Saturday, September 27, 2014

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Saya (2014-09-26)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

A September fortnight in review

On the domestic front, life was dominated by health problems. With the second week of September, I started feeling discomfort and then pain, but kept going to work because I finally was given some responsibilities and didn't want to shirk from them. It was obviously a mistake. Thursday (Sept. 11th of all days!) I skipped work to go to the clinic but they didn't do much to relieve the pain. The next day it had increased so much that I couldn't bear it, so I decided to go to the emergency. I ended up spending a few days at the hospital, getting a surgery and having to take a three-week sick leave to recover.

I thought it would be a great opportunity to catch up on my readings and writings, but (so far) I was rather wrong (I couldn't write a single new book or movie comment, beside finishing two that were already in the works: Judas and the FFM Japanese shorts). First, I felt quite tired (the anaesthetic and all the medications they pump into you can really mess up your system) and the various post-up care (like daily visits to the clinic) kept me rather busy. It's rather disappointing but, hey!, health must come first.

Another disappointment was that the pain made me miss the ordering window for the new iPhone 6 so instead of getting it on launch day I had to wait for a few extra weeks. At first, I was told that I would get it only in early October, but it seems I might get it at the end of the week instead. Great! It will give me something to keep my mind busy (since I cannot really do work around the house, still have a little trouble sitting at the computer and seems to have difficulties concentrating). Just resting can be quite boring after a few weeks.

September has brought us unseasonably cold temperatures (around 10 to 16 'C) so there cannot be any doubt that the summer is at its end (well, technically yes, but still… early fall is usually warmer than that!). However, it is suppose to warm up a little soon. And my calendar reminds me that I still have 764 weeks before retirement…

In the news there was lots of talk about the latest Apple products, the Scottish independence referendum and the World trying to come up with a response to the Islamic State treats. I had plenty of time to read and gather links to many interesting news stories which I am sharing with you after the jump…

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Festival du Nouveau Cinema 2014

The Festival du nouveau cinéma (FNC) is pleased to announce that The Good Lie (U.S.), directed by Philippe Falardeau, will kick off its 43rd edition, to be held in Montreal from October 8 to 19. The film will be preceded by Matthew Rankin’s short Mynarski Death Plummet (Quebec/Canada). The documentary feature The Salt of the Earth (Brazil/Italy/France), co-directed by Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, will close the Festival on October 18. [Read the full press release]

Tokyo Tribe by Japanese director Sion Sono will open the Temps Zéro section, this year celebrating its 10th anniversary. The rap-infused musical is set in a futuristic Tokyo where the gangs that run the city are forced to team up to battle a nasty, nefarious ogre of a mob boss named Big Buppa (Rikki Takeuchi).

In total the festival will offer half a dozen Japanese movies including the latest Shinya Tsukamoto, Takashi Miike, Isao Takahata, and Sion Sono!! Those are all Japanese blockbusters that have been previously screened at other film festivals. I am not planning to attend the festival (because of the lack of time, the unfriendliness of the festival toward small online media but mostly because I must rest after my recent health problems). However, I'll post here all the information I can get for those who will want to attend:

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Un bourdon sur un Œillet d'Inde en début d'automne
A Bumblebee on a Tagetes in early fall
(Mon jardin / Home garden, 2014-09-23)

Saturday, September 20, 2014

MWFF Japanese shorts

WARNING: May contains trace of spoilers! People allergic to the discussion of any plot's elements before seeing a movie are strongly advised to take the necessary precautions for their safety and should avoid reading further.

There was five japanese short films presented at the 2014 Montreal World Film Festival. I've seen most of them and here are a few thoughts about them.

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Caramel (2014-09-05)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


WARNING: May contains trace of spoilers! People allergic to the discussion of any plot's elements before seeing a movie are strongly advised to take the necessary precautions for their safety and should avoid reading further.

“Erika's life fall aparts when her boyfriend leaves scars on both her heart and her face. The manager of the family restaurant where she works part time refuses to let her work with a scarred face, and she has no way to pay for an abortion. She resolves never again to be at the mercy of sentiment. She decides to become a hostess at the Elleseine nightclub in Tokyo's notorious Kabukichio entertainment and red-light district. Before long she has risen to the top, becoming the club's number one hostess. But material fortune doesn't always translate into personal happiness. Can she have her cake and eat it?” (Text from the Festival's program)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Sick leave

The posts have been a little more sparse in the last few days because I was hospitalized due to sudden health issues (those can be a real pain in the ass sometimes). Because of the needed convalescence (and necessary post-op care) I will take a three-week sick leave from work. I will, of course, rest but it will be an unexpected occasion the catch up on my viewings and readings (and hopefully writings).

Unfortunately, because of this brief hospital stay, I also missed the initial preorder of the new iPhone 6. So, I won't get it next week like I wanted, but only next month. Too bad, I could have done a lot with it during my sick leave. Now I'll get it only after I am back to work…

[ Traduire @ Google ]
[ Traduire @ Bing ]

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Chaussette (“Socks”) 2014-09-10

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

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Septembre, et les cosmos fleurissent toujours
September, and the cosmos are still blooming
White cosmos

Sunday, September 07, 2014

August in review

On the domestic front, August was an exhausting month. I covered the first part of the month in my previous entry (July in review). The second part was mostly dedicated to the Montreal World Film Festival. In the middle, I took a long week-end in order to recover as best as I could. I was so tired that, as usual, I didn't do as much as I wanted. Disappointingly, I didn't write any book or movie comments, but I wrote the overdue review of the month, went to the clinic to get reassured about my knee, updated the blog with the festival's scheduling and movies information, but mostly rested. The situation at work had probably something to do with my exhaustion and the coming weeks (where I would be attending the festival) would certainly not help.

The festival showed about a dozen Japanese movies and I succeeded to watch them all (and more! A general overview of the festival will come soon). In the beginning, I had a surge of energy and [finally!] wrote several movies comments (first the latest Lelouche: Salaud, on t'aime, One Third, Tokyo - The city of glass, the British short The stomach, Blossom Bloom, Our family, and more to come soon) and even got a few specific responsibilities at work that made me feel worthy. Unfortunately, at the end of each week I was terribly exhausted (the running around at work wasn't helped at all by the fact that my knee was still bothering me, I had developed swollen piles and I was moonlighting at the film fest). On top of it, my sister finally found someone to come pick up all the boxes in the garage (unwanted left-overs of the moving [three years ago!]: two boxes of glass ware, ten of clothing and twenty of books) so I had to prepare them for the pickup in a hurry (repackaging, making sure I was not giving away interesting books, etc.). Now that I had freed some space, I couldn't resist to clean up and reorganize everything in the garage (after all it's the indispensable washing room, workshop and storage room). All this was, you guess it, quite exhausting. The only way to recover was to take three-day week-ends (some planned, some unscheduled — that's why we have sick days, isn't it?).

On the world stage, the press was mostly preoccupied with the situation in Ukraine and the horrible crimes of the Islamic State in Irak. Of course, exhaustion and being so busy can't keep me from reading interesting news stories (on technology, sciences, popular culture, local interests, etc.) and wanting to share their links with you…

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Écrire le monde : la science fiction

L’Union des écrivaines et des écrivains québécois, en collaboration avec Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) présente :

Lecture publique

Écrire le monde / Territoire de l’ailleurs : la science-fiction

Le 2 octobre 2014, de 19 h 00 à 20 h 15

À l'Auditorium de la Grande Bibliothèque

Lecture d’extraits du roman Les jours de l’ombre de Francine Pelletier, auteure de la trilogie Le sable et l’acier, en sa présence.

Mise en lecture : Rita Lafontaine
Interprète : Jessica Lamy
Musicien : Frédéric Maher

La lecture sera suivie d'une période de questions avec l'écrivaine et les artistes.

Continuez après le saut de page >>

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Friday, September 05, 2014

Découverte: un nouvel album de Bilal

Après Animal’z et Julia et Roem, voici enfin le troisième volet de la trilogie événément signée Enki Bilal.

“Dans un ciel sens dessus dessous ponctué d’immenses masses nuageuses aux allures menaçantes progresse le Zeppelin sinistré Garbage et son équipage incongru : un couple de passagers de hasard embarqués à Tanger, Anders Mikkeli et Esther Roblès, deux jumelles orphelines sujettes à de mystérieuses crises de citations littéraires, leur garde du corps et le cadavre démembré du pilote de l’appareil, suspendu à ce qui reste de sa nacelle détruite. Dans les soutes, un mélange de déchets nucléaires instables et d’armes atomiques en état de marche, indice probable des visées terroristes du Garbage. Balloté au gré de la violence des vents, ses équipements verrouillés sur navigateur automatique, l’aérostat semble totalement livré à lui-même, et pourtant… Pourtant quelque chose suggère qu’il y a peut-être là un dessein, une volonté, une direction. Car au même moment, nombre des personnages croisés au fil des deux précédents volumes de la trilogie – Ana et Lester, Bacon et son dauphin hybride, Julia, Roem et Lawrence, l’ex-aumonier militaire – se sont eux aussi mis en mouvement, comme mûs par un appel secret. Leur périple annonce-t-il le stade terminal du « coup de sang » planétaire ? S’agit-il des prémisses de la troisième guerre mondiale annoncée, qui mettra ainsi un point final à la crise environnementale généralisée ? Ou d’autre chose encore, divergeant de tout ce qu’on pouvait imaginer ?”

“Toujours magistral, tant dans la puissance et l’originalité de son récit que dans son traitement graphique et chromatique exceptionnel, Enki Bilal apporte un point final à la trilogie amorcée dans Animal’z et poursuivie dans Julia et Roem. L’un des titres les plus attendus de la fin d’année.” (Texte du site de l'éditeur)

Pas grand chose à ajouter sur ce nouveau Bilal sinon que j'ai bien hâte de le lire (la date de parution en France est le 2014/10/22, mais il est difficile de dire quand il sera disponible au Québec). Décidément, Bilal va de trilogie en trilogie nous présentant toujours le même futur glauque mais jamais ennuyant.

La Couleur de l’air, par Enki Bilal. Paris: Casterman, octobre 2014. 96 pgs, 24 x 32.1 x 1.5 cm, 18.00 €, ISBN: 978-2-203-03309-2.

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Thursday, September 04, 2014

Our family

WARNING: May contains trace of spoilers! People allergic to the discussion of any plot's elements before seeing a movie are strongly advised to take the necessary precautions for their safety and should avoid reading further.

“Reiko has been suffering from memory loss for some time, but her family doesn't really seem to notice. One day, she's examined by a doctor, who discovers that she has a terminal brain tumor and will probably die within a week. As her dementia worsens, Reiko begins to express her true feelings for the first time, such as her fear that the family is falling apart. Meanwhile, her husband is facing bankruptcy and the family has been at odds over everyday problems and mistrusts. Their sons, Kosuke and Shunpei, react to the family troubles in different ways. The older brother, Kosuke, clumsily tries to shoulder the burden of the family while younger brother, Shunpei, gradually dedicates himself to becoming a better son.”

(Text from the Festival's program)

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Blossom Bloom

WARNING: May contains trace of spoilers! People allergic to the discussion of any plot's elements before seeing a movie are strongly advised to take the necessary precautions for their safety and should avoid reading further.

“On first glance, Shunzuke, 47, seems to have everything, a top job at an electronics company, a loving beautiful wife Akiko, a son Daisuke and a daughter Sakiko and a nice house where he lives with his father Shuntaro. But the respect he gets at work doesn't extend to the domestic front, especially after Akiko discovered a now-ended affair of his. Meanwhile, Daisuke has skipped university to work in low-end jobs, Sakiko doesn't talk to him, and Shuntaro is having serious health problems. On the eve of a possible promotion at work, Shunsuke decides that his family comes first.”

(Text from the Festival's program)

Monday, September 01, 2014

The stomach

WARNING: May contains trace of spoilers! People allergic to the discussion of any plot's elements before seeing a movie are strongly advised to take the necessary precautions for their safety and should avoid reading further.

“Frank's had enough. A spirit medium whose unique and grotesque method of channeling the dead is putting his own life at risk, he wants out. But others have different plans.”

“Médium dont la méthode unique et grotesque d'entrer en contact avec les morts met sa propre vie en péril, Frank en a assez. Mais dans ce monde comme dans l'au-delà, d'autres ont aussi leurs plans.”

(Text from the Festival's program)