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What would Margaret Bourke-White do?

Added on by lea thompson.

People often tell me I was born in the wrong decade. If I had graduated 30 years ago, I would have easily found my place as a successful news writer and photographer. I try not to think about these comments too often, mostly because I wasn't born earlier so the comments don't mean much.  I prefer face-to-face interviews, I still write all my notes by hand (though I'm beginning to digitize them), and my favorite work still involves walking, listening, and exploring streets with my old 35 mm. I have a journalism/photojournalism background that stretches back to my high school newspaper days, and I use that specialized training and resentment to this day. Holly Hunter in Broadcast News, 1987.

I always ask established photographers and writers, "If you were a new writer or photographer, in today's market, what would you do?" Many of them tell me they simply wouldn't be a writer or photographer- they wouldn't make it today.  I'm sure this would apply to a few individuals, but I think true writers and photographers always find a way. I would define "true" photographers and writers as the people who work in the industry not just because they love it, or because they're particularly good at it, but because they have to do this. I've tried to envision what some of my photo and writing heroes would do if they were entering the market today, and I think many of them would still find a way to create meaningful work.

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I can see Margaret Bourke-White tweeting updates from her travel assignments, but she would put the phone away to make beautiful and intelligent photographs. If Joan Didion did create a Tumblr, I would actually spend time on Tumblr, but I don't think it would detract from her writing for Vogue or The New Yorker. M.F.K. Fisher would Instagram all her food adventures, but I would still read and respect anything she published or blogged. If individuals like Nora Ephron and Elisabeth Eaves and can do it, why can't I?

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Do all writers and photographers find their niche path by working? Social media certainly confuses the path today.  I increasingly find that just because I can do something well, doesn't mean I should do it. This is why I will never be a social media associate or a traditional metro news reporter, and I've learned to be okay with that.

Finding my niche has been a difficult process, but it's beginning to make more sense. My current job title: Freelance food news writer and photographer/ commercial food photographer. I used to worry that news and commercial were incompatible, but I find that multimedia skills are necessary for a new generation of writers and photographers to remain relevant and credible (and well fed). I hope to add other credentials to this title within the year, and for the first time, I'm not worried about compromising my ethics or work quality.

What would Margaret Bourke-White say to that? I think she'd agree I was on my way, and remind me to keep backing up my work in multiple locations.

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'Prisoners' features strong performances despite shaky storyline

Added on by lea thompson.

The film 'Prisoners" focuses on several well-known cinematic themes, including tests of faith, fear, and values. In this film, Hugh Jackman portrays Keller Dover, the small-town everyman who finds his family, faith and values questioned when his daughter and the daughter of the Birch family,  (Birch patriarch portrayed by Terrence Howard) are kidnapped while left unattended for a few moments. Jake Gyllenhaal plays the part of Detective David Wayne Loki, who works with and sometimes against Jackman to find the missing girls. 

Much like"The Vanishing" (1988, Franco-Dutch version , and the 1993 American version with Jeff Bridges) "Prisoners" shares the intense psychological stress of the characters with the audience. Viewers slowly feel themselves take on the stress, and the unnerving sense of dread that permeates the film. [gallery columns="2" type="rectangular" ids="1094,1093"] While Jackman and Gyllenhaal give impressive, increasingly intense performances throughout the film, the storyline fails to develop with them. The film attempts to withhold information and pieces of the story to keep the audience guessing,  but the film's greatest accomplishment is that we know what will happen but still feel frightened. Paul Dano's performance as a damaged, disturbed individual is haunting. There are several memorable visual scenes, but the plot never meets up with the rest of the film.

Film Review Prisoners

The story of parents losing their children to predators is not new; the biggest fear lies somewhere between never knowing and learning the truth.

Prisoners Terrence Howard Copyright http://www.andsoitbeginsfilms.com

Overall, the film left me feeling manipulated and emotionally traumatized, as though I had just watched three hours of the Houston nightly news and then re-watched The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Prisoners: Melissa Leo stars as Holly Jones and Paul Dano stars as Alex Jones in Warner Bros. Pictures' Prisoners (2013)

I'm curious to see how the film will be received during Oscars season,  but I'm even more curious as to how this will affect the ongoing "nerd trends" and sales of oversize glasses.

Despite the weak storyline, once the credits appeared, I quickly exited the theater to meet up with a friend for coffee. Even after ending, the film "Prisoners" leaves you with a chill you just can't seem to shake.

Rating: B-