Notes on last night

Last night around 10:30 PM, a cat fell off the roof. Made a lot of noise. Couldn’t get back to sleep. Then a mosquito started hovering around my ears, so I decided to revive a nightly tradition from earlier this month and douse myself in bug spray. It was late, I was tired, I didn’t have my glasses on, the lights were off.

Long story short, I sprayed myself in the eye with insect repellent.

The pain was excruciating, but not intolerable. On a scale from one to ten, I’d give it about a seven. I’d never do it again, not even for a bet… depending on the stakes. $100, no way. Not a chance. For $1,000, though… well… I’d at least have to consider it.

We had our last Cineastas class today, and I fly back to Minneapolis on Saturday. More posts, pictures and video to come soon now that I have less work to do, and I’ll be announcing an exciting new… thingie… in a couple weeks.

Leaving Fear Behind

Last month Tibetan filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen was sentenced to six years in prison by the Chinese courts for making the film Leaving Fear Behind, a documentary about Tibetans’ views on the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Wangchen was arrested shortly after the completion of shooting in May of 2008, but the producers managed to smuggle the footage out of the country. The film is embedded below.

According to a source cited by Filming for Tibet, Wangchen has no access to independent legal assistance, and his appeal period will expire tomorrow. Furthermore, Wangchen is reported to have contracted hepatitis B in prison and is not receiving medical treatment for the condition.

“My aim for this film is not to make a famous or particularly entertaining film. This film is about the plight of the Tibetan people—helpless and frustrated. Therefore I hope that everyone will pay special attention and support it. That’s my biggest hope.” ~ Dhondup Wangchen

You can make a donation to Filming for Tibet here.

Happy New Year from Nicaragua

Embedded below: surrounded by midnight fireworks in Granada’s town center, new year’s day.

The audio was recorded in a format known as binaural stereo, which achieves surround-like sound with only two channels of audio–to get an immersive feel for what it was like to be there, listen to this through headphones with the volume turned up ALL THE WAY. It won’t quite be as loud as the real thing, but if you’ve got some decent headphones you might get close.

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