Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Music = Esperanto, trans: universal language only without words

Everybody has their own vision if their friend were to say the phrase, "one, big, happy family" in their native language. I would like to make up my own version, from scratch, based on all the warm'n'fuzzy family scenes I've seen or been part of in my years - some things are in common with all of them, you know, the sway when we all singing 'round the dinner table.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Hilarious footage of, yeah you heard right, of a Donkey Race - the idea of sport to a Persian's taste. Well, maybe only if nobody owns a soccer ball in the village. Who needs a trophy, ribbons or a garland of flowers for the winning, un, donkey, when being part of the event is intrinsically gratifying! Still, having a race course complete with stands replete with roof for fans to enjoy the event in comfort tells me donkey's are more then home-boys, they're groomed as serious competitors.
Filmmaker: Farhod Peiravi

Saturday, June 03, 2006

My Beast Friends

Description: My first attempt at using my Christmas 2004 present - a DVD Sony videocam. It was a lot harder than I thought to even hold the camera still and follow my subjects around! home-movies of our puppies (our cats just crashed the filmset)

My Vocation, or, Peter Finally Retires Description: Based on this last year of Peter's career as a full-time teacher for 35 years in one school. His retirement bash was last night - it was the size and sanctity of teh wedding we shared 23 years ago. He's simply changing vocational venues, as we see it - after a well-earned hammock-hiatus in the backyard.


Billie's Bounce

Added on May 26, 2006, 10:38 AM
by JoeyLieber (5 videos)

me playin one of the first jazz songs I ever played, Billie's Bounce. enjoy / comments are welcome and appreciated!
P.S - Ignore the humming, I know its sorta me playin one of the first jazz songs I ever played, Billie's Bounce. enjoy / comments are welcome and appreciated!
P.S - Ignore the humming, I know its sorta strange :-D It's a habit I've recently developed, especially after listening to Keith Jarrett and Oscar Peterson waaay too much :-D
Also, for all you jazz enthusiasts, I know the rhythm speeds and slows slightly, and articulating on a keyboard ain't the easiest thing in the world, but nevertheless, listen and tell me whats on your minds :-D

more vids to come soon!

Head and Solo on

Added on April 09, 2006, 08:44 PM
by JoeyLieber (5 videos)

another excerpt from a recent concert of mine at the manhattan school of music!

Blue Bossa

Added on January 11, 2006, 08:28 PM
by JoeyLieber

and make sure to check out my other videos! thanks for listenin

Solo on

Added on April 08, 2006, 08:59 PM
by JoeyLieber (5 videos)

recent concert at the Manhattan School of Music

hope you enjoy it!

(P.S solo is not a transcription)

My solo on the song

Added on December 11, 2005, 08:08 PM
by JoeyLieber (

This is my solo at the Manhattan School of Music on the song "Off Minor" with the Jacam Manricks Jazz Combo

People Hate Camcorders

Added on May 22, 2006, 04:17 PM
by "maddhax0r"

What is it about people not wanting to be recorded.

Drunken Boredom

Added on May 26, 2006, 10:02 PM
by http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=maddhax0r

Yeah so i was drinking and ran outta crap to do so I recorded myself playing the guitar. Took some clips and cut out all the crap where i was just scr****g arround. If you dont like it, guess what . . . I dont gove a ****.

Friday, December 30, 2005

African sound rules music w'Toronto at the Hub

Thu, 29 Dec 2005
Google Alert - Toronto, Soul Drums

AFRICA dominates with original sounds
Toronto Star - Canada
... Myamba, an atmospheric solo album stripped of drums and electric ... Cape Verde, Di Korpu ku Alma (Of Body and Soul). The biggest news out of Toronto this year has ...

This as-it-happens Google Alert is brought to you by Google...

Africa dominates with original sounds
Dec. 29, 2005. 01:00 AM

Innovative work from Senegal, landmark releases from Mali and a motherlode of gems from the Democratic Republic of Congo dominated this year's world music scene.
Toronto's Kiran Ahluwalia also grabbed attention in Europe and elsewhere with her first international release. And a raft of other global newcomers freshened the offerings, particularly a veteran Iraqi star and a sensuous young singer from the Cape Verde Islands.
The album of the year has to be Orientissime.
Titled Orientation in the U.S. and Britain, it is the astonishingly original work of Thione Seck, Senegal's perennial No. 2 star at home after Youssou N'Dour.
Seck has always lived in the westernmost portion of Africa, but grew up listening to languorous Egyptian strings on the radio and lively Bollywood hits at the cinema.
Such sounds unquestionably influenced his vocal style, which to some listeners always seemed strangely at odds with his country's mbalax (pronounced em-BAL-lach) polyrhythmic music.
Orientissime sounds like the album he always wanted to make.
Recorded three years ago but released only now, it brings together Senegalese, Egyptian and Indian musicians and vocalists, with a wildness and confidence that fully realizes his brilliant vision.
In another radical departure, Senegal's No. 3 mbalax star, Omar Pene, marked his 30 years as leader of Super Diamono with Myamba, an atmospheric solo album stripped of drums and electric guitars.
And the always independent-minded Sheikh Lo, on his first album in five years, again got adventurous with Lamp Fall, recorded in Dakar, London and the Bahia region of northern Brazil.
From Mali, Senegal's immediate neighbour to the east, three especially good albums were produced this past year.
One is M'Bemba, by the great Mande singer Salif Keita, a semi-acoustic production in the vein of his 2002 Moffou album, but more self-assured and majestic, solidifying his new direction.
A second is In the Heart of the Moon, an almost entirely instrumental CD by Mali's top two improvisational string masters — guitarist Ali Farka Touré and kora player Toumani Diabate.
Touré has almost entirely ceased to perform publicly and has short patience for the studio, preferring to oversee his fields and orchards on the banks of the Niger River at Niafunké.
His London producer Nick Gold is left with little choice but to chase Touré down periodically, and match him with musicians who can jam at his level. Diabate proves the perfect choice, in sessions using a portable studio at a hotel in the Malian capital of Bamako.
The third hit album from Mali is Dimanche à Bamako, by Amadou et Mariam, an endearing blind couple best known for their love songs to each other.
On this release, the Spanish-born France-based singer/guitarist Manu Chao updates and energizes their sound, without losing any of the couples' mutual warmth and affection, and brings them to a wider audience.
Little new Congolese music has reached the outside world in recent years, as war and poverty continue to cripple the music industry in that country. To fill the gap, outside companies have started to mine the rich back catalogue.
Perhaps the best of such releases this year is Golden Afrique Vol. 2, a two-CD set covering classic rumba Congolaise and early soukous from 1956 to 1982. It begins spectacularly with Franco and Sam Mangwana collaborating on Co-operation and progresses through another 26 outstanding tracks.
Also climbing the charts is Nyboma, a collection of pioneering soukous music from 1981 to 1985 by Nyboma & Kamalé Dynamique. Nyboma is also the current singer with the reformed Rumba Congolaise group Kékélé.
Other standout releases of the year include Ilham: The Voice of Iraq, a greatest hits CD from Iraqi folk singer and oud player Ilham al Madfai, and his exciting band. He is in his 60s and only now finding a well-deserved wider audience.
Lura, presented at Toronto's Lula Lounge this fall by Small World Music, scored a hit with her freshly entertaining CD/DVD release of music from Cape Verde, Di Korpu ku Alma (Of Body and Soul).
The biggest news out of Toronto this year has been Kiran Ahluwalia's Day of Colours, her third CD and her first international release, greeted in the world-music press with rave notices.
"She has the potential to become one of the great ambassadors of Indo-Pakistani diaspora music, not from Canada, from anywhere," wrote Ken Hunt in London's authoritative fRoots magazine.
Ahluwalia sings traditional ghazal music, but in her own style. On two tracks on Day of Colours she is joined by Cape Breton fiddler Natalie MacMaster.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Google Alert - "Doug Sole"

HIGHER Ground Community

Drum Circle Facilitator, Educator, Speaker, Author, and Co-owner of Soul Drums Ltd, DOUG SOLE has led drum circles ranging from 10 to
600 players ...

This as-it-happens Google Alert is brought to you by Google...

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

fun~ Posted by Picasa

are we having fun yet? Posted by Picasa
"are we having fun yet?" ~ aRtPaD on Art.com

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Waleed Abdulhamid - May 16 2005 Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Drums & Percussion Newsletter

Drums On The Web

"Pam Gore" pam@drumsontheweb.com
Tue, 16 Aug 2005 21:45:31

Pam & Rhythm Tech... yup! The rumors are true! Pam is backworking with Richard and the rest of the great folks at RhythmTech. For now, I will be updating the Artist Area of the http://www.rhythmtech.com/ site. So all you Rhythm Tech endorsers(you know who you are!) make my life easier and send some artistupdates! A quick email telling us what you've been up tolately... and I'll get it up on the Rhythm Tech site...and of course, the DrumsOnTheWeb.com site.
And all you "other-wise-endorsed artists" - send me an artistupdate email, too! I'll post it on the DrumsOnTheWeb.com site!

Music, Videos, Music!!! Great music from your favorite drummers and percussionists... NEW music from John JR Robinson!

DrumsOnTheWeb.com and Tower Music has partnered to bring you even more music in the CD Store!

There's LOTS of fun stuff going on! Upcoming Shows, Festivals & Clinics:

Be sure to check out the DrumsOnTheWeb.com VIP websites:

1017 N La Cienega Blvd Ste 103
Los Angeles, CA 90069

Volume 9 Issue 8 August 2005
©All Rights Reserved

Friday, July 22, 2005

Mieke's artPad

Painting 1 on art.com artPad

Painting 2 on art.com artPad

Painting 3 on art.com artPad

Painting 4 on art.com artPad

Saturday, June 25, 2005

TheStar.com - Basic principles

TheStar.com - Basic principles

Jun. 25, 2005. 01:00 AM

Basic principles

People in 12-step programs share a language. The words may sound ordinary but they are applied in a particular way. Here is one person's interpretation of some of those common phrases:

Powerlessness doesn't mean being passive; it means being realistic. Those living with alcoholism may become consumed with trying to control and change the alcoholic's destructive behaviour. But trying to control the uncontrollable leads only to despair. The first step to finding a different way to live is accepting that they didn't cause the problem drinking, can't control it and can't cure it.

A Higher Power is what the steps refer to as "a power greater than ourselves" and can take whatever form that feels right to the individual. Some people are comfortable with a traditional notion of God and others see their Higher Power as the wisdom and support of their 12-step group or a sponsor.

The principle of anonymity allows all members to be equal and makes it safe to discuss personal matters freely. Those who attend AA or Al-Anon identify themselves by first name only. Professions, politics, religion, social status and criminal records are left at the door. What unites people is their common problem — of being affected by alcoholism. Anonymity means what's discussed in the meetings stays in the meetings.

"One day at a time" means living in an emotionally healthy way, rather than being tied up in the regrets of yesterday or the dread of tomorrow. For most people, the thought of battling an addiction or a behaviour for the rest of their lives is so overwhelming they may as well give up. So they focus on doing it "just for today."

Making amends involves taking responsibility for choices, mistakes and harm done to others. It can take the form of a direct apology, but it also means changing the harmful behaviour. It is a way of moving forward and cleaning up the past.

"A spiritual awakening" — a new way to react to the world and other people — is promised to those who work through the 12 Steps.

TheStar.com - Serenity is hard won

TheStar.com - Serenity is hard won

Jun. 25, 2005. 01:00 AM

Serenity is hard won
The 50,000 people coming for next weekend's international AA convention won't all be alcoholics

Families and friends in Al-Anon use principles of AA in their search for recovery, writes Thomas J.

Five thousand of those attending the AA convention will be members of the Al-Anon family groups who follow the same 12-step program. Here, one Al-Anon member describes how he was affected by other people's drinking and how the Al-Anon program helped turn his life around. In the AA tradition of anonymity, the writer has withheld his full name.

I have no memory of a time before alcoholism. I have no memory of learning about alcoholism, either. It was just there.

Everybody, except my mother, drank. My father and my grandmother were the major alcoholics in my life, but when my grandmother's siblings, my dad's siblings, my cousins or any of their friends visited, the alcoholic episodes compounded the ones I lived with every day.

In many homes where alcohol is a problem, family members tiptoe around and do all they can to deny its existence. It's like having an elephant in the middle of the room and nobody even acknowledges its presence.

But in my home, we knew it was there and it was all we talked about. We were obsessed with the drinkers and believed that if they would only stop, everything would be okay. At the same time, we were terrified that anyone outside the family would know what was going on.

The missed dinners, the coming home at all hours, the incessant fighting, the threats, the silence, the screaming, the sound of things being broken late in the night and the escalating violence were scary, confusing and shameful.

Dad drank and we felt like we were doing something wrong. He was living it up and we were afraid to show our faces. That is the thing about alcoholism — it affects all the members of a family even if they don't drink.

The alcoholic is sick, and the family is sick, too. It is all part of the condition.

The alcoholic has alcoholism and the family members have alcoholism — the family disease.

Growing up in the GTA, I was a very nervous child, afraid of most everything and everyone. My stomach was upset all the time. I spent a lot of time in the bathroom. It had a lock. Nobody could get me in there.

I made a habit of clearing all of the clothes out of my closet so I could put in a small table and chair. I draped a light over the clothes bar and brought in paper and crayons. I made a sign that said "Keep Out" and taped it to the outside of the closet door.

But even as I sat in my haven, I wondered why no one would come in.

I continued that pattern as an adult. I desperately wanted to have people in my life but it was as if I had a sign that said "Keep Out" — expressed in the way I looked and the way I acted. The legacy of family alcoholism is not so much the drama of the active drinking, but the behaviours, attitudes and actions I have carried into my adult life.

I didn't make a conscious decision to do this, any more than the alcoholic makes a conscious decision to become an alcoholic.

As I grew up, other characteristics began to show in my behaviour, apart and separate from my reactions to the active alcoholic. I was like a chameleon. I would adopt the ways of the person or group of people I was with, just to feel like I fit in.

When I was in high school I was given a personality test as part of a class activity. The results described my personality as "amorphous." I took it as a compliment. "Hey," I thought. "I'm flexible, I can get along well with others." The instructor said "No, it means you don't really know who you are."

I was an angry person. When I was young I kept most of it in, but it would spill out occasionally. As I got older, these episodes were more frequent and more out of sync with reality. I blew up at work, at my friends, at my spouse, at my family, at strangers. Part of me liked the sense of power anger gave me; part of me loathed myself.

I needed help but wasn't ready to admit it. I blamed the alcoholics in my life for what I had become. "If they would change, I would be okay." "If they would only apologize for what they had done, I could move on."

Seeing myself as a victim allowed me to stay in the illusion, in the denial, that there was nothing really wrong with me.

My quest for approval knew no bounds. I wanted connection with others, but would pull away from it when I had it. If I didn't pull away from it physically I would pull away from it emotionally.

`I needed help but wasn't ready to admit it. I blamed the alcoholics in my life for what I had become'

As a child, I was often called upon to help my mother in the face of frightening physical violence or to offer emotional support in its aftermath. I learned to like the feeling of being needed, of helping to "fix" people.

I sought it out in my relationships. I have chosen three alcoholic partners. No matter how bizarre the situation, it felt familiar. Vicious squabbles, obvious infidelity, a toxic mix of shame, remorse and denial. Despite all efforts on my part, nothing would change.

My actions, attitudes and behaviours — formed in the desperate crucible of life with an alcoholic — were wrecking my life. I was not doing this on purpose. I was not an alcoholic, I was not even drinking.

But I needed the kind of help an alcoholic needs. And when I was finally ready, I joined Al-Anon.

Al-Anon is a fellowship whose singular qualification for membership is that there be a problem of alcoholism in a relative or friend. I more than qualified. From the first time I showed up, I knew I belonged.

I came in with my life in a mess but I still held on to the belief that the alcoholics were the problem.

In Al-Anon I learned things: that my old way of thinking was what got me into trouble; that it was time to take my focus off the alcoholic and put it on myself.

Al-Anon does not offer an answer on how to stop someone from drinking, but it does offer a solution to the problems that plague people who have been affected by alcoholism.

I was told that when an alcoholic takes one drink, it sets off a craving for many, many more. I always thought they could just stop if they wanted to.

I was told that the alcoholics in my life had a disease. They were not a disgrace. They were sick people, not bad people.

I was told that no matter how much I try to control another person's drinking, I will fail. Even worse, that my obsession with other people's actions was a problem I needed to fix.

I resisted. Wasn't I the good one? The one everyone relied on to solve the problem, to patch things up, to smooth things over? Wasn't I the one who had been hard done by?

I still got endless satisfaction telling stories about the outrageous things the alcoholics had done, never recognizing the part I played.

Slowly, as I learned to use the 12 Steps and the other tools in the program, my thinking changed. The interesting thing is that Al-Anon's solution for the family is the same as AA's solution for the alcoholic.

The underlying principles of these steps are really quite simple: admit that I have a problem (powerlessness), become willing to accept that there is some power greater than myself (Higher Power), decide to take actions to find that power (God as you understand God), look at my actions, not someone else's (personal inventory), make restitution for wrongs I have done (amends) and work with others (service).

I've taken these actions and the quality of my life has improved dramatically. The situations outside of me do not need to change for my life to improve.

By practising the principles of the 12 Steps, I have found a way out of my fear of people, a way to temper my white-hot bursts of rage. I have a much better sense of who I am. I don't have to change to fit in. The person I am at work is the person I am at a party or with my family or with my friends.

I don't blame situations outside of me for what is going on inside of me. Life is not something that is happening to me, it is something I am participating in.

I no longer get overly involved in people's lives just to feel needed. I no longer do for people what they can do for themselves.

Today, my overwhelming feeling is gratitude. I am grateful for the freedom I have, I am grateful for the life I am now able to live and I am grateful to Al-Anon for providing me with the tools that make that possible.

There is still active alcoholism in my life. I have learned I did not cause the alcoholic to drink, I cannot control the alcoholic's drinking and I am powerless to cure it.

Instead, I have learned to love the alcoholics for the people they are and not hate or fear them for the problem they have. I have been able to forgive.

Living with alcoholism affects people, but those effects need not be a lifelong sentence.

TheStar.com - Live 8 concerts - Pop activism, Take Two

TheStar.com - Pop activism, Take Two

Jun. 25, 2005. 09:48 AM

Pop activism, Take Two
The world has changed in 20 years — but there's still need to feed the poor.

Will next week's Live 8 concerts do more for them than last time, or less?


We are the world.

It's a familiar sentiment, one forever etched in the public imagination as the title of the song that brought down the curtain on Live Aid, the 1985 benefit concert that until today has stood as the high watermark for pop-star activism.

Now we prepare for another refrain — though not exactly.

In some ways, the world poised to cast its collective gaze on the various Live 8 concerts taking place around the globe next Saturday is not the same world that stood transfixed by the two stadium shows in London and Philadelphia 20 years ago for the similarly altruistic Live Aid festival.

The communist Soviet Union, whose authoritarian leaders prohibited its citizenry from joining the 1.5 billion TV viewers in more than 100 countries who watched Live Aid, is no more. It is now capitalist Russia, whose democratically elected authoritarian leader is among the presidents and prime ministers that organizers of Live 8 hope to shame into making global poverty a priority when the G8 holds its next summit July 6 to 8 in Gleneagles, Scotland.

South Africa, another country prevented from joining the party on July 13, 1985, was then home to the world's most famous political prisoner, Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid activist who went on to become his country's president, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and who will appear at a July 2 concert in Johannesburg.

Among those who did watch Live Aid was Tony Blair, a 32-year-old rookie Labour MP in the British House of Commons, who apparently spent the day glued to the set with his friend, another young member, Gordon Brown. Today, the former is the host prime minister for next month's G8 summit and the latter is his government's Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Yes, things have changed. But they haven't changed enough, apparently, to make the need for Live 8 redundant.

"It's wrong to give the impression that everything is sinking backwards," says Dave Toycen, president of World Vision Canada, one of the many non-governmental organizations backing Live 8.

"It's just that in the West we're moving toward that future in a jet plane and in Africa and many other developing countries they're walking."

One thing that hasn't changed is the public face of the effort. Bob Geldof, who founded Live Aid with the help of fellow musician Midge Ure, is back as the mercurial, cajoling organizational force behind Live 8. But Geldof's strategy is significantly different this time around.

Live Aid, with its all-star roster of musical celebrities, was essentially a glorified telethon, one at least partly motivated by a CBC-TV documentary depicting the abject plight of Ethiopian famine victims.

Like "Do They Know It's Christmas," the Geldof/Ure-produced single released the preceding winter, Live Aid had one objective: to feed the starving. And it succeeded beyond the organizers' wildest expectations — raising an estimated $245.4 million (US) — even if, as almost inevitably happens with charitable endeavours, not all of the money found its way to the people who needed it most.

Live 8, although similarly studded with rock royalty, doesn't intend to raise a cent, but instead aims to elevate awareness of endemic global poverty, estimated to cause the deaths of 50,000 people per day, 30,000 of them children.

"The difference between now and (1985) is that then it was to do with charity, the human impulse to help another person because that's all you are left with," said Geldof during a conference call involving The Star.

"Charity is always worth it, but it can never deal with the structures of poverty. That's politics. The world is broken. And it's a political fracture. Live 8 will be the splint hopefully that joins it."

The objective isn't as nebulous as it sounds. Beyond increasing awareness, Geldof is using the concerts, including the one at Park Place in Barrie, to pressure G8 leaders into committing themselves to increased foreign aid and more favourable trade arrangements for developing countries. In addition to expected public service announcements from supporting aid organizations, concertgoers in Barrie will be handed postage-paid cards to petition Prime Minster Paul Martin to increase foreign aid and address child poverty in Canada.

"This isn't a time for messing around," Geldof says. "Potentially, within two weeks, something magnificent can be achieved — a true shift in the pattern of the world that will benefit 600 million people almost immediately. That's worth fighting for."

Compare that with Geldof's 1985 rallying cry: "Don't go to the pub tonight — please stay in and give us your money."

As a musical event, Live 8 has the potential to dwarf its predecessor — in scale, at least, if not in iconic stature. If the 35,000 expected to attend Canada's Live 8 show seems like small numbers, consider that the total attendance for 1985's Live Aid concerts at London's Wembley Stadium and Philadelphia's JFK Stadium was less than five times that.

Looked at another way, the people who witnessed Live Aid first-hand amounts to roughly half the number who will attend the July 2 concert in London's Hyde Park alone. A million more are expected in each of Philadelphia and Rome. Concerts will also take place that day in Cornwall, Paris, Berlin and Tokyo, with a July 6 Edinburgh concert set to coincide with the start of the G8 summit.

More than 180 TV networks, including CTV, are on board, as well as 2,000 radio broadcasters. Internet users will have access to the concerts, as will European cell phone subscribers. An estimated 3 billion people will be able to tune — or plug — in.

What they will see, in some instances, might seem strikingly familiar. Several of Live Aid's performers have been re-enlisted, including Madonna, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Roxy Music, Bryan Adams and U2, which began the climb to "world's biggest band" status with its Wembley set.

Phil Collins, whose Concorde hop earned him the distinction of being the only Live Aid musician to perform in both London and Philadelphia, is not involved this time, but Senegalese star Youssou N'Dour aims to one-up Collins by appearing in London, Cornwall and Paris.

If Pink Floyd, who have reunited for Live 8, closes the London show, it will bookend the Live Aid appearance by '70s rockers Status Quo, who got back together to kick things off at Wembley.

The rate of celebrity volunteerism has been much higher for Live 8, according to promoter Harvey Goldsmith, in contrast to the arm-twisting required to fill the card in 1985. Even bands that haven't made themselves available claim to be squarely behind the objectives.

"If we weren't doing anything that day, believe you me we'd be there," said Oasis singer Liam Gallagher, whose band has a stadium show in Manchester on July 2. "You'd have to be f--king Hitler to have something against it."

Not that there haven't been quibbles. Blur's Damon Albarn began by complaining that the London show was too "Anglo-Saxon," which may or may not have prompted Midge Ure and Peter Gabriel to organize Cornwall's all-African Eden Project show.

There is also a sense that organizers have missed an opportunity to put a younger face on Live 8, which abounds with veteran acts — not only in Barrie but at the other venues as well. In 1985, U2 singer Bono was 25 — about the same age as most of the band's fans.

Joan Baez opened the Philadelphia show by announcing, "Good morning, children of the '80s. This is your Woodstock. And it's long overdue." It's hard to imagine anyone pulling that off with a straight face this time around, when even some of the youngest acts, including Coldplay and Joss Stone, skew to an older demographic.

Nor would such idealistic anthems as "We are the World," or Canada's version, "Tears are Not Enough," be able to rouse today's crowds as easily as in 1985.

Live 8, however, does dovetail with recent trends in political activism. The G8 summit would already be a lightning rod for organized expressions of discontent, even without Geldof's involvement. The concerts will take place on the same day as an Edinburgh march organized by Make Poverty History, an umbrella organization for aid groups that share the Live 8 objective to emphasize government involvement rather than charity.

"For what it was, Live Aid was a success," says Gerry Barr, co-chair of Canada's Make Poverty History campaign. "It was the most watched broadcast event in television history. It engaged citizens of the world in a key fashion. Millions of lives were saved.

"That is not to say that it resolved the issue of global poverty. This is about coming at things in a more systematic way. And governments are needed in order to do that."

That approach makes sense to K'naan, a 28-year-old Toronto poet/musician who fled war-scarred Somalia 14 years ago and who will perform in Barrie with Canadian household names such as Bryan Adams, Gordon Lightfoot, the Tragically Hip and the Barenaked Ladies.

"Charity is a romanticized thing," he says. "Charity quenches the thirst of an imbalance in economics, but just for a moment. But when you realize that it's about justice you can make a bigger impact.

"The West understands its history with Africa, but it hasn't completely stepped up to the plate in its responsibility to Africa as far as justice is concerned. That's what it's about for me. It isn't about charity."

No question there will be a lot of voices raised in unison next Saturday. It will take another week after that before we know whether anyone was listening.

"Good intentions are okay in this situation," says Barenaked Ladies singer Steven Page. "If we can affect policy change, then great. If we can't, then it makes you think more about how impenetrable the seat of power sometimes is."

TheStar.com - Omara Portuondo - Sing it once more with filin

TheStar.com - Sing it once more with filin

Jun. 25, 2005. 01:00 AM

Sing it once more with filin
Omara Portuondo is the undisputed diva of Cuba

Storied career revived by Buena Vista Social Club


HAVANA—Omara Portuondo seems to glide across the cool ornamental-tiled lobby of Havana's Hotel Nacional de Cuba, a diminutive diva in a floor-length white cotton dress.

A brilliant turquoise turban shows off her patrician profile and smooth, unlined skin as she is shyly approached by fans, who lean down to deliver the traditional Cuban greeting, a loud smacking kiss on one cheek.

The storied art deco hotel was built in 1930, the same year she was born. Both are Cuban landmarks of a sort. At age 74, Portuondo is among the last living links to the country's golden age of tropical music.

A singer with a rich, silken voice seemingly untouched by age, she popularized the filin (feeling) style of singing 45 years ago — the emotive, dramatically rendered ballads that were enormously popular in Cuba through the late '60s.

"This movement was invented by men, but I was the first woman," she says through a translator as she sits on an overstuffed and fussy red sofa in a parlour-like room off the historic hotel's main lobby.

Plans to chat on the terrace enjoying the breeze across Havana Bay were changed when Portuondo's fans — both Cuban and foreign visitors — proved too distracting.

Until 1999, Portuondo was all but unknown in greater North America. All that changed when filmgoers met her, singer Ibrahim Ferrer, Compay Segundo and a host of other aging Cuban stars in Wim Wenders' critically acclaimed movie Buena Vista Social Club.

Portuondo plays Roy Thomson Hall July 2, backed by a 13-piece band that includes two fellow stars of the film — double bass player Chachaito Lopez and laoud player Barbarito Torres.

Before Buena Vista, Portuondo was a star in her homeland, having worked with American singers such as Tony Bennett and Nat King Cole at Havana's famous open-air nightspot, Club Tropicana.

She had also toured in Europe and America in the 1950s, both as a solo artist and with the four-member female group Cuarteto d'Aida, which included her sister.

Although the other artists who first recorded as the Buena Vista Social Club in 1996 had faded into obscurity (before being rediscovered, Ferrer was shining shoes to supplement his pension), Portuondo had continued working.

It was pure luck that brought Portuondo into Egrem recording studios in Havana for the Buena Vista sessions. Producer Juan de Marcos Gonzalez was looking for a female voice and couldn't find the proper fit. Frustrated, he decided to go for a beer in the bar downstairs, passing another studio where Portuondo was recording a bolero album. As soon as he saw her, "I knew I had the voice I was looking for," he said in a telephone interview from his home in Havana.

She was asked to record a duet with Ferrer, the moving ballad "Silencio." Viewers of the film tend to cite the emotional scene on stage at Carnegie Hall where the duo performs this number as their favourite moment in the movie (as does Wenders).

As Portuondo and Ferrer finish and take their bows, she hesitates before rising and turns to her partner to reveal a face streaked with tears. Tenderly, Ferrer uses his hand to wipe them away.

Moviegoers may assume Portuondo was overcome with emotion for the enormity of her moment on stage, singing at last in Carnegie Hall. But her tears were not for herself.

"For Ibrahim," she says with a nod.

"This moment for me was the moment the world knew about Ibrahim Ferrer. I had met him before, but suddenly in this moment it was the cementing of our friendship," she continues. "We were very, very happy to have the pleasure to sing together. It was his time and he sang beautifully in Carnegie Hall, a place that was so special."

Which is not to say singing on that historic New York stage didn't have great meaning for Portuondo, who recalls listening to radio broadcasts from the concert hall as a child.

Portuondo's childhood is something of a fascination for Cubans, all of whom seem to know the romantic story of her parents' marriage. Her mother was white, born into a wealthy Spanish household. When she fell in love with a black baseball player on Cuba's national team, the son of a waiter and a house cleaner, her family was scandalized.

Portuondo recalls her childhood home being filled with music. Her parents would sing duets. And she would sing along with them.

"That was the first time I heard `Veinte Años,'" she says of the ballad that was to become her signature song.

"This kind of story is the answer to her Cubanity," says Gonzalez, a word he has coined to define musicians who are true to their Cuban roots.

"I think that Omara is one of the most important singers I have heard in my life," he says, adding she has a rare capacity for perfect pitch. "I have heard that Omara Portuondo is the Sarah Vaughan of Cuba. I can say Sarah Vaughan was the Omara Portuondo of the American culture.

"I compare her to Maria Callas .... She has a special feeling and special Cubanity when she is on stage. When you are listening to her you are in touch with the Cuban culture."

Portuondo looks secretly pleased when she hears about Gonzalez's praise, but demurs.

"Juan de Marcos is a fan, of course, and he believes in Cuba and the history of Cuban music, but I say with humility I cannot compare myself with Maria Callas. But I am the diva of Cuba."

Diva she may be, but Portuondo is a genial one. She has cancelled a concert in Cancun, Mexico to be here for the interview.

"The Toronto Star is a priority," she says with a small shrug. "And the Canadian fans."

Portuondo says she is especially fond of Toronto and gestures to a gold and enamel pendant of the Egyptian queen Nefertiti she's wearing, bought in Canada while on tour several years ago.

Still energetic on stage, Portuondo has been dubbed La Chica Mas Sexy de Cuba (the sexiest girl in Cuba).

She smiles when she hears that her voice has only improved and mellowed with the passing years, perhaps like wine.

She shakes her head. "No," she says. "Like fine Cuban rum."

TheStar.com - Such a long journey for Mehta

TheStar.com - Such a long journey for Mehta

Jun. 25, 2005. 08:21 AM
Such a long journey for Mehta
Five years in the making, Deepa Mehta's charged saga Water will open the Toronto film festival The honour recognizes the passionate Indo-Canadian director's fearlessness, writes Martin Knelman

Deepa Mehta's Water has been given the prestigious opening-night gala slot at the 30th annual Toronto International Film Festival, the Toronto Star has learned.

Festival director Noah Cowan and CEO Piers Handling will make the announcement at a media launch Tuesday at the Fairmont Royal York hotel.

And on Thursday, Sept. 8, the glamorous and provocative Mehta — a.k.a. "Queen of Controversy" — will walk down the red carpet and enter Roy Thomson Hall in triumph.

Earlier this week before the decision had been made, Mehta made what turned out to be the understatement of the year: "This has been a very long journey, and finally we are going to open the movie in theatres in Canada on Nov. 4. But I'm hoping it will turn up first in the festival. I think they should be able to find a spot for it their lineup, don't you?"

Mehta probably assumed, like most insiders, that for opening night the festival would choose between two movies that had their world premieres in Cannes last month — both by acclaimed auteurs with historic ties to the Toronto festival.

But David Cronenberg's The History of Violence and Atom Egoyan's Where the Truth Lies will have their festival galas on other nights. To open, the festival has opted for the world premiere of a politically charged saga about the exploitation of young women in 1930s India.

With this selection the festival takes a major step forward. For only the second time in its history, it has given this coveted opening slot to a movie written and directed by a woman. (Patricia Rozema's I've Heard the Mermaids Singing had the place of honour in 1987.) And for the first time, it is turning over its top spot to a filmmaker who represents not just English Canada or French Canada but the world's most diverse, multicultural city.

Mehta, best known for her 2002 satiric romp Bollywood, Hollywood, is a talented, lion-hearted star of that new Toronto. Born in India, the daughter of a film distributor, she grew up watching Bollywood extravaganzas.

But at 55, she has lived more than half of her life in Canada, having moved here in 1973 after meeting and marrying Toronto producer Paul Saltzman and becoming a partner in his company, Sunrise Productions.

(The marriage broke up in the early 1990s. Mehta lives in downtown Toronto with their daughter but spends several months every year in India.)

For a long time, it distressed Mehta that she didn't feel she quite belonged either in her adopted country or the country of her birth. The sometimes painful, sometimes hilarious conflicts and mishmash of old country vs. new land have become a theme for her — as in her charming 1991 feature Sam and Me, about the unlikely friendship of two misfit immigrants with different backgrounds.

Now it looks as if Sept. 8 will add a sweet grace note to a long ordeal. Mehta did not have a lot of fun when, five years ago, she was targeted by angry mobs in India, who burned down her sets, issued death threats and forced her to shut down production. It took several years for her to regroup and get the movie back into production, with a new cast, in Sri Lanka.

Water tells a story that a lot of people in India don't want to hear: the shocking treatment of young girls who, during the 1930s, were forced into marriages, only to become shunned like lepers when their husbands died, before being shipped off to horrifying widows' houses, where they were isolated and forced into prostitution.

Early reports from first screenings last month in Toronto are that this is Mehta's strongest movie yet. And it ends on a note of hope, with a sense things are looking up as India gets ready to shed its dark past.

Some dialogue is in Hindi, but the heroine speaks English. Water is the last film of Mehta's elemental trilogy after Fire and Earth — and she says she felt incomplete without it. She hopes the film will prove that those who tried to stop her were wrong. The original location chosen was the holy city of Varansi, where widow houses still exist on the banks of the Ganges. The leading actors had shaved their heads and shooting was about to begin in early 2000. Then 2,000 demonstrators, led by the leaders of religious political parties, staged a violent demonstration, vandalizing the set and throwing it into the river.

"Breaking up the sets was too mild an act," according to a statement from one of the leaders of the protest. "The people involved with the film should have been beaten black and blue. They come with foreign money to make a film which shows India in poor light because that is what sells in the West. The West refuses to acknowledge our achievements in any sphere, but is only interested in our snake charmers and child brides. And people like Deepa Mehta pander to them."

In the wake of continuing protests, the government withdrew her location permits and the film was shut down. It took four years, but eventually she got the cameras rolling — in Sri Lanka rather than India, and with a completely different cast.

She decided she could not go ahead with the original stars because they no longer looked the part. Her new cast features Seema Biswas, Lisa Ray and John Abraham.

An added attraction: The great Bollywood composer, A.R. Rahman, was overwhelmed by the film, and wrote a score that adds a dimension and gives Mehta the ultimate seal of approval.

Anyone who has met Deepa Mehta knows she is strong-willed, passionate and fearless. By getting this movie made, her way, Mehta has proved her point. And on Sept. 8, at Toronto's glitziest showbiz event of the year, the elite of her adopted hometown will be on their feet cheering. That will be her moment of vindication.

Friday, June 03, 2005

IFP.org - News

IFP.org - News

Dear Subscriber,

Here is this week's IFP e-newsletter:

Drive-In Movies at Rockefeller Center
Sneak Preview Screening: Hustle & Flow
IFP Presents
Member on the Screen
Member Event
Ask the Experts
Member Discount: NewFest
IFP Recommends
Independent Film Production Survey
Museum of the Moving Image
Call for Entries

To view this week's update in HTML, click here:


Drive-In Movies at Rockefeller Center

IFP is delighted to partner for the second year with Rockefeller Center in presenting their Drive-In Movies series of independent films. Viewed outdoors on a 40-foot screen above the ice rink, the films feature four independent titles--documentaries and features--by first time writers/directors prior to their theatrical release. This year's presentation of independent films includes All We Are Saying, The Baxter, Rize, and Show Business.

Drive-In Movies at Rockefeller Center will feature a gigantic projection screen in front of 30 Rockefeller Center Plaza. The landmark Channel Gardens, from 5th Avenue to the Ice Skating Rink, will become a nostalgic drive-in theater including outdoor seats, a theater style surround sound system, and convertibles for VIP seating. The Second Annual Drive-In will be presented by Target and sponsored by Bank of America.

June 14-17 @ 9 pm
Free and open to the public. Seating is limited. Get there early!

Sneak Preview Screening

* Me and You and Everyone We Know *

IFC Films and IFP invite you and a guest to revel in a world created by Miranda July in her directorial debut, Me and You and Everyone We Know. The film holds a special place in the heart of IFP. Having been twice rejected by the Sundance Lab prior to admittance, July and her producer Gina Kwon then traveled to New York to participate in IFP's No Borders International Co-Production Market. It was during a fortuitous No Borders meeting that the team began the process of solidifying half of the film's budget in a meeting with Film Four's Peter Carlton. The balance of the funding came from IFC. Less than two years later, the film won two awards at this year's Cannes Film Festival and will receive a domestic platform release from IFC Films. Opens in New York on June 17.

Date: June 13
Time: 7:30 pm
Location: IFC Center, 323 6th Ave.
RSVP: http://rsvp.ifp.org

* Hustle & Flow *

Produced by John Singleton (Boyz N' the Hood, Poetic Justice, Baby Boy) and the winner of the Sundance Film Festival, Hustle & Flow is the redemptive story of a Memphis street hustler who struggles to break out of his gritty world to fulfill his life long dream of becoming a respected rap musician. He teams up with his middle class friend who is stuck in an office routine having missed the opportunity of becoming the music producer he always wanted to be. Together they have one last chance to follow their dream. Hustle & Flow was written and directed by newcomer Craig Brewer. It stars Terrence Howard, Anthony Anderson, Taryn Manning, Ludacris, Taraji Hensen, DJ Qualls, and Isaac Hayes. Opens July 13.

Writer/director Craig Brewer and producers John Singleton and Stephanie Allain will introduce the screening.

Date: June 24
Time: 6:30 pm
Location: Tribeca Cinemas, 54 Varick Street
Cost: Free for IFP members and a guest.
RSVP: http://rsvp.ifp.org

IFP Presents

* IFP Buzz Cuts Short Film Series *
Sponsored by SKYY Vodka

This month, our "Tales of the City" program presents glimpses into the lives of people in the Big Apple.

Date: June 14
Time: 7 pm
Q & A: 8: 30 p.m. Reception: 9 p.m.
Two Boots Pioneer Theater, 155 E. 3rd St.
Cost: Free for IFP members.
RSVP: http://rsvp.ifp.org
Info: http://www.ifp.org/calendar/eventitem.php?id=983

* Independents Night: La Sierra *

Directed by Scott Dalton & Margarita Martinez

More than 30,000 people have been killed over the last 10 years in Colombia's bloody civil conflict, in which left-wing guerillas fight against the government and illegal right-wing paramilitary groups. As guerillas and paramilitaries seek to control marginal city neighborhoods, urban gangs align themselves with each side. In this way, the national conflict has been translated into a brutal turf war pitting adjacent barrios against each other. La Sierra explores life over the course of a year in one such barrio (La Sierra, in Medellin), but rather than being a political exposé or overview, it presents an intimate portrait of a neighborhood wracked by conflict through the prism of three young lives-told largely in their voices.

Date: June 16
Time: 6:30 pm
Location: Walter Reade Theater, Broadway at 65th St.
Cost: Free for IFP members.
RSVP: http://rsvp.ifp.org

Member Event

Industry Connect: The Casting Process

Ellyn Long Marshall and Maria Nelson of Orpheus Group Casting is behind an impressive array of recent independent films including Girlfight, Piñero, Real Women Have Curves, and Maria Full of Grace. They will not only discuss the casting process, but they'll also demonstrate some of their sessions. Open to all members.

Date: June 7
Time: 6:30 pm
Location: DEKK, 134 Reade St.
RSVP: http://rsvp.ifp.org

Online Resource: Ask the Experts

IFP's "Ask the Experts" online resource is your opportunity to ask questions of leading filmmakers, agents, distributors, and industry execs regarding the art and business of filmmaking. Each month, you can submit questions to a different filmmaker or executive. We'll take the best questions and post them on the site, along with the expert's responses.

* Upcoming Topic: Production Insurance *

The goal of this program is to take the mystery out of production insurance. Production insurance is commonly used to protect the financial interests of the production company, their investors, and the completion bond company, in addition to legal and entertainment industry requirements. Entertainment insurance expert Dennis R. Reiff will field questions about how to arrange production insurance, what the legal requirements are, and on how completion bond companies operate, as well as the discount he offers IFP members.

Visit http://www.ifp.org/experts to participate.

Member Discount: NewFest

NewFest 2005: June 2-12

NewFest, The New York Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Film Festival, will be the biggest in recent memory, with nearly 250 films in the lineup (relative to 200 in past years). 35 countries are represented, from Serbia and Montenegro to Turkey to Uruguay and Peru.

Tickets sales for NewFest members begin today. General public ticket sales begin on May 25.

Location: Loews 34th Street & Loews State Theater in Times Square (under the
Virgin Megastore)
Cost: $10 for IFP members; $11 for general public.

IFP members must show membership card at the box office to receive discount.

Visit http://www.newfest.org for full screening schedule and ticket information.

IFP Recommends

* Trailer Mechanics - A Guide to Making your Documentary Fundraising Trailer *

In order to raise money to make a documentary, it is essential to produce a trailer that will capture the imagination and confidence of grant-makers and investors. Fernanda Rossi's "Trailer Mechanics" guides the filmmaker step-by-step through the entire process of making such fundraising trailers.

To read an excerpt or purchase it at 10% discount, visit:

* Smart Black People *

Members are invited to a screening of IFP board member Nelson George's work-in-progress documentary Smart Black People (Revisit the 80s). The hour-long film looks at the impact of black culture in the '80s through the memories of those who shaped the decade. Seating for the screening is limited. A reception will follow at Table 50 @ Bleeker & Broadway during George's monthly classic R&B party.

Date: June 13
Time: 7 pm
Location: Tribeca Grand Screening Room, 2 Avenue of the Americas.
RSVP: Email fiona@thebloomeffect.com. Include your IFP membership number.

* The New York Observer Cinema Club Private Screening: My Summer of Love *

Join the New York Observer Cinema Club (absolutely free!) today to have access to movie screenings, discount offers, and other events.

How to join: Email cinemaclub@observer.com

My Summer of Love
Date: June 13th
Time: 7pm
Location: Tribeca Screening Room, 375 Greenwich St.

Independent Film Production Survey

IFP, a 27-year-old non partisan, membership-based organization working with independent writers, directors and producers is collecting data from production companies and independent producers for an annual report detailing the economic impact of NY producers and production community. IFP has not received financing from any trade associations, lobbyists and/or governmental agencies to collect this information or report its findings. The gathering of information through this survey and annual report are part of the services the organization provides to the film industry at large.

The goal of the annual report is to provide unbiased and independent information that assists in quantifying the economic reach and production trends of NY-based producers and production companies, leading to a stronger case for policies to support low budget film. No information gathered through this survey process will be shared with third parties as it relates to the specific production history of any company or the history of any specific project. The data will only ever be presented in its aggregate form to members of the industry, governmental agencies and trade press.

Participate today: http://www.ifp.org/NYProductionSurvey

Museum of the Moving Image

New Summer Schedule

Wednesdays & Thursdays, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Fridays, 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Saturdays & Sundays, 11:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

IFP/New York members receive complimentary membership to the Museum of the Moving image.

Visit http://www.movingimage.us for screening and exhibit information.

Call for Entries

* Woodstock Film Festival *

Deadline: June 13

The Woodstock Film Festival (Sept. 28 - Oct. 2, 2005) is currently accepting submissions in all categories. Maverick Awards are presented for Best Feature, Best Documentary, Best Short Documentary, Best Short Film, Best Student Film, Best Cinematography, Best Film Score, Best Editing and Best Animation. Cash, prizes and/or services are given out in each category. Audience Awards are presented for Best Feature and Best Documentary.

To apply: http://woodstockfilmfestival.com/entryform/2005.htm

* Prized Pieces International Film & Video Festival *

Deadline: July 30

The National Black Programming Consortium's annual festival showcases films from around the world that address issues of human rights and social justice from a uniquely Black perspective.
Info: http://www.nbpc.tv or call 212.234.8200 ext. 227

June IndieLink: Download Now

Download the June issue of IndieLink at:

In order to view Indielink, you must have Adobe Reader 5.0 or higher. To download the most recent version of Adobe Reader, visit: http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html

New York Observer Subscription Offer

Subscribe to The New York Observer today for $39--a 15% savings on the normal rate.
Bold. Intelligent. Relevant. Irreverent. Independent. And blessed with a great sense of humor. These are the qualities that define The New York Observer. The Observer covers the major industries that drive the city...movies and entertainment, media, real estate, and business--we cover it all! With a weekly dose of renowned film critics Rex Reed and Andrew Sarris reviewing the latest films and Jake Brook's Film Digest column covering the New York independent film scene, the Observer is a must-read for the arts-oriented New Yorker. http://www.observer.com

Email subscribe@observer.com or call 212-407-9347 and quote "IFP membership."

Screen International Subscription Offer

Subscribe to Screen International today for $138-a 50% saving on the normal rate.
Screen International gives you the combination of the weekly magazine plus subscriber-only access to ScreenDaily.com. With more box office analysis than any other trade title, plus expert opinion, breaking news, online archives, and the most comprehensive production and finance coverage, Screen International offers you a truly global view of the issues influencing the film industry today.

Visit http://www.subscription.co.uk/screen/scbm or call +44 1858 438847 quoting reference "scbm."

Broken Saints News and Summer Schedule - June 2nd

Broken Saints

In this zippy-doo edition of the Saintly Scribe:

  1. Brooke scores a win at the CNMAs!!!
  2. CANADIAN SAINTS Part 2 – Future Shop Report!!!
  3. Summer Festival Schedule – Come meet the CrewI!!!
  4. Call for Submissions – FRIDAY FAN FUN!!!

Not much time to spare this week, dear friends…so let’s hop right to some news straight from the BS Blog!!!

(from BROOKE – Tues, May 31st)

“Quite the ‘birthday week’ surprise waiting for me upon returning home from some forgettable errands. Actually, the related news was also something I tried to ‘forget’ about, as I’ve found over the years that the Buddhists and Hindus are indeed right - excess longing for any Earthly reward tends to breed its own melancholic gravity. But lo’ and behold - a text message from our old friend Simon Conlin of the Switchstance crew in Toronto (http://www.switchstance.tv) , saying that the Fates had smiled down and graced me with the 2005 Producer of the Year nod at the Canadian New Media Awards!!! (http://www.cnma.ca )
So…uhh…what can I say? Truthfully, not much - if I learned anything from my main industry mentor at EA, it’s that producers (or ‘talking monkies’, as artists and coders affectionately call them) are only as good as the team they assemble. His analogy was something akin to playing
chess; you need to find the right Pawns (short-term contractors), Knights (creative mavericks), Bishops (tangental process drivers), Rooks (broad-skilled managers), and a powerful Queen (project lead) to protect your sorry, Kingly ass. Otherwise…?

“You’re just playing chess with checker pieces.“

Consider this a heartfelt public ovation to an incredibly talented core crew - and a slew of eager artists and engineers - who gave their collective all (and then some!) to make the Broken Saints DVD Set really shine. I doubt I’ll have the opportunity for such a wonderful and spirited collaboration anytime soon, so trust me when I say that each and every memory is a treasured one - far more than any phallic piece of glass could ever be. Word is bond.”

(from BROOKE – Wed, June 1st)

“Hey guys – we just got word that the online store at FUTURE SHOP is finally getting restocked this week - hard to believe that they sold out so quickly, but I guess they only put 50 or so copies for cyber sale, and the shipping was FREE anywhere in the country. So far, it looks like
we’ve sold well over 300 sets in just over 3 weeks at FS, which is really great news!
And as I mentioned in the last newsletter, if we’re somehow able to rock through 1000 copies before the end of June, then it’s almost an assured thing that BEST BUY (US) will make a very healthy order for stores below the 49th parallel! So obey the sample ad on the blog, dear Saints
(if you want a keepsake, it should be in select Canadian newspapers next week) - storm your local Future Shop en masse, scope out the HD Trailer (www.brokensaints.com/hdtrailer ) on their mongo screens, and snap up the cheapest edition of the saintly saga anywhere on the planet - $39.99 CANADIAN – but only until the end of June.”

Future Shop: http://www.futureshop.ca/catalog/proddetail.asp?sku_id=0665000FSM2085772&catid=14846&logon=&langid=EN


Here’s a bodacious bullet-point bonanza of our globetrotting and gatherings this summer – if you’re anywhere nearby, we’d love to meet you and raise a glass of tasty cool bubbly stuff :)

-IAN is currently trekking through England, Spain, and Italy! Drop him a line at ian@brokensaints.com, and if you’re coordinates intersect, a union is totally possible! The award-winning Technical Director of BS doesn’t get away from his desk often enough, so be sure to give him a hug and force him to stay out in the sun for a few minutes. In the end, he’ll love you for it.

-BROOKE and DVD Associate Producer KIM V will be at the Banff Television Festival between June 11th and 15th. On vacation in Lake Louise? Hustling producers at the Fairmont? Drop us a line at info@brokensaints.com and we can get glacial!

-BROOKE will be down in LA at the end of June for a couple of days, and always loves to hang with the BS Hollywood hardcores! Hit the Strip, get him drunk, and grill for top secret info on saintly stuff and the long-rumored ‘next project’!

-ANDREW, KIM, and BROOKE will be hitting the 2005 San Diego COMICON in force from July 13th-18th at the SD Convention Center! No excuses here, kidlets…if you’re in the area, you MUST make a pilgrimage to the tricked-out BS Mecca in the Main Hall. Our Booth # is 5548, and we’ll be giving away tons of swag, doing a panel, and even showcasing some all-new ART! Oh yeah…and Drew and Brooke will have their silver pens handy ;)

-The whole crew will be here in Vancouver between July 19th and 30th to welcome and entertain visiting Saints from around the world! Details on the BS Summer Party thread in the FORUMS ... but expect a few surprises from the gang, in appreciation of the loving trek.

-IAN, ANDREW, BROOKE, ADAM (5.1 Mixer), and KIM will be on hand at Anime Evolution (www.animeevolution.com ) at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby BC on August 19-21 as Guests of Honour! Not only will the crew be doing several panels and signing swag at a killer booth, but they’re expecting drop-ins by the star voices from the DVD!!! More news on this as the date approaches, but the crew’s beyond jazzed about this one…especially since they’re throwing what may well be their FINAL Rock ‘n’ Roll BS Bash on the night of the 20th. Stay tuned…


Regulars to the site know that Fridays are the day we feature contributions from fans – pictures, art, rants, detailed links, and creative spewings – and we’re starting to run dangerously low! We know there’s a wealth of talent out there, and we want to showcase your stuff. Do you
have personal snaps that resonate with the saintly vibe? Send ‘em in! Swiggy scanned art that the world needs to see? Send it in! A burning desire to express a view on the controversial socio-political top (with accompanying picture or art piece)? Come on down! A favorite link that the masses in the quiet corners of the globe need to experience?

We’ll keep posting if you keep sending, gang. Summer’s here…so let it bloom :)
All for now – it’s past midnight in the land of ale and rain, and busy beavers need their rest.
Electric handshakes and binary hugs,

The BS Crew

''Do without ‘doing’
And Everything gets done
Stop trying so hard''

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Sundance favourite on '05 Hot Docs list

Mar. 31, 2005. 01:00 AM
Hot Docs Festival

The international premiere of Sundance Audience Award winner Murderball kicks off this year's Hot Docs, the largest documentary festival in North America, which brings fact-based films and industry representatives from around the world to Toronto each spring.
This year's festival will screen more than 100 docs from 23 countries, including 36 produced all, or in part, in Canada, as well as offer workshops and forums in professional development and marketing for filmmakers.
It runs April 22 to May 1 at the Bloor, ROM, Isabel Bader and Innis Town Hall theatres.
From modest beginnings 12 years ago, Hot Docs has developed into what International Documentary Magazine calls one of the top two A-list documentary festivals in the world. Organizers say attendance topped 37,000 last year and attracted 1,500 filmmakers, programmers and buyers.
This year's festival is book-ended by sports movies.
Murderball (U.S.A. 2005) is about an American team of quadriplegics who play the full-contact sport known as quad rugby in armoured wheelchairs. Rivalry between the U.S. and Canadian teams provides much of the dramatic narrative. Co-directors Henry Alex Rubin and Dana Adam Shapiro will attend.
The closing film is Heysel '85 — Requiem For A Cup Final (Belgium, 2005), which reveals for the first time what went on behind the scenes after a key soccer game between Juventus and Liverpool was ordered to go on despite 39 fans getting trampled to death in a pre-game riot.
The festival's national spotlight this year is on films from Israel.
The RealKids, RealTeens section features films relating to young people and a new program, called Show Me Yours, is about sexual behaviour from pornography to therapy.
As previously announced, U.S. filmmaker Errol Morris (Fog Of War) and Canadian Larry Weinstein will be honoured with retrospectives. Morris will be interviewed in a program co-presented with Cinematheque Ontario.

Hot Docs Festival tickets ($10 each or 10 for $60) are available at Sonic Boom Records, 512 Bloor St. W. or at http://www.hotdocs.ca and 416-530-8105.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Please view my albums ~ ''Reel'' Moving-Pictures!

annemieke invites you to an album at Sony's ImageStation! It's called "Cuba Holiday". Really, it's a crass attempt to make a hard-sell "Vacation in Cuba" commercial - quite a feat considering the recent Online Travel Agency fraud/fiasco, huh?

The film version, to the tune of the Rumberos tune, "el Traguito" to add to my selling pleasure - as they say, "C'mon in, the water's fine!" ~ Hans Hendriksen, Photo-Journalist, on Cuba:

...plus a view at my attempt to hold a camcorder still for more than 2 seconds:

BERNARD WEIL/TORONTO STAR In a scene from a movie being filmed on Adelaide St. W. yesterday, Ben Kahee, right, throws a bottle at, left to right, Jason Bell, Matt Hilliard, Leif Nelson and P.J. Lazic. Posted by Hello

TheStar.com - They oughta be in pictures

TheStar.com - They oughta be in pictures: "Mar. 25, 2005. 01:00 AM"

They oughta be in pictures
Filmmaking becomes a reality for kids

Camp teaches all facets of production


They oughta be in pictures
Filmmaking becomes a reality for kids

Camp teaches all facets of production

Lights. Camera ...
"You're in the frame!" Toya Gavin yelled across a downtown street. "Go way off. Totally!"
"Okay, we have to do that again," she sighed.
A moment later, she surveyed her film crew — three teenagers and one 11-year old girl — and declared, "It's okay. You know what? Just leave it!"
And finally: Action!
That's the way the camera rolled yesterday for this film crew of five — starting and stopping to a chorus of sighs and endless stage direction.
There was no wrap in sight, but with every shot, a dream burnished brighter.
The crew members, ranging in age from 11 to 20, were among a dozen young people spending their March break learning to be filmmakers at the Centre for the Arts' film camp. The annual adventure invites young people to spend a week, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., learning every facet of film production.
"It's a place where you can do your own work, have your own say, and it does build your confidence," said John Boylan, the centre's director. "And I think these kids feel it without the lecturing, but the doing."
This week, that included writing, directing, acting, editing and cinematography.
Their efforts came together yesterday, when students broke into three groups to shoot the films they had written earlier in the week. Scampering all over the old building on Adelaide St. W. near John St., their voices frequently rang out, "Rolling! Camera rolling!"
"Today's the big day," said Matt Hilliard-Forde, the Toronto director overseeing this year's camp. "They're putting together everything we've looked at during the week.
"We give them the basics," he added. "We give them a vocabulary in film so they can communicate with one another, and hopefully to equip them and inspire them to keep doing it.
"By the end of the week, they're talking like filmmakers, looking like filmmakers and smelling like filmmakers."
Before the day was done, many were possessed by that particular passion common among the most earnest of filmmakers: uncompromising vision.
"What I'm saying is it's not going to make a difference because it's her idea," said one 14-year-old first-time director. Then he finally shrugged and allowed the shoot to continue.
"Let's do it," he said. "I don't need directors going at it. This is frustrating."
Waiting for his cue from the sidelines, lead actor Fraser MacKinnon's passion for the craft wasn't nearly as pronounced as that of his colleagues.
"I didn't have much else to do," the high-school student said, musing over his March break plans. "I didn't want to stick around my house watching TV. This is a really good experience."
Besides, he added, "a lot of the speakers are really awesome."
Those guests included actor and director Saul Rubinek, art director Frank Flood and cinematographer Ron Stannett. Last year, Nicholas Campbell of the television drama Da Vinci's Inquest visited the camp.
The not-for-profit centre has been running the film camp since its founding in 2003. Since then, as many as 30 children, from backgrounds as diverse as the inner city to private schools, have enrolled every year. Although the course costs $290, the centre subsidizes students who can't afford the tuition.
"It's really intense, but I think it's so different from school, the kids respond to it," Boylan said. "Some of these kids have been making movies since they were 16. They're really accomplished."
Like Toya Gavin, 20, who served as co-director in one of yesterday's film crews.
"These people want to be here," she said. Co-directing yesterday, she called the film camp a far cry from high school, where students sign up for film class "just to take a credit."
Working in film since she was 16, Gavin's two-minute short was a finalist in the Sprockets Toronto International Film Festival for Children last April. She doesn't have a day job, living at her East York home with her parents, "cooking and cleaning."
For Gavin, it's all about the big picture. She's applying to various colleges to keep studying film, hoping some day to make that her day job.
For others, like 11-year old Ashia Gonzalez, it's all about starting small. Ashia uttered scarcely a word on the set, just watching scenes unfold, sometimes holding the camera and other times lugging gear.
"But she does really great camera work. Her storyboards are really good and she's a really great actress," said Hilliard-Forde. "She doesn't say that much at all. But then you see her work. She's got something for sure."
"Ashia's super, super shy, but she's brilliant," chimed in Sarain Boylan, an actress and volunteer counsellor whose father is the centre's director.
But the final wrap on how the day went for these students — in spite of all its delays and debates — was proudly proclaimed on her cap.
On a few strips of tape, attached to its front, she had written, "Damn it feels good to be at film camp."

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

TheStar.com - Creativity confined

TheStar.com - Creativity confined

Mar. 8, 2005. 07:32 AM

Creativity confined
Has studying the arts become more about the pursuit of a career than the quest for craftmanship?


For the creatively inclined, the four walls of a classroom can become a box.

Look up the meanings behind creativity and education and you'll find them to be opposite concepts. Creativity means having the ability to create instead of imitate; to go beyond the conventional, while education means to drill in specific information, discipline, habits, routine, and methods. It's no wonder that these two very different notions struggle to unify.

What happens when artsty types go to school? Do they learn how to be more of what they already are, or do they get lost to the rigidity of instruction?

Lately, I've been fighting off the influence of a formulaic writing style that has been seeping into my pen. Since I became a journalism student, I've been wondering if going to school is a mistake — at least for certain people.

I'm feeling a little threatened. It's like my freedom to let my fingers pound away at the keyboard is gone. It's been replaced with rules that have names that sound like diseases: parallelism, subordinate conjunctions, inverted pyramids. The stories that we hand in are often as pale as the paper they're printed on. No one talks about ideas or questions. All we talk about is a structure, as if every story should come with a how-to manual. As if life does.

Sergio Elmir knew paying tuition fees wasn't going to make him a better writer — but writing more often would. Having recently left the realms of higher education to chase after freelance opportunities, Elmir says that classrooms and creativity don't mix.

"Obviously no one believes that creativity can be learned," the 25-year-old says. "School, or at least the education system, is based around teaching skills. It's all about the status quo and finding a foot in the door and all the other things that blind artists to the true meaning of art."

Not everyone looks at education like that. Toronto's Margaux Williamson, 29, was an art student at Queen's University in Kingston and at the Glasgow School of Art in Scotland, and her work has appeared in New York, as well as high-profile Queen St. W. galleries.

"The argument that education in the arts will corrupt an artist is really condescending," she says. "The sentiment that ignorance will keep you strong is thankfully outdated in most fields and areas of life.

"If an individual proves to be so easily controlled or manipulated by an institution such as an art school through such means as peer pressure, an arbitrary grading system, or a negative professor, I can't imagine how they would actually function in the real world as an artist."

Williamson says schools help people express their art more clearly and help students get their footing in the field.

But Elmir argues that pursuing an arts education in general can be counter-productive.

He sees school as the ultimate in conformity, in which it wears people down and then moulds them into a predetermined ideal. Teachers often take on the role of employer and become more concerned with productivity than with intellectual development.

Instead of inspiring students, Elmir believes school dumbs them down. By striving to teach people, an individual's abilities are overlooked. Instead, classrooms become human assembly lines, with the end product being groups of people who all have the same skills.

"There's a focus, at least in my experience, of schools using repetitive action and other numbing exercises to make you learn something," he says.

"Sitting down and memorizing a list of terms will not teach me anything. Personally speaking, I don't think that schools are meant to produce artists. They aren't teaching art to artists as much as they are teaching them how to turn their gifts into a skill.

"I guess the biggest issue at hand is that school makes art seem like any other job in the world, which is the biggest insult to all art and artists."

Art students like Jennifer Castle have to be aware of the traps school can lead to, like getting into a curriculum that might have her colouring within the lines when she'd rather be drawing new ones. What she finds is her classes are heavy on technique but light on ideas.

After finishing a degree in anthropology, the 28-year-old Castle had been working on her art and decided to take it further by going back to school at the Toronto Art Centre. She says there are advantages and disadvantages to becoming a trained artist versus being self-taught. Castle now gets exposure to more media — everything from painting to sculpture to photography — and access to the school's facilities, but has to deal with her work being constantly critiqued.

"I don't get the chance to be experimental like I would be if I was working on my own," Castle says.

Her classes often focus on an end result — seeing a project through to the point where it would be able to be showcased in a gallery. And because there's such a strong emphasis on technique, Castle feels confined to what her classes dictate.

"It's sort of a hindrance having to produce something presentable. My work tends to be rougher around the edges. I like things half done so they can be changed around."

Art classes can lack an acceptance of the student's ideals. They can also shatter romantic notions of aesthetic talent being something that happens in people naturally. Castle admits that there is a formula behind art, but doesn't see technique as the beginning, or the end, of artistry. She points out that creative types will do what they want regardless of the rules.

"Art is about ideas and the expression of them," she says. "But art forms can be learned, someone can teach them to you through motor and eye training. But there are people who find ways to make things whether they know the technique or not."

Castle doesn't let school have a negative impact on her. Instead, she takes advantage of her time there and uses it to be more productive. "I used to think about things a lot more, but now I actually do them," she says.

Some students feel it's easier to just give up, like former fashion student Veronica Araujo.

She found that where she thought ideas would have been, there was a drive instead to make a profit. During a two-year stint at Humber College, she eventually came to describe the fashion industry as "ugh."

The 22-year-old remembers the moment when she realized she wanted out. It was in her second semester when she learned about trend forecasting — the industry's method of predicting and dictating what will be next season's "in" thing.

"I thought designers just pulled designs out of their heads, but they have teams of people going out to forecast trends for the next two years," Araujo says. "It's all about money."

She found her program overloaded with sales and marketing tips. And if there was a lesson in fashion, Araujo says it wasn't on being original but instead on how to get into the same clothes as everyone else.

Although she's given up on the fashion industry, Araujo still believes the truly creative will persevere.

"I think that people who have it in them will always be creative," she says. "You can learn the foundations and techniques which help to add to the craft, but if you're not creative you can't just pick up a paintbrush or write a poem just because you took some classes and read up on it. A creative person will find an outlet for their art, even if they are in a (situation) that doesn't allow for much of that."

For Elmir, school did have at least one positive aspect. He could either stay in school and work on a "pretend" newspaper, or get outside and write for a real one.

"School put me on a path," he says. "That I will never deny. If it wasn't for school, I wouldn't know what to do with myself. Even though school was basically everything I didn't want to do, it helped me narrow down my choices and focus on what I really want to do with my life."

None of the people in this story have given up on their talents. People who are truly passionate about art will continue with it, with or without formal study. And it's with this knowledge that Elmir feels he will find success.

"School can be dangerous because once you graduate you consider yourself a productive member of society," he says. "But in reality, as an artist, you should strive to live outside of society to facilitate your ability to look in and comment on what's happening to the world."

Liz Worth is a journalism student at Humber College. ID@thestar.ca