VIDEO ESSAY: “We Sleep: On the Enduring Propheticism of John Carpenter’s THEY LIVE”

Posted in Video Essays

Aspiring Documentary Filmmakers Could Probably Use More Books Like This…

Posted in Vlogs

Welcome to the Vlog!

Posted in Vlogs

A Response to the Responses to My Article “The Teacher Racket”

As I mentioned a while back, I wrote an article entitled “The Teacher Racket” for the Winter 2016 issue of Tricycle: The Buddhist Review. The piece generated quite a few responses, some of which appear in the brand new Spring 2017 issue of the magazine.

Tricycle invited me to respond to the responses as well, which I did. If you’re a subscriber, you can read what I wrote online here. If not, a snapshot is below:

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Posted in Writing

VIDEO ESSAY: “Spielberg and Surveillance”


[UPDATE, 3/16/2017: My cup runneth over! “Spielberg and Surveillance” just got another considerate write-up, this time from Film School Rejects‘ H. Perry Horton. Horton is video content editor for FSR and its very popular Twitter feed @OnePerfectShot, where he also shared the video essay. Thank you so much, sir!

[UPDATE, 3/13/2017: I’ve just now noticed that Christopher Campbell shared this video essay in his daily “Today in Movie Culture” post at Movies.com on February 21st. Check it out here. Thanks, Christopher!]

[UPDATE, 3/5/2017: Wow — now Filmscalpel has given this essay a lovely, substantial write-up of their own. You can read the post right here. Thanks, Filmscalpel!]

[UPDATE, 3/1/2017: I’m both delighted and grateful that No Film School has given my video essay an exceedingly thoughtful, incredibly generous write-up. Read author Max Winter’s post here. Much obliged, Max.]

Posted in Video Essays

“The Problem of Access: Weiner (2016) and the Limitations of the Fly-on-the-Wall Documentary”

I’ve got a new article, my first for Bright Lights Film Journal, at their website. It is entitled “The Problem of Access: Weiner (2016) and the Limitations of the Fly-on-the-Wall Documentary”. In it, I observe that “the response to Weiner shows us (yet again) that the greater the access to a subject, the more likely a documentary is to be lavishly praised…no matter how questionable its politics.”

You can read the whole thing here.

Posted in Writing

“Interview: Festival Programmer and Pure Nonfiction Host Thom Powers”

I’ve got an interview with Thom Powers over at Nonfics. Thom, who has been called a “kingmaker for documentaries” by the New York Times, is host of the podcast Pure Nonfiction, documentary programmer for the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), Artistic Director of both the Stranger Than Fiction screening series and the documentary film festival DOC NYC, co-founder of both the Cinema Eye Honors and the Garrett Scott Documentary Development Grant, curator of documentaries for Sundance Now, and the host of WNYC’s “Documentary of the Week” program.

Check out our conversation here.

Posted in Writing

VIDEO ESSAY: “My Ten Favorite Documentaries of 2016”

Posted in Video Essays

“The Best Video Essays of 2016”

I’m delighted to have been a contributor to Fandor Keyframe’s “Best Video Essays of 2016” poll. In addition, it’s an honour to have my picks in such fine and esteemed company. Thank you to Fandor and its founding editor and chief video essayist Kevin B. Lee!

You can read the whole thing here.

Posted in Writing

A Thousand Hands: A Guidebook to Caring For Your Buddhist Community

thousand-hands-front-coverA Thousand Hands: A Guidebook to Caring for Your Buddhist Community is a new anthology from Sumeru Books that I’ve co-edited with Nathan Jishin Michon — and it’s available to buy now!

You can purchase it through Sumeru here, or via your preferred online vendor.

Here are blurbs for the book, written by three wonderful Buddhist teachers:

“The voices contributing to this volume demonstrate that North American Buddhism is awakening from its predominantly inward and private focus and realizing that our strength for the future lies in healthy, whole, and peaceful communities. Yet the forms of suffering that manifest in communities boggle the imagination in their diversity. The essays collected here show that the necessary concern has been aroused and the helping hands of compassion are reaching out, each hand, like that of the bodhisattva Guan Yin, emblazoned with the eye of intelligence that looks into the underlying causes and the prospects for a solution.” – Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi

A Thousand Hands provides a remarkably broad set of resources aimed at helping people navigate suffering with greater clarity and ease. The editors have done a wonderful job gathering together many wise voices to share on a host of important topics.” – Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and Real Happiness

“Buddhist communities struggle with the reality that we bring the world with us—that walking into the doors of the sangha does not instantly liberate us from our mental illness, addictions, trauma, and emotional woundedness. Even more jarring is confronting the truth that our sanghas are organized to privilege the mental, physical, and financial elite. The Buddha taught a Dharma for all ages, and at its heart is the call for radical loving integrated with truth. This book helps us to hold love and truth together as we move into the profound, beautiful, and very uncomfortable space of meeting people where they are and asking: How can I care for you?” – Lama Rod Owens, co-author of Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation

Posted in Books