“Beasts of the Southern Wild” Receives Four 2013 Oscar Nominations

“Beasts of the Southern Wild” Receives Four 2013 Oscar Nominations

The nominations for the 2013 Academy Awards have been announced, and it was a huge day for the independent film Beasts of the Southern Wild, which received four Oscar Nominations: Best Director (for Benh Zeitlin), Best Actress (Quvenzhane Wallis, at just nine years old), Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture.

Beasts of the Southern Wild is the award-winning first feature film directed by Benh Zeitlin and co-written co-written with playwright Lucy Alibar, whose play Juicy and Delicious provides its foundation. Zeitlin created the movie in collaboration with Court 13, the filmmakers’ collective that moved to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Previously, the film won the Caméra d’Or award at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, the Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, where it premiered, the Grand Jury Prize at the 2012 Deauville American Film Festival, the 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival’s Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature and the 2012 Seattle International Film Festival’s Golden Space Needle Award for Best Director.

Part dystopia and part revolutionary utopia, Beasts of the Southern Wild is a visionary film that celebrates resistance, featuring people living in poverty who come together in interracial, inter-generational harmony. After a flood washes away most of “The Bathtub,” a poor and precarious patch of land south of New Orleans, Hushpuppy (Quvenzhané Wallis, five years-old at the time of filming) and her father account for their remaining animals and neighbors, and attempt to survive, rebuild, and repair their world. They band together to create a post-Katrina communal life and they fight the system in a variety of ways to avoid getting thrown into the sterile, controlled environment of a state-funded shelter.

Zeitlin’s earlier acclaimed short film about an imaginary post-Katrina world in New Orleans, Glory at Sea, won the 2008 CineVegas International Film Festival Special Jury Prize, the 2008 New Orleans Film Festival Narrative Short Award, the 2008 Woodstock Film Festival Jury Prize and the 2008 SXSW Film Festival Wolphin Award. Coming off the award-winning “Glory at Sea,” Zeitlin wanted to continue working on an expanded feature film set in the Louisiana bayou and to tell a story about a community making a final stand. The same theme and mythic, poetic feeling of Glory at Sea, which was also created in collaboration with the Court 13 filmmakers’ collective, clearly carries through in Zeitlin’s Beasts of the Southern Wild. Like Beasts, Glory at Sea, concerned a southern Delta community endangered by a flood and focused on a young girl, who also served as the film’s narrator. Glory at Sea tells a story about the aftermath of the Katrina flood, and a community’s Orpheus-like efforts to keep alive its old traditions and loved ones.

Glory at Sea: A Beautiful Memorial to Mourning the Dead

Every once in a rare, long while, a film appears with such a sweeping gust of rejuvenation that it has the power to restore not only one’s faith in cinema, but in humanity as a whole. Glory at Sea is one of those rare films, an acclaimed narrative short film that has garnered twelve film festival awards, a film that endearingly produces the forlorn feelings that are amassed within the sea of a forever-sunset palette, sanctioning our mourning within its beautiful sorrow. The 26-minute short film follows an unkempt and unruly fleet of heartbroken refugees through the midst of the human devastation in post-Katrina New Orleans. This one and a half year-long collaborative project by director Benh Zeitlin and members of the Court 13 film collective brought forth a narrative film that reveals a rare mutually interactive blend of contemporary dance/movement, cinematography that is richly packed with a grandly sweeping panorama of visual detail and brilliantly subtle interpersonal gestures by the Court 13 ensemble group of performers.

Glory at Sea boldly confronts a monumental tragedy that vividly displays the fact of our human mortality, as well as the inevitable loss of our dreams for the future (the ghosts of loved ones, banished to live underwater for eternity). The raggedy, raucous New Orleans characters in Glory at Sea boldly turn away from their overwhelming of feelings of mortal vulnerability, courageously responding instead with a communal bond to a renewed and feverish commitment to love and hope.

The passionate call for hope and a common cause is expressed by the film’s ensemble through an emotionally inspiring synthesis of a socially important narrative, the performers’ sense of movement that conveys through even the most subtle interpersonal gestures their deep commitment to mutually shared social needs and responsibilities, and fascinating cinematography with an acute attention to visual detail. When a pinch of insanity and an ongoing tone of understated comical irony are added to all of this, one ends up with an experience that is a musically visual delight. An old phrase describes beautiful and appealing speech as “Music to My Ears.” Glory at Sea ends up “Dancing Behind Your Eyelids.” The twenty-five minutes spent deeply engrossed in this narrative is timeless.

Glory at Sea: A Beautiful Memorial to Mourning the Dead

(Best Viewed HD/Full Screen)

An Anthem to Survivors: Beasts of the Southern Wild

Sometimes miraculous films come into being, made by people you’ve never heard of, starring unknown faces, blindsiding you with creative genius. Beasts of the Southern Wild is one of the year’s best films. Winner of the US Dramatic Grand Jury Prize in Sundance, this striking and unforgettable feature-film debut is set in “The Bathtub,” a defiant Louisiana bayou community cut off from the rest of the world. Young Hushpuppy (played by a five year-old force of nature named Quvenzhané Wallis) is devoted to her father, Wink, who frequently goes off on sprees, leaving Hushpuppy to fend for herself in an isolated compound filled with semi-wild animals.

The community is a resilient and joyous one, but there is a growing sense of inevitable destruction. At school, Hushpuppy is taught about natural selection, global warming and the ecological shifts that have placed them in a perilous position. Things come to a head when Wink comes down with a debilitating illness, a massive storm hits, the ice caps melt and destructive prehistoric beasts are released who descend on “The Bathtub.” Little Hushpuppy has to find in herself the courage and heroism to survive the catastrophe and re-instill a sense of community. Fusing recent history and environmental concerns with a mythical quality, Beasts of the Southern Wild defies easy classification or description, instead forging a new path that firmly establishes director Benh Zeitlin as a bright new cinematic talent. Reviewers are speculating that both Zeitlin and young Quvenzhané Wallis could be nominated for Academy Awards.

An Anthem to Survivors: Beasts of the Southern Wild (Official Trailer)

Beasts of the Southern Wild: Official Featurette

Beasts of the Southern Wild: “Once There Was A Hush Puppy”

Director Benh Zeitlin and composer Dan Romer perform the theme to “Beasts of the Southern Wild” at LACMA

Beasts of the Southern Wild: “Once There Was A Hush Puppy”

Super Soul Sunday: Why Oprah Loves Beasts of the Southern Wild

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An Anthem to Survivors: Beasts of the Southern Wild

An Anthem to Survivors: Beasts of the Southern Wild

Beasts of the Southern Wilds is the award-winning first feature film directed by Benh Zeitlin and co-written with playwright Lucy Alibar, whose play Juicy and Delicious provides its foundation. Zeitlin created the movie in collaboration with Court 13, the filmmakers’ collective that moved to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. The film won the Caméra d’Or award at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, the Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, where it premiered, the Grand Jury Prize at the 2012 Deauville American Film Festival, the 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival’s Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature and the 2012 Seattle International Film Festival’s Golden Space Needle Award for Best Director.

Part dystopia and part revolutionary utopia, Beasts of the Southern Wild is a visionary film that celebrates resistance, featuring poor people who come together in interracial, inter-generational harmony. After a flood washes away most of “The Bathtub,” a poor and precarious patch of land south of New Orleans, Hushpuppy (Quvenzhané Wallis, five years-old at the time of filming) and her father account for their remaining animals and neighbors, and attempt to survive, rebuild, and repair their world. They band together to create a post-Katrina communal life and they fight the system in a variety of ways to avoid getting thrown into the sterile, controlled environment of a state-funded shelter.

Zeitlin’s earlier acclaimed short film about an imaginary post-Katrina world in New Orleans, Glory at Sea, won the 2008 CineVegas International Film Festival Special Jury Prize, the 2008 New Orleans Film Festival Narrative Short Award, the 2008 Woodstock Film Festival Jury Prize and the 2008 SXSW Film Festival Wolphin Award. Coming off the award-winning “Glory at Sea,” Zeitlin wanted to continue working on an expanded feature film set in the Louisiana bayou and to tell a story about a community making a final stand. The same theme and mythic, poetic feeling of Glory at Sea, which was also created in collaboration with the Court 13 filmmakers’ collective, clearly carries through in Zeitlin’s Beasts of the Southern Wild. Like Beasts, Glory at Sea, concerned a southern Delta community endangered by a flood and focused on a young girl, who also served as the film’s narrator. Glory at Sea tells a story about the aftermath of the Katrina flood, and a community’s Orpheus-like efforts to keep alive its old traditions and loved ones.

Glory at Sea: A Beautiful Memorial to Mourning the Dead

Every once in a rare, long while, a film appears with such a sweeping gust of rejuvenation that it has the power to restore not only one’s faith in cinema, but in humanity as a whole. Glory at Sea is one of those rare films, an acclaimed narrative short film that has garnered twelve film festival awards, a film that endearingly produces the forlorn feelings that are amassed within the sea of a forever-sunset palette, sanctioning our mourning within its beautiful sorrow. The 26-minute short film follows an unkempt and unruly fleet of heartbroken refugees through the midst of the human devastation in post-Katrina New Orleans. This one and a half year-long collaborative project by director Benh Zeitlin and members of the Court 13 film collective brought forth a narrative film that reveals a rare mutually interactive blend of contemporary dance/movement, cinematography that is richly packed with a grandly sweeping panorama of visual detail and brilliantly subtle interpersonal gestures by the Court 13 ensemble group of performers.

Glory at Sea boldly confronts a monumental tragedy that vividly displays the fact of our human mortality, as well as the inevitable loss of our dreams for the future (the ghosts of loved ones, banished to live underwater for eternity). The raggedy, raucous New Orleans characters in Glory at Sea boldly turn away from their overwhelming of feelings of mortal vulnerability, courageously responding instead with a communal bond to a renewed and feverish commitment to love and hope.

The passionate call for hope and a common cause is expressed by the film’s ensemble through an emotionally inspiring synthesis of a socially important narrative, the performers’ sense of movement that conveys through even the most subtle interpersonal gestures their deep commitment to mutually shared social needs and responsibilities, and fascinating cinematography with an acute attention to visual detail. When a pinch of insanity and an ongoing tone of understated comical irony are added to all of this, one ends up with an experience that is a musically visual delight. An old phrase describes beautiful and appealing speech as “Music to My Ears.” Glory at Sea ends up “Dancing Behind Your Eyelids.” The twenty-five minutes spent deeply engrossed in this narrative is timeless.

Glory at Sea: A Beautiful Memorial to Mourning the Dead

(Best Viewed HD/Full Screen)

An Anthem to Survivors: Beasts of the Southern Wild

Sometimes miraculous films come into being, made by people you’ve never heard of, starring unknown faces, blindsiding you with creative genius. Beasts of the Southern Wild is one of the year’s best films. Winner of the US Dramatic Grand Jury Prize in Sundance, this striking and unforgettable feature-film debut is set in “The Bathtub,” a defiant Louisiana bayou community cut off from the rest of the world. Young Hushpuppy (played by a five year-old force of nature named Quvenzhané Wallis) is devoted to her father, Wink, who frequently goes off on sprees, leaving Hushpuppy to fend for herself in an isolated compound filled with semi-wild animals.

The community is a resilient and joyous one, but there is a growing sense of inevitable destruction. At school, Hushpuppy is taught about natural selection, global warming and the ecological shifts that have placed them in a perilous position. Things come to a head when Wink comes down with a debilitating illness, a massive storm hits, the ice caps melt and destructive prehistoric beasts are released who descend on “The Bathtub.” Little Hushpuppy has to find in herself the courage and heroism to survive the catastrophe and re-instill a sense of community. Fusing recent history and environmental concerns with a mythical quality, Beasts of the Southern Wild defies easy classification or description, instead forging a new path that firmly establishes director Benh Zeitlin as a bright new cinematic talent. Reviewers are speculating that both Zeitlin and young Quvenzhané Wallis could be nominated for Academy Awards.

An Anthem to Survivors: Beasts of the Southern Wild (Official Trailer)

Making of Beasts of the Southern Wild: Part I

Making of Beasts of the Southern Wild: Part II

Super Soul Sunday: Why Oprah Loves Beasts of the Southern Wild

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Randy Pausch Dies at the Age of 47

Dr. Randy Pausch Dies at the Age of 47

Randy Pausch, the Carnegie Mellon University computer scientist, whose Last Lecture at Carnegie-Mellon was about facing terminal cancer, became an Internet sensation and wrote a best-selling book, died on Friday. He was 47. Alyssa Mayfield, a spokeswoman for Carnegie Mellon University, reported that Pausch had died in Virginia. Pausch and his family had moved there last fall to be closer to his wife’s relatives.

Pausch was diagnosed with incurable pancreatic cancer in September 2006. His popular Last Lecture at Carnegie Mellon in September 2007 garnered international attention and was viewed by millions of people on the Internet. In The Last Lecture, Pausch celebrated living the life he had always dreamed of instead of concentrating on his impending death.

Randy Pausch didn’t want his last lecture at Carnegie Mellon University to be about dying, but he was, sadly, dying of pancreatic cancer. He knew that it’s a painful way to go. When he gave his final lecture at Carnegie-Mellon, he wanted to demonstrate that his focus remained, as always, on living, or on living in the process of dying.

Randy Pausch Dies at the Age of 47

Randy Pausch Visits Oprah Winfrey: No Self-Pity

When there’s an elephant in the room introduce him.”

Randy Pausch Visits Oprah Winfrey: No Self-Pity

Randy Pausch: The Last Lecture

Pausch’s Surprise Visit to Carnegie-Mellon on May 18, 2008

Slide Show: Remembering Dr. Randy Pausch

(Please Click Image to View Slide Show)

The New York Times columnist Tara Parker-Pope has compiled a listing of many of the best internet links to access important videos and other useful items that make up the online legacy of Randy Pausch.

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Obama’s Heroic Crusade: Tuesday’s Going to Be Super!

Barack Obama Speaks: One Voice

The Amazing UCLA Obama Rally Changed the Course of the Presidential Campaign

Two days before before the closest thing America has ever had to a national primary, four extraordinary women put on what many observers feel was the best campaign rally in the last 20 years of presidential politics. The preeminent event in UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion began like every other Barack Obama event, chants of Yes We Can and signs praising the power of hope. Senator Obama was campaigning on the East Coast Sunday, but by the time this rally ended, Michelle Obama, Caroline Kennedy, Oprah Winfrey and Maria Shriver had defined the challenge that Hillary Clinton will face if she wins the Democratic nomination. She’ll have to figure out how to preserve the energy and excitement that Obama has stirred in his supporters, especially in once-marginalized younger voters.

The most recent polls from California suggest that Senator Obama has cut deeply into what had been a double-digit lead for Mrs. Clinton in the biggest delegate prize of Tuesday’s primaries. Certainly, in that moment at the rally, the Obama campaign seemed to have a monopoly on what is fashionable and glamorous in California.

Before the event got into full swing, giant screens were showing a video by will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas. A visually diverse lineup of celebrities, which included the actresses Scarlett Johansson and Amber Valletta, the rapper Common, the singer John Legend, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, recited and sang along with a film of a speech that Senator Obama gave on the night that he lost the New Hampshire primary.

The crowd was screaming with delight when it saw Caroline Kennedy, who brought her uncle Senator Edward Kennedy and now, remarkably, her cousin Maria Shriver, California’s First Lady, to the Obama campaign. Caroline Kennedy previewed Maria Shriver’s surprising appearance by urging Democrats to “step out of your lives and into this moment in history.”

Ms. Winfrey spoke to the most emotionally fraught aspect of this contest. “Now look at this campaign. The two front-runners are a black man and a woman,” she said. “What that says to me is we have won the struggle and we have the right to compete.”

Obama: A Fierce Campaigner

Senator Obama has been a fierce campaigner during the last 10 days. After winning in South Carolina, Obama has dashed through 16 states, but he hasn’t stayed very long. He’s held more than one stop in only two states (California and Missouri). Eight of the states that he’s visited, Hillary Clinton never touched. Favoring huge, 20,000-person rallies over intimate affairs, Obama’s strategy has been simple: get his face in front of as many people as possible. Huge crowds turned out in New Jersey, Delaware, Idaho, Minnesota and Colorado. Since that strategy means he can’t linger very long in any one state, he has supplemented his rallies with a massive advertising budget. Obama’s Super Bowl ad buy was more impressive for its audacity than its content. All of this seems to be helping; his poll numbers have been jumping nationwide, even though he hasn’t held a press conference day since his big win in South Carolina.

The Super Bowl Ad: “Join”

Snapshots: Getting to Know Him

A Video Photo Album

The UCLA Obama Rally: Maria Shriver Endorses Barack Obama

In a very dramatic moment at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion, California First Lady Maria Shriver stepped out onto a stage that had already seen its share of celebrities, Oprah Winfrey and Stevie Wonder among them, and announced that she was backing Barack Obama. It has been reported that Shriver was waiting backstage wavering over whether she should make her support public, and then she finally walked out onto the stage.

Shriver told the crowded gymnasium that she had not intended to be at the rally, and had come straight over after going horse riding with her daughter. She joked about her appearance, wearing riding clothes, without makeup and without having her hair done, as she added her support for Obama. “If Barack Obama was a state he’d be California,” Shriver said, drawing roars from the crowd. “I mean think about it: diverse, open, smart, independent, oppose tradition, innovative, inspiring, dreamer, leader.”

And she spoke about the themes of optimism and collective action that Obama has sought to build his campaign around. “He’s not about himself. He’s about the power of us and what we can do if we come together,” Shriver said. “He is about empowering women, African Americans, Latinos, old people, young people. He’s about empowering all of us.

Shriver, a former network television journalist, also acknowledged some uncertainty over taking such a public stand. “Sometimes, when you follow your own truth and your own voice, it’s scary,” she said. “But that’s all you can do.”

Shriver was on the stage with Winfrey, Michelle Obama, Caroline Kennedy and Maria Elena Durazo, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor. Shriver said that she had made the decision in the morning. “I wasn’t on the schedule,” she said, “and I thought to myself when I woke up this morning, I thought, there’s no other place I should be than right here.”

California First Lady Maria Shriver Endorses Barack Obama

The Oprah Winfrey who aroused the crowd at UCLA on Sunday was far different from the Oprah who made her political debut endorsing Obama in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina in December. In her first steps on the campaign trail, Oprah was unexpectedly tentative, almost shy. But on Sunday, Oprah had clearly found her voice. She was much more like the woman that we watch on television every day: sharp, funny, opinionated, but fed up with women who tell her she’s a “traitor” for endorsing Obama over Clinton.

After Iowa, there were some women who had the nerve to say to me, ‘How could you, Oprah, how could you?‘” The talk show star mimicked her critics, affecting a pinched nasal accent. “‘You’re a traitor to your gender.’ I was both surprised by that comment and insulted. The truth is, I’m a free woman,” Winfrey told an enthralled crowd. She repeated “I’m a free woman” three more times.

Being free means you get to think for yourself and you get to decide for yourself what to do. So I say I am not a traitor, I am just following my own truth, and that truth has led me to Barack Obama.” She came back to the theme later, talking, again in a mock accent, about women who say, “‘I’m a woman, I have to vote for a woman.'” She disagreed, strongly asserting that, “As free women, you have the right to change your mind. You’re not a traitor because you believe and see a better way.”

Oprah Winfrey: Now We Are Free

Stevie Wonder at the UCLA Obama Rally

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This video doesn’t exist

The Celebrity Music Video: “Yes We Can

Josh Groban: You Raise Me Up

Barack Obama: Change We Can Believe In

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UCLA Obama Rally: Maria Shriver Endorses Barack Obama

In a dramatic moment at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion, California First Lady Maria Shriver stepped out onto a stage that had already seen its share of celebrities, Oprah Winfrey and Stevie Wonder among them, and announced that she was backing Barack Obama. It has been reported that Shriver was waiting backstage wavering over whether she should make her support public, and then she finally walked out onto the stage.

Shriver told the crowded gym that she had not intended to be at the rally, and had come straight over after going horse riding with her daughter. She joked about her appearance, riding clothes, without makeup and without having her hair done, as she added her support for Obama. “If Barack Obama was a state he’d be California,” Shriver said, drawing roars from the crowd. “I mean think about it: diverse, open, smart, independent, oppose tradition, innovative, inspiring, dreamer, leader.”

And she spoke about the themes of optimism and collective action that Obama has sought to build his campaign around. “He’s not about himself. He’s about the power of us and what we can do if we come together,” Shriver said. “He is about empowering women, African Americans, Latinos, old people, young people. He’s about empowering all of us.

Shriver, a former network television journalist, also acknowledged some uncertainty over taking such a public stand. “Sometimes, when you follow your own truth and your own voice, it’s scary,” she said. “But that’s all you can do.”

Shriver was on stage with Winfrey, Michelle Obama and Maria Elena Durazo, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor. Shriver said she made the decision this morning. “I wasn’t on the schedule,” she said, “and I thought to myself when I woke up this morning, I thought, there’s no other place I should be than right here.”

California First Lady Maria Shriver Endorses Barack Obama

The Oprah Winfrey who roused the crowd at UCLA on Sunday was far different from the Oprah who made her political debut endorsing Obama in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina in December. In her first steps on the campaign trail Oprah was unexpectedly tentative, almost shy. But on Sunday, Oprah had clearly found her voice. She was much more like the woman we see on television every day: sharp, funny, opinionated, but fed up with women who tell her she’s a “traitor” for endorsing Obama over Clinton.

After Iowa, there were some women who had the nerve to say to me, ‘How could you, Oprah, how could you?‘” The talk show star mimicked her critics, affecting a pinched nasal accent. “‘You’re a traitor to your gender.’ I was both surprised by that comment and insulted. The truth is, I’m a free woman,” Winfrey told an enthralled crowd. She repeated “I’m a free woman” three more times.

Being free means you get to think for yourself and you get to decide for yourself what to do. So I say I am not a traitor, I am just following my own truth, and that truth has led me to Barack Obama.” She came back to the theme later, talking, again in a mock accent, about women who say, “‘I‘m a woman, I have to vote for a woman.'” She disagreed, strongly asserting that, “As free women, you have the right to change your mind. You’re not a traitor because you believe and see a better way.”

Oprah Winfrey: Now We Are Free

Stevie Wonder at the UCLA Obama Rally

Error
This video doesn’t exist

The Celebrity Music Video: “Yes We Can

Josh Groban: You Raise Me Up

Barack Obama: Change We Can Believe In

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My Faves for Saturday, December 08, 2007

“Photos of the Day: Vintage Christmas “Found Photos.” This is a set of vintage Christmas “found photos.” They range from the humorous, to the downright strange. My personal favorite is “The Most Unfortunate Midnight Mass Ever.”

For a good chuckle, take a look at these. Best wishes and Happy Holidays to all!!

[tags: Photos of the Day, vintage Christmas photos, photographs, Christmas, Xmas, Santa Claus, Santa, hoiidays]

 

“There are times I worry about what happens to our country,” Oprah Winfrey said, addressing a sea of people in an 80,000 person capacity stadium in South Carolina. “For the very first time in my life, I feel compelled to stand up and speak out for the man who…has a new vision for America.”

Includes photographs and the video of Oprah’s speech.

[tags: Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama, Oprah campaigns for Obama, celebrities, politics, photographs, video, South Carolina]

 

This is an animated film by Jeff Scher, a portrait of his son from infancy until he was a few years old. The film came from the notion that his son wouldn’t remember these years. The more Scher drew, the more he realized that he didn’t recall them clearly either.

The article includes colorful prints, as well as the animation video. Enjoy!!

[tags: art, photographs, animation, video, animation video, music, music video, children]

See the rest of my Faves at Faves

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Oprah: We Must Support a Man Who “Loves Mercy and Does Justly”

Oprah Campaigns for Obama in South Carolina

There are times that I even worry about what happens to our country,” Oprah Winfrey said, standing on a small stage before a vast sea of people in the 80,000 person capacity Williams-Brice Stadium football stadium in Columbia, South Carolina. “That is why for the very first time in my life I feel compelled to stand up and speak out for the man who I believe has a new vision for America.”

Thousands of people had streamed into the football stadium for media mogul Oprah Winfrey’s second day of campaigning with Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama.  Campaign supporters helped promote a rock concert-like atmosphere, yelling “fire it up” and bands entertained the crowd at the stadium.  Temperatures were in the 70’s – a stark contrast to frigid Iowa, where Winfrey told crowds a day earlier that Obama “has a new vision for America.”

Some early arrivals said the Illinois senator already had their vote.  Others said they wanted to learn more about him, and that the popular talk show host’s presence drew them to the event.  “I want to see Oprah,” said Beverly Cheney, 45, who drove nearly three hours from Fayettville, N.C., and was trying to decide between Obama and former Sen. John Edwards. “But I make my own decision.”  Scott Sowell, 24, of Charleston, said Obama already had his vote.  “I like his integrity and the direction he wants to take the country,” Sowell said.

Oprah Winfrey Speaks Out for Obama in South Carolina

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