SModcast

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(smodcast.com)

I’m a happy giant lizard today, why? Because today I get to write about a subject related to film.

The SModcast is a weekly podcast with hosts Kevin Smith and Scott Moiser. Kevin Smith is a filmmaker who has made 10 feature films beginning with the 1994 independent film hit, “Clerks.” Smith is still making films today and hosts/produces the TV show “Comic Book Men”. Scot Moiser is a producer, writer, and actor. Moiser has primarily acted in Smith’s films, but recently did some voice acting for the animated film “Free Birds”. Moiser has also produced many films, primarily films Smith has directed, or documentary films.

SModcast is an hour long podcast where hosts Kevin Smith and Scott Moiser talk about anything. However, since they’re both involved in the film industry and both love films, they tend to stick with that topic. In two recent episodes Smith and Moiser talk about the debut of their first film “Clerks” at the Sundance Film Festival. The Smodcast is not a just a discussion of film between two old best friends though. It is very funny and meant to be so. Smith and Moiser’s humor is incredible, always dark and twisted they seem to spend half of every episode laughing at each other’s jokes. The SModcast wasn’t started for any specific reason, but Smith and Moiser have managed to grow quite the following and know have their own internet radio network, consisting primarily of podcasts, that is run on the SModcast website.

It wouldn’t be hard to argue that Kevin Smith is the filmmaker with the strongest internet presence. He has had a website almost since the birth of the world wide web where he talks to fans about his films and everything else. Overtime his website has evolved and now he has a strong multimedia presence. However, at least for this giant lizard, the strongest thing Kevin Smith has to offer on the web is the SModcast.

Kevin Smith is a great talker and has made some very entertaining films. SModcast is a great podcast that allows his fans to enjoy and connect with the man unlike what they would be able to do with other filmmakers they admire.

That’s the rundown on the SModcast from the perspective of this giant lizard.

-Irving the giant lizard

Music

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Greetings from Irving the giant lizard.

Today we’re gonna talk about music because, yes, this is a blog about film. I thought that since music and film are so intertwined I should do my best to relate this subject back to film. After all some of the most cinematic moments in film history is when music is utilized to its fullest potential. Before I move on to discussing the influence of Bob Dylan’s “Blowing in The Wind” on Bon Iver’s “The Wolves” I’m gonna give you an example of the power of music in film.

“Rise of the Valkyries” – Apocalypse Now

“Bohemian Rhapsody” (Queen) – Wayne’s World

“Stuck in the Middle With You” (Stealers Wheel) – Reservoir Dogs

Granted these movies are a little older, but it’s these scenes that have stood the test of time partially because of a great use of music. It makes a giant lizard very happy.

Bob Dylan – Blowing in the wind

Bon Iver – The Wolves

Bob Dylan is the king of folk music. His music often had a political message. The lyrics in this song takes a little time to interpret their meaning. Nothing has an overt meaning in the song. Granted, it wont take you days of contemplating to understand the meaning, but it’s important that it makes you think. The song also has an enveloping quality to it. Bob Dylan makes use of his voice and two instruments in the song. This is very minimalist considering today’s music with a thousand different things coming at you. I believe its the effective use of these instruments and his voice that creates that enveloping quality.

Bon Iver is an American indie folk band that has ten members. They’ve been a band since 2007. I found this song by watching the film “The Place Beyond the Pines”. This song plays right at the end and it’s very powerful. This song (The Wolves) has that same atmospheric quality to it that envelopes you. It also is very minimalist with only a few things going on at the same time. The lyrics in this song take the same amount of contemplation before you can discover their meaning.

An important difference between Bob Dylan and the band Bon Iver is that one is a single man and the other is a ten person band. Also there is a small rock influence on Bon Iver. The styles are very similar. However, because Bon Iver is a band they utilize a lot more instruments then Bob Dylan. Bon Iver is also a lot less politically charged. Their songs require interpretation, but they’re not calls to action. I think Bon Iver is different in this way because they’re not trying to communicate a strong message, but rather they’re reaching for a very unique style of music.

Irving the giant lizard signing off. Have a great day and the next time your watching a movies, listen to the music.

Net Neutrality

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Irving the giant lizard here. Today I shall talk to you about net neutrality. Yes this is a blog about film news and there hasn’t been a single post about film news, but net neutrality is in danger. The fact that net neutrality is in danger really makes me angry; it makes me so angry I could destroy two entire cities. However, I’m a lazy giant lizard so instead I will go over an article reporting the recent situation net neutrality finds itself in.  This article is by Marguerite Reardon and can be found here on cnet.

The article reports the recent news of the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) losing net neutrality in a court case against Verizon Communications. The article makes clear that Verizon Communications is not the only internet provider that wants net neutrality done with, because they pretty much all do. A technicality is the reason, reported by the article, that the court ruled in favor of Verizon Communications. The technicality is that the FCC had categorized internet providers as information providers, but had put them under the rules of “common carriage” which are rules for telecommunication services. The court did rule, however, that the FCC had the right to regulate the internet. This has put the FCC in a frenzy to create new rules that can hold up in court so that net neutrality may survive before internet providers impose on their customers. Democrats, in both the Senate and House of Representatives, have introduced a new bill to protect customers while the FCC works on making new rules. The prospects don’t look good for this bill though since Republicans haven’t been in support of net neutrality in the past and the Democrats have been split on whether or not a bill is needed to insure neutrality.

In this article there is a bit of time spent of what Democrats think about net neutrality, but there is only one statement about what Republicans think of neutrality. I would have like to see some more on what Republicans think of the current situation; not what they’ve done in the past. I don’t think Reardon favored the Democrats in her article. It just would’ve been nice to hear more about the Republicans. Reardon does remain pretty neutral, but support for net neutrality does begin to seep through her article. She uses words like protection and talks about the issue in a way that makes it seem like people are scrambling around to save neutrality before the evil internet providers hurt their customers and therefore hurt citizens of the U.S. If net neutrality were done away with I think the effect on film journalism would be negative, but it would not be devastating. Since these sites aren’t that popular, compared to others, access to them would just be slower than what it is now and probably cost more.

Net neutrality is an important issue. It affects the accessibility of information and the price of the internet. Without neutrality internet providers could discriminate against certain websites and favor others. This would be a very powerful ability.

Reardon has written a good article that explains the current situation, in regards to net neutrality, effectively. Reardon uses the basic facts and remains pretty neutral.

If your interested in net neutrality (you should be) then I would recommend researching the issue a little more thoroughly. Make sure to look at both sides of the issue and the implications of neutrality being done away with. After doing the above, I’d recommend hand writing a letter to your elected representatives explaining your position and what you would like them to do about it.  Talking to your family, friends, and co-workers also helps.

Anyways I have to get back to destroying cities. Have a good day!

-Irving the giant lizard