Since I didn’t post much during the month of May I figured I’d let you in on what I have been up to outside the blog world:
Despite the fact that most documentaries have no use for the art department I love the documentary format very much. Every year Toronto hosts the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, the largest documentary festival in North America. This year I was able to take in 37 feature documentaries and 3 short documentaries in ten days – my favourite of which was a film called Autumn Gold. This doc “tells the life-affirming story of five athletes in their preparation for the Track and Field World Championships. Their toughest challenge is their age: these potential world champions are between the ages of 80 and 100.” Such a sweet and beautiful film.
Here is a list of all the films I saw during the fest with my ratings:
- The Socalled Movie 2/5
- Darwin’s Nightmare 4/5
- Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage 4/5
- And Everything Is Going Fine 3.5/5
- Dish: Women, Waitressing and the Art of Service 3/5
- Tarnation (Rewatch) 4.5/5
- Talhotblond 1/5
- Citizen Architect: Samuel Mockbee and the Spirit of the Rural Studio 3/5
- 1991: The Year Punk Broke 2.5/5
- Quadrangle (Short Film) 4/5
- Daddy’s Girls 3/5
- Joan Rivers- A Piece of Work 4/5
- Budrus 4.5/5
- Portrait of a Man 3.5/5
- The Parking Lot Movie 4.5/5
- Bhutto 4.5/5
- CandyMan: The David Klein Story 4/5
- Autumn Gold 5/5
- Peter in Radioland (Short Film) 3.5/5
- Marwencol 4.5/5
- The People Vs. George Lucas 2.5/5
- Blank City 4/5
- Sex Magic, Manifesting Maya 5/5
- The Canal Street Madam 4/5
- Space Tourists 4.5/5
- I Shot My Love 5/5
- American: The Bill Hicks Story 3.5/5
- Sona, The Other Myself 3/5
- Tankograd 4/5
- Views on Vermeer- 12 Short Stories 5/5
- Shadowplay 5/5
- Strange Powers: Stephen Merritt and The Magnetic Fields 4/5
- Horses 2/5
- Monica and David 4/5
- Architect of Home (Short Film) 3.5/5
- Our House 3/5
- Freetime Machos 5/5
- Teenage Paparazzo 5/5
- I’m Dangerous with Love 2.5/5
- Gasland 4/5
As a side note, check out this years graphic design for the festival. I thought they were superb this year. Modern, simple, and sleek. Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) should take note. Pitch perfect with the message too. Kudos to Hot Docs!
–Cover graphic for this years Hot Docs schedule
Banksy in Toronto
During Hot Docs I read in the Torontoist that Banksy was creating street art in Toronto for the first time ever. I had already watched Exit Through the Gift Shop so I was particularly intrigued.
He did it for promotion of the film, of course, but I was still happy he came to Toronto. I didn’t have time to see them at the time because of my film-going schedule during Hot Docs. After the festival a lot of them had been painted over, but I was able to check out one of the pieces a couple weeks ago because of the foresight of the building owner at the corner of Front and Church to put a plexi-glass plate over the now infamous street art. Check it out:
Anton Kuerti Music Video
During May I also designed a music video I enjoyed very much called, Notes From the Kuerti Keyboard, for Anton Kuerti, as he played a piece from Beethoven. I had heard of Anton before but I didn’t realize how successful he was until I googled him. As it turns out Anton Kuerti is Canada’s foremost classical pianist and was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2007.
I was also happy that we used a Model 1 Underwood antique typewriter from the 1890’s, courtesy of The Martin Howard Collection of Antique Typewriters. Martin Howard was fantastic and showed the filmmakers, David, Katarina, and I all of his many antique typewriters. We were very grateful for his hospitality.
The music video was also a joy because I was allowed and encouraged to create an early 1900’s artists’ world, with a feeling of the surreal for the main set. It is not often that I get the chance to a) do period b) do surreal. I can’t wait to see the finished product!
A look at the main set my team and I created for the music video with Anton Kuerti at work on the antique typewriter.
In 2004, I graced the cover of 24 hours, a daily newspaper here in Toronto, hugging Conan O’Brien at MuchMusic. Six years later he signed my copy after his Toronto stop of his Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on Television Tour at Massey Hall. I’ve loved the man since I was nine years old so this was a big deal for me. He was my adolescent hero and made growing up a little bit easier and a lot funnier.
It has been a beautiful and fruitful Spring thus far and I am hoping for it to continue. So what have you been up to lately? Have you seen any of the films I mentioned or Conan’s tour? What did you think?