Bill Murray on Charlie Rose

On New Year’s Eve (New Year’s Day, really), Charlie Rose re-ran this February 2014 interview with Bill Murray. It was the first media I consumed in 2015, and I highly recommend it.

The Pen, Then the Sword: John Brownee Defends the New Lightsaber, Is Totally Right

Christopher Cocca

If you don’t read Fast Company, you’re missing a lot.  Look at the way senior writer John Brownlee deconstructs a few seconds of footage and comes up with basically everything we need to know about Star Wars VII’s new Sith.  Even if you don’t like Star Wars (click around Rad Infinitum for tons of Batman), anyone interested in story-telling should read this excellent piece. It’s about crafting far more than an elegant weapon for a more civilized age.


Historic Allentown brewery to become major film studio?

Could happen.  Should happen.  Greedy townships need to drop their baseless NIZ lawsuits.  Like, yesterday.

“The complex at the former Neuweiler Brewery on 40 to 50 acres of land along the Lehigh River is being proposed by Mango Cross Media, owned by filmmaker Robert Manganelli, and would be developed by Ashley Development Corp. Manganelli said the studio would be “a self-contained city within a city”.  Read the rest here.  Morning Call coverage here.  From Lehigh Valley Live:

The future location of the studio has multifaceted appeal, said Pete Reinke, vice president of regional development with Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp. In addition to its close proximity to Philadelphia and New York City and the welcoming atmosphere of the Lehigh Valley area, the area offers comparatively low costs, Reinke said.

“We’re not a cheap alternative,” he said. “But we’re a less expensive alternative, and I think companies are noticing.”

The studio would include pre- and post-production facilities, as well as a broadcast center, sound stages, lighting, paint, print and sign shops, and space for archives and film preservation, Manganelli said. The studio would also feature education and community events and contain an entertainment venue.

The introduction of a full-scale film studio would not only bring recognition to Allentown and the Lehigh Valley, but would likely encourage other businesses to perceive the area in a different light, Reinke said.

“This is something that had nothing to do with the Lehigh Valley before this,” he said. “It’s all new opportunities; it’s all new jobs and revenue and a new way to publicize the community. And I’m at a loss to say how that can be a bad thing for the community. It’s an excellent thing for the community.”

A former Lehigh Valley resident turned Los Angeles filmmaker, Manganelli said the studio’s arrival is also personal.

“I am a native of the Lehigh Valley,” he said in an email. “It’s been my dream to bring my passion for film-making back to my roots.”


Romney’s Lebowski Problem

I had the blissful opportunity of enjoying exceptional hot wings, conversation, and bro time in Wayne, PA this week.  One of the insights that emerged from this time of fellowship is offered here for your consideration.

Mitt Romney is so unpalatable because there’s absolutely no reason for him to be running for president.  It’s great that he’s not an ideologue, but it would be nice if he had some ideology.  It’s not the incessant flip-flopping so much as what that says about his real motives for running.  He has no great beliefs and hence no great motives.  He’s running because he wants to be President, pure and simple. He’s running because he wants the Office of Ultimate Upward Mobility.  He’s running for power or prestige or from some deep-seated need to leave no opportunity untapped.

We’ve been saying things like this for a long time, but it wasn’t until this week that we’ve been able to put it in the most precise terms possible:

Say want you want about the tenets of Obama’s socialism, dude, but at least it’s an ethos.

Does anyone really believe anything this man says?

Clint Eastwood Makes a Republican Case For Gay Rights

President Reagan speaking at a Take Pride in A...
They like Ike.

My wife and I saw a trailer for Clint Eastwood’s  J. Edgar recently, and boy, does it look good.  As we watched, my wife leaned over and told me about Eastwood’s recent GQ musings about human rights in general and gay marriage in particular:

“I was an Eisenhower Republican when I started out at 21, because he promised to get us out of the Korean War,” Eastwood tells the magazine. “And over the years, I realized there was a Republican philosophy that I liked. And then they lost it. And libertarians had more of it. Because what I really believe is, let’s spend a little more time leaving everybody alone.”

Make a “get off my lawn” joke if you want, but Eastwood’s right about what the modern GOP becomes when put in the hands of Michele Bachmann and other dominionists in libertarian clothing. Americans of any or no party can certainly be of good will while holding some disparate political beliefs in tension, but we need to be honest about it.  There’s certainly no good will coming from quarters that want to curtail gay rights.

These Are NOT Stills From “The Hangover Part III: Alan Gets Married” (But They Could Be)

They are, instead, the photographic evidence of the beautiful wedding of two wonderful friends (groom not pictured, natch).  As the day and evening progressed, the degree to which people just called me Alan increased accordingly.

I was going for Morrison or Foghat, but I'll take Galifianakis all day long. Who are these comely gents beside me? I still don't know!

Don’t Forget to Vote in The Daily Cocca’s Exclusive Poll: “It’s Time to Play ‘Me or Zach Galifianakis?'”