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Best of the Web

Best of the Web

It’s the time of year when we put it’s OK to put on a costume and become something else, so this week is a celebration of character.  A great character makes a story a great story.  It is the character that takes you somewhere, through the character’s eyes and perspective we get a glimpse of their world. A compelling character pulls at heartstrings and helps the viewer see a bit of subjects human experience, the character is often what makes us care.

A High Sierra state of mind

While in her mid-50s Mary Breckenridge decided to take the trip she had always dreamed of, a trans-Sierra horseback ride. On the first night of the trip, her companion decided she couldn’t take it and turned back. Rather than abandon her adventure, Mary made the journey across the Sierra alone. Since that trip and with a new-found sense of self-reliance, Mary has made the trek every year. Now at 64, Mary can no longer make the trip alone.

This year Breckenridge and her longtime friend Bucko Davis take Times reporter Diana Marcum and photographer Katie Falkenberg across the Sierra on a truly western experience.  The three-day trek over the pass, elevation 12,000 feet, took the group through Mary’s “church,” the high passes of the Sierra where she found her harmony within nature.

Superman

He isn’t faster than a speeding bullet and he can’t leap tall buildings in a single bound. Can he take to flight? Apparently only if there is an emergency. Christopher Dennis, who says he is California’s only “Kryptonian,” has not only been a fixture on Hollywood Boulevard for 19 years, but he has also been the embodiment of the Man of Steel: a heroic symbol and a persona to live up to. Filmmakers at California Is a Place show us what’s behind the cape, a reality that is very human and intimate.

Noe Kuremoto, Muay Thai boxer

Tubby Brother, a London-based group of filmmakers, bring us a story of living in the moment, continuing to learn and the human connection … only this type of human connection may leave bruises and welts. The world of Noe Kuremoto, a Muay Thai boxer, is both visceral and contemplative.  Noe lives in the moment, overcoming vulnerability, continuing to learn. The challenges keep her alive.

The Escape Artist

As a Dutch transplant, filmmaker Joris Debeij’s discovery of Los Angeles was a gradual one.  The multifaceted, multicultural sprawl of L.A. is something that takes time to uncover. The neighborhoods and the inhabitants are the hidden gems of the city.

“The Escape Artist” is one such gem in Joris’ I Am Los Angeles project, a collection of video portraits. “The Escape Artist” is an interview with filmmaker Eliot Rausch, director of “Last Minutes with Oden,” which won the top prize in the first Vimeo Awards.

The interview is a deeply intimate story of a man struggling to find sense amid craziness. Rausch was an awkward kid who did not fit in. His is a story, though not unique, of human experience.

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