Sunday, August 16, 2009


With all the hoopla regarding healthcare, with all the hoopla giving tax credits to movies shot in Michigan, you would think "Ocean of Pearls" would be a box-office success; let me make myself clear: it’s definitely worth seeing and it deserves every penny it gets. Unfortunately, I counted nine folks in the audience (eleven if you counted my brother and me). Granted it was Sunday morning, a holiday for people of Indian descent, but I’m willing to bet most people reading this post have never heard of it. Until now.

How did I discover “Ocean of Pearls”? Trailer on television? YouTube? Newspaper article? Nope, nope, nope.

A coworker, someone I carpool with, someone with the same urologist as I, mentioned the movie on the ride to work. Without getting into his health issues, let me just say my passenger-friend sought out a doctor for a second opinion, and if he hadn’t, I’d probably be driving to work alone. Thanks to Dr. Neelam, my friend is still with us.

Dr. Neelam is also the movie director of “Ocean of Pearls,” most of which was shot in the Metro-Detroit area thanks to his access to hospitals and medical centers. There are also some familiar City of Detroit scenes as well. (Incidentally, he did not receive a tax break due to filming in 2006).

I’m in total shock that a main distributor has not picked up this film. Although the storyline is about a young doctor who questions his Sikh faith while moving from Toronto to Detroit, it’s also about the discovery of a seriously flawed United States’ healthcare system.

If you have the opportunity to see this film, please do. You will not be disappointed. In fact, if Dr. Neelam directs another full-length feature film, I’ll be first in line to buy a ticket.

Posted by JR

Sunday, August 9, 2009


If you pass through this page, and we know you do because there is an embed counter to monitor traffic, nothing serious. it is a numbers only collector and not a tracking widget, I would like you to take an extra few minutes for me and answer a question or nine.

It doesn’t matter if you comment anonymously or with your call back logo because I am only interested in the answers provided.

  1. Are you native born to the Detroit area, a transplant, or currently living somewhere else?

  1. Did you leave Detroit and Michigan and would you move back?

  1. What conditions made you leave and what conditions would have to happen before you would move back?

  1. What is your impression of Detroit, when the word comes up what does your gut tell you?

  1. Compared to where you grew up/live does Detroit compare favorably or unfavorably and briefly why?

  1. Have you ever visited Detroit as a tourist destination? What did you come to see? Did it meet your expectations?

  1. Did you encounter any violence while here either as a resident or a visitor?

  1. What is your impression of the people you met or know in Detroit?

  1. What would it take for Detroit to lose its reputation as a hardcore city?

OK that’s about it. I’d like to thank you for taking the time to answer and thank you for stopping by. I am working on a few pieces of writing and I am trying a new tact in formulating them. I want the images your answers presented to me to filter through my brain and see what comes out the end of my finger tips.

Be Well and Be Kind

Mark C Durfee


The Walking Man

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Detroit from the Other Side

Detroit's downtown looks so beautiful from Windsor, from the Detroit River, skyscrapers and all. This is a still from the opening sequence of HBO's Hung. Can't see the desolation from afar. But up close, that's another matter . . .