Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

Starting in the Fields – The Beginning of Fabric

September 2, 2012

Since Labor Day was first celebrated in 1882, to honor the hard work and achievements of Americans, it has also become synonymous with the end of summer, picnics, parades, and a last wave of summer release movies. Here are some films that look at the hard work that goes into growing the crops that ultimately become fabrics that we use to make quilts, clothing and many other everyday objects.

Please note, I am not a farmer, textile expert, or scientist. As you move through this list, I hope you are inspired, motivated to learn more, and will take a moment to pause and think about the story behind the fabric or clothing you are about to purchase …

Irish Flax Farming in the 1950s. I may be romanticizing here but the film shows the sense of community in this farming endeavor – certainly a lot of work but everyone pulls together. I especially love how the kids have found play in the hard work.

This short film, Be Linen by Benoit Millot is absolutely beautiful.

The Conventional Trap is a heart wrenching look at conventional cotton farming in India.

After the above video, I had to include one about organic farming in India, Back to Growing Organic Cotton, and one organization, Chetna Organic, that is helping farmers integrate organic farming processes that are sustainable  and profitable.

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Three Movies to Feed Your Creativity

May 19, 2011

If you are in a creative lull or just simply needing to escape your own life for a few hours and recharge, here are three movies worth watching if you missed them when they first came out:

Waste Land – This documentary (nominated for an Oscar in 2010) about the artist Vik Muniz and his collaborative work with the pickers of recyclable materials at the Jardim Gramacho in Rio de Janeiro is inspiring for those of us watching and transformational for the people profiled. You never know how your creative work is going to impact people, especially when you involve them in the process. Recently, a friend of mine was volunteering in a 4th grade classroom.  One little boy was less than enthusiastic about her photography project – football was his passion, not photography. By the end of class, he pulled her aside and asked very quietly if you could study photography in college. When she replied yes, he responded, “I know what I want to do when I grow up then. I want to go to college to become a photographer.”

This movie is also excellent for starting conversations at home and in the class room on many social and environmental issues.

Michael Jackson’s This Is It – If you missed this behind the scenes look as Michael Jackson and numerous other talented performers rehearsed songs and dance sequences for 50 sold-out shows in London, put it on your movies-to-watch list now. Despite what you might think of Michael Jackson as a person and the choices he made, there is no denying that he was a talented musician who could define his vision and then make it happen. Watching him refine the details of the show – a process that had likely been going on for days and perhaps would have continued until the 50th performance – made me understand the passion he had for his art, something we all want to feel in our chosen field. I only wish this show had reached the London stage.

The Secret of Kells – This animated film was nominated for an Academy Award in 2010 in the Best Animated Feature category, but somehow I never heard about it until last Saturday night. While watching, I kept wanting to stop the movie to study the colors and images.  When it was over, I had to do a “data dump” into my sketchbook – there were so many ideas I needed to get down on paper!

If you have an unexpected block of time open up and subscribe to Netflix, all of these movies can be watched instantly. Just queue one up, sink back into a chair, and wait to be inspired.

Want to share these movies with your kids (or watch with your parents) but not sure if they are appropriate? Check out the reviews and recommendations on commonsensemedia.org. A friend recommended this website and I have found it to be an invaluable resource for checking out movies I’m not sure about or for even finding movies that I have long forgotten or never heard about.