President Obama speaks of peace, just Imagine

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“Hope Is A Thing”

Lisbeth Scott’s “Hope Is A Thing” is released.  I enjoyed shooting this.  Watch the VIDEO.

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Documentary Channel shows “Who Needs Sleep?”





Documentary Features Interviews With Hollywood Stars Including Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Annette Bening, Billy Crystal, Paul Newman and Tyne Daily, among many others

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (June 1, 2010) — The Documentary Channel® (DOC) presents the exclusive network premiere of the critically acclaimed feature-length documentary “Who Needs Sleep?” from Academy® Award winner Haskell Wexler on Friday, June 25 at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT.

NEXT scheduled screening is Sunday, July 11th at 6pm

Distributed by Chatsworth, Calif.-based Image Entertainment (NASDAQ: DISK), the film features intimate interviews with some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, including Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Annette Bening, Billy Crystal, Paul Newman, and Tyne Daly, as they discuss health risks associated with long production work days surpassing the 14-hour mark.


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Col. Belenky talks about sleep deprivation

[wpvideo uBWlshll w=520 h=320]

I found this interview which may be of interest to 12on12off. Not that we movie workers need confirmation of the debilitating effects of excessive hours. Check this out.

– Haskell Wexler

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Woodstock Film Festival

I am just returning from the Woodstock Film Festival. I will hopefully be writing some things about this amazing experience. For the moment, I have posted some video from the event.

Haskell Wexler receives the Honorary Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2008 Woodstock Film Festival. Haskell also presents the Haskell Wexler Best Cinematography Award.

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Amy Goodman and Two Democracy Now! Producers Unlawfully Arrested


“Look out Amy, it’s real”

I have had some personal experience covering protests at National Conventions, in my case being the Democratic National Convention in 1968. It is a really bad sign of the times when they start arresting journalists — at least Amy wasn’t tear gassed.

Amy Goodman and Two Democracy Now! Producers Unlawfully Arrested At the RNC 
September 1, 2008   
Watch Video: 

UPDATE: Amy been released with charges against her. Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar have not are still in jail and may be charged with conspiracy to riot. Please keep calling the numbers below and demand their immediate release:

These calls can be directed to: Chris Rider from Mayor Coleman’s office at 651-266-8535 and the Ramsey County Jail at 651-266-9350 (press extension 0).
ST. PAUL, MN—Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman was unlawfully arrested in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota at approximately 5 p.m. local time. Police violently manhandled Goodman, yanking her arm, as they arrested her.

Goodman was arrested while attempting to free two Democracy Now! producers who were being unlawfully detained. They are Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar. Kouddous and Salazar were arrested while they carried out their journalistic duties in covering street demonstrations at the Republican National Convention. Goodman’s crime appears to have been defending her colleagues and the freedom of the press.

Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher told Democracy Now! that Kouddous and Salazar were being arrested on suspicion of rioting. They are currently being held at the Ramsey County jail in St. Paul.
Democracy Now! is calling on all journalists and concerned citizens to call the office of Mayor Chris Coleman and the Ramsey County Jail and demand the immediate release of Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar. These calls can be directed to: Chris Rider from Mayor Coleman’s office at 651-266-8535 and the Ramsey County Jail at 651-266-9350 (press extension 0).
Democracy Now! stands by Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar and condemns this action by Twin Cities law enforcement as a clear violation of the freedom of the press and the First Amendment rights of these journalists.

During the demonstration in which they were arrested law enforcement officers used pepper spray, rubber bullets, concussion grenades and excessive force. Several dozen others were also arrested during this action.

Amy Goodman is one of the most well-known and well-respected journalists in the United States. She has received journalism’s top honors for her reporting and has a distinguished reputation of bravery and courage. The arrest of Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar is a transparent attempt to intimidate journalists from the nation’s leading independent news outlet.

Denis Moynihan:  917-549-5000
Mike Burke:  646-552-5107 –

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Cell phones and the law

I purchased a handsfree device for use with my cell phone, to comply with the new law, and this is a good thing that will benefit us all. Talking on a cell phone while driving is still not the best thing to do but the handsfree operation will help to focus on driving, hopefully avoiding accidents that not only could harm me but jeopardizes everyone else on the road.

     In L.A., every day of the week, hundreds of people leave work, get in their cars, and put themselves and lots of other people on the road, at high risk of accidents, injury and death, and this is attributable to something much more dangerous and widespread than talking on a cell phone. All of the movie and television crew people who leave work after having worked routinely 14 or 15 hours a day, are getting out on the road in an impaired state, chronically sleep deprived, more impaired and less capable of driving safely than even if they had been drinking — and there is no law against this, yet. It is a well documented fact that over 50% of all accidents involve drowsy driving.

Officer Phil had some personal words to say in this clip from “Who Needs Sleep?” prepared for use by the National Sleep Foundation.

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Springsteen: Silence Is Unpatriotic

Bruce Springsteen on 60 Minutes said what I believe is most important to me in these crazy, mad times. His understanding of what an artist should be is something which I hope all of us in the arts can appreciate.

“I guess I would say that what I do is I try to chart the distance between American ideals and American reality. That’s how my music is laid out. It’s like we’ve reached a point where it seems that we’re so intent on protecting ourselves that we’re willing to destroy the best parts of ourselves to do so,” Springsteen says.


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Obama speaks of world peace…

I watched Obama being cheered by thousands in Berlin. Europeans compare him to Kennedy. I support Obama as the peace candidate but much of what I heard him say does not conform to my definition of peace, nor does it echo so accurately the sentiments of John F. Kennedy.

Commencement Address at American University

President John F. Kennedy

Washington, D.C., June 10, 1963

“There are few earthly things more beautiful than a university,” wrote John Masefield in his tribute to English universities–and his words are equally true today. He did not refer to towers or to campuses.  He admired the splendid beauty of the university, because it was “a place where those who hate ignorance may strive to know, where those who perceive truth may strive to make others see.”

    I have, therefore, chosen this time and place to discuss a topic on which ignorance too often abounds and the truth too rarely perceived–yet it is the most important topic on earth: peace.

     What kind of a peace do I mean and what kind of a peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to grow and to hope and build a better life for their children–not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women–not merely peace in our time but peace in all time.

An excerpt from President John F. Kennedy’s commencement address at American University on June 10, 1963. © Kennedy Library Foundation

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