Thursday, December 20, 2007

Give Meaning This Holiday: Up the Yangtze

If you are wondering where to put best to put your money this holiday season, think about Yung Chang's documentary Up the Yangtze which recently came back, high in competition from IDFA and on its way to Sundance. One of the compelling characters in the film Yu Shui, a young girl, whose family is displaced by the flooding of the 3 Gorges Dam hydro electric project, and goes to work on a cruise liner for tourists who want to take a leisurely vacation down the Yangtze river to support her family. A candid, and strong young woman, who takes on a huge responsibility for her parents and brother and sister. Her hard working parents, who's daily struggle has gotten harder, as Yu Shui's father was diagnosed with cataracts in his eyes.

Yung and EyeSteelFilms have started a fund, to raise the money for his medical operation, as it is incredibly expensive to do, and beyond the means of this family's income. So what may be a little for you and I, can make a huge difference to this family. Check it out at and consider donating to yufam

Monday, November 12, 2007

More digital Smiles

Matt and I have more fun with digital cameras in ilesansfil cafe, Utopik after Montreal's Bar Camp. More silliness.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Digital Smiles

Dear Internet,
You've been busy, I've been busy, and we've grown apart. Well, more like Me and Blogger have grown apart. But, I have no excuse really for this lack of blogging, so here's how I will make it up to you, Internet. Please accept my digital smile as token of my love.


ps - this is the fun us Montreal city folk, Matt, Rob and Colleen, have while driving to get some "fresh air" hiking in the mountains. It was great, stretch the legs, see the changing leaves, and rush home to youtube our experience.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

St-Viateur street party

Finalement! The summer seems to be here to stay now, and to kick off the festival season, last week started with the St-Viateur street party in Mile End. Here's some highlights. A video of Socalled and Friends, with Josh's hit song from his album Ghettoblaster. As well as the unofficial afterparty under the over pass by Bernard street with Sixtoo.

Monday, May 21, 2007

10 MPH : across the country on a Segway

After returning from my exciting klezmer boat trip in the Ukraine, I am up for some serious cross country documentary action. And by serious, I mean two wheels, standing, and 10 mph of segway transportation.

First seen on
core 77
, 10 MPH : across the country on a Segway is a documentary film that follows Josh Caldwell and Hunter Weeks as they quit their jobs to go across the very country selling them the American/corporate dream.
Eat my slow moving dust, big business! Deciding that travel on a segway was the way to go, this film has the potential to ask us to look at our fast pace lives, corporate ideals, and SUV driving ways. It should at least be fun, and a way to see if these segway things are worth the purchase.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Socalled and the Klezmer cruise film blog!

Just rushing around packing - getting ready for the National Film Board and Beitel/Lazar Production of The "Socalled" king of Klezmer I will be blogging from the Ukraine on the first ever Klezmer cruise down the Dneiper River, that Josh Dolgin aka. Socalled will be both attending and leading a 60 person choir.

check out the blog with videos like this one at

Monday, April 16, 2007

Sunday, March 25, 2007

me and oscar

I am fortunate enough to work at the National Film Board of Canada, and had this wonderful, but such a dorky looking picture of me, with Torill Kove, the director of the Oscar winning film, The Danish Poet. On her triumphant return from LA, there was a photoshoot for the employees at the NFB to share in the celebration.

Danish Poet is such a special little film, I recommend it to anyone who feels like they are wondering around this earth directionless. You never do know what sequence of events will shape your future!

have a laugh at my picture, Ms. Miya looks much more sophisticated!

Monday, March 12, 2007



Ever wanted to use "happy birthday" in a film? Sick and tired of corporate media conglomerates stifling artistic and cultural expression? Had enough of youtube's "cease and desist" emails on your favourite videos? Got DJ Dangermouse's now classic mashup, The Grey Album on your ipod? Rest assured, there is a remedy to aid the mediaphile ...

Release your inner frustrations in a creative way with, the interactive website for Brett Gaylor's current film, Basement Tapes, the documentary being made in co-production with EyeSteelFilm and the NFB on the issue of media ownership, and in particular, the importance of the music download culture, as well as the artistic revolution behind reappropriation, and mashing up pop and political culture for citizen made media. On the site, you can get involved in the making of the film, by mashing up your own remixes and interpretations on scenes that could appear in the final film.

All the necessary ingredients are provided :
1) your vids and footage to remix
2) already made mashups for inspiration

In Basement Tapes, Brett will explore the issue of copyright, how it neither protects the artists, nor helps the consumer/citizen react to the cultural/commercial icons, music, and images that we are surrounded with everyday. But, the free culture movement, spurned by the power and freedom of the internet and technology has opened up creation to the consumer. So, with download culture being threatened, and with Google having too much to lose to be inovative, Brett and Basement Tapes asks the questions to those that are effected and are effective in the war on intellectual property, an invites you to get involved in this process.

You will even have access to heavy hitting free culture thinker, Lawerence Lessig footage to have your way with. Just re-upload your final work back onto and get involved in the movement to release art from the corporate owners.

Check out the site for more info, and an up close and personal "walk and talk" vlog from Brett himself, where he tests your listening skills with the concepts of Left and Right.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Expozine Awards 2007

The Expozine Awards gala was held last night to celebrate the hard work of local publishers, illustrators, and page writers (not post writers like me...). Independent and DIY artists and their followers congregated for some cheap beer, entertainment, and lots of smoke machine to get a glimpse at this years winners:

Best English Comic

Skim by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki

Best English Zine

Welcome to Gayside by The Third Leg.

Best English Book

The Theory of the Loser Class by Jon Paul Fiorentino, Coach House Press

Meilleur Zine

Ex Aequo (tie):

Le fascicule du FAS / spécial non-apprivoisable et non-domesticable, par

Sexy Fall // Chute! // Nous Numéro 1, de Louise-Andrée Lauzière; Éditions les cuisines piquantes

Meilleure Bande Dessinée

Hasemeister (spécial Halloween) par Frédéric Mahieu

Meilleur Livre

Cyclope opus #3 / Plan cartésien, Éditions Les 400 coups

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Creative Commons UK: Mix and Mash Film Contest

Get into the copyleft spirit with Creative Commons UK moving pictures mash up contest of three minutes shorts. CCUK even has a video resource providing archival and public domain material for your downloading pleasure.

So, reclaim your cultural commentary, stir it up with some good ol' human competitive nature, and get into it with your take on the remix theme of, "Britannia Rules, Britannia Sucks", and the possibilities that that holds.

Deadline is March 10th, so get downloading, get cutting, and get sharing - because your film has a chance to be judged by a stellar panel, that includes, BoingBoing's Cory Doctorow, as well as film and net worthy beings from the British Film Institute, BritDoc Festival, as well as independent filmmakers. And, there's prizes. Cool prizes.

Check out the link for more info, and to see the current submissions for some share-alike inspiration that cultural expression is on its way out of corporate hands, and into the hands of the artists.

And, stay tuned for a Canadian version of Mix and Mash...
cross posted to Art Threat.


Friday, February 23, 2007

Tony vs. Paul

minirobot let me in on this year old youtube gem that was hidden in the rubble of lonelygirl "ask a gay man", and the disappointment of the ever increasing lack of content due to "copyright infringement". Tony Fiandaca and Paul Cummings of Tetriscide made this phenomenal stop motion extravaganza of two friends (they acted as well - or posed I should say) who become enemies, and the picture by picture trials and tribulations that are attached to flying punches, face in the grass travelling, and warm handshakes. In the increasingly corporate and unfun path that youtube is moving down, it is nice to come across real creative content.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Poetry in Spam

Filtering through my spam has proven to be more interesting than all the emails, list serves, and all the rest of the crap that I have granted access into my email inbox! My philosophy: the evolution of spam has grown past the basement viagra operations (though they are still in full steam and vigor, bless 'em!), and the letters encouraging us to "deposit money into my Nigerian account". But have reached the socially hidden, basement stayed poets of the internet . . . spamming us to read their automatic writing exercises.

It's kind of fun.

Here's one that I found in my last clean-up:

"contrary, ignorance. But this is not the mark of all relatives; everything that is not substance. But one and the selfsame receptive of these qualities, but only in that subject of which the with one thing, and great in comparison with another, so that the same boat cannot be said to find its explanation in the word rudder. As defined with reference to that of which the things indicated are a quality, that which takes its character from the quality has a name have to admit that such parts are not substances: for in explaining is said to be capable of admitting contrary qualities. definition will not be appropriate, for the rudder does not have likewise, is a continuous quantity; for the parts of a solid occupy half. The existence of the half necessitates the existence of that Neither in the case of contraries, nor in the case of difficulties might ensue, and this is true with regard to all those him and the slave will remain the same, for it is of a master that a is white, black, that which is cold, hot, that which is good, bad, being indicated by the preposition of or by some other follows that there is no half, and vice versa; this rule also village: or we say that a house has many in it, and a theatre few, subject, for it comes into existence at the same time as the animal.

Now the head, the hand, and such things are substances, and it is As for the rest, time, place, state, since they are easily But it is by reason of the modification which takes place within the first is reciprocally connected, as in the aforesaid instances, when common. It is, therefore, established that in every proposition, of necessary for one to be true and the other false. Health and disease As for the rest, time, place, state, since they are easily cold, for it has entered into a different state. Similarly that in the sense of the word opposite which applies to possession and relative in so far as it is some ones property, not in so far as it qualities, inasmuch as we are said to be such and such in virtue of takes place, through disease or any such cause. The virtues, also, same time both white and black. Nor is there anything which is things which admit these qualities are affected in any way. Honey is Further, primary substances are most properly so called, because easily be rendered ineffective or speedily removed, are called, not subsists also between the species and the genus to which the primary Again, perception is generated at the same time as the perceiving determinate sense."


anyway - Kung Hei Fat Choi - Happy New year of the golden pig... live it up.

tags technorati :

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Best Shout Out Ever.

The 49th installment of the Grammys has been quite stellar, with such highlights as The Police reunion (but everyone is going to say that), and Jamie Foxx crip walking on stage (which reminded me that this was a goal of mine to learn to do since I was a my current goal of the week...), but so far, best thing of the Grammys was Ludacris' SHOUT OUT to right wing "culture warrior", Bill O'Reilly. Confused at first, I admit (and bit peeved about The Roots not winning...), jumping onto my trusty imac to ensure that this had to be a joke. And, sure enough, Ludacris has as much humour as he does, frequent ladies homes in various area codes (lame joke, I know). For those like me, who were confused, a few years ago, O'Reilly critisized and insulted Ludacris and other hip hop artists, and the corps. that they endorse. Corporating whoring is another topic of discussion, but for now, we can just stick to the dressed up racism, and the undeserved self-righteousness of the Fox trainwreck, and his accusations that slapped him back in the face soon after.

You can read more about this scandal that ensued with Bill O'Reilly's sexual harrassment suit on , where they write:
"According to reports, former associate producer Andrea Mackris claims that O’ Reilly bought her a vibrator and gave her instructions on how to use it."

So creepy.

And you can read more at GlobalBlackNews.

Anyway - the Grammy's aren't over yet, but a here's my shout out to Ludacris for being the best speech yet.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Technical wonderment, or geeky connectivity? let's say both...

Either mine and Rob's relationship is a testament to the power of fiber optics, citizen journalism, and the blogosphere or, it just shows everyone on the internet how geeky we actualy are. Rob is currently travelling out west on the Wal-Town the Film tour with fellow uberculturist, Ezra Winton. A film by Sergeo Kirby, and a NFB co-production with Le Production Grand Nord, and Loaded Pictures, featuring uberculture's 2 year tour across Canada spreading awareness, getting into antics about the dastardly Wal-Mart's business practices, and destruction to local commerce.

Off and on planes + both our busy schedules + time zones + expensive cellphone bills + youtube = I need to keep checking out the Wal-Town weblog/vlog to get the scoop of what is currently in the "goings-on" of Rob and Ezra's western film tour. An entertaining duo in dancing pixels and weathered sound, it's a great way to keep in touch and to see them cross the country, discussing an important issue that they devoted themselves to for such a long time.

So as nerd-worthy as this is, these little smatterings are a great way to keep connected, along with the expensive cellphone bills, and emails... And if you are in a town where Wal-Town is screening, East or West, go check it out.

Jan. 24: Gibsons, BC
Jan. 25: Vancouver, BC
Jan. 26: Courtenay, BC
Jan. 27: Victoria, BC
Jan. 28: Salmon Arm, BC
Jan. 29: Whitehorse, YT
Jan. 30: Dawson City, YT
Feb. 1: Lethbridge, AB
Feb. 2 & 4: Edmonton, AB
Feb. 5: Yellowknife, NT

Jan. 25: Fredericton, NB
Jan. 26: Saint John, NB
Jan. 27: Moncton, NB
Jan. 28: Summerside, PE
Jan. 29: Charlottetown, PE
Jan. 31: St. John’s, NL
Feb. 1: Corner Brook, NL
Feb. 2: Sydney, NS
Feb. 3: Wolfville, NS
Feb. 4: Halifax, NS
Feb. 5: Labrador City, NL
Feb. 9: Ottawa, ON

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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Canucks vs. Canadiens

This is footage from my first NHL game, Vancouver Cancucks against my Montreal Canadiens. It was a pathetic game, where I didn't get to see even one goal, but witnessed the fans continuing distress at our team bumbling around the ice. The Canucks, who won by 4-0, even seemed depressed by the end, as if they were challenging the pee wee league to an unfair match. Friends came up from New York (Canucks fans, go figure), and of course they were happy with the result, but they didn't get to experience the full force of Montreal's hockey obsession, and the verbal active fans (beyond the booing). We had great seats, as we showed up after the first period, and got a deal on some centre ice, lower section tickets, even though we were surrounded by corporate suits. Who lamely split (maybe their SUVs were going to get towed) before the game was done.

It seems like tonight (Atlanta) MAY be the end of the Canadiens downward spiral...but, as the game is currently on, I don't want to jinx it.
So fingers crossed.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Bollywood North

Yesterday was the premiere of two great things: The Bollywood big budget blockbuster, Guru, and the world premiere screening of a Bollywood film outside of India. Megastars, Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai, of the largest filmmaking industry pleased 1200 fans in Toronto last night. And to the screams of adulation they graced the red carpet, and the idea that not everyone is watching American, Hollywood films. Canada can learn a thing or two from the Indians, who support their own cinema, from development to distribution, and have a lavish cinema that is known and cherished by many other nations. Whether it’s global warming and globalization in the air, the Bollywood and Hollywood North marriage will hopefully be around for a long time, and 1200 screaming Canadians will feel as passionately soon about their own films. You can read more about this here.
Here's a trailer of the film:

Sunday, January 07, 2007

REpost: The Echo Chamber project

This is a post from March 15th 2006 (ah, the ides of March!), that was spammed quite severely - and as much as I love people visiting my site, through such google searches as, "h0t young etc...", I think I'll pass, because it's just confusing and disappointing for me, and those looking for more exciting, revealing footage then what me and my little camera can provide. So, to not lose this post in the abyss forever, Here it is, one more round. I did lost the comments page, where I had some nice correspondense with Kent Bye of The Echo Chamber Project - but I hope we will be able to pick up a conversation after all these months.

In recent good news for The Echo Chamber Project, Kent has just received a $55 000 grant to keep up his dedicated work. Congrats! Well deserved as you can see by the project overview:

The Echo Chamber Project explores collaborative investigative filmmaking by using new media technologies as well as a repository of original video interviews with journalists and scholars. It is a project that details the limitations of American journalism while at the same time embodying innovative solutions through collaborative media production. In short, it is an independent filmmaker's "YouTube" combined with "Wikipedia" for serious journalism.

Radical innovation is needed in order to discover both sustainable business models for hard-hitting investigative journalism as well as new ways of maintaining influence and audience attention with trustworthy content. The Echo Chamber Project explores the two key trends of Online Video and Tapping into Collective Intelligence through Citizen Participation.

There are three end products for The Echo Chamber Project:
1.) A collaboratively edited 90-minute documentary film about how the mainstream media became an uncritical echo chamber during the lead-up to the war in Iraq.
2.) A set of open source tools and methodologies for participatory journalism and collaborative film editing that is sustained through a viable business model.
3.) An online, interactive collection of transcribed video segments that are annotated and filtered with user-contributed context and meaning at

Here's the previous post, please don't spam me with more sexy talk.

March 15, 2006:

Check out this site, The Echo Chamber, Kent Bye's open source multi-media rich site/blog that looks critically at the (predominantly American) media's role in molding the culture landscape, and the slanted, and often propagandic information that is fed to the public for passive, unquestioned consumption that caters to fit the political administration's liking. I came across the video "Government Bypasses Press" while perusing on

Kent Bye investigates the idea of democratic media, and the future for internal dissemination in the form of new media, and grassroots, collaborative film making. The Echo Chamber Project is different than many other politically critical independent news sites, because it offers, and asks for positive solutions, including engagement in the media and the corporate structure of our culture. its great when you come across these little gems of websites - and I will definitly be checking back to The Echo Chamber.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Hinterland Who's Who

The New Year has rolled in, and it's that time of year when you make resolutions about how you are going to make this year the best one yet. All that self-improvement and all that. So to look to the future, let's all reflect on the past. And what's better for Canadians then the appropriated memories that what we grew up with. The informative, and fun: Hinterland Who's Who. Here's a great video on spiders, and their downward addictive spiral. Enjoy.