Friday, September 30, 2005

Apple Head Headhunter for a Freaky Friday

So, here's a pic of my outdoor cinema (with my RIP story listed below). I'm looking at a WEE part of the audience and there's my pal Minna who's back in Finland now. Perhaps I'll have to send her over a copy of "The Wasp Woman" just for nostalgia. :)

The last couple days at work have been DREADFUL, but talking with another co-worker about our film productions has been good. Now it's dealing with some casting stuff.

Oddly enough, one place I put a call into for casting is BARBIZON. Remember them? They were "exposed" on various "20/20" and "Fifth Estate" type shows as not really being modelling agencies. Well, one of my favorite actors came from BARBIZON so you never know what a school might spawn. Who would that be? 80's XXX film actor, Jerry Butler!

But yeah, there's no real plans for the weekend. Just to do some writing and the typical meetings and stuff. Fall has come here to Southern Ontario.

Hopefully I have some more interesting stories to tell you after the weekend.

Drop me a line if you know anyone that went to or did BARBIZON! Let's hear the gossip about the course!

To refresh your memory, visit .

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Don't you hate when TV robs you of two nights of your life?

"American Masters" was showing on PBS as a 2 part of the Martin Scorsese film "No Direction Home: Bob Dylan" which avoiding TERRIBLE stuff on the tube such as "Dog the bounty Hunter", I decided to watch. I was tottering on that and a "mystery DVD" that arrived in a surprise package from Ebay of the film "Running Man".

I'm not a big fan of Bob Dylan, but I don't hate the guy either. "No Direction Home: Bob Dylan" consists of some fantastic stock footage and stills showing the early years of Dylan up to his 1966 motorcycle accident.

The doc spanned over two evenings and last night finished with a sit-down interview with Martin Scorsese, being interviewed by Charlie Rose.

Could Charlie Rose offer any more of a blowjob to Scorsese? It was getting to the point on penal worship and you wanted to scream "Enough!" Yeah, the film was good (it wasn't excellent, but it was good) but Rose went on almost as if Scorsese shot the footage himself (he didn't).

If your doc refers to previous events, and you need lots of stock footage, your end statement will only put people "in the mode" when it's reflective of strong file film. This is where "No Direction Home" shines with great footage from the Newport Folk Festival, various pressers around the globe, and even a great Andy Warhol screen test.

I thought that the interviews were good (Scorsese didn't do them, he just assembled the thing), but too bad it didn't cover his recordings which created the first bootleg albums (thank Dylan for that!) and creating the subculture with that.

Anyhow, it was a good film, but I'll wait for PBS to bring back my beloved FRONTLINE for the next season, or offer a meatier doc.

However, it did make me want to see the mid 80's doc by the BBC on The Velvet Underground. Anyone ever see it?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Psychic Tea

I was thinking a couple days ago when I had my first cup of tea. It was in high school when I was having my tea leaves read by a psychic named Evelyn.

Dave and Jim were friends that I knew from their numerous visits to the video store I worked at as a teen. They were always wanting to do seances, ouija boards, blah blah blah. One time they told me that they were having a psychic come to Dave's house to do a reading.

They picked me up in Dave's Honda where Evelyn, who lived in nearby Ajax, was waiting in the back seat. On the way to Dave's house, we were travelling on one of Oshawa's main roads which had a mix of suburbia and strip malls loaded with latex paint stores (this was pre Home Depot, and this street had tons of them for some reason).

"Oh, I can feel you live in a nice neighbourhood!" said Evelyn, who looked too much like my grade 8 teacher, Ms. Findlay.

Dave and Jim mentioned this afterwards in a "whoa! she's good kind of way". Frick, wasn't Oshawa all the same, somewhat?

Evelyn read tea leaves, so we had to drink the tea in the teacup, leaving just the tea leaves in the bottom of the china cup, turning the saucer overtop of it. The tea tasted bitter. Tea was always something "gross" to me. Being at my Grandfathers in Florida drinking it without sugar one time by accident in a southern buffet almost made me gag. But this tea, was warm. I drank it and played with Dave's dog Chocoholic while they had Evelyn spew her wisdom out with each of us (privately), one at a time.

After gulping down the nasty toilet water passing as tea, it was my turn to see Evelyn. She flips over my cup and says I can ask three questions.

"What will my prom be like?" (a pressing question for anyone in their senior year).

"I see this girl," Evelyn says, "She's wearing a leg brace as she's had some kind of childhood disease like Polio. She's laughing and I see her swaying and having a good time!"

My mind pressed if there was a female that even FIT this description in our school. My next question focused on my "film career". Evelyn basically said that I'd be involved with computers, and didn't see me doing anything with film, maybe commercials.

This was crushing to a young lad like myself. Dave and Jim were comforting saying to take whatever a psychic says with salt. Tea leaves wern't exact.

Indeed. Film has ate up lots of my life and Sandra (who I'm still friends with and wrote about below in the Perkins story) was my prom date. I kept asking her if she had a leg brace and knowing our run-in with Evelyn, we would laugh. At one point, I was almost wishing she WOULD put one on, for effect!

So, I NEVER really drink tea otherwise. And working in Adult Cinema made me become a coffee addict (another story!). Perhaps I can't drink tea now without thinking about that SWINDLER who calls herself a psychic, Evelyn and tell her she's wrong, wrong, wrong!

..and tea, unless it's ice tea, basically sucks!

Monday, September 26, 2005

Banana Cream Pie, Pimping, and film projects

I did a roadtrip to a Perkins in Etobicoke, almost got picked up as a male prostitute, and interviewed a cool cameraman to hopefully work on a new 35mm project. And how was your weekend?

My friend Sandra called me up on Friday night after I came home exhausted. My friend Caroline drives me after work close to the CNE grounds, and after that I walk home. Sandra calls me up and wants to go out for coffee.

Sometimes I love urban nostalgia. My American friends groan (I'm sure) when I beg them to take me to Ponderosa, K-Mart, and Big Boy. We ALWAYS make it to K-Mart (several times!).

Channel 5 in Toronto is the TV guide channel which scrolls what's really on/not on television while running ads. This is when I saw ads for the American chain "Perkins" having not 1, but 3 locations. So when Sandra called wanting to go for coffee, I met up with her and told her it was time to do a roadtrip. Well, one to another city anyhow. Sandra and I rattled past midnight in it's bright flurecent interior (it's also located next to a Holiday Inn, not too far away from the airport) eating the best banana cream pie EVER and mozzarella sticks. Sandra and I have always went on these short but unusual road trips. It might be good I DON'T have a car right now as I would do it all the time.

Otherwise, the weekend was just filled with this and that. I'm trying to find a good experienced 35mm cameraperson for a short project I'm working on and getting tons of reels. For some reason, lots seem to be devoid of the material they shot on 35mm. If you're applying to shoot something in 35mm, perhaps you should have examples of that on your reel, you think???

The male prostitute thing was pretty funny... I was walking a drunk friend home who lived in the downtown area. I'm normally NEVER in the downtown area past 4 in the morning, but was slowly making my way up to the vomit comet (an all night bus here in Toronto) when some strange Pakistani guy who looked like a cross between Osama and Luke Perry kept trying to move closer to the curb, somehow thinking I was a working boy saying s**t like "looking for work?" out the window of his ratty car with a faded blue exterior. What was funny was anytime he turned a corner, his front end would make this screechy sound. The car was WORSE than my silver mama I had! (I'm sure lots of you know it). Then while taking a side street a huge rat ran across the street. Soon I was in the safety net of drunk people on the bus, rambling home, wishing I had a calling card to call friends overseas.

But yeah, it was a good weekend (or interesting). I guess it beat staying at home and cleaning.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Last day of summer BLOOZ

Sadly, today marks the last day of summer and the muti thing is, I barely did ANYTHING with it. There were no exotic trips, cottaging, etc. My plans were to fly into Moscow then from there go to Finland and Estonia, but with flights for August "Starting" at $2000 going upwards, it seemed like I would be yet again enjoying what Toronto had to offer for the summer.

Actually, hanging out with some friends here that were very adventurous, we got to do some fun things including lots of street festivals and such. We went to the CNE twice this year (Canadian National Exhibition) which I forgot how much fun it is. One could agree with the writer from Eye Magazine who wished we had something like the CNE going on all year for Toronto. On two visits to the CNE I got to a) See a stuffed 3 eyed & 2 snouted pig in a freak show, b) buy a cool Football jersey, c) Eat the only Pizza Delight basically left in Southern Ontario and d) Grab a David Hasselhoff CD. Oh yeah, we forgot about the human cannonball! And last weekend here was the Polish Street Festival which was OK, but really lean on the Polish product and music. There were lineups for perogies and sausages and the occasional Euro food vendor, for the most part, there was very little that seemed Polish. Roncesvalles is rich with a Polish-Canadian culture and should maybe be reflected a little more in the fest. But Minna and I had a good time.

But I'll actually miss summer here in Toronto because there was just a lot going on and for very little money. Lots of times, friends and I just walked around and maybe grabbed something to eat at the "under $5" level. There were always bad bands playing. But again, it's fun just to be able to go out and hit up the street fests. Good times.

I've been busy working on 2 projects in the meantime, and doing some interview stuff for the new KONFLIKT IN THE KINO. It's going to be great, but I really need some time off as I'm getting burnt out. But them the breaks.

Anyhow, go out and enjoy the last night of summer!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Battling the FLOWER PEOPLE!

I'm slowly trying to keep my eyes open today. And I haven't even taken any allergy pills and have stopped sniffling, a wee bit.

Today I've been trying to find some decent film lab stuff with certain things that i'm looking to do, etc. It's kind of tricky as one lab will do something that another won't. Eventually I'll figure it all out. Maybe you're scratching your head, "Lab?" Gimme awhile and I'll get more into it.

My neighbourhood has gotten really weirdo lately in the morning with flower pushers! Not "hippies" per-se, but guys trying to sell roses (Frickin hate the pepto-pink ones... You'd give this to someone you like?!?!) .

"Why not buy a rose?" said the friendly toothless wonder to me this morning

"I have nobody to give it to!" I told him while jetting across the intersection.

He paused then noticed this simple looking girl who looked like SELINA, minus the makeup and looking stressed on her cell phone, "Give it to her!"

I'm laughing at his hard sell, "I don't know her!" It just is typical of an average weird day in my life. The thing was, in the same corner (a somewhat isolated area of Toronto), there were 3 of these flower people on the same busy, but somewhat desolate area. Who ever hears of anyone having to deal with "flower people" in the West end of Toronto anyhow?

Oh yeah, my Mom sent this pic which made us all laugh here at work.

Are blogs about sharing this useless info that makes us seem utterly boring? Strange! Anyhow, you gotta love that pic of Bush. He is sharing the same hair style my Uncle Fred has. Hmmm.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Goodbye for 2005, my personal Cinema Paradisio :(

Last night I did the final screening at my outdoor kino. Well, for the season.

In the parking lot of where I live (a 100+ year old felt factory), we hooked up a screen an amp and did outdoor screenings on Sundays (for the most part) during the summer. Back in 1996, I use to do it in the back court which was then a fair amount of vacant buildings, a gravel parking lot, but lots of fun. And finally after almost talking about it for years, we started doing it again.

Our first screening was kind of VERY impromptu after hearing from my neighbour that she was game for a screening. So, in late July or early August, very impromptu, I dug out my $10 super 8 print of "Appointment In Honduras" with Glenn Ford and Anne Sheridan. Oddly enough, we had lots of curious neighbours that came out to enjoy the "off the cuff" movie theatre.

Well, close to 5 features later (almost every weekend since we first started), it's done! It was kind of cool that I was able to invite friends over (and egging them to bring a lawnchair) plus basically say "Bring whoever you would like" while watching films under the stars. We actually had a pretty interesting mix of people from the bulding, from my normal Conflict Archives mailing list, and visitors from outside of Canada in town for real film fests like TIFF.

Regardless, last night was boomin as we watched a CREEPY Canadian hospital-dude slasher movie and ended our season as it began, with technical problems (the print had reels wound on the wrong way). But in the end, it had everyone jumping which was fun.

I'll post some pics here shortly once I get in some digital scans, but yeah. Good times! Thanks Zack, Mihai, Kat, and company for help in setting up OUR odd outdoor cinema.

The crappy thing is not being able to do screenings on Sunday (and to any of those that showed up, I FINALLY ran out of what I was using to make the Bacon and Tomato dip!), but more that it's the signal that colder weather is coming. As my pal Igor in Russia would say, "What a crap!"

Thursday, September 08, 2005

FOTOMAT - Overexposed Dreams?

I just picked up a commercial for FOTOMAT to add to my film archives and thought I'd share this quick scan. Remember these?

When we lived out in the country, my Mom would drop off my rolls of 110 film at the FOTOMAT before driving back out to the middle of nowhere. Their processing was oh-so-70's, but it was always fun driving up to the window to leave your photos to be developed.

Looking at the building now, it seems practical compared to so much wasted space units in malls and the such. And the whole concept of drive-up anything seems to be long gone. The architecture of these units was also very distinct.

But now it makes me nostalgic for drive-up business of any sort (even if I don't have a car at the moment). When the Photomat went belly up in Port Perry (or Oshawa), it was turned into a videostore of some sort, with movie boxes in an outside display case. Very cool, but lasted about 2 months. The last photomat building I've seen (and recently) was misplaced at an outdoor go-kart track in Lindsay.

Bring back Photomat! Or little drive-up self-contained businesses!

Does anyone else have any memories of the funny building with the yellow lego-like roof?

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Who reads a blog?

Is setting up a blog really this easy? Who knew!

Well, anyhow, I thought I'd start up a blog just because and for those from time to time around the world want to know what i've been up to, I'm happy to share.

I had a film screening on Tuesday and a new reporter here from Finland and I were swapping numbers in our Nokia. As I was fiddling around with my contact list, a neighbour seemed shocked that I had a contact list of over 80 different phone numbers.

So yeah, now I'm actually getting bad with e-mail, so maybe this will be a good way to keep tabs on crap.

See ya!