Happy New Year, Y'all! I am back. The Search for Count Dante goes on as does life. We got a new president. I worked the campaign a few days, nothing serious. I am happy he won, now down to business.
My research and shooting continues. Since October I have made more discoveries about Dante's past. I have found someone who actually remembers John Keehan from Coulon's Gym in Chicago back in the 1950s. The picture at left was sent to me by the subject of my first investigation of a Coulon student, one Enrique Encinosa, a Cuban-American boxer under in the early 60s. Encinosa was also connected to the Free Cuba Movement and was friends with Luis Posada. It was a long shot, but John has contact with quite a few Cubans and I was wondering if it was from the boxing.
I tooks a chance based on connections to Cuba I heard that John's dad had. It gets kind of convoluted. I will get deeper into this later.
The picture shows Coulon's friend, Jack Johnson trying to lift the 115 lb Coulon off the ground. This was a trick Coulon used to do at carnivals. This kind of information excites me, it is Chicago history, martial arts history. To find this kind of connection is amazing,
Jim Johnston remembered Keehan and even knew what high school he went to. He told me on the phone that Keehan was trained personally by Coulon. I am hoping to get an interview with Mr Johnston. I will write more as I continue our conversations.
I have been working for a company called Digital Funtown lately for former UFC champion Andrei Arlovski's Team Pitbull. I edited the Arlovski 360 Series. Here is one embedded in the blogpage:
HD-Arlovski 360: The Boiling Point - Episode 5 from 4dft on Vimeo.
You can see the whole Arlovski 360 series on YouTube.
We are now in the midst of organizing the recreation of the Dojo War. I had a meeting with a MMA fighter who wants to be in this scene, the 6'9 Wes Sims while he was in town meeting with
fight promoter Mike Davis. We will see what we work out.
I have a strategy for shooting the recreation. you will hear more about that later.
The Court Case
Nothing is happening yet. We are still waiting on the judge to make a determination as to how the case will move forward. We will see what happens here. I continue to move forward on the film.
Black Dragon Society
I have been making some discoveries about the real Black Dragon Society including thier support of Ethopia during their war with Italy.
In October, the making of The Search for Count Dante was featured as a 3 min short at the British Telegraph.co.uk website as part of the Cinelan Documentaries featured on their site. Telegraph TV has teamed up with international short film specialist CINELAN to present a selection of high quality three-minute video documentaries. That day, my film was featured right next to the première of Russian Prime Minister Vladamir Putin's Instructional Judo DVD.
It was very coincidental because I had been trying to get an interview with Putin for the film. Putin is the only other president in the world to have been a black belt in judo, the other being President Theodore Roosevelt, who was one of the first American Judo Black Belts in history.
I may have managed to snag an interview with Putin. Why? Well the guy has a pet tiger cub and I feel a need to examine his interest in the martial arts, to explore more of it's mythic appeal as I look for parallels with Dante. I have been in touch with his UK based PR firm and it is looking good. I will know in the next 2 months. I have crews standing by in Europe and the UK.
I stopped blogging for awhile to clear my head, put some time into helping elect a new POTUS and to just break all contact with those forces out there who create confusion and crave attention. No names need be mentioned. I am still in the mix, the film moves along slowly but it is moving.
This world of Dante is some crazy stuff. I will slowly get back into writing the blog and sharing some observations and other discoveries you might find interesting.