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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

123

Halloween today, I created my annual film loop for the neighbourhood. This time I had some black and white negative images of insects and instead of the regular screen, I created a large ghost and shone onto it, so that the ghost becomes a mass of bugs. Pictured here, just before sunset, the projection is not yet evident. William is a dinosaur, a pterodactyl to be precise, and I am wearing the cloak that Dawn Henderson gave me many years ago. He got a lot of candy, there weren't many kids (we got 30) even though the weather was perfect (no snow or rain or even much wind with temperatures a few degrees above normal). Margaret did a phone interview with CBC radio and will likely be on tomorrow morning sometime regarding the cancellation of her community radio show. There is also a petition going around regarding it.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

122

At the UofR and UofS, CUPE is on strike of sorts, they walked off for a while today but went back to work. If they go on strike, the film profs are going to have to alter their courses to work around the lack of equipment access, darkroom access, and editing room access. I don't know if we can survive a long strike, teaching film as a theoretical art only. It can be done, but most of the students can't stay engaged for long, it could be a very bad time. All I know is that it's a good semester to be on sabbatical.

We went to William's school and carved another pumpkin in the gym this evening. They baked cupcakes in the nutrition room, yum.

121

I kept waiting for the shoe to drop. The past week or two has followed the pattern that if I have a good start to my day, something screws it up, but if I have a crummy start to the day, something redeems it. Today was generally quite good. I got some solid progress editing the End of Life work, I was almost late picking up William, but got there on time and we watched, and really enjoyed, Flintstones (Fred has to replace the rich industrialist for a day and just say "Whose baby is that? What's your angle? I'll buy that.". William wasn't really into Flintstones when I began this experiment, but he was repeating the dialogue all day today. This afternoon I finished the first cut on the dance piece June and I shot with Tanya. I'm pretty happy with where it's going, although a bit nervous since I've occasionally featured editing and filmic style over body and dance style, and I'm not sure what Tanya will think, and as she is out of town this week, there's a big lag time in showing it to her. The summer was a bit of a rush with many things, and this dance shoot was one of them. As I was cutting, I realized that we never sat down to really talk about what the dance was ABOUT. I can interpret some things, but may be mistaken. For example, the performance begins with Tanya sitting and typing into the computer and talking about her relationship with the machine. Since we were shooting without a plan and needed to react quickly to the dance without rehearsals, we shot with two cameras and no tripods. However, that did not adequately anticipate the stationary situation as the piece begins. Tanya stays at the computer for about four minutes and the loose cameras capture it just fine. However, it all seems too free and organic while the content is about machines and (without using the word) cyborg living. Therefore I chose to use a short clip of typing and looped it so that we see the repetitive, mechanical nature of the computer interface. What I tended to cut out at times, such as in this first scene, was the huge video projection of the computer screen. We are accustomed to the computer screen being relatively small, 17-24". In this performance, the screen becomes 10-12 feet high. However, in video taping it, I convert it back down to its original size. The sense of spectacle, at least when the dancers are not in front of it, is gone.
This evening we carved pumpkins and William and I played wrestling (I don't know where this obsession came from, I don't think it was the Flintsones) and I watched some tv. Good day.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

120

Quiet day today, breakfasted on the bed then zipped to my parents to see my nephew Chris off as he headed back to Calgary with his new car (new for him). I laid a few Tim Horton coupons on him, seemed to like that. I was going to do some writing or something this afternoon but I went to the Science Centre with William and looked at teeth instead.
The Gemini awards were here in Regina this evening. I didn't go, or even watch them, but I guess that's exciting. Corner Gas won one. Wapos Bay, by my friend Dennis Jackson in Saskatoon also won best children's program but that award was given out two weeks ago, not tonight.

119

After the radio station last night, neither of us slept well. I couldn't initially sleep so I went down stairs to read on the couch were I did dose but woke at 4:30 feeling worse. I had a version of a migraine come on, but with no aura, but just the pain for many hours. I told Margaret at about 8 am because I couldn't remember where I kept my drugs. See found them (I forgot to ask where they were) and made the decision to get extra help. Her mother drove her to work and William to swimming, allowing me to try to sleep it off, and by noon I could remember how to talk properly again. I'm reminded of a video Chrystene Ells creatd the other day that simulated what she sees when she has a migraine. It's the most horrible thing I've ever seen, I've suggested that she show it on a big screen in front of lots of people.

My sister Sharon and nephew Chris are in town, I'd not expected them. Missed Artist Trading Cards to hang out with them today as we'd been invited to Christina Stojanova's for a delightful party this evening. Our next door neighbour is also having a loud party tonight, mostly confined to his new and well insulated garage, so we barely hear the live band!

Friday, October 26, 2007

118

Brett arrived but didn't knock, sorry to miss you, thanks for dropping the XXXXXXXX in the mailbox.

So it seems impossible to have an entirely good day. Mine started pretty well. I got some progress on my End of Life video in the morning, a nice lunch at home with Margaret and William, more progress on the dance video with Tanya Dahms in the afternoon, then I recorded my One Take Super-8 soundtrack with William and edited it, then attended a couple of films at the MacKenzie Art Gallery curated by Phillippe Mather which, even though they were in French and not subtitled, where quite engaging. Back at home, Margaret borrowed "The Cotton Club" from the library and just before we started watching it, I made the mistake of looking at her email to discover that CJTR have officially canceled her radio show, citing "lack of remorse" for not following procedures, and for not meeting with Ketih, the station manager with an out of control anger issue. Who stands up for the volunteers over there? I think they expect the cancelled show hosts to just disappear without a sound. I think there is going to be some noise.

117

It took me 1.5 hours but I fixed the problem on the dance video that messed up yesterday. However, as I had some things to do downtown (discussions of policy at the Filmpool) I didn't have time to progress further. I then spent part of the evening trying to put together a festival entry that I thought was due tomorrow but in actuality the deadline is a couple of weeks away but I would save money by hitting the early deadline tomorrow, so I'll just have to eat that five bucks and get it in next week as I was just getting frustrated by the machines again. I think what I need to do is take every single one of my films (about 70) and make an mpeg of it and permanently store it on my hard drive to create discs whenever I need them. However, that will take dozens of hours at the university, so I'll probably have to hire someone. In the end, it doesn't solve things as what I most often need is a copy of the very newest film, which will undoubtedly not be amongst those I would have ready. So then what?

I was expecting Brett to stop in this evening, had he come by he'd have caught me watching Blades of Glory, which I am ashamed to admit I found quite entertaining. Where are you Brett?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

116

Margaret took care of lunch so I spent the whole day in the edit rooms, the morning working on End of Life, and the afternoon finally getting a start on a video of a dance performance by Tanya Dahms that June Madeley and I shot earlier this summer. I had the material all in the computer and started at the beginning. At 4:00 I had a really elegant opening 5 minutes when suddenly I lost half of the footage! The media went off line and I could not manage to relink it, so I'll have to re-capture that tape next time and hope that it goes back together without me having to redo all the work I did. This evening William and I watched "Here Comes Peter Cottontail: The Movie". I think they were going for a bit of a Rankin and Bass sort of thing, complete with a friendly on-screen animated narrator (voiced by Christopher Lloyd), but it all seemed a bit rushed. It was slick, but all too uniform, the characters move through the scenes with a smooth precision akin to Mario Brothers within a game environment. There was nothing really bad, but there was also nothing really good, the characters and plot were properly assembled but certainly conventional. Neither William nor I were inclined to turn it off, but I'm not sure if/when it'll be replayed.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

115

We went into the studio and shot the interviews with Angie and me for the documentary on the Aboriginal End of Life conference we shot last month. I've tried to stay out of the limelight on this project but since the focal point of this project is to be the process of researching using video, it does make sense that I say something. Angie also brought her sister, another Dr. Baydala, whom we also interviewed.
Finished up the session just in time to join the NMSL meeting where I found out that our lab downstairs in the Riddell Centre is going to move to much smaller space in the Green house gasses building very soon. I agree with the logic, but it will be highly disagreeable to the students of mine who will be using it, especially in the winter when they have to go trudging a block outside to get to the edit room. For myself, I like the Greenhouse Gases Building when I'm not teaching, I can pull up to the parking lot, go in, work, and leave without seeing anyone, isolated with no distractions.

Monday, October 22, 2007

114

I worked on a little video with William's drawings today. It's also basically his script, I just prompted a few things and recorded him. The backgrounds on the planet are from my "Modern" series. I've worked mostly in Adobe After Effects with a bit of photoshopping to separate the inconsistent blue screen from images of William (I've got a blanket close pinned up between a door and the window behind me that we used for a blue screen on the weekend.) William thinks there should be a chase scene next, so I've called it as "Mission to Fluutonia, part 1", and we'll do another chapter later. I am the uncredited voice of mission control as well as the theremin player (yes, I am sampling yet again from the same first recording I did months ago as the machine is at work and I never get around to completing its construction). I think the big breakthrough in creating this video is having this little M-Audio Microtrack recorder at home, I have been doing a number of little recordings and it's so convenient to record and to put the files into the computer. This is a little hand held unit that records good quality audio (new purchase for the NMSL). I've created a 1/4 resolution version of it below, the details are so poor you can hardly see things, but hopefully it will give an impression.
.

113

I had a great lazy Sunday today, William and I watched "Pirates of the Caribbean". I've avoided it for the past year as he doesn't like to be scared and the walking dead can be a bit intimidating, but he asked to see it and so I picked it up, prepared him, and we watched it together in the afternoon, which is a lot better than the evening for how films affect him.
I baked my cookies, they turned a bit green and I don't know why.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

112

We had a Filmpool Board meeting this morning, they've been devilishly difficult to schedule, I missed one in July and we've not had quorum for another since. We talked a lot about spaces that the Filmpool could move to, and basically if we should move at this time. Then I went home to make cookie batter, a double batch of cranberry with orange rind instead of lemon as I don't have any lemons in the house.

111

All week I've been reviewing footage from the End of Life and Cancer Research conference from a few weeks ago. Everything looks fine, although I'm finding that after two hours I can no longer concentrate on words people are saying on the screen. Perhaps this is due to the image being small (4'' across) or perhaps this is just natural; perhaps being the one doing the talking for 2-3 hours has caused me to lose perspective. I spent the afternoon with it and have selected relevant statements from all of the regular interviews, now I need to review the talking circle and the presentations.

Met with Chrystene today, now that we don't meet weekly I feel a bit disconnected from the real creative stuff and we end up talking about the important, but certainly less entertaining, financial or academic or technical or logistical problems. She'll start editing next week so hopefully we can get back to discussions of storytelling and all that.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

110 Riddell


This evening I went to see the Regina premier of "River" a digital feature by UofR colleague Mark Wihak. It was very strong, I was captivated. One interesting thing was the cast which consisted primarily of Adam Budd and Maya Batten-Young who are not only the lead characters but also co-writers (much of the film came out of improvisation and lengthy rehearsals) of this basically two person cast (there were others people, but few with more than two lines). What made this cast interesting to me was the fact that they are both film graduates, I taught both of them, and I got to know both of them (at least a little bit) outside of class. Adam has served on the Filmpool Board and we have met numerous times, debating many aspects of film and art. Maya worked for me as my darkroom assistant in 2006, which means that we spent hours in the dark stirring film and talking. As the characters were developed through workshops with Mark, there is a lot of their real personality in their characters. As as sort of privileged viewer, I was constantly struggling with who I think these people on screen are, and who their characters are. Certainly there is more about them than I know, but I also could not accept every part of the fiction as real. The blurring was certainly a large part of the excitement. Disappointingly, neither Maya nor Adam were in town to attend and discuss this. Separating myself for this dilemma, the characters were solid and believable. I think it was Herzog who said that good character comes from inconsistencies. For example, Adam's character seems like a dreamer, obsessed with intellectual thought and art, but often blurts out blunt, pragmatic observations. My head was spinning. The other aspect of the film (yes, it was hd video, but it looked so damn good I have to call it a film) was how beautiful Regina became. I am convinced that this film could convince any filmmaker, anywhere in the world, to come and shoot a film here. It was like Mark shot every scene at magic hour. It is on for another three days, catch it if you can. RPL in downtown Regina, 9pm Friday and Sunday, 7pm on Friday.

My Alex McKenzie article is now on Alex's website.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

109

Watched a dvd of animated work by David Russo of Seattle. I really want to steal a whole bunch of his ideas (oops, did I say that out loud?), he pixilates himself holding animated series of artwork, so much energy. I'll probably write a review sometime next week.

This evening William and I started creating a new animated film about aliens. He drew pictures and I photographed him against a makeshift bluescreen in his astronaut costume (his winter coat with the hood up). We started recording a soundtrack but he complained about his throat being soar, sort of like mine was last night. When I went to bed last night, I could barely talk.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

108 : Margaret's birthday in 2007 with pictures

The reference below to how we "ate the results" of my super-8 film was meant to be mysterious. Now that I am writing this caption, six years later, it took me a few minutes to remember that this referred to my film "Cake" which I felt was quite successful. 

 Today is Margaret's birthday. She's decided everything should be based around the number 3, which has me somewhat baffled. It's not that I don't work well with arbitrary themes, it's only a problem when that theme is so general that I don't know where to start. It's like saying that the birthday should have a birthday theme. I picked up an amazing New Yorker cartoon collection. If the hefty 600 page book isn't enough, it also has a dvd rom which contains all 70, 363 cartoons on it! That would be reading one a day for about 200 years, or 200 a day for a whole year. Fits well into her cartoon collection which has been sealed in the attic for a year until last night after we watched the Adam's Family with William and I had to go find the Chas Adams collection from storage.

William and I had our doctors appointment today, so I took him downtown to the SGI tower for lunch. They were serving macaroni and cheese as well as ribs. William was excited about the macaroni until about 5 seconds after I'd been served, so he mostly ate my lunch and I ate his. Fortunately he said something before we'd put some horrid ketchup onto it, he follows his mother in being able to tolerate this mixture, I can't. We are in good shape, William surprised the doctor by reading words off the poster he pointed at, rather than just the letters while testing his eyes. His reading is coming along quite well. I found out from my appointment that I'm actually an inch taller than I thought I was. I double checked with my own marking on the wall that I drew a few years ago and it's true. I marked it but never measured it, who knew?

I finished shooting my One Take Super-8 film today and ate the results with Gerri Anne, Steve, and Paul. Steve made his first video last weekend, "Going for Milk", although it perhaps should have been called "Milk Run" about getting distracted by the hot car while using it for an errand. Pretty well done, especially for a first work. Only about a couple of minutes long.

Monday, October 15, 2007

107


This morning I shot my One Take Super-8 film, or at least most of it. I'll have to conclude it tomorrow morning when I have some fresh cream and good light. I'm still looking for the perfect counter point soundtrack, have a week to put that together.

I finished watching Jason Britski's films today. The last two were both screened at the 50-104 festival but the second viewing brought an entirely different tone to them. When I first saw them a few weeks ago I thought they were entirely formal, I thought that he was distancing himself from content. One is primarily about China Girls, the momentary flash of an image of a woman that is put onto the opening leader of movie film to assist in colour correction. The second was about power lines. This time watching them I think they are highly sentimental, being about his long time passions for film and for looking up at the sky. What will a third viewing bring...?

106

A restful day, actually took a nap while Margaret and William were out. I've been re-watching Jason Britski's films (local experimental filmmaker) with the intention of writing something about them, they are quite amazing. I've decided I will have to draw a map of the connections between them, like a web of themes, motifs, and subject matter. I'm watching just one or two of his films per day so I can spend time thinking about them, rather than letting them run together.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

105

I was supposed to be at a Filmpool meeting this morning but it wasn't taking place, so I had a bit of free time downtown. They have some lego at fair prices at the Bay, not the selection of Toys R Us. They have some of the bins of general pieces, surprisingly difficult to find. Spent the afternoon at home with William as Margaret was at Stacy's baby shower. I started editing the 20 minute long interview Margaret did with Buffy St. Marie last night in the limo. Serious rumble throughout. John and Joan headed back to Toronto this evening.

104

Tonight was the big screening of the 63 minute director's cut of the Buffy Sainte-Marie documentary. I had to cut out afterwards to pick up William but I convinced Margaret to stay later and try to get an interview. She ended up doing some recording, I'm not sure if it was at the hotel bar or in the limo, I'll confirm if it recorded in the morning. I was going to do the recording with a new little recorder but as I couldn't, I gave her a 30 second workshop, which covered about all I knew as I'd taken it out without instructions for the first time today, and only got a flash card for it an hour before the event, so fingers are crossed.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

103

This morning Margaret's cousin, John Bessai, and his wife Joan Prowse arrived and are staying with us for a couple of days. They are here to launch their new documentary/biography about Buffy Sainte-Marie. There was a kerfuffle about the event, taking place tomorrow night at the CBC, since SCN's attachment to the event almost led to it being canceled due to SCN being a crown corp and the election was announced last night. They finally determined that as it is their company, and not SCN, that is hosting the party, all is fine. Buffy's whole family will be here, so it's a cool opportunity.

I took them to the train club at the Sherwood mall, which was naturally closed. This followed a conversation from this morning about toys kids don't have anymore such as the electric slot race cars and model trains, and that someone they know in Toronto has rented mall space to sell remote control cars and supply buyers with an on-site race track for them to compete on. Sherwood is a really dead mall, but for the Co-op grocery which has the best donuts in the city. Other mall occupants appreciate the train club (even though they are never open) as it gives the mall more life than if the place was vacant.

I also took them to the MacKenzie Art Gallery and we saw the amazing Joe Fafard retrospective. I can't even describe how good it was, just go! It's open until the end of the year.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

102

I had a meeting today to discuss my involvement in an Arthur Conan Doyle symposium next year. I might put together a film screening based around the many renditions of Sherlock Holmes from over the past century. The up side is watching lots of great Holmes films. The down side is watching lots of dreadful ones. There have been some reasonably well made Sherlock Holmes films, but in general they are not regarded as great or visionary cinema. Rather, their role in cinema history would relate more to the iconic nature of the character, his hat and pipe and sidekick Watson are part of our shared cultural knowledge, even if we rarely (or never) watch those films or read the books.

I've also just reset some of setting to allow non-blog users to leave comments to this post.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

101

I wrote a review of Alex MacKenzie's film work I saw at the Antimatter festival in Victoria and have created a new blog, Experimental Film Review, where I will post such reviews. It won't be updated every day as I have neither the time nor the availability of material to review to maintain that. Enjoy.

Monday, October 8, 2007

100

I spent the afternoon talking with Leesa Streifler, sometimes about the university, sometimes about the kids, but also a lot about creative work. I've already forgotten how inspired I was when I was at the film festival, seeing new fresh film and feeling like I just wanted to jump into it and get cracking. I'm going to start working harder this week, making something new every day. This is the 100th day of my sabbatical, a wake up call.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

99

My manic state continued last night as I did laundry until 2am and finished off a number of more tv shows. Bionic Woman was quite good, done with obvious attention of style and mood and setting up a dozen or so potential sub plots to deal with later. It felt well planned, perhaps even over planned. I feel it might be better suited to have stayed small at first, concentrating on Jamie's internal turmoil and making the company seem like an honest benefactor like the old show. However, we are already suspecting its motives. Basically good tv. Following Bionic Woman I recorded the first episode, but not the second, of "Life" about a cop who was sent to prison for 12 years, learned to be very philosophical about everything, then is released when it is proven he was innocent. He gets millions of dollars in compensation but returns to being a cop anyway so that he can solve the crime he was sentenced for. It is really well written and acted. I was playing out scenes of this this morning to Margaret, they stuck with me so strongly. The other gem of tv last night was the one hour opener of "Family Guy" doing a Star Wars parody. This was the best Star Wars send up since "Hardware Wars". It returned to the film with reverence, which made it more cutting than most other satires I've seen. A few weeks ago I was watching a bit of "Space Balls" and comparing these two is really eye opening. Satire really must be done by people who embrace the original, the satire is an honor to the original, not a excuse for opportunists to repeat the same jokes over and over again.

Thanksgiving supper with both sets of parents today; turkey was nice but I have a sore throat and conversations were limited.

I bought the board game "Carcassonne" box set with 4 extras today. Margaret, William and I played it - I learned it in Seattle from Tom and Veronica and liked it a lot. It is a fairly high end strategy game but there are no secret cards or negotiations, so we are able to help William along and play relatively cooperatively. We just played the basic game before supper, but will likely ramp up to the dragon supplement this week.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

98

I had a strangely energetic day today but, since Margaret injured a toe with a falling stool a couple of days ago, I stayed home and tidied. It was oddly satisfying to get junk that has piled up in various corners and put things elsewhere. I had a big box of cassette tapes in my studio in desperate need of purging so I threw out about 50 or 100 of them. I was going to donate them to CJTR, but am still very angry at their station manager, Keith Calhoon, for yelling at Margaret and canceling her radio show last week. No donations for them this year.

Last night, in my week long quest to catch up on new tv, I watched the first two episodes of "Moonlight" about a 90 year old vampire private eye. Wasn't there a vampire cop tv show back in the 80s or 90s? I will probably remember the title of it as soon as I post this (you know how that goes) even though I never watched a complete episode of it as it suffered from bad-80s-night-shooting-look-itus, and that is too painful for me. Couldn't watch much of the Flash tv series when I booked out the dvds a few weeks ago for the same reason. The scripts weren't bad (although not particularly good) but the show seemed quickly put together and there was no distinctive visual style and there was very little chemistry between any of the characters. I decided to record it when I saw that one of the actors from "Veronica Mars", Jason Dohring, who plays a 300 year old vampire with the same cocky self centred-ness as his Mars character. He is worth it, but was only on screen for 2-3 minutes per episode.

Friday, October 5, 2007

97

William had the day off today and we all have a bit of a cold so we stayed home. He was up in the middle of the night with a soar throat and came into our bed where he kept Margaret, but not me, awake for a couple of hours. In the morning, Margaret went to work and I puttered around watching some tv and editing shows in the dvr, letting William sleep to a record 10:45! It seems that YTV is only airing the first 65 episodes of the original Inspector Gadget series, and I've now got 63 of those 65 store away on 9 dvds for William. I'm not feeling anal enough to chase the others, this is already 2 solid days worth and there is no actually progression in the series, other than the loss of his mustache after episode one (apparently he looked to much like Inspector Clouseau from the Pink Panther movies).

This afternoon we went to Knox Metropolitan Church and toured the bell tower - we even got to ring the bells, playing parts in a couple of songs. The 12 giant bells were donated with the conditions that they would be open for use by all religions, so they have been used by Jewish people, Buddhists, and others. Wayne Tunison, whom we've known for a number of years, is a bell ringer (and engineer and artist) and has set up a small art gallery on the low-ceilinged, thin-floored level just above the bell ropes but below the bells themselves and calls it the Dead Air Space Gallery. A unique space.

Last night I watched the first two episodes of "Journeyman", which is basically Quantum Leap with more soap opera in that the character inexplicably jumps around in time to help people but returns home to where he has to hold his family together and convince his cop brother that he's not crazy. The time travel stories are somewhat superficial since he has no one to really talk about them with so by the time we figure out why a time travel bit is important, it is over. I'm already tired of him apologizing to his wife about missing dinners and getting them on the no-fly list at the airport, so unless someone can figure out a way for him to unpaint himself from a corner, it likely won't last.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

96

I sort of knew going into today that I wouldn't really accomplish anything. I wish I could have just resigned myself to that at the beginning, I would have felt a lot better. Basically, I went into the edit room to get some editing done on the dance with Tanya Dahms I shot with June Madeley a few months ago. However, before I could start I had to sort out a glitch in the dvd authoring (Kalyn and I never solved it but it seems better after re-installing it) and I have been having sluggish response from the Avid even though it is a new machine and newest software, so I consolidated files and unclogged the drives. By the end of that, it was time to pick up William and I got nothing done on the dance work. I'll need to hit the edit room hard next week.

Last night I watched the first two episodes of this season of Heroes. They are obviously very confident with the show as it starts really slow. My only observation is about the lack of difference between people supposedly from different parts of the country. The girl from Texas is supposed to be trying to blend in and not get noticed in southern California. Since I can hear the difference between how people talk in Ontario versus Manitoba, I have a hard time believing that no one notices that she's from Texas. However, the characters seem to have fallen under the generic north American accent deceit.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

95

Starting to catch up on TV. Last night I watched the first two episodes of "Chuck". This is a perverse reversal of the 1969 Disney film "The Computer who wore Tennis Shoes" with Kurt Russell. Both use the same idea of a young man accidentally having all of the knowledge and computational ability of a super-computer. In the 1969 film, the character shares his secret with his hippie friends as they try to hide from, and even subvert, the establishment. In "Chuck", the situation differs in that the title character trusts only the militaristic government agents and keeps his ability a secret from his slacker friends and sister, whose lives appear to be irrelevant and trivial. While the show takes on the guise of power reversal, giving a civilian some influence within the arena of the CIA, a comparison of the two shows demonstrates how far the USA has wholeheartedly and unabashedly fallen into the right wing ideology. It cannot even be as subversive as a B-grade 1969 Disney film.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

94

Pumpkins outside of Victoria.

Aaaaaaarrrrrrgh.
Had a bad computer day. The small job of sending off a dvd to Larissa Fan turned into a morning of nothing working right. Adobe Encore was giving me an "unknown error" every time I tried to save my session and would not burn the disc without the session being saved. I exported a quicktime out of Avid to take home only to find that my rudimentary software here will not handle quicktimes. I was finally going to go back to the office when I got a message from Larissa saying that the ROM screenings pushed back a week and that the quicktime file would work for her.
And I still didn't get the nap I wanted.

Went grocery shopping (it's the first Tuesday of the month) and there was a 40-something woman in almost heated debate with a 80-something man about some accident in the parking lot. What I learned from a teller later was that the old guy had backed his car into hers in the parking lot - she wasn't in it, she was shopping - and locked bumpers with her. He then put his car into forward and tried to pull away but was stuck. He raced his car quite fast and burned away parts of his tire, leaving actual physical parts lying on the ground as black smoke rose in the air. Eventually he gave up trying to escape and came into the store for help. He was doubting that he had created over $1000 damage.

Monday, October 1, 2007

93

Yesterday Tanya and I went to the Vancouver Art Gallery. We missed the Monet meets Dali show by a few days and were a few days early for the Georgia O'Keeffe show, but there were two good shows on, one on Emily Carr and the Group of Seven which really demonstrated not only her influence but, in my opinion, her superiority to the seven. Her paintings are much more vibrant and breathtaking in person rather than from prints. The other show was a solo show from contemporary American artist Andrea Zittel, whom I was previously unfamiliar. She was looking at living environments, bedroom, kitchen, office, and bathroom and sometimes building portable versions of them that would actually work, boxes that would unfold into completely functional living spaces but could be wheeled down a hallway. On the wall she had written some statements that she "things I know for sure" that Tanya and I both found fascinating.

Flew home last night, very pleased to see Margaret and William again. I spent much of today catching up on things, starting to send out email etc. Luckily I made a list of promises I made and can begin hitting that. I've got a screening of "Brown Christmas with Light" at the ROM in Toronto on Oct 5 and 7 as part of a Canadiana series curated by Larissa Fan. It's a short film with music by Jeff Looysen. This is news upon my return so I've been packaging it up for her but my computer is particularly temperamental today. I don't think I have the processing power or the RAM or perhaps both to handle dvd creation, or even copying. I'm going to start shopping for a new machine.

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Spent much of day catching up on things, starting to send out email etc. Luckily I made a list of promises I made and can begin hitting that. I've got a screening of "Brown Christmas with Light" at the ROM in Toronto on Oct 5 and 7 as part of a Canadiana series curated by Larissa Fan. It's a short film with music by Jeff Looysen. This is news upon my return so I've been packaging it up for her.