Brad Warner's Hardcore Zen - Ojai Screening

Thanks to everyone who came to our US premiere! It was a huge success!! We had about 150 people braving the cold and meeting a guy in a bunny suit. :)

I've put some more pics of the event below. These are all courtesy of Adam Eurich, who was kind of enough to take pictures.

It was nice to do a Q&A with a guy in a bunny suit. My favorite moment was when we tried to give gifts to audience members by having Brad point at an iPhone with everyone's names and his bunny hands just covered the entire screen.

"Wait! I can use my pinky finger!"

"Okay," I said. "It's the only way."

My other favorite moment was getting a free shirt from Pretty Glam Special myself! Rachael, who curates these vintage wearable art pieces, handed me one and said, "Yours!" I jumped for joy and then did a Superman pose. Naturally, right? What else could I do?

On Wednesday, we're off to our screenings in Seattle and Portland. If anyone cares to hang with us, we'll probably be busking at the theaters before showtime -- our latest idea to make flight and gas money. Who knows? Maybe we can make $10 by singing about zombies.

If you have yet to donate or pass on our little fundraiser, please be aware that we've now added DVDs to the list, which will include the downloadable links with extra scenes as well. We also have some pics of our dino paintings, which come in full, black and white, with stands, or framed. Ooo-la-la.

Please share or get one of the gifts. It really does help us get everywhere, since we're doing this completely independently, which basically means: by the skin of our teeth.

Thanks again for the support in Ojai. It was great to see everyone. We're looking forward to more of the same in Seattle and Portland. Oh, yes, and Brad is giving away free hugs. :)


Tickets for US premiere of BRAD WARNER'S HARDCORE ZEN in Ojai, CA, Seattle, WA, and Portland, OR are now available for purchase

Tickets for US premiere of BRAD WARNER'S HARDCORE ZEN in Ojai, CA, Seattle, WA, and Portland, OR are now available for purchase.

Ojai Playhouse | December 06, 2013 @ 9:30pm $10

Northwest Film Forum | December 12, 2013 @ 8:00pm $10

Clinton Street Theater | December 13, 2013 @ 7:00pm $10

BRAD WARNER’S HARDCORE ZEN is a documentary about a controversial Zen master who has sought to strip away the sheen off many taboo topics in Zen Buddhism and exhibit a healthy dose of reality to his readers.

Director's Website:

Q&A and prize giveaways at each screening!
  • Ojai, CA - Playhouse Theater - 9:30 p.m. - December 6, 2013
  • Seattle, WA - Northwest Film Forum - 8:00 p.m. - December 12, 2013
  • Portland, OR - Clinton Street Theater - 7:00 p.m. - December 13, 2013
  • Akron, OH - TBA - March 12, 2014
  • Brooklyn, NY - TBA - March 15, 2014
  • Los Angeles, CA - TBA - April 12, 2014
  • San Francisco, CA - TBA - April 19, 2014
  • Las Vegas, NV - TBA - April 26, 2014
To purchase tickets please visit or click active links above.

If you would like BRAD WARNER'S HARDCORE ZEN to be screened in a theater not currently on our list, or would like Brad to chat with your group while he is on tour, please e-mail with specifics.

Each screening will include prize giveaways, special guests, and a Q&A with zen teacher and actor Brad Warner and director Pirooz Kalayeh.

Video highlights from last year's screening for SHOPLIFTING FROM AMERICAN APPAREL

Brad Warner's Hardcore Zen World Premiere

Dear BWHZ Family,

It's official!!!!! BRAD WARNER'S HARDCORE ZEN is finished!!!!!!

We will have our world premiere at the Buddhist Film Festival Europe on October 5, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. at the EYE Museum in Amsterdam.

The film will also have a limited screening throughout the USA and Canada from November 6, 2013 to April 26, 2014 through Local Screen.

Some cities on the list already are: Seattle, Portland, Montreal, Akron, Philadelphia, New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Las Vegas.

Other cities will be added as the tour becomes solidified.

If you are interested in the film coming to your city, please contact us at

We will mail downloads and incentives for our summer fundraiser once the tour is complete on April 26, 2014.

An additional fundraiser to support touring of the film will occur this November. We will have new incentives, along with special gifts exclusively for any of our summer funders who decide to support again.

Updates to the new fundraiser and the theater tour will be posted at our Indiegogo page, here, and via e-mail.

Please contact us if your address has changed, or if you have any further questions regarding the theater tour or shipping of incentives. Hopefully, we will see you on the tour.

Thank you again for your support and generosity. This film and its tour would not be possible without you.


Pirooz Kalayeh
Producer / Director


Steve Albini Interview about In Utero Sessions

I listened to this great interview with Steve Albini about his work on Nirvana's IN UTERO. Albini discusses the initial letter he sent to the band, the shared band interests, and the basic environment of the recording.

Albini is very aware of how people are manipulated in interviews, and he is quick to frame everything in a black and white reality.

I would like to meet this producer this year.

Runner's Knee

Apparently, I got runner's knee. It's called "when you get old" or some shit. I couldn't do anything for three days. I had to lie in pain most of the weekend. Then I iced it and cried a lot. I didn't do this out loud, because that wouldn't be manly. I did it quietly to myself when no one was looking. Anyway, it really hurt.

Today was the first day I felt like I could do some exercise. I played the 19 year old in tennis again. He's really good. He beat me again today. I just got too tired. My arms didn't work anymore. I think I'll have to start doing some pushups to build upper body strength. Then I'll just need to run about 8 miles a week. Maybe more.

They say that runner's knee can be resolved by having better shoes or investing in special soles for your shitty shoes. I think I'll do the latter. Then maybe I can run and play tennis without crying. It's no fun to cry.

Also, I realized I have no friends other than the people I play tennis or make movies with. I don't know if this is the result of being ambition driven and living in a city or simply a byproduct of growing older and not being around anyone I grew up with or had experiences with. I suppose that's life though.

People make friends early in life and keep them because they stay in one place, or they get new friends by doing a lot of social activities or having kids and whatnot. Since I don't have any kids, and I'm not big on social activities besides playing tennis, making movies, or watching them, it leaves very little room for a huge panoply of friendships to suddenly emerge.

It's my own damn fault. I've got to take some baking classes or something. Either that, or realize I don't need friends. Or just hold my knee and cry.

I think my knee is starting to hurt a little. I better go ice it down.

Silencing Tatanka

I had a nice moment meditating this morning. No, it wasn't the meditating itself. That was horrible as usual, but I did have a funny thing happen while meditating. Usually, I've only had Meow-Meow around during sits. She walks up, says hello, and then goes and lies down to give me space. Well, now we have the kitten, Tatanka, and she doesn't understand what's happening. She walks up and sits in my lap and starts crying. I pet him a couple times and then look up at Meow-Meow who is sleeping on my desk.

"Hey, Meow-Meow," I say. "Can you do something about this?"

Then, I swear to God, Meow-Meow jumps down from the desk licks the kitten and then puts her arm over it. The kitten thinks Meow-Meow's playing, so he hisses and tries to jump away, but Meow-Meow don't play that. She just puts her full weight on him, bites his back, and then licks him.

The kitten didn't stay that way for long. It was up and running around shortly after, but Meow-Meow did solve the problem. Tatanka wasn't crying anymore.

Reversed Lines

A nice vice-versa on Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines video. Probably would have been better with a full reverse and using very masculine models. The male dancers don't come off particularly masculine, which would be the full antithetical response to the kittenish-models used in the now controversial vid.

Why I Love Spike Lee

Other times I think about the last scene in HE GOT GAME. Jake Shuttlesworth (Denzel Washington) is standing in front of a basketball court facing the exterior wall of a jail with a basketball in his hands. A security gaurd is yelling for him to step back or he'll lose his life. Jake steps forward, looks again at the guard, and then throws the basketball over the wall. We see the ball sail in slow motion for a good while, as Aaron Copeland's orchestral theme reaches its peek. Then it's a match cut of sorts as the ball moves over the prison wall and lands literally and symbolically on the Big State basketball court. Jake's son, Jesus Shuttlesworth (Ray Allen), picks up the ball, smiles, and poises to shoot, as the camera tracks back behind the hoop and cut--

Loren Goodman's Top 500 Songs: 291-300

Loren Goodman is an artist, poet, boxing manager, professor, and friend. What follows is the 291-300 segment of his selection of the Top 500 Songs of all time.

These postings have been conducted sporadically since early 2008 to the present in increments of ten.

The 291-300 installment features songs from Bill Withers, Harry Belafonte, Right Said Fred, Modern English, Little Eva, Player, Little Anthony, Daft Punk, Dead or Alive, and Safety Dance.

If you care to see earlier posts, simply click "Loren Goodman's Top 500 Songs" tag for more.











I dreamt I was a different person last night

I dreamt I was a different person last night. I was a professional soccer player or a really good amateur. I was also from a different country and of a different ethnicity.

It was very strange--almost like being on my own version of Quantum Leap.

My father--who was not my father--was the coach of the soccer team. He was letting me know in not-too-kind-of-a-way that my performance on the field was not up to par.

"I don't expect much from players who reach a certain age. I reduce expectations by 5%, so you can relax. You're too old to play hard."

The person whose body I was inside seemed to accept this.

I thought it wasn't entirely true. Yes, age slows you down, but the body felt young. It could do more.

That was the end of the dream. 

Here's a snapshot from our short film BRUNCH ON THE FOURTH OF JULY. Apparently, one of Aaron's students has volunteered to edit it. I'm curious what will happen. I've completely let go of all control on this film. It's literally a rock in the ocean.

Thin Again

So I've decided to become thin again. I know what you're thinking. Why? Why not be beautful and gargantuian. It works for you in Hollywood. All the boys in your building love you. 

It's true. I'm am an adorable "bear" in Los Feliz, and it's been fun to get cat calls on my walks along Sunset, but it's time for a change.

I first started swelling in 2003. This was after a break up and giving up cigarettes for the first time. After quitting 18 more times (the cigs, that is--the relationship quit itself), I was finally able to stay away, but I did gain about 40 pounds in the process.

Now I'm going to play a video game with my body. I will eat well and exercise and see if I win this game of Carb Invaders.

Sogee, the Gangstarr, is in charge of my diet. She has told me it'll be lots of veggies, which is fine with me. I'm bored of being a meat eater too, so I'm just going to be a vegetarian from now on out. She doesn't know this, but I figure I might as well. It's just one more thing to get done now.

To help me through the process, I will be doing some novel and film sketches. The novel will be called Comrade Stalin Is My Friend. The film is HAJIB AND THE WARRIORS OF THE STARDUST GALAXY.

I will post bits of these things as they progress. For now, here is a picture of me being a Carb Invader from Mars.


You can now shoplift SHOPLIFTING! That's right. The film is available to download and remix at the new website.

Poems/Remixes posted to our Facebook page will be shared on the main website.


Visit the website to download/stream/remix the film at


My class on MAKING WEBISODES is now available for those who would like to register online. We will have 9 physical meetings on the UCLA campus and 3 sessions online. This is a public course. You do not need to be a UCLA student. You also do not need fancy equipment--a basic flip cam or iphone and a desire to create web content would be plenty. We will spend the first half of class writing our series and the second half producing and shooting a couple greenlit episodes as groups in class. Please share with those interested in creating or writing web content.

Oscar winner predictions based on budgets, gross, media exposure, odds, and campaigning

People often vote for their favorite films come Oscar time and wonder what exactly happens when a film like LINCOLN or ARGO takes home the most awards. How can DJANGO not win with all its humor and style? you might say. What about AMOUR? That was good? I completely hear where you're coming from. AMOUR was certainly an emotional powerhouse compared to our other contenders. At the same time, we need to understand that this is a political race, where campaigning is being done with Academy members--mostly Actors who constitute the largest voting bloc, numbering 1,311 members (22 percent) of the Academy's composition. This makes the public's opinion of what is the best film fairly moot when it comes to the final winners, but it will certainly dictate who ends up being nominated. According to Aisha Harris in When Box-Office Hits Get Nominated, Do Oscar Ratings Go Up?:

"Ratings for the Oscar broadcast have been in a fairly steady decline over the last 35 years, but spikes have occurred when a blockbuster film was nominated: In 1998, when Titanic was nominated, the telecast rating jumped to 34.9, the highest since 1983, when E.T. was nominated in 1983."

Therefore, the actual voting that we're waiting to see happen is really based on the very privileged 1% of the Hollywood community--namely the 6,000 voting members of the Academy--who get to choose. That's why the major Oscar winners this year will be the ones with the most money behind their productions and post Oscar announcement advertising campaigns (ARGO & LINCOLN: hint, hint).

Here is the breakdown of production budgets:
  • LIFE OF PI, $120M
  • LINCOLN, $65M 
  • ARGO, $44.5M
  • AMOUR, Unlisted. 

Does that mean we can expect the winning film to be the one with the highest world gross?

Here is the breakdown of money earned:
  • LIFE OF PI, $578M
  • LINCOLN, $236M
  • ARGO, $204M
  • AMOUR, $4.08M. 
As you can see, LIFE OF PI and DJANGO are the clear money winners for the year. They're included for ratings, but the winners will not come from these films. They may give PI a Visual Effects award and DJANGO a writing award, but this is just so they can include the big money makers in the broadcast. Why won't they win the Best Picture Oscars? Because neither film is making as big a campaign as ARGO and LINCOLN. It's a classic battle between old (Speilberg) and young Hollywood (Affleck and Clooney). Obviously, the splits will be between ARGO and LINCOLN. SILVER LININGS will come in third, with everyone trying to get on Jennifer Laurence's good side, because this business is about following what people think will be a success tomorrow: ARGO and Jennifer Laurence are the future. LES MISERABLES will be the chink in both of these films' chances and just might run away with Best Picture, because it has made the most money, and it also has a larger cast of Hollywood heavyweights to throw their weight around to Academy members. Throw in a couple awards to the best campaigned film between ARGO and LINCOLN, a Best Supporting Actress nod to LES MISERABLES for making the most money, and then factor in the old vs. new Hollywood players (check your odds) and you've got a list like this:

Best Picture: Argo Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck and George Clooney, Producers
Best Director, Lincoln Steven Spielberg
Best Actor, Daniel Day-Lewis Lincoln
Best Actress, Jennifer Lawrence Silver Linings Playbook
Best Supporting Actor, Tommy Lee Jones Lincoln
Best Supporting Actress, Anne Hathaway Les Misérables
Best Animated Feature, Wreck-It Ralph Rich Moore
Best Animated Short Film, Paperman John Kahrs
Best Foreign Film, Amour Austria
Best Original Screenplay, Django Unchained Written by Quentin Tarantino
Best Adapted Screenplay, Argo Written by Chris Terrio
Best Cinematography, Life of Pi Claudio Miranda
Best Editing, Argo William Goldenberg

(Choose the one that's the period film or sci-fi intense)

Best Costume Design, Anna Karenina Jacqueline Durran

(I haven't seen any of the documentary ones below, but let's just go with the one that's made the most money or had the most exposure.)

Best Documentary, Searching for Sugar Man Malik Bendjelloul and Simon Chinn
Best Documentary Short, Open Heart Kief Davidson and Cori Shepherd Stern
Best Short (Live)Curfew Shawn Christensen
Best Original Score, Life of Pi Mychael Danna
Best Original Song, "Skyfall" from Skyfall Music and Lyric by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth  (They want to see her on TV.)
Best Production Design, Les Misérables Eve Stewart (Production Design); Anna Lynch-Robinson (Set Decoration)
Best Sound Editing, Zero Dark Thirty Paul N.J. Ottosson
Best Sound MixingLes Misérables Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson and Simon Hayes
Best Visual Effects, Life of Pi Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott

Oh, yeah, and if you want to see a film in Chicago that'll never get an Oscar, see SHOPLIFTING FROM AMERICAN APPAREL on 3/14 at the Logan Theater.

When I watched THE MATRIX for the first time

I was visiting my brother for the weekend on my many trips to the city in 1999. He was living near the Virgin Megastore--when it was still around--so I only had to go around the block and down the street past Silver Spurs to the movie megaplex on the right. I was just killing time, so I didn't even know what the film was about. I saw that it might be sci-fi and that Keanu Reeves was in it. That gave me flashbacks of when I had seen Johnny Mnemonic in 1996 down at the Delaware shore with some members of the band Cecil's Water. I remember that being a horrible film, but I was a geek for sci-fi, so I figured, why not? I could always leave if it was bad. (I am fairly famous for doing this. I just don't stay in movies that don't hold my interest. I think it began with Under Siege 2 with Steven Segal, but I had learned that I could just exit a theater and go to another film if it was that bad in the first ten minutes.)

The first 20 minutes of THE MATRIX is a lot of set-up. I was confused by the club scene and the whole white rabbit thing. Even when they offered the reveal of people being batteries, I was still a bit confused. It wasn't until Neo meets The Oracle that it suddenly clicked for me. I'm not sure why it took so long, but I was very much into the story after that. Then, when all hell breaks loose for saving Morpheus, I was just amazed by the special effects. Each action sequence builds upon the one before it. It was almost like the Wachiowski brothers were saving these tricks for a while. Neo does that aerial kick. Then they fly up the elevator, while he says, "There is no spoon." Once they get to the apartment rooftop, we get machine-like-speed from Neo dodging bullets, and then Trinity tells an Agent to, "Dodge this," and then blows him away.

Once the helicopter is downloaded and Neo blows up some more agents to free Morpheus, I think I was literally on my feet in the theater. I even consciously began to notice that there were other audience members who were responding out loud to the action.

"Woo!" I would hear. "Aw, man," another audience member would say. 

Then came the ultimate ending: a flying Neo with Rage Against the Machine in the background.

The feeling I had when I walked out the theater was pretty strong. I felt like I was in The Matrix for a bit. That's how deeply I got entrenched into the world of the film.

I don't think I've felt that too many times in the cinema: changed by what I'd seen. I tried to hold onto that feeling as long as I could. I walked out the theater, went around the block, and felt like life was possible--uplifted. I know that's strange. Why would a stupid sci-fi film give me that? But it did. I was ecstatic--almost like I was on a drug.

The next day I had planned on going to the MOMA, but I couldn't resist. I went right back to the theater and watched the film again. I knew it was going to be a hit, but at that time, I felt like I was in on a secret, and I didn't want to let it go.

Loren Goodmans' Top 500 Songs: 281-290

Poet and teacher, Loren Goodman, strikes again with his eclectic collage of popular songs throughout music history. Today's installment of 281-290 includes a rare performance from THE KINKS, some Bollywood gems, and a rendition of Katy Perry's "Fireworks" by Yoko Ono.