Month: January 2014

Project Update: Just What in the Sam Hill…


It’s well into February and while I originally wanted to bring in “testers” (in The Wire parlance) to play around and knock around the site to ready it for a more prime-time-ish debut, it ain’t quite time yet. My development team and I have scaled the tallest of the mountains, however – constructing the largest part of what I see as an immersive experience in viewing and recommendation management – and each peak hereafter will, in comparison, resemble the proverbial molehill. But these molehills are, for a fact, crucial to the success of my project as I’ve envisioned it. And so I got to do what I got to do.

Donations will not be rejected. While I am not destitute, and I am able/willing to cover further employment of my hugely talented team for the next few months to a time as yet undetermined, and so there are no additional fundraising drives in the offing. But if a few drachmas or shekels or whatnot happened to show up on my doorstep, I would take them in, with thanks.

Fundraising Update #3, Deadline, Project Stuff

ScreenHunter_21 May. 26 14.11

This morning, the current total is holding at $585. That number still amazes me, and I want to say thanks, once again, to everyone who’s contributed thus far.

If I can reach $1000 by 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time on January 31, the MaybeSee project will go live a few days after that. That means I’m looking for $415 to close the deal with the contractors (coding and design).

Here’s what I know. With a few exceptions who have stated their intention to donate soon, everyone who is familiar with this project right now has already donated, if they are ready, willing & able.

What I’m asking for, then, is for everyone reading this to spread the word – and encourage their friends, colleagues, followers, readers, etc. to donate.

Here’s what you do. On your Facebook or Twitter pages, give my project a big boost (here’s the pitch) and ask for the donation. I suppose from some points of view it’s kind of shameless and ask-y and whatnot, but that’s what I’ve got myself into. I want this website/web application to be just right, I don’t want to go cheap, so I need to close the deal on the $1000 (or $415 remaining), and I need your help to amplify the signal. So take to your preferred platforms or soapboxes, and help me reach my $1000 goal by February 1.

I don’t care if donations are $5 or $500. Whatever you/your buddies can manage is okay with me. I realize that with Kickstarter there’s a built-in psychology to give more for greater rewards. This is a smallish project (with huge potential), so I don’t think that’s appropriate. I’d rather believe that people will give whatever they can give, and that’s all right. Plus I don’t have any darn T-shirts or mugs or fridge magnets.

In addition, all donors will be invited to join MaybeSee when it’s ready. You’ll be the first to stress-test the concept and to help shape it for a wider cinephile audience. I’m pretty excited about that.

All right, that’s enough jawboning for today. Thanks again, and let’s crush that $415!

Lino Brocka is on Netflix


…for the moment.


Look at this handsome devil. An amazing career cut short by a car accident at 52. Openly gay and often regarded as the greatest Filipino film director. That’s an inspirational quote but he’s also killing it with those sunglasses. Sometimes that’s how you know you’re dealing with a true artist: just look at Abbas Kiarostami, Akira Kurosawa, Wong Kar-wai, etc. Sunglasses every time.

Three of Brocka’s films are streaming on Netflix. Quality is so-so but it’s tough to find his stuff, so here’s your shot. The first two disappear on January 15:

Donate to the MaybeSee project:

Silent for a Month


Out of the clear blue whatever, I decided to watch only silent movies for the month of February. (Yes, that means no TV.) With an arbitrary upper limit of around 60ish titles – mostly features, some exceeding 3 hours, as well as a few shorts – here’s a rough sketch of my program sorted by available format or outlet:

[* means I’ve seen it already]

DVD, Blu-ray, or Other:

  • Asphalt (Joe May)*
  • The Docks of New York (Josef von Sternberg)*
  • The Last Command (Josef von Sternberg)*
  • Underworld (Josef von Sternberg)*
  • Les Vampires (Louis Feuillade)*
  • Fantômas (Louis Feuillade)*
  • Nana (Jean Renoir)*
  • Whirlpool of Fate (Jean Renoir)
  • The Late Mathias Pascal (Marcel L’Herbier)
  • Harakiri (Fritz Lang)
  • The Wandering Shadow (Fritz Lang)
  • Four Around a Woman (Fritz Lang)
  • Street Without End (Mikio Naruse)*
  • Every Night Dreams (Mikio Naruse)*
  • Apart From You (Mikio Naruse)*
  • Flunky, Work Hard! (Mikio Naruse)*
  • Die Nibelungen (Fritz Lang)*
  • The Spiders (Fritz Lang)*
  • Modern Times (Charles Chaplin)*
  • Street Angel (Frank Borzage)*
  • Lazybones (Frank Borzage)
  • Lucky Star (Frank Borzage)*
  • Battling Butler (Buster Keaton)*
  • The House on Trubnaya Square (Boris Barnet)*
  • Seduction (aka Erotikon) (Gustav Machaty)
  • Tartüff (F.W. Murnau)
  • The Strong Man (Frank Capra)
  • Grandma’s Boy (starring Harold Lloyd)
  • The Iron Horse (John Ford)
  • Days of Youth (Yasujiro Ozu)*
  • Robin Hood (starring Douglas Fairbanks)
  • The Cameraman (Keaton/Sedgwick)*
  • October (Sergei Eisenstein)
  • The Wedding March (Erich von Stroheim)*
  • Zvenigora (Alexander Dovzhenko)
  • The Bridge (Joris Ivens)
  • Four Sons (John Ford)
  • Straight Shooting (John Ford)
  • Bed and Sofa (Abram Room)*
  • Miss Mend (Boris Barnet and Fedor Ozep)
  • Leave ‘Em Laughing (with Laurel & Hardy)
  • Hangman’s House (John Ford)
  • Daydreams (Yevgeni Bauer)
  • Ménilmontant (Dimitri Kirsanoff)
  • The Ring (Alfred Hitchcock)
  • The Lodger (Alfred Hitchcock)
  • The Rat’s Knuckles (Leo McCarey)


  • Nosferatu (F.W. Murnau)*
  • The Thief of Bagdad (Raoul Walsh)*
  • Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler (Fritz Lang)*
  • Strike! (Sergei Eisenstein)*
  • The Wildcat (Ernst Lubitsch)
  • I Don’t Want to Be a Man (Ernst Lubitsch)
  • Anna Boleyn (Ernst Lubitsch)
  • The Doll (Ernst Lubitsch)*
  • Sumurun (Ernst Lubitsch)


  • assorted Charles Chaplin shorts (some *)
  • assorted Harold Lloyd shorts (some *)
  • Safety Last! (Fred C. Newmeyer and Sam Taylor)*
  • Speedy (Ted Wilde)
  • Master of the House (Carl Theodor Dreyer)*
  • A Woman of Paris (Charles Chaplin)
  • The Passion of Joan of Arc (Carl Theodor Dreyer)*
  • Walk Cheerfully (Yasujiro Ozu)*
  • That Night’s Wife (Yasujiro Ozu)*
  • A Straightforward Boy (Yasujiro Ozu)*

A few thoughts. In terms of acclimation, I don’t see any difficulty in the undertaking – as you can see, I’m no stranger to silent cinema. The only challenge will be the sheer number of titles. As I was jotting them down on paper, it dawned on me that I could easily make a list two or three times as long, and scratch only the surface of what’s immediately available to any cinephile who cares to look around the internet for a few minutes.

You might notice there’s nothing here by Griffith, Méliès, or the Lumières, to begin with. It’s not as if they were unworthy of inclusion. I merely began by looking at the later years of the silent era, allowed my thoughts to wander a little, spent a solid 10 minutes tracking John Ford silents on YouTube (spoiler: NOT MANY), and walked away from the list when it began to seem overwhelming. I could easily remain silent for March, and restrict myself to Griffith, Méliès, and the Lumières, among other unintentional omissions.

Heck, I could make a year of this. Anybody up for that?


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