MCN Blogs

By DP30 david@thehotbuttonl.com

DP/30: I AM, director Tom Shadyac

17 Responses to “DP/30: I AM, director Tom Shadyac”

  1. J. Ronald Trost says:

    Tom: You do not know me. I saw you on Morning Joe this morning and said to myself: That’s got to be Dick Shadyac’s son. I worked with your Dad for several years in the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice but we moved apart when I went back to my home state of California in 1962 but managed to stay in touch a little bit.. I just googled your Dad and found out that he passed away 2 years ago. He was a great man. Even in his early years he was obsessed with St Jude’s Hospital.Being Jewish, we had many spirited but friendly conversations about the Middle East. A wonderful, wonderful human being. Am going to see I Am in New York where I live.

  2. I was so deeply touched by this film. We need to hear this message over and over again.

  3. I was so deeply moved by this movie that I just saw this afternoon. This message needs to be told around the world. Bless you for your effort to do just that.

  4. Hi Tom,

    Rats! I missed you in Denver last Friday. Would have loved to partake in the Q/A at Chez Artiste. I saw the film yesterday with a big crowd of people. It’s the first time in a long time that I heard spontaneous clapping at the end. Folks loved it, as did I…especially the HeartMath segments. (I heard about HeartMath several years ago & was blown away by their research.) You might like a film that I directed that was just released on Amazon a few days ago. It’s another fun paradigm-shifter called “Black Whole.”

    Look forward to getting the DVD of “I AM” and watching the extras!

  5. Maria Ustinova crane says:

    This is the very best film I have ever seen I am 8m 81
    I would love to get the DVD when will it be available I want to see it over and again- its outrageously good!

  6. trish koser says:

    Saw Tom Shadyak on Oprah Show. He sounds phenomonal. Very interesting. Opens up eyes. Thank you for being a shiny spirit!

    Best, Trisha (warm hearted soul doing her best in Portland, OR)

  7. Tonya Paez says:

    I am wondering if you can help me in the process of opening a non-profit organization for seminarians? Please let me know. I will give you detailed information if I get an answer back! I need your help!!!
    Tonya Paez

  8. Cindy Kraft says:

    I love Tom Shadyac! Invisible Children is how I connected
    today on Oprah and found out who Tom Shadyac really is …..wow ….what he has to offer this world in a positive light!!! Looking forward to seeing the documentary “I Am”. Invisible Children is close to my heart and I am so proud of our hometown youth, finding and connecting our future to lifting up children in the world that need you. Thanks for giving this world hope.

  9. Eileen Lawrence says:

    Hey Tom, I couldn’t see you on the Oprah show, but checked out your appearance on her website. I had just had a challenging conversation at a party last week about what constitutes success that caused me to dig up a quote that I had saved that I thought you might be interested in.
    ” He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much;who has gained the respect of intelligent people and the love of little children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task;who has left the world better than he found it,whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem or a rescued soul; who has never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauty or failed to express it; who has looked for the best in others and given the best he had; whose life was an inspiration; whose memory a benediction.” Mrs A.J.Stanley
    Words to live by- I look forward to seeing I AM. Thanks for making it.

  10. Tom,

    I saw you an OPRAH yesterday.I too experienced the shamanic journey of almost dying in order to wake up!!
    I can’t wait to see the film when it comes to Metro Detroit, MI. God bless you!!

    Eileen McDevitt

  11. margaret says:

    I just saw your film, thank you for the old shots of Peace Pilgrim, I met her in 1971 and had a 10 year exchange of letters with her before her death. I have always been trying to find peace inside. I wonder, looking at my 40 year old son if it is not hard when you are struggling to survive financially. You did come from the financially secure side of the scale and did not have to worry about a roof over your head. Have you looked at that side of the story?
    I know you are correct in what you have presented. I have known physicists who talk about the molecular and even planetary phenomena mentioned in the film. I have also been practicing spiritually most of my life. I cannot think of anything more important or enriching.

  12. Jaime Lyn Brisebois says:

    Tom,

    I know you will understand this!
    In 1982 at the age of nineteen I moved to California to pursue a career in special effects make-up. After three weeks of schooling my little brother of 11 years was hit and killed on his bike by a drunk driver. My inspiration and joy had left this world. I came back to Toronto to deal with my new life and all the pain I was too endure. I struggled for years to find some truth in life. I was searching always searching.
    Finally in 2007 my great nephew was born to my disabled niece. I took both of them in as they had nowhere to go. It was discovered in 2009 my great nephew also had a disability. In taking these children in I have been able to open that place in my heart that I thought was forever hardened. My great nephew gives me the light to feel my little brothers spirit. Although he is only three he is my teacher. Some little life force so small is my guide to understanding.
    Tom with G-d’s will, at some point in time I hope to be able to talk to you. I have an idea to share. The truth for me is; If it is meant to be it will happen.
    I am so grateful you have expressed through action that there is another way to live.We all seem to get caught up wanting more than we need.

    Jaime Lyn Brisebois

  13. I relish, lead to I found just what I was having a look for. You’ve ended my 4 day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye

  14. I’m so happy to see someone like you tell this kind of story.

  15. Ozaltin says:

    Hi Tom,

    I would love to watch the film and to be a part of your journey. I’m leaving in Turkey and don’t know how to get it. Please help! :)

    Please accept my love,.. ”love without condition”

    Ozaltin Ucok

  16. ora says:

    Saw you briefly about I am reading about you now God bless you on your journey of life. Will write more next time.

  17. Hideki Oshiro says:

    I watched the film by Netflix, with legend in Portuguese.
    I regret that many deep messages was lost due to legend in yellow color is impossible to read printed on white or yellow screen.
    Netflix should repair this mistake in all films.

DP/30

Quote Unquotesee all »

This is probably going to sound petty, but Martin Scorsese insisting that critics see his film in theaters even though it’s going straight to Netflix and then not screening it in most American cities was a watershed moment for me in this theatrical versus streaming debate.

I completely respect when a filmmaker insists that their movie is meant to be seen in the theater, but the thing is, you got to actually make it possible to see it in the theater. Some movies may be too small for that, and that’s totally OK.

When your movie is largely financed by a streaming service and is going to appear on that streaming service instantly, I don’t really see the point of pretending that it’s a theatrical film. It just seems like we are needlessly indulging some kind of personal fantasy.

I don’t think that making a feature film length production that is going to go straight to a video platform is some sort of “step down.“ I really don’t. Theatrical exhibition as we know it is dying off anyway, for a variety of reasons.

I should clarify myself because this thread is already being misconstrued — I’m talking about how the movie is screened in advance. If it’s going straight to Netflix, why the ritual of demanding people see it in the theater?

There used to be a category that everyone recognized called “TV movie” or “made for television movie” and even though a lot of filmmakers considered that déclassé, it seems to me that probably 90% of feature films fit that description now.

Atlantis has mostly sunk into the ocean, only a few tower spires remain above the waterline, and I’m increasingly at peace with that, because it seems to be what the industry and much of the audience wants. We live in an age of convenience and information control.

Only a very elite group of filmmakers is still allowed to make movies “for theaters“ and actually have them seen and judged that way on a wide scale. Even platform releasing seems to be somewhat endangered. It can’t be fought. It has to be accepted.

9. Addendum: I’ve been informed that it wasn’t Scorsese who requested that the Bob Dylan documentary only be screened for critics in theaters, but a Netflix representative indicated the opposite to me, so I just don’t know what to believe.

It’s actually OK if your film is not eligible for an Oscar — we have a thing called the Emmys. A lot of this anxiety is just a holdover from the days when television was considered culturally inferior to theatrical feature films. Everybody needs to just get over it.

In another 10 to 20 years they’re probably going to merge the Emmys in the Oscars into one program anyway, maybe they’ll call it the Contentys.

“One of the fun things about seeing the new Quentin Tarantino film three months early in Cannes (did I mention this?) is that I know exactly why it’s going to make some people furious, and thus I have time to steel myself for the takes.

Back in July 2017, when it was revealed that Tarantino’s next project was connected to the Manson Family murders, it was condemned in some quarters as an insulting and exploitative stunt. We usually require at least a fig-leaf of compassion for the victims in true-crime adaptations, and even Tarantino partisans like myself – I don’t think he’s made a bad film yet – found ourselves wondering how he might square his more outré stylistic impulses with the depiction of a real mass murder in which five people and one unborn child lost their lives.

After all, it’s one thing to slice off with gusto a fictional policeman’s ear; it’s quite another to linger over the gory details of a massacre that took place within living memory, and which still carries a dread historical significance.

In her essay The White Album, Joan Didion wrote: “Many people I know in Los Angeles believe that the Sixties ended abruptly on August 9, 1969, ended at the exact moment when word of the murders on Cielo Drive traveled like brushfire through the community, and in a sense this is true.”

Early in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, as Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt’s characters drive up the hill towards Leo’s bachelor pad, the camera cranes up gently to reveal a street sign: Cielo Drive. Tarantino understands how charged that name is; he can hear the Molotov cocktails clinking as he shoulders the crate.

As you may have read in the reviews from Cannes, much of the film is taken up with following DiCaprio and Pitt’s characters – a fading TV actor and his long-serving stunt double – as they amusingly go about their lives in Los Angeles, while Margot Robbie’s Sharon Tate is a relatively minor presence. But the spectre of the murders is just over the horizon, and when the night of the 9th finally arrives, you feel the mood in the cinema shift.

No spoilers whatsoever about what transpires on screen. But in the audience, as it became clear how Tarantino was going to handle this extraordinarily loaded moment, the room soured and split, like a pan of cream left too long on the hob. I craned in, amazed, but felt the person beside me recoil in either dismay or disgust.

Two weeks on, I’m convinced that the scene is the boldest and most graphically violent of Tarantino’s career – I had to shield my eyes at one point, found myself involuntarily groaning “oh no” at another – and a dead cert for the most controversial. People will be outraged by it, and with good reason. But in a strange and brilliant way, it takes Didion’s death-of-the-Sixties observation and pushes it through a hellfire-hot catharsis.

Hollywood summoned up this horror, the film seems to be saying, and now it’s Hollywood’s turn to exorcise it. I can’t wait until the release in August, when we can finally talk about why.

~ Robbie Collin