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2011 Polaroids

December 31, 2011

January

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Lonesome Town

December 27, 2011

Somewhere in southern Ontario, in the midst of a frozen parking lot on an early winter evening, there existed the most beautiful sunset.

Entire sheets of sky washed in throbbing ambers, golden pinks, and exquisite violets. Expanding, stretching, over masses of metal cubes that lay dormant below. Deserted shopping carts tremble in the wind. Dark figures huddled in layers of black shuffle slowly toward alien-size concrete structures. Street lamps suddenly appear, like rescue beacons on a forgotten mission, flood lights after a finished game; Except they stand in a field instead of a street, guarding temporary passages in place of permanent fixtures. Everything is fleeting. The silence is deafening. Humongous words glow with concepts of our collective destiny: Home, Food, Beyond… There is nowhere to be and no one to tell. The moment is beautiful. It was there and then it was gone.


Bow and Shoot

November 9, 2011

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Masters at Work

October 26, 2011
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Werner Herzog’s INTO THE ABYSS, Ann Hui’s A SIMPLE LIFE, Jafar Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb’s THIS IS NOT A FILM, Steve McQueen’s SHAME — all examples of masters at work who are fully in control of their craft, even in dire circumstances.

Here are my brief thoughts on the four films in Part II of my article for UK’s The Spectator Arts Blog. Two are exerpted below.

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New York

October 24, 2011

… where the sky is low.

And everything seems almost, just, within reach.

Inhale & Exhale

October 19, 2011

Inhale.

Press down the shutter and keep it open. Expose. Expose. Be kind. Be strong. Be patient.

Let go, when it feels right.

Exhale.

It is not always that simple. It is that simple.

Sometimes, it can be magical.

 

TIFF 2011: Eye of the Storm

October 14, 2011



It is shocking, but I don’t have a single photo of myself from the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.

Well, none taken by me anyway.

Here is a very belated write-up on the Festival for UK’s The Spectator Arts Blog. If last year was a whirlwind, this year was a delicious blur. Immediately post-TIFF I got thrown into another pile of work, and then it seemed a stretch to recap on something more than two weeks old in the Fall film festival circuit. Though when Scott Harris, the editor at The Spectator Arts Blog, asked me to do a piece for them, I was happy to have an excuse to reminisce about some of my favorite cinematic highlights from this year’s TIFF, where I worked closely as Programming Associate for Cameron Bailey from summer leading up and through the festival.

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Still Life

July 25, 2011

有一天闯入一间无人的房间,看到主人桌子上布满尘土的物品,似乎突然发现了静物的秘密。那些长年不变的摆设,桌子上布满灰尘的器物,窗台上的酒瓶,墙上的饰物都突然具有了一种忧伤的诗意。静物代表着一种被我们忽略的现实,虽然它深深地留有时间的痕迹,但它依旧沉默,保守着生活的秘密。

- 贾樟柯,《贾想 1996-2008》

Last week a note quietly awaited me on a humid summer afternoon. It was from the post office. It said I had a package to pick up. Assuming that was a dvd held up during the postal strike, I casted it aside. Almost a week later, the note caught the corner of my eye as I was dashing out the door. There it was, buried under a pile of unopened mail, still. Imagine my surprise when the postal lady dropped a large cardboard box onto the counter with a heavy thud. It was the box of Chinese books that I hurriedly shipped during my last week in BeiJing: poetry collections, classic literature, cinema handbooks, and various randomness that I swam in, finally arriving after months at sea.

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Awake on Foreign Shores

July 2, 2011

A man. A lone sax. A church.

Guttural and unrelenting, Colin Stetson‘s sounds crashed forward and took command: at times a distant siren’s call and others a rumbling thunder, it was an all-consuming affair that pelted you to the pews.

The Stars In His Head… From No Part Of Me Could I Summon A Voice, Lord I Just Can’t Keep From Crying Sometimes. Red Horse racing Home, with A Dream Of Water and Fear Of The Unknown And The Blazing Sun. Judges, The Righteous Wrath Of An Honorable Man Clothed In The Skin Of The Dead. All The Colors Bleached to White as All The Days I’ve Missed You.

In Love And In Justice.

Awake On Foreign Shores.

Unless you love

June 22, 2011

Your life will flash by.

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