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senatorhung's pad
ramblings of an information troubleshooter

montreal movie marathon

permalink Sunday, 26MAR2006:

slept in a bit until 10 to prep for a day-long excursion to the cinéma du parc. swung over to the chinatown around st. laurent to grab a dim sum snack of shrimp balls and a barbeque pork bun. then i walked up to towards the cinema, but stopped off at the nearby BattleNet.24 location to do a bit of web browsing and blogging.

got to the theatre and the man at the ticket wicket attempted to sell me on a membership, but seeing as it'll be a good 6 months until my next visit, i had to decline and pay full fare for all 4 movies. today's lineup was:

  • 14:45 - 3 burials of melquiades estrada
  • 17:00 - three times
  • 19:15 - why we fight
  • 21:35 - dave chappelle's block party
'melquiades' was a pretty good start to the marathon, with great acting by tommy lee jones and awesome cinematography featuring the wide open desert spaces of west texas. it *almost* made me miss my time working out there, especially when they mentioned the 'mall in odessa', which, of course, i had occasion to visit myself. sad that it would have been the highlight of that housewife character's week.

speaking of weak, i have to fault the film for its lack of strong female characters. the only one who showed any spunk was the healer in mexico - wow, don't piss off a latina. january jones did get a great moment as she was accosted by her husband while making dinner, and paid more attention to the soap opera on the tube than what her mate was doing behind her back. barry pepper played that mate, and for a canadian, he sure has a lock on redneck roles in hollywood flicks. dwight was also a treat as the exasperated smalltown sheriff.

next up was '3 times', which was the most disappointing for me. when i could barely keep my eyes open, even with the astoundingly attractive shu qi splashed all over the screen, you know that the story is dragging. for the ladies, cheng chan of 'crouching tiger hidden dragon' fame was paired off with shu for 3 vignettes where they play different couples in 3 different time periods. the first, set in the 1960's, featured a sweet romance between a poolhall hostess and a soldier on leave from the base. when he returns to the hall to find her moved on, he manages to track her down again to hold hands into the night.

the second segment was set in 1911, in the turbulent period when china was attempting to rid herself of foreign infidels, but failing miserably. amidst international turmoils, a scholar facilitates the 'rescue' of a girl who becomes a concubine or second wife. the hostess character played by shu is enamoured with the scholar played by cheng, but are her feelings reciprocated ?

the third segment was set in present day taiwan, immersed in the modern flurry of cellphones, email, motorbikes and ennui. the characters are photo and celebrity obsessed, self-absorbed and narcissistic and whatever storyline was meant to be there was lost amidst the sensual crescendo.

'why we fight' attempted to follow the 'farenheit 9/11' model and threw a whole bunch of storylines into a gumbo in the hopes that something would stick. as with 'the corporation', i wish that the directors had open-sourced the footage so that amateur editors could have hacked away to get potentially more focused results. there was just too much going on, and it was hard for me to tell exactly what message the director was trying to push thru the curtain of noise.

characters included a colonel who retired after decades in the pentagon after the neo-cons arrived with their agenda already approved. a CIA historian outlines how every recent president, of either political stripe, has ignored eisenhower's warning about the growing threat of the military-industrial complex. one neat piece of trivia is that every B1 bomber incorporates pieces made in every single one of the 50 states, so that the contract would be that much harder to cancel.

also of note was a retired NYPD officer and former vietnam war vet, who lost a son in 9/11. in memory, he arranged to have his son's name stencilled on the side of one of the bombs dropped in iraq. when he finds out that bush lied about iraq's involvement, he is devastated. the two pilots who dropped the first bombs of the war are also featured, in all their gung ho glory. also ominous were scenes of rumsfield mugging and richard perle indicating that even if a future administration were to have a change of heart, there would be 'no going back'.

the most ludicrous scenes were of a former vietnamese refugee who now is involved in bomb-making herself, with no comprehension that she is perpetuating a cycle that will just result in more people like her. also sad was the story of a young man who succumbs to the army recruiting propoganda and sees the military as his only way out of being unskilled, uneducated and poor. finally, an iraqi elder is interviewed and he relates the true story of the 'precision' bombs that started the war.

saving the best for last, 'dave chappelle's blcok party' was the most enjoyable film of the day. i haven't been a huge listener of hip hop, but some of the tunes here really got me grooving, especially the ones by dead prez and mos def. lauren hill's version of 'killing me softly' was also a stunner. i know that it was a big radio hit, but the fact that i've never really heard it before just goes to show how little commercial radio i've listened to in the last decade. dave came across as very genuine and his joke about the industrious prostitute was my fave:
why did the prostitute have a 
vagina sewn into her hip ?

so she could do a little business
on the side.
the film editing was also the best of the films that i watched today, with great intercuts between the rehearsals and the live show. the meshes between scenes and music were just 'ill'.

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that wasn't in the script !

permalink Monday, 27MAR2006:

flew back in to iqaluit today from montreal and had to take a nap right away to restore a bit of energy after such a busy weekend. when i got up, i madly wrote up my script for tonight's radio show and burnt off the play disc before running over to the station.

stef dropped by to visit while i did my show. she kept encouraging me to 'wing it', but i steadfastly refused until i happened to miss a planned break. i quickly reviewed my notes and then ad libbed the next bit. i was happy to have survived that interlude, but karma struck, and the cd started skipping after the next song. so, the edited version that follows (download here) is not quite exactly what happened in the studio :)

aur.oral exposures setlist for 27mar2006:
  1. The Rare Old Mountain Dew - Highland Heights
  2. Nobody Goes to the Moon Anymore - Sara Hickman
  3. This Time - Jimmie Inch

  4. life on the line - Havana 3 a.m.
  5. Diamond Head - Huevos Rancheros
  6. Cry Love - John Hiatt

  7. Sara Smile - Hall & Oates
  8. Angel Eyes - The Jeff Healey Band
  9. Luce Est Amoureuse - Valerie Hohn

  10. What You Reading For ? - Bill Hicks
  11. The Tame, The Half-Born, The Wild and You - Ron Hawkins
  12. Whispering Pines - Kelly Hogan and the Pine Valley Cosmonauts

  13. Nous Ne Sommes Pas Des Anges - Heavenly
  14. Love Plus One - Haircut One Hundred
  15. Future Sightings - I Am The World Trade Center

  16. Porno Wing - Bill Hicks
  17. Spinning Top - Hard Rock Miners
  18. Alone - International Orange

  19. I'm Wrong About Everything - John Wesley Harding
  20. around this corner - Sarah Harmer
  21. Heart Gone Cold - Harlequin

  22. Hip Hop Thighs - Ike Reilly Assassination
  23. Wasting My Life - The Hippos
  24. Escape from the Killing Fields - Ice-T

  25. Goodnight, Goodnight - Hot Hot Heat

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burning for a break

permalink Tuesday, 28MAR2006:

so, seeing as my cd/dvd burner is toasty, and can't seem to make a cd that doesn't skip somewhere, i snuck into the source in the afternoon to pick up a replacement. the internal version was $109, but the external version was $260 !?! what kind of extra features would justify that kind of extra expense ?

went back to the office afterwards and stayed late to pack up over *58* bankers boxes of books to move to the new location tomorrow - and that is just for an initial run. i'll be very happy when this move is all done, but that's still a couple of weeks down the line.

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progressing towards the goals

permalink Wednesday, 29MAR2006:

spent much of the morning at the new location unpacking the boxes of books that i had packed up yesterday, onto their brand new shelves. a few of the books are really ragged, and i have to figure out how to either repair them or get them re-bound. after work, i went for a quick supper at the nav before heading over to broomball.

iqaluit broomball chronicles:

team white: mark, marco, JFra, kerry, jeff, daniel (1), martha (2)
team black: dan, JFre, jacques, yoan, me, martha (1), daniel (2)

even with team white having most of the ringers (you know who you are), team black managed to hold its own and the score at the break was a close 2-1. JFra had scored a couple nifty ones for team white, but yoan, returning after an injury hiatus, streaked nimbly thru team white's defense to get one back. it was a bit of a tight squeeze on the ice with 6-on-6 play, so at the break, we decided to move the nets closer together and go to having 1 sub per side. we also swapped martha and daniel just to shake things up a bit.

after the switcheroo, the game seemed to open up a bit, with a bit more room to maneuver and an increase in shots on net. JFra popped another one in to complete his hat trick and pull team white ahead 3-1, but a nifty run by JFre restored the 1-goal difference. JFre charged down the left wing towards marco in net, while i trailed a few steps back on the right. JFre went wide, pulling marco with him, then slipped the ball over to me where the ball just happened to bounce off of my stick, just barely creeping past marco's diving stick into the wide-open net.

other game highlights - dan just barely missed a goal after snagging a pass at the side of the net; jeff was playing his first broomball game since high school and dan initiated him into our ranks with an accidental backswing; martha played the centre line like a pro; and daniel's shutout streak was finally busted.

in the evening, i re-watched rounders again while playing some more online poker (also explains why these blog entries are later than usual).

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and it burns, burns, burns

permalink Thursday, 30MAR2006:

spent the morning unloading a bunch of expired looseleaf binders so that the loose paper could be salvaged while the binders are chucked. fletcher came by with chris' qamotiq to pick up a load of kindling. even with all the rushing around, i was determined to take a pause to run up to the frob in the afternoon to say farewell to stef who leaves town tomorrow. i'm sure that i'm not the only one who will find it a bit harder to wake up in the morning without hearing her voice (on the radio, that is :) ).

i took a cab out along the road to nowhere to join fletcher and chris who had started the big barbeque. after 4.5 hours, fletcher and i surveyed the smoking embers with pride before heading back to town. fletcher dropped chris and i off at the storehouse where stef was still hanging out for a last night with the cbc gang. after she left, i chatted with alysa, suzie, JFre and yasmina before heading home to hit the showers and attempt to wash away some of the stench of bonfire smoke.

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perceptions of success

permalink Friday, 31MAR2006:

packed up another 80 more bankers boxes of books to go to the new location on monday. good thing it was birthday cake day or else i wouldn't have had had enough energy to endure.

after napping for a couple of hours, i played in an online poker tourney after midnight - and won !! i placed first of 199 and managed to push my online tally into the black for the first time since i started over a month and a half ago. i got lucky a couple times with the cards, but really just took advantage of the mistakes of others. i even managed to sew up the ripped knees of my favourite pair of pants. bonus !

after i calmed down from that victory, i stayed up into the wee hours of the morning to re-watch 'bin jip (3-iron)', directed by kim ki-duk. this is an *amazing* film about perceptions. how much of your life is embedded in your living space ? what is your life about ? what goes on in the 180 degrees of the world that is behind your head and out of sight (echoes of 'yi yi'). these are only a couple of the questions raised by this playful film.

the sound effects were riveting. in contrast with '3 times' which was also mostly dialogue free, i never felt my attention stray. the editing and storytelling was always clear and the music by SLVIAN never took away from the interaction of the actors. the film has a lot of heart and many bits of humour, capped off with the lead character's enigmatic smile.

the plot ? a korean college student breaks in to apartments of people who are away. he wears their clothes, eats their food, takes snapshots of himself in their space and in return, cleans and repairs whatever needs attention. he encounters an abused wife who ends up running away with him to share his adventures. the rest you'll have to see for yourself ... but i loved the idea that they were weightless at the end.

some trivia about the film:
Director Kim ki-Duk wrote the 
screenplay of the movie in one 
month, the movie was filmed in 
16 days and the film editing 
was done in 10 days.
i had lodged the film as my 6th favourite of last year, but if i had to make the list again today, 'bin jip (3-iron)' would be nudged up at least 1 place past 'sin city' and even maybe past 'house of flying daggers'.

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we're sizzling here in the arctic !

permalink Saturday, 01APR2006:

iqaluit broomball chronicles:

team white: marco, jacques, mark, daniel, tim
team black: kevin, yoan, julian, JFre, me

with daniel and kevin in net, it was a goalie's game for much of the match. yoan put team black up with his goal, but mark tossed one past kevin to even it up. of course, the fact that mark was on the red line when he took the shot steamed kevin up enough that he played like a rock for the rest of the game.

from there it was a lot of running back and forth, tho there were many good chances for just about every player. however, with only 10 minutes left to play, team black was tuckered out and marco, who had slyly saved up his stamina, burst out and got a pair of unanswered goals. i still say that it was tim's daughter cheering from the sidelines for her da's team that disheartened team black from making their expected comeback.

post-game, i hung out with some of the other players at the nav bar for a couple of rounds of drinks. JFre has a neat idea to display some of his posters from his korean tour sometime in the next couple of months. JFra also joined us, having missed the game due to being called upon for cooking duties.

after a couple of unsuccessful hours of online poker, a call from malcolm was a welcome excuse to run away from the computer for awhile. i picked up some smokies at ventures and brought them over to malcolm's where he had invited people over for a barbeque. yes, i know that we are in the arctic and it's still -20C outside. tell it to malcolm.

while malcolm was outside in shirtsleeves over the grill, we were entertained inside by intense debates about the morality of genetic engineering and nunavut's prospects for the future. the burgers shaped up by chris were *very* tasty and just what we needed to survive another chilly arctic night.

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