Thursday, May 04, 2017

Seven, eight, nine, ten

I've seen four movies since last we spoke: a program of shorts about Magnificent Obsessions, Give Me Future, Bill Nye: Science Guy, and Joshua: Teenager vs Superpower.

The shorts were the usual mixed bag of styles and subjects, but they were all about people who are really keen on something.

There was one about the city of Cleveland trying to make a fun, fun name for itself by releasing 1.5 million little balloons filled with helium for a Guinness Book record. It did not turn out well. Another was about icebergs, and it was stunning and made me want to run off to Newfoundland immediately. Then the one about clearing out a family home after the parents' deaths. Beautifully done, with still photos and background chatter. The Q&A really tied it all together for me, and now I want to watch it again!

The last two were more unsettling, for sure. One revolved around a phone conversation between a trans woman and an ex-Marine. Again, I learned so much in the chat with the director afterwards that I have to see it again. This one was an MFA project, wow.

The last was about the magnificent obsession of wanting human blood. Yes. Creepy and with bits where I closed my eyes!

I love seeing shorts and wish these little movies were shown in front of features more often. It's funny why they get made the way they do: the iceberg guys said they would gladly have made a longer movie but for the funding; the house-clearing movie started just as a photographic record as the family worked on the job, and the idea of a movie came later.

That evening... was it Tuesday?... I saw Give Me Future, starring my favourite city of Havana! A band I know nothing about, Major Lazer, decided to go to Havana, and played a concert right here on the Malecón.

Thousands and thousands of people came. I don't much care for the electronic music and they guys in the band weren't that interesting to me, but the story was good and the visuals were a treat.

That movie started at 9:45 pm and I was up and at the theatre again at 8:45 the next morning. Quite a big day at Docs for Schools, with two people doing their best to save the world.

Bill Nye: Science Guy shows everybody's favourite science teacher in his retirement from TV. He no longer teaches basic science ideas to kids in a fun and wacky way, but he is taking on creationists and climate-change deniers. I knew about him and his show, but I am a bit old to have been a real fan, and I imagine his heyday was somewhere in the decades when I didn't have a TV. His projects now include things like the Planetary Society and, unfortunately, debating lunkheads like people who think that there were dinosaurs on the ark 6,000 years ago. The kids loved him. I loved him, too, but my excitement faded when I watched the second movie of the day.

Joshua: Teenager vs Superpower shows us Joshua Wong, a kid just now in university, who has also been trying to save the world for several years. He started out protesting Beijing-imposed education curricula in Hong Kong, and moved on to work with Occupy to work for democratic reforms. Those Hong Kong protests were short-lived and little covered here, as I recall, but the photos of the thousands of protesters were amazing. Joshua and some others went on hunger strike, were arrested, and keep on working towards the goal of democratic freedoms in Hong Kong. This one was picked up by Netflix at Sundance, so you can see it yourselves shortly.

Today, I have a lunch date and then two movies in the afternoon and evening. There's even time in between, I think, to come home and cook a chicken so my family don't think I am ignoring them.

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