Friday, February 28, 2014

Geremy as my robot counterpart

Geremy helped me out yesterday, performing a voice for my new Mr. Saul film, the first time in nine years that a second voice will be featured. 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Saskatoon - some stitched photos

 I like the way that the stitched view of Margaret and William at the cafe inside the Saskatoon McNally and Robinson book store replace Margaret with the view of the ceiling tiles. Less strange is the purposely skewed image of the gallery of artifacts on the UofS campus with multiple Williams. We should probably practice these so that I can direct him to do different poses without me giving him direction since I don't generally want other people to know what we are doing as we shoot these photos. (click on them to enlarge).

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Sawing up our street

On the one morning this week that I thought I could have a quiet morning to work at home, the doorbell rang at 8:30 with word that we had to move our cars, prepare for water to be shut off, and the noise of cement saws. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

School closure meeting lacks decisive direction

With William's school, Connaught, imminent closure coming this summer, the meeting in the school gym this evening featured an hour of power point slides (most of which were on the handout everyone got as they entered) and was followed by the angry questions from parents who will accept no solution other than the immediate repair of the existing school as a heritage site. While the school board can be stubborn, they cannot hold a candle to these parents. Options on the table so far are to displace everyone to the condemned Wascana school, or split the school into different groups in two to five schools. As always, the evening left me angry, frustrated, and without any real knowledge. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Whose 150 year old baby is that?

My tin types arrived today! I bought a pair of baby pictures from an ebay seller in New Brunswick. They are in great shape and feel heavier and thicker than the much more expensive ones I saw a couple of weeks ago at the antique mall. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

1925 "Lost World" with Saskatoon symphony and Shauna Buck art exhibition at Void

We just drove back from Saskatoon, having gone there yesterday to see the 1925 silent film "Lost World" presented at the Roxy Theatre with live musical score by the Saskatoon Symphony. Like the two we'd seen previously, "Nosferatu" in October and "Mark of Zorro" last February, this was a hugely moving experience. The venue is perfect and the entire presentation, audio and visual, was excellent. It makes me sad that we chose the bulldozing option on all of our theatres. The rest of the time we hung out with Mike, drove around, checked out a small gallery (Void, where we met Shauna Buck and bought a piece of her art, the Yellow Headed Blackbird from her Alphabetical Aviary series, both her and the art pictured below), but missed out on getting into the campus gallery due to their inaccurate hours posted on their door, on their website, and on their answering machine.
Mike was our very courteous host, even though he didn't buy us a goat
Shauna Buck at the Void Gallery, Saskatoon

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Stereoscope experimental array

I'm beginning to doubt that I'll be able to make this work properly, but I did get some results. The mirrors I cut the other day have allowed me to shoot two parallel images but have forced me to set these two images about five inches apart, rather than the 2.5 to 3 inches I wanted.

Friday, February 21, 2014

One too many pains

I have some sort of infection which has caused my lymph nodes to overload and be very painful. My wait was upwards of 3 hours from beginning to having the prescription in hand. Got home to find two film festival rejections in my email. Feeling very sorry for myself. Need chocolate. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Reflections on Geremy

With invaluable help from Jesse Goddard, I cut some mirror for an experimental device to shoot stereoscopic images. The glass cutters wouldn't cut pieces of mirror small enough so I had to do it myself. The trial images are not quite working, I'll need to reduce the size of the mirrors even more, but feel confident that at least the cutting will be possible. 

New Mr. Saul film in the works

Yesterday we shot some of the core home movies for the new Mr. Saul project, the first one in two years. Margaret and William went to great ends to artificially wet the snow to make it sticky enough to mold. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

First time baking since Christmas

I suppose it is a condition of having too many deadlines and too many things tying up my mind, but even once our biscotti supplies ran out in January, I did not carve out any time from my schedule to bake. Yesterday I broke with that and made a double batch of triple chocolate biscotti. Today we feast!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

week of home work

It feels like Friday every day this week. For the past six weeks, Friday has been my catch up day, getting errands done, preparing for classes for the next week, reading and writing memos, and racing to complete yet another deadline before it is "too late". William and I are both without classes all week. He has chapters to read and blog postings on his school work to post. I have a page worth of stuff which is stubbornly refusing to be checked off. Hurumph. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Tin Type photos on ebay

Yesterday the auction ended for a set of 15 tin type photographs I hoped to purchase from a seller in New Brunswick. However, as we went out to the Cohen Brothers' new film "Inside Llewyn Davis" when the auction was ending, I was outbid by a dollar in the final minutes. Feeling disappointed, I went to the same seller and purchased these two tin type photos for $7. While the set was a better deal, I don't actually need 15 of them, just a sampling to discuss in photography courses. There were some at the antique mall when I was there the other day, but the least expensive of them was $35. 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

To barely go where no one has gone before

Mom gave me her symphony tickets for tonight's show. William and I went and had a pretty good time. It was supposed to be music from academy award winning movies, but it seems that having done this before, they deviated off track a bit. The Godfather section war extraordinary. I probably could have lived without two John William's scores (ET and Close Encounters) and had mixed feelings about Psycho. The Bernard Herman Psycho score is really fantastic and they played it perfectly (all string instruments) but Victor Sawa felt it necessary to stop every minute or two and describe what was happening in the story, often inaccurately. I'm wondering if William will be more willing or less willing to watch the film now that the entire plot, including each death and the ending, have been spelled out? The Star Trek tv series theme medley (culminating in "Next Generation", not "Motion Picture", as suggested) was quite nice to listen to for both William and myself (as he is familiar with each of the series through viewings this past year). Sawa made only one mistake in his verbal performance of the iconic opening narration (in the title above), but he seemed genuinely excited about doing it, so I think nerves got the better of him.
William leaning on ghost leg while building Bionicles
William has a big Bionicle building station in the basement now. I hung out down there with him this afternoon and he helped me to write my new "Mr. Saul" film (the first time I've ever asked for anyone else's input on one). 

Friday, February 14, 2014

House of Cards Valentine's Day

After a long day of meetings, I was expecting a family evening, doing some sort of movie or something. However, contrary to my claims to the provost, I would find myself in front of House of Cards season 2 which began on Netflix today. William took a skype call from his friends and Margaret is trying to finish a late art review. I'm having a glass of Blue Sapphire gin with a nice bottle of cane sugar tonic. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

William's school condemned!

Two days ago we got the abrupt news that engineers have determined that Connaught School, a block from our house and where William has been going to school since kindergarten, which celebrated its hundredth anniversary in 2012, has decayed to the point that they declared it dangerous and should be closed this summer. We'd known that the school was slated for repair or replacement, but the progress had been slow enough that I was certain William would finish grade 8 before it began. It appears that this won't be the case. Apparently there will be a meeting on the 25th to discuss arrangements for students. They are saying that they will keep the students together, but I can't see that as a practical option. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Geremy's art comic

Can philosophy defeat giant killer robots? Only Geremy Lague knows for sure. Check out the Fifth Parallel Art Gallery at the University of Regina this week for the next hair raising chapter.
When I arrived at work today, there was a fire engine in front of the Education Building and I couldn't go in to my office. Being way too cold to stay outside, I walked next door to the Riddell Center and checked out the new gallery offering; a number of grad students all doing work which referenced philosophers. The weather continued to get worse and I ended up online with friends this evening instead of going out. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Filmpool meeting caps day of meeting

I can't imagine anything more dull than me blogging about meetings I've had, but since that is mostly what I did today, what choice is there. The morning was an early one with an 8:15 interview with the Dean search. Fortunately I was in my office contemplating memory when Christine reminded me that I was to meet with her regarding my three year review (went mostly okay). Class followed, and then home to pick up William, take him to piano then home again and then back out to the Stone's Throw for a Filmpool meeting (they have been having all of their meetings in coffee shops until the renovations are complete, probably another couple of weeks) to talk about Splice magazine. Arrived home in time of "Ted Talk Tuesday". 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Overhead projector narrative projects by graduate students

I really love the use of overhead projectors to create live moving art, as done by such artists as Daniel Barrow, Shary Boyle, and Kara Walker. I've demonstrated it, with varying success, to undergrad classes in the past. This term I assigned the graduate film students to do a performance. It was quite delightful to watch. Of course I needed to critique them and realized only when faced with the task did I realize that I'd established no real criteria for success and wasn't sure what do say (of course I didn't let doubt actually slow me down). Pictured above, An, Xin, and Jingyi with the projector. 

Small Carcassonne game, never "the big one"

Mike ended up staying an extra night this weekend so we had a game of Carcassonne. However, as we were starting past 7:30, we used only a select number of add-on sets, less than usual. As it was, the game took until 11 and William was nearly asleep for his final few turns. Unless we plan around it and start in the afternoon, I doubt we'll ever put all the available tiles together to play the ultimate game we've talked about for the past year. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Droog William

Hanging out playing WII in his bowler, I wonder if the gang in Clockwork Orange would have gotten in more or less trouble if they played Lego Batman? While the bowler and the love of Beethoven may be warning signs, William has almost no violent or rebellious tendencies. In fact, he couldn't conceive of any valuable reason to cut classes like the characters in Truffaut's "400 Blows" did (our French Friday film this week). 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Taylor Field, first visit in over 20 years

Taylor Filed, Regina (click to enlarge)
Mike is in town and we dragged him off to a vintage clothing sale for an hour (Margaret got a long leather coat but not the hats below) and I got an item I'll feature in some specially staged photos at a later date) and then Mike dragged us off to the Rider's Store for 10 minutes where we didn't find the shirt he wanted. The field (I still call it Taylor Field, but I guess someone paid for it to be called Mosaic or some such ting) was basically open to walk over to so I took a series of images amounting to this panorama (complete 360). William has never been the the stadium and I'd like to figure out some reason he'd have to go (we are in flipping walking distance from it). Mike points out that it will be another three  years at least, so perhaps someone in high school will convince him to go there.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Depressed Charlie Brown - Charles Schultz in 1993 - what the heck was going on?

I ran across these two Peanuts cartoons from spring 1993. I wasn't getting the paper myself, so I would read them only occasionally but recall that there had been a larger grouping of very strange, introspective, depressed strips being published. Personally, a week doesn't pass that I don't similarly ponder how "The nights are getting longer". A web search on the year for Peanuts did not come up with these but rather it showed a series where Charlie Brown won the baseball game and was a short lived hero. He is eventually faced with his corresponding player from the other team, struggling to make sense of his own loss. I'm curious what identity issues Charles Schultz might have been thinking about that year? 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Cannes Advertising Awards and giant robot

We just got back from the Cannes Advertising Awards, running all weekend at the RPL. We really liked the Direct Tv ads, they had us laughing. I wanted Geremy to see the Ikea ad with a guy in a person sized wind-up robot suit (above, click to go to the video). The last works shown was a series of very curious dramatic web videos. A strange inclusion. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Creek Bistro was fantastic!

We spent a fantastic evening at the Creek Bistro on 13th avenue. I had the lamb, which was tremendously tender off the bone. Margaret had a tenderloin and William had one of the specials, a salmon dish with an amazing lemon sauce. Martin came out from the kitchen to chat for a while and made us feel very special and welcome. 

Creek Bistro dinner date

Image ready to print for stereoscope of flowers Margaret informed me that I purchased for her (wow, my taste is improving)
On our way out for a nice February 5 dinner with Margaret and William. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Magic Beans are planted!

Two weeks ago, when William went to the Hogwarts-themed party, he came home with carefully packaged magic beans, complete with a wet sponge and enclosed single unit green house (a zip lock bag). He put them in a warm place and they sprouted! We've planted them within one of our house plants (the fuchsia) and expect to climb a beanstalk and gain vast riches any day now.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Thievery near the Eatery

I sent the grad students out to create mini-narratives with single photographic images today. I like the way this turned out with Geremy, Zaheer, Jingyi, and photographer Xin.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Taste of Cathedral

Last night Margaret participated in organizing another "Taste of Cathedral" fundraiser. It was probably the best one yet. We had some really good food, got a table away from the door (even though we were far from the first ones there), and looked at lots of good art. There were over a hundred donated items, services, or art to bid on and it seemed that the prices were generally strong (good for the Cathedral Festival, bad for someone trying to get a steal of a deal). William had a bite of my curry (I didn't say the word "curry") and didn't mind it (it was quite mild). Top of my list was the ribs from the Creek Bistro. Wow. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Amalie Atkins tent and talk at MacKenzie

Met with Christine and Elizabeth this morning over coffee to talk about future screening. Exciting plans, but best left confidential at this time (noted here only because, as my close friends know, I have begun forgetting anything I don't blog about).
Stitched photo of Amalie Atkins tent at MacKenzie Art Gallery
William and I went to the MacKenzie again this afternoon to see Amalie Atkins talk and tour her work. The crowd was sizable and inquisitive, which is not always the best thing. Rather than a tour, it was a very good question and answer. She expressed some interesting ideas about how the work evolves to include the tents, rather than it being a reworking or re-contextualization of the older work. Probably my favorite anecdote was that she originally wanted to market the animal masks as face warmers for the Saskatoon winter, but only sold one. The gallery room was hot and the sound echoed, so we cut out right at the end and went shopping for a piano bench (found one).