Friday, October 31, 2014

My Droog Son

William went to school dressed as Alex from A Clockwork Orange today. He finished the book last night. I will certainly not let him watch the movie, although we did look at the surreal milkbar plus trailer for Kubrick's film. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Carrot that Ate Gertrud

Gertrud brought some rather unbelievable carrots in from the farm today. This thing was thicker than my wrist. This is not a camera trick (even though she is holding them towards the camera, meaning that they are not really half the diameter of her head) but the carrots to screen left are held alongside. These are smallish carrots, but not tiny. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Paul-Gui Crepeau screening at the Artesian

Wow, I didn't know I would find Paul Crepeau's chair animation so engaging as I did this evening. I've seen quite a bit of his footage of his animated chairs over the past couple of years. It's always visually interesting and sometimes clever, but not until he compiled all of this work together did I ever see it as a such a strong, humourous, cohesive, and powerful statement. Not only that, but with William sitting and giggling beside me, I could tell that it crossed other boundaries of communication as well. Combined with a handful of films by other filmmakers which featured Paul as a primary actor, the program was rather long but it never dragged and I was surprised at how quickly it came to an end. In fact, with the superior projection this evening, I was re-engaged with some of the work I'd previously seen because of the amount of extra detail I could see on screen. Paul crams as much as he can into every shot. While he claims in his ADHD film that he doesn't see the mess, he sure makes good use of every square inch of it. Congratulations Paul on a riveting screening event.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

E !!??

Over the past few days, William has asked a number of questions relating to the Orwell novel "1984" which reminded me of "E" by the NFB in 1981. To celebrate international animation day, I played this after supper. He guessed where it was going quite early, even before the king arrived. As Kevin says, "Curse these young 'uns for their quick minds.  In my day, things moved along slower". .

Monday, October 27, 2014

pumpkin carving

In class today, we returned to the "Red Riding Hood" theme. When I said that we would only do a portion of the story and asked what was the most important aspect, Sandra was first to respond to say that the Granny surviving was the most important. On that, we shaped a film about Granny's insatiable lust as she throws aside the humdrum woodsman for the new wolfish man at the door.

Last night, William finished reading 1984. Over the past three weeks he has also read "Brave New World", "Fahrenheit 451", "Animal Farm", and "Lord of the Flies". Today  he began "A Clockwork Orange", although the density of the slang is troubling him (the film would certainly give him more context, but the recent Simpsons satire is more than enough until he's older).

This evening Margaret and William started carving the pumpkins.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Favours on a Sunday

I was at work for a couple of hours today, helping a student in the darkroom. Took William with me, he watched stuff on the tablet. Then off to mom's where she finally got her cable hooked up and I had to reconnect her computer and get the internet working. Small glitches, but that is to be expected.
In a retro moment, I posted a blog entry into 2006. 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Saskatoon road trip to see "Phantom of the Opera" at Roxy with the SSO

William and I drove up to Saskatoon this morning, connected up with Mike, at watched Lon Chaney's "Phantom of the Opera" with live music by the Saskatoon Symphony at the Roxy theatre today. We drove home afterwards. Very tiring but lots of fun. The music was intense. There were no vocals: I wonder if anyone ever tries to sing to the actress's (how do you write the plural possessive of actress?) on screen singing? That might be cool. Strange things: we saw a road kill cow on the way up. I didn't stop, having seen it just as we passed it, but I've never seen a dead cow on the road before. On the way home, the sunset was great and there was a sizable flax burning taking place.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Christina Stojanova Godard book launch

William and I attended the tail end of Christina Stojanova's Fine Arts presentation discussing her research during her sabbatical research, followed by a wine and cheese to celebrate her new book "The Legacies of Jean-Luc Godard". Had an interesting conversation about distopias with Philippe Mather along the way. Afterwards we went for dinner at Allan and Jana's. Excellent conversations.  

Thursday, October 23, 2014


eclipse image on a phone
Ironically, I spent the day in the darkroom and didn't go outside until near sunset, missing the partial eclipse of the sun that Margaret and William saw. Actually, there were lots of clouds so the experience was a bit disappointing, but William said he saw a bit of it. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Cinema of Novelty

Geremy is accepting and embracing the notion of "novelty" in regard to his creative work and is coining the term "Cinema of Novelty" to describe his use of toys, outdated devices, and other amusement aspects within his films. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Star Crash at the Talkies program at RPL

William and I went to the RPL for their monthly "Talkies" program in which a couple of improv comedians mock a bad movie, sight unseen. This is the first time we'd gone. The film was "Star Crash", a 1978 Star Wars ripoff made in Italy. I saw it at a drive in when it came out and even at that age, as hungry as I was for special effects and spectacle and sci-fi, this was a ridiculous mess. The mocking was not needed to make it funny, but it really enhanced the experience, making the slow parts and the repetitive parts so much more engaging. Great evening, highly recommended. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Unexpected comic book find

While my parents were moving, they uncovered a box of my comics and magazines that I've not seen since sometime in the 80s. I had either forgotten about these, or assumed them to have been sold at a garage sale long ago. They included my Plop comics with their brilliant Basil Wolverton covers as well as Captain Canuck, a variety of horror comics from the mid 70s, and a couple of Freak Brothers underground comics I probably bought at Adelphe's around 81 or 82.
Beneath the comics were even more wonders; Vampirella magazines, a solid run of "Fantastic Films" and my year subscription to Dragon. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Backblog 6

Special Filmpool meeting for 5 hours this afternoon to focus on strategic plan. While long, it was one of the more productive sessions.
When I got home, Margaret and William had finished their r&r time and were now struggling with his homework. William created a very cool drawing which responds to Inuit printmaking styles.
After supper, we connected with George and moved shelves and deck furniture from mom's house to ours. To our surprise, George wanted the old frig we were trying to get rid of. It was the Frigidaire that my grandma gave to mom when they got married.
Got home to find William had accidentally driven his office chair over his drawing after having completed his written analysis of it. Big tear but we taped it. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Backblog 5

All day moving my parent's stuff, trying to find boxes for the nearly endless things that houses tend to hold. Got everything except dad's reading lamp, which I felt very bad about when he asked about it at the end of the evening (cable won't be connected for another week, so what is there to do?). We lunched at the Mercury. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Backblog 4

Mom and Dad's movers came to take all the big stuff from the house today. I showed up there at 9 am to take apart her computer and tv before heading to work. At the office, I had hoped that more of my students would be developing film (I only had two in the darkroom this week). It did give me time to comb through more old stuff where I found the mini-comic project I gave to my Film 200 students in the first couple of years I was teaching here. One by Lowell Dean caught my eye calle "The Adventures of Satan and Darryl" about him and a friend making a no-budget, improvised, structure-less film on one boring Saturday when he was younger.
Lowell Dean mini-comic
Mom's phone is now disconnected at the house but we later found that it was not working at the condo. Unable to reach anyone, Margaret, William, and I drove to the condo to drop off the computer. On Albert Street, I hit some sort of bump and blew out one of the new tires and had to wait for a tow truck. We eventually ate at Five Guys. Once I connected to family, we moved another load of stuff. Rather exhausted.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Margaret's birthday

I found a few books for Margaret during my trip and managed to bake a lemon cheesecake this morning after dropping William off at school.
In the afternoon, I helped my parents transfer all of their utilities to their new condo.
Later, when we picked him up from school, we went back to the university for the opening of Sharon Eisbrenner's exhibition at the club. Beautiful watercolours of flowers and plants; a really large and impressive show.
William played Happy Birthday on the piano when George, Gertrud, Fred, and Paul were over having cake. We capped off the evening by attending the final showing of "Doctor Cabbie" at the Rainbow. The concept, as we saw in the trailer, was stretched into a feature with few new surprises. Amusing but disappointing. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Backblog 2

Kallie is back in town. Met with her along with Carmen and Robert to discuss term plans and afterwards she and I met to talk about creative and pragmatic stuff in her studio. Faculty meeting followed. Lots of discussion with guest regarding university communications. I think these will be briefer this year, but time will tell. Was at Kevin's tonight but probably won't connect on weeknights from now on. Sundays will work better.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Backlog of blogs (backblog?) 1

So I don't want to sound like a teenage, so I won't go into a rant about the purpose-less of everything. However, I have been feeling quite a bit of  ambivalence towards all creative activity this week, including, but not limited to, this blog. While I am writing this a week after the date it will show for its publication, no one has mentioned the dearth of posting since then. However, some discussion at the Filmpool meeting yesterday did support the idea of my blog, among others, as a positive support on the Filmpool activities.
I also hope to continue this blog as an extension of my memory. As such, I'm not really sure what happened on this day, as I am writing my entry six days in the future. I know that I taught my Film 201 class and that begins the misalignment of my Monday?Tuesday sequence due to the Thanksgiving holiday. We talked about a variety of editing and transition issues. and shot a bit of video outside, seeking graphic matches. I met with Geremy before class to review what he covered with them last week while I was away. They enjoyed drawing on film.
This evening we went to the Combat Improv. Colby called on William (by name) at one point to tell the group how long after the apocalypse the three minute improv would take place. He thought for a moment and said "negative three minutes" which is a great answer. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Thanksgiving at Gerda and Richards

Thanksgiving dinner at Gerda's. In an unusual twist, with Mom in the middle of moving, she didn't suggest any event, nor did my sister. This made Gerda's the only festivity of the weekend. Only person beyond those I've known a while was a friend of Kattie's who has taken a Filmpool course and is interested in filmmaking and has not yet gone to university. We had a good chat over desert (he came late and is not in this picture). . 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Car reaches 200,000

Our 13.4 year old car reached 200,000 km today. I was out helping mom move and by the time I got home it was 199,999. I got everyone in for a family ride around the neighbourhood and we turned it over.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Science Centre day 2

We continued presenting the camera obscura this weekend at the Science Centre. There was some press on the subject which actually quoted me accurately. William did a pendulum painting and spoke with R2-D2 (one of about 2000 built by clubs around the world and the only one in Saskatchewan). .

Friday, October 10, 2014

Camera Obscura demo at science centre

William and I spent the day at the Science Centre showing the camera obscura that we built together. It required a lot of light to be effective, so mostly the subject was whatever was 12 inches in front of the light. We got many good responses. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Cats beginning to co-habitate

The two cats have stopped hissing at each other. That doesn't quite mean that they like each other, but they do pass fairly close without problem. I think that with them both going outside, they are at a more even level now and share a confidence that they both live here. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


I don't know how to get a scone to rise this high (pictured above is a single scone, even though it looks like one on top of another). Delicious. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

William Coke

I finally found a "William" Coke bottle. It was at a meeting so the only way to claim it was to drink it, but I squished and kept the bottle for him. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

School demolition continues

They stopped blowing down the school for the weekend. The guy at the Red Meat Wagon says he talked to a city planner who had stopped in and the plan is to put the new school on the south side of the property. I think that was one of the preferred plans as it gave more space for buses and cars to drop/pick up kids on 13th Ave instead of going into the side streets. 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Thinner DVD cases, making more room

The collector in me resisted my activity today, but I began to pull my dvds out of their original cases and put them into thinner cases. I'd move the cover, although I'd usually have to fold it a bit. The outcome is that in just a couple of hours, I removed at least two linear feet of cases from my collection. Once I finish, I expect to remove three times that much. This stack of cases is 4 feet high and was replaced by about 18 inches of thin cases. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Connaught: the walls come down

Full scale demolition began on Connaught school. I fully expect it to be gone in a day or two at the rate they began on Friday morning. I would like to get some memento bricks but don't see the opportunity yet. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

William as patron of the arts

We attended two art openings Thursday night. The first was at Slate which was primarily the work of Kyle Herranen and his very shiny wood collages. From there we went to the Creative City Centre's Hague Gallery which opened "Horrid: Journey into the Dark", an exhibition of drawing of monsters. While I did like a few of them, Margaret pointed out that they were not the sort of things you wanted to face on a daily basis except one tiny painting of a man in a hat. I suggested that the true horror is hidden by that hat, leaving the mosterousness of it up to your imaginations. We wanted to buy it but then William stepped up and declared that he had enough with him to buy it and promptly did so. Here is William with the artist, Joel Hustak. The purchased work is on the wall behind/between them. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Cats getting closer

On occasion, we've been able to get the two cats to be in the same room as each other and not to growl. They are not friends yet and generally avoid each other. Sylvie is the dominant one. She stakes out territory and the black one flees and hides.