A blog about movies and the Sturbridge area, including The Brookfields, Brimfield, Charlton, Holland, Wales, and Spencer as well as adjacent towns.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Star Coop Second Market-A Great Time Had By All

When we got to the Star Coop Market held today at the OurTvSpace.com offices in the Sturbridge Market Place, vendors were already setting up. We were there for the second market held by this new food co-op a venture long overdue in Sturbridge.

The first picture I took was of the farmer above who raises Beefalo. No, He is not Beefalo Bill, he is Mark from Wild Mountain Farm. He raises not only beefalo, but beef, goat and lamb as well up in West Brookfield. You can find out more at the website, wildmountainbeefalo.com.

If you are a dog person, you will understand the name of the business of our next victim, pictured above. I'm not spoiled is the name of Linda Giles' operation. Linda makes dog treats that have only the purpose of spoiling your pooch. You can email her at ImNotSpoiledPetTreats@gmail.com.

When she isn't working on movies, Susan Davis makes soaps and lip balms. You can visit SUZ Bath and Body at www.SUZworld.etsy.com.

Route 148 landmark, Lamoureux Greenhouses brought a lot of green stuff. It was a treat to have them there with everything from bonsai to herbs. Come and see them at the next market, but while you wait see them at www.lamoureuxgreenhouses.com.

Velvet Greene just over the line on Route 20 in Brimfield also brightened the day by bringing greenery. They are on the web at www.velvetgreene.com.
Kerri Fairbrother of the great scones brought her baked goods. She is hoping to open a bakery. Wishing her well, we do want her to keep bringing her products to the Star Coop meetings.

Julie Caprera brought some color to the proceedings with here bright and well contrasted pictures that she painted. Her email address is juliecaprera@aol.com.

Music was provided by singer/song writer John Small who is also managing editor of The Sturbridge Times Magazine.

Daily Bread Bakery Cafe sent product as did Overlook Farm owned by my vet, Dr. LeDoux.

For those of us who have been involved in food coops and farmers markets, this was a good day for only a second effort. Credit has to be given to Melinda and Doug Kirkpatrick for all the organizing they've done. The next market will be at the same venue in late September. Stay tuned here or better yet go and join StarCo-op.Tv, the interactive community where you can be part of the coop, or just keep informed.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Are you a film maker, Would you like a chance for some exposure-Submit your film to Indie Traveling Cinema

Chelmsford based Massachusetts filmmakers, John Hartman of Reel Groovy Films and Zee Zarbock of Unfolding Story Pictures today announce the formation of an independent and art house film traveling cinema called Indie Traveling Cinema.

Indie Traveling Cinema will offer shows at universities, libraries, community centers, and other venues beginning late September, 2009, reaching out to those who are hungry for an alternative to Hollywood. Each show will be built around an independent or art house feature, and accompanied by shorts and trailers for upcoming shows.

The first shows will be booked in New England and feature New England films and talent. Indie Traveling Cinema is currently creating two inaugural shows--one based around the feature Bridge Crusader, and the other around the feature Reel-illusionary Zone, both by Reel Groovy Films and Unfolding Story Pictures.

Based on public interest and turnout at the inaugural shows, Indie Traveling Cinema hopes to expand throughout the country and offer a season series of four or five programs per year. This will bring indie and art house cinema to the public in a new way, and offer filmmakers a chance to get their work out to a wider audience and grow a fan base across the country.


Indie Traveling Cinema is seeking shorts and trailers from New England filmmakers for the first two programs. To be considered for participation in Indie Traveling Cinema, please email your expression of interest to zee@ziamar.com (no phone calls, please) by September 6, 2009. Include a synopsis, production information, and run time. If selected for the next round of consideration, a DVD will be requested. There will be no compensation at this time, but they hope to build that into the program pending the success of our pilot programs.

Please note that films should be positive in nature overall, to be considered for Indie Traveling Cinema. No slasher movies or movies with gratuitous violence will be included in the programming. Movies that take the audience through a dark tunnel are acceptable as long as they have a more positive balance of light.


Every show will be positive, overall, and many shows will be family friendly. No slasher movies, dark movies without a positive solution, or gratuitous violence will be included in the programming.

Shows will be in the 100-120 minute range and will be offered at a low flat rate, due upon booking. Venues will keep 100% of ticket sales or they may use the event as a fundraiser, free student activity, or the like. Customizable photoshop files and a trailer for each program will be provided for advertising purposes.

Current programming includes the features Bridge Crusader and Reel-illusionary Zone. Reeel-illusionary Zone is particularly appropriate for the Halloween time frame as its genre is playful horror. Accompanying shorts and trailers are currently being reviewed.

Bridge Crusader (85 min)

Year after year, an eclectic artist sojourns to the covered bridges of New England on his chopper to rendezvous with a mysterious woman. A shocking discovery catapults him on a desperate crusade to uncover his past in hope of freeing himself and the woman he loves. See www.bridgecrusader.com for a trailer and more information.

Reel-illusionary Zone (90 min)

All was well for a certain toy maker in Toyland until one day the toys revolt and head for the real world. Without any experiences to guide them safely, the toys must first traverse the bizarre and surreal Reel-Illusionary Zone. See www.reel-illusionaryzone.com for a trailer and more information.

To book Indie Traveling Cinema at your university, library, community center, or other venue, please email Zee at zee@ziamar.com or call 303.562.7612, for program information and availability.

For more info: Keep checking in at www.indietravelingcinema.com as the project develops.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sturbridge Area Co-operative (STAR Co-op) Launches with New Digital Network/Channel!

Sturbridge area's Star Co-op held its first market July 26th as reported by Hollywood in Sturbridge here. Well, it's coming on time for the August market, but that is not all that Star Co-op is up to. You can read all about from their press release below.

Sturbridge Area Co-operative (STAR Co-op) Launches with New Digital Network/Channel to Connect Producers, Artisans, Crafters, Businesses, Restaurants and the Community to Build and Support Local Markets!

Sturbridge Area Cooperative (STAR Co-op) - is seeking to build local markets!

Sturbridge Area Cooperative (STAR Co-op) - is seeking to build local markets!

PRLog (Press Release) – Aug 24, 2009 – Sturbridge – The Sturbridge Area Cooperative (STAR Co-op), a new organization designed to bring local producers and businesses together with the community, announced today it has launched a broadband digital network/channel as a means to build and support local markets. The new broadband channel called “Starco-op.Tv allows businesses and consumers to create their own personal profile pages for free, upload photos and videos, blog, engage in discussions, post events, form groups, and share information on how to stay connected and build and develop local markets that will help revenues stay within the community. STAR Co-op’s mission is to ultimately open a local Co-op store that will feature locally grown goods and products and employ local citizens.

STAR Co-op stepped up to organize and build local markets after the closing of many stores and businesses have left vacancies in the area. STAR Co-op launched its first Farmer’s Market last month and plans on running a local market monthly on the last Sunday of every month at the headquarters of OurTvSpace, LLC – a new media company - which occupies more than 5,000 square feet of revamped mill space along the Quinebaug River at 559 Main Street in Sturbridge. The next Farmer’s Market Event is Sunday, August 30, 2009. The Quinebaug River means “long, slow-moving” river but STAR Co-op is looking to move fast by organizing locally as rapidly as possible online and through its monthly events to open a store open every day by year end or first quarter of 2010.

Star Co-op has also organized a buying club to purchase goods in bulk at a discount and in its first few weeks alone received a significant amount of orders from local residents, evidencing a strong interest in the community. Through the buying club, residents place a monthly order and pick up their orders at the next Farmer’s Market for that month. The catalog for the buying club will soon be posted on the new broadband channel at www.Starco-op.Tv!

For more information on STAR Co-op and www.Starco-op.Tv, contact Doug@StarCo-op.Tv!

Sturbridge Area Co-operative (STAR Co-op) is a new and fast growing organization designed to organize growers, producers, artisans, crafters, stores, restaurants, businesses, and persons interested in supporting local markets!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Merchants of Sturbridge has a website

The local organization, Merchants of Sturbridge has a new website and it is well made.

Merchants of Sturbridge is not just merchants. Politicians and average citizens are behind this effort to build a community.

You can visit the website at http://www.merchantsofsturbridge.com

They have a facebook page here.

Give them a visit.

I'll have an article in the Sturbridge Times Magazine September issue.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Cider Donuts are Back!

On August 1, Breezelands Orchards reopened. What can one say about cider donuts? Not enough.

I am reposting what I wrote last year because I believe it still applies.
Nirvana in Apple Country

We are into harvest time in orchard country. Out here in Swamp Yankee exurbia, peaches are out as are some apples and it's great. A treat that comes with the reopening of the farm stands is cider donuts. If there are no more entries to this blog, you know there is someone in Massachusetts with "Surfeit of Cider Donuts" on the death cert.

There is a wonderful orchard near us, Breezelands in Warren, that makes about the best cider donuts. My daughter applied for a job and, due to a lack of experience, was turned down. On opening day, I suggested that a run over to Breezelands might be in order. My young Empress replied that she did not support them as they did not hire her. alright, I did not get ready for the errand. After awhile, Her Majesty told me I should hurry up.

That's how good those donuts are.

Now, I don't recommend addictive behaviors, but if you fall for cider donuts, by the time Breezelands closes, you might have enough body fat to hibernate and wake up slim for Spring. There are black bears that occasionally course through the land of the Quaboag. Maybe they will let you snooze in their den this Winter. Best of luck.

Breezelands is located at 1791 Southbridge Road in Warren. You can get a coupon at their website.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Shameless Self Promotion-August Edition

The August edition of the Sturbridge Times Magazine has been mailed out and there are contributions by yours truly.

On Page 4 Is an article Vacationing Elsewhere. Three Sturbridge families and their Summer breaks. Ginger and Carl Peabody choose adventure. The Saloios choose La Dolce Vita in La Toscania. Tom Chamberland does service.

On Page 15 there is a review of the Film Now U Know. Documentary Delivers Several Reasons to Reflect is the story of the opposition to the Southbridge Landfill. Before this article had come out, I posted about the film both in Hollywood in Sturbridge and in the Examiner. I received some comments that the Documetary did not tell the other side. Fair enough. It is advocacy. There is however nothing wrong with that. Edward R. Murrow is considered a hero and he was no slouch in advocating for a cause in his CBS Reports.

One thing I loved about the last Harry Potter book was JK Rowling's take on the idea of the Greater Good. There is no oppression that can't be excused as the greater good. Sorry, if only one person is harmed by the landfill, those who benefit should have to make that person whole.

Still, the law is the law, and if Casella dotted all is and crossed all the ts, then the fault is not with them, but us as voters and neighbors. If Casella would like to put their position in this blog, fair is fair. I am happy to accommodate them.

Page 22 has my column. Au Revoir, Cher Ami is about a friend we shall never see again.

There are many other great articles this month. If you do not get it delivered you can read it online here or pick it up at any of the locations listed below. Just click on the graphic.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Director of Upcoming Web Series in Central Mass is releasing a DVD

John Hartman, who will be directing the web series, Light of Knowing with OurTvSpace in Sturbridge is releasing a DVD of a movie he made. My review is below.

Reel-Illusionary Zone, A film maker expresses himself Germanically

The one unavoidable fact about John Hartman is that he loves movies. Maybe love is not a strong enough word. One learns this in watching the Behind the Scenes shots about his movie, Reel-Illusionary Zone(Riz). He shot over two hours of film to bring 89 minutes to the screen. One could be forgiven for thinking he would still be filming if time and money were not in question. I don’t know if his co-conspirator and producer, C.G. “Zee” Zarbock told him that filming forever was not on, but the film did get produced.

Reel-Illusionary Zone is a tribute to German Expressionism. After the devastation of
World War I and its resulting impoverishment, German film makers had to do more with less. The result was iconic films such as Nosferatu and Der Golem (though the first installment of Der Golem was filmed in the second year of the war, when Germany still expected to win). It is dark or, to expand a term, noirish.

Minimalist plot summary: The Toymaker (played by John) greets his creatures in the morning. He is a loving master. He is not much of a fuhrer, though, as the toys blithely go off and pass into the Reel-Illusionary Zone once they are able to escape. Even his Secret Groovy toy (XZanthia), sent to find others, takes off after crossing into the RIZ.

Horrors, the toys become human. At the end, the Toymaker sacrifices his own existence that they may live.

Though Reel-Illusionary Zone is a silent movie and filmed with much dark tint, I can’t say I found it overly dark. The tone seems mostly playful and the main characters’ lives, or existence that becomes life, somewhat joyful.

That does seem to fit in with John Hartman’s worldview as expressed in Behind the Scenes. “It occurred to me recently, that if you are harmonizing with what you’re doing, in the moment and if there is love and if there’s joy expressed, that’s the main thing.” That’s about as bright an outlook as can be.

Even the Toymaker’s end is not that horrible. One may mourn the martyr, but that no greater love aspect is not tragic, rather, it is full of hope. If John meant to evoke only the dark, he missed. No matter, it is not to be regretted when light breaks through.

Filming takes place in many venues, New England, amongst others. Most interesting is a castle in Bulgaria. This is where there is homage to Nosferatu. The Vampirous Master of the Castle (Chadley Kolb) is more into the intellect. That is, he eats brains. Groovy Toy and another character, Beanstalk (Trevor Jackson) aided by the Master’s servant (Mark Leonard), escape that fate. From there they meet The Castle Saint (Paul Kay) in the Sacred Love Temple. They hear the inner voice tell them go back to the castle’s dark side and Groovy Girl avoids becoming a nun.

RIZ ties many diverse elements together, the Sixties, psychedelic experience, German Expressionism, Surrealism. There is a plot, even though John described the film as “not terribly coherent.” It does not move in a straight line, but it does flow. Making it a “talkie” would have required too many words.

John and Zee’s cleverness with the Super8 is not going to get people to abandon newer cameras or abjure audio. Reel-Illusionary Zone will not appeal to a mass audience in a country where the Fast and The Furious can’t stop having sequels. Whatever that says, it is not an argument against making a different movie.

When you read what John said on MySpace, you understand his devotion to the genre, As a visual artist, I can hardly imagine anything more striking than what expressionist filmakers painted on the screen of old: The exagerated facial expressions; extreme camera angles; extreme light-dark contrast; surrealistic set design, etc. Thematically, expressionistic films usually offered solutions, which I find to be more karmically responsible than many new age films. My interest is to keep the flame of that movement burning (insofar as one filmmaker is able) by paying homage to it's artistic genius. Many of my films are largely based on expressionism, but none are totally faithful to the movement, because I add modern components to my films. Plus, I endeavor to inspire by leaving the audience with a bright light at the end of an odd and dark tunnel. Conversely, most expressionistic films were more politically motivated in lieu of inspiration...BUT I still try to match the powerful visuals of my all time favorite art form! yaaay!

In the words of the Lightning Bug Princess (Ashley Satterfield) of the beautiful blue hair, “Flying backwards up a hill won’t solve your problems.” I’m not sure what that means outside of its context in the movie, but I liked it.

For more info: You can see a trailer at www.reel-illusionaryzone.com. John's production company's website is www.reelgroovyfilms.com. Zee's is http://unfoldingstorypictures.com/zee.html. John and Zee will be showing the Reel-Illusionary Zone in Massachusetts and the DVD will be available soon.