I met a woman called Laura who turned out to be a film maker. She gave me a DVD of her 2017 film Hesperidies and last night I decided to watch it. I don’t have a TV or DVD player so I watch films on my iMac, and if it is a DVD I always rip it using an external DVD drive and HandBrake, the open source video transcoder. Then I can watch it from my hard drive. So I plugged in my DVD drive, opened the shrink wrapped DVD box, and inserted the DVD into the drive. That fired up HandBrake but when I tried to open the DVD it gave an error:
“libdvdcss.2.dylib” cannot be opened because the developer cannot be verified
macOS cannot verify that this app is free from malware
Safari.app downloaded this file on 4 February 2017
Official Source of the Thames
My friend Martin is drama teacher who moved from Oxford to London a few years ago and recently gave up full time teaching to work on various projects of his own. One such project was to make a film related to his move and originally it was going to be based around a journey from Oxford to London on a boat called “Old Boy” that belongs to his friend Chris in Oxford. However, it would have taken a couple of weeks to get to London and back and Chris couldn’t spare the time so there was a change of plan. Martin’s new idea was to cycle from the source of the Thames to the Thames barrier, filming along the way. Knowing that I am a keen cyclist he asked me if I wanted to join him and as things progressed I became more involved with the project.
The Coen Brothers have been responsible for some excellent films including The Big Lebowski starring Jeff Bridges as The Dude, who is introduced as quite possibly the laziest man in Los Angeles County. In the scene where he is lying in bed with Maude she says “Tell me about yourself Jeffrey” and he responds by saying that he was one of the authors of the Port Huron Statement and one of the Seattle Seven, hinting at a less lazy past.
Recently I came across an 18 minute video by Jeff Feuerzeig called “The Dude” which explains that the character was actually based on a real person called Jeff Dowd. Jeff is an American film producer and political activist who really was one of the Seattle Seven and went to jail briefly following a violent protest against the Vietnam War. The Seattle Seven were all members of the Seattle Liberation Front.
In researching my facts for this blog post I came across a 2008 interview of Jeff Dowd by Jon Zelazny on Eight Million Stories. Well worth a read.