Feb. 12, 2007

OzFlix

This weekend was the "OzFlix" film festival, part of a larger Australia Tourism promotion that is running in Toronto until next weekend. I went to see two films on Saturday night with my Australian friends (I'm Australian by birth too by the way).

First up was Girl in a Mirror, a documentary about Carol Jerrems, a celebrated Australian photographer from the 1970's who died of cancer at 30. Although her photographs were captivating the real story seemed to be her "crazy hippie" approach to life, full of reckless self-danger (she wanted to photograph youth gangs, so she tolerated their raping her!) and reckless love life. This was followed by Stranded, a 50 minute short(ish) film about a girl coming of age while her wacky family deals with the aftermath of her mother's suicide.

After a break for dinner we returned to see Kenny. Kenny is an Australian "mockumentary" about a man who works for a portable toilet company. Kenny is a very earthy working-class guy coping with an endless stream of problems. It was hilariously funny, if the fact that every conversation in the film managed to work the topic of shit into it isn't a problem for you. The writer-director and star were there for the screening. It was very much a family project that had grown in the making as they are brothers and the father character was played by their own father. Lots of reality crept into the film; the featured toilet company Splashdown is real and a big supporter of the project and lots of footage was shot during real events around Melbourne. Some of the audience members weren't so sure that Kenny was just a character when he came on stage after the screening!

I had a mini-marathon viewing of the first three episodes of the second season of Rome last night. What a great show! Fantastic sets and story lines, great performances and direction. I love the way they integrate Roman moralities and spiritual beliefs into the plot and the dialog and the contrast between the lives of ordinary citizens and powerful historical characters. Too bad there won't be a third season...

Watching Rome replaced the time waste of watching the Grammys. I'm not a big fan of awards shows. My son called from his mother's as they started though, he thought I should be reminded that the Police were starting the show with a reunion performance. I did enjoy that, as well as the Dixie Chicks performance of Not Ready to Make Nice. No surprise that an American Idol contestant did well, but I wish that the wonderful Corinne Bailey Rae had been recognised.

Another long run Sunday morning, over 19K in 1:33. But I forgot my iPod's Nike+ connector, so it's as if it didn't happen...

Listening to: Put Your Records On by Corinne Bailey Rae from Corinne Bailey Rae.

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