What does ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ want? More.

“My name is Jordan Belfort. The year I turned 26 I made $49 million dollars which really pissed me off because it was 3 shy of a million a week.”

More. More money. More drugs. More sex. More power. More everything. Why? Because more is never enough.

That’s the driving philosophy for Jordan Belfort, the over-the-top-thrill-seeking subject of Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street.”  Based on a true story, the film captures Belfort’s exploits in the 1990s as a penny stockbroker (aka swindler) who accumulates so much wealth that he can literally throw around stacks of money without giving it a second thought. Worry not, Belfort has other hobbies too. In between selling pink sheets, he manages to find time to pursue just about any drug and sexual position possible. Yes, there are endless yacht parties, superficial luxuries, hookers, orgies, an infinite supply of booze and sliminess — but the crowning achievement for keeping company morale high: midget tossing competitions.

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How to Build a Fountain of Youth

The smell of freshly cut grass on a lazy summer day. The sensation of a melting popsicle covering your lips and cooling down your soul during a sticky heat wave.  Getting soaked under a summer storm.

The tango-dancing leaves of spring.

Your first snowflake. Your first snowman. Your first paper route. The first time you quit it.

The crashing vastness and overwhelming busyness of your first visit Downtown. Your first trip abroad. The first time you get to press on a gas pedal. That very first kiss.

Our youth consists of many firsts.
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I Can’t Sleep

I have a complicated relationship with sleep.

We don’t talk on the phone for hours. We don’t exchange clever emails. We don’t even text.

We don’t do anything at all because…I can’t sleep.

Well, it’s not so much that I can’t, but that I won’t. After all, it’s such a bloody waste of time.  I mean, you’re gonna get plenty of sleep after you die, right? So why rush things?

I’m convinced that eventually people will evolve and we will no longer require any more than an hour’s worth of sleep. Why the extra hour? Nostalgia.

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Mourning Fictional Characters…

So the strangest thing happened. Apparently Keanu Reeves was visiting a close friend of mine – a distant relative of his. Since he was a newcomer to this fair city, and friendless, she asked me to meet Keanu and show him around a little. I obliged. Continue reading

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‘The Bling Ring’ & the Age of ME

We live in a society that is obsessed with celebrity. That statement cannot come as a shock.

Whether it’s the usual suspects, which consist of movie stars with megawatt smiles, or athletes with the Herculean abilities, or larger-than-life, carefully crafted musicians, we can’t get enough.

We’re so addicted to celebrity that we even worship at the alter of people who are famous solely for being famous (eg. reality TV stars). Well, some of us do.

The real-life story behind The Bling Ring, which Sofia Coppola has adapted from a Vanity Fair article and brought to life on the big screen, makes for fascinating fodder.

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The Cannes Report: ‘Blue is the Warmest Color’ nabs Palme d’Or

It has been a dizzying 12-days of premieres, red carpets, soirees, yachts, paparazzi, and cinematic treats at the 66th Cannes Film Festival, which opened with a gala screening of The Great Gatsby. Although rain made a special guest appearance at the France Riviera for part of the festival, the mood was not dampened. Perhaps the weather was merely a clever ploy to encourage packed houses at film screening.

The festival handed its most prestigious award, the Palme d’Or to the coming-of-age, three-hour sensual lesbian romance, Blue is the Warmest Colour: The Life of Adele (French: La Vie d’Adèle), by Tunisian-born director Abdellatif Kechiche. The Steven Spielberg led jury presented the award not only to the film’s director, but also to its two fearless actresses, Léa Seydoux and Adele Exarchopoulos.

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Transmedia – A Richer Canvas for Telling Stories

Let’s talk about Transmedia, for a moment.

Long gone are the days of static content. Consumers are looking for more and transmedia storytelling offers an increasingly popular approach for creating property-based universes. Transmedia content itself is also evolving. It’s becoming more dynamic, more interactive, offering greater opportunities to engage audiences with creative user-generated content that adds to the storytelling experience. It is becoming more communal.
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Dogs…

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Random Photos

I’ve been walking around lately with my little Leica camera, snapping random photos, capturing still images, here are some:

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My Meeting with the Dalai Lama

In April of 2004, I got a chance to cross paths with his Holiness the Dalai Lama. I was awaiting his arrival, sitting patiently in the front area of a room that was packed with international media along with their fancy cameras and credentials. I’ve never experienced anything quite like this – we were all under this hot light bulb, waiting to go off at any moment. The energy in the room was palpable and I was meeting some of the most fascinating people ranging from journalists, to book authors, to documentarians. Their stories often no less interesting than that of the special guest we were all anticipating that day.
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Living in Public

I often wonder how honest and open one needs to be with the world. To live in hiding, feels like a lie. Yet, thoughts and feelings are precious. Play-dough in the wrong hands. So, should they be guarded, or given away? Judiciously, or a free-for-all?

Artists find that their medium, whatever it may be, allows for the expression of this. They put it into their paintings, words, designs, music, and other assorted canvases.

Actors often share so much of themselves within their work that it can be crushingly painful to undergo. Some are willing to discuss this, even with television cameras that bring their inner-lives to millions of people. Others, are reclusive, unwilling to exhibit the emotions they opt to pour only into their work. Hence, protecting their humanity.

That, however, isn’t always an option. An actor’s words are written by someone else, even if their world of behavior isn’t. But those words allow them a measure of privacy, if they so choose.

A writer, the moment he turns introspective, allows strangers into the most precious places, the little corners of the heart that echo and ache.  To write with heart, means to open it, to share it.  There’s no room to hide. It’s not safe.

And what, I wonder, happens to someone who has no canvas?

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David Ayer & Michael Peña on END OF WATCH

Filmmaker David Ayer (“Training Day”) does something a little different with ‘End of Watch.’ Instead of focusing on corrupt cops, for a change, he focuses on the ones that put their lives on the line every day in order to do what they have sworn they would: Serve and Protect.
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