Things I learned this weekend

  • Nellie’s vacations are always bittersweet for me. As an introvert I love the alone time, but I always miss her too.
  • Two years after I saw Once for the first time, I watched it again. Still just as amazing. The scene in the music store where he teaches her “Falling Slowly” gave me chills, just like it did the first time.
  • The city of Toronto is holding a design contest for a revamped north building at St. Lawrence Market. Good. I love the farmer’s market on Saturdays, but that building is both hideous and a logistical nightmare.
  • Eighteen pound cats do not enjoy falling into bathtubs full of water. They enjoy it even less when their owner takes too long drying them off because he’s nearly strained a rib muscle from laughing.
  • The Santa Claus parade seems ridiculously out of place when it’s foggy and 14 degrees. Oh, and fucking November.
  • That said, I’m excited that Swiss Chalet has the festive special up and running already.
  • There are few three-word sentences in moviedom as cool as “Gregor fucked us.”
  • If I ever own a house I’m going to make my living room into a replica of Cumbrae’s, complete with butchers and bags — bags, people — of pulled pork.
  • My team was teh suck last night (except for Carey Price) and hasn’t been very good at all this year.

"Make art…make art."

BlogTO is single-handedly trying to kill me, listing the best places to buy chocolate in Toronto. Of course, I was already aware of them, especially JS Bonbons and Soma, but those pictures are making me hungry.


Quick thoughts on the Oscars: for the first time in quite a while I have no problem with any of the winners (or rather, with who didn’t win). Also, it’s a good thing “Falling Slowly” won best original song, ’cause if it’d lost to one of those Disney songs from Enchanted I’d have flown to L.A. and burned the Kodak theatre to the motherfucking ground.

Watch the performance (and acceptance speeches) here at Cinematical.


I just finished reading Incendiary (indigo) and need a new book. Fortunately I own about 60 that I haven’t read yet.

[tags]blogto, chocolate, soma, js bonbons, oscars, falling slowly, once, incendiary[/tags]

"I can't become king if someone else already sits on the throne."

In a belated attempt to see more of the best movies of 2007 (as ranked by critics anyway) we rented four movies yesterday in preparation for a lazy cinematic weekend. We watched two last night, and they were both great.

Eastern Promises (imdb | rotten tomatoes) won the top prize at this year’s TIFF, and was mentioned as a worthy follow-up to A History Of Violence. The hype was right; while it started off a teensy bit slow for my tastes, it quickly tightened up into an angry fist of a movie. Viggo Mortensen was just amazing, as usual, and while Naomi Watts seemed rather underused, I’d prefer that to artificially inflating her part to meet her star power. A little too violent for me to recommend to some people, but an excellent film overall.

Once (imdb | rotten tomatoes) is the kind of film that restores your faith in…well, a lot of things. The “musical” genre. Filmmaking as a whole. Even friendship and love. It was made for $100,000 yet packed more emotional punch than any movie made for 100 times as much. More than half the film was music, but it was so unlike a typical musical simply because the music was part of the movie, not just a random melodic interlude. The relationship between the two leads fills and crushes your heart at the same time. If you’re the kind of person who only sees the latest Jerry Bruckheimer / Michael Bay fireworks show, you should avoid this; you won’t recognize it for the brilliant piece of art that it is.

[tags]eastern promises, once[/tags]