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Born May 18, 1953; got saved at Truett Memorial BC in Hayesville, NC 1959. On rigged ballot which I did not rig got Most Intellectual class of 71, Gaffney High School. Furman Grad, Sociology major but it was little tougher than Auburn football players had Had three dates with beautiful women the summer of 1978. Did not marry any of em. Never married anybody cause what was available was undesirable and what was desirable was unaffordable. Unlucky in love as they say and even still it is sometimes heartbreaking. Had a Pakistani Jr. Davis Cupper on the Ropes the summer of 84, City Courts, Rome Georgia I've a baby sitter, watched peoples homes while they were away on Vacation. Freelance writer, local consultant, screenwriter, and the best damn substitute teacher of Floyd County Georgia in mid 80's according to an anonymous kid passed me on main street a few years later when I went back to get a sandwich at Schroeders. Had some good moments in Collinsville as well. Ask Casey Mattox at if he will be honest about it. I try my best to make it to Bridges BBQ in Shelby NC at least four times a year.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Brett Morgen 15 years from Collinsville

Brett is having a big weekend at Sundance in Park City Utah
I was his key consultant for his early if not the very first documentary, Blessings of Liberty Set in Collinsville, Alabama. He did put two xx's on my last name in the credits, but I am about to get over it. Bout the only time I guess anyone will ever see my name listed on a work that also carried Bob Dylan's Son Sam on it. Sam helped edit in LA, best I remember.
Mark Morgan did not make it past editting but his brother Matthew did.
I am in the Yellow Jacket in the docu, if you get a copy.
Timothy Smith and Bill Shepherd are the stars however, and of course, Bill Cook and Mildred Kerley.

Brett in the thick of it all in the Chicago Tribune.
Congrats to him

First, however, the Variety Review

Posted: Fri., Jan. 19, 2007, 7:25pm PTChicago 10 (Documentary-Animated)A River Road Entertainment and Participant Prods. presentation in association with Consolidated Documentaries and Public Road Prods. Produced by Brett Morgen, Graydon Carter. Executive producers, William Pohlad, Laura Bickford, Jeff Skoll, Diane Weyermann, Peter Schlessel, Ricky Strauss. Directed, written by Brett Morgen. Voices:Abbie Hoffman/Allen Ginsberg - Hank AzariaDavid Dellinger/David Stahl -Dylan BakerThomas Foran - Nick NolteJerry Rubin - Mark RuffaloJudge Julius Hoffman - Roy ScheiderWilliam Kunstler - Liev SchreiberBobby Seale -

Jeffrey Wright By TODD MCCARTHY

Bret Morgen's 'Chicago 10' uses archival footage along with motion capture animation to show the trial that followed 1968's protests at the Democratic convention.-->A vibrantly crafted evocation of a convulsive moment in 20th century American history, "Chicago 10" is far less interested in offering a fresh, probing look at what took place on the streets during the 1968 Democratic National Convention and the circus trial that followed than it is in celebrating the stars of the anti-war movement and rallying the current generation to follow their examples. Brett Morgen's agit-prop documentary augments its excellent assemblage of archival footage with capture-motion animation to rep the courtroom antics, all in the service of an ideologically loaded approach dedicated to asserting parallels between the Vietnam era and today.

Commercial appeal to a young contempo audience is conceivable but decidedly questionable.
Morgen's previous docu was the entertaining "The Kid Stays in the Picture," and the director's enchantment with Robert Evans is matched here by his obvious infatuation with Yippie leaders Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, who dominate the new film far too much for it to be considered any kind of balanced take on the socio-cultural eruption the incidents in question represented.
Morgen, who was born in 1968, is reticent to encumber his film with too much historical context. In the rushed leadup to the August convention, he quickly mentions the killing of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and LBJ's decision to step down, but can't be bothered to note the assassination of Robert Kennedy or even inform which three men were vying for the Democratic nomination when the surrounding events took place.

In fact, there are but two moments drawn from within the conventional hall itself, one of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley addressing the throng, the other of Walter Cronkite frankly describing the conditions in the city as those of "a police state." And so it does appear in shot after shot of violent suppression of protester activity that, at least for those four days, resembled what the world was accustomed to seeing in Prague or a banana republic but not in the U.S. of A.
In the very skilled hands of editor Stuart Levy, pic adroitly moves the action along on the parallel tracks of the convention protest and the trial, which hinged on the "intent to incite" by the accused. Hoffman often called what he was doing theater on a grand scale, and Morgen has taken this cue to present his principal players on a variety of stages, including, literally, that of a standup comic.
For his part, Rubin once called the Chicago 7 trial a "cartoon," and Morgen has taken him literally, rendering teeny snippets of the proceedings in stylized form that, thanks to the vocal readings, all too predictably weights matters entirely in favor of the defense while ridiculing the prosecution and, especially, the notorious Judge Julius Hoffman.
Even to those who were around at the time and remember the depicted events first-hand or from television coverage, there is plenty of juice to the footage here, which has been culled from a vast array of sources. Day by day and, especially, night by night, the tension of August 25-28 is evoked along with the sporadic breakouts of violence, bloody beatings and arrests.

As the most colorful and irreverent of the defendants, Hoffman and Rubin get the lion's share of the spotlight, and those who found them either admirable or obnoxious at the time will find what they need to reinforce their feelings herein. Still, the portrayal of their views is superficial, a problem far more pronounced in the cases of David Dellinger, Rennie Davis, Tom Hayden, John Froines, Lee Weiner and early-on eighth defendant Bobby Seale, whose demand to act as his own attorney takes up an inordinate amount of the time devoted to the trial. (Title's mysterious addition of two more figures to the accused list stems from Morgen's contention that defense lawyers William Kunstler and Leonard Weinglass belong there because they were found in contempt.)
Although the film's lack of attention to the doings of the convention itself is obviously intentional and enables it to hold focus on the protests, for it to avoid any mention of the more mainstream anti-war movement represented by Eugene McCarthy and, before his death, Robert Kennedy, seems grossly unfair; as usual, the more extreme manifestations of political positions receive the most attention.
Underlying it all, however, would seem to be an impatience and irritation on Morgen's part with his own generation, and the one yet younger than himself, for not engaging the establishment today the way the Yippies did four decades ago. Pic's acceptance will depend in large measure on whether or not young viewers take the implicit critique personally.
Musical contributions lean heavily on modern, rather than vintage, pop music, and tech aspects are strong across the board.
(color/B&W; HD); editor, Stuart Levy; additional editing, Kristina Boden; music, Jeff Danna; animation, Curious Pictures; additional animation, Asterisk, Yowza Animation; animation production designer-digital camera, Todd Winter; sound designer (Dolby Digital), Paul Urmson; re-recording mixers, Bob Chefalas, Paul Urmson; line producer, Paul Leonardo; associate producers, Alison Beckett, Christopher J. Keene; casting, Billy Hopkins, Suzanne Crowley, Kerry Barden, Paul Schnee. Reviewed at Sundance Film Festival (opener), Jan. 18, 2007. Running time: 103 MIN.,1,1516860.story?coll=chi-entertainmentfront-hed
Sundance opens with a blast from past provocations

By Michael PhillipsTribune movie criticJanuary 19, 2007PARK CITY, Utah --

On some subterranean sonic level you can hear Nick Nolte growling away in the far corner with some friends, even though the place is filling up fast. I am not in that corner. I suspect I never will be. I am in the opposite corner, around midnight Thursday in The Spur, a Main Street hangout in the ski town eaten alive for 10 days every January by the Sundance Film Festival.Writer-director Brett Morgen is talking about his movie, "Chicago 10," a freewheeling attempt to recreate what happened during and after the 1968 Democratic National Convention and how Chicago's image took a nightstick to the gullet over the whole bloody mess.Nolte, ruddy of cheek and trim of beard, is here with the movie. He's one of several well-known actors who lent their voices to recreations of the Chicago conspiracy trial, one of the subjects of Morgen's picture.
The film festival opened Thursday night with "Chicago 10" in the prestigious premiere slot. Morgen was a happy man at The Spur, with everyone saying "nice job" and the like."It was a really intense world to inhabit for five years," he said, as a woman handed him a glass of champagne. The film, he said, is not intended to be historically nuanced or "Frontline" in tone. It is meant to assault. As he put it in the question-and-answer portion of the premiere a few hours earlier, he wanted something brash and in the spirit of the Youth International Party--the Yippies, personified by Abbie Hoffman, superstar. (Hank Azaria does the voice of Hoffman.)

Morgen's film mixes archival footage of the clashes in Lincoln Park, Grant Park, Old Town and downtown, with Rotoscoped animated sequences depicting the trial of the Chicago 7. Or 8, if you count Black Panther Bobby Seale, who at one point was bound and gagged in Judge Julius Hoffman's law-and-order courtroom, in one of the most startling scenes in "Chicago 10."The film's title refers to the eight on trial, including anti-Vietnam war activist David Dellinger; Yippies and troublemakers Hoffman and Jerry Rubin; Rennie Davis and Tom Hayden of Students for a Democratic Society; Seale, of the Black Panthers; the so-called "forgotten defendants" John Froines and Lee Weiner; and defense attorneys William Kunstler and Leonard Weinglass. Weinglass provides his own voice in the animated courtroom scenes; Liev Schreiber, Jeffrey Wright and other actors provide the others.

The soundtrack, which rarely gets a moment's rest, features Rage Against the Machine and the Beastie Boys and Eminem along with Black Sabbath and, during one brutal clash between Chicago police and antiwar protesters near the Conrad Hilton Hotel, a mocking snippet of the old Bing-and-Bob ditty "Moonlight Becomes You."

Morgen, who was still in his mother's womb in August of '68, is a Sundance Film Festival alum. His earlier documentaries "On the Ropes" (1999) and "The Kid Stays in the Picture" (2002) premiered here. For "Chicago 10" the hype is high, though you never can tell with festival hype: Sometimes the distribution bidding wars do not materialize. At a Thursday press conference, Sundance co-founder and iconic figurehead Robert Redford tried to minimize the festival's marketplace function. He stressed that it's all about the work--everyone's wearing "Focus on Film" buttons this year, which is actually sort of sad. With "Chicago 10" Sundance director Geoffrey Gilmore found a way to open the 2007 festival with an unconventional documentary as well as a reminder, he said, "about the kind of risk-taking it takes to make a change in this world."

Six weeks ago, as he was putting the finishing touches on an animated segment of his film, I talked to Morgen by phone. The film, he said, was conceived in late 2001 "on the eve of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan." That was one invasion; the war in Iraq was quite another, and "as we moved the front lines into Iraq, and Bush and Colin Powell made statements we realize now were misleading to the United Nations, it seemed like more people were gathering and raising their voices."But the opposition never really materialized. So it seemed like there was a need for a film to remind people how to protest, in the age of the Internet…We live in a culture today where a lot of people feel making a 10-dollar contribution to a political organization online is a form of protest."

At Thursday's press conference Morgen downplayed the political content and told the crowd he just wanted to make a film that "would entertain you guys for a couple of hours." Later that night, though, after repeating the same just-enjoy-it sentiments, Morgen told the opening-night crowd that he'd love it if "Chicago 10" could get people thinking about the protest movement. And maybe, he said, "mobilize the country and stop this [gol'-darn war]."A quick poll of some colleagues Thursday night suggested "Chicago 10" may play better with folks who, like Morgen, weren't yet born in the summer of '68. Morgen says he wants the film to go over with moviegoers in their 20s and 30s. His use of animation, akin to the style of Richard Linklater's "Waking Life" and "A Scanner Darkly," was done with the younger, less tradition-bound audience in mind.

So was his deployment of an "intense" (his word) sound design, dominated by the polyglot musical score. To at least one pair of 45-year-old ears, that score is far too much and surprisingly dull: The aural rage of the musical selections, and the hackneyed original background score, flatten the rage on screen rather than heighten it.Whether or not Morgen's film becomes a hot bidding commodity, its maker says he was privileged to make it his own way. "It didn't matter to me about reaching out specifically to Democrats, or Republicans," he said in December. "There were issues of democracy at play here that concern all of us."I wondered then if the project wasn't risking that screedy Michael Moore "Fahrenheit 911" tone, which some believe helped Bush's re-election bid. (It obviously didn't hurt.)

"It's funny," Morgen said, "When Geoff Gilmore called to invite me to open the festival, that's the thing he said to me. He didn't mean it as any sort of criticism, really, but he said that majority of the films Sundance attracts and ultimately programs are films that preach to the choir. And then he said the thing that he found remarkable about 'Chicago 10' is that it's not intended for the choir. It's intended for an audience that hasn't experienced the events."At the Spur, I ask Morgen if he wrestled at all with how much to lionize the protest movement. Some, he says. After all, post-Chicago, "the war went on for several more years and Nixon won the election.

So the question, I guess, is this: Was this all just an epic piece of theater? Did Abbie Hoffman and everybody else intend the [riots] to go down? Was this the Yippie agenda from day one, to expose the militancy of the government and make sure the Democrats lost the election?"Morgen didn't answer the question. Anyway, it was party time at the Spur, and he was the big dog of the evening. And another festival had officially begun.mjphillips@tribuneFollow the Sundance Film Festival with Michael Phillips and Mark Caro at>


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