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How's Your News?

I was fortunate to be offered an advanced copy of the new How's Your News DVD. As I waited impatiently for it to arrive, I expected to enjoy the film for two reasons:

1) I'm a huge fan of Matt Stone & Trey Parker, so anything they put their money behind, must be worthwhile. and 2) I have worked for the last 10 years in a vocational training program teaching people with developmentally disabled adults how to succeed in a workplace environment. I must admit that I have a special affinity for people with developmental disabilities, and I knew I was going to enjoy this film...

and enjoy it I did.

Ronnie, Sue, Sean, Larry, & Bobby take you on a journey across America like you have never seen. I laughed a lot, not so much at the interviewers, but at the unique cross-section of Americans that took the time to speak with them.

I fell in love instantly, not only with the reporters, but also with the "staff" that enabled them to go on this fantastic journey. It makes me want to volunteer, and/or send them money. It is programs like this, that give people with disabilities more than a job, more than a hobby, but an interesting LIFE, with memories and tales to tell.

Amazingly, even though I work with this population, I still found myself uncomfortable at times with some of the situations. I felt fear and apprehension every time they let Larry sit alone on a city street, left to the potential cruelty of the common passerby, or when they sent Bobby, who can barely verbalize, into a hotel lobby to book a room. It takes so much courage to face humanity in this way. The reporters are so pure of heart, their bravery and self-confidence is an inspiration for us all.

In additional to comical and insightful interviews, the film is beautifully shot, mostly on digital video. Wonderful editing and magnificent scenes of America, make it a captivating and unforgettable film.

I laughed a little more the 2nd time I watched it, and cried a little less. Hungry to learn more about them, I found their website, and grew to love them even more. Once I realized that they had been making "How's Your News" for several years, I wondered why I never heard of them before! Several people at my workplace had seen them on HBO over the past few years... where have I been? ... haha... What started as a summer camp video project has become a wonderful life-changing experience for the reporters, and the viewers as well.

I'd like to personally thank Matt & Trey for funding, and everyone else involved with creating "How's Your News." I'm proud to have seen it, and I hope they are able to make many more films.





[Click to enlarge image]The DVD is available at amazon, or you can buy it, and the soundtrack as well, directly at www.howsyournews.com






"How's Your News?"

A curious and unexpectedly poignant documentary produced by Matt Stone & Trey Parker, follows five outgoing reporters with mental and physical disabilities traveling coast to coast in a hand-painted RV and interviewing everyone they meet.

Release Date: 7/20/2004

" A movie of such colossal humanity and infectious joy that any discomfort with the subject matter vanishes." - The Montreal Gazette

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION Five outgoing reporters with mental and physical disabilities hit the road, traveling coast-to-coast in a hand-painted RV and interviewing everyone they meet. Follow the How's Your News team as they explore honky-tonk bars in Nashville, alligator farms in Arkansas, the Grand Canyon and the wild streets of America's cities and towns. Unassuming, funny and genuine to the core, it's not your typical news show.

CAST/CREW Director: Arthur Bradford Producer: Doug Stone and Arthur Bradford Executive Producers: Matt Stone (no relation to Doug), Trey Parker, John Pierson and Tony Mindel

HOW'S YOUR NEWS? Team: How's Your News? Is not really a comedy, but we do think there are some pretty funny moments here, and we'd like you to know that it's okay to laugh. It's like reporter Ronnie Simonesen said to that lady at the bus station in Las Vegas, "It's okay to laugh ma'am, I laugh at myself all the time…" Ever since it's inception How's Your News? has encountered questions about the appropriateness of humor when dealing with this sometimes sensitive subject. We really welcome these questions because it's something we've thought about a lot. Perhaps the first thing should know about How's Your News? is that everyone involved - the cast and the crew - has known each other for many years, and this project is the result of a lot of time spent together. Before How's Your News? was shown to anyone, it was screened for the cast members and their families. We wanted to make sure that this film was something we were proud to represent. We believe that confusion, awkward moments and humor are important parts of living with a disability. People who live with disabilities, and those who are close to them, know that if you don't have a sense of humor, it would be hard to get through the day. Please watch this whole DVD, and feel free to laugh. If we were there, we'd be laughing right along with you.

Label: Studio and Trimark Home Entertainment
Year of Production: 2004
Title Copyright: © 2004 by Shout! Factory
Rating: TV-14
Closed Captioned: yes
Genre: Documentary
DVD Running Time: +/- 82 minutes
DVD Special Features: Audio commentary with the entire cast, The original pilot, Footage of festival appearances and Q&A's with the cast after sold-out screenings in Toronto, New York, LA and Amsterdam, The Independent Film Channel's vanguard show, Split Screen, goes behind the scenes at How's Your News?, NPR's This American Life talks to HYN director Arthur Bradford, and to reporters Ron Simonsen and Sue Harrington, HYN reporter Ron Simonsen interviews his lifelong idol, actor Chad Everett. An interview with Matt Stone and Trey Parker conducted by the HYN reporters, Photo Gallery




“What Texas is All About”

QT High - http://www.shoutfactory.com/av/howsyournews1_high.mov
QT Low - http://www.shoutfactory.com/av/howsyournews1_low.mov
WM High – http://www.shoutfactory.com/av/howsyournews1_high.wmv
WM Low – http://www.shoutfactory.com/av/howsyournews1_low.wmv


“Good Morning New York”

QT High – http://www.shoutfactory.com/av/howsyournews2_high.mov
QT Low – http://www.shoutfactory.com/av/howsyournews2_low.mov
WM High – http://www.shoutfactory.com/av/howsyournews2_high.wmv
WM Low - http://www.shoutfactory.com/av/howsyournews2_low.wmv


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