All posts about Top Story
May 16th, 2013 by Daniel Coffin
By Ernest Hype, special to TMZ.com
Early purchasers of tickets to Cape Spin! An American Power Struggle were shocked Tuesday to receive email notifications saying that the film had been canceled due to “technical difficulties with the theater,” and that their money had been refunded!
The news of the apparent cancellation was also splashed across the Lincoln Center website. “I was really confused and saddened,” said ticket buyer Agnes Moorehead. “Whoever heard of the whole run of a movie, from May 17th all the way to the 23rd being canceled because of “technical difficulties?” I was thinking something really awful must have happened, like the Health Department found bed bugs or something.”
TMZ now has exclusive information from an official close to both the theater and the film that the whole episode was an elaborate—albeit very strange—publicity stunt. “They figured it would make the film seem more valuable, more rare,” said the official, who asked to remain anonymous because of concerns he could become known as a snitch. “Kind of like playing hard to get. To tell you the truth, I’m not sure what the theory behind this gag really was. But they certainly took it pretty far. I mean, returning people’s money is extreme. And really annoying, because now people have to re-enter all their credit card information using this link.”
Many Cape Spin! fans were disappointed and angry to hear that the whole episode had been a weird ploy to attract public interest in the screenings at the Munroe Amphitheater. “I think it’s just shameful,” said film aficionado Joe Mankiewicz. “I didn’t need to be goofed by some lame prank in order to be convinced to see the ‘sober, lighthearted, even wacky’ Cape Spin!”
After stating that the Associated Press article he quoted from and dozens of other “incredible” reviews had been more than enough to make him want to see the film, Mankiewicz walked slowly away from a reporter, audibly muttering “I had already bought my tickets! What were they trying to prove? That I would want to see this film so much I’d buy them again? Well, they were right. But what was the point?”
At a hastily convened press conference a spokesman for the film reiterated the offer from world-famous chef Daniel for a free mezze plate for Cape Spin! theater goers at Boulud Sud. The spokesman added, “we feel just terrible about this misguided attempt at humor on the part of unknown members of unnamed organizations. Please accept this gracious donation from green energy and arts supporter Daniel Boulud in the spirit of reconciliation.”
May 13th, 2013 by Daniel Coffin
If you don’t want to know how to get tickets to the hottest show in New York, read no further!
We don’t want to reveal too much, but Cape Spin! An American Power Struggle is playing four shows a day at Lincoln Center, May 17th – 23rd! The Phoenix may have already said it’s “Rollicking… a dizzying look into the deceptive world of political activism,” and you may have heard from the Associated Press that it’s “sober, lighthearted, even wacky,” but try not to clink on this link to buy your tickets right now if you’re anxious about missing the experience of standing in a really long line!
That’s right, the film The Boston Globe says is an “exasperatingly funny… good yarn!” and which the Huffington Post claimed did a “great job” showing the “comical side” of the fight over America’s first off-shore wind farm now has tickets available at New York’s toniest venue! Don’t click here if you can’t imagine yourself watching the film with a laugh-out-loud NYC crowd in the gorgeous Munroe Amphitheater on 144 W. 65th street between Broadway and Amsterdam.And do not press this BUTTON if you’d prefer not to have a serious discount off a meal at a fancy nearby restaurant (Boulud Sud!) with your ticket stub!
And if you’re not excited about owning a copy of Philip Warburg’s definitive new book, Harvest the Wind: America’s Journey to Jobs, Energy Independence and Climate Stability, at 10% off the jacket price, don’t get your ticket to the movie now! Because copies will be available at the theater after every screening and cheaper with your magic ticket stub…
We apologize if we inadvertently told you how to purchase tickets for the film the Green Advocate called “thought provoking…almost surreal” or that The Hollywood Reporter said was “among the most notable films to emerge from IDFA” [the most prestigious documentary film festival in the world].
May 6th, 2013 by Daniel Coffin
The Producers of Cape Spin! An American Power Struggle are proud to announce that the film will be opening Lincoln Center as part of the Film Society at Lincoln Center for a week long run beginning Friday, May 17.
Opening night will feature the filmmakers as well as several special guests to discuss the film and the Cape Wind project after the screening. Come one, come all! It should be a lot of fun.
April 10th, 2013 by Michael Miller
Originally from the Wall Street Journal:
Rethinking Energy Subsidies
by David Wessell
Problem one: Governments from the U.S. to Egypt to Japan are running big, unsustainable budget deficits.
A new study says that reducing energy subsidies would help governments around the world cut budget deficits and go a long way toward heading off climate change. David Wessel takes a look.
Problem two: Global governments are finding it tough to agree on an efficient, fair way to head off climate change.
Fact one: Those governments spend hundreds of billions of dollars a year subsidizing energy.
Fact two: Curtailing those subsidies would help solve problems one and two.
So why do so many governments still subsidize energy so much? Because their populations are hooked on subsidies and don’t grasp their downsides, energy producers and other vested interests defend them, and because they are seen, incorrectly, as primarily helping the poor.
The International Monetary Fund, in a comprehensive critique of the subsidies released Wednesday, wants to change that. Energy subsidies, it says, aggravate budget deficits, crowd out public spending on health and education, discourage private investment in energy, encourage excessive energy consumption, artificially promote capital-intensive industries, accelerate the depletion of natural resources and exacerbate climate change.
Other than that, there is nothing wrong with them.
The most obvious way that governments subsidize energy is by charging households and businesses less than it costs to produce and distribute gasoline, cooking fuel and electricity. Taxpayers, now or later, pick up the tab. The IMF says these subsidies added up to $481 billion in 2011. Globally, this amounts to 2% of government revenues, but about 22% of revenues in the Middle East and North Africa.
Some authoritarian governments (think Mubarak’s Egypt when he was in power) buy off the population by making fuel and bread cheap. Some oil-rich governments (gasoline costs around 45 cents a gallon in Saudi Arabia) keep fuel prices low to keep the population from demanding a share of oil profits. That may seem harmless, but it isn’t. In too many poor countries, governments spend more subsidizing energy than they do on education or health. Globally, holding down energy prices increases consumption of fossil fuels.
Eliminating those direct subsidies, the IMF estimates, would reduce energy consumption enough to bring the world one-fourth of the way toward the goals set at the climate-change conference in Copenhagen in 2009.
That’s only part of the story. Many countries exempt energy from their value-added (or sales) taxes. And in most, the price of energy set by the government or the market fails to reflect the side effects of its use—traffic, pollution and climate change. This underpricing of energy amounts to about $1.41 trillion a year, the IMF estimates, mostly in big countries that consume lots of energy.
“The question is whether a country should choose to let someone buy something for $1 when the total cost—both of producing it and the costs imposed on society—are $1.25,” says David Lipton, the IMF’s No 2. He thinks not.
This isn’t a new quest for Mr. Lipton. As an Obama aide, he was a behind-the-scenes player at the Group of 20 summit of major economies in Pittsburgh in 2009 at which leaders vowed “to phase out…over the medium term inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies” because they “encourage wasteful consumption, reduce our energy security, impede investment in clean energy sources and undermine efforts to deal with the threat of climate change.”
Four years later, not a whole lot has changed. One reason is that keeping energy prices down is defended as primarily helping the poor. But the IMF says the richest fifth of households in low- and middle-income countries, garner six times the energy subsidies as the poorest fifth.
The Journal Gazette / Associated Press
Developers of these turbines in Ohio say harnessing wind energy depends in part on government incentives.
“When subsidies are given by maintaining low prices, the amount of the subsidy you get depends on how much energy you use,” says Mr. Lipton. “If you are poor and you don’t have a car and you don’t have an air conditioner, you don’t use much energy and you don’t get much subsidy. If you have three cars and five air conditioners, you get a lot.”
The domestic politics of curtailing energy subsidies are treacherous. The public doesn’t understand them and doesn’t trust government promises to protect the poor and middle class when it seeks to curtail them. Companies that enjoy subsidies don’t surrender them quietly.
Nigerians took to the streets in January 2012 when the government let gasoline prices rise, forcing the government to scale back the subsidy cuts.
The IMF says, hopefully, the politics are navigable. It has assembled two-dozen case studies—some successful, some not—to show the way. In Iran, usually not held up as a model of anything good, higher fuel prices were offset by cash transfers to consumers’ bank accounts paid in advance. In Mauritania, a 2008 reform failed and contributed to a coup. A more gradual effort in 2011, with more care taken to strengthen the social safety net, was successful.
Mr. Lipton’s advice: “Better to do it right than to do it right away.”
But do it.
March 18th, 2013 by Michael Miller
Just in from the Cape Cod Time’s Matt Camara:
Offshore wind energy supporters blitzed the U.S. Department of Energy last week with comments aimed at pushing the agency into giving the $2.6 billion Cape Wind project a loan guarantee.
“Cape Wind carries tremendous importance for unleashing, at long last, one of America’s greatest reservoirs of inexhaustible clean energy,” wrote some two dozen environmental, public health and labor groups in a letter to the DOE. “Such action will help lay the strongest possible foundation for offshore renewable energy development in the United States.”
The wind farm is fully permitted and awaiting a decision on whether the DOE will provide the loan guarantee — meaning the department would take responsibility for the project’s debt in the event of a bankruptcy — but a spokesman declined to say how much Cape Wind hopes the government would put up.
“There would be many other commercial financing partners involved with Cape Wind,” spokesman Mark Rodgers said Friday night, adding that the guarantee would be “a great help.”
Cape Wind’s application for a roughly $2 billion DOE loan was put on hold in 2011. It has now been pared to about $350 million, a source with knowledge of the request told the Cape Cod Times last week.
The push from Cape Wind’s supporters came after a pair of congressmen wrote to Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, expressing concern over the controversy surrounding the project and demanding all records associated with Cape Wind.
U.S. Reps. Paul Broun, R-Ga., and James Lankford, R-Okla., who sit on technology and energy policy subcommittees, sent two letters to Chu asking for the records and all pending applications for two DOE loan guarantee programs before a decision is made.
The agency will consider any new information before deciding whether to approve a loan for Cape Wind, David Frantz, the energy agency’s acting executive director of the loan programs office, wrote in an initial response to Broun and Lankford. The department has made no decision on whether to issue a conditional commitment or loan guarantee for Cape Wind, he wrote.
Rodgers said Broun and Lankford’s letters were likely political plays aimed at the Obama administration, not at Cape Wind, and that the Georgia congressman recently supported an $8 billion guarantee for a nuclear project in his home state.
The public comment period for the guarantee closed March 11, the day Cape Wind supporters sent the DOE their comments.
Cape Wind opponents, however, said that even with the loan guarantee there is no certainty the project will move forward. The project remains mired in five lawsuits and has yet to find private investors, said Audra Parker, president of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound.
Material from The Associated Press and staff writer Patrick Cassidy was used in this report.
October 15th, 2012 by Daniel Coffin
Thanks to some good old fashioned lobbying by a fan up on the North Shore of Massachusetts, we’ll be coming back to the state a bit early! On Sunday, November 11, we’ll have a big kickoff screening, you know, green carpet,* bike limos and myself, Producer Dan Coffin in attendance. The Sunday screening is scheduled for 10am at Salem Cinema — tickets information to follow.
We’ve been looking forward to getting back on the big screen, and with the Cape Wind controversy heating up, what better time?
Following the kickoff, Cape Spin! will be playing once daily right up through Thanksgiving, so mark your calendars! And of course, if you’re in the New York City area, we’ll be at that little cinema downtown (Lincoln Center) on Tuesday, November 13. With any luck, we’ll be seeing some more of this:
* – Everyone brings their own green carpet — it’s a metaphor!
October 12th, 2012 by Daniel Coffin
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Cape Spin! Opens Theatrically at Lincoln Center;
Makes World Tour; Released to Educators
Spokespersons for the smash-hit political/energy satire Cape Spin! An American Power Struggle announced today that the film would make its New York City debut at LincolnCenter November 13 at 6:30pm as part of the prestigious “Art of the Real” series (details here). In addition, a Cape Spin! publicist announced the film would also open theatrically in New York at Lincoln Center Cinemas in January and was now available to educators through a distributor, The Video Project.
A group of Cape Spin! marketers, ad-men and PR flacks made the announcement from a location near their studio in Dumbo, Brooklyn. They went on to say that “Cape Spin! is currently on a whirlwind world tour. On August 17, the film was shown at an overflowing public square at the Center for Contemporary Art in Warsaw, Poland. On September 4, it played to an ecstatic crowd in Melbourne, Australia at the Environmental Film Festival there [see video testimonials from Down Under]. They loved it at the Greentopia Film and Music Festival in Rochester on the 13th; it was invited back to the Netherlands for the ForumDwarsdiep in Groningen, and is now traveling all over Holland; and it played in Glasgow and Edinburgh, Scotland as part of the Take One Action Film Festival on September 28th and October 4th.”
A spokesperson continued: “Of course we are so pleased that audiences all over the world are loving Cape Spin’s unique blend of humor, artistry and objective reportage. We set out to make an informative, entertaining film that would allow the audience to make up their own minds about the many issues surrounding the U.S.’s first proposed off-shore windfarm. People are thirsty for truly objective storytelling. Luckily, most Americans and others worldwide have not yet lost the ability to think freely!!”
The spokesman paused and slowly looked around the room, perhaps for effect. Then, in a more serious tone, he went on: “It is a matter of extreme importance that the next generation of Americans learn the habits of critical thinking that make for effective citizenship. That’s why we’re so pleased that the film is now available to educators at the high school, college, and post-graduate levels though our partners at the Video Project [purchase here]. If more people learned earlier in life that most news is just a series of corporate and government press releases, crafted to suit the needs of powerful interest groups, we would have a much healthier democracy. Studying Cape Spin! is a good step in the right direction.”
August 16th, 2012 by Daniel Coffin
As August comes to a close, we’re reflecting on our wild ride on the summer’s theatrical circuit and looking forward to a slew of engagements scheduled very far from the pristine shores of Nantucket Sound. It is an honor that Cape Spin! is being sought by international audiences, and I hope that they will appreciate a glimpse into the “American” style of democracy.
Really, I’m hoping for a reaction akin to our military’s “shock and awe” campaigns in war, but realistically, we’ll probably get a mix of glee at the farce, filled with pangs of envy for how much impact we the people actually have on state policy in the U.S. If there’s any lesson in Cape Spin!, it’s that people matter, and in a world rife with problems, we’re happy to be playing a role in the global dialogue. On to the listings!
For simplicity’s sake, below is a list of the upcoming screenings (click the location for details). Any questions or inquiries please direct to firstname.lastname@example.org.
August 17 - Poland! – at the Center for Contemporary Art (it’s a castle!)
September 4 – Australia! - we’re opening the Environmental Film Festival Melbourne. Very cool festival, with great organizers.
September 13 – Rochester, NY! - ok, not international, but it’s a fantastic sustainable arts and culture fest called Greentopia.
September 20 – Nederlands! - this is one we’d really like to attend. Alas, the life of the indy filmmaker.
September 28 – Scotland! - at the Take One Action Film Festival. Lots of great productions are in attendance. Say hello to our friend Denny, formally of Frontline, PBS.
If you can’t make these, stay tuned, as there’s big news on the horizon regarding our second wind theatrical run slated for later this year. Additionally, we’re accepting requests for all forms of non-theatrical engagements, (NGOs, corporate, etc.), so don’t hesitate to contact us. Again: email@example.com.
June 20th, 2012 by Daniel Coffin
Cape Spin! has been featured in plenty of press, both local and national (which you can find here), but only now are we beginning to solicit reviews. And the good news is, the reviews are good! First up is the ever-thoughtful James Burnett with a feature on the front page of the Boston Globe’s Movie section. Mr. Burnett hits the nail on the head, pointing to the politicians as the primary fodder in what was essentially a battle over public perception: “the film is exasperatingly funny, as it features politicians who often exhort the public to embrace ‘green’ energy projects such as wind farms — but who also happen to own homes with ocean views of Nantucket Sound”.
Next up, the venerable Peter Keough of the Boston Phoenix gave us 3 out of 4 stars, with a choice bite or two, calling the film “a dizzying look into the deceptive world of political activism”.
June 17th, 2012 by Daniel Coffin
Thank you Brookline/Boston for a great run so far. We’ve had a blast hanging out at Coolidge Corner, hawking tickets and talking with the locals. We’ve been proudly sporting our Urban Green Energy “Eddy” turbine, (thanks to the cooperation of town hall) and teaching folks about the benefits of “distributed renewable energy”, a major topic of exploration in Cape Spin!
Thanks to those efforts and the warm reception we’ve gotten from the Boston press, our short run here at the Coolidge has been an unqualified success! Thanks to all who’ve come out to see the film.