In 1993, the debut single “What’s My Name?” catapaulted rapper Snoop Dogg to fame. But if you ask him that question now, he’ll have a different answer. Snoop Dogg changed his name to “Snoop Lion” after a spiritual awakening in Jamaica this February, which he described to reporters at a press conference on Monday.
So, no more D-O-double-G. No more Doggfather or Dogghouse or“Woof!” — which, presumably, will be replaced with a roar. Snoop Lion has been working on a reggae album, ”Reincarnated,” the recording of which is being chronicled in a documentary film that premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival in September.
Snoop told reporters that he was rechristened Snoop Lion by a Rastafarian priest.
“I want to bury Snoop Dogg, and become Snoop Lion,” he told reporters, according to news.com.au. “I didn’t know that until I went to the temple, where the High Priest asked me what my name was, and I said, ‘Snoop Dogg.’ And he looked me in my eyes and said, ‘No more. You are the light; you are the lion.’ From that moment on, it’s like I had started to understand why I was there.”
The first single, La La La, from the album Reincarnation:
Even if you have only a passing familiarity with the massive multiplayer online game World of Warcraft, you’re probably aware of “Leeroy Jenkins,” a comedy sketch/meme/recreation of real events about an oblivious player who dooms his teammates charging into a battle (video here, watch this first if you’ve never seen it).
For the CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival, director Finn O’Hara and advertising agency doug & serge recast Leeroy’s ill-fated battle with dragons as a sleek, taut heist thriller about a bank robbery. Clever stuff.
Sundance Institute founder and president Robert Redford made it clear during the Sundance Film Festival’s opening press conference Thursday afternoon that Park City and Sundance are two different places.
“Sundance is not Park City,” Robert Redford said to a group of international journalists at the Egyptian Theatre. “It’s a place where this all started back in the 1980s when I started up the labs.”
The labs, Redford referred to, take place at the Sundance Resort, some 40 miles away from Park City, where filmmakers develop and create their films.
“The festival is a part of (the Sundance Institute), but in my mind, the stronger part, the more meaningful part, is the development part where our labs are,” he said.
The year-round filmmakers labs have expanded over the years because of the film festival’s success.
“We are able to include documentary labs, short-film labs, producer labs, all those elements that have to do with storytelling,” Redford said.
Still, with its expansion and success, the institute’s mission hasn’t changed since it was founded 28 years ago.
“Our mission is pretty simple,” he said. “It is creating a platform for independent artists to show their work.
“This is the only festival that I know is truly independent in the world, and it’s the only festival that has a year-round workshop attached to it.”
Redford’s annual “state-of-the-festival’ speech was followed by comments from Keri Putnam, executive director of the Sundance Institute, and John Cooper, director of the Sundance Film Festival, which runs through Sunday, Jan. 29.
“It’s no secret the times are dark and grim and in addition to that, we’re suffering from a government that is in paralysis,” Redford said. “The happy thing is here, for this week, we’re going to see works of artists, although they may reflect these hard times, there is no paralysis here.”
Last night, I had the pleasure of seeing a screening of Something Ventured, a documentary that traces the genesis of some of the world’s most revolutionary companies, from Atari to Apple to Genentech, and the impact of venture capital on entrepreneurship. The film premiered at the 2011 SXSW Film Festival and features some legendary VCs who helped foster America’s start-up culture, encouraging an environment of risk that yields unprecedented rewards.
The documentary is well worth the watch (it comes out on Netflix next year), giving insight into and a history of venture capitalism, but the highlight for me was the entrepreneurs, who had the vision and passion to create entirely new industries. A hidden gem of the movie is an exclusive interview with Cisco Co-Founder, Sandy Lerner, who is touted as the first female philanthropist to emerge from the Silicon Valley boom era.
Lerner was ousted from Cisco (in very much the same style of Steve Jobs from Apple) at the age of 35, worth $170 million in stock options that she immediately sold. The most compelling component of the one-on-one is the utter acerbity she still harbors about the ousting. Cisco was not a company she built and co-founded; it was a child she conceived, that was brutally ripped from her arms. The interview is a telling confessional of how little money factored into her passion and ambition, which is an overriding theme for the entrepreneurs featured in the film.
After the screening during the Q&A, the film’s producer acknowledged how much effort it took to persuade Lerner to do the interview and speak about her firing, then directed the audience to a recent and rare interview she did with FoxNews about sustainable farming. Two highlights of the interview come in this admission from Lerner, “I got fired by the same guy who fired Steve Jobs” and her response when asked if she thinks she’s a bit eccentric: