Bad Day: Kevin Costner’s Secret Movie Hits the Web

UPDATE: Modi Frank and a special guest will be with us on Movie Night, Firedoglake.com’s  live, interactive typed chat Monday Aug 9 5pm-6:30pm PDT/8pm-9:30pm EDT. Please join in.

Before he danced with wolves, Academy Award winning actor/director Kevin Costner made a never-before-seen movie that’s being released today after nearly 25 years in a vault:  Bad Day, directed by the award-winning rock video director Modi Frank and photographed by punk rock queen, singer, poet and visual artist Exene Cervenka, co-founder of the seminal band X. The duo are releasing the cowboy-themed short  as a digital downloaded for a “you decide” amount. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Gulf charities providing aid to both people and the environment. Exene and Modi said:

We are both so proud of Kevin and grateful for all he’s doing to help in the Gulf.

Costner has spent $25 million dollars over the last decade to develop centrifuge clean-up machinery which can mitigate the damage from oil spills. BP bought 32 of the machines marketed by Ocean Therapy Solutions. The centrifuges, which can clean 6 million gallons of oily water a day, separating the oil from water by spinning, will be ready to be deployed by the first week of August, according to John Houghtaling, Costner’s chief partner in the project . The salt water can be returned to the ocean and the oil can be used by industry.

Bad Day–the legendary but unseen until now 20 minute silent film, co-written by Exene and Modi, with a soundtrack by Dave Alvin and DJ Bonebrake–also stars John Doe, Chris (Chris D) Desjardins from the Flesheaters and the Divine Horsemen, and Julie Christensen of Stone Cupid who has also collaborated with Leonard Cohen, artist-photographer Peter Haskell, and Los Angeles poet Doug Knott.

Bad Day is also a collaboration of formats–punk rock and two-reel Western silents, black and white film stock meeting the Internet at a time when digital is the format du jour. The advent of downloading videos provided the perfect format to release Bad Day, allowing this moment of artistic collaboration to reach its target audience. Says Exene:

It was a blast to write, envision and then film.  We have talented friends, all up for a project, and we froze a moment in history. It was one of the best times Modi and I have ever had…We’ve talked about releasing Bad Day over the years, but now with the internet we have control over distribution with digital downloads. We want the world to see it and enjoy.

Gulf Benefit Beer Banned in States It Could Help

Louisiana-based Abita has brewed up a “charitable pilsner,” Save Our Shore, to benefit relief efforts in the Gulf sates impacted by BP’s Deeepwater Horizon disaster.  Post-Katrina, Abita created  Restoration Ale, with some proceeds going to hurricane recovery.

But the SOS’s sale is banned in two of the four states that will benefit from the sudsy funds.

Neither  Mississippi nor Alabama can sell Save Our Shore Charitable Pilsner. The beer’s 7% alcohol content is above Alabama’s limit, while Mississippi has an even more arcane reason for prohibiting the SOS’s sale: The 22-ounce single container size is illegal.  Weirdly, it’s perfectly okay to buy a case of 12-ounce beers all at once. math isn’t my strongest suit, but I think there is more beer in twenty-four 12-ounce bottles than in one 22-ouncer….

Abita is bottling SOS in the 22-ounce bottle because the larger size is more cost- and time-efficient. The 12-ounce bottles require three labels, one each for front and back and a third on the six-pack container, while the bigger bottles needs only to have information printed directly on the bottle.

Save Our Shore Charitable Pilsner retails for $5, and Abita will donate 75 cents to Gulf aid charities.

Kevin Costner: Oil Spill Hero?

Full disclosure: My ex-husband was in the Waterworld and I’ve seen the Universal Studios stage and tank show based on the movie, too.

That being said, I am really stoked that Kevin Costner has put his money where his heart and mind are. After the Exxon Valdez spill, Costner invested $24 million of his own money  buying new centrifugal oil separators from the government and developing the technology to spin oil out of water.

Now BP has approved six of the machines from Costner’s  Ocean Therapy Solutions for testing in the Gulf, where they will extract the spilled oil, send it back to a tanker and return the water to the ocean about 97% pure.

DOOOO EEEET! Beat the hell out of those chemical dispersants.

GULF AID Concert Sunday: Lenny Kravitz, John Legend, Jazz Greats. LIVE BROADCAST



New Orleans and the entire Gulf region knows how to pull together and they doing so this Sunday to help the region which is being devastated by the BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster. All day Sunday May 16 you can help out by listening to and donating to Gulf Aid a “mini-Jazz Fest” featuring John Legend, Lenny Kravitz, Ani DiFranco, Dr. John, Kermit Ruffins–check out his video above–and dozens of New Orleans jazz music performers including the amazing Preservation Hall Jazz Band, seen below in a vintage 1973 clip.

Be a saint and donate! The tax-deductible funds raised will go towards wetland preservation and restoration and to aid fishermen and families impacted by the horrendous spill.

Much of the concert will be broadcast live on WWOZ.org beginning at noon local (10m west coast/1pm east). You can follow the GulfAid Twitter stream here.

Musicians, business leaders in New Orleans and community radio station WWOZ-FM have come together to create the GULF AID benefit concert to raise funds for wetland recovery efforts, fishermen and their families as oil continues to gush into the Gulf of Mexico from the site of the collapsed deepwater horizon. The fundraising concert will take place on Sunday, May 16, rain or shine from noon – 10 pm at Mardi Gras World River City overlooking the Mississippi River in New Orleans.

The fund will ensure all proceeds are distributed to organizations focused on supporting wetlands/coastal environmental issues & the well-being of fishermen, and the regional seafood industry.Donations may also be sent to the Gulf Relief Foundation, a 501 C3 non-profit corporation, located at P.O. Box 61035, New Orleans, LA 70161.

Coastal Outdoor Stage
12:15pm Shamarr Allen and the Underdawgs
1:00pm MyNameIsJohnMichael
1:45pm Irvin Mayfield’s Playhouse Revue
2:30pm Big Sam’s Funky Nation
3:15pm Honey Island Swamp Band
4:00pm Beausoleil
4:45pm Kermit Ruffins and the BBQ Swingers with Jeremy Davenport
5:30pm Rebirth Brass Band
6:15pm Steve Riley and The Mamou Playboys with Jon Cleary
7:00pm Soul Rebels Brass Band
7:45pm Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk
8:30pm Zachary Richard
9:15pm Happy Jack Frequency

Wetlands Indoor Stage

3:30pm Allen Toussaint
4:15pm The Voice of the Wetlands Allstars (featuring Tab Benoit, Dr. John, Cyril Neville, George Porter Jr., Waylon Thibodeaux, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, Johnny Sansone, Johnny Vidacovich and Marcia Ball)
5:30pm Ani DiFranco
6:15pm Preservation Hall Jazz Band with Mos Def & Terence Blanchard
7:45pm John Legend
9:15pm Lenny Kravitz

All photos via Creative Commons: NewsHour; bgJohnstonOilpocalypse2010, NASA Earth Observatory


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