Rising from Ruins is now complete, on its way to its Canadian broadcaster. And the Sundance Channel will televise the "Two-Lane Search for Mom & Pop" twice in December (December 8th and 15th). The Independent America franchise is alive and well!
Well at least according to this theory presented in Newsweek.
Like American financial capitalism, Starbucks, fueled by the capital
markets, took a great idea too far (quality coffee for Starbucks,
securitization for Wall Street) and diluted the experience
unnecessarily (subprime food such as egg-and-sausage sandwiches for
Starbucks, subprime loans for Wall Street). Like so many
sadder-but-wiser Miami condo developers, Starbucks operated on a "build
it and they will come" philosophy.
I may live in Seattle, but I don't love Starbucks (neither its coffee nor its expansionist policies). That may also be evident from my films...
So if this theory holds water, this must mean that New Orleans will recover quickly economically as Starbucks didn't quite return to a neighborhood or two out there after Katrina. I'm looking forward to having a coffee and croissant at my fave Croissant D'or Patisserie, just around the corner from what has become my home away from home this year, the Hotel Provincial -- as I return to New Orleans for a "Rising from Ruins" film preview this Thursday.
UPDATE 08.30.08: My flight is still good for tomorrow. I'm going to spend today with local journalist Ariella Cohen from CityBusiness
as she reports on the voluntary evacuation. One way or another, Gustav
adds to my film, and I need to gather additional elements to tell this
story. We may even attempt a small house party premiere tonight if there's anyone left in the city. My hotel closes tomorrow at noon, and I intend to give myself
at least 3 hours to get to the airport (normally a 20 minute drive).
Shades of Baghdad!
Geez, I thought I had escaped a life's sentence in breaking news when I left my career in TV journalism a few years back. All I wanted was to premiere our Katrina-related documentary here in New Orleans tomorrow. And, now, on the 3rd anniversary of that terrible disaster, Gustav has forced us to cancel the event.
To protect ourselves, we held a "sneak preview" screening last night at Fair Grinds coffeehouse. Happily, folks were thrilled with this outsider's view of their city, so it looks like I hit the mark. It'll be interesting to see how these last few days might play into a final cut of the film.
The film premiere of Independent America: Rising from Ruins, is up for grabs right now with Gustav gathering strength and heading to the Gulf of Mexico Once local officials get a handle on the hurricane's path, they may issue a 48-hour evacuation notice. The New Orleans Institute has just canceled the day-long conference, but we intend to go ahead with the Saturday evening screenings unless we need to evacuate.
I'm ready either way. I brought my camera, waterproof gear, and even my Pentax W60 waterproof point & shoot -- which I may call into duty if I need to re-start production of a film that won't end (as we like to say in the MCDM program, "permanently beta"). Or we have the premiere as scheduled with even more to discuss.
I've got five days left to edit the new film before I head down to New Orleans for the premiere. See below the fold for the media alert. In the meantime, we've set up a website specific to the film, at http://risingfromruins.com.
As we head into the third year of life for our film, it's interesting to see some of the top presidential candidates try and put the "Red State, Blue State" polarization that has plagued America for so long. Of course during our trip back in 2005, we knew that Americans were far too sophisticated to be so easily categorized, so we declared the country to be one deep shade of purple.
Our film is also beginning to reach the younger generations: Tom and I had a successful screening in Toronto at Branksome Hall in December. These teenagers posed some of the most intelligent questions we've heard during our time promoting the film. There's even the possibility of building a high school curriculum around "Independent America" at some point.
Lastly...anyone catch this article declaring Starbucks good for independent cafes? From my point of view, they certainly are, because I will happily walk an extra mile to go to an independent rather than enter one of four Charbucks seemingly readily available on every urban street corner. Of course, with the return of Howard Schultz and a sense that the company has lost its way with its rampant reproduction, the greatest threat to Starbucks just might be itself.
After all those Sundance broadcasts, as well as overseas airtime, we finally come "home" to a Canadian audience, 9 p.m. tonight on SuperChannel 3. Bonus: unlike the other showings we have, they're airing the full, 81-minute version of "Independent America" (which is what we sell on DVD).