Thursday, September 10, 2009

Alan and Jeanne Abel celebrate 50 years together!

I'm trying to imagine what it would be like to be married to the same person for 50 years. It's rare, in this age of soundbytes, to even want to listen to the same person for more than 30 seconds, let alone be with them day and night for 5 continuous decades. With the Abels, it's either true love or complete insanity. Or both. After rethinking that, I believe that being 'crazy' has kept them young. Their relationship centers around a deep friendship combined with a creative partnership and a hauntingly similar sense of humor (which is sick, I might add).

So 9/11/09 is my parents' 50th wedding anniversary. I thought it would be fun to pretend that they've known each other all of their lives, starting from when they were little up to the point at which they first met. I compiled this series of photos in honor of their celebration. Is that weird? Yes, but what do you expect from an Abel?

Happy Anniversary, mom and dad! May you have many more happy and weird years together!

photo by Nikki Audet

Friday, July 17, 2009

Abel Raises Cain on Amazon VOD

I almost spit coffee all over my computer screen when I saw our movie on the Amazon VOD home page this past week. Amazon is spotlighting ABEL RAISES CAIN through a major PR campaign initiative headed by Indieflix. I knew it was coming...some sort of Summer Indies promotion, I was told. But I really didn't expect to see our documentary sandwiched in between Religulous, Grey Gardens and Man on Wire. I'm not just name-dropping well-known documentary titles here, I promise. I'm pointing out the fact that it's the ultimate form of acknowledgment to even be on the same page as these other films.

It's like I took an 11-year nap and only dreamed about crazy mutated things and making a movie about my parents. And then I was quickly dumped into an awakened state in 2009, thrust before a computer monitor only to find that our film is in the top 100 VOD titles and # 13 in Independent Film. Feeling bewildered, I can't help but wonder, Is this movie about my silly parents really being viewed at this high a level? Or are the numbers rigged like the lottery? I mean, we're potentially talking about thousands and thousands of eyeballs.

The bad news is that the spotlight only lasts so long. People consume what's on their plate. And then back to the musty closet filled with cobwebs we go. Yes, it's sad. But like my father used to bang into my head when I was younger, "Jennifer, nothing good lasts forever." These words still haunt me.

How do we stay afloat and in the minds of viewers in an attention-deprived society where there is so much media to consume? It helps to have a tireless, competent and transparent distribution company on our side, this much I know (Thank you, Indieflix). Subject matter is important, too (Thank you, Alan Abel). Having a supportive partner in crime is also invaluable (Thank you, Jeff Hockett). And I guess the fact that I refuse to give up this race that lacks a defined finish point helps (Thanks again to Alan Abel for passing down his gumption genes).

Thursday, May 14, 2009

hulu's spotlight on ABEL RAISES CAIN

If anyone wonders where the hell we've been and what we're dad is in the middle of a hoax campaign (still yet to be revealed) and writing his autobiography, also called ABEL RAISES CAIN (we stole the title), I'm working on combining my dad's site with our film's site - the first phase has launched but it's still a MAJOR work in progress. And Jeff and I are continuing to self-distribute and split up the rights to our documentary. The company that's handling our US Digital Distribution, INDIEFLIX, helped us get onto hulu and this week, hulu is spotlighting our movie.

You can check out the Abels guest blog on hulu and there is also an interview that my dad and I did together, if you enjoy reading our babble!

Without a doubt, hulu is the biggest thing that's ever happened to our small indie movie. We edited this thing in our one-room apartment, and we never thought we would make it this far, so Jeff and I are finding this experience to be extremely surreal. The fact that they're advertising our documentary in the animated banner section without any money changing hands or a major studio backing us, is beyond crazy.

We have Indieflix to thank for this, as well as Lance Weiler, Arin Crumley and the people at hulu who happened to like my dad's story enough to give the film a bit of a push.

Below is the full feature. Please feel free to embed and share with anyone who might take an interest in my slightly demented family!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A letter to Barack Obama from Yetta Bronstein

January 14, 2009
Hon. Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500


Dear Mr. President,

As a follow-up to my previous letter, I would like to offer you a few good ideas free of charge, Mr. President, for changing our country. This is no squid pro squid, so here goes:

1. Since Oprah raised the bar by giving everyone in her audience a new car, how about bailing out GM, Ford and Chrysler, only if they give every American family a new hybrid car? Including illegal aliens. Why alienate them further?

2. I understand it costs our government $40,000 a year to house, feed, guard and rehabilitate each of the 2.2 million people in prison. Then give them seven days in which to be adopted by an American family or be put to sleep. The money saved would eliminate our trillions in debt and provide the empty prisons for housing the homeless, soon to be in the millions.

3. Abolish income taxes. Instead, the entire family weighs in on or before April 15th and pays $5 a pound for each member of the family, including pets, and other occupants. The aggregate total from 300 million people would exceed an income tax total. This method also diminishes the obesity problem, except for the filthy rich.

4. Take Congress off salary and put them on straight commission.

5. Place truth serum in the Senate drinking fountain and install a mental detector in both houses of Congress.

6. Require all doctors to publish their medical school grade averages in the telephone book. An A+ doctor could certainly be trusted for brain surgery.

7. SAT tests should be given to all members of the Electoral College.

8. Allow guns in homes but decrease the velocity of bullets by 98%.

9. Charge $5,000 for a marriage license and $5 for a no-fault divorce.

10. Same sex marriages would become legal nationally and hermaphrodites should be allowed to vote twice.

Thank you for your consideration of my ideas, Mr. President. I ran for President myself in 1964 and 1968, losing both elections by a landslide. You can read all about it in my book, The President I Almost Was.

Sincerely, Mrs. Yetta Bronstein