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‘Speed of Life’ director Liz Manashil says David Bowie’s death turned her horror film into a ‘sci-fi romantic dramedy’



There’s a new David Bowie-inspired movie called ‘Speed Of Life’ that will be out on January 10, 2020, and much like the quirky Starman himself, it promises to be a genuine time-space oddity.

Named after a David Bowie song, and inspired by his eccentric life as much as his tragic death, the 76-minute indie flick is a blend of science fiction meets dramedy. It gives us a unique, well-balanced perspective on the joys of life and mundane existence whilst exploring themes of love, loss, time travel, and growing old in an absurd world. The film also features powerful performances by a stellar cast that includes Ann Dowd, Ray Santiago, Vella Lovell, Sean Wright, with Allison Tolman and Jeff Perry.


The plot begins in the year 2016 (the year Bowie died) and revolves around a young married couple, June and Edward. The couple clearly loves each other, but they do engage in minor quibbles, as all young couples tend to do. June is a big David Bowie fan and is emotionally wrecked on receiving the news of her idol’s untimely passing. But another untimely passing seems to be lurking right around the corner! By some bizarre cosmic coincidence, the music icon’s death manages to rip a literal wormhole in the fabric of space and time, and the hapless Edward gets sucked into the interdimensional portal, leaving his wife June behind to fend for herself alone.

Fast forward to the year 2040, and Edward suddenly finds himself spat back into the reality he left in 2016, except that he is still a young man – he has barely aged a second. His wife June, on the other hand, has aged both physically and mentally. She is dreading the approach of her 60th birthday when she will be locked away along with the other senior citizens in her society. Never one to passively accept her fate, June is seen busy making plans to leave. But now, her once-mourned lover Edward has popped back into her life – and thus, drama ensues. This entertaining film is certainly worth a watch, and if you’re a David Bowie fan, it’s doubly pleasing.

A still from the ‘Speed of Life’ (press kit)

MEAWW caught up with the talented director Liz Manashil to talk about the heartwarming film and her flourishing career so far. 

Q: How did the idea for this zany plot first strike you? Was it like a cathartic way of dealing with the news of David Bowie’s death?
A: Yes, kinda. I was trying to write a somewhat similar horror script about a woman being visited by her dead husband. When Bowie died, I got writer’s block and on a whim, I decided just to write his death into the movie to break out of my writer’s block. And I became really attached to that opening scene I wrote, so everything else had to change based off of that – and my horror film turned into a science-fiction romantic dramedy. I’m a fan of Bowie’s and throughout the years, friends have given me Bowie candles, or pins or earrings, but I’m not a die-hard, know-all-the-lyrics fan. But his has been one of the only celebrity deaths that really impacted me because it was hard to even imagine that he could die. 

Q: The soundtrack for the film is really well-curated. Since you had an indie budget, did you have to shelve some dream songs that you really wished you could have included?
A: The only song we couldn’t get was a Bowie one. All other music was our first choice and all because of our amazing music supervisor, Liz Lawson, who is actually now an accomplished novelist! Our composer Troy Herion, was a dream to work with as well. I feel very fortunate that the budget allowed all the amazing music and insanely talented bands who are a part of our soundtrack, like DYAN, tUnE-yArDs, and Birthday Girls (to name a few). 

David Bowie (Getty Images)

Q: Your production company is called Womanashil, a neat little play on words. Any words of advice for young women who are budding directors?
A: Control the purse strings. The only reason I’ve been able to get two features off the ground is by crowdfunding and locking down investors myself.  And no one has ever come in and taken creative control or taken credit away from me. In fact, my amazing producers very kindly suggested that I take a full producer credit on this film alongside them, because of my efforts in development, casting, and distribution. And that’s the other key – wherever you lie on the gender spectrum, for full control and easier production, be in charge of the money and never work with a**holes. That seems simplistic but… trust your instincts. 

Q: You’re both the writer and director of this film, which is no easy feat. I understand you’re also directing the upcoming film ‘Lady Parts’. Would you willingly relinquish the director’s chair to just focus on writing a great script in the future? Or could you envision yourself as a budding auteur, like say, Wes Anderson?

A: While I didn’t write ‘Lady Parts’, I am co-directing it with my partner, Sean Wright. I would absolutely direct someone else’s material in the future. I actually don’t write because I have to write. I write to direct. I love working with weird, well-thought-out material that exposes bizarre worlds. I love pushing buttons as a director. I’m also directing a short called ‘Lina’ in February that has been written by our lead Erika Longo. After that, I’m going to direct a script that I have written called ‘Sex and Jesus’ – it’s my passion project.

Q: Who are some of your favorite directors/ auteurs?

A: In high school, I really fell for Nicole Holofcener and Whit Stillman. Since then, I’ve really loved Jeff Nichols’ stuff and of course James L Brooks. And I love a lot of directors that are more contentious. I love Lars von Trier. I love directors who have a clever sensibility in their dialogue or directors who spend their time trying to impact/ frustrate/ disgust/ devastate their audiences. 

Director Lars von Trier (Getty Images)

Q: ‘Speed of Life’ releases on Jan 10th, 2020, which also happens to be David Bowie’s death anniversary. Given the premise of the film, this seems way more intentional than coincidental – who gets the credit for that brainwave?
A: Ha! That’s me. If I had my druthers, we’d release in the spring but it seemed fully required to pay tribute to the man this way.

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The Advantages of Online Casino Welcome Bonuses




When it comes to online gambling, the industry is thriving in 2020. Although casinos are banned in many countries, people still find ways to enjoy their favorite games of chance. However, considering the level of competition on the market, it may be difficult for a beginner to find a good online platform and take advantage of all offers. In this article, you will learn the benefits of casinos’ welcome bonuses.

What Is a Sign-Up Bonus?

As we have already established, the industry is growing rapidly and companies are desperately looking for new ways to attract customers. A welcome bonus is often used by online casinos to get new leads and players in the future. However, the best casino bonuses can be easily used to the player’s advantage. Here are the main reasons you should not neglect this offer.

  1. It saves your money

Quite obvious, right? Well, this is the main reason why you should always use welcome bonuses in online gambling: it is always better to not risk your own money. It is especially true for beginners. Since they have no experience, it is fairly common for beginners to lose their initial investment and be done with gambling for good. However, if you use your welcome bonus as a way of getting the basics skills, the chances of success will rise significantly.

  1. It allows you to try several games

Another common issue beginners face is a lack of understanding of which types of games they want to try: slots, roulette, baccarat, blackjack, etc. If you use your sign-up bonus, you will be able to play several games and choose the ones you like better. Moreover, you can take advantage of a welcome bonus on several online gambling platforms. That way you will try out even more options.

  1. It will make future gambling more profitable

Besides beneficial sign-up bonuses, good online casinos usually have great loyalty programs. For instance, the company may double up to five first deposits on the platform. If you invest 100 USD, you will get 200 USD to your account. More money — more games — more chances of winning.

Although a welcome bonus is a great way of upping your gambling game, there are a few things you should pay attention to. Firstly, a good bonus does not equal a good platform. Before choosing a casino, make sure that the company is legal and trustworthy. Since there are many scams right now, it is essential if you want to save your money. Moreover, check the available deposit/withdrawal methods and their terms.

We hope that this article has shown the true power of online casinos’ welcome bonuses and how you can use them to your own advantage. Follow our tips while choosing a platform and enjoy the best gambling experience.

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3 Key Mistakes to Avoid When Playing Blackjack




Blackjack is the most popular casino game in the world. The card game, sometimes referred to as ‘21’, accounts for an average of 31 percent of all casino table traffic – this is consistent both online and in physical casinos. For reference, the second most popular is roulette (24%) followed by poker (21%).

It’s easy to understand blackjack’s popularity. It’s a simple game to grasp and offers players a mix of luck and skill: luck in the cards that are drawn, skill over how those cards are dealt and a player’s eventual hand. Compare that to roulette, which is based entirely on luck, and poker, which has a huge skill element to it.

However, while the beauty of blackjack is in its simplicity, there are also a number of complexities to the game, and as is the case with almost anything in life, you learn more from mistakes than successes.

With that in mind, here are three key mistakes to avoid when playing blackjack that can significantly increase your chances of winning, while limiting your losses.

Choosing the Wrong Table

Before a single card is drawn, being at the wrong table – whether live or online – is the first mistake to avoid.

First of all, each blackjack table will have different minimum bet requirements so avoid choosing one that is out of your budget. For instance, if you choose a table with a $100 minimum bet and your budget is $200, you might only play two hands.

Secondly, check the payout odds on the blackjack table. These are typically 6:5 and 3:2 and will affect how much gets paid out when you hit blackjack and land other bonus wins. Where possible, choose a 3:2 table as it pays out higher.

Thirdly, choose between a virtual and a live table. This is not so much a mistake to avoid but more comes down to personal preference. Virtual tables allow players to play against an automated computer, so you can play at your own pace, while live tables are usually quicker paced as human dealers are keen to move the game along.

When to Hit and Stand

As a general rule, most blackjack players know to hit when the hand is 12 and to stand when the hand equals 17. However, there are plenty of variables to consider that could influence when to hit and stand. Getting these right can really boost your chances of beating the house, while getting it wrong could prove costly.

One key move to implement is to always hit on a soft 17 – when the two cards are an ace and a six. This means that if you draw a 10 or picture card (jack, queen, king), then you convert your hand into a hard 17. It also gives greater flexibility if you draw a smaller value card as the ace can be used as a one.

While many players adopt a strict ‘never bust’ policy, meaning they always stand when their hand equals 12 or more, this can be ill-advised as it depends almost entirely on the dealer going bust.

Instead, analyze the value of your two cards compared to the dealer’s first card and weigh up the risk factor in drawing another card before the dealer draws their second. As a strict rule, if your first two cards equal 17 or more, then stand – anything else can be hit depending on the situation.

When to Split and Double

If you are playing in a blackjack tournament, either online or live, learning when to split and double can make all the difference to your chances of success. The same also applies to individual games of blackjack.

Click here to check the best tips on blackjack tournament strategies:

Splitting is when you split two cards when dealt the same value cards, so a pair of eights for example. Doubling is when you are given the option to double your bet after being dealt your initial two cards.

While it can be tempting to split and double at every opportunity to increase your winning, doing at the right time is the key.

It is not recommended to split when:

  • You are dealt two picture cards or two 10s
  • You are dealt two 9s
  • You are dealt two 5s
  • The dealer holds a 10 or picture card

It is best to split when:

  • You are dealt two 8s
  • You are dealt two aces
  • The dealer holds a 5 or 6 (as this is the highest probability of a bust)

Similar to knowing when to hit and stand, take a brief moment to assess the dealer’s drawn card compared to your own two cards and determine whether the probabilities are in your favour.

Likewise, knowing when to double down – when not to double down – can change the complexities of your blackjack game. A simple rule to know when to double is if your two cards equal 10 and the dealer’s card is between 2-9. Additionally, if you hold an ace, you can consider a double as these have the flexibility of playing as 11 or 1. But if the dealer’s card is an ace, ignore the double.


Blackjack may be a simple game but there are some important strategies to keep in mind next time you head to the virtual or live table. The game itself is still rooted in luck so there are never any guarantees to long-term success. However, by keeping these three important rules in mind, you can at least avoid making avoidable mistakes.

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Top 5 Entertainment Activities for College Students




The life of college students is sometimes too complicated. They have to face tons of homework assignments that steal their time. Many students get stressed because of continuous learning. They seem to forget how to relax. If you’re a busy student, you should remember that you’re still young and shouldn’t waste this precious life stage. You can undertake some entertainment activities sometimes. Take your friends and organize funny games to unwind and let off some pressure. We asked writing experts from a professional essay service Smart Writing Service to share their ideas and provide you with top-5 entertainment activities for college students you may like. 

Who Are You?

Students, especially freshmen, don’t know each other perfectly. They may be taken by surprise when some of them tell something quite unexpected about their hobbies, preferences, and so on. If you want to know other students better, suggest playing a game called “Who Are You”.

Form at least three teams. If there are many folks, you can form more teams. Choose a speaker of the game. It may be even one of your teachers or professors. All groups will be given topics to discuss. The speaker is supposed to announce a new topic every few minutes. You may discuss and answer the following topics:

  • What is the greatest challenge you are facing?
  • What do you like or hate most about yourself?
  • What is your greatest value in life?
  • What emotions do you express easily?
  • What is the most valuable thing in friendship?
  • Who you want to become in five years?
  • What is your major objective for next year?
  • Is there something you want to improve about yourself?
  • What motto do you try to live by?
  • Where would you like to travel?
  • If you were to study abroad, what country would that be?

Students should write their answers on index cards. The speaker should gather the answers of every student and shuffle them. Afterward, he/she redistributes them randomly to students. Each person should guess whose card he/she is holding. Play this game after you spend some time together and already know at least something about one another.

Sentence Completion

Another fun activity is “Sentence Completion.” Most people like it because it’s commonly accompanied by laughter and good mood. It’s necessary to prepare a list of sentences. Those sentences should have a beginning, but with no end. Every student should finish the sentence he/she gets. Oftentimes, students give funny answers. At times, they are quite serious, and we can learn something important about other students. Here are several sentence beginnings you may choose:

  • Before I came to college, I was interested in…
  • When I was a child, I wanted to become…
  • The best moment I remember most about high school is…
  • My favorite pet is…
  • The things I value most are…
  • Five years from now I hope to be…
  • My greatest personality trait is…
  • My favorite subject at high school was…
  • If I could change one thing in the world, it would be…
  • My greatest fear is…
  • After I graduate from college, I…

The Reception Line

You may likewise try another entertaining activity for college students. It is called “The Reception Line.” Gather all the mates eager to participate. Divide yourselves into two groups. If you form more, it won’t fit the rules of the game. Each person talks to the person in front of him/her until he/she must move. The person at the end of one line goes to the end of the other line. This method makes it possible to meet new people. Thus, students will learn more about each other. You can make shifts every next topic or set a limit. For example, the pair should discuss 5 topics and afterward move to change partners. Here are some interesting topics to discuss:

  • Where would you like to travel?
  • What motto do you try to follow?
  • What is your favorite movie?
  • What music do you like?
  • What is your favorite hobby?
  • Why did you choose this college?
  • What do you like about college life the most?

Take Sides

You can likewise suggest a game, which offers only two options. It’s called “Take Sides.” Create a list of questions with two answers. Students should obligatorily choose one of them. Afterward, you may discuss the answers. Let everyone explain his/her choices. Thus, you’ll learn more about each other, and it will bring you closer. Here are several suggestions:

  • Watermelon or banana?
  • Sweat or bitter?
  • Short trips every weekend or a journey around the world for three months?
  • Partying or hiking?
  • Listen or speak?
  • Rock or pop?
  • Morning or night?
  • Superman or Batman?
  • Robocop or Terminator?
  • Harry Potter or the Lord of the Rings?
  • Los Angeles or New York?
  • Liberal or conservative?
  • American football or ice hockey?

My Most Embarrassing Moment

You can likewise tell each other about the most embarrassing moments. It’s important to be honest and don’t imagine a story that never took place. All the participants should agree on this term. Commonly, it is a very entertaining activity. Students tell funny stories they’ve been through. It commonly makes them closer.

These activities for college students are very simple to follow. They are really entertaining. Mind that we have mentioned only 5 of them. However, you can try a hundred activities more. Use our examples to have fun and relax. They may inspire you and your friends to look for other entertaining activities.

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