Michael John Dunaway Lifestream

May 26, 2010

Alex Gibney!

Filed under: Uncategorized — michaeljohndunaway @ 4:31 pm

My interview with Academy Award winning director Alex Gibney, on his new film Casino Jack, at Paste Magazine here.

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April 21, 2010

Drake rocks the house at BMI Unsigned Urban Showcase

Filed under: Uncategorized — michaeljohndunaway @ 10:21 am

Let me tell you what, Catherine Brewton, Dave Claassen, and the rest of the BMI Atlanta folks know how to throw a party. Last night (a TUESDAY night at that!) as the topper for their Unsigned Urban Showcase, they brought in the hottest urban act going, the one and only Drake. He went on an hour and a half late, the room was fifteen degrees too hot, and there were sound and sightline issues that threw even Drake himself off. But even all of that couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the sweaty crowd packed elbow to elbow into the Havana Club, as Drake ripped through the songs from his soon-to-be-released album. Big Boi, Young Joc, and a host of other BMI luminaries partied with us in the gauze-curtain-enclosed VIP cabanas. A night to remember!

April 19, 2010

Banksy!

Filed under: Uncategorized — michaeljohndunaway @ 2:34 pm

My review of the hot new Banksy-directed documentary, Exit Through the Gift Shop, is the lead story on the Paste website today. Check it out! Permalink here.

AFF Spotlight: I Am Comic

Filed under: Uncategorized — michaeljohndunaway @ 2:29 pm

Comic-turned-director Jordan Brady directed this look inside the lives of stand-up comics. He interviewed over 120 comics along the way, including folks like Jeff Foxworthy, Sarah Silverman, Roseanne Barr, and many others, so he’s obviously got a wealth of great material to work with. But he slices and dices it with a sense of timing that only a performer could produce. And he finds a fantastic through-story when his retired mentor, in the course of filming the documentary, decides he just can’t take being out of the spotlight any longer and decides to launch a comeback. A well made film that’s a lot of fun to see. More reaction (and video with Brady and Foxworthy) coming soon in my Paste review.

April 17, 2010

AFF Spotlight: The Things We Carry

Filed under: Uncategorized — michaeljohndunaway @ 12:11 pm

The Sisters Lobit, Athena (L) and Alyssa, of The Things We Carry

I’m not sure I’ll see a narrative film at this year’s Atlanta Film Festival as moving, sincere, or wise as The Things We Carry. It’s the story of Emily, a world wanderer who gets word while living in Thailand that her mother, an addict, has died.

Alyssa Lobit, writer and star of The Things We Carry

When she returns to Los Angeles, she’s faced not only with the detritus of her mother’s life but also with an atrophying relationship with her sister, who chose to remain in LA to take care of their mother all these years. The film successfully avoids the usual learning-and-hugging rigamarole and has a sincerity that is touching. A large part of that is due to the strong writing and even stronger acting of Alyssa Lobit, who I can’t wait to see act again. There’s an impressive supporting cast as well, led by the wonderful Alexis Rhee (Crash) as the sisters’ mother and including a wonderful turn by Daniel Zacapa (Resurrection Blvd).

Athena Lobit, producer of The Things We Carry

Alyssa’s sister Athena Lobit is the producer and was a partner from the very beginning, and the story has autobiographical echoes for the sisters. Look for my Paste review for more analysis, but in the meantime go see this film! See the trailer here, and for you ATL folks, buy tickets here for Tuesday’s 2:30PM showing at Landmark. All others, go here to buy the DVD. (Photos by Michael Dunaway)

April 16, 2010

Hero

Filed under: Uncategorized — michaeljohndunaway @ 3:29 pm

…is a word that gets tossed around an awful lot (not least by people like Celine Dion and Mariah Carey). But last night I was in the presence of eight people who are American heroes by any definition. The opening film of this year’s Atlanta Film Festival was Stanley Nelson’s magnificent Freedom Riders, based on the Ray Arsenault book of the same name. I’ve learned about the Freedom Riders my whole life, but somehow until last night their incredible courage and their unbelievable devotion to non-violence never really hit home. I feel honored to have been there.

Atlanta Film Festival Kicks off!

Filed under: Uncategorized — michaeljohndunaway @ 3:23 pm

Lots of fun stuff to look forward to this year. Here, celebrating with two dear friends Dave Claassen and Kathryn Taylor.

May 14, 2009

Please help me SAVE PASTE!

Filed under: Uncategorized — michaeljohndunaway @ 1:46 pm

March 26, 2009

A goosebump moment

Filed under: Uncategorized — michaeljohndunaway @ 8:41 am

where_the_wild_things_are_movie_imageWOW, WOW, and WOW. I was so worried when I heard Where the Wild Things Are was being made into a movie (even with the great Spike Jonze directing), but I have watched this trailer five times this morning and gotten chills every time. Turn out the lights, download in HD, maximize the window, turn the speakers waaaay up, and see if the same doesn’t happen to you…

March 10, 2009

One more note on Battlestar Galactica

Filed under: Uncategorized — michaeljohndunaway @ 3:53 pm

I second everything Josh says about (the new) Battlestar Galactica on the Paste site (which you should all be reading, by the way!), and I’d add one more caveat/exhortation. My wife watched the first episode with me and begged off continuing because of the lack of softness in any of the characters; everyone seemed to have inexorably hard edges. It was a valid criticism, but needless to say I now wish she had stuck with it. The show’s moments of tenderness are all the more striking for their being so hard-fought and won at such great cost. These are not hard people, these are people made hard by living in a time of war, living in a time of constant threat of annihilation. The brief flashes we get to see of the almost desperate softness beneath all the armor are mesmerizing. So stick with it.

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