P.C.Pop with Pablo

Posts Tagged ‘movies’

WHERE DO WE LIVE? — I want MORE

In Movies, Pablo Malavenda, Pop Culture, Uncategorized on January 17, 2015 at 3:23 pm

I Want MORE — Critically Claimed Movies & the Ocassional Woody & Spike Film


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In the ongoing series – Where Do We Live? – I am baffled by our local movie theater company/monopoly (Goodrich Quality Theaters). My latest frustrations – during the week of the announcement of the Oscar nominations – are as follows:


BIRDMAN — from even before it was released the Oscar buzz surrounding this movie was pretty loud. I posted my

birdmanposterfrustration on the Goodrich Facebook page — and the reply was basically, “we applied for a copy of the film and didn’t get it and now it’s too late, oh well.” To this date Birdman has not screened in any theater in Lafayette/West Lafayette. Michael Keaton won the Golden Globe — and is a front runner for the Oscar — and still no Birdman in my town. This is unbelievable.


TOP MOVIES of 2014 — Critics around the world have published the top movies of the year — and a majority of them never ever were screened here. It is an absolute cultural void. BTW — most of the “worst” movies of 2014 landed here (Tranformers: Age of Extinction, for one). To name a few of the BEST of 2014 we missed:

  • BIRDMAN
  • Under the Skin
  • Whiplash
  • Ida
  • Nightcrawler
  • Only Lovers Left Alive
  • Force Majeure
  • Snowpiercer
  • Life Itself
  • Gloria
  • The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
  • Starred Up
  • Elaine Stritch: Shoot Mearticle-2586316-1C7B738700000578-459_634x881
  • The Babadook
  • Pride
  • The Overnighters

OSCAR NOMINATED MOVIES — While the rest of the world rushes to the theaters to see all of the movies recently nominated for an Oscar – we can’t — because THEY AREN’T HERE!! Some are but most aren’t. Here are the movies, I wish came to my town:

  • BIRDMAN
  • Wild
  • Still Alice
  • Two Days, One Night
  • The Theory of Everything
  • Whiplash
  • Nightcrawlers
  • Ida
  • The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

Lastly, not to put too fine a point on it…

WOODY ALLEN & SPIKE LEE — I know this might sound selfish or at the very least “specific” — but I expect to seespikewoody the newest Woody Allen and Spike Lee films at my local movie theater. For my entire life — until I moved here — I made a point of seeing all Woody Allen and Spike Lee movies on the first night of their release — opening night, if you will. Goodrich has denied me this pleasure — and to make it worse — Woody & Spike’s movies typically don’t ever screen here — ever. BLUE JASMINE, Woody Allen’s most recent critically acclaimed, Oscar nominated movie starring Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin, Peter Sarsgaard, & Sally Hawkins — NEVER ever screened here. Suffice it to say — we didn’t get his latest MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT either. And I’m ashamed to say — we didn’t even bother asking about. We are getting too tired.

Spike Lee has a new one out this weekend — DA SWEET BLOOD OF JESUS. And guess what — it ain’t here and probably won’t ever be screened here. Please, for heavens sake — give us some Woody Allen and Spike Lee.


AmpasLogo


Indianapolis is 60+ miles south of us and not a convenient excursion when you have two teenage kids — one who doesn’t like movies and the other that enjoys anything superhero. I just can’t believe that this community with a major university with over 40,000 students cannot sustain at least one screen for what used to be called “art house movies” — let alone Oscar nominated movies.

Why is there no market for culture? Why is this town in a cultural void? If I am right (which I am sure some of your screaming right now) — then why don’t you demand better?


I am greedy and selfish to want MORE? Is there hope? Where the heck do we live, people??


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WHERE DO WE LIVE? — I want all 3

In Movies, Pablo Malavenda, Pop Culture, Uncategorized on December 1, 2013 at 3:23 pm

I Want All Three — Frozen, 12 Years a Slave and Blue Jasmine


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In the ongoing series – Where Do We Live? – I am baffled by our local movie theater company/monopoly (Goodrich Quality Theaters). Two frustrations we experienced during just one visit yesterday. They are as follows:

FROZN_014M_G_ENG-GB_70x100.indd

* FROZEN — was only being screened in 3D at 9 p.m. Really? Wouldn’t there be more people wanting to see a Disney movie at an earlier show time than 9 p.m. PLUS — all reviews say this movie should be seen in 3D; if not for the Frozen movie itself, but more so for the opening animated short which has groundbreaking animation — and Mickey Mouse.

* 12 YEARS A SLAVE — Arrived Friday, November 22, Gone Wednesday, November 27. Reason given they needed as many screens as possible for Frozen and Catching Fire. REALLY?? Only 4 days and 5 nights? Why can’t I have all three movies? The manager suggested we go to Indy to see it.

Lastly, not to put too fine a point on it…

* BLUE JASMINE — Woody Allen’s latest movie starring Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin, Peter Sarsgaard,Blue_Jasmine_poster & Sally Hawkins — NEVER ever screened here. We’ve asked and asked to not avail. Yesterday we didn’t even bother asking about again. We were too tired.

Indianapolis is 60+ miles south of us and not a convenient excursion when you have two teenage kids — one who doesn’t like movies and the other that enjoys anything superhero. I just can’t believe that this community with a major university with over 40,000 students cannot sustain at least one screen for what used to be called “art house movies.” BTW — 12 Years a Slave which has raked in millions and will undoubtedly garner several Oscar nomination and Blue Jasmine with Cate and Alec are hardly “art house.” Even the Butler took forever to come to town and did not stay long — and that one has Oprah for goodness sakes.


12-years-a-slave-poster-copy


Why is there no market for culture? Why is this part of the world a cultural void? If I am wrong (which I am sure some of your screaming right now) — then why don’t you demand better? And since the closest IMAX is also in Indianapolis then 3D needs to be offered at least for movies which we filmed for 3D.

I am greedy and selfish to want all three? Is there hope? Where the heck do we live, people??


Superheroes — Lessons about Power and Leadership

In Avengers, Batman, Comic Books, Dark Knight, Exploring Leadership, Harry Potter, Justice League of America, Komives, Leader, Malavenda, Movies, Nance Lucas, Pablo Malavenda, Pop Culture, Robert Greenleaf, Servant Leadership, Spider-Man, Timothy McMahon, Tuckman Stages, Uncategorized on July 3, 2012 at 7:22 pm


This summer you can’t escape Superheroes. From the Avengers movie which is smashing all box office records to The Amazing Spider-Man (reboot) to The Dark Knight Rises (big screen’s 7th Batman actor so far) — not to mention Dredd (Judge Dredd reboot) and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance — superheroes are saving the world in teams, with side-kicks, and alone on multiple, multiplex screens.  Even Broadway in New York City is currently smitten with a superhero — Spider-Man — Turn Off the Dark.

Leadership and Power — there is no better example than Superheroes.  According to J.W. Gardner (1990), Power is a social dimension; it is the capacity to ensure the outcomes one wishes and to prevent those one does not wish. Gardner (1990) also explains that Leadership and Power are two different things but are intertwined in many fascinating ways. The important questions are — What do you do with Power when you get it? How did you get the Power? How and when do you use it? Why do you use your Power — toward what ends?

Over the past 25 years, I have led many discussions about Leadership. Everyone has an idea of what Leadership is and what defines a Leader. Since I am more interested in engaging individuals I developed a highly interactive session. My goal is to give the participants an opportunity to think rather than be told what to think. I start the conversation about Leadership and Power with a simple yet important question —


Why Be a Leader?


What are the benefits? Why do individuals aspire, work, lobby, and fight to become the leaders of their groups or communities. Being the “Leader” is often not easy. Being the Leader means taking on responsibility, working harder than others, and not getting much recognition or praise. Being the Leader is often unfair. Leaders rarely get credit for the successes and almost always get blamed for the failures. In many cases, the Leaders are hated just because they’ve been given the title or position of authority. Take for instance the President of the United States. As soon as they win the election, they are hated and disrespected by a large portion of their constituents. Often even Superheroes like Batman, Spider-Man, Green Hornet, Blue Beetle and Green Arrow are misunderstood by the public they are serving and vilified in the media. So why would anyone want to be a Leader? What are the benefits and rewards? The audience thinks and begins to offer answers.

  • Because I could do it better than everyone else
  • To Make things better
  • To have a say in what happens
  • To control what is done
  • To learn and grow personally and professionally
  • To determine your own destiny
  • To give back
  • To serve others
  • To make a difference
  • Because no one else will

When the participants start running out of answers, I usually stop and tell them there are two answers they have missed.  I also share that I am not surprised that neither of these answers have been mentioned yet — because for as long as I have been asking this question, these two answers rarely come up.  They usually look at me dumbfounded.  With a few more hints — they finally realize the two mysteriously missing answers to the question, Why Be a Leader? are: MONEY and POWER. In an academic or intellectual setting, it just isn’t appropriate to share that your goal in life is to be a Leader to get a better position with a better salary, incredible benefits and retirement plan. Emile Henry Gauvreay gives an insightful description of our attitude of Money today in this observation:


I was part of that strange race of people aptly described as spending their lives doing things they detest to make money they don’t want to buy things they don’t need to impress people they dislike.


Pursuing money as a benefit to being a Leader is not all bad unless it is your only motivation.  After all we must live, support our families and feel that we are being compensated appropriately for our work and effort.

And POWER also has a very bad name — individuals in our discussion talked about “control,” “determining the destiny,” and “having a say” — but they won’t use the “P” word for fear of appearing greedy, corrupt and immoral. Power is typically used in a negative context thanks to powerful political leaders and powerful corporate CEO’s who have behaved badly. This quote from Lord Acton in an opinion piece from 1887 says it all:


Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.


As for POWER, again, if it is the sole reason for being a Leader it will most likely bring trouble. But I would argue that POWER is actually quite necessary to make any positive change as a Leader.  Without POWER what really can be accomplished? The key is how you use the power — for good or for evil.

Everyone is with the Justice League. Each member of the Justice League has great power. But unlike the Super Villains, Superheroes use their Power for good not evil. Another example — a bit more obscure — is the Disney movie, Sky High (2005). In looking at Power and Leadership, I love Sky High. The storyline in Sky High is similar to Harry Potter. This 14 year old finds out his parents are very famous Superheroes (The Commander and Jetstream), and he now must attend a special school for Super Heroes kids called Sky High.  The first day of school, the gym teacher has all of the new kids gather in the gym and one at a time they have to show him their super power.  Based on their demonstrated super power, the gym teacher identifies them as Superheroes, Villains, and Side-kicks.  The concept of a side-kick I think is fascinating.  The role is to support and complement the Superhero without ever being in the spotlight. I like this idea because I can definitely see myself more as a side-kick than a Superhero or Villain. Superheroes use their Power for Good — Villains for Evil.

Leaders typically have some degree of Power; but Power can exist without Leadership.  The person who puts a parking ticket on your car’s windshield has Power but not the permission to lead. Parents have Power; School teachers have Power; Mid-managers have Power. Some have power because of their title and position — but they may not be Leaders.  Others get Power because of more intrinsic reasons like their physical appearance and attractiveness, their leadership skills, or ability to persuade others (Gardner, 2003). Superheroes are not Leaders until they can harness and control their Power, understand how their Power may be used for Good, and must commit to using their Power only when necessary and always for the good of others.

Power is essential.  If you read the essays by Robert K. Greenleaf (2002) about Servant Leadership — you see that he acknowledges that indeed little may be accomplished in a community without Power. A wonderful example of an individual whose means and ends were so admirable and so well respected that seeking Power is justified.  The leader is Green Arrow who gained power and used the power to fight crime in his home town. Loki on the other hand used Power to an end that was horrifyingly destructive and despicable. The Justice League of America (JLA) and the Avengers are similar in that each Superhero and Villain acquired their super powers in different ways.  Most gained their super powers because of an accident — like being blasted off their home planet (Superman, Wonder Woman), falling into a vat of toxic goo (The Joker, Poison Ivy), exposed to alien technology (Green Lantern, Blue Beetle, The Thing, Invisible Woman), being exposed to radiation (The Hulk, Captain America), being bitten by a bug (Spider-man), morphed with an animal (The Penguin, Beast Boy), struck by lightning (The Flash), using themselves as  test subjects in an experiment that goes really wrong (Green Goblin).  Others chose to find or create their power like the billionaires who have different identities by day (Ant-Man, Batman, Green Arrow, Iron Man, Wasp).

In Exploring Leadership, Komives et al (2003) affirm that Leaders must have the power to get results. Leaders though must be held accountable. Leaders also must be careful not to hoard power; hence their emphasis on Empowering as a key element of their Relational Leadership Model (Komives, 2008).  Power can be indeed shared and amplified but Leaders should be hesitant to merely give it away (Gardner, 2003). Most of the time Superheroes act alone or with their sidekicks. But this summer with the wildly popular movie The Avengers, we see Superheroes needing to figure out how to work together. Like any group of Leaders who are put together in a team to focus on one task, they progress through a series of stages of group development (Tuckman, 1965).  This is seen in the Avengers — and the success of the movie is that they eventually pass through the “storming” stage, begin to “norm” and ultimately “perform.”  You even see some evidence of them saying goodbye or “adjourning” (Tuckman, 1977).  During the performing stage you can see all of the Superheroes sharing power and in effect amplifying the overall power of the group — of Avengers, who defeated Loki and his alien army. And the DC folks are working on a Justice League of America movie; so, we’ll get a chance to see shared Power and Leadership among Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Cyborg, Flash, and Aquaman soon in a theater near you.

Lastly, J.W. Gardner (2003) cautioned that Leaders must always be accountable. To avoid Leaders hoarding power or using Power for their own benefit, there must be a system of checks and balances.  More importantly, Leaders who are given extraordinary Power must be able to use the Power well. As Spider-Man recalled from his last moments with his surrogate dad, Uncle Ben:


Whatever life holds in store for me, I will never forget these words:

“With great power comes great responsibility.”

This is my gift, my curse. Who am I? I’m Spider-man.


So next time someone asks you “Why Be a Leader?” — don’t be afraid to say for POWER. But don’t forget to explain that like Superman, Batman, Spider-man, and all of the Avengers — YOU will choose to use your POWER for Good not Evil.


References:

  • Gardner, John W. (1990). On Leadership. New York: The Free Press.
  • Gardner, John W. (2003). Living, leading, and the American dream. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Greenleaf, Robert K. (2002). Servant Leadership: A Journey Into the Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness – 25th Anniversary Edition. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press.
  • Komives, Susan R., Lucas, Nance, & McMahon, Timothy R. (2007) 2nd Edition. Exploring Leadership for College Students Who Want to Make a DifferenceSan Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.
  • Tuckman, B. W. (1965). Development sequence in small groups. Psychological Bulletin, 63, 384-399.
  • Tuckman, B.W. & Jensen, M.A.C. (1977) Stages of small group development revisitedGroup and Organizational Studies, 2, 419-427.

Mad Men Style

In Fashion, fatherhood, GQ, life, Mad Men, Malavenda, metro, metrosexual, Movies, Pablo Malavenda, parenting, Pop Culture, Rat Pack, Sinatra, TV, Uncategorized on March 26, 2012 at 10:25 am

Growing Up with GQ — Part 2:

Either You’ve Got or You Haven’t Got STYLE!


Robin & the 7 Hoods


This is the second PC Pop blog post in a series called Growing Up with GQ.  As you know from previous PC Pop blog post (Growing Up with GQ), I grew up surrounded by men who took great pride in how they looked, smelled, and were proud to be one step ahead of the latest fashion.  Every man in my family was voted “Best Dressed” in high school; and someone in our family has continuously subscribed to GQ magazine since the early 70′s.  We were metro before there was a word for it.

Robin & the 7 HoodsRecently I have realized that my son is the sole heir of this marvelous legacy.  He’s the only Malavenda male in his generation.  That’s a lot of pressure on him — and me. I have been looking for inspiration in many places and searching for opportunities to make the point without triggering the “oh, dad” so typical these days.  Not sure if you have noticed but men are dressing better in movies and TV — and men and fashion is once again acceptable.  And thanks to shows like Mad Men and characters like Don Draper there is a renewed interest in the classic fashion styles of the past — even the ’60’s. One thing my son and I do have in common is our love of “black and white” movies and TV — classic cinema and television.  He and I (to the dread of my wife and daughter) watch a lot of the Dick Van Dyke Show and movies on the classic movie channels. He loves the George Clooney – Ocean’s movies; so, we watched the original from 1960. Last weekend, we stumbled on a movie similar to the original Ocean’s 11 that featured amazing fashion — Robin and the 7 Hoods starring the Rat Pack.

Robbo played by Frank Sinatra is a mobster from Indiana who is now in control of Chicago’s north side during pre-prohibition times. Robbo and his band of thieves which features Sammy Davis, Jr. and Dean Martin are different from the other gangsters (Peter Falk) and corrupt Sheriff (Victor Buono).  With some of his money Robbo with theSinatra, Dino, Bing help of an orphanage director (Bing Crosby) creates a nonprofit social services initiative.  In addition to the orphanage, they run a homeless shelter and soup kitchen. The movie is a great vehicle for the Rat Pack with great music, dancing — and great costume design. The movie score features some of the most memorable Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen songs like “My Kind of Town,” “Bang! Bang!,” “Any Man Who Loves His Mother,” and “Don’t Be a Do-Badder.”

Ole Blue Eyes, Bing, Dino and Sammy are also dressed to kill the entire movie. Mad Men - Men's StyleThe fashion and style of this movie are classic, mobster, glamorous 1910’s style with a Technicolor – 1960’s – Vegas – Rat Pack swagger. More importantly the fashion in this movie has helped me make sense of my family. I forgot about the connection between the appreciation of GQ style with the men in my family — and the Rat Pack. The song and dance routine, “Style,” from this movie says it better than I. As the song goes, “Either you’ve got – or you haven’t got – style.” It would even inspire Don Draper.

Watch this clip from Robin and the 7 Hoods.  I think it speaks for itself.



Today, with the recent fascination with everything Mad Men and Don Draper — perhaps there is hope for my son to be more conscious about fashion and how he looks, smells, and dresses. A father could hope for a kid whose “got it” — yes?