A clip from "All in this Tea"

Flower Films' Les Blank shot his latest movie on digital video a

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Flower Films' Les Blank shot his latest movie on digital video a

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October 2007

Splatter du Jour

Screenwriter David L. Tamarin picks his top 10 horror films to watch this Halloween


A frame from Takashi Miike's "Audition"

Screenwriter and blogger David L. Tamarian says that he was fascinated, even as a young child, by images of Norman Bates wielding his overactive knife and Damien's sweet British nurse hanging herself. Today, he makes his own gory, grindhouse films, taking inspiration from the likes of Japan's Takashi Miike, the director of Audition and the forthcoming God's Puzzle. So for Halloween, we asked David to compile his list of the ten scariest movies of all time. Rent them at your own risk.

Horror movies have always fascinated me. Norman Bates running across the staircase with a knife. Jack Nicholson screaming "Here's Johnny!" through a hole he axed through the bathroom door. Reagan's head turning around 360 degrees after she vomited on the priest. Damien's maid hanging herself at his birthday party.

No Ordinary Granny

Filmmaker Marlo Poras discusses the making of Run Granny Run, a film about political activist Doris Haddock


Granny D

And check out Michele's interview with documentarian Marlo Poras about the making of Run Granny Run, a film about political activist Doris "Granny D" Haddock.

It's no ordinary day when a 90-year old grandmother sets out on a walk across the United States to make a point, and Doris "Granny D" Haddock is no ordinary woman. The protagonist of Run Granny Run spent 14 months in 2000 on her cross-country journey to bring attention to campaign finance reform.

Airing Your Dirty Laundry

The complicated ethics of making a film about your family


Doug Block and his mom

Family secrets are kind of like community secrets,” observes filmmaker and Duke University professor Tom Rankin. “The energy that guards them really inflates their value.” In Airing Your Dirty Laundry, Erin Trahan talks with filmmakers Doug Birch (51 Birch Street) and Lucia Small (My Father, The Genius) about the difficult choices they were compelled to make when they decided to make films about their families.

Doug Block wasn’t sure he had a film yet. His mother had passed away and he was videotaping his father’s move from the family home for posterity. Block had every reason to believe his parents’ 54-year marriage was happy. Then, riding next to his father one afternoon, he asked, “Do you miss mom?”

“No, I can’t say I miss her,” said his father, staring straight ahead.

His Muse is the Rule of Law

A conversation with James Cooper of Proyecto Acceso, which blends media and social justice


Law and Border: James Cooper uses film to promote the rule of law in Latin America.

"I used to be a lawyer who wanted to be an artist, but then I went to therapy. Now I am an artist whose medium is the rule of law. That sounds so pretentious, I want to puke." So says California law professor James Cooper, who talks with Mike Hofman about how his grassroots group, Proyecto Acceso, uses various forms of media—including documentary film, reality television, music videos, and animation—to promote the rule of law in Latin America.

James Cooper is one of those globetrotting guys who has more stamps in his passport than you do. A Cambridge-educated Canadian who now teaches law at California Western School of Law in San Diego, Cooper spends much of his time organizing media-related projects in Latin America, where he teaches people how to use everything from documentary films and reality TV shows, to public service announcements and animated work, to promote concepts related to the rule of law. Cooper's group, which he runs from his law school perch and an office in Santiago, Chile, is called Proyecto Acceso.

A Conversation with Les Blank

David Tamés talks with the filmmaker about his experiences with Werner Herzog, why he self distributes, and which of his films he considers his favorite


Still of All in this Tea

David Tamés asks Flower Films pioneer Les Blank about his one-time subject, Werner Herzog; filming his latest, All in This Tea, digitally and in China; and why he self-distributes his films. To view a clip from All in This Tea or any of the films mentioned in this month's feature articles, visit the Watch page.

In his new film All In This Tea, director Les Blank operates at the far extremes of technology, using digital video to explore an old-world subject matter: artisan, handmade tea.

A clip from "My Father, the Genius"

Lucia Small's film about her father was not exactly what he had in mind

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Lucia Small's film about her father was not exactly what he had in mind

"Educación Financiera," an animated short from Proyecto Acceso

An innovative effort to teach the poor what they should expect from banking institutions

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An innovative effort to teach the poor what they should expect from banking institutions

The trailer for "Tarnation"

Jonathan Caouette's film puts his mother's mental illness on display

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Jonathan Caouette's film puts his mother's mental illness on display