LETTERS TO NO ONE: A Creative Writing Blog Series

LETTERS TO NO ONE: A Creative Writing Blog Series
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Oct 24, 2020

Video Interview: @ThisFunktional talks with Desiree Staples about IT’S WHAT SHE WOULD HAVE WANTED

Written by Jesus Figueroa
@ThisFunktional of ThisFunktional.com

Actor, producer Desiree Staples talks with Jesus Figueroa, @ThisFunktional of ThisFunktional.com, about being a producer and an actor in TV pilot “It’s what she would have wanted,” now playing at the LA Shorts International Film Festival through October 31.

Staples talks about finding a secret friends can find out that is shocking, being able to be both producer and actor of the project, and filming in her childhood house.

The film centers around Maggie (Marie Selma), who welcomes four of her oldest friends back home after the unexpected death of one of their own. She convinces them to fulfill a childhood pact - destroy all evidence of their friend’s most embarrassing secrets. Their plan proves less than fool proof when long-buried resentments begin to rise, and the group realizes Maggie is dealing with more than the loss of a friend.

At LA Shorts International Film Festival Now

Intro music:
“Before Dawn”
Creative Commons Music by Jason Shaw on Audionautix.com

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Oct 23, 2020

Watch the trailer for LOVE IN DANGEROUS TIMES

Written by Jesus Figueroa
@ThisFunktional of ThisFunktional.com

Watch the trailer for “Love in dangerous times,” a pandemic rom-com shot during the Coronavirus pandemic, coming to On Demand November 3.

A wonderfully funny movie which is touching, relatable, and entertaining.

“Love in Dangerous Times” is the newest film from acclaimed indie director Jon Garcia (The Falls Trilogy). As a virus spreads quickly throughout the globe, Jason remains ambivalent about its danger. Unable to travel and with his family on the other side of the country, he decides to spend the pandemic working on a play that resembles his life and current circumstances. As writers-block and loneliness ensue, he begins to turn to online dating to find a buddy for the apocalypse where he meets Sorrel. With the infection rate worsening and feat looming, the two begin to lean on one another for support and while they try to make sense of the times they live in. Ian Stout and Tiffany Groben star.

On Demand On November 3

Oct 22, 2020

The Pretty Reckless wish you a Happy Halloween season

Written by Jesus Figueroa
@ThisFunktional.com of ThisFunktional.com

With so many upset about traditional festivities for Halloween being cancelled, The Pretty Reckless release “Broomstick,” a creepy and cool Halloween track.

There is more announcements to come from The Pretty Reckless.

The Pretty Reckless release “Broomstick” via Fearless Records.

Letters To No One - October 20, 2020

October 20, 2020

I lie in bed these sleepless nights with thoughts of you going through my head. There are few moments when you do not dominate my thought process. What can I say to make you come back. These notes I write and send with hope that I hear back are wearing me thin. I know you receive them because they do not come back to me. So I will continue to write because as I write to you I feel you and the moments I spend with you are the ones I cherish the most.

I drive myself made pacing around day after day trying to keep myself from writing more and more to you. There is so much I want you to know, but I do not want to interfere in your happiness more than I already do. I want nothing but the upmost happiness for you – I understand that I am not included in that happiness no matter how much I wish I was. So I will walk and wear out my socks on the wood floor of my house as I annoy the ghosts that I’ve around me, until I join them. How long would it take for someone to notice I am gone. Would you notice I am gone?

There is beauty in my memory and I revisit my past much more than many would consider healthy. I live with one foot in the present, one foot in the past, and a fleeting glance to the future that is murky. I do not know if you are there...in my future. I want you to be. I ask the universe to slip you into my future and keep our paths crossing as they have time and time again. This life is wild. This life is free. I just cling to the hope of a home, a home I can be let into. A home that you know. A home with ghosts, but our ghosts. Ghosts that are not as scary because we can face them together.

This is one of the darkest love letters I have written in awhile. I have not lost hope, but I can feel it slipping. Still,I hope this is a true love letter...an honest one as well. I hope you know that as I say I LOVE YOU, there is no need for a response. Life is peachy that way. You go along being the beauty in this world. Know that you make life better. I hope you are still out there, that is the hope I hold on to the hardest.

Yours Always,

Oct 21, 2020

Watch the trailer for Cinémoi Network’s JOSEPHINE BAKER: THE STORY OF AN AWAKENING

Written by Jesus Figueroa
@ThisFunktional of ThisFunktional.com

Watch the trailer for “Josephine Baker: The Story of An Awakening,” exclusively on the Cinémoi Network on October 29 at 7 p.m. PST.

The documentary feature film l illuminates the life of the iconic artist and human rights activist Josephine Baker, the first global black superstar.

World renowned performer, World War II spy, and activist are a few of the titles used to describe Josephine Baker, one of the most successful African American performers in French history. Viewers of the film will witness how Baker went from being a poor little black girl from Missouri to becoming the Queen of Paris, before joining the French Resistance and finally creating her dream family “The Rainbow Tribe”, adopting twelve children from the four corners of the world.

Josephine Baker made three trips “back home” (1936, 1948, 1951), and each time she experienced everyday racism, despite her worldwide fame. Each tragic experience triggered her life-changing decisions. Gradually the battle for Civil Rights became her own, up until 1963, when she was the only woman who spoke on stage besides Martin Luther King during the famous March in Washington. From then on, she used her fame to serve her political utopia until the end of her life. This is the journey of a superstar’s awakening from the “banana dancer” to a humanist fighter. But can fame change the world?

“Josephine Baker: The Story of An Awakening” is Kepler22 Productions eye opening documentary feature film from acclaimed French filmmaker Ilana Navaro.

The film reveals rare and previously unseen archives that will resolve the puzzle of Baker’s fascinating fifty-year-long headline grabbing career.

“Josephine Baker: The Story of An Awakening” will be exclusively on the Cinémoi Network beginning on October 29 at 7 p.m. PST / 10 p.m. EST.

Oct 20, 2020

Television premiere of THE WAY I SEE IT shatters ratings record with 3.7M total viewers on MSNBC

(Info from press release)

Documentary Co-Presented By Focus Features and MSNBC Films Ranked #2 in All of TV on October 16, Ahead of FOX News and CNN

Achieves Highest-Rated Non-News, Non-Live Program Ever—As Well As Highest-Rated Friday Night 7 p.m. - 12 a.m. Broadcast—in MSNBC’s 25-Year History

This is the First Project from NBC News Studios—Under Its MSNBC Films Banner—Since Launching Earlier This Year 

NEW YORK (October 19, 2020) – The commercial-free television premiere of “The Way I See It” on MSNBC delivered a record 3.7 million total viewers from 10 p.m. to 11:40 p.m. ET on October 16, according to Nielsen.

The documentary, co-presented by Focus Features and MSNBC Films, ranked #2 in all of television in the timeslot (ahead of #3 FOX News’ 3.6 million and #7 CNN’s 1.6 million) and achieved the network’s highest-rated non-news, non-live program ever in MSNBC’s 25-year history.

In A25-54, “The Way I See It” drew 527,000 viewers.

This was the first project from the newly-formed NBC News Studios, an in-house production studio that primarily produces documentary films and series.

“The Way I See It,” directed by Dawn Porter and produced by Academy Award winner of “Free Solo” Evan Hayes, Academy Award winner Laura Dern and Jayme Lemons, is an unprecedented look behind the scenes at two former presidents, Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan, as seen through the eyes of renowned photographer Pete Souza.

As official White House Photographer, Souza was an eyewitness to the unique and tremendous responsibilities of being the President of the United States of America.

The documentary reveals how Souza transforms from a respected photojournalist to a searing commentator on the issues Americans face.

In January 2020, NBC News launched NBC News Studios, a new unit that produces premium documentaries, docuseries, select scripted programming and content for emerging platforms. MSNBC Films is a division of NBC News Studios.

The film will be available to stream for free on Peacock on Oct 23.

Watch the trailer for award-winning Brazilian futuristic film DIVINE LOVE North American Premiere set for November 13

Written by Jesus Figueroa
@ThisFunktional of ThisFunktional.com

Take a look at this intense trailer for “Divine Love,” premiering November 13.

The trailer shows a strange story with some religious scenes that make it a bit creepy.

Brazilian director Gabriel Mascaro's (Neon Bull) “Divine Love” (Divino Amor) world premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to critical acclaim and intense audience reactions. Recommended for adult-viewing only, the film is sure to surprise and provoke viewers. It begins its North merican theatrical Premiere November 13, from Outsider Pictures and Strand Releasing.

It's the year 2027 in this futurist story of Joana (Brazilian star Dira Paes), who uses her position in a notary's office to convince divorcing couples to stay together. Her secret weapon is "Divine Love," an evangelical cult she belongs to that mixes group therapy and a little swinging, into its more traditional prayers and bible study.

A crisis in her own marriage brings her closer to the God that is the cornerstone of her life. When Joana can't get pregnant with her husband, she prays regularly at a drive-in church, asking for a sign that she will conceive and ends up receiving a greater sign than she was prepared for. 
Divine Love is an unusual take on a future religion that is full of dance parties, ritualistic orgies, cults and Evangelical Christianity, as well as a critique of today's right-wing led Brazil.

Director Gabriel Mascaro says, "The film takes place in a time when the majority of Brazil's population are now Evangelical, but the state still claims to be secular. It is a film that speculates the near future through an extraordinary allegory. “DIVINE LOVE” is a commentary on the conservative, fanatical and nationalist agenda that is spreading throughout the world and the way those that don’t espouse it, engage with it. Brazil has traditionally been referred to as a liberal and united country, where the annual Carnaval celebrations espouse the country’s diversity and cordiality. But the fact is that during the past few years, a cultural, social and political transformation led by powerful, ultra-conservative forces, has taken hold in the country. Instead of telling the story of a character fighting against against this conservative shift, I wanted to tell the story of a woman consumed by a desire to advance the conservative religious agenda in a very personal way. If a societal chasm has emerged as a result of hatred and misunderstanding, cinema is a space where I can fantasize improbable encounters." Read the Director Q&A here.

North American Premiere Set For November 13

Watch the trailer for explosive Chinese crime noir THE WILD GOOSE LAKE

Written by Jesus Figueroa
@ThisFunktional of ThisFunktional.com

“The Wild Goose Lake” trailer shows a story full of action and highly thrilling.

The vibrant colors give it a style that is eye catching and with the contrast of the black it gives it a modern noir look.

Take a look at the trailer and prepare to watch “The Wild Goose Lake” on October 23 exclusively on Film Movement Plus.

An official selection and festival favorite at Cannes, Toronto and the New York International Film Festival, Chinese director Diao Yinan's “THE WILD GOOSE LAKE,” the much anticipated follow-up to his breakthrough film Black Coal, Thin Ice,is a noir crime thriller about a gangster on the run, wet in the nooks and crannies of densely populated Wuhan in central China. On October 23, the gritty thriller - which maintains a 92% Rotten Tomatoes rating with 70+ reviews, debuts exclusively on SVOD platform FILM MOVEMENT PLUS.
The elegantly down-and-dirty film follows the desperate attempts of small-time mob boss Zhou Zenong (the charismatic Hu Ge) to stay alive after he mistakenly kills a cop and a dead-or-alive reward is put on his head.  Director Yinan proves his action bona fides in a series of stylized set pieces and violent shocks, simultaneously devising a romance between Zhou and a mysterious young woman (Gwei Lun-mei) who's out to either help or betray him. 
Jessica Kiang of Variety writes that "Diao Yinan delivers a definitive Chinese crime noir, in which the ravishing style and inventive staging form the substance. Staged and executed with...slick, dark dazzle. Reteaming with cinematographer Dong Jinsong, Diao shows an extraordinarily elastic mastery of form. The Wild Goose Lake is like an organic feature of the Chinese cinematic landscape, as though it pooled onto the screen in all its oily, murky glory, having welled up from deep inside the ground. Suddenly, China feels like the noirest place on Earth." While Nate Jones of Vulturepens "Have you ever imagined what John Wick would be like if it was set not in an imaginary version of New York, but instead a remote city in China's industrial hinterland? Wonder no more, because here comes Diao Yinan's ultrastylish neo-noir The Wild Goose Lake, which offers some of the most thrillingly original fight scenes you'll see onscreen this year."

Exclusively On Film Movement+ October 23

New scary trailer for THE EMPTY MAN

Written by Jesus Figueroa
@ThisFunktional of ThisFunktional.com

Watch the trailer for 20th Century Studios’ “The Empty Man,” opening in U.S. Theaters October 23.

I can’t wait to watch this, it looks like a good watch.

20th Century Studios’ “The Empty Man” is a supernatural horror film based on a popular series of Boom! Studios graphic novels. After a group of teens from a small Midwestern town begin to mysteriously disappear, the locals believe it is the work of an urban legend known as The Empty Man. As a retired cop investigates and struggles to make sense of the stories, he discovers a secretive group and their attempts to summon a horrific, mystical entity, and soon his life—and the lives of those close to him—are in grave danger. Directed by David Prior from a screen story and screenplay by David Prior based on the graphic novel by Cullen Bunn, “The Empty Man” stars James Badge Dale, Marin Ireland, Stephen Root, Ron Canada, Robert Aramayo, Joel Courtney and Sasha Frolova. The film is produced by Ross Richie, p.g.a. and Stephen Christy, p.g.a. 

Advance tickets for “The Empty Man” are on sale now and can be purchased anywhere tickets are sold.

opens in U.S. theaters on October 23
Hashtag -  #EmptyMan

Happy International Sloth Day from THE CROODS: A NEW AGE

(Info from press release)

Celebrate by learning how to draw Sash, trying our new Snapchat lens, and visiting Croods Cove on “Animal Crossing”

The Croods have survived their fair share of dangers and disasters, from fanged prehistoric beasts to surviving the end of the world, but now they will face their biggest challenge of all: another family
The Croods need a new place to live.

So, the first prehistoric family sets off into the world in search of a safer place to call home.

When they discover an idyllic walled-in paradise that meets all their needs, they think their problems are solved … except for one thing. Another family already lives there: the Bettermans.
The Bettermans (emphasis on the “better”)—with their elaborate tree house, amazing inventions and irrigated acres of fresh produce—are a couple of steps above the Croods on the evolutionary ladder.

When they take the Croods in as the world’s first houseguests, it isn’t long before tensions escalate between the cave family and the modern family.
Just when all seems lost, a new threat will propel both families on an epic adventure outside the safety of the wall, one that will force them to embrace their differences, draw strength from each other and forge a future together.
“The Croods: A New Age” features the voice talent of returning stars Nicolas Cage as Grug Crood, Catherine Keener as Ugga Crood, Emma Stone as their daughter, Eep; Ryan Reynolds as Eep’s boyfriend, Guy; Clark Duke (Hot Tub Time Machine) as Thunk and Cloris Leachman as Gran. They’re joined by new stars Peter Dinklage (HBO’s Game of Thrones) as Phil Betterman, Leslie Mann (Blockers) as Hope Betterman, and Kelly Marie Tran (Star Wars: Episode VIII-The Last Jedi) as their daughter, Dawn.
The film is directed by Joel Crawford, who has worked on multiple DreamWorks Animation films, including Trolls and the Kung Fu Panda franchise, and is produced by Mark Swift (Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted).

In Theaters November 25
YouTube | #CroodsNewAge

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