The Hal Blog II



One of my favorite DVD/Blu-ray review sites has reviewed my unreleased work-print cut of my film which, for those who don't know (is there anyone who doesn't know at this point?), was taken away by the producers and distributor and re-cut into something unrecognizable from the origina/

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This is what happens when good films fall into the wrong hands. The dark indie comedy CUMMINGS FARM directed and edited by Andrew Drazek, produced by and starring Jordan Kessler, written by and starring Ted Beck, as well as Adam Busch (BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER), Laura Si/

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Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 30, 2010 1:11PM

Tony Curtis, Arthur Penn and Gloria Stewart: Saying Farewell


This week has been a sad one. Two landmark actors and one landmark director (not to mention film editor Sally Menke, whom I wrote about earlier) have left us. While we know that this is the way of things and that these moments are inevitable, it still hits hard/

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SEPTEMBER 28, 2010 3:01PM

Goodbye, Sally Menke

Horrific and tragic. Film editor Sally Menke's body was found at the bottom of a ravine in Griffith Park. She apparently left for a hike with her dog and never returned. This turned out to be on the hottest day in Los Angeles recorded history. Sally's dog was also found,/

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SEPTEMBER 22, 2010 4:14PM

Grateful Dead Go FURTHUR At The Greek


I've been listening here and there to this current incarnation of the Grateful Dead legacy; bits and pieces as they appear on and other sites. While I am already a fan of their newest lead guitarist John Kadlecik (of Dark Star Orchestra fame), I have found what I'/

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After a lifetime of waiting, I was finally able to catch up with a screening of Stanley Kubrick's infamous first narrative feature film FEAR AND DESIRE. Made at the youthful age of 23, after having shot and directed a few short documentaries and having been a photographer for LOOK magazine/

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SEPTEMBER 11, 2010 12:19PM

Happy Birthday, Mickey Hart!

SEPTEMBER 10, 2010 1:03PM

Every Country Has Its Own Rev. Terry Jones


Protests throughout the Middle-East condemning Reverend Terry Jones' claim that he will burn copies of the Quran (which the Reverend then said he would not do and is now reconsidering again), have resulted in injuries and the stupidest of all responses, the burning of the American fla/

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Being that Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY is still, lo these many years later, my all-time favorite film, nothing could thrill me more than getting a sneak peak at effects wizard Douglas Trumbull's new documentary on the making of 2001. This looks to be, from all reports, the quintes/

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SEPTEMBER 8, 2010 1:19PM

Happy Birthday, Pigpen!

Grateful Dead with Ron "Pigpen" Mckernan performing "Next Time You See Me" in Copenhagen 1972 at Tivoli Gardens. Magnificent!


I'll start out by saying that I'm thrilled to see so many people standing up to oppose Reverend Terry Jones' intention to hold a "Burn A Quran Day" event on September 11th. In the face of the overwhelming ignorance, hatred and blatant religious and ethnic bigotry opposing the/

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This whole notion of a "Ground Zero Mosque" is a complete fabrication created and spurred on by politicians who are using Americans' misguided fear as a tool. And the consequences are dire. Now simply being a Muslim is reason enough to fear for your life. Is this America? Yes, it's

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AUGUST 24, 2010 9:02PM

American Shame & Alienation

This video will be replayed for generations. And our shame will be insurmountable.


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With the release of the documentary THE TILLMAN STORY, I am taking my cue from and printing here Kevin Tillman's 2006 article. This was, as some of you will remember, just before the election of President Obama. We were at the tail-end of the Bush/Cheney/
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We all know the arguments by now so I won't repeat them. But what I will say is simply this: In order for a Muslim community center being built several blocks away from the 9/11 site to be disrespectful of those who suffered on 9/11, one must first believe that

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AUGUST 15, 2010 10:06PM

Boo George Lucas. Again As Always.

My admiration for Mr. Lucas fizzled out many moons ago. His first three films were simply stunning. THX-1138, AMERICAN GRAFFITI and the very first STAR WARS. The man didn't return to directing until he decided to single-handedly destroy the "franchise" he'd built in the late 70's and early 80/

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If you live in Los Angeles or plan on visiting sometime in the next week, the Ray Harryhausen exhibit over at the Academy Of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences will be there through August 22nd. That gives you just 7 days to make it over there if you haven't already (or go/

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In the fall of 1973, Tom Snyder devoted a full hour of his then brand-spankin' new THE TOMORRROW SHOW to an interview with legendary director Alfred Hitchcock. The show was then repeated on Memorial Day 1980. Since that time, the footage was thought to be lost or destroyed.

Well, it

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Continuing their newly discovered ability to dip into the 1960's, DSO has once again recreated a 1969 Dead show. This one from 04/22/69 at The Ark in Boston, MA. This is the oldest set of Grateful Dead music DSO has ever performed in their 13 years together. Very/

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It's always fun for me to celebrate Jerry Garcia week. Even though it ends on the anniversary of his death (15 years ago now), it also ends with new discoveries of the man and his music and a healthy dose of revisits to some of my favorite memories. It's an/

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AUGUST 9, 2010 2:12AM

Farewell, Patricia Neal...

Actress Patricia Neal died Sunday of complications from lung cancer at the age of 84. This was one hell of a strong woman. An amazing life, an amazing actress. She is missed...


We've been listening to the music of Jerry Garcia all week, now lets listen to some of his words. Not lyrics (most of which were written by Robert Hunter anyway), but interviews.

Hulu has a program titled NBC News On Stage: Grateful Dead: Jerry Garcia Speaks, Vol. 1. In it are/

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In addition to being the lead guitarist/vocalist for the Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia fronted and participated in many other projects that allowed him to explore his forever-expanding appreciation of and fascination with all types of music. 

Here are some of my favorites:

Here's Jerry reh

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We return once again to the famed Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City, NJ for a gig that was played on this very day 36 years ago. And what a gig it was! Originally dated for 8/2/74, torrential rain forced the show to be cancelled and rescheduled for the 6th (with/

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