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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Are We Not Clones....?

High school has a bit less headway for projects. Last year, William seemed to have weeks to do every project. Now it is down to a few days. On Monday he had to commit to a project for the science fair (related to reproduction) so he chose "cloning". He then found out that the projects were to be presented on Thursday. I suppose it is just some reading and a poster (and a few props), and now he tells me a version of Bad Film #48 on dvd, and he is basically ready. He selected images last night and I printed them off on the way home (why don't we have a south end Staples store?) and now the dvd is ready. He read half a book on the topic as well as a number of web site articles. He'll do well enough if technology doesn't fail him. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Canister with a twist

"Canister's Detour": click picture to go to YouTube
For the past seven weeks I've been posting trivial little videos on YouTube every day. Tomorrow will be #50, the last in the "series".  I rarely promote them as I would not spend more than 15 minutes making each of them and they are generally uninteresting. Today is only a slight exception. It features Canister the Robot - but with a twist.
Also, William and I got haircuts today.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Grant application

Trying to finish grant application. The little details are always crushing at this time of night, stuff like cue points on support material or trying to find a form on a website with two hundred forms. Almost there, so long as I don't panic (I was beginning to panic a couple of hours ago so we took a Dr. Who break). 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Lunar Eclipse


From Kevin's deck, the view of the lunar eclipse was perfect this evening. Without a tripod, the full eclipse images were too shaky. We were talking with Rob in Calgary and it was too cloudy there to get a good look at it though. We skyped him ours, but the webcam is no substitute. 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Dennis Jackson, distinguished alumni

 Today Dennis Jackson, friend and colleague, came to Regina with his family so that our department could give him our biannual distinguished alumni award. I've known Dennis over fifteen years. We worked together on a pilot special episode of his Wapos Bay animated series, "Christmas at Wapos Bay" in 2001. I moderated the talk from about 7:15 until 8:45 and then we had cake. The biggest hits were the outtakes from the voice recordings that the animators turned into animated outtakes (flubbed lines and some funny stuff from guest star Lee Majors). Also, he brought hands and head so that people could pick up puppet parts that had been created for the program. Great day.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Plethora of art discussion

Heather Benning at Moose Jaw Art Gallery
Long day of art and talking. Three hour class first thing in the morning (initial discussion of five project story ideas with the grads) followed by Art for Lunch where both Rania and Kallie presented their work around their own thesis'. We held our undergrad orientation later in the afternoon. When that was winding up, I was able to catch the tail end of Leesa Streifler's art talk about her sabbatical and the work created around family, pets, identity, and new influences in Romania. The afternoon ended with drinks with the grad students (thanks for the pizza Philippe). I forgot my camera at home so I have no photos of any of these events, nor of the amazing sunset that I drove towards as I left work and headed to Moose Jaw to join up with Margaret, William, Terry and Xander at the opening of Heather Benning's new exhibition there (thanks for bringing my camera with you Margaret). Luckily Margaret drove home as I could barely hold my eyes open (the quadruple espresso from Starbucks as I left Regina had run out by then).

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Jimmy's Game 1987 premiere screening ticket

I was going through some books in my office and inside a rather uninteresting book on Marilyn Monroe, I found a ticket from the premiere screening of the Saskatchewan Filmpool produced, half hour drama "Jimmy's Game" from March 14, 1987. Even more curious is that on the flip side of the ticket is a hand written note from Pukka T. (aka Shane Kurenoff) that he obviously put some though into. It reads; "Watch this if: - you like psychic tv, liked eraserhead, like the beatles (or hate them. the beatles don't matter much.), you dislike led zepplin, you think you can handle it, you want to feel good again, you want" Hmmm.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Getting cold

This week we had our first measurable frost, even though I didn't see any even at 8 am. The temperature dropped to -2. I hope this gets rid of the wasps. Weather will be nice again this weekend. I shot some video of the changing colours of the leaves. I've caught William's cold. He got over it in two days but I'm on my third day of it. No rest for me. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Excited about Deliveries

Today our new kitchen chairs arrived. We bought them from Kozans, which is closing in December, on the first day of their big sale last week. We'll put them through a bit of a "butt test" tonight as we begin reading the last Terry Pratchet novel which was also delivered today. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Strange phone calls

William was sick today. He went to school for part of the day to write a make up test, but I got a call from him at 11:30 to get picked up as he was too exhausted to carry on. I parked him in bed most of the afternoon. Another call that came in was from this odd phone scam which left its recorded message on our machine. I made this film around it. 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Fresh donuts and lamb ribs

For supper today I made the lamb ribs I purchased a while back (they were frozen). I used a simple maranade I found on the internet which was basically lemon, olive oil, garlic, oregano, and salt. They were pretty good but needed a bit of extra lemon and salt afterwards (I put the lime salt on and that was great). When I came home from Kevin's I had a donut that William and Margaret made together. I think they used a recipe from the "Food that Really Schmecks" series of books, but I"m not sure. They have a good flavour and a superb chew to them. 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Symphony and Dr. Coffee

Saturday: we ran a bunch of errands this morning, taking a break at the very empty Dr. Coffee downtown (apparently quite busy during week days). It was a nice break with soft chairs, although I'm not sure how they function with a business crowd as it took ten minutes to get our three beverages. I suppose it is more for people to have a longer meeting or social visit, rather than fill and run. This evening we went to the symphony. Jeff Looysen is back as a violinist after taking last year off to concentrate on his high school teaching.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Too much art?

Huge day for art. The Turtle Island Performance events are in full swing. Rebecca Caines launched the book she edited on improvisation studies. There was an artist talk and opening at the Dunlop. To cap it off, there was a huge opening at the MacKenzie. 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Sheila Hamilton


Sheila Hamilton passed away earlier this week. I'd known her since shortly after I started working at the university, she was on staff at the dean's office and I always enjoyed bantering with her when I was in there. We always threw sarcastic comments back and forth, she had a mischievous streak and we had an understanding that came with a smile and a wink of the eye. I recall speaking to someone who thought that she was intimidating which confused me; she always felt like family. She had a complex sense of humor that ran deep through every conversation you might have had with her. She took her work very seriously, except when she didn't: that was the sort of inconsistency that made her a real character. The last time we spoke was at Sheila Petty's end-of-deanship event just over a year ago and even though she was already on medical leave, she looked and sounded in great spirits. She was really sweet and I miss her. Rest peacefully Sheila.
Jeannette Teece, Sheila Petty, and Sheila Hamilton, June 2014

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Turtle Island Performance festival begins

After our department meeting, I rushed over to the opening events of the Turtle Island Performance festival/conference where Dianne Ouellette had curated a very thoughtful selection of films; work by Candy Fox, Peter Brass, Janine Windolph, Trudy Stewart, and Tasha Hubbard, This was followed by a performance by Kevin McKenzie. Good crowd (about 75). The student gallery isn't too good for films (the sound echoed a lot) but the performance was well suited as it made good use of the open space, the darkness, strobe lights onto the white walls, and with the audience at the same level as the performer.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Smokin!

On the weekend, Margaret was admiring this smoking jacket at the vintage sale at the Club. Where do you wear such a thing these days? She didn't get it. I found a few stereoscopic cards - cost a bit more than usual but it was nice to hand pick some rather than buying random stacks. 

Monday, September 14, 2015

William back at piano

Piano lessons beyond this door...
William resumed piano lessons today. Jonathan Dyck is back as his instructor, which is quite exciting. He had Jonathan for a couple of months early last year. I would have mentioned at the time that Jon was the piano player on my "25 Short Films" project that we recorded in 1999 when he was quite young. He's still young.
I met with Rania and talked about mermaids.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Last fire of summer?

With the temperature hitting 28 degrees today, we sparked up the fire pit this evening and hosted a last minute backyard party. Allan and Jana were here as well as Paul (arrived just after dark so are not pictured above), and Terry and Xander arrived, recovering from pain. The birch wood we had burned so hot that when our Jiffy Pop broke open shortly after it got started, it literally caught on fire. 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Jeans on sale courier shipped arrived

I went to Marks Work Warehouse in the Southland mall earlier this week. They have a sale where if you buy one pair of jeans, you get a second for half price. That is an okay sale, but it really sucks if the store only stocks one pair of jeans in your size. The sale has no effect if  you only buy only one. However, I spoke to the manager and she was really friendly and helpful. They can special order anything they sell and ship it to you for free at the sale price. If got two pairs, just what I wanted, and they arrived in two days by purolator. I even got my Scene points. Happy. 

Friday, September 11, 2015

Picture day at school

Big rush this morning as William needed to be dressed with hair that wasn't completely out of control so that he can get his picture take today. Added to that, I had my first day of the grad group studio course at 9 am, so I had not latitude. Didn't get any good photos of William before he got dropped off except for one slightly blurry image with him wearing my airplane tie (I talked him out of the ascot. I wonder if I should have?). 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Start of classes

I had my first day with the animation class today. Seems like a good group. I'm teaching in room 179, which is never my favorite location. The projector direction is now changes and I think that makes it a bit more comfortable, even though I'm completely uncertain where I should teach from (they sat around a large square of tables and I was situated outside of them. Perhaps if I rearrange so that I can walk into the middle of the tables...? I used the little card-amusement-toy "Mov-I-Graff" as a demo tool. I've had it sitting on my desk for over five years and this is the first time I've shot with it. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Am I ready for the semester?

Don't ask me if I am ready for the semester, if you know what is good for you!
... and I don't know if this is good news or bad, but the overnight delivery of my films to Toronto that I sent six days ago was finally delivered today. That's not a good use of $108. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Fantasia of Color in Early Cinema book arrives

The book Fantasia of Color in Early Cinema arrived today. It looks freaking amazing. I expected it was going to be my next two weeks of reading, but there are only four essays so it obviously won't be a huge time investment. First essay (after a couple hundred words from Martin Scorsese) is a new piece by Tom Gunning. What the book has instead of extended writing are hundreds of wonderfully printed colour images from early cinema, each page is suitable for framing. In the middle is big fold out. Wow.
This evening William and I went to see "Mr. Holmes" with Ian McKellen. Very good, even though I had expected him to play an old bitter and depressed Holmes rather than a confused and guilt-ridden Holmes. The best part was at the end of the credits when Moriarty pops up with one weird eye and a scorpion gun. Can hardly wait for that sequel. 

Monday, September 7, 2015

Sweet William is not sour, a video

Holiday Monday and William and I have been doing odd errands and activities such as fixing mom's paper jam, feeding Gerda's cat Boo, cleaning out the frig, and making bad films (actually, the last one is a daily chore). The frig surrendered up a bag of six limes with nearly impenetrable skins that were of no value except as juice. I squeezed all six of then into a glass and gave it to William.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Over 100 French Films

This weekend, William and I hit the 100 mark of French films we've watched together as part of our weekly "French Friday" routine in just under 2 years (we watch other languages as "Foriegn Friday" in the summer time). Some of these films were made in France but were silent. Others were French language films, made in Quebec. We watched them all subtitled. Some were short but most were feature length. This weekend we watched a collection of Jacque Tati shorts, some he acted in, some he directed, and one documentary about him. Before these shorts, we were at 99. Here is the list, beginning in October 2013, in the order we watched them.
Jules et jimFrancois Truffaut
Monsieur Hulot's HolidayJacques Tati
Hiroshima Mon AmourAlain Renais
Rules of the GameJean Renoir
Diary of a Counry PriestRobert Bresson
Le Crime est Notre AffairePascal Thomas
Mon Oncle AntoineClaude Jutra
AmelieJean-Pierre Jeunet
Trip to the MoonGeorges Melies
Bon Cop, Bad CopErik Canuel
Emile Cohl shortsEmile Cohl
All the Boys are called PatrickJean-Luc Godard
BreathlessJean-Luc Godard
City of Lost ChildrenCaro & Jeunet
The SuitorPierre Etaix
Wages of FearHenri-Georges Clouzot
L'AtalanteJean Vigo
La Grande Seduction (Seducing Dr. Lewis)Jean-Francois Pouliot
400 BlowsFrancois Truffaut
Asterix at the Olympic GamesForestier & Langmann
Zazie dans le MetroLuis Malle
Mon OncleJacques Tati
PickpocketRobert Bresson
Shoot the Piano PlayerFrancois Truffaut
Beauty and the BeastJean Cocteau
Discreet Charm of the BourgeoisieLuis Bunuel
PlaytimeJacques Tati
YoyoPierre Etaix
As Long as You've Got Your HealthPierre Etaix
le Grand AmourPierre Etaix
Land of Milk and HoneyPierre Etaix
TraficJacques Tati
Day for NightFrancois Truffaut
La Grande IllusionJean Renoir
Band of OutsidersJean-Luc Godard
Le MillionRene Clair
The IllusionistSylvain Chomet
Jour de FeteJacques Tati
La JetteChris Marker
Delicatessen Caro & Jeunet
Asterix & Obelix, God Save BritanniaLaurent Tirard
Les Enfants TerriblesJean-Pierre Melville
MicmacksCaro & Jeunet
Fanfan la TulipeChristian-Jaque
Boudu Saved From DrowningJean Renoir
La Coquille et le ClergymanGermaine Dulac
Blood of a PoetJean Cocteau
Blue is the Warmest ColorAbdellatif Kechiche
The Doctor's Horrible ExperimentJean Renoir
StarbuckKen Scott
OrpheusJean Cocteau
Testament of OrpheusJean Cocteau
La MarseillaiseJean Renoir
Cleo de 5 a 7Agnes Varda
Les Bonnes FemmesClaude Chabrol
Le BoucherClaude Chabrol
Au Hasard BalthazarRobert Bresson
Les MistonsFrancois Truffaut
Antoine et ColetteFrancois Truffaut
Stolen KissesFrancois Truffaut
Bed and BoardFrancois Truffaut
Love on the RunFrancois Truffaut
A ProphetJacques Audierd
MasquesClaude Chabrol
Jean de FloretteClaude Berri
AlphavilleJean-Luc Godard
Manon des SoursesClaude Berri
Eyes Without a FaceGeorges Franju
Les DiaboliquesHenri-Georges Clouzot
Blue Krzysztof Kieslowski
WhiteKrzysztof Kieslowski
RedKrzysztof Kieslowski
CarabiniersJean-Luc Godard
Made in USAJean-Luc Godard
The Grocer's SonEric Guirado
Night and FogAlain Renais
Une Femme est une FemmeJean-Luc Godard
ContemptJean-Luc Godard
Une Femme MarieeJean-Luc Godard
Pierrot le FouJean-Luc Godard
Masculine/FeminineJean-Luc Godard
2 or 3 things I know about herJean-Luc Godard
La ChinoiseJean-Luc Godard
Week EndJean-Luc Godard
A Nous la LiberteRene Clair
Entr'ActeRene Clair
Under the Roofs of ParisRene Clair
The Earrings of Madame De...Max Ophuls
le PlaisirMax Ophuls
Beau SergeClaude Chabrol
Au Revoir, les EnfantsLouis Malle
Viva MariaLouis Malle
Murmur of the HeartLouis Malle
Un Chien AndalouBunuel and Dali
L'Age D'orBunuel and Dali
The Milky WayLuis Buñuel
Phantom of LibertyLuis Buñuel
That Obscure Object of DesireLuis Buñuel
Diary of a ChambermaidLuis Buñuel
On Demande une bruteCharles Barrois
Gai DimancheJacques Berr
Soigne ton GaucheRené Clement
L'ecole des FacteursJacques Tati
Cours du SoirNicolas Ribowski
Degustation MaisonSophie Tatischeff
Professor Goudet's LessonsStephane Goudet

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Cappuccino Time is here again

After at least two weeks of down time, we got the cappuccino machine working again. Even though we use highly filtered water all the time, after three years it seemed to have given up the ghost. We put descaler into it and had to monkey around for about an hour but now it is good as new. I think Ill go make another one. 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Ass at Slate Gallery

Last night William and I swooped past Slate Gallery for a quick art sharking of their new group exhibition. There was a lot of great work, including pieces by many artists we know such as Brian Gladwell, Joe Fafard, Michael Hosaluk, and Lorne Beug (we were there too early to see most of them) but the one piece that we left the gallery talking about was a strange wall-mounted donkey head sculpture with real hay hanging out of its mouth by Don Thompson. I don't know Thompson so am uncertain if he was there or not, but this was really worth stopping past to see.
Don Thompson's "Ass Head"

Thursday, September 3, 2015

4700 feet of super-8 film

Woke up with a crazy headache and a brain full of dreams about houses in mid-build today. Magic and monsters and mud on my boots.
I'm packaging up film for new transfers today including about 4700 feet of super-8 film and a number of 16mm projects. Everything is going to Frame Discreet. The super-8 will include all 16 of William and my One Take projects, all of my "25 Short Films In/About Saskatchewan", and all of the original "Mr. Saul" films, and some yet unseen "Grain" project footage (will certainly result in a fifth and perhaps a sixth film in that series). 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Kiki's last day in town

William and his cousin Kiki spent their last few minutes of her visit imagining how they would present each other to their respective school classes as show and tell objects. It required much grunting. Perhaps William will post these onto his Youtube channel....

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

William starts high school

We dropped William off for his first day of grade 9 at Sheldon-Williams today. I'm worried that he'll be too tired to make it through the day, having been unable to get to sleep last night (he stayed up until the wee hours finishing Jared Diamond's "The Third Chimpanzee", and that was after he and I had watched Derek Jarman's "Wittgenstein". School is now at 8:30 instead of last year's 8:53, so he's on less sleep than ever. Added to the problem is that our espresso machine is on the blink (need to find some de-scaler and see if that solves it).
Margaret dropped me off after we dropped William and I scrambled to make sure I was ready for my all day meeting starting at 10. At 9:50 I was wondering why none of my colleagues were around when I discovered that the meeting is tomorrow. This gave me a chance to meet with Dianne and then to get my internet on my tablet working (thanks Chad).