Show and Tell at Mike and Molly’s House | Movie Time!

This past weekend Mike and I serendipitously created our own film festival.  We are not huge movie buffs nor do we get out a lot but after this weekend we questioned why we are not big movie buffs and why we don’t go out more!  What we saw inspired us and kept us talking the entire weekend.  Since Monday is about inspriration we thought it was apropos to share what got us going….

Shakespeare Behind BarsShakespeare Behind Bars

This is an incredible story of 20 inmates in a Kentucky prison who have an all-male Shakespeare Company.  The film follows the inmates and play’s director for a year.  They spend the year preparing for a production of The Tempest.  Not only do you get a real insight into the play and the characters but you get a glimpse inside these actors who also happen to be murders and thieves.

Mike: This film held so many conflicting ideas at the same time.  Here were people who had done heinous things at some point in their past working so hard at creating a work of art and working on themselves in the process.

Molly:  At the end of the film I felt so connected to these guys.  It was crushing to hear about most of them getting denied parole.

Mike: I know!  I felt the same way but at the same time that is the reality of prison life.  You have this faint glimmer of a hope for parole every 5-10 years even though the real chance of a reduced sentence is slim to none.

The film was produced by Jillian Spitzmiller and written and directed by Hank Rogerson a husband and wife team who are Santa Fe residents.  We saw the movie at Reel New Mexico, a monthly series showcasing independent film.

Molly: I wanted to tell so many people about this film but I was frustrated because this was the only showing!

Mike:  Thank god for Netflix!

Molly:  Yep, I looked it up and you can view it on ‘instant download’.  Here’s the link so you too can watch the movie.

The movie was made in 2005, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and won 11 awards on the festival circuit. It has been broadcast on PBS, Sundance Channel and Starz/Encore.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

This is the story of 85 year-old Jiro Ono, considered by many to be the world’s greatest sushi chef. He is the proprietor of Sukiyabashi Jiro, a 10-seat, sushi-only restaurant inconspicuously located in a Tokyo subway station. Despite it’s humble appearances, it is the first restaurant of its kind to be awarded a prestigious 3 star Michelin review.  Sushi lovers from around the globe make repeated pilgrimages, calling months in advance and shelling out top dollar (~$400) for a coveted seat at Jiro’s sushi bar.

For most of his life, Jiro has been mastering the art of making sushi, but even at his age he sees himself still striving for perfection, working from sunrise to well beyond sunset to taste every piece of fish; meticulously train his employees; and carefully mold and finesse the impeccable presentation of each sushi creation. At the heart of this story is Jiro’s relationship with his eldest son Yoshikazu, the worthy heir to Jiro’s legacy, who is unable to live up to his full potential in his father’s shadow.

Mike:  To start this was just a beautiful film.  The cinematography was gorgeous.

Molly:  I was joking afterwards that there must of been some great moments that ended up on the editing room floor because they were not perfect enough; the camera was out of focus or the frame was not just right.

Mike:  This movie was not just about the food.  It dove into his relationship with his two sons and his philosophy that dedication to the perfection of your work is the ultimate pursuit.

Molly:  I have to say right now I don’t think I’m ever living up to his standards…

Currently this is showing in Santa Fe at the CCA.  To find out where you can see this movie in your town click here.


This absorbing documentary surveys American farmers’ and researchers’ pioneering efforts to develop efficient systems for growing food. All of those profiled share a common goal of limiting pollution while creating healthier products.

Mike:  This one is now also available on ‘instant download’ on Netflix.  Here’s the link.

Molly:  This movie came out 3 years ago and came through Santa Fe about a year ago.  I missed it and was so upset!  When I found it on Netflix this past weekend I couldn’t wait to watch it.

Mike:  The first half of the movie follows Joel Salatin from Polyface farms with commentary by Michael Pollan.  It’s all stuff we’ve read and watched before.  I really liked the second half which follows Will Allen and Growing Power his 3 acre urban farm in the middle of Milwaukee.  Will is a powerhouse.  He’s got charisma, focus and a passion for getting fresh food to the people of Milwaukee.

Molly:  Here’s a quote from the website, “It’s  a non-profit organization and land trust supporting people from diverse backgrounds and the environment in which they live by helping to provide equal access to healthy, high-quality, safe and affordable food.  This mission is implemented by providing hands-on training, on-the-ground demonstration, outreach and technical assistance through the development of Community Food Systems that help people grow, process, market and distribute food in a sustainable manner.”

It’s Show and Tell Time!

“Sometimes you’re cruising along through life and you see someone else doing something so appropriate that it makes you pause and rethink things. I’m not talking about suddenly changing religions or switching from being a carnivore to a vegan but more like you just got a gentle nudge that may send you off in an unexpected direction.”- Mike

Show and Tell is a swap meet for ideas and projects where the currency is inspiration.  Every week we kick things off with some of our favorite ideas that we just came across or highlight an idea we got from one of you!

This is a community effort however and we want you to get in on it.  If you’re a blogger link up to one of your posts.  It doesn’t have to be new (we’re all about recycling here) just something that you think is kick-ass.

Not a blogger?  Don’t have a post to link up?  Don’t despair!   We want to hear from you too.  First option is to post in the comments; you can even add an image or two.  Too big for the comments? Contact us with your idea and if it fits we will ask you to write up something that will appear at the beginning of a future Show and Tell.

So what are we looking for?

We think Sally Schneider nailed it with her manifesto over at The Improvised Life:

Improvising is a powerful operating system.

You don’t need to be an expert to improvise.

Improvising is a practice like yoga or cooking; the more we do it the better we get at it.

Creativity can be cultivated.  We can learn what we don’t know.  

We believe in asking “why not?’ when we have an interesting idea and then trying out our idea.

We can be afraid of doing something and do it anyway.

Making mistakes is the way we learn.  Perfection is over-rated.

Mistakes are often paths to unexpected discoveries [solutions]

Constraints – whether money, space, time or materials – don’t limit, they expand.

Making a mess is an essential part of improvising.  

Improvising is an antidote to “I can’t.”

Improvising guides you to the solutions you are looking for.

Improvising is a path full of richness and discovery.

We want to celebrate creativity, resourcefulness and inspiration in all mediums whether it’s making, baking, growing or living.  What did you make this past week/month/year?  We want to see your wonderful results!


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