“I know that a documentary is never completely the truth,” says Heather Courtney. “It is always told through the filter of the director and the production/editing process. But what I strive for is to capture moments that are true, and to tell the story sincerely.” The story she tells in Where Soldiers Come From concerns three young men who go to war. As 20-year-old Dom Fredianelli explains, “I joined the National Guard just for the money,” a decision taken by his buddies Cole Smith and Bodi Meaudoin as well. At the start of the film—which premieres POV 10 November—they’re deep in snow, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It’s not long before they’re deployed to Afghanistan, part of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2008. The documentary follows the threesome as they make their way to war, a journey that, as the title has it, has as much to do with where they’re from as where they go.
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Contest is now closed! Please be sure to check pick up SMiLE on compact disc or vinyl!
Coinciding with the official release of their long lost SMiLE album this month, The Beach Boys have started up a web series entitled, “Starting a SMiLE”, to discuss the legendary SMiLE Sessions. We are sharing the first of the clips below, but for the rest, please check out the official Beach Boys YouTube page.
We know you’ve been looking forward to the album so be sure to pick up The SMiLE Sessions in a variety of formats. Your options to pick up the Never-Before-Released Original 1966-‘67 Album Sessions include:
* Find SMiLE on iTunes now
* Obtain the 2 CD set of SMiLE from Amazon
* Pick up the gorgeous gatefold 2 LP SMiLE at Amazon
* Shell out for The Smile Sessions Box Set with 5 CDs, 2 LPs, a 60-page book and more at Amazon
* Browse the special packages available exclusively at TheBeachBoys.com
“I was always a good soldier,” remembers Robynn Murray. “She could always carry a heavy ruck,” she says of herself, “And she’s the one they wanted female soldiers to look up to, because I could suck it up and I could take their sexual harassment and I could just shut up and drive on.” The pronoun changes make sense as you listen to Robynn describe her experiences in the U.S. Army—first in Iraq and now Stateside, as a veteran contending with post-traumatic stress and red tape. Every day is an ordeal. “I’d like to say I’m super, but I’d be lying” she tells a collections agency officer on the phone at the start of Poster Girl, Sara Nesson’s exceptional short documentary, premiering 9 November on HBO2. As Robynn works through her memories and her ongoing struggles with the VA, the film shows how she’s affected by PTSD and also, crucially, how she finds strength and a sense of resilience in her art. If trauma is never quite over, Robynn is increasingly able to articulate and share her experience: she engages in protest against the war and discovers a community among other veterans—specifically, a group called Combat Paper Project that makes art out of old uniforms—Poster Girl makes the case that, as extraordinary as Robynn may be, she’s also too typical. She may have been a poster girl, literally appearing with her weapon and two women comrades on the cover of Army Magazine, but she’s also come out the other side.
Miami’s Forward Motion Records was founded by local musician and producer, Fernando Perdomo, as a way to bring attention to lesser known musicians from the South Florida area. While much of Miami’s music scene is dominated by rap, hip-hop, and dance, Forward Motion Records strives to showcase rock, power pop, folk, and other styles not generally associated with the area.
From the bluesy rock of Omine, to the Chris Alvy Band’s blend of ‘70s classic rock and power pop, to singer/songwriters like Tyler Bernhardt and Jill Hartmann, Forward Motion Records has a varied and impressive roster of both new and experienced musicians. Certainly, Forward Motion Records is eclectic and ambitious in scope – particularly for a label so young – yet it offers a welcome glimpse into the diversity of music in South Florida, despite its lack of wider attention.
Having celebrated its first anniversary in September, Forward Motion Records has released a digital sampler of artists that performed at a recent anniversary show held at Revolution Live in Ft. Lauderdale.
“When I think about myself, I say, ‘But I didn’t want to the son of a master.’ That’s the high Tibetan Buddhist Master, Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, and his son is Yeshi Silvano Namkhai, born and raised in Italy by his father and Catholic mother. “As long as I remember,” Yeshi says in My Reincarnation, “my father was always traveling to teach Dzogchen.” Resisting the expectations that come along with being recognized at birth as the reincarnation of a famous spiritual master, Yeshi spends years finding other outlets for his energies, with Jennifer Fox’s camera in tow for nearly 20 years. Yeshi seems open about his doubts: “A person who doesn’t want to be what he is. And he ought to be something that he doesn’t like to be. Obviously for my father, I’m not a mistake. Because for him it’s right, for me it’s wrong.” His questions multiply as he grows older, marries and has his own children, and finds a “stable” career with IBM. Perhaps unsurprisingly, has job has him on the road frequently, and as he drives, he talks to the camera: “I live in a very common Italian way,” he says, “I’m happy to be a normal, common father.”
And yet he’s also restless. As Norbu’s fame expands, the film shows him with students in search of peace and wisdom: he offers cryptic comfort: “It’s how Buddha said,” he tells a young man in tears over his HIV positive status. “Everything is unreal, like a big dream. That is something real.” But as you come to understand Yeshi’s frustrations with his absent, much-adored dad, the film also suggests he’s leaning away from his secular life, thinking more about his father’s legacy. With sections divided by underwater scenes, making visible Yeshi’s own wondering at how his hesitation is turning into something like certainty. If the film can’t show his changing feelings, or even his decision to perform such changes, it can suggest how he fears and how he takes risks, even how he comes to appreciate the paradoxes of time, how his past can become his future, his memories his visions. And in these suggestions, the film might emulate Yeshi’s own process.