a collection of interesting and not-so-interesting things. including information on current & upcoming projects.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

reading week vacation

in case you don't already know, i am out of province on my reading week vacation (left a bit early). i'm hanging out with mandy in saskatchewan, then we're going to go to san francisco next week. should be fun. i'm writing and reading for school and trying to pull together a new submission of my Kanada book for Suzette's class. anyway, sorry to be missing all the things i'm missing (ie. the NoD launch) and if you need to call me, i've still got my cell phone. i'll be back in Calgary on Feb 27, so see you after then.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

a statistic for you...

... even if you include the 9/11 casualties, the number of Americans killed by international terrorists since the late 1960s (which is when the State Department began counting them) is about the same as that killed by lightning - or by accident-causing deer, or by severe allergic reactions to peanuts.

"In almost all years, the total number of people worldwide who die at the hands of international terrorists is not much more than the number who drown in bathtubs in the United States" wrote John Mueller of Ohio State University in last autumn's issue of the authoritative American journal Terrorism and Political Violence.

from "A 'long war' designed to perpetuate itself" in The International Herald Tribune

Friday, February 10, 2006

pool with Bök

went out to the flywheel reading last night, out to the bear & kilt afterward. a good time, ended up staying late and playing pool with Jordan and Christian, Mark came by late and played a bit more. it was a good time, despite some mildly annoying guys in a nearby table that seemed so bored they had nothing better to do than make ignorant comments. i didn't care at all, but Jordan was getting drunk and rowdy. i suppose this is the kind of thing people do in calgary. anyway, i can now put on my CV: "Got called a fag with Christian Bök." a great quote from a somewhat inebriated Christian, spoken while listening to the Mars Volta song "L'Via L'Viaquez":

"There are too many people in this song. I can hear them speaking."

Thursday, February 02, 2006

the press circuit

i recently did some interviews for The Winnipeg Free Press and The Winnipeg Sun, and I hear that Uptown Magazine has reviewed some of the films in the program. I'm also going to be on UMFM tonight with James Borsa for Ultrasonic film, which you can always listen to online if not on-radio (10-11 Winnipeg time). come out and see the films!!

Winnipeg Weekend

I'm going to be in Winnipeg this weekend, curating a three-day film program. The schedule/press release is below. Come out to the films, and out to the King's Head afterward. Not only will I be there, but Friday night THE RIVER CITY HUM is playing, comprised of former members of the band PROST (that's MY old band!!) and then on Saturday THE SCOTT NOLAN BAND is playing, one of the best Winnipeg bands around! I'm really pleased by this, it's really a coincidence that it worked out this way. See you in Winnipeg!

Visions of The End:
Apocalyptic Canadian Cinema
(Curated by Jonathan Ball)

This weekend THE CINEMATHEQUE presents a specially curated film series:
Winnipeg film-maker, film critic, and Gimli Film Festival Shorts
Programmer JONATHAN BALL. Currently taking his PhD. in English at the University of Calgary, Jonathan is coming back to Winnipeg this weekend to participate in the opening night panel following a screening of John Paizs's 1980's classic CRIME WAVE. Other participants include Crime Wave actors Eva Kovacs, Neil Lawrie, and Mark Yuill, film-maker Jeff Erbach, whose films The Nature of Nicholas and Soft Like Me are also in the series, Cinematheque programmer Dave Barber and film professor Howard Curle.

Friday/ Feb. 3rd/ 7:00 PM

Crime Wave (1985) (80 mins.) By John Paizs
Starring Darrell Barran, Eva Kovacs, Neil Lawrie, Mark Yuill and John
Paizs A seminal film in Winnipeg independent film-making in the 1980’s Crime Wave is a work of incredible imagination and inventive ideas. Upon its release in the mid 1980's the film played to terrific acclaim at film festivals across North America. Crammed with B movie gags and pop cultural references the movie follows the story of Steven Penny, a crime writer who wants to create the perfect colour crime movie but he is only good at writing beginnings and endings (and not the stuff in the middle.)

"Quite an achievement. Probably the funniest Canadian film ever made."

Gerald Peary

"Something of a revelation." Geoff Pevere


After the screening of CRIME WAVE on the opening night there will be a
discussion about the film's importance and the broader themes of
apocalypse with curator Jonathan Ball, Cinematheque programmer Dave Barber, teacher Howard Curle, and film-maker Jeff Erbach. Crime Wave
actors Eva Kovacs, Mark Yuill, and Neil Lawrie (who plays Dr Jollie) will speak about the making of Crime Wave.

Friday/ Feb. 3rd/ 9:30 PM

FAMILY VIEWING (1988) By Atom Egoyan

Atom Egoyan's rare second feature is a black comedy with disturbing
undercurrents of sexual deviancy and incest, Patrick Tierny plays a
sensitive young man overwhelmed by family tensions. His estrangement
from his callous father widens when he discovers that videos of his childhood have been replaced by homemade sex tapes. (Onion)

Saturday/Feb.4/ 7:00 PM

DOOMSAYER: The Apocalyptic Shorts of Arthur Lipsett
Arthur Lipsett created some of the wildest films ever made in this
country. He was called the "William Blake" of modern cinema and in the early 1960's he created a brilliant series of disturbing collage films. Stanley Kubrick was so impressed he wanted Lipsett to create the trailer for Dr.Strangelove and Star Wars director George Lucas was so excited by Lipsett's films he wanted to move to Canada and make experimental films.

Saturday/ Feb. 4 / 9:00 PM

The Nature of Nicholas (2002) by Jeffrey Erbach
The surreal story of the young Nicholas's homosexual attraction to his
friend Bobby. After he kisses Bobby, a ghoulish shadow-self splits off
from Bobby and is attended to by the dutiful Nicholas. Meanwhile, Nicholas's father appears from beyond the grave to take possession of those around the boy and pressure him into closer interactions with girls and away from Bobby. A grim prairie fable which presents the standard coming-of-age story as not a tale of growth but of suffocation and implosion.

Full of weird and original ideas." FAB Magazine

Sunday/ Feb.5/ 7:00 PM

Apocalyptic Winnipeg Cinema

Filmmakers from one of Canada's most well respected independent
Filmmaking centres have been responsible for some incredibly dark and strange apocalyptic cinema.

Porcelain Dreams (12 mins.) (2005) By Mike Reisacher
From deep within Edward's fragmented mind his deepest fears have

The Sex of Self Hatred (2004) (9 mins.) By Sol Nagler
The infamous self hating Jew, Otto Wieninger decides to kill himself in a room containing Beethoven's deathbed. 2004 Boston Underground Film Festival

The Salt Pillar (20 mins.) (2005) By Daniel Eskin
Starring Alex Rzeszowski,
In the weeks following his freedom after the Holocaust, a German Jew
Wanders The dangerous Polish countryside, on a solemn journey to return to the village of his youth..

"A film of startling maturity and depth." - Winnipeg Free Press

Mike (1990) By M.B. Duggan
Starring Kyle McCulloch
Recently released from a mental institution, Mike goes to live in a
Filthy boarding House. When he goes off his pills his dreams and reality merge together and he is convinced people are disappearing from the world around him.

Soft Like Me (26 mins.) (1996) By Jeff Erbach
One of the bleakest, most chilling visions you'll ever encounter. A
group of sadistic farmers oversee a camp of boys enslaved to the master where they must harvest the crops.

"Unforgettable and very disturbing." NOW MAGAZINE

The Heart of The World (2000) (6 mins.) By Guy Maddin
Voted one of the " Best Films of The Year" by both the New York Times
And Village Voice, Heart of The World is a brilliant, breathless parody of silent Soviet Propoganda.

*Best Experimental Film 2000 / National Society of US Film Critics

Sun./Feb. 5 / 9:00 PM
Last Night (1998) by Don McKellar
Starring Callum Keith Rennie, Sandra Oh, Sarah Polley , David Cronenberg
The world is going to end in six hours. A cast of characters prepares
For the end in their own ways, intersecting with one another's lives in
Various ways. McKellar explores millennial anxiety in a moving and personal fashion.