Tory takes TO

   28 October 2014, early morning

Yesterday’s mayoral race was the first election in a while where the polls called things fairly accurately. Tory won by a nice margin, Chow coming in a distant third. A loss for the Fords is a win for Toronto. I’m disappointed that Chow lost, but I’ve been voting for the NDP my whole life and have grown quite accustomed to voting for candidates that lose.

What’s actually far more disappointing is the number of incumbents that were returned to city hall. All the terrible Scarborough councillors? They are all back, including Raymond Cho, the champion of doing nothing. Mammoliti? That asshole is back. Mike Ford—a 20 year old camp councillor who completed a year of college—defeated John Hastings for his school trustee seat. Of course, Hastings is actually qualified for the job. A few ridings may have benefited from ranked ballots to shake things up, but for the most part useless incumbents have a base of support that feels like it’s beyond reason.

There were a few high points from last night. My friend Parthi defeated the shockingly corrupt Elizabeth Moyer. Ausma Malik also became a trustee, despite a pretty racist and Islamophobic campaign against her.

Who knows what the next four years will bring. I’m assuming it can’t be worse than the last four.

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Olivia Chow for Mayor

   26 October 2014, early morning

Toronto goes to the polls tomorrow. The election has been long and terrible, marred by pretty overt racism, sexism, and homophobia. I’ll be glad when its all over. Ford Nation are clearly the #GamerGate of Toronto politics. Electing a new mayor won’t magically make shitty people disappear, but it’s a step in the right direction. If you call someone a fag you should feel like a marginalized piece of shit. Let’s get back to that Toronto at the very least.

Olivia Chow started off with a lead in the polls she quickly squandered. Of course, who knows what the polls even mean. Tory now commands that lead. He even scored endorsement from the papers. Now, endorsements from papers are worth even less than polls conducted by Forum. Remember when The Globe and Mail and the National Post both endorsed both Hudak and Rob Ford? Yeah, me too. The Toronto papers are next to useless when it comes to covering and commenting on municipal politics.

The only endorsement that matters is the one you have all no doubt been waiting for. funkaoshi.com endorses Oliva Chow for mayor. She’s the only person pushing a progressive forward thinking vision for the city. And, in a surprise twist, she’s apparently the only candidate who decided to figure out how to pay for it all. What?

I always vote for the person I want to win. You should do. Otherwise what’s the god damn point?

Regardless of what happens in the race for a new mayor, i’m hoping to see some of the more useless city councillors get the boot. Scarborough’s council needs to be razed to the ground, at the very least. Andray Domise is running against Rob Ford in Ward 2, and i’m hoping he can sneak in. That’ll be a tough fight, but he’s clearly the better candidate. The Fords have been terrible for that ward.

Tomorrow should be an interesting day.

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An Open House

   19 October 2014, mid-afternoon

An open house sign

“Hey! Can you guys sign in?”

Who is this dude barking at us? Of course I know. My cousin and I have walked into an open house. It’s a surprisingly cavernous detached home near Bloor and Dufferin. I could imagine it being quite nice—in some alternate timeline. In this one it was probably a former rooming house. It’s listed at 1.25 million dollars.

The housing market has moved beyond rhyme or reason. My cousin narrates tale after tale of being out bid on places he already can’t afford. Houses in our neighbourhood now regularly sell for $100,000 over their asking price. That’s walking around money. Now, I like where we live, but our neighbourhood isn’t $100K-over-asking nice by any stretch of the imagination. These stories play out across the whole city.

This house is full of sad ancient furniture. Remnants from its past life. I’ve seen houses in worse shape, which may sound like faint praise because it is. At least this house is relatively clean. My cousin has seen houses where the sellers haven’t even bothered tidying up. Why waste their time? They know the house will sell for more than they want anyway. The desperation of home buyers is palpable. Agents are emboldened.

Who can afford to live in this city? I could never dream of buying my busted-ass house now. It’s price has moved beyond me. That’s some sort of wealth, I suppose. Not the useful kind, but it’s something.

We walk through the house and leave. The agent makes no effort to talk to us. I am sure he is well aware we are just touring this dump. We probably didn’t look worn down enough when we walked in.

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Tennis @ The Mod Club

    9 October 2014, evening time

Shima looked at our tickets. “7:00 doors open. Early show?” Neither of us knew what that meant, though we could guess well enough. We hoped in a cab shortly after 7:00. This might have been the earliest I’ve ever gone to a concert since seeing Rachael Yamagata perform a promo show when she was first getting started. The two of us were going to see Tennis at the Mod Club. We hadn’t been to a concert together since we saw the Woodhands play at the Phoenix.

Pure Bathing Culture

When we arrived the opening act was already playing. We grabbed some beer and listened to them play some indie pop music. The lead singer had a hair cut straight out of the 80s, but she was probably born in the 90s. They were very good. A four piece band, the singer also played synths. They didn’t sound like Tennis, but had a similar musical aesthetic. They thanked the audience for listening to their set and then walked off stage without saying their name. God damn it. I ended up discovering their name on Twitter: Pure Bathing Culture.

Tennis

Tennis are technically a two-person band, but when on tour I suppose having some extra musicians on hand is useful. They were up next. A mix of musicians and techs started setting up their instruments. I am guessing their singer is too recognizable to still do this stuff. She came out briefly to check out her keyboard and sing and the crowd started cheering. (This lead singer’s hair cut reminded me of Shima’s hair from a photo she has of her grade 8 graduation.) When the band started performing I realized the other half of their band was the person doing the bulk of the set up. That’s what happens when you aren’t on the album covers.

Tennis put on a good show. They played a mix of music, mostly from their most recent album. We were up near the front with all the turbo fans and people trying to take photos. It was fun. They played a lot of the songs I love, but focused on the stuff from their new album.

And just like that it was over—and it wasn’t even 10:00! I bought Pure Bathing Culture’s CD from the band’s lead singer. That’s why opening acts are the best.

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Turn, look down: there is no city.
This is centre of a forest.
Your place is empty.

They bend, straighten; the sun lights up their faces and hands, candles flickering in the wind against the unbright earth.
I see them; I know none of them believe they are here.
They deny the ground they stand on, pretend this dirt is the future.
And they are right.

Those who went ahead of us in the forest bent the early trees so that they grew to signals.

— Margaret Atwood, poem outside the Fort York library.

Also, a reminder that if you are voting for Doug Ford in the upcoming election you are a clueless fucking asshole.

Julian: Fuck jail. I’m not going back to jail, Ricky. Not gonna happen man.
Ricky: Julian, don’t be dissing jail, man. We’ve had some good fucking parties in there, we got good friends in there. I mean they fed you, you used their gym. Come on, man. Don’t be dissing jail. That’s not fucking cool.
— The Trailer Park Boys, Season 4, Episode 6, “If You Love Something, Set It Free”

Leopold FCC660M

   16 September 2014, early morning

My Leopold FCC660M

I’ve been using my Unicomp Spacesaver more or less continuously for work since I bought it several years ago. Shima hates when I use it at home: she finds the chatter of the keys annoying. I’m pretty sure my coworkers do as well, but they seem to have gotten used to the white noise now. I love that keyboard.

At the time I bought my Spacesaver there seemed to only be a handful of other mechanical keyboards on the market. The two that jump out in my mind are the Happy Hacker and the Matias Tactile Pro. People would also track down old mechanical keyboard stock: Apple Extended IIs and IBM Model Ms. Today there are so many mechanical keyboards it is hard to keep track of them all. I joined a site called Massdrop some time ago: it constantly has mechanical keyboards up for sale—or kits to build your own keyboards. It’s a brave new world for mechanical keyboards today.

I decided to replace my Spacesaver with something that actually saves space. I like the smaller profiles of so called ‘hacker’ keyboards and wanted to get something in that vein. I settled on the Leopold FCC660M. It’s very small, but still has all the keys I wanted on a keyboard. (I’m not hardcore enough to say goodbye to my arrow keys.)

The Leopold uses Cherry MX mechanical key switches, unlike the buckling spring switches found in my Unicomp. I picked “Blue” switches, which are similar to my old keyboard’s springs: they are tactile (you can feel when the switch actuates) and “clicky” (they make some noise when the switch is actuated). They are slightly quieter and take slightly less force to actuate. Rounding out the things that keyboard nerds fuss about, the keycaps for the switches are made of thicker PBT plastic and use dye sublimation to label each key. They keyboard feels solid and well made. The experience of typing on this new keyboard is satisfying.

The Leopold lacks function keys, as well as many of the keys found to the right of your typical full-sized keyboard (the number pad, insert, home, etc). Thus far I haven’t found the loss of these keys a nuisance, but if you rely on them heavily that might be something to keep in mind. Typing a back tick on the keyboard requires pressing FN-ESQ, as escape, tilde, and the back tick all sit on a single key. I’m getting used to doing so, but it definitely stops me in my tracks when I’m typing right now.

My Unicomp was clearly a good investment. All these years later my Unicomp looks and feels as nice as the day I bought it. I’m hoping my Leopold holds up as well. If you are still using a lame keyboard you should switch. If you are typing everyday—and really, who isn’t?—you should do so on something that is a pleasure to type on.

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Revenge of the Green Dragons

   12 September 2014, early morning

Andrew Lau and Andrew Loo co-direct a (very) gritty look at Chinese gangsters in Queens New York in the 80s in the film Revenge of the Green Dragons. (It was produced by Scorsese, who directed the Hollywood re-make of Lau’s Infernal Affairs.) This was the only film I am likely to see at TIFF this year. I bought the ticket online in the morning, walked over to the Lightbox at lunch, and watched it with my friend who was taking the day off to watch films. I think next year i’ll try and actively participate in the festival again. I miss going and watching movies.

The film stars Justin Chon, and follows his character as he is pulled into the Green Dragons street gang and rises through its ranks. The film doesn’t present the gang in a glamourous light—at all. It’s pretty gruesome and violent at times. The film has a real 80s feel, beyond simply being set in the 80s. The soundtrack features a lot of electric guitar. It’s a very serious film, but the dialog is often cheesy gangster film dialog. I was reminded of As Tears Go By by Wong Kar Wai, itself a throw back to Mean Streets by Scorsese. The film is based on real life events, chronicled in a lengthy article from the New Yorker back in 1992. I liked it, but do think it was a bit muddled. Relationships aren’t explored fully, making some of the plot points in the film seem half-baked. Some of the twists seem pointless. My friend didn’t like the film at all.

The write up for Revenge of the Green Dragons over on the TIFF website.

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Snowpiercer.

   24 July 2014, mid-afternoon

If you watch one near future dystopian science fiction film about a train that circles the earth after a climate change apocalypse, make sure it’s Snowpiercer. What a film! They know how to make movies in Korea. Chris Evans stars in this film, which seems strange, but since I don’t think it’s strange for Korean actors to star in American films maybe i’m just being Western-centric. He is fantastic. All the actors are. Tilda Swinton in particular plays a great shitty British politician. The film is funny and dark and action packed and so many things all at the same time. I’m still trying to figure out what the message of the whole film was. The film has a limited release. You should try and watch it if you can.

The official Snowpiercer website.

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Silver Lining Playbook

   23 July 2014, early morning

I watched Silver Linings Playbook over the Christmas break, but forgot to mention it here. It’s a romantic comedy starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper. Both characters are suffering with some mental health issues, each dealing with them in their own ways. Cooper is trying to win back his wife’s love after getting out of a mental institution. He needs Lawrence’s help to get a letter to his wife, who has a restraining order against him. She agrees to help on the condition he is her partner in a dance competition. Seriously. That reads like the plot to a ridiculous romantic comedy, but somehow this one executes on that premise in a way that isn’t stupid. This film is an example of what you can do with the genre of you try. It’s a good film, fun to watch, with some great performances from both the leads and the supporting cast. As romantic comedies go it has to be one of the better ones out there.

The official Silver Linings Playbook website.

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Ontario Votes 2014

   13 June 2014, terribly early in the morning

I watch elections like some people watch soccer. Yesterday’s election was an interesting one, if only because the polls were so off in just how big a victory the Liberals would end up achieving. This was an election for the NDP and the Conservatives to lose, and they lost it hard. The Liberals are plagued with scandals and have been ruling for a decade. If there was ever a time for them to be voted out it was last night. Wynne to her credit ran a great campaign and has done a good job of positioning herself and her party as the new and improved Liberals.

I voted for the NDP, despite all my misgivings about the party. I can’t stand Andrea Horwath. I think she’s ruined the Ontario NDP party, and I suspect she’s going to be on her way out. The party is in a much worse position today than it was yesterday, despite a good showing at the polls. They need to get back to what they are actually about: being a progressive alternative to the Liberals and the Conservatives. I like the MPP in my riding, and am disappointed we lost him to someone who lives in Willowdale. I had high hopes for the NDP in 2011, and they basically let me and many of their hardcore supporters down hard. I know lots of supporters who declined their vote or voted for other parties.

That’s the irony of last night for the NDP: they stole some ridings from the PCs, but lost several very important ridings to the Liberals. Wynne’s Liberals are progressive enough right now for a lot of former NDP voters, I suspect. The question now is will they stay that way.

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X-Men: Days of Future

   29 May 2014, early morning

X-Men: Days of Future past seems to be well loved, though I’m not sure why. It’s definitely a huge improvement over X-Men: The Last Stand, but on the whole it felt like it fell short. The story retells the classic Chris Claremont comic book story, in which Kitty Pryde is sent back in time to stop Mystique from killing a senator in the 70s, which is the trigger that sets of a chain of events that ends with a present day robot apocalypse. This film follows a similar story, but instead of Kitty Pryde going back they send Wolverine—of course. (Hugh Jackman is crazy ripped in this film, incidentally.) I had high hopes for the movie. It’s a crazy cross over with the cast from X-Men: First Class. Ultimately I found it lacking. I thought there was too much exposition. You are constantly being told what is happening and how to feel about it. There are some cool action sequences, but they felt like they were few and far between. There is nothing like that opening sequence with Nightcrawler from XII, which was spectacular. Anyway, how are you going to not watch this movie?

The official X-Men: Days of Future website.

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Akira

   28 May 2014, early morning

I watched Akira again over the last few days. It was released on Blu-Ray for its 25th anniversary, which I promptly purchased. I’ve come a long way from my friends VHS copy. I’d tell you what it’s about, but who really knows? There are motorbike gangs, activists, secret agents, corrupt government officials, and children with the ultimate psionic power all futzing around in post-apocalyptic Tokyo. None of that matters. In my mind it is the pinnacle of Japanese animation. The whole film is a visual wonder. It had an Inception soundtrack 20 years before Inception. Akira is majestic brilliant beautiful obtuse incredible. It is one of my favourite films.

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Throwback Film

   23 May 2014, terribly early in the morning

I’ve had some film sitting in my fridge for 4 years now. Some of the film might be closer to 5 years old, I suspect. I used to be reasonably good about processing my black & white film as I shot it, but once you slip it’s easy to end up with an insurmountable backlog. Thankfully I found someone in Toronto who will process the stuff for me. It’s getting quite tricky to find places that process film, let alone black & white film. So, now I have film I need to scan. That part of the process might be worse than the developing.

This photo is probably from the summer of 2010, based on the other photos I found on the roll. Shima is probably pregnant with Mythilli. You’d never know. I like the composition. In particular that both are hands are in the shot, and that her arm seems to belong to someone else. It looks like it is photobombing this photo.

Shooting film has several pluses completely unrelated to the quality (or lack thereof) of the images you get back. Film can be like a time capsule. Who knows how I would have felt about this photo 4-5 years ago. Today it is interesting simply because of the amount of time that’s passed since I shot it.

Originally posted to my 4ormat blog.

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Rob Ford Imploding—Again

    1 May 2014, early morning

I feel like I can’t last night pass without saying a few words about Rob Ford. A link to the Globe and Mail’s big story about him being caught on video smoking crack again just won’t cut it. Or a link to the Sun’s big story about him getting loaded and saying all sorts of offensive things again just won’t cut it. Or a link to the Star’s big story about him getting belligerent at a club with Justin Bieber just won’t cut it. And this all happened last night! In the middle of the greatest Raptors game ever!

Lots of people are speculating that he’s stepping down so he can come back in 30 days a clean and redeemed man. That’s the game you play the first time you get caught smoking crack. At this point it’s clearly his only move, but I don’t think that narrative is going to earn him any new votes. There are people that will vote for him no mater what: stupid people, homophobes, criminals, etc. They thankfully aren’t a sizeable part of Toronto.

Rob Ford is a drug addict. He acts like a drug addict. Trying to parse his actions as rational is a fools game. He makes poor choices because he’s a crack-head. The situation is just weird because he’s also rich and the mayor of the biggest city in Canada. He’s had a million chances because he is a rich white man and has squandered them all.

To quote Kristyn Wong-Tam:

Ford might rehabilitate his health but 30 days isn’t going to cure his racism, misogyny, homophobia & chronic tendencies to break the law.

Fuck that guy. And his brother.

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You are alone, child. There is only darkness for you, and only death for your people. These ancients are just the beginning. I will command a great and terrible army, and we will sail to a billion worlds. We will sail until every light has been extinguished. You are strong, child, but I am beyond strength. I am the end, and I have come for you, Finn.
— The Lich, Adventure Time.

GitHub's Long National Nightmare is Over

   22 April 2014, early morning

Github concluded its investigation into their recent sexual harassment scandal, posting a terse message on their blog about the matter:

The investigation found no evidence to support the claims against Tom and his wife of sexual or gender-based harassment or retaliation, or of a sexist or hostile work environment. However, while there may have been no legal wrongdoing, the investigator did find evidence of mistakes and errors of judgment. In light of these findings, Tom has submitted his resignation, which the company has accepted.

The whole blog post sounds like it was written by a lawyer. Maybe it was. Do I feel retroactively like a chump for watching presentations on How GitHub Works? Maybe a little bit. I should be telling people about where I work—it’s actually amazing.

Tom Preston-Werner wrote about his plans for the future, beginning by touching on this story:

I want to be very clear about one thing: neither my wife, Theresa, nor I have ever engaged in gender-based harassment or discrimination. The results of GitHub’s independent investigation unequivocally confirm this and we are prepared to fight any further false claims on this matter to the full extent of the law.

Don’t worry about Tom: he’ll be fine. Mr. Netscape himself Marc Andreessen high-fived him on his way out the door. This is usually how it goes in tech. Tom gets to play the startup game again. Some people think he’s a jerk, some people don’t. None of that has any substantial effect on his livelihood. For a certain class of people your actions are more or less consequence free.

Today GitHub denies any wrongdoing and the co-founder makes explicit legal threats against anyone speaking up about what he did. – @shanley

Shanley’s tweet sums up the situation for other women in similar situations to Julie Ann Horvath. What’s the point of coming forward? People call you a bitch (or worst) and you are the person looking for new work. Ellen Chisa articulates all of this wonderfully. (If you read one thing about this whole story, her blog post would be it.)

This is a complicated story, with all sorts of nuance that’s missing when its distilled via ambiguous blog posts and messages on twitter. These scandals end up being Rorshach tests for how people see sexism and this industry. I am left feeling cynical about the whole scene.

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The Raid 2: Berandal

   21 April 2014, early evening

I had the most unrealistic expectations going into The Raid 2: Berandal, the Sequel to The Raid: Redemption. The film met those expectations ten fold. Hollywood just isn’t able to make films like The Raid and its sequel. The Raid 2 is violent in a way few films today can manage. It felt like something out of the 80s. Mixed in with this ultra violence is unsurpassed action, superbly shot and edited. I’m still not sure any one scene in The Raid 2 matches the “axe” scene in the first film, but there is no shortage of absolutely breath taking cinema in the sequel. The camera follows the action: no matter how fast and furious things are on the screen you never feel lost. This film has a much more involved plot. Rama goes deep cover trying to bust some crime lords. Of course, the movie could have been a bunch of punching and I’d have been happy. The movie is long, at 2.5 hours, but doesn’t feel it. It uses each of those minutes effectively. There are no wasted shots. The quiet is quiet and the loud is very loud. I love this film.

The trailer for The Raid 2: Berandal is god damn amazing.

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I look at all your hate mail as fan mail.
Writing shit down well knowing that you wouldn’t say it.
Why you buy a chopper if you wouldn’t spray it?
Little niggas breaking arms trying to play Rambo.
Die Rich by Joey Fatts (Feat Vince Stapples) produced by Cardo

The Grand Budapest Hotel

   31 March 2014, early morning

I watched The Grand Budapest Hotel Friday night with some friends and Shima. It’s so rare we do anything together after having Mythilli, so there was a lot of pressure on this film to be good. The movie stars Ralph Fiennes as the eccentric—of course—head of the Grand Budapest. Tony Revolori plays the new lobby boy, and his protege. This is Wes Anderson’s take on the heist film. There is thievery, murder, daring escapes mixed together with the charm of your typical Anderson movie. There are a million cameos throughout. Something interesting I noticed about how the film was shot: the movie is basically one long flashback, and this section of the film is is shot in what looked to be an almost square aspect ratio. This seems unusual for Anderson, though the film still caries his distinct style. I liked the movie a lot. It’s well executed, written, and acted. You should watch it while you can in the cinema.

The official The Grand Budapest Hotel website

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Inside Llewyn Davis

   11 January 2014, evening time

I watched Inside Llewyn Davis at the Lightbox. The film is the latest movie from the Coen Brothers. It stars Oscar Isaac as a starving artist folk singer who is both down on his luck and a man who makes terrible choices. He may be down on his luck because of his poor choices. He is moving in a circle going nowhere. This film is depressing and beautiful. I loved the cinematography. Everything is lit and shot perfectly. I’m not a big folk music fan, but the music in this film is excellent. The acting is superb. This movie was featured in a lot of best films of 2013 lists, a well deserved accolade. You should watch this movie.

Update: I’ve been thinking about this movie for days now. It’s probably one of my favourite films by the Coen brothers, which says a lot: they’ve done a lot of really great films.

The official Inside Llewyn Davis soundtrack.

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Bridesmaids

    9 January 2014, early evening

Bridesmaids was on Netflix. It’s always strange seeing a movie that seems too new or popular showing up on that site. The film is excellent. As the title suggests, the film is about bridesmaids. Kristen Wiig plays a women having a rough go at life. Her friend, played by Maya Rudolf, gets engaged and requests Wiig be her matron of honour. Hilarity and hijinks ensue, as she competes with another bridesmaid for Rudolf’s character’s affection, and tries to move forward with her life. It’s a very funny movie. The supporting cast is all hilarious. It’s directed by Paul Feig of Freaks and Geeks fame, and was produced by Judd Apatow. Wiig wrote the script along with Annie Mumolo. They had an A-Team working on this film, and it shows. Maybe i’m the last person on Earth to have seen this, but if you haven’t you should go watch it already.

Read (better) reviews of Bridesmaids on Rotten Tomatoes.

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Moon

   17 December 2013, mid-morning

Moon stars Sam Rockwell as an astronaut working in a power plant on the moon. He’s been living there for almost 3 years, alone except for a robot assistant (voiced by Kevin Spacey). This sort of isolation has made him a little bit crazy. As he prepares to return to Earth things start to get a little weird. Moon was an enjoyable movie. Sam Rockwell is great. I don’t want to discuss his performance too much, as it will give away part of the story, but suffice it to say it is varied and interesting. This is some proper science fiction with a small tight focus: it’s a film about loneliness and what it means be human. (Like so many movies, I suppose.) Rockwell is the only actor we see for much of the film. I loved how it ends.

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Backyard Portraits

   29 November 2013, terribly early in the morning

I finished up a roll of film in my backyard taking a shot of everyone sitting on our deck.

Shawn

Shima

Jana

Matt

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Fallen Angels

   24 November 2013, late afternoon

I watched Fallen Angels again today. The film is the unofficial sequel to Chungking Express. They share similar themes, are shot in a very similar style, and even share the actor Takeshi Kaneshiro. There are lots of nods to Chungking Express in Fallen Angels: slightly remixed dialogue and scenes play out in Fallen Angels as an alternate-Earth version of events that transpire in Chungking Express.

Like Chungking Express there are a few stories of love and loss. In Fallen Angels the stories play out in parallel, rather than back to back. Takeshi Kaneshiro plays a mute that breaks into shops at night to run them as his own business. Leon Lai plays a hit man who takes his orders from (smoking hot) Michelle Reis: she’s also in love with him. Karen Mok plays a girl who has dyed her hair bright blonde so as not to be forgotten. Charlie Yeung plays a girl Kaneshiro’s character is infatuated with, who spends her nights trying to hunt down her ex-boyfriends current girlfriend.

Fallen Angels is very surreal. The film takes place entirely at night. Most of the film has this weird dream like feel to it. Everything seems amped up and unreal. Michelle Reis’ character seems to be operating in a constant daze, like she’s sleep walking. Most of the characters don’t seem to act or react like normal people to anything happening in their lives. I have mixed feeling about all of that. I find it harder to relate to characters in films that are too surreal. I think Fallen Angels doesn’t have the same emotional weight it would or could if it was played a bit more straight. It’d be a very different movie, though. This is a Wong Kar Wai film, so there is a lot of emotional weight. There is unrequited love. People being forgotten be their former friends and lovers. Loneliness—there is lots of that.

Like most of Wong Kar Wai’s films, Fallen Angels is at times quite visually stunning. Like Chungking Express there are lots of interesting ‘trick’ shots employed to good effect. A lot of the film is shot with super wide angle lenses. Most of the time the camera must be inches from the actor’s faces. (This distorts their faces, again making the film feel quite surreal.) This style of shooiting also lets Wong Kar Wai showcase what’s happening in the backgrounds of scenes as well, as most everything ends up being enough in focus. The last scene in the film is one of my favourites, and uses this effect quite well.

Fallen Angels is a weird film, but quite enjoyable. I think it’s a weaker movie that Chungking Express, but most films probably are. Hah.

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