Some of you may be wondering why I boast of seven calendar years on every pagetop if we've only been together for six? It's the strange nature of the zero (0) integer -- it's very easy to forget that zero is a number and counts in things like years. So 2000 to 2006 is actually 7 years. That's calendar years, but also counts for Volume Designation (..."for the year ending, etc etc,").

    I don't feel guilty using that figure for promotional purposes because we were being published for the lion's share of the year 2000, not like I fudged by starting it on December 31st or anything like that.

    However...I admit "volume designation" is not how most people count anniversaries. So to be perfectly clear, since our anniversary is March 19th, the PCR is six years old, this March 19th. Okee-Dokee?

    The past...
    Despite one major web server crash, criminal hacking/defacings that brought down the message board, and me burning out no less than three personal computer terminals since I went online in early 2000, Crazed Fanboy.com continues to thrive and I'm very very grateful for your continued support in making that happen. It sure wasn't where I anticipated being when I started this as a lark those many years ago.

    The future...
    The future will bring more multi-media and more exposure/articles of the Tampa Bay arts/film community. Look for more regular video/DVD production (a perennial weak spot due to my hectic schedule) and an effort to move more aggressively into a/v podcasting on the web. My health scare of 2005 is ever-so-gradually relinquishing its unholy grasp on my sense of well-being and my old energy is slooooowly returning. Barring any more catastrophes like that one, it's onward and upward from here.

    The Tampa Film Review for March
    Blessed by unseasonably warm weather in Tampa, William Moriaty (La Floridiana, once again my traveling companion to this monthly outing) and I made our way to the bowels of Ybor and the International Bazaar where we were greeted by an above-average turn-out here to view many way above-average films! Let's get started...

    Silence in the Aisles by Joe DiCanio. This wonderful short is planned on being shown at the beginning of every Film Review hereafter, and I have reviewed it before, so I will likely not bring it up again after this issue (unless it's not playing!). The lovely Desireé Rincon has just gotten off a trolley in Ybor City when she realizes she is being stalked by a masked man carrying an axe. A chase ensues down one alley and then another, eventually cornering Desireé behind some barrels in one dead-end alley, safe for the moment. That is until her cellphone betrays her position. The killer makes his move, swings his axe and....well...we're reminded that it's very important to PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CELLPHONES DURING THE FEATURE PRESENTATION! Arguably Joe DiCanio's most perfectly-crafted short, I never tire of watching it. Shot on regular mini-DV for next to nothing, it has great performances, great use of existing lighting, creepy music, tight editing and near flawless timing. The ending always gets a laugh. The original mile-long credit list has been trimmed so it fits more appropriately as the introduction to the night's program it does so well.

    Works by Martin F. Hennigan: The dramatic, mysterious worlds within the paintings of Martin F. Hennigan. Not a movie so much as a montage/slideshow of Martin's works, mostly of religious iconography, set to mood music. I like the artwork, just not sure this approach showcases it to a better advantage than an art museum, but interesting as far as it goes. I chuckled that his email address had "angryoldartist" in it, with which I can identify. Another nice surprise was seeing script supervisor Jeania Ingle was accompanying him -- haven't seen her in ages!

    The Baby by Joe Sanchez: Watch what happens as Mike rushes to the hospital because his wife is going into labor. An atmospheric, super-short, but rather confusing one-note screenplay, aggravated by a glitch mid-way into the disc. Interesting seeing filmmaker Jason Liquori acting in somebody else's film, and he's pretty good, which is fortunate as this is basically a one-man show. I couldn't make out all the dialogue, but if I got the gag right, the creepy quotient is the audience's confusion over whether his wife and kid are alive...or even there in the car at all...as he recounts out loud an earlier episode of violent infidelity. The film abruptly ends before we can know for sure.

    Bad Connection by James Patrick Dillon: In a moment of suicidal desperation, Holly writes to Jesus. Her message is “undeliverable,” at least to the addressee. However, someone does respond. I liked this one. The "bad connection" part is a tragic misunderstanding from our heroine (Pamela Dillon) over why her significant other isn't answering the phone in her time of desperate need. The appearance of a mystical figure in her dreamlike state suggests her suicide might have been successful, but with a wink toward the camera that maybe this is an hallucination. The technical crafting of the film was quite good although I think the script could've used some tightening up. The producers and some actors from this film (and the next one) are from the NY area and were in attendance; I spoke briefly with a couple of them, expressing support.

    The Power by James Patrick Dillon: There’s a new kid in town, and her reputation is spreading fast. It seems she has a special gift, a power to see things others cannot. However, some things are so terrifying, it’s better not to look. A short shocker about a young girl (Gwena Pitt) who, as far as I can determine, is able to see when people are about to die. This would be an awful burden on one so young and therein lies our drama. The moment when she sees her own reflection in a store mirror is an incredibly creepy thing and will stick with you for a while. Also stars a familar face from "Bad Connection", Pamela Dillon, as the mother. And like "Bad Connection", this starts with a good idea for a screenplay (always a plus), and has good lighting, camera work and performances.

    Chase the Mark by Joe DiCanio: Chase Bardone (Thomas Prophet) is a hitman for the local mob. He's been doing "jobs" for years now and is beginning to develop a conscience and is plagued by the ghosts of his "marks.” He's on the verge of a divorce and is thinking of quitting, but his best friend and fellow hitman Doug E. Fresh (Doug Cockerham) is trying to talk him out of it because, "No one quits Vito Gambelli." This was reviewed last year as a Coffeehouse Film Review entry and got decently high "marks". Joe DiCanio's natural gift for framing, pace and dialogue pretty much carry the show as lead actor Tom Prophet is not exactly a riveting presence and most scenes with him tend to lose energy. Most of the other players are workmates of Joe in real life, and most are surprisingly good in the film (especially Doug Cockerham as the fellow hitman, but not so much with the "mob boss"), even moreso considering they're not actors, which is a credit to Joe's directing. The special make-up effects are also applied by Joe himself and are very well done. I know Joe and company put a lot of effort into this film, I respect that, and there is a sequel in the works. Speaking with him afterwards, he is well aware of "Chase"'s weaknesses, and they will be addressed in the sequel.

    Dawg’s Tale by Damien Kincannon: Welcome to the world of rap music where Joe Bauer sets a new standard for failure. His latest hopefuls just got their crunk stomped out and Joe's sold on suicide. Enter Tightey Whitey, a street rapper with all the wrong moves, who may just be Joe's last chance at success. This was the feature presentation (read: longest movie) of the night, but also the biggest hit, I think. A very well-done comedy, with a surprisingly high-caliber script and very energetic performances. Even if you hate rap (which I do) you'll be able to identify with the struggling artist and the wheeler-dealer agents/managers who mingle in the twisted, screwy world of rock/pop/rap music, and do whatever they have to to get ahead. The actor playing Jack Bauer, Joe Philpott, is unquestionably in command of the screen, but "Tightey-Whitey" is a perfect foil. The film shimmers from a convincing film-look achieved mainly through Hi-Def video photography. (Damien's brother Josh was in the audience, but he didn't know what model video camera was used. Bless his heart, he actually tried to call Damien long-distance from his cellphone for the answer, to no avail.) Long time readers may remember young director Damien Kincannon's asssociation with his friend Ben Waller on earlier Coffeehouse films, and Damien's own debut film, Back to the Machine. Damien is no longer a Tampa resident, but his talent and destiny loom large.

  • Filmmaker Joe DiCanio has opened a thread for other commentary on the TFR here.

    Photos by Joe Davison

    As you may recall a few issues back, Tracy Hunter, the delightfully friendly marketing director of Solfege (SOLE-fayj) Studios of Clearwater, contacted me and directed me to the online invitation site "E-vite" for details on a chance to tour their new facility, which would occur Sunday afternoon, March 12th at 5:00pm. I accepted, and together with colleague/traveling companion/photographer Joe Davison, we set out Sunday afternoon, getting to the studio right about on the nose at 5:00pm.

    The generous buffet looms large in the foreground as The Wholly Cats set up. The huge private theater screen can be seen behind.
    I was elated that only minutes after arriving we ran into actress/director Sheri Lawrence (Filthy, Contact From Beyond), who gave me a big hug, which was sweet. With this exception (and seeing Shade Burnett who arrived later), Joe and I knew NO one at this shindig.

    But we made plenty of friends before we left.

    The Wholly Cats rock this town, make it scream and shout.
    In a relatively short time the place was shoulder-to-shoulder, mostly crowding into the impressively laid out, built-in private theater where a generous snack buffet and wet bar were in full swing. And SPEAKING of swing, the musical entertainment couldn't have been cooler as we were treated to the jazz/be-bop sounds of The Wholly Cats (think the Stray Cats crossed with whoever does the Ren & Stimpy theme music). I talked to Josh Gibson, the guitar-player, and his bassist, T.J., for quite some time and found them to be a gas.

    Ahem....back to the Studio.

     WOW, that's a BIG microphone!
    Joe catches me in the recording studio, "air vocalizing" to a non-existent music track.
    On the way to the theater, you pass the well-appointed music recording studio, and the make-up/dressing room. Despite the description, the entire facility was quite a bit smaller than I expected, although the partners plan to expand into the suite next door. (For the longest time I kept thinking the tour was only stopping at the theater for snacks and would resume -- but that was the end of the facility.) No matter, from what I saw you could do plenty right there with what was there. For filmmakers, I inquired as to what the rent would be on the private theater; Tracy replied that the figures aren't in stone yet and discouraged me from publishing any hard figures just yet, but the dollars she suggested to me seemed quite reasonable.

    OK, I'm afraid I don't know the women on extreme left and right, but our own Mr. Davison is standing with Sheri Lawrence (third from left) and Shade Burnett (next to Sheri). See enlargement
     We switch places. Plus, I got one of the owners into the shot! See enlargement
    Over the course of the evening I finally did manage to hook up with the two owners of the facility, who seemed very nice and quite sincere about their efforts to produce a quality production facility. One of them, David Gilliland, had such a seasoned actor look, I could've sworn I'd seen on a TV show from the '60s or something, but he said no, he's "just" a businessman. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of him. His partner (the "other" owner), Tony Mitri, is actually the President & Executive Producer of Solfege Studios. We didn't get to talk much, but I was able to snag a photo or two with him.

    President of Solfege, Tony Mitri, at left, takes in the action. Our batfan-in-black, Adam Wojcieszak looks on in the background.
    Joe and I also hooked up with a true fanboy named Adam, who I did not expect much of at first, over-dressed as he was in a black business suit, but turned out to be a real find and consumed much of our evening as it turns out he was on the production team of Batman Begins! He also showed us some pictures of some Batman fan work he's done, and I think he said he's working on a Bat-fan film--cool guy!

    On a personal note, Sheri Lawrence enabled a meeting between me and one of the contributors to my message board, Walt from Cyberstreme. One of the few actual filmmakers present, and it was a memorable first meeting. We talked about our various exposures in the press, both positive and negative.

    On the way home, Joe and I made a few observations on which we seemed to agree: first, the average age of the invitees seemed to be much older than we would've thought (we figured they were likely fellow production facility owners and not necessarily filmmaker/artist-types), and secondly, Solfege is decorated heavily in movie and music/album/concert posters that were obviously put there for ambience, but Joe felt kind of came off as a phoney, last-minute decoration scheme. True, but a very minor complaint to me.

    Nolan and Tracy
    Nolan Canova and Tracy Hunter
    However....we also agreed that this facility has a lot to offer Bay area filmmakers and we will be watching their progress with great anticipation over the coming months.

    Solfege Studios, Inc.
    2058 Weaver Park Drive
    Clearwater,Florida 33765-2130
    Contact: Tracy Hunter, Director of Marketing

    The Tampa Film Network meeting for March

    First of all, thanks to those who came to the last meeting (That of Tuesday, the 12th --N). I am truly sorry for the ultimate inconvenience that happened at Durango's (The original meeting place, now put off-limits by management. The TFN was moved to Chili's restaurant on S. Dale Mabry. --N). Durango's will forever be off my list of filming locations. Moving on.

    Below is a list of items covered at the meeting.

    1. Gothic Lounge for the Horror Channel auditions.

    Horror Channel will be holding auditions for females for a title role as hostess for the new Gothic Lounge. A show in the same vein as USA Up All Night or Joe Bob Briggs. For more information contact Chris Woods at www.iconfilmstudios.com

    2. BabyDoll; A feature horror/comedy being shot in Tampa and the surrounding areas.

    Sub-Genre Films along with Pop Gun Pictures and Pheromone Films are in production of a new horror/comedy and are looking for any crew who might be willing to help as well as extras and some cast. For more information contact Joe Davison at www.popgunpictures.com

    3. The much anticipated premiere of Unearthed! A Sci-Fi Action Thriller shot in Tampa. The Premiere will be on the 30th of this month in Ybor City at Muvico but sorry folks invitation only. There will several show times later so that everyone will get a chance to enjoy this fantastic independent feature. For more information visit www.unearthed-themovie.com or www.pheromonefilms.com. That's it for productions news so far.

    In Other News:
    Don't forget out the Tampa Film Revue held at the International Bazaar in Ybor City. It's a great place to show your work and be proud or ashamed of yourself as we all laugh at it and point. The Tampa Film Revue has gain great success and should be appreciated by everyone. Whether you're a first time film maker or you're making your tenth. It's always nice to see what our friends have made and what they did better then us. For more information email Paul Guzzo at Paulguzzo@hotmail.com.  Solfege Studios Inc. Just opened a fantastic new studio in Clearwater. It's ideal for sound recording, mixing, film editing, and it would be great to hold a film screening there. They specialize in Music Production, Video Prodcution, Photography, and Event Services. For more information be sure to check out their website www.solfege.net or read the article Nolan Canova wrote about them in this issue of PCR, above.

    Be sure to check the Tampa Film Network on www.Myspace.com for updates on meetings and special events to come. The next meeting will be in May so get out there and have something to share with us.

    Thanks again to everyone and hope to see you at the next meeting.

    From Rick Danford: Sirens of Cinema and the upcoming Carnivale of Horror have teamed up to bring you a very cool Prize Pack. Help us spread the word about another very cool event planned for the Tampa Bay area. Check out this web link for more details.

    This and That    by Nolan B. Canova

  • Many thanks to Matt Drinnenberg of Matt's Rail for giving me a call when he was here in Tampa recently visiting his ailing mother (who's OK now). Matt and I had a great catch-up talk which we continued at the local Hooters before Matt departed homeward for Massachusetts. Matt wants to reassure his fans that his current absence from PCR is strictly due to an insane traveling/work schedule and he has no plans to retire The Rail.

  • Did anyone else besides me hear that unreal Coast to Coast AM (talk radio, 970 WFLA, 1:00am, Friday morning the 17th Tampa time) with comics legend Neal Adams? Host George Noory had him on to talk about Neal's new theory about the universe! I'm not kidding. They briefly re-capped his career as a comics artist to sort of let listeners know who he was. Then launched into a serious discussion of how the universe and everything in it used to be smaller, then got bigger due to an unknown production of mass. Or something like that. Mars madman Richard C. Hoagland (of whom I'm a huge fan) then called in to suppport Adams' theory, then discussed a forward-thinking comics cover co-legend Jack Kirby drew in 1958 having to do with the Face on Mars! I began to think I'd slipped into a parallel fanboy dimension. Really different listening experience that was.

  • Welcome Back...Who? In the Hollywood's-ongoing-fascination-with-the-blackification-of-previous-TV-or-movie-hits department (remember 2005's The Honeymooners) I've discovered it's continuing this year with a remake of the '70s hit Welcome Back, Kotter, originally starring Gabe Kaplan and John Travolta. The new movie version will star....are you ready for this....rapper Ice Cube!! Oh, sweet Jeezis, make it stop already. Who comes up with these lame ideas? I turned it off before it went further so I don't know if other parts have been cast (I cringe at the possibilites for Vinne Barbarino and Horshack).

  • And a Happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone reading this on Friday, March 17th!
  • Please consider making a donation to help support Crazed Fanboy! Click on the "donate" link below and give whatever you can. I sincerely thank you for any and all consideration.---Nolan
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    "Mike's Rant" is ©2006 by Michael A. Smith    "Matt's Rail" is ©2006 by Matthew Drinnenberg     "La Floridiana" is ©2006 by William Moriaty     "This Week's Movie Review" is ©2006 by Michael A. Smith    "Couch Potato Confessions" is ©2006 by Vinnie Blesi    "My Middle Toe Is Longer Than Yours" is ©2006 by Mark Terry    "Splash Page" is ©2006 by Brandon Jones    "Nicholas Rex" is ©2006 by Nick King      All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2006 by Nolan B. Canova    
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