Monday, May 28, 2012

Turn me on, goddammit!

An interesting comedy about teens and sex in Norway. How do you deal with a horny 15yo girl? A film from Norway, "Få meg på, for faen!" (Turn me on, goddammit!)

Picasso @ AGO

If you're in Toronto, you can't miss this exhibition, from the Musée National Picasso in Paris. It's Picasso, you need no further convincing to go.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Inside Out 2012: Melting Away

Part of Toronto's Inside Out LGBTQ Film Festival, "Melting Away" (נמס בגשם) @ TIFF Bell Lightbox. Country: Israel.

As much as it may be a trans film, it's a film about family, about coming home, and love and acceptance. And a beautiful one.

Inside Out 2012: Madame X

Part of Toronto's Inside Out LGBTQ Film Festival, @ TIFF Bell Lightbox.

Advertised as some sort of Indonesian trans superhero comedy, the crazy next to last 20 minutes are a jewel. The rest is kitschy-bad enough to make it actually fun (because of the full-on silliness), with a tiny dash of social crictism for added flavour, but I would definitely liked to see more of Madame X, the superhero(ine).

Monday, May 21, 2012

Inside Out 2012: Transplanetarium

Part of Toronto's Inside Out LGBTQ film festival, Transplanetarium is a whirlwind tour of the transsexual reality through 10 interesting, diverse shorts.  Even if you don't consider yourself trans or queer, this should get you thinking about the gendering of life in a way that, hopefully, will help us all build better, more diverse, accepting socities.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Parting Memories

Performance by Violeta Luna, at the Passe Muraille Theatre. A performance full of symbols about the traumatic and dangerous event of emigrating.

Vegans protest at La Palette

A group protests La Palette's reintroduction of horse meat to its menu, while a neighbour complains about:

1) all the honking they're causing
2) their focus. Why just horse meat? What about eggs? Chicken? The KFC and McDonald's nearby?

Chocolate breakfast

Long-weekends must begin with a healthy breakfast: chocolate flour-less cake, iced Mayan chocolate, at SOMA.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

so what about the last FOUR months???

If you noticed, my last post was about our trip to Lisbon and Spain.  That trip took place in September 2011.  That last post was published mid-March 2012.  My husband's surgery (see my somewhat cryptic post "Luck, Resilience") took place in mid-January.  So all this time, from January until now, what? nothing of interest happened in our lives or what?  

After the initial shock of my husband's surgery, life went on.  Quieter, with no travelling.  And yes, at times with not really much at all beyond looking after the then big, gaping open neck wound (sorry if you have a vivid imagination).  But at other times, and more so as time passed, life was full of more and more interesting, enjoyable moments.

To start, we discovered what it was like to have lunch together.  It's funny but, with me always having lunch near work, and with both of us having very different diets anyhow, we rarely had lunch together during the week.  With the surgery, I started coming back home for a quick lunch, to keep my husband company during his convalescence, to cheer him up.   And with time, we discovered new things we (ok, HE, lol) could cook, and share, and enjoy together.   New curries, soups, scrambled tofu all brought us tastily together in an unexpected way...

As my husband felt better and more secure about leaving the apartment, we also started going to the theatre, to the movies... and we enjoyed plenty, from Robert Lepage's "The Blue Dragon" (which, thanks to our link to China, was even more interesting), to Ronnie Burkett's "Penny Plain" (how about a puppet play about the end of the world?), to Japanese documentaries (about sushi!) and the fantastic Toronto Jewish Film Festival, where we enjoyed a total of 8 diverse films and documentaries from around the world (France, Argentina, Russia, Germany, Israel...):

It was even a time of "astronomic fun" (yeesh, what a bad joke, my sincere apologies).  But really, we had some beautiful clear skies that let us enjoy both Venus and Jupiter in March, and a fantastic supermoon in May.  I'm no astronomy geek, but I certainly loved these, and was lucky enough to be out with my husband to see them (and was lucky enough to have a very patient husband that waited for me to find the prefect spots for the photos and to wait for me to stop gazing at the moon and planets so we could go home).

And it was a time when my husband proved he was a loving, understanding partner and made sure to nudge me every now and then to leave him home and go party.  He could have had me every night, every weekend, at home, by his side, he could have easily given me the mother of all guilt-trips if he wanted.  Yet all he did was make sure I had enough opportunities and freedom to dance and party all the stress out.  Now that's a mentsh! ("a noble, admirable man" in Yiddish; hey, after a week surrounded by Jewish people, you can forgive me for using a Yiddishism or two!)

And even though his Butoh and Taichi training had to wait for him to recover, my husband kept working hard and finished editing his book on acting techniques, and then published it!  Since it's a subject I know next to nothing about, and there was almost 400 pages of it, I was doubly selfishly proud.

But the best, like, the very best thing of them all, the one I had been dreaming of day after day, happened Friday May 11th.  The nurse came home, took off my husband's bandage, and finally confirmed with a big, bright smile what we thought was ready to happen:  the wound had closed!   118 days, many many metres of ribbon gauze, and tons of medical supplies later, all that was left was a scar.  Yes, we tend to think of scars as "unpretty".  But a scar is no open wound, and that is a very pretty thing indeed for this man.  Plus, who knows, I might have some fun with my young niece and nephew and tell them it was a shark attack!  LOL

Life, which had been gaining momentum day after day, little by little, can go on at full throttle now.   L'chaim! (Yiddishism number two:  "to life!")

P.S.  Plus, if you check my other blog, 帥の遊記 LITE, you'll see that we have been active all these months, just with the simple, little things.   ;-)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

TJFF 2012: My dad is Baryshnikov

Toronto Jewish Film Festival's "My dad is Baryshnikov" (Мой папа - Барышников). Country: Russia. @ Cineplex Odeon Sheppard Centre Cinemas.

This was our last film of the festival. Think Billy Elliot. During the Perestroika. A less charming, but funnier kid. Change the happy ending. But keep it happy, and a bit of a surprise. Very enjoyable. Nice finale for this festival for us. Thanks TJFF!

TJFF 2012: Cabaret-Berlin, the Wild Scene

Toronto Jewish Film Festival's "Cabaret-Berlin, the Wild Scene" (Cabaret-Berlin, la scène sauvage).  Country: France/Germany.  @ Innis Town Hall Theatre.

Fantastic documentary, all from original material, about Germany from after the First World War up to the rise of Nazism, about its artistic and stage life, and the many Jews that were part of it... later rejected, tortured, expelled or killed by the regime.

"You cannot live without love" (Leben ohne Liebe kannst du nicht)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

TJFF 2012: "Free Men" & "Sheherazade and the Kosher Delight"

Toronto Jewish Film Festival's "Free men" (Les Hommes Libres) and "Sheherazade and the Kosher Delight" (Shéhérazade et le délice casher).  Country: France.  @ Bloor Hot Docs Cinema.

The Sheherezade and the Kosher Delight short was funny.   But Free Men was a real nice film about occupied France and the Moslem and North-African men who fought for freedom, regardless of race, ideology and religion, saving many Jews in the process. Another side of a complex, tragic, dark moment of history where a major foe brings communists, colonisers, the colonised, and different faiths together.  Find it.  Watch it.

TJFF 2012: The Dreamers & Thou shalt not dance

Toronto Jewish Film Festival's "The Dreamers" (החולמות) & "Thou shalt not dance" (לא תרקוד) Country: Israel.  @ Bloor Hot Docs Cinema.

Two interesting documentaries about Jews in orthodox societies that, by entering the creative realms of dance and film, clash against what the groups they belong to believe in, and don't seem to realise how much their foray into art puts them at risk of losing their orthodoxy.

Friday, May 11, 2012

TJFF 2012; The Prize

Toronto Jewish Film Festival's "The Prize" (El Premio).  Country: Argentina.  @ Al Green Theatre.

Simple but powerful music. Superb acting by the main character (a 7 year-old child). And the (if jyst a bit slow at moments) story of a family hiding from the Argentinian dictatorship, viewed through simple, naïve child's eyes.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

"The Written Face"

"The Written Face", a documentary on Bandō Tamasaburō at the Japan Foundation. If you have any interest in Kabuki theatre, and particularly in the onnagata role, this is a wonderful insight into the art.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

TJFF 2012: Kaddish for a Friend

Toronto Jewish Film Festival's "Kaddish for a Friend" (Kaddisch für einen Freund).  Country: Germany.  @ Cineplex Odeon Sheppard Centre Cinemas.

There are plenty of stories where opposites meet and end up developing a friendship imposed by circumstances. But when the characters are a young boy of Palestinian origin and an old Russian Jew, the story takes on a more emotional, and I'd dare say controversial, tone. You may have "seen them all", but you haven't seen this one, and it will certainly move you one way or another.

Monday, May 07, 2012

TJFF 2012: In search of Yiddish

Toronto Jewish Film Festival's "In search of Yiddish" (В поисках идиша). Country: Russia/Belarus. @ Cineplex Odeon Sheppard Centre Cinemas.

A personal document more than a documentary, at times overlong and a tad schmaltzy, Akexander Goridnitsky takes you from Belarus, where Yiddish was once well alive, to a time and place where Yiddish survives thanks to Gentiles and Chassidim. Interesting, for sure, but done in a not so interesting way.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Supermoon and CN Tower

OSS 117: Lost in Rio

Toronto Jewish Film Festival's "OSS 117: Lost in Rio" (OSS 117: Rio Ne Répond Plus). Country: France. @ Toronto Underground Cinema.

A super funny French comedy about a totally dim and oblivious French spy that will have you laughing out loud often, with an uncannily superb recreation of spy movies from the 60's, along with a good yet funny criticism to a number of things (including the French).  Absolutely recommend watching it.