Sunday, March 11, 2018

Lazy Sunday # 513 Tattad Tattad

All week long I've struggled with what I wanted to write this week. The winning of an Oscar by an old pal and creative partner had me leaning in that direction.

Tonight's pending Canadian Screen awards seemed worthy of mention.

And in the midst of it all was International Women's Day and there are few guys who love women as much as I do. Heck, half my career was founded on cleavage.

Therefore -- lots of things worth celebrating in the best sense of that word.

But then I noticed a trend that I've been aware of for pretty much all of my life in Canada. We have trouble truly celebrating significant moments here -- with real Joy.

I don't mean that we don't know how to party or share a lot of laughs, because we're spectacular at that. But somehow, when it comes to really embracing the inspiring moments, we tend to go in a different direction.

The very day J. Miles Dale and his talented gang of Canadian creatives snagged the Best Picture Oscar for their beautifully made and spiritually uplifting film "The Shape of Water", the CBC was working hard to tarnish the achievement by insisting the film didn't really understand the disabled.

Meanwhile, virtually every nominee in the feature category of the Canadian Screen Awards can be described as dour, depressing or at best -- heartbreaking. Nothing that encourages people to line up at the box-office and lay down some hard earned cash for an evening's entertainment.

Meanwhile, International Women's Day was marked by Canadian film execs eulogizing the career of Telefilm Exec Carolle Brabant for revolutionizing how Canadian film success is measured -- meaning she stopped equating it with entertaining audiences or earning money.

In other words, they were appreciative of her adding additional years to their inability to actually reach an audience.

Now, trust me, I know that financial success isn't everything in the world of film and that celebrity is shallow and fleeting. But to quote writer Mickey Spillane -- "I have no fans. You know what I got, Customers".

Customers are what "The Shape of Water" will have for generations. Few, if any, of whom will ever catch one of tonight's Canadian Screen Awards nominees unless they're afflicted with insomnia and watching TMN at 3 o'clock in the morning.

Other nations celebrate the joy their cinema inspires in its people. Those sappy montages from the Oscars are one example. For another, search Youtube for clips from the Bollywood Film Fare awards which fill stadium sized arenas with rabid movie lovers.

Therefore, I offer the following lesson in learning how to find the joy in making films your country can embrace. It's a musical number from the Bollywood hit "Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-leela" basically "Romeo and Juliet" in Hindi.

It also allows women still celebrating International Women's Day the opportunity to shake their booties and objectify a guy for a change.

And if any of this upsets you -- I was probably influenced by a rogue element of the Indian government.

Enjoy Your Sunday...

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Lazy Sunday # 512: The Dog Photographer

I've written before that I own a dog who hates to have her picture taken. I don't know why. Every other dog I've spent time with just kinda sees a camera and assumes an "aren't-I-cute" pose.

My theory is that she was once part of a litter of puppies much sought after because her mom and dad were both champions. People came and took pictures and one by one all her brothers and sisters disappeared. Ergo -- Camera = Vanishing without a trace.

Now and then, somebody at the dog park catches a great shot of her. Usually when she's too exhausted from playing with her pals to notice her picture is being taken.

But even with dogs who love to be in the spotlight, it's hard to capture an image that resonates with the true character of the animal. Some gifted photographers manage to do it now and then. But only one has done it continuously for decades.

William Wegman.

For more than 45 years and using barely more than his own pet companions, Wegman has managed to corner the collective imagination when it comes to depicting the relationship/similarity between dogs and those who love them.

There is simply no one better.

Enjoy Your Sunday...

Being Human With the Dog Photographer from Great Big Story on Vimeo.