nytimes

Will CRUDE director be forced to surrender his footage?

Article: Will CRUDE director be forced to surrender his footage?

As the world struggles to absorb the devastating implications of the oil spill currently glugging untold barrels of crude into the Gulf of Mexico, while the companies involved point fingers at each other and decline to fully admit their mistakes, another oil-related drama has been playing out in a federal court in New York.

Chevron, the oil giant at the center of Joe Berlinger’s documentary CRUDE, which opened at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2009, has petitioned the court to allow it to subpoena more than 600 hours of footage shot for his film. The film tells the story of a group of Ecuadoreans who are suing the oil company, contending that it poisoned their people by dumping 18 billion gallons of toxic oil waste into their rivers and onto their land in what has become known as “Amazon Chernobyl.”

Chevron is seeking a dismissal of the suit, which has dragged on for years, and believes that the footage may help its case. But Berlinger’s attorneys have argued that the director should be offered the same privileges that all investigative journalists receive, allowing them to protect confidential sources and information. They insist that forcing him to turn over the footage would violate his rights under the First Amendment and constitute a breech of the confidentiality agreements he’d established with the people who appear in the film.

A little more than a week ago, the ruling came back.

Gore in Florida, Again

Article: Gore in Florida, Again

Al Gore has returned to the campaign trail in Florida, the state he lost to George W. Bush by 500 votes in 2000 after the Supreme Court stopped the ballot recount. The New York Times [thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com] reports this time Gore was speaking on behalf of Barack Obama, and was doing so sans Powerpoint. The vice-president…

Breaking Records with Obama

Article: Breaking Records with Obama

Sometimes it’s hard to be a cynic. For years we’ve watched Democrats roll over for their GOP Daddies, cowed into jumping through Republican hoops and frames, either unable or unwilling to go out, grab the populace by the shirt and say, “Follow me!” This lack of spine and, more importantly, ability to be proactive has…

Update: The Missing Director: Adrienne Shelly

Article: Update: The Missing Director: Adrienne Shelly

UPDATE: The last tale from talented and late Adrienne Shelley, THE WAITRESS, was recently released on DVD after selected theater theatrical release earlier in 2007. A touching story of love in a comically busy world of three waitresses trying to make ends meet.

Well-Traveled Food: Is Local Always Best?

Article: Well-Traveled Food: Is Local Always Best?

It’s easy to think, “Local food is always the best answer,” and leave it at that; most of the time, it might be right, but new information is emerging that disputes local’s lofty position at the throne of TreeHugging food. The notion of “food miles,” the distance your food has traveled to get to your…