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FDL Movie Night Preview: Lisa Stock

6:46 pm in Movie Night by Lisa Derrick

Monday’s Movie Night guest, filmmaker Lisa Stock, will be discussing her short film HELL, watchable here. She also created an eight-part web series about Persephone, and her work focuses on myths and magical realism, taking the viewers into worlds that are saturated with color, lush, horrifying, surreal and at times challenging:

As an indie filmmaker, I have to be even more mindful of the world I create because odds are I’m not entirely in control of it. I usually have a limited number of days to shoot, and a limited amount of funds, so I can’t call off if it’s cloudy instead of sunny, or raining, or if there was a snow storm the day before dumping 12 inches of snow on our set. The impact of the world I create for my stories has to resonate larger than any mishaps that can happen while shooting. Therefore, it’s not only about the buildings and trees, but about how my characters fit into their world and control it or let it control them.

Join us tomorrow from 5pm to 6:30 PT on the front page of Register in advance (it’s free!), then log in at 5pm PT, 8pm ET. To participate in the discussion, use the comment box to ask questions. And every few minutes, refresh your browser to see new comments, questions, and answers.

FDL Movie Night Preview: Remembering Philip Seymour Hoffman

1:49 pm in Art, Culture by Lisa Derrick

Death came far too soon, too swiftly to Philip Seymour Hoffman. Tonight on FDL Movie NIght we’ll be discussing his life and work, and the ongoing specter of addiction, not only in artistic fields, but across the American population.

Please join us at 5pm West Coast time.

FDL Movie Night Preview: Discussing the Reason for the Season

7:23 am in Culture by Lisa Derrick

Jesus, real or made up? No matter what you can’t deny his effect on civilization over the past 2,000 years. Tonight we’re going to be looking at aspects of the historical Jesus with James Rietveld, PhD. From virgin birth through the flight to Egypt, Paul’s Epistles and the Gospels, Dr. Rietveld beings knowledge, academic perspective, wit and enthusiasm to the discussion.

Curious about Holy Blood, Holy Grail and The DaVinci Code which purport that Jesus’ bloodline continued? What about idea that Jesus’s story was a massive propaganda scheme by Emperor Vespasian, as claimed by Joseph Atwill in Caesar’s Messiah? And who the heck was St Nicholas and how does he fit to Christmas?

Join us tonight on’s front page from 5pm to 6:30pm for lively discussion. Please  be respectful of each other and our wide and varied belief systems; remember the words of Hebrews 11:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

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FDL Movie NIght Preview: Old Dogs & New Tricks

1:50 pm in Uncategorized by Lisa Derrick

Head’s up: The top video may be considered NSFW or  challenging for kids/grandparents depending on where you work and your family dynamics

In a place called Boys Town, do gay men ever grown up? Or do they just grow old?

That’s the question posed by Old Dogs & New Tricks, the award-winning webseries that we’re discussing tonight on Firedoglake Movie Night, 5 pm to 6:30pm West Coast time on the main, front page of with guests, the series’ executive producers Leon Acord and Lawrence Whiting. Acord  also writes Old Dogs & New Tricks and stars as talent agent Nathan Adler. Nathan and his friends Brad, Ross and Al try to negotiate loving and living while they circle the magic age of 50 as men in a culture that prizes youth.

 Old Dogs & New Tricks is smart, sweet, funny, poignant, sexy. I laughed out loud in places, and think the season one & two DVD out now is the perfect stocking stuffer for many of my friends, gay and straight.

FDL Movie Night Preview: Holiday TV Specials

1:13 pm in Uncategorized by Lisa Derrick

There’s something about holidays that TV just can’t resist. And well, neither can we, because these shows are just so awesome each for their own reasons. So here’s a preview of what we’ll be discussing tonight on FDL Movie Night at 5pm

First up the Star Wars Christmas Special, from 1978. Poor George Lucas. It’s just awful. But it also credits Bruce Villanch as a writer, so expect some subversive humor. We’ve posted the condensed version for you, but you can watch the full version here, in 10 minute increments, starting with part one.

Alfred Hitchcock was not immune to the joys/horrors of Christmas, so we’re presenting Alfred Hitchock Presents “Back for Christmas.”  And because the work on the interwebs is never done, how could we resist Mary Tyler Moore coping with Christmas in the newsroom from the show’s first season?

Please join in discussing these and other Very Special Holiday shows at 5pm west coast time on FDL’s front page.

Preview: “I Am Divine” on FDL Movie Night Tonight Oct 28

1:19 pm in Culture by Lisa Derrick

Divine! The big, bold underground star who brought beauty and filth, anger, and outrageous humor to midnight movie screens! Divine and John Waters were responsible for so much of the attitude in pop culture and punk rock!

Divine, the star of Pink Flamingos and Hairspray broke down barriers and raised spirits, uniting  misfits and outcasts in a celebration of  all that is gloriously awful and sublimely ridiculous as he rose from a bullied teenager to cult star and international sensation.

I Am Divine chronicles the life of Divine from his Baltimore childhood as Harris Glenn Milstead through his years as John Waters’ muse and star, as he reaches his ultimate goal to achieve mainstream acceptance and global recognition. This is a movie about believing in yourself and  accepting yourself, two things Divine exuded and brought to his fans.

Join us tonight as we discuss I Am Divine with director Jeffrey Schwarz, on the front page of from 8pm to 9:30pm Eastern time, 5pm to 6:30pm West Coast time. Please make sure you are logged in (To sign up, and get your password mailed to you, click the “register button on the upper left side of your screen.)

At 5pm West Coast time, hop on–if you don’t see the I Am Divine post, refresh your brower, time is relative and everyone’s clocks are a little different. Type your questions and comments in [comment sin!] the comment box, and hit send comment. Read the rest of this entry →

Movie Night Preview: “Robert Williams Mr Bitchin”

2:17 pm in Art, Culture by Lisa Derrick

Big and bold, yet refined and precise–these are the hallmarks of Robert Williams, the breakthrough  painter whose works shifted the  direction of contemporary art. Monday’s movie, Robert Williams, Mr Bitchin takes us through the painter’s life, with stops along the way to (re) discover the Piltdown Man, King Farouk, hot rods, hippies, sexy women, censorship and the origins of the universe.

Growing up on his family’s ranch, Williams had an idyllic childhood, except he didn’t like driving cattle or riding horses, or the conservative upbringing that stifled his rebellious spirit. When his parents divorced, he and his mom were nearly homeless in New Mexico, and his mom left him in the care of a female lieutenant in the Air Force and the lieutenant’s girlfriend. Williams was exposed to a more liberal lifestyle, and when the time came, he moved to Los Angeles to study art.

Robert Williams Mr Bitchin takes us on a trip through the artist’s life and through America’s changing subcultures, exploring how Williams’ work both reflects and changed culture. Musicians like jazz genius Artie Shaw and rock ‘n’ rollers Axl Rose and Blondie weigh in on Williams’ talent and the controversies he created, while Williams’ wife, artist Suzanne  Williams, reveals an inspirational, grounding force.

This is a smart documentary about one the greatest living American painters and thinkers, and we hope you’ll join producer/co-director Nancye Ferguson and director Mary Reese on the front page of Monday at 5pm to discuss Williams, his work, and the film Robert Williams, Mr Bitchin.

FDL Movie Night Preview: Remembering Ray Harryhausen

8:33 am in Uncategorized by Lisa Derrick

Special effects genius Ray Harryhausen changed the way we make and watch movies. His split screen technology married stop action animation with live actors–remember Jason and the Argonauts? The 7th Voyage of Sinbad? The original Clash of the Titans? Tonight at 5pm west coast time on the frontpage of, we’ll be discussing his many movies.  Curious about Harryhausen and his creatures? Check out this documentary:

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FDL Movie Night Preview: Beam Aboard for Star Trek Discussion with David Gerrold

10:40 pm in Uncategorized by Lisa Derrick


Star Trek is awesome. I remember the first episode I ever saw–I must have been about 7, and my mom always sent me to bed before it came on, but that night she fell asleep on the couch and I got to watch as a pointy eared guy and his captain somehow ended up on modern day Earth trying to catch a mad scientist and his lady friend who would turn into a black cat.  A few years later, the entire series was in reruns, and every night at 6pm, before I Love Lucy, there would be an hour of aliens, be it children who developed weird blue spots as they turned into “grups,” Greek gods forsaken by their worshipers, android women chanting

Harcourt Fenton Mudd

amazing costumes, epic fisticuffs, and of course tribbles. Reading the book, The Trouble with Tribbles, by tonight’s Movie Night guest, David Gerrold gave me, at whatever age I was when it was published, a background into television production and excited me beyond measure about writing as a career. Gerrold wrote the script for The Trouble with Tribbles on spec; it was produced and became one of the most popular episodes ever.  And Star Trek, through eleven films, four lives series (weirdly, my ex-husband has appeared on all four, and is a Star Trek trading card!), an animated series, and ongoing conventions around the world (as well as web series Star Trek Phase 2, for which Gerrold penned a two-part episode) has shaped  our world by boldly going where no man has gone before.

Please join us Monday, March 25 form 5pm-6:30pm west coast time on the front page of to talk Trek and sci-fi with one of the greats, David Gerrold.

(FYI: All of the Star Trek series are free this month on Hulu!)

NOTE: To participate in Movie Night by asking questions, please make sure you are logged in. If you don’t have a log-in, register using the red button up top. It’s fast and free! At 5pm west coast time, sign in to, Type in your questions or comments, hit the “send” button, and please refresh your browser every minute or so to see new questions and responses. To reply to a question, hit the “reply” button. Thanks!

Side note: I don’t mind the IRS making a training video based on Star Trek. WHat I mind is that it sucks.


FDL Movie Night Preview: Happy New Year–Celebrating the (Lucille) Ball Together

2:47 am in Uncategorized by Lisa Derrick

The ball in Time Square is going to drop in a just a few hours, and since New Years Eve is time of both hilarity and glamor, what better way to celebrate it than by embracing tonight in the form of Lucille Ball? Groundbreaking media pioneer, the first woman in television to head a production company, Lucy is one of the greatest American icons, full of glamor, strength and style. Heck, even FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, in the midst of the 1950′s Red Scare — Ball gave sealed testimony to House Un-American Activities Committee  because she’d registered to vote in 1936 as member of the Communist Party – said Lucy and her husband Desi Arnaz were

among his  “favorites of the entertainment world.”

Tonight we’ll be discussing Lucille Ball, I Love Lucy, and her other shows, and as a special treat, we’ve uncovered this: Lucy’s Really Lost Moments, featuringthe  only appearances of the cast of I Love Lucy in color and as guests on The Bob Hope Chevy Show sponsored by Chevrolet, along with other moments (some of which have been colorized). Segments of this compilation are fascinating because they really reveal the heavy, obvious level of sponsorship of early TV programs: The plot of one segement revolves around Ricky wanting a deal with Westinghouse for their new show, while Lucy just want new appliances. Another segment, I’ve Got a Secret, sponsored by Clairol with lots of signage, shows Lucy trying to affect the panel (including a young Johnny Carson), with her changing moods. And as a bonus, on his program, Bob Hope appears to the strains of “Aulde Lang Syne!”

See you tonight!

(And special geek alert: Desilu Productions, which Ball formed with husband Desi Arnaz, was the production company behind the original Star Trek, producing the show’s first season. By the second season, Ball sold the company to Gulf+Western, which renamed it Paramount Television. The couple had founded Desilu in 1950 to produce I Love Lucy; Ball bought out Arnaz after their divorce, and became the company’s head. Desilu also produced The Dick Van Dyke Show, and several other classics.)