Another inspiring short from Nationlight.
The Museum of the Moving Image’s fabulous exhibit, Jim Henson’s Fantastic World, opens this weekend!
May our celebrations this day remind us to treasure our freedoms, instill gratitude for those who fought for, fight for, and protect them, and inspire us to work for freedom for everyone.
Katy Perry’s Fireworks for the 4th of July!
Hurray for the Alamo Drafthouse movie theater for standing up for the rights of movie-goers by kicking out a woman who was texting in the theater. The Alamo’s policy is clear. Since 1997 it has had a strict no-talking policy […]
And swords, kung fu, guns, blasters, aliens, and He-who-must-not-be-named.
A tribute to all fathers, everywhere — a look at Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch, based on the real-life father of author Harper Lee.
From “Carousel” by Rodgers and Hammerstein — Happy June!
Our deepest gratitude for the honor and sacrifice of all who have served our country.
Lady Gaga loves her fans and they love her. An ad for a browser brought tears to my eyes.
I was honored to be the kick-off speaker at the Gel Conference last month. Gel stands for “good experience live” and it is an enthralling event that brings together innovative thinkers in every area and then has them learn to […]
If you remember seeing a movie in school about a witch who made magical blueberry pancakes, then you must be in your late 30’s or early 40’s. The New York Times has a great piece by Jennifer Mendelsohn about how […]
The story of the Exodus updated for the era of social media! A blessed Passover to all.
From Marc Erlbaum of Nationlight Productions: Anyone following the world news the past couple months is aware that something huge is brewing. Is it good or bad – that’s not clear quite yet. But what is clear is that the […]
Fifty years ago today, the USSR’s Yuri Gagarin became the first person to orbit the earth. First Orbit. has released a tribute film with archival audio and new footage showing us what he saw, filmed from the space station.
A Brief History of Title Design from Ian Albinson on Vimeo. A wonderful salute to movie titles.
Would-be tween pop star Rebecca Black is having a good news/bad news situation. The good news: her song “Friday” is one of the internet’s most widely distributed and watched videos. She has become an instant celebrity. The bad news: that’s […]
I was delighted to find this great version of one of my favorite Tom Chapin songs, performed by Steve Charney — very timely with the increased sensitivity to issues of bullying and mean behavior in schools, and a great way […]
I don’t have an embed code, but you can visit YouTube to see an animated version of a Talmudic story in honor of today’s celebration of the Jewish holiday of Tu B’Shvat that gives thanks for trees and other things […]
The Newberry Award is the highest honor awarded to the author of a children’s book and the list of winners includes some classics for every age. James Kennedy (The Order of Odd-Fish) and the New York Public Library have invited […]
I love this short film from Liberty Mutual’s Responsibility Project about a kid who takes protecting the environment into his own heroic hands. Felicity Huffman directed and stars.
Here is one of my favorite Christmas carols, performed by the King’s Chapel Boys Choir.
If you are of a certain age and grew up in Chicago, these will bring back a lot of memories, back from the days when children’s programming was local. I am always delighted when WGN runs it on Christmas for […]
Thanks to Alexander Law for suggesting this animated short from the National Film Board of Canada about a wild (and I do mean wild) west Christmas.
This is a brilliantly edited compilation of the movies of 2010. How many can you identify?
I am delighted that this charming film is available again this year. Enjoy!
I am so very thankful to all of you who make it a joy to share our thoughts on movies and more. I wish you all a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.
I loved this flash mob dance to En Vogue’s “Free Your Mind” on “Modern Family!” And here’s the original video with the fabulous funky divas, En Vogue:
I love the series from Babelgum with young children re-enacting reality television — here the kids nail “Project Runway.” I love the micro Tim Gunn and Michael Kors and the kids doing designs with crayons and talking about their aesthetic. […]
Arcade Fire has created an interactive video that will show you a boy running through the street in front of your childhood home (or any other address you type in), created with the help of Google Maps. It is hauntingly […]
I love this charmingly romantic video from Bruno Mars.
On the holiest day of the year, Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, Jews study the story of Jonah and the Whale. The Jewish educational and outreach group AISH says In a certain sense it is very much the story […]
Barbra Streisand sings the traditional Rosh Hashanah song, Avinu Malkeinu – Our Father Our King. L’Shana Tova! A sweet new year to all.
Happy back to school week!
Every family should share these ten moments of courage, dedication, awakening, and inspiration. Thanks to Mashable for putting this together.
Ready for school? My wish for all of you is that when you get there, this is the kind of teacher you find waiting for you. He also makes teachers. Be sure to check out more from the wonderful Taylor […]
Kanye West’s “Gold Digger” is re-fitted as an adorable salute to the soul-enlarging spiritual renewal of the Jewish New Year, to be celebrated on the evening of Sept 8 this year. Thanks to Slate’s Brow Beat for bringing it to […]
I love this sly parody of the “Old Spice” commercials. Go libraries!
I love StoryCorps, the wonderful NPR series and podcast that lets Americans tell their own funny, touching, inspiring, tragic, stories of love, work, family, war, school, struggle, heartbreak, and triumph. There are stories about world-changing historic events and stories about […]
The star of “Chuck” plays a man who loses his soul and finds it living much more happily with someone else in this short film written and directed by actor Joel Moore. Part 2 is below. Byron Phillips: Found Part […]
Thanks to my friend Desson Thomson for recommending this touching version of the Beach Boys classic, sung by Vance Perry with his three sons.
The glorious Esperanza Spaulding sings “Overjoyed” at the White House tribute to Stevie Wonder. Heaven. And here it is sung by Stevie himself. This is one of my favorite songs, ever.
This irresistible summer confection from Hanson (yes, the MMMBop kids are grown up and married with kids of their own) is inspired by a scene from “The Blues Brothers.” Just for fun, take another look at Hanson, circa 1997. I […]
Many thanks to the wonderful Grace Wang for suggesting this lovely little film about loss and love, and winner of the 2009 36-Hour ChristianFilmmakers.org contest. Leave Me (3 minute contest winning version) from Daros Films on Vimeo.
An adorable response to Katy Perry’s “California Gurls.”
Pixar began with short films and it still prefaces each of its features with a short that gives them a chance to try something or someone new. That’s the best place to see the up and coming talent who will […]
I love the gentle trick Biola math professor Matthew Weathers played on his class (with a little help from the University President at the end). If I can just be a movie nerd here for a moment, I’ll point out […]
The “Toy Story” movie characters have a warm, retro feel. For parents and grandparents, one of the many pleasures of the movies is the evocative memory they bring back of the beloved toys of our own childhoods. Woody, Jessie, and […]
On Memorial Day, we honor those who gave “the last full measure of devotion” to protect freedom and democracy. Let us all keep their example in mind as we do our best to live up to the dreams they died […]
Pioneering animators The Quay brothers created this breathtaking short film for the BBC, which rejected it. That just makes it even more fun to watch.
Many of us have danced to Hava Nagilah. But how many of us know where it comes from? Here is a charming excerpt from a forthcoming documentary (featuring the co-creator of “Friends,” Harry Belafonte, and Leonard Nimoy!) that has the […]
Another one from my mom! This is a story of a dog who could not be what his trainer wanted but was even more than she hoped.
Our troops take a well-deserved break to create a salute to Lady GaGa and her video for “Telephone.” And NPR takes a moment to salute them both. I love the way both videos have such whole-hearted enthusiasm and good humor. […]
The brilliant movie director Werner Herzog (“Grizzly Man,” “Encounters at the End of the World,” “Aguirre: The Wrath of God,” and of course “Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe”), here is gently spoofed by an actor for his inclination toward dark […]
Thanks to my friend Bob Elisberg for recommending this sublime video!
A preview of next week’s all-Madonna episode of “Glee” — with Sue Sylvester starring in “Vogue!” One thing I especially love about this show is is agnosticism about music — it makes no distinction between classic rock (“Somebody to Love”), […]
A Trailer for Every Academy Award Winning Movie Ever — powered by Cracked.com
This joyous salute to books and reading is guaranteed to cheer your day. Bravo to the teachers, the administration, the librarians, and most of all the kids at the Ocoee Middle School. Keep reading! Thanks to the wonderful Jennifer Farrington […]
To donate: We are the World Behind the scenes:
I love this short film based on Bill Morrison’s book about the little boy who tried to get a job without knowing how to read.
I like the way this short film makes use of the latest technology (every bit of it is computer-animated with off-the-shelf software) and yet begins with some very old technology. But then, I love both computers and fountain pens. The […]
Chloe Agnew and the Celtic Women perform “O Holy Night.”
My family is in Chicago, where my husband and I grew up, and we were enchanted to find a tribute to the children’s television shows we loved as kids on WGN last night. In those early days of television, children’s […]
Yes, that Bob Dylan — it’s on his new Christmas In the Heart.
Han Solo hugs Chewbacca? Fat Albert meets a baby in a sort of urban manger? He-Man learns about Christmas from two annoying little kids? But bad Christmas specials can inspire good responses. This is a classic from Tom Shales of […]
A wonderful clip from one of the greatest concert specials in television history:
I am delighted that this charming film is available again this year. Enjoy!
I love “Glee” and I especially love this great number, a wonderful choice for a week of thanks and family.
Cynthia Schneider, former US Ambassador to the Netherlands and specialist in international culture, tells the TED audience about the impact of “Idol”-style television programs around the world. We know how winning can transform the lives of the performers. She helps […]
In 2008, TED gave its annual award to Karen Armstrong, author of more than 20 books about what Islam, Judaism and Christianity have in common and their effect on world events. She is a former nun who now calls herself […]
I’m a big fan of Current TV’s weekly Rotten Tomatoes Show with Brett Erlich and Ellen Fox. They have smart, funny reviews of each week’s movies with their own take and comments from viewers, looks at what’s coming next, top […]
Take a moment to watch this brief film about love and patience. It is worth your time. Thanks to Jeffrey Seglin for bringing this to my attention.
Here’s Mary J. Blige singing the title song from Tyler Perry’s upcoming movie, starring Taraji P. Henson and featuring Blige and Gladys Knight.
Slate has put together a magnificent compilation of some of Meryl Streep’s best accents but what I think of when I watch this is the astonishing range of the performances behind them. It is almost impossible to imagine that it […]
The stars of two films opening this week, Channing Tatum of “G.I. Joe” and Charlyne Yi of “Paper Heart” show us their Johnny and Baby, and no one gets put in a corner.
As I take off for Comic-Con, I want to share my all-time favorite comedy video short. Enjoy!
Many thanks to my pal Brandon Fibbs for sharing this adorable video from the Japanese pop group Sour. This was filmed entirely with webcams and the participants are Sour fans from around the world. Think of it as a high-tech […]
Many thanks to Entertainment Weekly for recommending this very funny update of “West Side Story” for the age of the internet. ]
TropFest is the world’s largest festival for the world’s shortest films. I like this one about a determined little girl who shows persistence, creativity, and courage in getting the attention of the boy she likes.
YouTube has a fascinating new section with top reporters explaining how they get, organize, verify, and tell their stories. Katie Couric explains how to conduct an interview. Bob Woodward talks about investigative journalism. NPR’s Scott Simon talks about how to […]
In the documentary Young @ Heart, we saw how elderly people singing rock songs gave the music a resonance and power that even its platinum-record-selling originators could not have imagined. And now we see the way that children led their […]
Thanks to Jezebel for finding this!
Many thanks to Dana Stevens of Slate for recommending this heartwarming little film:
I get a kick out of silly parodies like this “Terminator” power ballad.
Our deepest gratitude for the honor and sacrifice of all who have served our country.
The New York Times reports that a short animated film called “The Story of Stuff” has become “a sleeper hit in classrooms across the nation.” What I like about the story is the way the unabashed advocacy of the film […]
The satiric Onion site has a very funny clip about “reviews” of the new movie by the die-hard fans: Trekkies Bash New Star Trek Film As ‘Fun, Watchable’
Kate Hudson wrote and directed an endearing short film with an all-star cast that is an official selection of the Tribeca Film Festival. Virginia Madsen stars as a mother whose daughter (Dakota Fanning) has a dream that reminds her of […]
Apparently not only the hills are alive with the sound of music! I love the way the joyousness of this event just takes over the moment for everyone there.
You Should Have Seen This is the definitive list of the all-time best viral videos, the good, the bad, the very ugly, and of course the Not Safe For Work. Here is one of my favorites from the list, possibly […]
The Baby Grands make music for children and their families. The songs are singable and lots of fun. Now they are giving families a chance to make their kids and dogs part of a montage in a new video for […]
Justin Long, Bradley Cooper, and Kevin Connelly, the male stars of “He’s Just Not That Into You,” made a very funny short film explaining to men that it is all right for them to see the movie because it does […]
In honor of Black History Month, I am proud to post this wonderful tribute to Martin Luther King from Little Dizzy films. The song was written by Pat Boone the day he heard the news of Martin Luther King Jr’s […]
Alex Charwick sits down at a table with two microphones and a sign that says “Interviews 50 Cents” and talks to everyday Americans about their lives. The results are enthralling. In this interview, he talks to an Algerian-American man who […]
Writing about the original version of “The Electric Company” reminded me of one of my all-time favorite short films by John and Faith Hubley, who later went on to work on the “Letterman” segments of that show. It is the […]
Actress Amy Walker’s astonishing virtuosity with accents is on display in this popular YouTube clip. Can you guess which one is her real native-born accent?
The Steady Diet of Film blog has a brilliant analysis of the sources for BeyoncÃ©’s hit video, “Put a Ring on It.” It is not just wise and witty, it is an entertaining glimpse into the combination of mash-ups, wikis, […]
I am charmed by this recent and fast-spreading Hannukah tradition, the menorah parade. Here’s one with firetrucks!
A new website is assembling beautifully produced short films to touch the heart and inspire the spirit. Spirit Clips was created by Oscar-winning producer Rob Fried (“Rudy”) to create unique high-quality content and an online community dedicated to sharing inspirational […]
This adorable film was made on the Bryan O’Connell family’s visit to Universal Studios and posted on YouTube: And be sure to check out the new trailer for the J.J. Abrams 2009 “Star Trek” movie.
My very favorite cartoon character turns 80 today. Happy birthday, Mickey!
Thanks to Jeannette Catsoulis for sending me this adorable salute to composer John Williams:
Please take a moment to watch the short films from Charter for Compassion, a group founded on the golden rule that links all religions. And then add your thoughts on their list of the eight core elements of compassion.
A funny faux trailer with Tom Hanks as James Bond:
As usual, I only find out about something after it has passed from cool and edgy to “so yesterday,” but I think lip dubs are adorable, my favorite viral video project since the complaints choirs. These are short videos made […]
No matter which candidate you support, it is impossible not to be deeply moved and inspired by the videos posted by citizen journalists across the country showing us America at the polls. The breadth of this great country and the […]
Home Movie Day is October 18, and everyone from Martin Scorsese to John Waters is urging all of us to participate. The Center for Home Movies collects, preserves, provides access to, and promotes understanding of home movies and amateur motion […]
The two most powerful words I know are “thank you.” A simple statement of acknowledgment and gratitude transforms the person who says it as well as the person who hears it. If every one of us just added five “Thank […]
Best wishes for our Muslim friends on this holy celebration.
Whatever part of the political spectrum you are on, whatever you think about those on other points, you will think differently after you watch this provocative clip from TED Talks, featuring social psychologist Jonathan Haidt:
My daughter showed me this adorable video from a British group called Metronomy. It shows how much can be accomplished with a little imagination and some colorful make-up.
Newsweek’s tribute to the opening credits of the new HBO series “True Blood” reminded me of the good old days when television show theme songs and opening credits were as much fun as the shows. The “Dick Van Dyke” show […]
The AV Geeks have an amazing archive of “film ephemera,” of over 20,000 little odds and ends (mostly odds) that have been retrieved from warehouses, garbage dumps, and thrift shops. It’s like seeing our culture through the eyes of an […]
“Mamma Mia” is a good reason (as if we need one) to revisit some ABBA classics featured in the movie: Take a Chance on Me Gimme Gimme Gimme Money Money Money All of ABBA’s promotional clips like these were directed […]
Until midnight tomorrow you can watch a new three-act musical from Joss Whedon (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Firefly”) online. It is the story of Dr. Horrible (a sensational Neil Patrick Harris) and his nemesis, the very manly Captain Hammer (Nathan […]
Kavanah is a documentary production company dedicated to creating films on Jewish themes to be used in educational settings. It was established by Lauren Shweder Biel, a Ph.D. candidate in Anthropology at New York University. The word “kavanah” means “intention,” […]
In 2006, a semi-slacker named Matt traveled around the world doing what he referred to as his dance. While he acknowledged that this is the only dance he can do and he does it badly, even that is probably saying […]
This is an astonishing compilation of 100 movie clips — all from well-known films — counting down the numbers from 100-1. How many of these films can you name?
Just after the Children’s Television Workshop realized that if children could memorize advertising jingles they could learn the alphabet and numbers and other important lessons through lively short films for PBS, a group of advertisers and educators got together to […]
YouTube has set up a new site for independent film-makers, a curated collection of the very best films you are unlikely to find in theaters or on television, shown in an upgraded High Quality viewing system. Check it out to […]
Salon’s Mark Schone wrote the most purely delightful article about finding clips of high school productions of Broadway musicals on You Tube. It includes everything from a German production of “West Side Story” to an Oklahoma production of…”Oklahoma.” The clips […]
Every so often a dance comes along that is just tricky enough to take a little practice but with individual steps simple enough that anyone can do it. Think “Macarena.” Soulja Boy’s eponymous song and dance is in that category […]
I am so happy that Disney is releasing “The Sword in the Stone” on DVD! It is the story of young King Arthur, a medieval page who learns he is the true king of England. The wizard Merlin teaches him […]
The fist Pangea Day was every bit as heart-warming, inspiring, and thrilling as I had hoped. I was privileged to participate at the Epicenter Church, a new Christian Faith Community located in Rosslyn, Virginia, just across the Potomac River from […]
For the first time this year, the awards ceremony for the industry that makes movie trailers was broadcast on television. Trailers are their own art form — sometimes more entertaining than the movie. This year’s winners included: 300 The Science […]
They said she gave him sex and he gave her class. In eight heavenly movies from the 1930’s at RKO Studios and then with one more — their only one in color — at MGM, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers […]
Pangea Day is an ambitious effort to bring the entire world together in one conversation about connection and unity through the power of film. On May 10, for four hours, people all over the world will gather to share their […]
Chicagoans are furious about the plans of new Chicago Tribune owner Sam Zell to sell the naming rights to Chicago’s hallowed ground, Wrigley Field. The Chicago Sun-Times had a video competition for those who wanted to object, and the winner […]
In Michel Gondry’s delightful new film, “Be Kind Rewind,” an entire video store filled with tapes is erased and Mos Def and Jack Black recreate the films themselves, dubbing the process of making their versions “sweding.” Here is the original […]
Is there a more adorable television show ever than Nick Jr.’s “Yo Gabba Gabba?” I love this mash-up of movie star, viral pioneer “Numa Numa,” and good old-fashioned silly dance fun.
Thanks to SlateV for sharing this charming short film about finding the only person in the world who sees things just the way you do:
At Ted Talks, J.J. Abrams spoke about his lifelong love of mystery because of its “infinite possibility and a sense of potential” and how that passion influences his creation of stories like Lost and the upcoming movie “Cloverfield.” And here […]
John F. Kennedy once advised, “Never pick a fight with those who buy ink by the barrel.” He meant that you cannot win an argument with people who publish newspapers and have all the ink, paper, and readers to make […]
Filmmaker Jennifer Crandall has created a charming series of short autobiographical videos featuring everyday people talking about their lives, experiences, and lessons learned. Participants of all ages and backgrounds have spoken about friends, families, vocations and avocations. Participants have included […]
Two hilarious You Tube hits put complaints to music. Complaints Choirs started in Birmingham, England and are popping up all over the world. Here, the Helsinki Complaints Choir combines the universal and the very particular in a hilarious and harmonic […]
Imagine standing in Los Angeles, trying to shoot a basketball all the way to New York, where it must hit the basket without touching the hoop. That’s the magnitude of the challenge faced by NASA scientists and engineers in trying […]