May 29th, 2012

gun, true grit

The People Speak, Promised Land

  • Matt, John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Frances McDormand and Rosemarie DeWitt participated in a performance of The People Speak readings last week in the Pittburgh area. The performance was filmed, and although the event was not publicised, there were 200 invited guests in the audience. Presenter Lynn Allen discussed the performance during her radio show - available here.

  • There's a new report a the Chicago Tribune on Matt's visit in January to Englewood High School and the school's Voices of a People's History project.

    This is all part of a bold experiment that began in September and was highlighted by a visit to the school by Damon, who came to observe, perhaps inspire and raise some money. He was only here for one day, but the project has continued in quiet fashion, culminating Thursday night at an event billed as "Englewood Speaks."

    Damon is deeply committed to this effort, orchestrated by an organization called Voices of a People's History (, based on the work of author/activist/teacher Howard Zinn, in particular his influential book, 1980's "A People's History of the United States." This and many of his other books detail the country's history through the words of people one does not ordinarily encounter in conventional academic texts.

    Some of those kids will be onstage Thursday night when "Englewood Speaks" happens at 6 p.m. The show takes place at the school, at 6201 S. Stewart Ave. It is free and open to the public.

    "Yes, I have a career and a family, but this is such a real and important part of my life," Damon said. "It is bigger than me, bigger than all of us. Howard said, 'Democracy does not come from the top. It comes from the bottom.' My hope is that what we have started in Chicago will become a living thing."

  • A series of articles by local Heather Rae Scott on the filming of Promised Land in Apollo is available at her website. A video from CBS Pittsburgh about the making of the film and the gas drilling debate is at CBS Local. In the report, the film is claimed to be neutral on the fracking issue. And a photo of Matt, John and Gus van Sant on the set of the film is in this clip from an interview with Josh Brolin on Jimmy Kimmel's show.

  • A brief interview with Matt backstage at the Charlie Rose show is available here, with thanks to Paula.

  • A photo of Matt with actor Brandon Auret on the set of Elysium in Vancouver recently is at Brandon's Twitter.