Just when it seemed like Justin Bieber could not get any deeper in the muck and mire of bad publicity, he goes and gives new meaning to the phrase “Mile High Club.” Apparently, when Bieber and his private jet were being detained on the tarmac at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey, the 19 year-old singer was smoking a lot of weed. However, like any caring parent, Bieber’s dad made sure he wasn’t getting high alone, Jeremy Bieber was smoking the stuff as well.
Somewhat amazingly the 24 year-old foul mouthed contestant Miss New York Nina Davuluri has won the 2014 Miss America pageant. The new Miss America comes from Syracuse, New York and this is the second year in a row that Miss New York has won the crown. Mallory Hagan, who was crowned in the 2013 beauty pageant was also from New York.
It’s been a very violent and bloody week for this country. First a bloody ending to a national runners event that marred the day by killing and injuring innocent people taking part in the Boston Marathon and Patriot day.
That all occurred on the 15th of April this year.
Two days later, a fertiliser plant in the farming town of West, Texas exploded, killing 14 and the police are still sifting through the rubble to find casualties.
On the 18th of April, the first of two bombing suspects was shot and killed in a prolonged shoot-out with police.
Yesterday on the 19th of April, the second suspect was shot and captured.
America has had a very troubled and busy week in the violence and death department. The denizens of this troubled country can be forgiven for feeling a little abused at the moment.
I wrote a blog post on the day of the Boston Marathon bombings and raised the query of security forces spending too much time looking for evil within the borders of the USA. I felt that they were looking in the wrong place for terrorists.
I was wrong.
Sadly, this terror attack did indeed come from within.
These two heinous and cowardly individuals did not originate in America. They were “immigrants” who came over with their families. According to initial reports, they’ve only lived in America for ten years.
Both, according to the news again, were recent Muslim converts.
Oh boy. That’s going to rock the proverbial boat. As if Muslims did not have enough negative press already, they now have even more and I can imagine that Mr and Mrs America and their children won’t be inviting their next door followers of Islam over for a barbecue.
Another unsettling reason for the non-Muslim community to feel leery about this “foreign” religion and its violent outbursts against “the infidels.”
Overshadowed by Monday’s events is the explosion in Texas that took so many lives. Not – as far as I know – terrorist in nature, it is still an enormous tragedy and one that isn’t getting a lot of media attention due to the Boston tragedy; at least not on this side of the big pond.
On top of the two explosive events, we have the news that guardians of justice move damned fast. Literally within days of the Boston outrage, both suspects have been dealt with. Of course the death of one and the injuring of the other, may make it difficult to find out why these two monsters – Yes, monsters. People do not indiscriminately murder in this fashion. – with the end result being one dead and one captured.
Suffice to say, I think I was wrong to denigrate the security forces and their head offices for watching the American people. It seems that what appeared to me as paranoia, was not.
Now it only remains for the authorities to find out why. Why killing innocent children and people was necessary and why the fertiliser plant exploded in Texas.
I cannot think of a more troubling week of events for America within her shores before. Certainly not that I can remember. Sure we’ve had international American tragedy before. Remember Jonestown? But that was outside the boundaries of the country and not on Main Street USA.
I close this puzzled post with prayers sent to all who have suffered loss in this last week. Loss of life, loss of family, friends and neighbours and loss of innocence. I also pray that we might find out that the horrid events of Boston were a “one-off” and that other recent converts to the Muslim religion who are US citizens aren’t so murderously inclined.
May the country of my birth breathe a sigh of relief now that the week-end has arrived and may my fellow countrymen rest a bit easier knowing that the keepers of the peace do seem to know what they are doing.
To the residents of both Boston and Texas I hope you can get closure for this violent and troubled week. And my the American people not be so scarred that they become xenophobic in action and thought.
And lastly, may the greatest free country in the world continue to be so and fly the flag proudly and safely.
- Boston Bombings Have Led to Multiple Revenge Attacks on Innocent Muslims – Rebecca Greenfield – The Atlantic Wire (theatlanticwire.com)
- Boston bombers followers of Iran’s ayatollah (wnd.com)
- Boston bombings: Media hall of fame, and hall of shame (seattlepi.com)
- Hate Crimes: Man Assaults Muslim Woman Following Reports of ‘Dark-Skinned’ Boston Bombing Suspects (bossip.com)
- Watch: Heroes Emerge from Boston Marathon Bombing (abcnews.go.com)
- Live blog: Boston Marathon bombings manhunt (globalnews.ca)
- Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Boston Marathon Bombings Suspect, Captured By Cops (gossipcop.com)
- Boston Marathon bombing: is ‘domestic terrorism’ to blame? (theweek.co.uk)
- Second Boston Marathon bombing suspect arrested after day of lockdown – Washington Post (washingtonpost.com)
- A Reminder to Be Good to Each Other (theatlanticwire.com)
On the 9th of March I did a review on the soon-to-be-released Indie “Art-House” Horror Film The Taking (just click on the link if you missed it) and the creators of the film (BAPart Films) graciously accepted my request for an interview.
BAPart Films is a partnership of Cezil Reed and Lydelle Jackson who both formed this company under the banner of BAPartists (which the pair started in 2009). The company makes music videos, commercials, short films and now feature films.
The Taking is their first feature film together. The film was written and directed by Cezil and Lydelle who went to the same middle school and used to bounce ideas off each other. Cezil was in film school while Lydelle majored in graphic design.
In the interview, the guys tell us about making their first film, their plans and what they’re going to do next. So everyone, meet Cezil and Lydelle aka BAPartists:
MikesFilmTalk: What gave you the idea for the story of the film? *note: Both the guys answered questions but their answers will be “labelled” as BAPartists.*
BAPartists – Hmm, lots of things kind of gave us the idea for the story, but mainly it derived from a dream that Cezil had were his soul was stripped away, and to him it was the most terrifying thing ever. That dream stuck with him for a while. He’s always sort of been afraid of things like that, ya know, evil things like: demons, curses, and mayonnaise. So that dream or fear of his was the seed idea that eventually turned into The Taking.
MikesFilmTalk: Did you have a list of actors you wanted to work with on the film?
BAPartists – We’ve created lists for other projects in the past but for The Taking we actually didn’t have a list. We just knew that the nature of low-budget movies like ours was not going to be welcomed by “name” actors. Especially, when you are a relative nobody and your shooting your first feature. Rather, we decided to focus on finding as many of the strongest actors in the Northern Virginia area as possible which worked out well for us. Although we did end up importing John Halas (Carl) from NYC, Alana Jackler (Jade) from New Jersey, and Lynnette Gaza (The Grandmother) from Chicago.
MikesFilmTalk: Did you get them?
BAPartists – All the actors that we wanted, we got. We always have to remind ourselves of how lucky we were to get such talented cast and crew to participate in the film. Especially since we were barely paying (if at all), the shoot was in the rural woods; long hours, little food, sweltering heat, and simple items like mosquito repellent or bottled water were treasured luxuries. It was just super low-budget all the way around. It ‘s astonishing that everyone stuck with us through principal photography, and for the following year of pick-up days.
MikesFilmTalk: I really enjoyed the imagery and the sound of the film. How would you describe the film and does it bother you that you’re being put in the art house pigeonhole?
BAPartists – Thanks! Yeah, we really wanted to create a film where the sound design and music really worked side by side with the visuals. Often times sonics are under utilized and under appreciated…We really wanted to make something where the sound was equally as prominent and bold as the visual experience. Our sound designer, Craig Polding, did a wonderful job. Lydelle’s younger brother, Leland Jackson also known as Ahnnu in the underground music scene, scored the film…Anyways, back to your question! How would we describe the film? Good question…How about: A searing gambit of visuals with intellectual muscle and big ol’ ox balls..?
To answer the second part of this question, being pigeonholed into the art-house category is both a compliment and scary. We do think that we can have very strong art-house sensibilities when we want to flex that muscle, but we are also very controlled and believe that we can cook up some amazing shit in any genre. It may sound cocky, but we believe it. So, while we find it to be a compliment, we are going to be sure to try our best not to be pigeonholed. How do we accomplish that? Well, our next film will be a much more market-friendly action film! We have a lot to share to the world from horror to comedy and don’t want to get stuck in one place!!!
MikesFilmTalk: You guys have known each other for quite some time and you started BAPart in 2009. What prompted you to start your business together?
BAPartists – We had been hired to write a script for a very well-off friend of ours who is an aspiring actress. This friend wanted us to write a feature-length script and she would take the lead role. She was also going to fund it and give us writing and directing credits. Not a bad deal, right?! Well, we spent almost a year and a half writing this really amazing script, but due to a lot of creative differences we all decided that then was not the best time to work together. Nonetheless, we’re all still great friends! However, after that disappointment, we decided that we needed to depend on ourselves to make our first film. We weren’t rich, but we had full-time jobs and so we began to just save our paychecks while starting development on The Taking script.
MikesFilmTalk: Do you see yourselves working together, say ten years from now?
BAPartists – The plan is to work together until we are old and grey, so ‘yes’, we do plan to be working together ten painful years from now. Without the creative synergy between the two of us we wouldn’t be The BAPartists. It’d just be Cezil Reed and Lydelle Jackson. The BAPartists moniker is meant to be a sign to our audience that there’s a particular sort of brand, flavor, angle to expect from a BAPartists film.
MikesFilmTalk: I read your interview on The Horror Chronicles (great interview by the way) is your next feature going to be a vampire love-story?
BAPartists – You know, we do want to do our vampire love-story, however, we’ve been given an opportunity to take on a more mainstream project and so we’ll have to explore that opportunity before anything else. For now the vampire love-story will sit on the back burner for a little while.
MikesFilmTalk: You’re getting a world premiere date announced at the Sydney, Australia A Night of Horror Intl Film Festival. How exciting is that?
BAPartists – Man, it’s so exciting that it makes my nose bleed! We’re so eager to see what the audience will make of The Taking. We’re really confident in the film but it’s still surreal at the same time. I think the best word to use in this case is “anxious”.
MikesFilmTalk: I’ve seen your music video Trew Music “Incredible, Fantastic Experience” and your Ecko Life commercial; your special projects “Behind the scenes Ciara and Sorry; your short film The Glimpse and they all have the same great mix of imagery and sound. What prompted you to go into making a short film and then a feature-length one?
BAPartists – We see short films, music videos, and commercials as a healthy way to practice our craft. These short form video projects also allow you to experiment a lot more than a feature would. Those experimentations may help you find something that you decide you want to implement into larger projects too.
MikesFilmTalk: Out of the two of you, who is more of a writer and who is more of a director?
BAPartists – We do everything in tandem. So we write equally and direct together as well. However, on set Cezil is more of the director while I’m more of a creative producer. This combination seems to work really well for us. In post-production we go back into co-directing how the editing, sound design, music, color grading, et cetera will work.
MikesFilmTalk: I love the Crime Fighting section on your website. Whose idea was that?
BAPartists – Haha, actually, when we were designing our site Cezil said “It’d be cool to have a little joke on the site too.”…”a few gin and tonics later, I (Lydelle) came up with the idea for Crime Fighting.”, so again, teamwork works!
MikesFilmTalk: I’ve had a lot of people asking me where they can see the film. So what is the date of The Taking’s world premiere?
BAPartists – Well, we’ll be premiering The Taking at A Night of Horror International Film Festival in Sydney, Australia on the evening of either Friday, April 12th or Saturday, April 13th. The date will be announced very shortly.
MikesFilmTalk: And finally, what is your next project going to be?
BAPartists – We were fortunate that some folks at a production company saw a copy of The Taking and really liked it. They’ve offered us an opportunity to make a more mainstream yet ‘different’ action film. It’s an opportunity that we can’t turn down and we’re really excited to take on the challenge of creating something that is both very marketable and yet still remains very artful, especially in the action genre. So, if all goes well, our next film will be an action film based around an alcoholic modern-day ninja. Can’t give ya any more details than that at the moment but trust me, it’s gonna be awesome!…we hope.
MikesFilmTalk: Thanks a lot guys for taking (Get it? Get it?) the time to talk to Mikes Film Talk and I hope we’ll be seeing a lot more of your work!
BAPartists – Haha! Thanks to you too, Mike! We like ya because you have good taste in things…like, horror films.
Here’s the movie’s website which will give you some more information about the film thetakingmovie.com. They also have two websites devoted to their company: www.bapartfilms.com and www.thebapartists.com.
And finally, here’s the trailer:
- The Taking (2013): Overpowering Imagery (mikesfilmtalk.com)