Thursday, September 09, 2004

A much needed update

So my little sister has returned to university and my little brother is settling into his first year. And I, for the first time in nineteen years, am not heading off to school myself.

It feels, well, a little weird.

I'd say that I'm feeling as though I lack bearings, but that's not entirely true. I see where I've come from----school--and I see where I'm headed--a life of academia and of writing ahead on the horizon. I feel weightless, though. I'm in a state of suspension. I can neither go back--not even my envy of my brother's new beginnings can make it so--nor speed towards my eventual destination.

But I am trying to enjoy the journey.



- The Dreamers: Maybe my expectations were too high, but I found this movie--irrespective of its beauty--to be somewhat disappointing. For most of the movie the narrative seems stalled, in limbo. There is no real (or reel) action. Passivity pervades. Everyone is too absorbed with looking, with watching. This is a post-modern film to the tee: a film which is very much "about" itself and about film in general. And as much as I love The Dreamers for that, the concept doesn't quite work because--try as the filmmakers might to couch their creation in socio-cultural history--there just isn't enough momentum in the storytelling.

- Good bye, Lenin!: A fabulous little German film. Highly recommended.

- Monsieur Ibrahim et les fleurs du Coran: A cinematic bildungsroman, there isn't really much here, topically, to differentiate this film from any other film that deals with the coming-of-age of a youth who gains cultural awareness in concert with self-awareness. There isn't much to differentiate this film--EXCEPT for the way in which its story is told. This is a film for which the actual coming--not the age--is most important. Deftly acted, directed AND written, this is a film to watch for the sheer beauty of the journey, the process.

- Emile: A surprisingly accessible Canadian film starring Sir Ian McKellan, Deborah Kara Unger and Ian Tracy. I really enjoyed this film; however, clocking in at just over ninety minutes, it felt like a good chunk of the story (told, in part, through McKellan's character's interactions with his memories) was missing. Please, Carl Bessai, let there be a director's cut!

- Hero: One word: beautiful! Okay, so three more: see it now! Anything else I could say about Hero would diminish your experience of it. (Well, except for the fact that I still prefer Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon for it more in-depth characterization.)

- Northfork: An arty and artful little film about which I'm still formulating my opinion.

You know, as much as I enjoy watching the Olympics, the medal count isn't everything (Canada always does better at the Winter Olympics, anyway). Nor are organized sports. So instead of throwing more money at the albeit underfunded amateur athletes in Canada (obviously only a small fraction of the population), how about putting that money towards taking care of everyone? Our health care needs to be revamped ere we end up with a two-tier, privately-funded, privately-delivered (as opposed to the present publicly-funded, privately delivered system we have now... F.Y.I. Doctors are not public entities, but--in many ways--private businesspersons contracting out their services. This thought is not new.)

Much has been said about how organized sport promotes public health. But you know what? Public health care promotes public health more directly and to a greater number of people. Our elite athletes deserve our support, but so does every Canadian. So instead of financial support, let's give more moral support to our athletes. Because, really, being told you're accomplishments are worthless unless they garner the gold is infinitely more detrimental to the Olympic ideal than underfunding.

- it stinks! Or at least retail does. I can't deal with it for more than another month or so. I want to go back to school, but I'll take that job in the local newspaper's ad department--if they'll have me--in the meantime. I'm sure the working conditions and the pay will be better. (And thus easier to save for school and my exchange!) And thus easier for me to enjoy my time off. It'll make me feel less like I'm wasting my degree.

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