Saturday, March 31, 2018

Easter at Lori's

Supper at my sister's with prime rib and perogies. Quite a night. I made 12 dozen (only brought over four dozen). William drew portraits of dad and others.

Friday, March 30, 2018

A real holiday

I guess I define holidays much differently than I used to. Today I got to stay home alone for a few hours while Margaret and William went out to dye eggs. I cleaned the kitchen then had a nap, knowing that the kitchen would be clean when I needed to return to it. I made two cheesecakes, painted the chocolate onto the biscotti, and made cheese and potato mix in preparation for perogies. Mike dropped by and we had cocoa. Margaret and William picked up bread from the back yard baker and then we watched tv. What a great day. 

Thursday, March 29, 2018

early egg colouring

We usually dye eggs on good Friday but this year, with Paul over and with me already declaring that I need rest more than I need a drive to Rouleau to do further colouring, we dyed a few at the table. William did some crazy stuff with wax, extending his drawing style into the sculptural realm.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

No more melting

I used the pick axe I bought a couple years ago (for the purpose of cutting sod so as to level the deck off of the cottage on the farm) to chop up a mound of ice/snow in front of the house and therefore turn the two parking spots into three or possibly even four spots. The snowman who watches over the cars continues to shrink but the weather will not rise above zero for at least another week, giving him a bit of a reprieve. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

in class shooting

With the cold weather returning, I had to move my in-class shoot to the studio instead of the traditional outdoor on the lawn production. The Tuesday class was large enough that I had them do two units, one shooting a drama (in the far corner in the above image) and a second unit making a mockumentary about the other film, which was shot in the middle of the room with the production as a backdrop. Spirits were good. 

Monday, March 26, 2018

Mr. Saul and Son at Artesian

The Filmpool screening at the Artesian went really well. The audience was a fair size and quite a few stayed at the end for Q+A (above). Jason Britski's short found film "Public Domain", drawn from Prelinger Archives film was particularly striking, as was the documentary on potash in Africa. 

Sunday, March 25, 2018

point of view

I shoveled a bit more snow, hoping in vain that I can free up my driveway but realizing that the bigger problem is the alley and the ice therein. I shot some footage with the camera attached to the shovel like Chris Gallagher did back in the 80s. I really need to create a permanent bolt on the shovel to do this more effectively, but I never have the right tools at the right time. 

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Errands face delays

William and I spend much of the day catching at home as he starting catching up on his homework. We went out together to grab a few things and had only one last stop - Hill Avenue to get pizza shells, when my "shortcut" was delayed by a train. Finally it passed and the gate went up. Cars going the other direction got a green light and some went through when suddenly the gate dropped again and yet another train, this one from the opposite direction, came through. By the time we got to the store, it had closed (3 minutes late). 

Friday, March 23, 2018

Romanian Cinema

A storm rolled in during my grad class today. Berny was caught on the highway and didn't make it in time. We had a fun discussion about Phil Hoffman's "O! Zoo", which coincidentally rolled smoothly into the themes discussed by Doru Pop who presented the MAP Lecture later in the afternoon on the topic of recent Romanian Cinema. I got really pumped to see these films but the week had me so exhausted that we couldn't drag ourselves to the 6:30 screening at the RPL. William and I did however brave the storm to get to the library for the 9:15 show, only to find out that the schedule had been changed and we'd missed the film we came to see and that the second film had started early and we were already missing it.
We attended both screenings the following night: "Aferim" and "When Evening Falls on Bucharest".

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Talk about Lars von Trier

The talk presented by Dr. Linda Badley on the life and work on filmmaker Lars von Trier hosted by Christina Stojanova at the university was quite illuminating. The other day William and I watched the first hour of Nymphomaniac, which admittedly is an odd thing to show to a 16 year old, and we were really enjoying the fun ways that the hunting for sexual partners was being compared to fly fishing. However, Dr. Badley's spoilers on the film make me doubt whether William, or even any other human being, should finish watching this two movie project. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Conference on Immigration/Migration

It was great to have been able to clear my afternoon schedule and attend the academic talks with the mini-conference hosted by Christina Stojanova, the Interdisciplinary International Symposium on (Im)migration, Emigration, and Refugees in Europe and Canada: Social Challenges and Issues of Representation. Two of her special guests, photographed with her above, were Dr. Linda Badley from Tennessee and Dr. Doru Pop from Romania. Today's talks made me particularly interested in Romanian cinema and its current "new wave" of the past decade, which was compared in a number of ways to the French New Wave and the Italian Neo-realists. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Glass ring comes clean!?!?

When I emptied the dishwasher, I found a glass ring, about 3-4 inches wide and about a half inch wide, carefully placed into the upper rack. I didn't know what it was and couldn't match it to any other object so I put it on the counter. Over supper, Margaret asked why it was there and I realized that she also didn't know its origin.  After some thought, we noticed that it was the same circumference as the wine glasses and in fact, the glass Margaret was drinking from over dinner was a half inch shorter than the others! It had cracked and broken off a full ring of glass without cracking the rest of the glass. 

Monday, March 19, 2018

Ella Mikkola in Fifth Parallel Gallery

Ella opened her exhibition of projections in the Fifth Parallel gallery on campus. It is called "Valoa Light and Surface" with the most interesting aspect being two 16mm film looks made from contact printing a large glass negative (also on display) onto 16mm negative film so that the frames capture small sections of the larger image. It took some time for eyes to adjust, but the show was moody and evocative. 

Sunday, March 18, 2018

First fall of the winter

With winter almost at an end, I had a huge fall when I went over to Geremy's this evening. I'd only been there once before so I was a bit unclear which was his house. I pulled into the driveway like he'd suggested and got out, took four steps, and went flying on an ice rink there. As I got up I looked upwards to see his house numbers on the building next door. Curse his neighbours for not sanding!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Kevin McKenzie and the visual arts BFA exhibtion

After spending my morning grading midterms, we all stepped out for a while to see the BFA show at the MacKenzie Art Gallery. Had some great conversations with Rania and Kevin McKenzie as well as Leesa, Sean Whalley, and others.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Vishal splicing film

We developed the 100 feet of 35mm film shot by the grad students over the past two weeks. The reversal material didn't work well, likely due to the weakness of the bleach. We didn't get the whites so the result will be grey and black. Over two thirds of it is in negatives which all looks great. Vishal used a film splicer for the first time, which is always a thrill. 

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Last snowmen of the season?

With the weather hovering just below zero and the vast amount of new snow that fell recently, snowmen should be a natural. I've been seeing a few but not as many as other years. Maybe the kids along the routes we drive have gotten too old? A difffernet drive might be in order. Margaret and William built this one on our lawn.
Here it is two days later...

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Pi Day

The day before Pi Day, Margaret made two pies, gave one to her mom, and we ate the other one when Allan was over. As we swallowed the last forkful we realized that Pi Day was hours away. I got a free slice, courtesy of the UofR Math Department. Margaret made lemon pie that we ate in the evening. Her meringue was four times higher than the lemon.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Quick and DIrty

At Quick and Dirty talks at Creative City, the Dunlop hosted a collection of 12 "makers", people who rarely would do an "artist talk", being chefs, tattooists, and other creative people. The place was packed and we had to sit at the very back.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Xincheng begins shooting

This week Xincheng began shooting animation for his thesis project.His replaceable 3D built faces for his character are working well with results that surprise me.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Traditions change

After a quarter century of weekly games lubricated by thousands of calories of Coke, this week Kevin and I had coffee and a biscotti. 

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Ian Toews,UoR Film Distinguished Alumni

I had the honour of handing Ian Toews the Film Department Distinguished Alumni Award for his many years of innovative, provocative, and ambitious work in filmmaking. He did a workshop in the afternoon and talk and screening later during the student Living Skies Film Festival. Great evening with tons of food and conversation afterwards at the Fifth Parallel. I was too sick to attend the Saturday events though. Regrets. 

Friday, March 9, 2018

Negative Canister

We shot some 35mm film in the grad class. I devised this new outfit. Film will be developed in negative.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

parking "offence"

After digging for sizable amounts of time every day for the past couple of days, we have spots for our two cars in front of the house. I came home after a later evening watching student  films (below) to find someone had taken my spot. I had to try to park down the street but got stuck because half the people have not been shoveling. It took a half hour to get unstuck and then I parked at the Balkwill Centre two blocks away and collapsed in bed.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

New "Beardo" comic

William had his second Cathedral Village Voice comic strip published: another episode of "Beardo", on sale now in the Cathedral area (free, and even delivered to your mail box unless you are too prudish to take free mail to your home - talk about a first world problem).

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Weird Weather

Weather was really odd. The streets had fog rising off of them wherever the pavement had begun to be hit with the sun. When I got back to my car after only a few hours, icicles had formed to connect it to to the ground. I did a quick and somewhat useless rinse at the car wash on the way home. 

Monday, March 5, 2018

work and snow

I had six meetings scheduled for today and figured I'd be running constantly all day. However, two meetings didn't happen and two were much shorter than anticipated, resulting in me having much less to do today than I expected. Got stuck on the way home and a couple of guys helped push me out. Even back on our street, I think I'm just lodged into my spot. We shoveled as best we could around the car but I think it might be out of commission until the end of the week. We plan to use the old car which has better tires. 

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Lots of snow

The snow began on Saturday afternoon. I'd been expecting it so William and I watched "The Shining", although it was premature and the storm didn't begin until after the film ended in mid-afternoon. This evening I drove to Kevin's, which was incredibly slow going there and even worse coming back. No streets were being plowed. I went out of my way to take Victoria Avenue, figuring it would have been cleared but my car was bottoming out of the snow as I drove along the trenches, even in the middle of downtown. Got there and back all right though.

When I got back, William and Margaret were watching the Oscars. I thought it was live but soon realized they were watching the recording and still had two and a half hours remaining. 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Hand made emulsion

Matt Ripplinger, a very adventurous film student, made his own emulsion recently and applied it to short pieces of 16mm. He generously gave me one piece and here is what became of it:

Friday, March 2, 2018

35mm on the move

I popped past Science and took a look at the projector Derek is repairing. The belts fit. The lens is is terrible shape but I later found a place Joe recommends to refurbish it. We loaded up the camera and shot half a roll. Below, Berny brings "Dolly" out to buy a cookie. William was home sick today so we only attended the introduction lecture to the symphony performance and skipped out on the operatic show that we'd bought tickets for. Margaret is swamped with writing she's got a tight deadline on and I'm just tired for more reasons than I can count. We needed a night at home. William and I watched Gosta-Gavras's "State of Siege" and the Tarantino scripted "True Romance". 

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Chrystene and Haley

It was really nice to be able to get Chrystene Ells and Haley together to talk about animation. They are coming at it from very different directions, which is always an eye opening experience. My day after that was incredibly full with work and class. George was over for supper later. I had to return to the university to develop the 35mm test roll we shot before Christmas. I manually scanned about 30 frames and turned it into a GIF: