↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ SUBSCRIBE:↓ ↓ ↓ Follow by Email↓ ↓ ↓ ↓

Sunday, September 30, 2007

92

It's morning in Vancouver, although it's not really light out. Rain. Grey. We watched "The Last King of Scotland" last night on Tanya's laptop. We don't know what we're doing today, zoom a couple places on the sky train I suppose since this is a suburban mall area and not interesting for walking around. I fly home this evening.

Recapping a bit more of the weekend, Friday afternoon continued with meeting John Celona. the associate dean of fine arts, who was preparing for a blue screen video shoot. When the van of gear arrived, I helped unload and observed some of the set up that the tech did. They have an actor who, for some reason, they've not been able to get shots of in some fancy car(wasn't there yet) on the right day (a Sunday so there would be minimal traffic) with the right light (it's Victoria remember) so they decided to try to mock it all up. They look like they're doing it fairly minimally but it should be effective. It was great meeting John and getting a new perspective on Fine Arts faculties. Maureen Bradley is teaching there now, she's attached to the creative writing department, which is separate from the English Department. This seemed odd until I considered how peer review might work, how writing a poem or story or novel or screenplay is closer in many ways to drawing or filming than it is to analysis. He pointed out how the studies areas (film studies, art history, music studies, theatre studies) are the real misfits in fine arts as they are academic areas akin to work done by others in the humanities rather than artistic creation done by others in the fine arts faculty. However, in the end I believe we need to keep the fine arts studies courses together with the studio courses to create a more holistic approach to our specific fields. What I also learned is that UofR is not alone in having problems with budgets and with enrollment problems. We do seem to be a step ahead in faculty members willingness to work together across departments and to be open to interdisciplinary collaborations.

I left the university and went to the party being held for filmmakers over at Deluge. Talked a bit with Gina Dionne about John Porter and the creative process. It seems that she was a student of Mike Rollo's at Concordia; I think I taught Mike a course in my first term - Yikes, I'm getting old. The first screening on Friday was a collection of beautiful films which all explored urban life and images of the city. However, the melodic music chosen for most of the films did not really combine well with the four double martinis I'd consumed, so I have a few blurry moments. The second show was all work sent over from Finland. Really diverse and energized. I particularly loved "Splitter" by Pink Twins which involved a landscape transforming into a completely abstract grid of moving colours. Lush.

I went back to my hotel and, even though I was tired and falling asleep, I suddenly got a second wind and had no choice but to watch an animated superhero thing on Teletoon written by Stan Lee. I missed the title but caught the credits. It was about a race of shape changers who live among us and a girl who gets hit by lightening while holding her chameleon (I missed that part, dozed I guess) and she has this power now too, but she can also see people's DNA. We often see through her eyes in DNA-vision. Oh, the contrivances don't end there...

Saturday, September 29, 2007

when G met M

So I was standing in the rain and Tanya rode by, as if on cue, but perhaps I should begin earlier...

Began today with a trip out to Mountain Equipment Co-op to buy William a new coat. While the name says it all, I was suddenly surprised that it actually WAS a co-op and as such, served its members. You buy in for life (does everyone who is a member of a film co-op across the country know that once they join, they can vote until such time that their membership is specifically revoked? Filmpool began a policy a few years ago to send people letters at some point after their dues with a few months late to remove them from the membership, but these each needed to be voted on by the Board of Directors. Anyway, I got pretty tired of walking around Victoria so I checked out of the hotel at 10:55 and asked if they could call the airport bus. The bus said they could come at 11:05, and they did. I therefore got to the airport before noon for my 2pm flight. As the check in person was not busy, she started looking for the best seat for me to stretch out and then asked if I'd prefer to be on the 1:00 flight, I agreed and before I knew it I was munching peanuts (honey roasted, my own purchase, nothing was given on the flight) and soaring over Georgia Straight. Instead of an expensive cab or slow bus, I caught the quick Vancouver airport bus, about to leave, and got to the Sky-Train and scooted towards Burnaby. The instructions I had became unclear once I was off the train and walking "past the big high-rises" of which there were more than one (more than 5) so I was standing in the rain and a bicycle with a familiar rider nearly passed me by and I yelled out "Tanya".

We're vegging out and watching a movie tonight. Doug just got back in, he was in (ironically) Victoria for the past day going to the big museum (which I still didn't go to as it was 24 dollars).

I did other stuff yesterday but I can't remember right now.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Goin' like ninety

After leaving MediaNet yesterday, Scott toured me around a number of other places. First off was Cinevic, the film co-op here. They had good energy and I had a positive conversation with one of the staff. They have about 100 members, making them 2/3 the size of Filmpool, but they run everything through a space less than half the size! What I've been noticing at the co-ops here in Victoria as well as Seattle is how much less equipment they have. I bet Vancouver has a lot, it probably comes with being around a few more years, and perhaps from starting earlier when film industries across the country were younger. They all say that such equipment is fairly accessible from industry rentals when needed. The Filmpool's equipment room is stuffed with lights, stands, grip gear, etc. Also, all three groups I saw had only a single open office area, no private offices.

Scott also showed me a couple of artist spaces and a used camera shop, none of which I'd have found on my own.

Last night I went to the films at the festival. I talked at length with Bruno from Mexico who is trying to convince me to come down there for a trip. He programs two months of the year at a cinematheque, so this could be promising. I gave him a collection of my work. This morning I mailed the last set I was carrying to Heather in Halifax so I've go no more portfolios with me.

Alex MacKenzie did his new film projection/performance last night. He has disabled the motor of a 16mm projector and has replaced it with a hand crank. Each revolution is equal to 4 frames or 1/6 of a second or normal film. However, he shows the film at varying speeds, or even pausing it or running it backwards, along with a prerecorded soundtrack, running 400 feet of film (usually 10 minutes) as a 40 minute show. Anyways, the idea of hand cranking a projector goes back to the beginning of cinema, so I totally cracked up when the image of a birdcage came on the screen, followed slowly by the image of a bird, then back again, then back and forth faster and faster until, miracle of miracles, the bird appears to be in the cage. This is the same image I use with my optical demonstration with the round disc (the thaumatrope?) in the first day of first year film courses or animation.

Today I went to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria and saw fantastic woodblock prints by Kiyoshi Saito and the photographic retrospective of Iain Baxter. I just saw Baxter on news world the other day, they were promoting part of this retrospective, even though this is the smaller version of it, lacking the painted tvs. He's totally epitomizes the boomer generation to me. The work is fairly good, but the hype is great. Also saw two dozen Emily Carr paintings from the gallery collection and bought two cards.

I'm at University of Victoria. Scott has shown me around some of the facilities they have, some nice computer labs but the cameras are a definite shortfall. They have a well designed darkroom but he's trying to dream up ways to insure that it keeps being used and not dismantled. He's been hand processing, mostly super-8 negative.

My legs are tired.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

89

Am visiting MediaNet in Victoria, it is a video collective that helps members produce and exhibit video work. They have some good facilities in a small, intimate space. I've really enjoyed Scott Amos (who has been touring me around here today) video called "Sometimes" which shares my conundrum that we did not have a traumatic childhood to blame potential failings on. He's working a lot with 8mm found home movies, and original ones, and was doing a webcast. I'll have to check out his site. www.oilyfilms.com

Probably more films tonight and University of Victoria tomorrow. I might not post as I might not have computer access.

88

Wednesday September 26, 2007

I'm in Victoria with no computer so this entry is a day late. I screened my film "A Spin in Turtle Park (after John Porter's Cinefuge)" at Open Space as part of the Antimatter Film Festival. It was a good crowd. Deborah, the director, saw me on the street and called my name, having recognised me from my previous films, primarily from the Toxic series. Also met Heather Harkins from Halifax and had a great conversation. She was also showing a super-8 film, just before mine. She's on ruite to the IMMA conference in Montreal - I don't exactly know how Victoria comes between Halifax and Montreal, but the world is always changing.

I finished Douglas Coupland's "JPod" novel on the plane. First novel I've read in over a year, quite liked it.

The hotel I'm in (Huntington) is posh. I've got a balcony and can see the ocean.

Margaret tells me that Keith Calhoon has put her radio show on hold for not talking up the pledge drive enough during her really important interview with Joe Fafard yesterday. If anyone is tempted to make a pledge this week, I'd do it only under the condition that Keith retract his hold on her show.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

soup release

Thomas took me to Adobe today, we had a nice tour but I probably gleaned more about the mood and tone of the work environment than about what is actually happening. The cafeteria had a decent donut, perhaps on par with the ones from the Sherwood Co-op. As I've signed a non-disclosure agreement upon entering the Adobe building, I can say no more.

I walked about the area (Freemont) and took many photos of architecture and public art. There is a troll crushing a VW Bug under the Aurora bridge. We then coffeed at Peet's, which is owned by the people who started Starbuck's and had originally learned the coffee trade from Peet's, so suffice to say, it was a good place. Best part, the coffee size choices were "small", "medium", and "large".

We went to Zanadu Comics, nice guy running the place, I bought a couple of local comics and Thomas bought all of the "Concrete" collections as well as the hardcover collection where Captain America dies. Apparently he is still dead, even though his comic is still running (at least 8 issues) and is better than ever. They have a good supply of Manga, probably 20% of their wall space, even though it only constitutes 5% of their sales. The other comic store nearby, Comics Dungeon, no longer sells Manga except by special order.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Get Smart

Thomas and I went to the Science Fiction Museum today, it was very cool. It had a temporary costume show including original Darth Vader, Indiana Jones, Obi Wan Kenobi, Will Robinson (ooo, I'd love to get a little silver flight suit for my William) plus original models for the Death Star, the Deep Space 9, and oodles of others.
Then I went to the Northwest Film Forum and got a tour of their facilities from their director Michael Selwerath and talked with the program director Adam Sekuler. They have some interesting ideas such as programming from a vault of old films they'd had donated. They have a modified JK printer to mount a video camera in place of the bolex to frame grab and do telecine from super-8 one frame at a time. On the other end of the spectrum, they take on the role of producer to help get financing together for members to shoot their first features. The front end of the organization is a 365 day per year cinematheque with fantastic programming.
This evening I've not been feeling well. I thought it might be hunger pains and it went away when I had supper, but some curious, unusual, and annoyingly painful cramps have started coming back. Thomas is really jet lagged so has fallen asleep already, so no gaming tonight. For those who don't know Thomas, he loves games and has a collection of over 300 on his shelves, with no sign of the common Monopoly, Clue, or Trivial Pursuit. Maybe tomorrow.
PS: on further looking, there is a version of Monopoly as well as Trivial Pursuit, but he still has no Clue.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

85

Am in Seattle staying with Thomas Phinney and Veronica Antal and their daughter Meranda. Pretty tired because I got up at 3:45 to get to my 5:30 cross border flight. One amazing stop so far was a Lego store. It had everything! Not only were all of the kits there, but you could also pick out pieces and buy in bulk. We spend part of the evening watching William's films: the Inspector Gadget films (all four) plus "The King Who Never Napped" and "The Adventures of Billy Backwards". Already homesick but have a lot of activity ahead of me.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Orwell

So today was basically open but filled itself with my busily trying to get a handle on stuff I need to pack to go away, in particular with dvds of my new work that need to be copied, as well as dvds of the Inspector Gadget videos William and I made that I want to show to my Seattle hosts Thomas and Veronica and Meranda. William got his hair cut today and went to swimming lessons, normal stuff except the computers are just too slow and now I'm sitting here at this machine instead of spending some last few minutes with my son before I go away. Computers are so dumb.

Friday, September 21, 2007

LXXXIII

Nice day of reconnecting with grad students, first with Janine Windolph whom I've not discussed before. She is doing a video documentary project which has evolved significantly over this past year to be a very brave look at her family and family history. Today we discussed some new revelations as two of her family members are discovering repressed memories of violence from years ago. If the project is as engaging as our conversations, it will be amazing.

This evening Chrystene Ells and Raul Viceral came for dinner. Chrystene told me a variety of tales of problems and annoying activities on the set of Sisu that she wouldn't even mention in her own blog such as .... well perhaps if she doesn't publish, I shouldn't either. We talked quite a bit about her thesis and potential critical discussions for her support paper. She suggested a slightly maligned idea about "community" which on further thought might not be bad, especially in regards to community coming together to celebrate a mythic figure that the community distrusted and destroyed just a generation before. How does a community collectively redeem a person over time?

Raul brought me a copy of the September 2007 issue of "Real Valuable Comics" (this one called "Valuable Comics from Space!" with his first local publication. He's a great illustrator, he did hundreds of storyboards for "Sisu". His story is really good, a clever opening chapter to some sort of robot cop story that I'd definitely look for new issues of if I thought there were any. The print run is much smaller for this issue so you'd better run out and get it. In exchange I gave him a copy of "To Be Announced" #1 published by paul Stockton and his company Strawberry Jam Comics from back in the 1980s. I rewrote "Strawberry Fields Forever" to be "Strawberry Jam Forever" and it's printed on the back cover -- my first (and only) comic book publication.

We ate espresso cheesecake.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

high school grad

I was really tired yesterday and couldn't even summarize my project. It went pretty well. Somehow I managed to fit all of the gear into my Mazda (with its new clutch, boy can it go now), there were three lighting kits (including one new large one that contained 5 lights) plus three cameras (each in a large case) and a video projector, 3 tripods, mic stands, 2 large grip stands, wireless mics, and bags of cables and other gak. I got the perfect spot in front of the hotel, you know the one that you never get, and unloaded. I missed plugging the meter a couple of times but never got a ticket. I forgot a couple of minor things but they proved inconsequential until I realized that the boxes of tapes I brought contain 5 each, rather than the 6 I had imagined, so we would likely run out. The lunch time was a rush as we had to set up lights for interviews in the space were lunch was served, so we couldn't do that until lunch was over, and at the same time set up lights for a third camera in a hotel room upstairs (it was the first time I've ever been in one of the Hotel Sask rooms, you know how it is that you are never in hotels in your own city unless you... well, I'm never in hotels in my own city). After the set up was complete and shooting recommenced, I drove off to get more tapes, leaving the dream spot behind. When I returned 25 minutes later, the spot was still open! The end of the day came soon enough, the student assistants did all the shooting and I mainly just observed and advised. The big work is really ahead of me, to try to weave all of this footage together into something focused and concise and useful to watch. I'll keep you updated.

Had coffee with Kevin at the Bay today. More lucky parking, got the spot right across from the front door of the store with nearly an hour credit still on the meter. The cafe there in the store does a nice cappuccino and they bake their own pies and biscotti. I had the lemon meringue, yum.

This afternoon I paid bills, bought a terabyte drive for the above project, and put together my triceratops stikfas and made an animated film with it using my intel webcam. My friend June was in town a couple of months ago and she was looking for these and thought they might work well animated, Wikapedia says they can as well, but no one seemed to have them but the other day I saw them in a comic store at half price so I picked up a couple. I thought that one was a samurai, but it was a hockey player - that gives you an indication of the degree of detail they have. They remind me of the old Kinder surprises, Pink Panther era, when the pieces had extra plastic to hold them together that you had to punch them out from before building. John Porter saved all of the extra plastic, I wonder if he still has it (who am I kidding, of course he does). So aside from the low resolution, the lack of focus, and the overall badness of this, I think it turned out well.

video

Got a message from Dawn Henderson this evening out of the blue. We worked on a project, "Angst", back in the late eighties. I still think about those times, the shooting of a film that required darkness and carefully controlled light but we only had a studio with huge windows so we shot only at night for half the summer, it really bent the way we were thinking and had a profound affect on the final film. Great to hear from old friends.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

3by3by3by3

Worked all day on the End of Life workshop. I had a great team, John Hampton, Trudy Stewart, Ben Schubert, Janine Windolph, and Mauricio Carvajal. We (or basically they) shot over 10 hours of video. I'll face the real challenge in the next few weeks trying to make to take a shape.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Eh Tea

The Canadian Aboriginal End of Life and Cancer Care Research Network Workshop began today with a potluck meal and a pipe ceremony in the atrium of the First Nations University of Canada. This is the first time I've taken part in a pipe ceremony, very interesting. The last one I observed was looser and the pipe only went around once, when it went out, it was out. Tonight it went around the circle (there were about 20 of us) four times with someone assisting to make sure it was re-lit and so on. The building appears to finally be getting the giant glass tepee from the original design by architect Douglas Cardinal that couldn't be afforded when the building was built a few years ago. A vision.

Monday, September 17, 2007

gold

Yesterday I took William to a birthday party and then later to the Filmpool event (I've not seen any replies to the trivia yet) but also really needed footage of the harvest on Margaret's family farm that I didn't think would be happening until later due to the rain, so I was without any 16mm cameras and was going to shoot some super-8 then optically print to 16mm for one of the four "Grain" films, so I workshopped Margaret on the super-8 camera and she went and shot three rolls for me, a new chapter in our collaborations. I can't wait to see the footage.
I'm looking through a number of old film programs and am feeling a bit annoyed about the length of some people's bios that they have submitted for publication (these are most often written by the person it is about due to frequent shortfalls in time by the short staffed organizations planning art events.) There is inevitably one or two overly long bios that strike me as being done by tremendously ill informed individuals or by ones who overcompensating for something. I think they should contain the sort of information you might tell someone whom you've just met who asks "what do you do?" or something like that. When I see someone listing awards from three years ago or a job history beyond the current job, I have to think that this is someone I don't want to get cornered in a kitchen party by.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

broken record

I was asked by Felipe Diaz the other day if I'd be the quizmaster for the 50-104 film festival awards evening, which was tonight, and to come up with questions that might be judged not by the right answer, but by the best answer, so I came up with this list of questions.


1. Bruce McDonald, where did he sleep during production of Road Kill?

2. Arthur Lipsett worked for the NFB throughout the 1960s but left in 1970. He returned for short while in 1978 but did not stay long. What was the primary reason the Arthur Lipsett used in his written letter of resignation from the NFB to producer Bobn Verral in 1978 for leaving the
NFB?

3. Before he was a cylon on Battlestar Galactica, Callum Keith Rennie starring in what film by Michael Hoolboom, and what was the subject matter of that film?

4. Whose visit to Regina in 1998 has been credited for inspiring the creation of the One Take Super 8 event?

5. What did Guy Maddin use as a soundstage for the production of his third feature film, “Careful”?

6. Before his series “Wapos Bay” had the support of the NFB, SCN, and APTN, Dennis Jackson shot a student film that acted as the pilot for the series. Where was this pilot shot?

7. What year, or years, was “The Adventure of Faustus Bidgood” made and what the significance of its completion to Newfoundland?

8. What did David Cronenberg study in university and what, if anything, did he graduate with a degree in?

9. Brad Castor, director of “Get a Job”, and Cordel Barker, director of “The Cat Came Back” worked together in their early careers as animators making short interstitials for Sesame Street and created weekly televisions commercials for what company

10. What years did Jean Oser live in Regina?

Tie breaker: What is Felipe Diaz’s chosen porn name?.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

lucky lucky

The pancake breakfast for the 50-104 film festival was wonderful. Thanks to all the staff and volunteers, we had a nice time.

There was an opening/curator/artist talk at the Sherwood branch of the Dunlop Art Gallery today. Casualty, curated by
Sigrid Dahle with work by Lorna Brown and Bernie Miller. Sigrid talked and wrote about the importance of unstructured time and rest. It made me think about the number of times that people have commented on how rested I look now that I'm on sabbatical. Considering I'm still running on 6 or so hours per night, I must have looked bloody awful before! Sigrid also asserted that more information is not helpful, we do not rest our minds and find our creativity by having people tell us more, we get it by getting away from the constant infux of the new, that essentially we are creative through our boredom. I had an interesting conversation with Lee Henderson about experimental film made by filmmakers versus experimental film made by visual artists. He was at an experimental film festival in Seoul Korea and was taken with how the work from all over the world seemed to maintain a number of similar aesthetic characteristics, whether from curatorial choice or from an shared evolution of the form by the artists he did not know. However, I am certain that the program he saw was primarily the creation of work by people trained in film as a specialization. While it can be controversial to write about this as it requires labeling people as being from one camp or the other, he thought it could be a good paper (there, I've committed you Lee!).

USA

Got a haircut today, Margaret thinks its shorter than usual but since I only get around to it very 9 months, one must be extreme.
The 50-104 Festival began, I screened three films from my "Mr. Saul's Utopia" series to a small crowd at the Museum. They repeat tomorrow at 9pm. Other films I saw tonight that impressed me included Jason Britski's even more formal than usual two new pieces, and a really wonderful silent film of the Niagara Falls by John Price "View of the Falls from the Canadian Side". It was a generally odd bunch of films, perhaps because of the high number of works from artists or at least from people coming out of visual arts and/or design background/training. 4.5 hours was a bit of a stretch, but enjoyable. The only food available was popcorn however, and as I can no longer eat that, it's lucky I snuck in a peanut butter cup.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

6 bits

In this video you will witness the very moment that Kal-El arrives on the planet Earth. This isn't really my finest work, but it is one of my shortest. (I just wanted to test out the video upload feature, but it doesn't like the videos that are shot by my still camera, and my other AVI files in my computer are either too long or too high resolution so here is something from my intel web cam). Enjoy.

. video

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

74

I set up a blog for Margaret's radio show, Radio Delarte. Now I have to convince her to update it. She's being doing this show for at least a couple of years, only missing a handful per year, so I thought it would be a good idea to track the guests and perhaps give occasional additional context through an ongoing blog. As it is a weekly show, I wouldn't expect updates more than once per week.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

when the ribbon was yellow

Had a big planning session today for the conference on the Canadian Aboriginal End of Life Care Research Network Workshop which is happening next week and I am overseeing a documentary to come out of it, primarily focused on those issues as well inward looking at the issue of how to conduct research in this area. Hmmmm, it's actually a bit more interesting than is sounds.

Monday, September 10, 2007

half gross

A couple people reading this blog have commented that I seem to do something different every day, and I suppose I do. Today I spent the morning shooting film and the afternoon running errands, this is probably as close to being an average day as I might expect to have. I turned the attention of the camera to Regina, shooting a couple of buildings that I had been thinking about. The Saskatchewan Wheat Pool, which recently merged with Agricore to become "Viterra", which sounds like some snake-oil energy drink. Their old building on Victoria and Albert got a new sign on top but I thought the newspaper said that the older sign set into the stone itself would remain, but it did not. There is no longer any sign saying "Wheat Pool", very disappointing. For years, people have always identified and remembered the name Filmpool as being the definitively Saskatchewan film co-op due to the association with Wheat Pool. Perhaps that is why I've had a fondness for it.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

tenor Pavarotti dies

We went out to the farm and I shot another ghost sequence, this time of harvesting potatoes. I'm still only guessing about what this footage will look like since I've not taken any time to go into the darkroom and develop footage yet. Occasionally I get worried, but as I've got no deadlines looming, the stress level remains low. We went to Dysart again, to the great coffee shop, and I filmed some of the animal skulls they have decorating the place. When I talked to the owner about it, he got all excited and got me out three skulls he'd just received including a Texas Long Horn with a lot of the skin/hair still attached. I shot two rolls of black and white film of them, probably for on of the other "Grain" films that I've not figured out yet. A good day.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

10 weeks

In today's Regina Leader Post newspaper, Chrystene Ells got a full page on her film "Sisu", I get my name in print as well. Good article with lots of pictures.

We hosted a garage for "The Garage Show" today. This was a project instigated by Sheila Nourse and Jeff Nye in which a dozen artist artist are situated into a dozen garages around the cathedral neighbourhood, with maps disseminated so that people can walk from one to the next to see art. We had an intermedia artist named Adam Lark who had a number of dust masks hanging from (nearly) invisible strings accompanied by a clear and somewhat chilling soundtrack of spray cans being shaken and sprayed. Of course we would have to be hosting a sound based installation on the day that my next door neighbour has contractors in to lay the foundation for his new garage. It didn't seem to hurt too much. The program seemed very well attended, I'm certain close to a hundred people must have gone through.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Mike said they don't do this in the NWT.

On the south west corner of the city of Regina, south of the airport and outside of Lewvan Drive, is a large area of farmland that is being developed, probably into more "power centres'. Machines have been lined up there for some time, but this week I noticed they had started breaking ground. I took a camera out there today but the space is so vast, and the work is all by large machine so lacks any human presence, so I couldn't find an appropriate way to shoot it and communicate my feeling of outrage at this spreading blight. I think I am doubly angry because I know I will end up shopping there.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Elvis comeback concert

Long day, spent a number of hours at the University trying to find the films that I'm showing at the Filmpool festival in a week to dub them to beta-sp tape, but the newest ones were no where to be found until I determined that they were still in the computer, all much too complicated, I just wanted to make a copy. Got the classy new Faculty of Fine Arts t-shirt - we gave them to new students and all faculty and staff wore them all day. They are just black with a small but colourful logo on the front and a UofR logo on the sleeve. Nice. Made biscotti this evening - I'll have to slice and bake them a second time tomorrow, then it is the feast of triple chocolate. The key is in whipping the butter with the table top kitchenaide mixer. Perhaps I'm a bit tired, but I can't help wondering why William's new heat-vision Superman toy looks like George W Bush?

summer of love

I am finally ramping up my shooting of my film, especially now that I've figured out the "ghost" motif that of the four "Grain" films will revolve around. However, I'll need to return the camera in a few days and have a few non-film commitments before then, so I'm worried that this small amount of momentum will be lost. Today I shot construction workers on the condos near our house as well as others building the new bus depot.
It was a gallery hopping evening, September is quite the season for that. We started off with a talk at the north branch of the Dunlop with Darlene Wight from Winnipeg contextualizing Inuit art. It was rather condensed but she brought some humour and life to the images. It's great to hear from a scholar who really seems to love and care about the art work. This is apparently the first Inuit show EVER for the Dunlop!

Next we went to Mysteria where a group show opened. Lots of familiar faces including Misty Wensel with her new baby. Misty is a dancer and has a studio where William took a few classes. She and William performed in a garden together years ago, he loves her (but didn't really love taking classes). The show included works from Chad Jacklin, Marlo V, Lynn Cecil, Brad Kreutzer, Theresa Kutarna, and Melonie Rose. I liked Marlo's internal organs made out of felt, but wished she'd done the colon - always my favorite.

Third was the MacKenzie Art Gallery and a show of work by Ron Bloore. My mind was rather full of art by that time so I have to admit that I didn't really spend much time looking at these large paintings but instead talked about Flintstones and Birdman with Mark Wihak who is fresh back from Montreal where he premiered his new film "River".

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

get your kicks

William had a tooth pulled today, it was one that he'd had a big filling done when he was much younger but now it has an infection under it so he's got it pulled even though the adult tooth won't come in for a few more years. They put in funky place holder, a wire that has been custom made to fit around the tooth beside it and just have a loop of wire in the gap so that the teeth don't shift. For his recovery time, I bought him "Birdman", the 1967 series.

It's Paul's birthday today so I baked a cheesecake and we put up a banner and blew up some balloons. After a rousting game of Kerplunk, we settled into some heavy crossword puzzling. Hmmmm, when I write it down, it doesn't sound nearly as exciting.

I'm finally able to stop recording "Toopy and Binoo", a surreal kits cartoon about a big mouse and his best friend, a smaller silent cat. William loves the show and I don't mind it even though it generally puts me to sleep. Toopy and Binoo runs in a number of different time slots on Treehouse, pretty much every day, sometimes just 2 of the 5 minute episodes, sometimes 5 put together into a half hour. According to the Spectra Animation website, there are 104 of these episodes, but there are not episode guides ... UNTIL NOW!!! The following is a list of the entire 104 episodes, in alphabetical order,

Abracadabra
Amazing Maze, the
Ant Mimi
Baby Toopy
Backpack
Ballooning with Binoo
Big Blue
Big Parade
Big Race
Binoo Blows Raspberries
Binoo’s Island
Binoo’s Letter
Binoo’s Wand
Binoo's Birthday
Bistro Binoo
Bubbles
Bug Smooch
Camp Out
Castle, the
Christmas Eve
Cinder Binoo
Cloud Gazing
Colour Me Toopy
Cuckoo Clock
Diaper Dream
Dreamland
Duckling
Dusteroos
Eggheads
Flying Hat, the
Four Seasons
Funny Bunny
Gargantua
Genie
Giant Footprints
Godmother Toopy
Gone Fishin’
Gopherville
Great GooGoo
Grunt Monster
Happy Toopy Day
Invisible Dog
Invisible World
Jack in the box
Jungle Toopy
Keyhole
Land of Colours
Land of the Lost
Little Bo Toopy
Little Red Binoo
Lost Bear, the
Magic Bowl
Magic Marker
Magic Mirror
Magic Woosher
Meatball Western
Moon Bounce
Mud Cake
Night Light
On and Off
Peanus-Butterbot
Pet Palace
Playclay
Power Pyjamas
Pumpkin Party
Puppet Show
Recess
Robot Doctors
Rockin Toopy
Santa Toopy
Seven Binoos
Sky Friends
Sneezing Toopy
Snowflakes
Snowglobe
Soapy Toopy
Sock Puppet
Sock Safari
Song and Dance
Space House
Sparkle Binoo
Storm in a Bottle
Strange New World
Super Toopy
Superball
Three Bears
Tickle-Me-Tail
Tiger Binoo
Toopy Goes Bananas
Toopy Knows Everything
Toopy’s Bed
Toopy’s Nose
Toopy’s Present
Toopy's Story
Toopy's Surprise
Topsy Turvey
Train Ride
Treasure Hunt
Treehouse
Under the Bed
Warm Circus
Water Wings
Where's Binoo
Where's Patchy Patch?

Monday, September 3, 2007

feeling like retiring

I posted the nutty "Wate-One" image yesterday on an impulse without even doing a web search on "Wate-On", but just did so and found a couple of other sites which also uploaded ads for humorous content (note: later versions than the one I did: 1971, 1973) but I also just found that it is still marketed today! However, it does not appear to be a steroid as I suggested, but rather just a multivitamin with sugar and flavor.
We went to the farm today. I shot a bunch of time laps, time exposure sequences including one around an abandoned house on Margaret's mother's land that we described to William as the "Ghost House", and continued calling it that the rest of the day. I think one idea is starting to come together for "Grain", the use of the long exposures will either erase moving people, or make them ghost-like. I'll try to weave the sequences in this style together into one of the ten minute films as an exploration of the lost past. My form and content are coming together with what I want to make, this is an important step in my process.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

will you still be sending me a valentine?

My mom found me "Song Hits Magazine", the September 1967 issue, from a garage sale this week. This add is on the inside back cover and makes me wonder if they were marketing steroids to women forty years ago...?

Saturday, September 1, 2007

one one one one one one

We went to Regina Beach today, an exhibition of photographs and paintings by Pat Close opened at the Last Mountain Lake Cultural Centre today. William was the first to write in the visitor log, saying "I like the details" which were, as in all of Pat's photographic work, amazing. The show was work created while at a residency in the Yukon with landscape in change being the principle subject matter. Margaret will be talking to him on her radio show on Wednesday and this was our only chance to see the exhibition before then, as it is closed the rest of the weekend. After lunch at the marvelous Blue Bird Cafe (fish and hamburgers) during which I was shooting time exposures of the iconic front of the building through my car window, we went to the beach. We expected it to be unpleasant as the wind was very very strong, but it ended up being really nice. We went out into the water where the wind sprayed water at us, but back on the beach we could relax. I finished reading Splice Magazine, the Filmpool's publication that arrived yesterday while lying there. I am embarrassingly over-represented in this special 30th anniversary issue as I wrote a review of Dianne Ouellette's films (3 pages), a response to Nora Gardener's article on art and industry (one page and a large photo of me), there is a tiny photo of me in a collage page about the anniversary party, and a large photo of me toasting with Patrick Lowe within an article he wrote. On top of that, I have a 2 minute video in the free dvd that is included with every copy of the magazine; "The Repeating Game" which features voice and piano by William. Look for it where ever free stuff is sold.