Catching the Sun

The UMN Institute of the Environment’s Sustainability Education program hosted a showing at the Bell Museum of “Catching the Sun” “a 2015 documentary film on the growth of the solar power industry. Directed by Shalini Kantayya, the film features portraits of diverse personalities and their roles in the transition to solar power” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catching_the_Sun_(film)). While there were other events associated with the showing and even a Q & A with the filmmaker Shalini Kantayya after the film, I was only able to see the film. Its a great film stressing the importance of the growing solar power industry. You can learn more about the film here: http://www.catchingthesun.tv/

Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience

Tonight was the “Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience” at the Xcel Energy Center, but the day started by visiting the Science Museum of Minnesota and seeing the Omni Theater’s newest show ‘A Beautiful Planet’ which was wonderful and then looked at the fun Mythic Creatures exhibit.

Here is the official blurb:
“Enter the world of Westeros with the Game of Thrones® Live Concert Experience – an immersive music and visual experience that will bring the Seven Kingdoms to life on a scale never seen before. Using state-of-the-art technology, Game of Thrones® composer Ramin Djawadi, along with a full orchestra and choir, will take fans on a musical journey through the realm – from King’s Landing to Winterfell, along the northern stretches of the Kingsroad to The Wall and across the Narrow Sea to Braavos, Meereen and beyond. Fans of the groundbreaking, critically-acclaimed and Emmy® Award-winning show will finally have an opportunity to immerse themselves in the Game of Thrones® universe through the breathtaking score created by Ramin Djawadi” (http://www.xcelenergycenter.com/events/detail/game-of-thrones)

Sloane, also a Game of Thrones fan, went with me and we had a good time and the music was wonderful, but they kicked us and everyone else in our section out of our seats (we had row 1 and they gave us row 18 in another section) and there were really bad sight lines. They had originally changed the date of the concert after selling tickets, from Friday Feb 17 to Monday Feb 20. They did not tell us ahead of time about the seats, just made us go to another line once we were inside and just handed us new tickets. No reason or explanation as to why. So seats I handpicked months ago, were no longer ours. There were empty rows around us, so we wondered if this was the reason for kicking us out of our seats/section – there were just too many unsold tickets (the PR for the show was bad and no one I know saw a television ad). The new seats we got were ok, but if we were a few more rows to the left we would not have been able to see anything. There were two big screens and lots of little ones, but all the action (clips from the show) took place on the two big screens and unless you were directly in front of these two big screens your seat was not very good. This was just weird, as why did they go through all the trouble of staging this big event and not allow all seats to see the big screens. Also it looked like if you had the VIP seats on the floor you could not see the big screens either, but that’s just a guess. So despite the stage being a ‘theater in the round’ they had all the individual performers at the other end, so you could not see them, except on the little screens and they really did not move around the stage. The show went on for an hour, then there was a 15 minute intermission, and then another hour. There were also spots on the big screen that were not working, a rope ladder and wires slightly to the left of us that were sometimes in the way. We also wondered if somethings were not working, as we both expected more lights and special effects. The music and show clips did not really follow any chronology, they just sort of lumped events and people together and we expected to see more of certain people and did not really see them. They ended the concert with a bunch of clips from the end of Season 6 and there were no hints for Season 7. The music and clips from the ‘Battle of the Bastards’ episode was probably the best part of the concert, but it was an amazing scene from Season 6. There was a cute little encore with a ‘In Memoriam’ Westeros style while a few musicians played ‘The Bear and the Maiden Fair.’ There was also a tiny exhibit of 5 or 6 costumes and a Iron Throne, so that was disappointing as I expected them to have more and in one of the Ticketmaster blurbs it mentioned a merchandise area and there was just a table with t-shirts, so nothing special there either. Sloane mentioned that she thought the sound was too loud a few times and I would agree with her, but I also thought that sometimes the music sounded too good. Overall I had a good time and the music was wonderful, plus the shows cinematography which really comes though on the big screen, but there were too many other distractions going on for it to rank in my top concert category.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Tonight (December 15) was the opening of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story! Que evil Imperial March theme. I was going to go to the midnight show, but for some reason they don’t do midnight shows anymore and instead have a bunch of earlier shows in the evening before the official release date. Going to a midnight show at 6pm just seems wrong, so I got out of work early and went to the 11pm show. I was also suppose to go on Friday morning (December 16) with Mom, but with the bad weather coming on Friday and Saturday she decided to stay awake and meet me at the movies.

Rogue One was really good, the special effects were amazing, and I loved all the tiny little references (hello Yavin 4) to the original Star Wars movie. People are saying its as good as Empire, hmmm I don’t think so, but what I think people like about Rouge is there are no easy answers and no happy endings. Life is messy, people die, shitty stuff happens, the good guys don’t always win (like in real life), but it sometimes happens in a galaxy far, far away with sarcastic robots. You will also be happy to know that no Bothans were harmed in the making of Rogue One, because those spies were after the second Death Star plans and not the first.

This has been the trifecta of movies this year with a new Star Trek movie in July, a new Harry Potter movie in November, and now a new Star Wars movie! Life just doesn’t get any better for sci-fi/fantasy movie fans.

There were Jedi and Wookiees at the theater tonight, here is a Chewie wannabee with Mom.

IMDB ‘Little Wing’ update

Little Wing is a Finnish movie looking to go to the Golden Globes. So I backed their campaign and my ‘special thanks’ on IMDB just went up. The movie is “tells the story of 12-year-old Varpu (Linnea Skog), who’s quickly growing to adulthood, and about her mother (Paula Vesala), who doesn’t want to grow up. Varpu lives with her mother and has never met her father. One night Varpu has enough of her riding buddies and her mother. She steals a car and drives up north in search of her father, of whom she only knows the name. But her father is not exactly what she had expected. Meeting him trigger something in Varpu and Siru’s life, making them realize their role in each other’s lives, and in the world” (www.imdb.com/title/tt4636254). Hopefully they will make it to the Golden Globes! Go Little Wing!

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was finally released today! The screenplay arrived on my Kindle Thursday night, but the movie and screenplay were officially released today (aka Friday November 18). I wanted to see the movie before I read the book, so while it was tempting to read it last night, I did hold off and devoured the book today. The book designers did a wonderful job with the artwork in the book, but I was hoping for a bit more backstory. As with screenplays, you always want more and with the world of Harry Potter a screenplay is just the trip of the iceberg.

So an extremely busy day filled with appointments, a snowstorm, and a new Harry Potter movie. Overall a fantastic movie and book and I am one happy Muggle.

Star Trek at 50!

A little show appeared on television today back on September 8, 1966 and after many years, TV shows, movies, books, and conventions, it is still going strong. As the years have past who has Star Trek not influenced? NASA, Apple, and the American culture are just a few. I mean, didn’t everyone have a friend named Deyette who made them costumes (1st season Next Gen) for the local science fiction convection back in the 1980s? Well if you didn’t lets just say that you led a very sad adolescence.

Happy 50th birthday Star Trek! Live long and prosper!

Some of my Star Trek memorabilia

For the Love of Spock

Leonard “Spock” Nimoy’s son Adam Nimoy filmed a documentary on his dad “For the Love of Spock” and launched a Kickstarter campaign in 2015 to complete it. Spock and Star Trek! Hello, of course I had to backed it. One of the things that you could do was send in your own Spock photo and it would appear in mosaic poster of Spock. The documentary comes out on September 9, 2016 and they sent out the mosaic poster today. Can you find my ‘Live Long and Prosper’ (LLAP) hand? My hand is in front of a piece of art created by Leonard Nimoy of his own hand in the Vulcan Gesture of ‘Live Long and Prospter.’ You can find out about the film here http://fortheloveofspock.com/

 

The photo I sent in of my hand!

The mosaic poster! Can you find my hand?

Can you see me now?


Closeup!

IMDB ‘The Fencer’ update

My IMDB page has been updated to include the Finnish movie ‘The Fencer’ as a “Special Thanks” for backing the film in their promotion campaign. ‘The Fencer’ was the first ever Finnish film to be nominated for a Golden Globe and to be shortlisted for an Oscar. The film is: “Fleeing from the Russian secret police because of his controversial past, a young Estonian fencer named Endel is forced to return to his homeland, where he begins to train a group of young children in the art of fencing. The past however catches up with him and Endel has to choose between letting his students down or putting his life in danger. The movie is partially based on the real life story of an Estonian fencer Endel Nelis (1925-1993)” (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2534634/). While nominated, it sadly did not win the Golden Globe and did not make the final cut for the Oscars, but still it was very exciting to see a Finnish film make it that far!


Back to the Future Day!

Today is Back to the Future Day! Where on October 21, 2015 at 4:29 PM PST Marty McFly and Doc Brown went back to the future! But are we living in the future? No. Because I don’t have a hoverboard. Its all about the hoverboards!

The internet, social media, regular media, Time lords and companions, movie studios (Universal Pictures put out a ‘Jaws 19’ movie preview), various world leaders & politicians (Prime Minister David Cameron mentioned it in his Parliament speech and Bernie Sanders had a great photo), NASA, entrepreneurs, and even the OED Word of the Day (it was ‘hoverboard’) got into the Back to the Future (#BTTF) spirit!

(Sources: Twitter images found on Twitter and OED World of the Day found on http://www.oed.com/)