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Digital Cameras Are So Confusing….

This is awesome on so many levels.

Salvation

I watched this documentary about the Salvation Army’s efforts (particularly The Gateway) in Toronto.  You can watch the entire video on the National Film Board site.

I know it’s 50 minutes long but it’s a beautiful film and an inspiring story.

Mystery of the Nile

Mystery of the Nile Mark and I watched the IMAX movie, Mystery of the Nile last night.  I never knew this but until 2004, no one had ever travelled the entire Blue Nile River from it’s source to the Mediterranean Sea.

It’s a journey that took 114 days and was done by a team of explorers and amateurs led by Pasquale Scaturro and Gordon Brown.  They faced rapids, bandits, Nile crocodiles, civil war in Sudan, and other seemingly insurmountable challenges as they make their way along all 3,260 miles of the river to become the first to complete a full descent of the Blue Nile.

It’s a great journey but after watching it, I was somewhat disappointed as I wanted more.  A two hour film was not enough time to show a 114 day, 3,260 mile journey.  They could have made an entire television series or a long mini-series just on their adventures with the Nile crocodiles and several episodes could have been dedicated to the people they met as the floated down the Nile River, their adventures with bandits, and even the background of the cultures they are engaged in. 

So for all of you filmakers out there, feel free to steal my idea and make this series.  I’ll be the first to purchase it.

The Lego Matrix

It took over 440 hours of work so check out this recreation of the stop-motion recreation of the Neo-dodges-bullets-on-the-roof scene from The Matrix.

Check the boxes creativity

Investors in Disney are getting upset that Pixar isn’t selling out more.

“The worries keep coming despite Pixar’s track record, because each film it delivers seems to be less commercial than the last,” Mr. Creutz said.

Robert A. Iger, Disney’s chief executive, responded, “We seek to make great films first. If a great film gives birth to a franchise, we are the first company to leverage such success. A check-the-boxes approach to creativity is more likely to result in blandness and failure.”

Good for Iger.  I was worried when Disney acquired Pixar that we would be seeing a bunch of direct to DVD releases of inferior quality with Pixar’s name on it but while the investors are mad, the movies are still worth watching.

One size fits all?

One size fits all A couple weeks (crap, maybe it was months ago, I have been kinda busy…) I got a copy of One size fits all and it is a DVD about innovative Christian gatherings across across Canada.

It was done by Joe Manafo and Nathan Colquhoun from Sarnia and they did a good job in this this 45 minute examination of missional, emerging ideas and experiments.

Some of the leaders they interview include Pernell Goodyear of The Freeway; Greg Paul of Sanctuary, Cyril Guerette of Freedomize, Jamie Howison of St Benedict’s Table, Kim Reid of The Open Door and Garry Castle at Next Church.

If you are interested in what is happening in the fringes of the church in Canada, it is worth the time to sit down and watch, alone or with your entire community.

The National Film Board Opens the Archives

I think we are all in agreement, that is the greatest Canadian short ever made.  I found it while checking out the National Film Board‘s new site which has high quality streaming videos for free.  Not only does this excite the historian in me, it excites the Residential Coordinator in me as the guys at the Centre love documentaries.  With a laptop, wifi connection and a television, there is a lot of good stuff to show that would quite difficult to get otherwise. 

16 ways to make anything turn out really bad

A short list by Thomas Kinkade on how to make a bad movie his way.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Star Wars: The Clone WarsMark, Wendy, Oliver and I watched Star Wars: Clone Wars movie tonight.  Mark had a good time but there went two hours that I will never get back again.  I was a little disappointed in the animation.  It felt more like watching a two hour cartoon rather than an animated movie.  I guess when you have come out with such television classics in the past, keeping the streak alive is hard to do, even if you are George Lucas.

Windrider Forum at Wycliffe College

080814Bill Kinnon has let me know about The Windrider Forum at Wycliffe College. It’s taking place September 9, 10 and 11 during Toronto’s International Film Festival.  You can watch a couple videos and find out more information at the Windrider site.

Why Wendy and I never go to the movies together

She breaks most of these rules.  It’s tearing our marriage apart.  As a padawan, I have trained Mark in most of these rules but to paraphrase Yoda, “She’s too old”.  Now we just go see different movies or the same movie on different days.

Manufactured Landscapes on The Hour

Edward Burtynsky was on The Hour back in April of 2007.  Here is a clip of his appearance on the show.  Here he is accepting his TED prize and here is the trailer for Manufactured Landscapes

Prince of Peace – God of War

John Campea’s movie, Prince of Peace – God of War is now out and getting some good reviews from the film festivals. Yes I am in it and no I haven’t seen my part yet… I hate the sound of my voice so I will see if I can get a special director’s cut without me in it to see what McLaren, Campolo and others have to say. There is a trailer and more information on the site. As they say, it will also be coming to a theatre near you.

Surf’s Up at the Roxy Theatre

Tonight Mark and I walked the 15 blocks to the Roxy Theatre on 20th Street in Saskatoon. I am ashamed to admit that despite working a block away and being a big fan of the restoration, I had never been there since it reopened (although I did see Rambo there as a kid). It is really nice inside and it has a lot more atmosphere than the crime against architecture that is the Galaxy Theatres. It took Mark and I about 40 minutes to walk down and we got our tickets (only $4) and assorted junk food for the movie. The reviews for Surf’s Up were good and we both enjoyed the movie. There has been several articles about how the Galaxy is killing other theatre business in the city so I am making a concentrated effort to support the Roxy this summer and take in some other movies there with Mark. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you will definately want to. Mark has already secured some commitments to see Shrek the Third and Fantastic Four: The Rise of the Silver Surfer over the next couple of weeks.

The Emerging Church Documentary

I have blogged about the efforts of Joe Manafo to film a documentary on the emerging church in Canada and I have been following his blog and on YouTube as he travels across Canada chatting with friends of mine and emerging church leaders about what God is doing in their contexts. Today I drove out to Living Waters Camp where Joe was speaking to hang out a bit with Joe and be filmed for the documentry.

I thought a drive might be good for the entire family so Wendy and Mark came along and we were able to catch up with an old friend from college. Joe also caught Wendy off guard and talked her into appearing on film. It was a little too much for Mark to see his mom and dad on film so he managed to get into the video.

One of the best questions he asked me was what are we preparing people for in the future? It’s a good question and a couple of years ago I would have given him a different answer but I don’t have a really rosy look at the future for the west.

I agree that even more than democracy, the western world is fueled by one central idea and that is cheap natural gas and oil. It allows us to heat our cities as well as transport goods all over the world for almost nothing (goods made cheaply in China are still cheap when they get here, do the math). With us running shorter and shorter on those resources (see here, here and here), it is foolish to think that there will not be some sort of economic transition and pain as we adjust or retool for the future on a massive scale. Also, I have friends who I went to school with who are just wrapping up their second marriages and are now looking for number three. Broken familes leave an impact that will continue to grow each subsequent decade for good or bad. Finally I think the church has been a product of the western world to a degree as a opposed to a Resident Alien in the western world. That is going to take some more figuring out and also practice until we get it right.

In end, as long as I looked cooler on film then Scott Williams, I will be pleased.

BTW, I am rumored to be appearing in John Campea’s documentary, Prince of Peace, The God of War