they got motion in the pictures too

As kids my brother and I grew up assuming my dads library of recorded-off-the-movie-channels VHS tapes complete with three ring binder, handwritten notes, and stickers with serial numbers was the way everyone collected movies. Like many modern day recreations of the VHS collection, I may have some familiarity with a few stacks of blank discs, a trusty Sharpie, and movie 'channels' that begin alt.binaries.*

However in a similar trend to the one that helped curb my youthful penchant for software piracy (a lot of friends started to write code for a living combined with a waning interest in gaming as a 24/7 pastime), having friends who bust their asses in the film industry today is starting to have an impact on me.

Like many geeks with access to no more than the local Blockbuster or (in Canada) Rogers Video, I cultivated my love of unusual films with help from sites such as SecretCinema (now Cinema-Obscura), FreakyFlicks, and GreyLodge. I learned to navigate the waters of film on my own with a healthy intake of reviews, interviews, and critiques from the likes Jonathon Ross' Asian Invasion, /Film, and the ubiquitous RottenTomatoes to name a few.

But recently some friends introduced me to the very Torontonian Queen Video, and I was muy impresionado! I was so gape jawed at the fact that they had flicks broken down by director that I almost completely missed the shelves (plural!) labeled ZOMBIE. Amazing.

We walked out with a considerable bounty and settled on watching Michel Gondry's "Science of Sleep", and Brian De Palma's "Sisters", both of which stirred up plenty of interesting conversation (ie. was there a shortage on decent looking fake blood in '73?). For shame!

So to my friends who take their movies so seriously they're running an Oscar pool that spans several of their places of employ, I say gracias! I dunno if I'll run out and start buying box sets of TMNT or anything right off the hop, but I'll certainly be broadening my film horizon to include media obtained through transactions that involve the exchange of dollars as well as bits. At least until the whole world moves their archived media onto Joost :)


machine-do salmond kai

More Canadian than syrup!

I was pleasantly surprised this week to hear from my brother Terry that he's gotten himself settled here on the intertubes with a blog called Machindo (props for a damn fine name btw). He's spent the past few years working with some of the countries best chefs, cooking at five star resorts, and pulling a stint at each of the two most profitable restaurants in Canada. Now that he's settled himself in "Hollywood North" he's been getting back to his original passion in the entertainment business, working with a production company scouting interesting concepts for the big and small screens.

So surf on over if that sounds like your dish. Also my mother apparently bought herself a domain last week and is preparing to publish a personal showcase of her photography and articles from her adventures in journalism land. Barring any galleries involving my childhood bare ass (did ANYBODY dress me?) I'm pleased to see the fam adventuring into the digiwebs.


taking the lens cap off ...

My cousin David emailed the fam recently to announce his departure from the world of the slaggin it for a wage into the land of self employment. One of the directions he's opted to move in is to market his photography skills, starting with several collections of photos gathered during his travels. Most of my exposure to his photo albums has been family history related, so it was a nice change to get a look at some of his more artistic work ...

(a shot of Namibia from Davids Africa series)

I got to thinking that I'm pretty well stocked in the friends with cameras department, and more than a few of them get to some interesting locales. My buddy Matt spent a year in Tokyo with his girlfriend a while back, teaching English and learning to hate ducking. He's back in the Great White North as of last year and back at school but his pics still lurk in the tubes.

My friend Paul currently lives in Tokyo and also has some shots of the city as well as several collections of Japanese parks, mountains, and the obligatory pagoda shots over at his Flickr account. He also gets a fair bit of travel done in the course of his work and posts pics as time allows. His recent set of shots from Sydney show some interesting Eastern architectural influences there that I was completely unaware of.

On the local scene my friend Mike keeps a running tab of his photos of friends, trips, and of course Toronto at shadowfind.ca. He'll be doing some traveling in the spring and is looking into an underwater case for his cam so stay tuned for more goodness.

Also both my parents have amassed a decent collection of JPEGs in recent years, Mom having picked up a nice SLR to match her journalistic tendencies and Dad keeping his cameras handy while flying at some fairly exotic locales for a geophysical survey company. However since neither of them have embraced the magic of the interwebs I have no links to offer ... (hint hint!)


penguins like ice

Wish I'd heard of this on Friday when trying to decide what to do after work. Instead of messing with Microsoft folks and getting a citation with the words "8' inflatable penguin" on it, I wound up ringing in happy hour at a pub four blocks from the invasion.