Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Prophetic World of Chaos and It Only Gets Better « Buffalohair Gazette International

The Prophetic World of Chaos and It Only Gets Better

Posted in Paranormal and Bump in the Night, Reflets Sombres with tags Dogma, Earth Changes, End of Times, Prophesies, Religion, Spirit World, Spirituality, Technology, Time of Change, visions on February 26, 2011 by buffalohair

From an indigenous point of view, I am giddy with excitement as prophetic signs of every kind come to pass with even greater frequency than before. The cool part about it all is the fact these signs are written within a myriad of dogmas not just mine. The riots and other forms of civil unrest, regardless of issues or pseudo political agendas, will spread throughout the world relatively quickly. Dabble in a few more ‘coincidental’ natural catastrophes to man’s misery and there will be a few more pissed off hungry human beings flipping over cop cars and torching up the neighborhood 7-11. And all the while the stock market keeps counting coup on the taxpayer to the joy of international globalists. With skyrocketing profits in critical sectors it is only clear that blatantly unwarrantable greed is the corporate axiom and justification for sharp increases in all consumer goods. There is no end to man’s unscrupularity but fortunately Ma Earth and her chums have another idea.

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I know, I know his page feed is right here:) But this is so good! I did not want you to miss it:)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Avatar Trailer Spoof - Dances with Wolves

Avatar/Dances with Wolves mashup

Avatar Trailer Spoof - Dances with Wolves (HD)

Red Crow says goodbye

Red Crow says goodbye

Industry puts Natives in a box,

PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 5:12 am Post subject: Industry puts Natives ‘in a box,’ panel at Missoula document

It would seem like a filmmaker of Chris Eyre's stature shouldn't have trouble finding meaningful work. His first feature-length film, "Smoke Signals," won the Filmmakers Trophy and Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival. His 2004 film, "Edge of America," was likewise a hit at Sundance, and earned him the Directors Guild of America's award for outstanding directorial achievement in children's programs - making him the first Native American to win the award.

But at a panel discussion on issues faced by Native American filmmakers on Monday, Eyre was blunt about the realities of working in his chosen field.

"Just because you do something one way a certain year and it works, doesn't mean you can do it successfully next time," he said. "There is no map. You live hand to mouth a lot. But if it's what you love, it's the greatest thing in the world."

Those sentiments were echoed by several members of the panel that convened at the Downtown Dance Collective as part of the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, which continues through this weekend at the Wilma Theatre and other downtown venues.

Addressing an audience of several dozen festivalgoers, filmmaker Angelo Baca said the challenges of finding a foothold in the film industry are all the greater for young Native Americans.

"It's really difficult to get Natives as filmmakers and actors to break into the mainstream," said Baca, who works with the Native Voices Program at the University of Washington. "We have to create our own opportunities, and it's definitely hard."

The challenges amount to something of a Catch-22, according to Rene Haynes, a Hollywood casting agent who specializes in Native American projects.

"Not enough Native actors get into mainstream projects just as actors; they're always sort of put into a box," said Haynes. "And the problem has always been that there is only a handful of (Native American) actors who are known as individuals who can help get a picture made. They can't even entirely get a ‘green light' on a picture."


Lacking such established stars, precious few films about and by Native Americans end up getting made - and those that do are all too often of the variety referred to by Haynes as "really dreadful ‘leather-and-feather' historical movies."

"I will say, probably 80 percent of the scripts I'm seeing these days are on contemporary subjects," noted Haynes. "It's a crime that these aren't being realized."

Much of the challenge comes from the funding opportunities within Native American communities, noted Tracy Rector, director of "Unreserved," a documentary that screened earlier Monday at the Wilma Theatre.

"A lot of funding for these films comes from tribes and communities; but the challenge is when you're talking about, say, films about Natives living in cities - where's the funding for that?" said Rector. "In terms of funding, we have to be creative."

Shirley Sneve, executive director of the Native American Public Telecommunications, said that the key is finding ways in which Native American stories can be made universal stories.

"We try to work with our filmmakers to say, ‘Who do you want to watch this film? Who's your target audience?'" said Sneve, whose organization provides funding for Native American film projects. "One thing that's important is that it's a story everybody can relate to."

Ultimately, all on the panel agreed that filmmaking - whether in the documentary or fiction realm - is a critical component of building community and reinforcing identity among Native Americans in the contemporary world.

"I always think of (filmmaking) as one of the ultimate sovereign acts," said Baca. "It's like running your own small nation; you have to plan and schedule and make sure everybody's doing their job, if you want to make things move smoothly. ... If we continue to build the community, I believe it'll become easier."

Monday's panel was part of a festival "sidebar" dubbed "Indigenous Visions." Funded through grants from the Academy Foundation, Humanities Montana, the University of Montana's Native American Studies department, ITVS, Native American Public Telecommunications, and the Silver Foundation, "Indigenous Visions" also brought screenings of nine documentaries by Native American filmmakers to this year's festival.

Most of those screenings have already taken place, with the exception of Stanley Nelson's "Wounded Knee" (Thursday, Feb. 18, at 5:45 p.m.) and Heather Rae's "Trudell" (Sunday, Feb. 21, at 4:50 p.m.).

For information about those screenings, as well as other festival panel discussions and special events, visit

Reporter Joe Nickell can be reached at 523-5358, or on

Native American Filmmaking

Native American Filmmaking

NativeVue, LA WEEKLY feature about Native American Filmmakers

LA WEEKLY feature about Native American Filmmakers
April 13th, 2007 by Marcel Petit

GONE WITH THE WIND A decade after Smoke Signals, success remains elusive for Native American filmmakers

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Sherman Alexie stands at the back of a dark, crowded theater at last month’s Palm Springs Native American Film Festival, scanning the audience for reactions. The festival is showing the film made from Alexie’s first screenplay, Smoke Signals, in honor of its 10th anniversary, and he’s keen to see how it has held up over time. “I don’t know if I can watch the whole thing,” he says, “too many flaws.” Onscreen, Alexie’s memorable road-trip buddies Victor (Adam Beach) and Thomas-Builds-the-Fire (Evan Adams) sit in a trailer watching old cowboy-and-Indian movies. “The only thing more pathetic than Indians on TV,” says Thomas, “is Indians watching Indians on TV.” The crowd erupts with laughter and Alexie smiles. It’s a great line, and at the time it was written it was certainly true. Despite the dawn of political correctness in the ’90s, depictions of Native Americans as either bloodthirsty savages or as the stoic, spiritual antecedents to hippie culture continued to dominate the big screen.

But Smoke Signals threatened to change all that. The first major film written, directed and acted by Native Americans, Smoke Signals was both a critical and commercial success. Selected for the dramatic competition at Sundance and winner of the festival’s Audience Award, it was bought by Miramax and went on to bank $6.8 million at the box office on a budget of less than $2 million. More importantly, it offered Native Americans starved for positive and accurate depictions of themselves something they could watch and be proud of.

The film’s success appeared to be a harbinger of a new wave of Native filmmaking. What’s happened since? “Absolutely nothing,” according to Alexie.

Indeed, a Native film with the cultural impact of Smoke Signals has yet to be replicated, and Alexie feels partly to blame. After their film took off, he and director Chris Eyre were bombarded with offers to work together again, but instead of capitalizing on the momentum, the two had a falling-out. Alexie, who was already well known in the literary world as the author of more than 17 books, drew the lion’s share of the film’s media attention and chose to roll with the praise, leaving Eyre feeling neglected.

“Basically we acted like typical Hollywood assholes,” says Alexie.

The two split ways with mixed results. In 2002, Alexie wrote and directed The Business of Fancydancing, which despite an interesting, semiautobiographical narrative about a reservation-born poet’s struggle to maintain his cultural roots in the white world, was missing Eyre’s directorial precision and went straight to DVD. Meanwhile, Eyre directed the thoroughly forgettable Skins, as well as several films for television (including 2003’s Edge of America), all of which lacked Alexie’s artistic edge.

If the creative duo who launched the Indian world’s first hit has sputtered, the world of Native film has continued to grow, albeit slowly. In 2001, Inuit director Zacharias Kunuk’s The Fast Runner won the Camera d’Or Prize at Cannes. This year, the Palm Springs Native American Film Festival received more than 360 submissions, up from 180 the year before. Perhaps most notably, Smoke Signals star Beach earned strong reviews and serious Oscar buzz for his portrayal of Ira Hayes in Clint Eastwood’s Flags of Our Fathers.

Sundance, where Smoke Signals first began its amazing run, has also continued to provide a major outlet for Native filmmakers. This year, Creek director Sterlin Harjo’s Four Sheets to the Wind screened in the dramatic competition and went home with a Special Jury Prize for its leading lady, Tamara Podemski, who plays a reservation girl struggling to cope with city life and the loss of her father.

Yet despite a series of critical successes and the unwavering support of Sundance, which has used the festival as a showcase for Native films dating back to the first edition in 1985, commercial viability has remained elusive.

“Sundance shows around 120 feature films, and only a fraction get picked up and distributed,” says Bird Runningwater, associate director of the Sundance Institute’s Native American and Indigenous Initiative. “But it does seem that, most often, Native films fall into the category of those not being picked up.

Four Sheets to the Wind might be one of the best films out there that no one has ever seen. Despite drawing favorable comparisons to the box-office dynamo Garden State, and despite Podemski’s lauded performance, the film has yet to land a theatrical distribution deal. “It’s heartbreaking because we saw firsthand how audiences responded to the film,” says Podemski. “Someone just needs to get the balls to put it out there.”

Ironically, Podemski found out after talks with several high-level executives, the problem with the film is that it isn’t “Native enough.” “This is a regular film about a family that just happens to have a full Native cast,” she explains. “And I was told that the industry just doesn’t know what to do with that yet. They only know how to market something that is noticeably ‘Native.’”

That people can’t yet see the film is especially crushing for Podemski. For a Native actress, positive and challenging modern roles are difficult to come by. “There’s definitely a tendency to want to dress us up in buckskin,” she says.

Smoke Signals director Eyre agrees. “I don’t think a lot of people see value in telling stories about modern Indians,” he says. “But I don’t see the value in films that show the past. They all end the same way — the Indians die.”

The blame doesn’t fall entirely on the industry, however. Palm Springs Native American Film Festival programmer Thomas Harris, who screened all 360 of this year’s entries, says many Native filmmakers rely too heavily on the tragic realities of reservation life and not enough on substantive storytelling. “Right now, the ratio of documentaries to narratives is about 80/20,” he notes. “Which makes sense, because, with digital technology, documentaries can be made very cheaply. But there just aren’t enough narrative features out there.”

Podemski feels that the desire to inject activism into cinema has hampered the ability of many Native filmmakers to tell compelling stories. “I think our natural instinct is that we have to fight for something or communicate something on a larger level — to change society’s consciousness about Native Americans,” she says. “But I do think there is a need to focus on story and character and the craft of filmmaking, as opposed to a political or social statement that sometimes gets tied up in the narrative.”

Sherman Alexie is more blunt: “If I see one more fishing-rights documentary, I’m going to scream.”

Making a narrative film takes money, however — something most Native filmmakers don’t have access to. One continuing source of hope is that wealthy casino tribes will begin to invest in Native films. But many casino tribes are cautious about risking their money in the movie business after several tribes were financially burned by 2004’s million-dollar debacle Black Cloud. Written and directed by Rick Schroder (yes, that Rick Schroder), this story of a Navajo boxer’s attempt to make the Olympic team was duly panned by critics, a financial disaster, and replete with virtually every conceivable Native cliché (from the medicine man–like grandfather to characters’ conversations with the “spirit world”). Three years later, the film continues to be a source of both humor and embarrassment. That tribes would back a Rick Schroder vehicle instead of supporting one of their own remains one of the greater mysteries of the Native film world.

Still, challenging and thoughtful Native narratives are getting made. Both Alexie and Runningwater cite veteran Sundance filmmakers Blackhorse Lowe (5th World) and Cedar Sherbert (Gesture Down) as names to watch out for in the future.

“There are more Native Americans working in fiction filmmaking now than ever before,” says Runningwater. “While production values are often quite low, they find ways to make their films. The ultimate challenge is telling an original story that audiences can identify with.”

Tracy Rector, a Seminole filmmaker who runs the Superfly Filmmaking Seminar for Native youth, sees the next generation of Native filmmakers potentially bridging the gap between the desire to tell truthful indigenous stories and the ability to make movies that resonate with a larger audience. “There’s a huge gothic culture on the rez these days,” says Rector, “so you’re seeing that reflected in the work of young filmmakers. I’m seeing loads of really smart and funny zombie movies from my kids. I actually think it might be the next wave in Native cinema.”

Native Zombie movies?

“You know, we did have one zombie submission,” notes Harris. “It was about a Native American zombie possessed with the spirit of the white man. A really fantastic idea, but not very well executed.”

That may soon change. Blackhorse Lowe is allegedly working with the Sundance Screenwriters Lab to develop a Navajo zombie/horror film, while another experienced Native filmmaker recently contacted Rector about producing a zombie flick.

Alexie, for one, isn’t surprised. “Since George Romero turned the zombie movie into one of the more politicized allegorical cinematic forms, it might be natural for the most politicized allegorical ethnic group, us Injuns, to naturally be drawn to the form.”

Meanwhile, Alexie’s own filmmaking future remains uncertain, zombie or otherwise. “I’ve dealt with some Custers in my time in this industry,” he says, admittedly humbled by his experiences in the film business. Nonetheless, he and Eyre have reconciled and are hoping to start work on a new project together. The pair recently engaged in serious talks with HBO about shooting Alexie’s script about a remote Native Alaskan fishing village, but the project fell through. “They wanted to turn it into Rudy with whales,” says Alexie.

Given the industrywide perception that there’s no market for culturally authentic Native films, neither Alexie nor Eyre envisions the next Smoke Signals breaking through anytime soon.

“We really need that bankable star who can carry a project,” says Eyre. “I tell studio executives that all the time and they say, ‘You’ve got that one guy.’ I just think to myself, ‘Oh, really? That one guy, huh?’”

Native American Filmmaking

Drop the Fear of Looking Stupid

Friday February 18
So Delicious Is Honoring My Birthday!
My favorite dairy-free coconut milk beverage, So Delicious, kicked off their 100 Days of Change giveaway last week, and in honor of my birthday (TODAY!), they're giving away a pretty sweet prize. How sweet exactly? Try a $100 gift certificate to Baking for Good, the online bake sale that donates 15% of every purchase to a charity of your choice. Just check out the So Delicious Facebook page to enter. After all, everyone deserves a sweet treat on their birthday!


Drop the Fear of Looking Stupid

Okay, I know I don't need to tell you that exercise is absolutely crucial to getting and staying healthy. Still, I can't tell you how many people tell me that they aren't working out because they are afraid they'll look stupid, they fear trying something new, or, well, any other number of things you can think of. These are fears you NEED to get over. Your attitude creates your reality, so it's crucial to have the right one. The power is in your mind, so if you have negative thoughts about your self-image, if you lack confidence, or if you feel hopeless that you'll ever lose weight, you're still at square one. If you constantly tell yourself you're not capable of working out, then you're always going to feel stupid…and eventually you'll give up. But if you harness your mental power with positive thoughts that you CAN do this, and WILL do this, guess what — you will.
Find out how to get over it and get moving

Overcome Your Working Out Fears
By Jillian Michaels
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Okay, I know I don't need to tell you that exercise is absolutely crucial to getting and staying healthy. Still, I can't tell you how many people tell me that they aren't working out because they are afraid they'll look stupid, they fear trying something new, or, well, any other number of things you can think of. These are fears you NEED to get over. Your attitude creates your reality, so it's crucial to have the right one. The power is in your mind, so if you have negative thoughts about your self-image, if you lack confidence, or if you feel hopeless that you'll ever lose weight, you're still at square one. If you constantly tell yourself you're not capable of working out, then you're always going to feel stupid…and eventually you'll give up. But if you harness your mental power with positive thoughts that you CAN do this, and WILL do this, guess what — you will.

If working out is new to you, empower yourself with knowledge — use the site to learn the proper exercise techniques and form. If you've set your mind to do it, get the skills and you'll feel more comfortable. Start off by trying the workouts from my Web site,, or my DVDs at home. Doing it home first is the most basic way of getting the moves down before you try them in a public setting. Afraid of looking dumb in front of your family? Hello — they're your family! Let's be honest — they've probably seen you look a lot sillier.

Now, if you're terrified of going to the gym, do it anyway. I understand that a gym can be a bit overwhelming the first time you go. But trust me, everyone has a first time stepping through those doors. Everybody has felt weird about lifting the weights in front of the muscle men, moving on the elliptical for the first time, or even signing up for a class. If you're worried about what you like to other people there, forget it. People are so concentrated what they're doing, in all likelihood they're not paying ANY attention to you. If you're still worried about it, go at a time when the machines are less crowded or meet for a session with a trainer (many gyms offer free introductory training sessions). The important thing is to know that feeling of intimidation will fade. Never be a quitter.
Finding a fitness plan that fits your personality can make working out more fun.

As you keep working out and becoming stronger, you will become aware of your strength — not just in the gym, but in other aspects of your life. Trust me, this will be a major boost to your confidence level and it will change your frame your mind for the better. It's all baby steps, but they make a big difference over time. Keep working out, stop feeling stupid, and start feeling great!