“World Weary” online travel journal

31 03 2010

New online travel journal: http://cargocollective.com/World-Weary#328667/

I like their conditions for considering new material: “…most important is the author’s mastery of language and ability to manipulate words.”

“Although we take our inspiration from classical travel literature and literary journalism, we have open minds about our contributors’ potential for originality and greatness.”

I think there’s potential for originality and greatness there, in my soul. Now let’s see if I can manipulate words to the editors’ satisfaction.

Call out for submissions goes until May 10. Publication in summer 2010.

Tracey Deer/Mohawk Princess

31 03 2010

In a smashing two for two kind of week, I got to meet my second fabulous documentary filmmaker in two days: Tracey Deer of Kahnawake.

My eyes are straining from too much computer already today so I won’t go into everything, but suffice it to say, this woman is going to bend genres and break out into mainstream Canadian television culture with solid Aboriginal-themed stories. It’s going to turn Canadian programming on its ear, and I want to be the first to say: this Mohawk Princess is something.

We talked about the state of Aboriginal filmmaking today, who is doing what, and what it might take for regular Canadian audiences to catch on to some of the innovative work offered by Native filmmakers recently.  Not to mention the downright hilarious.

I also got to watch the pilot episode of what Tracey hopes will be a TV series on APTN. It’s about four young women working through the normal, angsty, sexy issues that every 20-something woman goes through, with the added complications that come from growing up on the Res. Where you might end up sleeping with your second cousin without knowing it.

What’s unique is the way it’s shot and composed. It’s the most un-Res-like treatment you can imagine, meaning it’s not heavy with trauma and issues, but it’s sexy, humorous, treats human dramas with a light touch, and somehow manages to make these Mohawk girls  real and complicated, just like everyone. Kind of like GILMOUR GIRLS, it’s close, intimate, character-driven and riveting. I wanted to watch more, and I’m about as far from a television freak as you can get. It doesn’t hurt though that I’m one of a privileged few outside of the production group that has seen it…

Watch for Tracey Deer. That Mohawk woman is on something….

Yes, there is hope in Kansas, Dorothy

30 03 2010

Just saw an amazing doc tonight by Magnus Isacsson: Art in Action featuring Montreal’s own activist artists Annie Roy and Pierre Allard. The founders of ATSA (Socially Acceptable Acts of Terrorism) seem to provoke and promote a life of wonder amid their acts of social engagement/guerrilla warfare in the name of love.

But it wasn’t just the subject that was so moving – the film was wonderfully done and, to me, seemed the strike the right tone throughout.

Following the couple for three years, Magnus managed somehow to both capture intimate scenes in their home with the couple’s two children, as well as a decade of their work, their installations and performance interventions.

This film is all heart, and is also a not-so subtle call for every person watching to find their own mission in life and live by it. Once you’ve seen how these artists live, how could you not want to DO something to change the world? Once you see how they work and perspire and groan and love and create and make hundreds of calls and get their hands dirty and do what no one else is doing – simply because it’s in them to do.

I believe that’s one of the most beautiful things film can ever capture: humans fighting to pour every ounce of their potential and energy into something only they can do for the betterment of society. Magnus has succeeded in capturing that with this film.

Go see it!

PS and I had to slip this in: I was very happy to be able to meet Mr. Isacsson tonight and talk about the possibility of interning with him. Ahem! Yes. Wow. It’s too early to write about how things might look in the future, but I definitely anticipate learning something down the road from him, should that door stay open. For now, I think I’m just very excited. It was great. He’s great. I’m… very… very excited. Very.

And no, that meeting didn’t bias my view of the film at all. I liked it very much before I met him in person!