Thursday, August 30, 2007

Cherry Beach, Toronto

1)I spend a lot of time here at Cherry Beach, it's one of my favourite spots, and is a 2) short bike ride from my Toronto apartment.
3) I have called this park Cherry Beach for over 20 years but it was only recently officially chenged to Cherry Beach in 2003. 4) The park has been a home to rumours of police brutality for decades. 5) I've nown punks and homeless people who alledge that cops have taken them here and beaten them, nicknamed "the cherry beach express",/li> by the band The Pukka Orchestra. 6) Once four of us came down here with drinks, candles and swam in the middle of the night after bartending. We woke in full punk leather gear, eyeliner, fishnet stockings 80's haircuts to families swimming and having picnics around noon. 7) The park was created in the 1930's. 8) Many Torontonians do not swim in Lake Ontario...but I always have. 9) Toronto Beaches are ranked among the top ten urban beaches for water safety in the world...another little known fact.
10) Lake Ontario is an excellent place for swimming, windsurfing and sailing. 11) An awesome sailing club is right around the corner from these photos, created by the YMCA for urban children and families to have lessons and access to is now a co-op with reasonable membership fees and a terrific community of folks.
12)Dozens of Monarch butterflies were at the beach in the trees....500 trees were cut down recently Toronto seems to have a love hate relationship to trees. I e-mailed a petition last year to everyone...There has been a rave in this park for years and the area where the trees were cut down was where this summer party happened...and now a couple of soccer fields are being built here...seems like the raves are happening again though for a little longer. 13) Why not soccer and dancing?

Thursday Thirteen Commentators will be linked here...

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Requisite Cat Photo

I am at Mister Anchovy's house painting the upstairs hallway of Tuffy P and Mr. Anchovy's...and qucikly loading some photos in here during my lunch break...Hi Mister Anchovy if you are checking on me...heh heh...Although Tuffy P and Mister Anchovy have several cats...this is not one of them...this is Bits my family cat...and the weather in Toronto is stinking it's going to about 40C says Tuffy P...thank god for their air conditioning while I am house painting...but at my apartment, no such air conditioning and so Bits tries to find a little breeze.

Buckingham Fountain

During the summer when I was visiting Chicago with Stagg we HAD to go to Buddy Guys Legends because I am crazy for his food...and music. There is often someone playing during the dinner hour and I needed ribs and collard greens and chocolate cake drizzled with kahlua. Well...Stagg and I absilutely pigged out and it was stinking hot so we went for a slow walk and down by the lake. Stagg wanted to show me Buckingham Fountain. I am crazy about fountains...and often have water in both my paintings or in my short films...many times a fountain. Fountains are to me what bears are to John Irving.

I thought this was the coolest fountain...and then the air was cooler because of the lake and the spray from this spectacle...we sat down and there is a major change in the fountains it has a huge spray in the middle timed throughout the day...and when it went off..."America The Beautiful" came on over loud speakers...I jumped we had a set of speakers right behind us...and Stagg said, that must have been introduced since 9/11. It was a wonderful walk and evening and then songs liek Rogers and Hammerstein came on...very strange but kind of cool.

Ten Years Online Friendship...

John and I met over ten years ago at an online book club for Cormac McCarthy. I remember noticing him because he mentioned the "saddledome" and I realized he must live in Calgary, making him the only other Candian participant at that time...and when he went to school for his Master's in London we got together for the first time. Then we met once or twice in Calgary when I was visiting my grandmother or passing through to Vancouver...or he came to Toronto and stayed with me. We got together last week in London and had a great visit...eating a new treat, I forgot the name "barek"...had some Thai food and talk on and off about David Lynch, William Burroughs and the nature of reality.
John and Candy, 2007. If I look tired it's because I was ona bus ride from hell, 30 hours and counting showing up at John's place at 4 a.m. John was a terrific good sport and told me to call in the middle of the night even though I was 18 hours later than I thought I would be etc. He makes a mean soft boiled egg and was a fantastic host. Thanks for a great visit once again John!!!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Bass Teacher At Millenium Park

The Frank Gehry Stage

Stagg's bass guitar teacher in blue, Harlan Tersen, playing with the Dave Specter Band in Millenium Park.

View beside the stage...
City lights in sculpture reflection.
We're in the reflection somewhere if you click on this photo to enlarge it. We had a great time in the park this evening...and Stagg was very pleased to see his bass teacher perform.

This is from a few weeks ago...I've got lots of pics coming...

Friday, August 24, 2007

Bill Maher on Larry King Live - Presidential Candidates 2

Bill Maher on Larry King Live - Iraq War

Lunch With A Romance Writer!

This is a pic of Amy Ruttan and I the other day in London Ontario having lunch. Amy and I met through Thursday Thirteen (which I was unable to do yesterday) and had lunch meeting for the first time. I think Amy is the first official meeting of someone I have met through blogging that I have met in real life!

I was very nervous...and very tired after sleeping four hours after a 36 hour bus ride from hell. Amy was so sweet and funny and I was very curious about her passion for writing and how she came to be a romance writer. Amy was feeling under the weather but I am so glad she was a trooper and met with me regardless. We had a great power visit in one hour...and I could have listened to her stories for another few hours. I was sohyper and nervous, I forgot to order lunch! I hope we get to meet up again Amy...what fun!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Death Proof Purse and The Artist's Studio

As requested by L.M. at Digital Media Tree here is a photo of my new DEATH PROOF purse with Kurt Russel's car on it.

Here are pics from the movie Magnificent Obsession...this is the artist's house with his studio off from the living room. I had described this scene here in the movie where this artist guy has an amazing house...I couldn't find any pics online so I used the old trusty method of taking them right off the tv. I totally love this studio set up in the house...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Film Making 201-Thursday Thirteen

1) I am beginning a new idea for a documetary. No I can't tell you online what that secret, the keyboards have ears. What I can tell you is that it involves a fair bit of road trip and a lot of interviews. My first official interview is next week. I have two interviews lined up for next Tuesday. I'm pretty excited. But I realized a lot of my Thursday Thirteen pals may not know I make short films. The purpose of Thursday Thirteen is to share stuff about ourselves with opther bloggers so I am going to take up a terrible amount of time and space with online information about "film making". Sorry I tried to make this post short...but it just keeps on growing! The most important "message" of this post is that I believe everyone is an artist, storyteller whether it's with recalling memories, painting or film making. We all have stories that we want to tell.
2) A lot of my experience with film making has been built up around...well winging it. Okay lying. Okay, bullshitting my way into a film set. I have taken lots of film workshops...but nothing beats getting out there and jumping in , in my opinion. Film making is so much easier these days because there are entire computer programs available for everybody. But...nothing beats the library or google...or just starting to write some stuff and showing your friends. Once I had an interview, sheesh, a long time ago...on a independant film production and I was asked if I could schedule a film. I said YES of course. I had no idea what scheduling a film shoot entailed. I went to the library. Found a book by Ralph Singleton (if you click on that can look inside and see the breakdown of The Conversation and get a good idea of what I'm trying to describe) which saved my ass and taught me so much!and followed the directions.
It was an amazing learning experience. I doubt film schools even teach this anymore because like I say there is a computer program. But kicking it old school entails going through a script with several colored fpens...and breaking the script down into cast, extras, props, wardrobe, locations etc. A different colored pen for each category. I photocopied the graph images provided in the library book...and proceeded to schedule a feature length film in two coffee filled days and nights. Old school style meant cutting thin strips of paper representing the broken down categories of actors and extras and manually piecing them together ona board...actually a little like what you see on crime dramas when they post photos of suspects and locations on huge bulletin boards.
3) The Plank Cam...excellent idea which I've used myself here and there in the past...

4) Home made steady Cam-25 bucks!

5) cheesy commercial, out of sunc, but nice camera....but a big mistake people who want to make films make is they spend a lot of energy buying a huge camera. Film makers don't buy camera's...directors of photography/cameraoperators buy cameras.
6) I think this link is an advert, but it's a stepping stone at least mini-glossary.
7) Ths one is the BEST: Robert Rodriguez 10 Minute Film School it fits very much with I feel about the organic natural aspects of film making/story telling...for example....What you need to learn is that being creative is not enough in this business. You have to become techinical. Creative people are born creative - you're lucky. Technical people however can never be creative. Its something they'll never get. You can't buy it, find it, study it - you're born with it. Too many creative people don't want to learn how to be technical, so what happens? they become dependent on technical people. Become technical, you can learn that. If you're creative and technical, you're unstoppable.
8) A very interesting "10 things not to do" list.
9) There seem to be a fair bit of online film schools...I wonder what they are like, here is one "film making in two days" like, who has 2 days?
10) The following are the basic guidelines for making a script look professional.

The very first page of your script should be the cover page. The title is typed in underlined upper-case twenty-two spaces from the top (and that’s the top of the page, not the top of the upper margin). At twenty-six lines appear the words An Original Screenplay followed two lines later by the words By [Name]. In the lower right-hand corner of the page should appear your name and address (unless you have an agent in which case their name and address appears instead, preceded by the note Literary Representation: ), singled spaced in upper- and lower-case. In the lower left hand corner of the draft number (first, second, ect.) should be noted in all in all capital letters and underlined. On the line below this should be the date upon which that draft was completed.

On the first page of the screen play itself should be the title in underlined bold type seven spaces from the top. Five spaces below that should be the words "FADE IN:" and two lines below that should be your first scene.

All dialogue, description, and narrative is single-spaced and written in upper- and lower-case letters.

Double space between two pieces of dialogue, narrative, description, or any combination of the previously mentioned elements.

When used in with dialogue character names are typed in capital letters at 40 picas.

Film Festivals

12) 1920-1930 was the decade between the end of the Great War and the Depression following the Stock Market Crash. Film theaters and studios were not initially affected in this decade by the Crash in late 1929. The basic patterns and foundations of the film industry (and its economic organization) were established in the 1920s. The studio system was essentially born with long-term contracts for stars, lavish production values, and increasingly rigid control of directors and stars by the studio's production chief and in-house publicity departments. After World War I and into the early 1920s, America was the leading producer of films in the world - using Thomas Ince's "factory system" of production, although the system did limit the creativity of many directors. Production was in the hands of the major studios (that really flourished after 1927 for almost 20 years), and the star system was burgeoning. from here...
13) Glossary of Film Terms

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A movie version of BLOOD MERIDIAN?

No Country For Old Men: Trailer

Sailing to Byzantium


That is no country for old men. The young
In one another's arms, birds in the trees
--- Those dying generations --- at their song,
The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long
Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
Caught in that sensual music all neglect
Monuments of unageing intellect.


An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
For every tatter in its mortal dress,
Nor is there singing school but studying
Monuments of its own magnificence;
And therefore I have sailed the seas and come
To the holy city of Byzantium.


O sages standing in God's holy fire
As in the gold mosaic of a wall
Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,
And be the singing-masters of my soul.
Consume my heart away; sick with desire
And fastened to a dying animal
It knows not what it is; and gather me
Into the artifice of eternity.


Once out of nature I shalll never take
My bodily form from any natural thing,
But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
Or set upon a golden bough to sing
To lords and ladies of Byzantium
Of what is past, or passing, or to come.


Monday, August 13, 2007

SWAG Reloaded

Some new hand painted frames by Stagg and myself. Available here...

BURNING CAR; the zine
This photo shows three compiled issues and a few loose pages of content. Each issue is aproximately 35 pages. For more details or to order an issue CLICK HERE.

BLAST FROM THE PAST; poetry book
THE BEADS poems by Candy Minx, drawings by Mister Anchovy. Published by garlic press 1995.
Sneak peek of one of the Candy Minx...(1995)
Sneak peak of one of the drawings by Mister Anchovy. (1995)

Some recent Gnostic World Statistics

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Any Questions?

Any questions? Just a friendly reminder...I have an ADVICE feature in my Blogroll for anyone...or CLICK HERE.

I am busking on weekends soon as the weather's humidity breaks so I could use some practice....

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Hugs and Love To Four Dinners. Okay A Prayer Too

Four Dinners at Digigaf is one of the first bloggers I got familiar with (out of the gutter 4Dins!) and linked to my blog when I first started blogging. He is super funny and loves punk rock. I might post a rather serious or rambling post here and he drops by and makes me laugh...with his offbeat comments and humour. He's good people. A mensch. He just had a small heart attack and is in the hospital so I want to do a shout out. The Cappucino Kid has been text messaging him and he is doing okay. Four Dinners has an awesome online radio program...maybe check it out... and give him a howdy.
This is Four Dinners with his daughter and her fellow athlete friends goofing around between competitions. He posts about being a daddy, punk rock, working at an airport in the U.K., his beautiful wife, his many (no I mean MANY) cats...all kinds of things. And he is funny as hell. Get well soon my friend...all your blog friends are thinking about you and rooting for you! And dagnammit...we know you are driving the nurses crazy.

UPDATE...just got this text from Four Dinners now god love him, from his hospital bed:

howdo from me hospital bed. being transferred to harefield heart hospital on wednesday. looks grim primarily as there isnt a bar!!!
the old ticker seems to be reluctant to tock

attempts to obtain a refund due to being supplied faulty equipment have so far failed

remember. "you live you die, the bit in between is called life. ENJOY!!" - Red Dwarf

i currently have a perpetual look of surprise as my intention had been immortality.

ah well. to quote my favourite Red Dwarf books again -
"Smoke me a kipper guys, I'll be back for breakfast"...........

xxx (for the ladies)

Friday, August 10, 2007

balancing point

cute otters

David Lynch on CBC Newsworld

A Little Known Love Affair With Douglas Sirk

Not too many people know I am in love with Douglas Sirk movies. I was introduced to them on Saturday At The Movies with Elwy Yost a Toronto local tv program. When I first moved to Toronto I didn't know very many people, I was a part time student at York taking Anthropology, Renaisance Humanities, and a course on how to write essays:I was late for classes in Fine Arts so I took a couple odds and ends classes till the next semester. I also took a film making workshop downtown at Ryerson University. Since I didn't know many folks, was in a strange town I would be at home on Saturday nights, no cable and all that was on tv was this sweet kindly looking man talking about movies. Hooked. Later once I figured out where to park for concerts, where the best nightclubs were and made a few friends...I would not go out on a Saturday night until after Yost's double feature was done.

One of the movies Yost introduced me to was Written On The Wind an elaborate, decadent art directed film about a rich Texas oil family starring Rock Hudson. Forgetaboutit. I was hooked...I'd never seen such gorgeous sets and juicy storylines.

Douglas Sirk was panned by many critics as "corny", "over-the-top", "melodramatic" who centered his movies around women. (what a crime huh!)

Last night I watched Magnificent Obsession and I realized, I don't know anything about Douglas Sirk, except I love his movies. Some Pulp fiction fans may have laughed like I did when Steve Buchemi mentions the "Douglas Sirk burger". Jesus, I thought...that is just how cool Tarantino is to have a Douglas Sirk riff. (of course, Tarantino also makes womens the way, I just picked up a Death Proof purse with Kurt Russell's car on the outside). But who was Douglas Sirk and how did he make such gorgeous movies I was wondering last night. I couldn't wait to wake up and start searching online...

Douglas Sirk was born in Hamburg but his family was Danish. (my grandfather was Danish) He made films in europe before moving to America before the Nazi's took over because his wife was Jewish. He only made films in America for five years...but these are some of the most distinctive films ever made. His first American project was Hitler's Madmen which Sirk described as not even a B-movie, more like C or D.
Douglas Sirk's Hitler's Madmen

Rock Hudson and Jane Wyman in Magnificent Obsession
This second film version of Lloyd C. Douglas' spiritual novel Magnificent Obsession is in its own way as successful as the first (filmed in 1935) in glossing over the plot holes and logic gaps in the original novel. Rock Hudson plays Bob Merrick, a reckless playboy who is indirectly responsible for the death of a kindly and much-beloved doctor. The dead man's wife, Helen Phillips (Jane Wyman), refuses to accept Bob's apologies. When Helen is accidentally blinded, Bob decides to "do right" by her anonymously, illustrating author Douglas' curious edict that the best sort of good deed is the one for which you're not rewarded. In record time, Bob becomes a brilliant physician, and it is he who performs the sight-restoring surgery on Helen. Rather than fade into the woodwork unheralded, Bob is at last forgiven by Helen, who has fallen in love with him during her sightless months without even knowing it. Luxuriously produced by Ross Hunter and directed con brio by Douglas Sirk, Magnificent Obsession was one of the most successful of Universal's big-budget "weepers" of the 1950s. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

Rock Hudson is a self indulging rich playboy who once rejectedby his community for unknowingly killing a popular ashamed and gets very drunk and crashes his car outside the home of an artist. The artist welcomes the very drunk Hudson into the house where Hudson passes out. In the morning the artist makes him breakfast and Hudson is curious about his artwork...and the artist begins to explain that he was a hack until he was inspired to find his own talent and voice by a strange sounding philosophy. It is a secret cult of people who do good deeds. The way their lives change and become fully realized and meaningful is by doing secret good deeds...they must not tell anyone they have done the good deeds, and the recipient of the good deed must be sworn to secrecy as well.

The following dialogue could be a 1950's version of The Matrix, Oprah or Plato's Allegory of the Cave....

Merrick: "How’d he do that? How could a surgeon help?"
Randolph: "Well, he taught me…he showed me how to establish contact with a source of Infinite Power."
Merrick: "That sounds fine. What does it mean?"
Randolph, laughing: "Well, let me put it this way. [Turns to a lamp.] This lamp isn’t working now. It cold and it’s dark…all the parts are there. It’s a perfect lamp, but…"
Merrick: "It’s just not turned on?"
Randolph: "Right. But if I turn the switch [Lamp comes on.], and establish contact, the bulb will draw power from the powerhouse down at the Dam and it’ll do what it was meant to do. Which is to make light."
Merrick: "All right, so you’re saying that people have a sort of powerhouse, too."
Randolph: "Right. When you establish contact with that, you can do what you’re meant to do. You can fulfill your destiny."
Merrick: "I can turn on a light."
Randolph: "I don’t think that that’s your destiny. Do you?"
Merrick, starting to awaken spiritually: "No, I guess not. But assuming there is a, well, power of some kind, or whatever you want to call it. How do you establish contact with it?"
Randolph: "It’s very simple. Just be of real service to people. Find people who need help, and help them. But always in secret. Never let it be known. Never ask to be repaid."
Merrick: "But if you’re in service to people, then why does it have to be kept secret?"
Randolph: "That’s probably the most important part of his belief. Let’s go back to the powerhouse. If the wires in the dynamo are not protected by insulation, the power will be dissipated. The same thing goes for us. Most personalities are just grounded, that’s all that ails them."
Merrick: "I see. You mean keeping these good deeds secret is like insulating the power of your personality."
Randolph: "Yeah, that’s near enough."
Merrick: "Well, is it’s as simple as all that, why, I’ll certainly give it a chance."
Randolph: "Now wait, Merrick! Don’t try to use this unless you’re ready for it! You can’t just try this out for a week like a new car, you know! And if you think you can feather your own nest with it, just forget it. Besides, this is dangerous stuff. One of the first men who used it, went to the cross at the age of thirty-three..."

I remember Carol Burnett talking about her start in entertainment, she told a story of man who gave her money for an apartment, a part in a production but swore her to secrecy to ever reveal his help or name and to do the same herself one day. Searching google today...I found that this idea trickled throughout American society and is often a part of emotional trauma healing programs or addiction and abuse recovery today. It is a familiar concept in AA, and some volunteer community programs I have worked with..and is associated with the novel Magnificent Obsession which the movie is loosely based upon.

The novel Magnificent Obsession likely took it's plot from the following: "Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.....That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly." (Matthew Chapter 6:1-4.)
Douglas Sirk and Rock Hudson

Film critic Roger Ebert, in praise of Written on the Wind, has said that "To appreciate a film like Written on the Wind probably takes more sophistication than to understand one of Ingmar Bergman's masterpieces, because Bergman's themes are visible and underlined, while with Sirk the style conceals the message.

Most compellingly of all, forces of repression are signalled through Sirk's imagery. In his work, mise en scène is as crucial to meaning as narrative form, his often baroque visual style pointing to the ways in which human aspiration is largely determined by the tenor of its surroundings. Homes that are supposed to be havens start to look like prisons as the decor comes to dominate the compositions. Objects that are supposed to be items of support actually seem to be taking over the characters' lives. Their traumas become the logical extensions of the workings of the world around them. From here
Douglas Sirk
Sirk's melodramas of the 1950s were generally very poorly received by reviewers. His films were considered unimportant (because they revolve around female and domestic issues), banal (because of their focus on larger-than-life feelings) and unrealistic (because of their conspicuous style).Wikipedia

Terrific interview with Douglas Sirk
1954 New York Times review

Tears of the Black Tiger ฟ้าทะลายโจ 老虎頭上結情疤 黑虎的眼淚 - 泰國最惡搞電影

Tears of the Black Tiger or The Heavens Strike A Thief won best new director at The Vancouver Film Festival in 2000 for Wisit Sasanatieng.

Wisit says he will endeavour to go back even further with his next movie, Nam Prix, capturing the tradition of Thai temple painting and bring it to life. "It will be an antique Thai legend, with very traditional Thai pictures like the old wall painting. But we will animate them," he is quoted as saying on "We will make them move. It is not an epic, but a folklore in order to tell our roots, our culture."

Tears of The Black Tiger has been said to blend styles and stories of Sergio Leone, Sam Peckenpah, Douglas Sirk, John Woo and Quinten Tarrantino. YUMMY.

Mise en scène definition

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Some Gnostic World Stats

Post # 704
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