Day 243. The End

I’ve loved movies since I was a little girl.  I came by it honestly.  My mother loved them, too.  I grew up hearing her stories of how, every weekend, she paid a nickel tofilm see a movie and a show, when she was young.   A vaudeville act, a singer, a tap dancer, whatever.

Movies were her passion her entire life.  In fact we were planning to go to a movie the afternoon she fell, and broke her hip.  An event she never recovered from, unfortunately.  So it shouldn’t surprise anyone to hear I could go to the movies every single day.

Which is why I can’t let the week go by without mentioning Roger Ebert.

In my opinion, he is as synonymous with the film industry as the 45-foot high Hollywood sign situated on Mount Lee, in the Hollywood Hills area of the Santa Monica Mountains, in Los Angeles.  In my opinion, he is as synonymous with the film industry as the actors, themselves.

A phenomenon I bore witness to, every year at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival).  There he’d be, with his wife, holding hands as they walked from one theatre to the next.  And wouldn’t you know, amid the hundreds and hundreds of critics, reporters and journalists who were also there, he’s the one who always stood out.  He had as Continue reading

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Day 218. Missing Musician

Yesterday I made a passing reference to a film I’d seen over the weekend.  It was Saturday afternoon, we went.  And the movie was absolutely amazing.  Extraordinary, I’d go so far as to say.  “Searching For Sugar rodgriguezMan” is a Swedish-British documentary about an American folk musician, Sixto Rodriguez.

Have you ever heard of him?  I hadn’t until a friend of mine mentioned, at least a couple of months ago, she wanted to see the movie.  She is one of the most avid fans of music I know.  All genres.  So of course she knows who he is.  And of course, she’s been a fan of his for quite a while.  We do talk about music a fair bit, so it’s interesting we never talked about him, until now.

Before I go on, just let me say, now I’ve heard him sing and, in particular, listened to his lyrics (in most of his Continue reading

Day 181. Extraordinary Reunion

In 1965 a white, Jewish, twenty-one year old living in Toronto was sitting, in his family home, watching the news on television.  What he saw so moved him, so civilrightsdisgusted him, he was compelled to go to Greenwood, Mississippi.  To help.  To do something.  To get involved.  To join the fight for equal rights. To be part of the Civil Rights Movement.

To help black residents register to vote.

The twenty-one year old Canadian was Paul Saltzman; and, while on his way into a Greenwood courthouse, he was stopped, and chased, by three white youths.  Even though he ran for his life, they caught up with him.  One slugged him, knocking him to the ground.  In hindsight he was very lucky.  They might just as easily have shot Continue reading

Day 75. A Nailbiter

Saw a terrific movie yesterday.  “Argo”.  It’s based on the true story of the Iran hostage crisis that took place between November 4, 1979 and January 20, 1981.  At the time 52 Americans were held hostage for 444 days, after a group of Islamist students and militants took over the American Embassy in Tehran.

How ironic that his film would be playing at a time when, once again, the U.S. Embassy in Tehran has been so recently under attack.

In the film, which is directed by Ben Affleck (and produced by Affleck and George Clooney), six diplomats escape from the embassy and narrowly miss being captured; and they take refuge in the home of the Canadian ambassador, Ken Taylor.  When none of the State Department options for getting them safely out of the country seem viable, they call in a CIA specialist, Tony Mendez, played by Affleck, as a consultant.

That’s all I’m going to tell you, because I don’t want to give it away.  This is definitely a should-see movie.  Suffice to say, you’ll be sitting on the edge of your seat.  In the theatre I was in, you didn’t hear a pin drop.

Of course, as a Canadian, I was also feeling very proud of the role we played.  I remember Continue reading

Day 54. Repeating Cycles

At the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), I saw a movie that was so visually stunning it literally took my breath away.  As I sat there, totally mesmerized, I had three thoughts:  One, I didn’t want the movie to ever end.  Two, I was so lucky to be seeing it, because I was sure it would never make it into a mainstream theatre.  Three, if I could have, I would have stayed right there, and watched it all over again.

For that matter, if I’d been told, right there and then, that I couldn’t see any of the other movies I had tickets for, I would have gone home more than happy.  That’s how sated I was.

Well it’s been a little over a year since that incredible evening and yesterday, in the Toronto Globe & Mail Arts Section, I read that Samsara will be playing in Toronto, beginning next Friday, October 5.

If you’re looking for me, that’s where I’ll be.  Maybe more than once, too.

Before I say another word about the film, here’s what Wikipedia says about what its name, Continue reading

Day 21. Who’s Lonelier?

I have another WordPress blog — one where I talk about my day job as a writer, marketer and strategist.  About six months ago I wrote about how, just by looking around and being observant, a writer can find inspiration anywhere.  And everywhere.

One of the examples I gave was about a couple, having dinner a couple of tables away, from my then-boyfriend and me.  I spotted them the minute we sat down and I have to confess that I couldn’t take my eyes off them.  I was riveted.  They were married.  And there they were, at a small table for two.  But as intimate as the space they shared was, they might have been in different countries, let alone tables.

They said nothing to each other.  Not once.  Not even when they ordered their meals.  They never looked at each other.  Not once.  Although they were sitting directly opposite each other, they were ‘positioned’ at a slight angle away from each other.  So their bodies were facing in slightly opposite directions.  I’ll bet anything they were totally unaware of it, too.

They didn’t seem angry.  They didn’t seem upset.  There were no red faces, tear-filled eyes, longing looks, frowns,  sneers.  No clenched fists.  No negative body Continue reading