Congratulations President Obama! Enjoy your day! I look forward to seeing a new generation unfold in the United States under your leadership.
I am not a ‘catty’ girl. I don’t normally broadcast on my blog to avoid going to someones wedding, especially after I’ve been to it. But I have to say after attending Rachel’s wedding at VIFF, the Vancouver International Film Festival, on Saturday, I am telling you all to stay away.
‘Rachel Getting Married’ got great reviews coming out of the Toronto International Film Festival. Apparently it was a festival favourite and as such, it was the film of choice for VIFF’s Sponsor’s Gala. These reviews boggle my mind, as a film that I was really excited about seeing, quickly reminded me of why I am so selective about what I will go see in a theater. For a reason that I have yet to ascertain, the director, Jonathan Demme, decided to film the entire thing on a handheld camera in the style of ‘The Blair Witch Project‘ and ‘Open Water‘. I was not a fan of this style for the aforementioned films, as it makes me motion sick and want to be violently ill. It does, however, make sense using this format of filming in telling the stories of ‘The Blair Witch Project’ and ‘Open Water’, as we are getting the POV (Point of View) of one of the characters. This was not the case for ‘Rachel Getting Married’. Using a handheld, was not for a POV or to further along the story in anyway that I could discern. It’s only purpose, as far as I could determine, was to make me want to puke, especially when they decided to use it for dance scene after dance scene causing me to close my eyes and hold my head in the theater as these scenes continued for an excruciatingly long period of time. Had I not been sitting in the Sponsors Gala Screening with a friend and well known writer in town, I would have exited this film early.
In truth, the other reason that I stayed was that the writer in me was determined to see if there was something in the story that merited the reviews it received in Toronto. By the end, I wondered whether I could just see no good as I was feeling so ill, so I consulted with those sitting around me, who voiced the same thoughts going through my head. Where was the story? As far as we could figure all that was there was a painfully depressing account of a dysfunctional family with none of the humour that accompanies family life and very few glimmers as to the beautiful humanity behind the characters. For goodness sakes, the poor man playing the father was simply portrayed as this pathetically weak individual with little else to him. I was just glad this was not a Canadian film.
So why did it get such good reviews out of Toronto? I’m guessing, because Anne Hathaway was in it and it portrayed her in a new role – that I’ve a broken child, who’d brought a great deal of pain to her family and herself through her affliction with drugs. Trust me though, seeing Anne Hathaway in this role is not worth losing an hour and half of your life to this movie or still feeling sick for the following 4 hours (despite the post film beers to settle your stomach).
Apparently, I am not alone in my view of the movie:
- Taunton Daily Gazette
- The Village Voice
I love movies, I work in the movies, but I have always been a bit of a snob about what I will go see in the movie theater. And this has been the case long before I knew what ‘green screening’ was or how to tell when it had been poorly done, or noticing continuity, poor acting or directing choices, or what’s happening with the background or set deck. For me these things have actually made movie watching that much more interesting (especially once I learnt to turn them off and just enjoy the story). But when I can go see live theater in Vancouver for the same price as a movie, the movie had better be something special for me to watch it in the theater.
What does ‘pretty damn good’ translate to in my head? Well – great cinematography, story and acting. Other wise, I may still enjoy watching it, but from the comfort of my couch with the cat curled up with me. Being a lover of children’s stories – this means all the children’s greats (even if the movies rarely do them justice, and yes I am insanely jealous of Walden Media – although I’d rather be creating new stories), I tend to give them priority in the theaters. Also I’m a sucker for British Films. Love the fact that the people are real and can really act, not just pretty faces. Also love that the British give us variety and not the same A listers over and over again (although there are a few A Listers that deserve to be there and are fabulous to watch – a future one to watch out for in my mind is one Miss Alexia Fast – the performance she brings to the camera always moves me). British humor also really speaks to me – yes, I’ll admit it, I am all about the potty and naughty humor. Calendar Girls and The Full Monty are two of my favorite all time movies.
So I was genuinely surprised and thrilled by what I saw when Ken MacIntrye, Account Manager of Paramount Pictures Western Canada, invited me to an advanced screening of ‘Ghost Town’. I haven’t seen a picture in the theaters in months that I enjoyed more! It was absolutely hilarious and I was thrilled to see that North American filmmakers had actually taken a page out of our British colleagues books. We had finally created something with a solid story and solid acting, rather than just Hollywood gloss with whichever A Lister they could get their hands on. Ricky Gervais and his costars were an absolute hoot! And it’s not just because Ricky has a sexy British accent. He truly brings this delightful story written by David Koepp and John Kamps to life and without the typically grotesquely large Hollywood budget.
Check it out! It comes to theaters this Friday – September 19th.
Check it out! My buddy, Richard Gustin, just designed a digital pinhole camera and is featured on instructables.com . Take a look – all the instructions are there for you to build your own! Enjoy!
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There are moments in life where I really have to wonder at people – at the beauty within and at the total lack of respect and compassion for others. Tonight I saw both – the beauty and the ugliness that makes up our species.
I was driving home from having spent a delightful evening with some of my oldest and dearest friends and there in the middle of the road lay a body. Do you think anybody stopped? Of course not. It wasn’t their problem. They hadn’t hit it. And whomever had hit it had high tailed it out of there.
Photo by Ben Shepherd
I pulled over. Waited until it was save and walked out into the middle of the road to retrieve the body. As I bent down to pick up the poor soul, I was, of course, honked at.
The body belonged to the most beautiful and well fed midnight black gentleman. Obviously well cared for and loved. I could see someone not seeing him until it was too late, but there was no way they could not have realized that they’d hit him.
I carried him to the nearest house hoping to find his family and still holding out hope that he might be alive and that they could call the nearest emergency clinic. No answer. I tried the neighbours next door. As I stood there waiting, my eyes fell on his face. His eyes bulged in an expression of terror, mouth frozen in a scream. Although I still tried to tell myself that he was alive, his body was still warm after all, it was at this moment that I knew and felt the terror of his last few seconds.
Photo by Eric Hunt
A woman, my first angel of the evening, answered. She didn’t know him. But did get on the phone for me and tried to find out just what to do and who to call for help. Enter angel #2, her daughter and a local vet’s assistant. She confirmed for me what I feared, but was determined to find the beautiful fellow’s family. In case, any of you ever end up in a similar situation, you want to get the cat to a local vet or the SPCA. Look for a collar – anything that will tell you something about the cat’s family. If the cat doesn’t have a collar, the vet will check for an ear tattoo.
As the lovely Miss Cato now snuggles into my lap, my heart goes out to a family nearby that is wondering why their beloved feline hasn’t come home. I only hope that the vet is able to find out whom they are in the morning.
Pet owners make sure your pet has some form of ID so this doesn’t happen to your family.
And to the driver – you should be ashamed. You might scoff at this, but our pets are a part of our families – a beloved part of our family. When I lost dear little Blackberry last year, I cried more then then I have ever cried for any human, aside from my grandmother. Accidents happen, but when they do you need to take responsibility for them, especially when they involve someone’s life.
My love to the dear midnight black cat and his family,
I am taking a break from the reality for the next few weeks and enjoying some time being entertained by the imagination of youth. This past week, I was fortunate enough to spend it with a most creative group of tweens exploring the magic of puppetry!
I always find amazing what kids come up with from the simple ideas that I give them. This group of tweens was no different – the stories, their creations and their humour continually brought a smile to my face.
Also I discovered a few new tricks of my own and some great activities to do with my friends kids and my new niece to be (when she is a few years older). Will post a few of those ideas here later this summer and more detailed versions in Cloverleaf Country and on the Ahimsa Media Educator’s Page later this year. But for now ….. I saw this on my partner in Bridging Media, Megan Cole’s blog and thought it was quite a fitting way to end my week of puppetry.