LOV by Vanessa Bruno

Posted by    |    June 15th, 2012 at 4:34 pm

The following excerpt comes directly from Vimeo. “LOV, the new autumn-winter 2011-2012 film directed by Stephanie Di Giusto.

After Lou Doillon, there is the appearance of a another heroine: Kate Bosworth. Her mysteriousness, her strength. Also another side to femininity, a stirring truthfulness which is renewed with every look, every movement accompanied by a wisp of assertiveness and purity. A new gracefulness progressing to a confident allure, conquering, a battling frailty.
It starts with an urban universe almost futuristic where this femininity comes up against angles, up against emptiness where lines are sought for and where poetry is found. A surrealistic dance, frantic and lively giving a light note to this ballad, this adventure which is perhaps the landscape of a soul.
Then the thread of the tale gets tenser. We come across a more solemn Kate, looking inwards, a mysterious warrior. Kate runs away, frightened by her dark double, perhaps her mirror reflection, perhaps her sister in dreams. White horses bolt with the music, liberating her wildness and the impatient purity of her energy, of her victory.
Euphoria of flight, of a grace released from the surface, from reality. Light headed. Kate is at the top of a tree of life giving herself up to an appeasing sun, to a sensual rapture winging towards the heart of the matter, streaming along, a reflection on the water.
In fact, a love story.”

Moving Takahashi

Posted by    |    June 14th, 2012 at 6:00 pm

Vimeo, Short of the Week and sites likes these give us a window into a treasure trove of great stories for our Dallas audience to enjoy.  According the website, Short of the Week, Jason Sondhi is a knowledgeable film academic and occasional filmmaker. Moving Takahashi, is a about young man, who, while moving furniture out of a posh LA home, encounters the family’s daughter overdosing on pills.  You can get the rest of the Sondhi’s review here.

The Secret Adventures of Sleepy Men

Posted by    |    December 13th, 2011 at 9:41 am

If you haven’t seen The Secret Adventures of Sleepy Men, I highly recommend it.  It’s a super short short and won’t take an hour off of your life, and it will make you smile, remembering why passion, excitement, and newness are so necessary to life.  How or why we let the passion go in our everyday existence, I’m not sure.  In a quote from one of my favorite romantic comedies, “Serendipity“, “You know the Greeks didn’t write obituaries. They only asked one question after a man died: “Did he have passion?”.

Well, do you?  Do you dream with abandon? Do you risk being thought a fool on a regular basis?  Or do you bow down to practicality and tradition and let things run the natural, predictive course, as expected by the powers that be…

Watch The Secret Adventures of Sleepy Men and decide today to bring more passion, more ridiculous frivolity into your life.  That way, when you die, no one will even have to ask a question at all.

Quiet Signs of Love: Atypical Romance

Posted by    |    November 21st, 2011 at 8:25 am

Quiet Signs of Love from ikonfilm on Vimeo.

Quiet Signs of Love is a wonderful two-part short film highlighting an atypical romance.  A hearing man falls for a deaf classmate, and the struggles and triumphs of their relationship suddenly change their worlds.  Daniel, the main character, pursues a relationship with Hannah, despite her inability to hear.  Hannah gradually accepts his advances, teaching him basic signs and introducing him to the deaf community.  As they grow more comfortable with each other, it is apparent that the hearing/speaking barrier causes some difficulties.  Hannah doesn’t want help in situations where her deafness impedes her, and Daniel doesn’t understand why she won’t accept help.  All in all, it’s a touching love story about two people who defy the norm of what a relationship “should” be. (more…)

Worked For Me: How Do YOU Survive a Break-up?

Posted by    |    November 14th, 2011 at 2:15 pm

There are quite a few really interesting things about Ken Simpson’s heartfelt short film, “Worked For Me.”  One of them is that this film only cost $800 to make, and it looks like dynamite.  Another is that the same guy, the brilliant Ken Simpson, wrote, directed, produced AND edited this film.  Oh, and one more tidbit?  The doctor’s lab coat and stethoscope were part of the DP’s Halloween costume.  But the most interesting thing of all about this short film is that it has a nugget of wisdom that can save millions from spending exorbitant amounts on shrinks, self-help books, and large bar tabs. (more…)

Are You The Favorite Person of Anybody?

Posted by    |    October 10th, 2011 at 11:08 am

It’s a simple question.  Are you the favorite person of anybody?  How sure are you? 100%?  75%?

In the short film “Are You The Favorite Person of Anybody“, this question is posed to passersby and their responses are humorous and frankly, a little melancholy. (It’s worth watching for the adorably goofy John. C. Reilly.) We would all like to think we are the favorite person of someone, but are we? If you don’t think that you are, why?  When we keep ourselves from deep friendship, transparency, selflessness, and love without condition, it becomes tougher to be the favorite person of anybody.  It’s human nature to want people to  love and adore us, but are we giving that back to those in our lives who need it equally as badly? (more…)

Does Lasting Love Exist? Ask These Two.

Posted by    |    June 28th, 2011 at 11:19 am

When it comes to true love, the long-lasting, “sitting on the front porch next to you when we’re eighty” kind of love, there isn’t a lot of inspiration to go on these days.  Break-ups and make-ups abound, and when someone as hot and funny as Jennifer Aniston can’t keep a steady boyfriend, the rest of us don’t feel like we have much of a chance.  When I start to feel a little cynical about love and think the days of passionate, romantic, make you crazy kind of love no longer stands the test of time, I take a look at these two.


Meet John and Johnette Jackson.  Yes, those are their real names: John and Johnette. They met when he was 19, she was 20.  (She always brags she married a younger man.)  He went into the soda fountain where she worked and ordered a chocolate coke.  He came back the next day with two women from his work to size her up and see if she might be a good prospect for a date.  Turns out they thought she looked worthy, so he did.  She accepted, but on the eve of their first date, she decided she didn’t know enough about him to go on a date alone with this new stranger, so she went out with another fella.  Realizing he’d been stood up, John went driving around. Lo and behold, he sees Johnette out at the movies. With the other guy! What are the odds? Now, most men would seeth with anger and probably have a few choice words muttering under their breath.  Not John Jackson. He was a glutton for punishment, and found himself right back at the soda fountain the next week asking her out again.  Johnette likes to say he knew a good thing when he saw it.

After six months of dates and countless black cows later (it’s a fancy name for a root beer,) they married at a pastor’s house on June 27th, 1942.  John borrowed $5 from his dad to pay the minister.  Johnette wore a white eyelet dress and bright red heels, and there was no wedding cake, no honeymoon, no dancing.  Just two people who barely knew each other, getting married and about to face three years apart when John was sent to Guam in WWII.  Fast forward 69 years later, and they are still together, every single day.  With a shared love for the Lord, Wendy’s chicken nuggets, and laughter, these two are a quirky inspiration.  Two vastly different personalities, two different humors, two different temperaments…and yet, somehow these two made it work beautifully.


I have a confession.  John and Johnette are my grandparents, and yesterday was the celebration of their 69th year together.  We staged a funny vow renewal on the lake, complete with bouquet, tuxedo t-shirt, and psuedo-minister.  They recited their vows one more time, with the same love, humor, and joy they did almost seven decades ago.  (You’d have to have a sense of humor if you’re reciting wedding vows with a tuxedo t-shirt pinned to your chest.)  After declaring their love and John kissing the bride, they happily ate celebratory dinner and enjoyed their very first wedding cake.


Moments like these make you wonder: Can true love last a lifetime?  John and Johnette make it look so easy, though they’ll tell you it hasn’t always been and still requires a lot of sacrifice and patience.  And tuning your spouse out when they tell the same joke for the 1,000th time…..like, “Money can’t buy you happiness. But it WILL let you enjoy your misery in a better part of town!”

I don’t know about you, but I want to be celebrating something like this in seven decades.  I think Jennifer Aniston still has a shot at it, and all the rest of us do, too. Here’s to true love!

The Jay Armstrong Method For Making Friends

Posted by    |    June 15th, 2011 at 10:39 pm

Jay Armstrong is funnier than you would expect.  A lot funnier, actually.  When you first meet Jay, you might not realize that underneath his sweet Southern charm is a hardcore sports fanatic who has quick wit and a refreshingly funny take on the challenges in his life.  Besides being a University of Texas grad and sports management aficionado, Jay is a published author.  His book, “A Day with Jay“, is a look at what life was like for him entering school for the very first time…in a wheelchair.  How will the other kids react? How will he participate? What will his teacher be like?  All these questions are asked and answered in the book, helping children get to know what life in a wheelchair is like for some of their classmates.

Now an adult, Jay travels all over to speak to groups and share his positive message. Besides touching the heart with this wonderful book and message, he also touches your funny bone.  When asked if there are any perks to being in his situation, he relays the stories of his visits to Six Flags, where he and his buddies never had to wait in line and could enjoy the rides as often as they wanted. He is clearly a hit with the ladies and can out-talk virtually anyone on sports, but his message in life is one of friendship and connection.  Jay encourages people of all ages to approach those in wheelchairs or with physical challenges the way you would anyone else-engaging in friendly conversation and even curiosity about their condition.  His openness and honesty about his life and the way he navigates his day puts anyone at ease, and suddenly you forget there is a wheelchair in the picture at all.  Once you meet Armstrong, his passion for developing meaningful friendships with people from all walks of life becomes contagious.  To have a friend, you must be a friend….and Jay effortlessly does so with his shining smile and unexpected humor. See more of his story here.

To find out more about Jay Armstrong, his book “A Day With Jay” or to have him speak at your school or social/business function, go to adaywithjay.com.


How Big is TOO Big?

Posted by    |    May 26th, 2011 at 8:32 am

The engagement ring. A sign of things to come.  A promise worn for the world to see.  A way to solidify your celebrity status forever. Wait….what?

It seems these days in pop culture that the engagement ring is no longer just a symbol of love, fidelity, and a man’s intent to make you his bride.  Celebrities are suddenly in the never-ending cycle of bigger and better, seemingly to “one-up” each other in the diamond department.  Now, most ladies wouldn’t turn down a 2 million dollar Lorraine Schwartz engagement ring, but many blogs are tearing apart Kim Kardashian’s new bauble.  Weighing in at 20.5 carats and reported to be “the  highest color and clarity”, beau Kris Humphries proposed to Kim this week. It’s no secret that Kim loves big diamonds (Liz Taylor was a reported idol,) and her new love wanted it to measure up. After sister Khloe Kardashian received her sparkler from hubby Lamar Odom two years ago (a cool nine carats), the world knew their televised sibling rivalry would mean at least one other Kardashian would have to beat that number.


Sanctuary: More than Just a Film Shoot

Posted by    |    October 27th, 2010 at 4:42 pm

I almost didn’t go to the shoot that day. The night before, I suffered from a severe head concussion due to a near car accident. I was in such pain that I couldn’t walk. I seriously considered not participating in the project, which was a first for me. I never miss a shoot.

About 12:30am, I discovered a voicemail from one of the writers. “Have we got a part for you…Oh, you are going to be so bad, it’s awesome.” I was sold. I didn’t care how bad my head hurt. I was going.

The morning presented itself like most starts of the shoots, you gather together, read through the script, sit in make-up and wait to be called. But, on this day, the exceptions leaped off the page. This day would be different.

I knew the second I walked into You+ that I was walking into a great production. Everything from the locations, to the equipment, to the script, to the fact that the make-up artist applied dirt to my face instead of blush was foundational to the rest of the day. This production had top-notch written all over it. I was also amongst great company and wanted to do my best. I had worked with the writers on two films previous and had become good friends. I had also worked with the Director before and respected his work.

I also met a few new faces that day. I was impressed how well versed and knowledgeable everyone was, as well as with the caliber of cinematography and directing. We also worked very well together, which is especially important on a timed shoot.

But, there was one face that stuck out to me. I noticed him earlier in the day, but it wasn’t until after listening to Brandon discuss a scene, that he turned around and almost ran into me when I noticed his eyes. They were endearing, kind and deep. Moments later, the same thing happened, except, this time, I almost ran into him. Again, his eyes beamed and there was something about this guy that kept my eyes on him.

Maybe it was the fact that I kept catching him look at me, although he’ll tell you he doesn’t remember that. Maybe it was his physique, although he’d deny that entirely. But what is undeniable is when I saw him listening to a friend pour out his heart and encourage him in the way he should go. I was so touched by that. He just sat back in his chair, feet propped up and wholeheartedly listened. That was of greatest value to me and I won’t forget how I felt. That was the day I met Josh Spake.

Six months have now passed, five of which I’ve been honored to date Josh. He has impacted my life in so many ways and brought me so much joy.

It’s funny the irony in it all. A shoot that I didn’t almost participate in was the shoot that swept the awards at the film festival and was the shoot that I met someone truly special. Sanctuary proved to be much more than a shoot; it proved to be a sanctuary of hope, opportunity and the cultivation of deep relationships. I’m so glad I went that day.