Sunday 22 October 2017

H B'day 2 Me: I turned 65!

On Friday, October 20, 2017, I turned 65, a milestone in my life, a milestone in anybody's life?

Human Resources wrote to inform me the company benefit plan was cutting my Life Coverage and Accidental Death & Dismemberment by 50%. I have thirty-one days to apply for alternative coverage. —I joked: H.R. says F.U.— It's nice to know that some faceless actuary somewhere has determined my risk to my employer has magically shot up. Should I be worried, too?

At work, I bought my own cake and sent this email to all staff, inviting them for a sugar fix.

Today, a member of our staff is celebrating his 65th birthday. I would like to organise a surprise for him in the boardroom, so I hope all of you will join me for a sugar fix. And for Heaven's sake, if you see William the birthday boy in the hall, don't let on you know about this. Let's surprise him.

Ain't I a card?

During my speech (I'm Canadian), I said:

Canada has two official languages: English and French. It is a bilingual country. Our company is also bilingual, even though, for the most part, the language of business in these offices is English. Consequently, I want to make a respectful nod to the other official language by saying something in French.

[The room looked at me expectantly... I cleared my throat, glanced around and said...]

Quelque chose

[I bowed.]

Thank you. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you very much. Please, hold your applause. Don't encourage me or I'll say even more.

I copied something I saw Johnny Carson do years ago on his show. He held up one hand, palm out, in a sign to stop applauding, while holding his other hand low, moving it in a "come forward" motion to mean continue applauding.

I added that everyone can become an "-est" in life if they hang in there long enough. I'm not the fastest. I'm not the smartest. I'm not the richest. But now, due to my age, I was now the oldest. Yes, the oldest person in the entire company. I'm not sure if that makes me the elder statesman or the doddering old fool. I shall be grateful I'm still alive.

My birthday evening saw me at the gym for three hours. As I write this, my answer to the question "how was my birthday" consists of two words: It's over.

Question: Do you count a contraction as one word or two? Is "It's over" really three words? But along with "Who knows?", you could add, "Who cares?"

My sister-in-law texted me happy birthday. I texted back:

I'm now officially an "old" man, but I have a new freedom: I can spit, fart, and pick my nose with impunity because everybody's going to forgive me, thinking I'm becoming senile. Who's got the nerve to say "Gross!" to an old man's face? I'm going to get away with murder.


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Saturday 21 October 2017

Max Joseph: DICKS: Do you need to be one to be a successful leader?

“A writer needs a pen, an artist needs a brush, but a filmmaker needs an army.”
― Orson Welles

Max Joseph, a film maker from New York City, starts out to investigate what makes good director and ends up finding out what makes a good leader. In the era of crazy president 45, Donald Trump, this is a pertinent question. All roads lead to Rome, but it turns out you don't have to be a dick about it.

Some of the people interviewed:
  • David Guggenheim
    American director, screenwriter, producer, and novelist
  • Michael Maccoby
    Psychoanalyst and anthropologist
  • Aaron James
    Associate professor of philosophy and author of Assholes: A Theory
  • Randall Poster
    American music supervisor and long-term Wes Anderson collaborator. He has worked on The Wolf of Wall Street, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Vinyl  and Skyfall.
  • Karyn Kasama
    American independent film director (interesting perspective from a woman in a male-dominated field)
  • John Hamburg
    American screenwriter, film director and producer
  • Adam Grant
    American author and youngest tenured professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
  • Peter Berg
    American director, actor, producer, and writer of film, television, and music videos

Published on Jun 1, 2017 by Max Joseph
YouTube: DICKS: Do you need to be one to be a successful leader? (34:49)
This is a question that has been eating away at me for a long time, so I decided to make a movie about it.


Wikipedia: Max Joseph
H. Maxwell "Max" Joseph (born January 16, 1982) is an American filmmaker and television host.

From New York City, Joseph is both a host, with Nev Schulman, and the cameraman for Catfish: The TV Show. Joseph left Catfish for several episodes in the 4th season to make his feature film debut We Are Your Friends, starring Zac Efron and released in 2015. Joseph has directed several films including 12 Years of DFA: Too Old To Be New, Too New To Be Classic, Garden of Eden, Let's Harvest the Organs of Death Row Inmates and several other productions.

official web site: Max Joseph

Twitter: Max Joseph @maxjoseph

Facebook: Max Joseph

IMDb: Max Joseph
Max Joseph was born as H Maxwell Joseph. He is a writer and director, known for We Are Your Friends (2015), Catfish: The TV Show (2012) and 12 Years of DFA: Too Old To Be New, Too New To Be Classic (2013).

YouTube channel: Max Joseph
I grew up in NYC, live in LA, and make movies all over the world. I was the other guy in the Nike Make It Count video and am currently the other guy on MTV's Catfish. I cannot go through an airport without eating a Cinnabon.


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Thursday 19 October 2017

Soda Honey Films: Whispers Among Wolves

Published on Jul 4, 2017 by Omeleto
YouTube: A rude CEO insults her employee, then rips his life to shreds. Now watch him turn the tables. (17:14)
Filmmaker Kevin Lim tells the story of Shilo Dashwood, a self-made woman who drinks as hard and she works. Every Wednesday, she meets with her long-suffering personal assistant Teddy to conduct matters of business.

But today, he's interrupted by a text from his girlfriend Audrey. He pauses before revealing that he broke a promise with her to work late. Shilo remembers Audrey, affectionately calling her "goat-face."

Shilo pushes ahead and keeps insulting Teddy, even insinuating that he may be gay. Finally, Teddy reveals that Audrey broke up with him because she thinks he and Shilo are having an affair.

Shilo offers to help fix the situation, but Teddy refuses -- insisting that every time he shares something personal with her, she drunkenly ridicules him and forgets about it the next day.

For a moment, Shilo becomes serious. Then, she reveals all the important events of Teddy's life that he assumed she never noticed. He's surprised.

Teddy then asks Shilo if she's ever loved someone.

For a brief, vulnerable moment, she opens up an old wound from her past -- about a man she could never win the affections of. As she tells the story, she sheds her armor and shows she wasn't always a cynical pragmatist -- she once felt heartache, as well.

Shilo and Teddy quickly exchange gifts -- small show of sacrifice. Then, they mull over the co-dependency they've come to rely on each other for.

That's when they both agree to make a change.


Soda Honey Films
Soda Honey Films is a collective of filmmakers working in Sydney, Australia. Their first film "Lichen" has been nominated for Best International Short at the International Baja Film Festival, International Warsaw Film Festival (Academy accredited), and Best Australian short at FlickerFest (Academy accredited and BAFTA recognised). "The Pledge for Mr Bunny" was a finalist for Tropfest 2013.

official web site: Soda Honey Films

Twitter: Soda Honey Films @ReamSodaHoney

Facebook: Soda Honey Films

YouTube: Omeletto
Welcome to Omeleto, YouTube's number one channel for short films. Our mission is inspire you to live a more purposeful life through the power of storytelling. We do this by showcasing the most captivating works from around the world -- ranging from Oscar, Cannes and Sundance-winning directors to young, talented newcomers. If you’re looking for a sign, this is it. Subscribe to our channel -- it will be amazing...


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Friday 6 October 2017

Movie Review: Blade Runner 2049

The sequel to the 1992 sci-fi classic is here. Rotten Tomatoes rates it at 88%. Robbie Collin of The Telegraph labels it “the most spectacular, profound blockbuster of our time”. Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian qualifies the film as “a gigantic spectacle of pure hallucinatory craziness”. And so it goes, one gushing review after another, a rarity: a sequel which matches the original, if not surpasses it.

However, a few days ago, Rotten Tomatoes showed a rating of 92% and as more reviews have come in, now that the film has been released, that score has dropped to 88%. Telling?

The film didn’t do it for me. Everything was there: follow-up to a well-known story, nostalgia-factor with Harrison Ford reprising his role (and briefly Sean Young), great cinematography, etc., etc. So, what happened? You have to accept the premise. Superman has super powers. Ironman has a special body armor suit. Star Wars has light sabers. If you can’t accept the premise, the rest of the story makes no sense.

So, what happened? I was 30-years-old when I saw the original Blade Runner in 1982. Today, I’m 65. I’ve changed. My tastes have changed. My expectations have changed. A few years ago, I saw one of the Transformers movies and hated it. Nevertheless, I recognised that if I had been 15-years-old or if I had been a 40-year-old having grown up with the toys, I would have probably been enamoured by the movie. Even though I don’t like something, I can see how somebody else could like it. E. L. James has sold over 70 million copies of her 50 Shades trilogy, and yet, I couldn’t get past a hundred pages of the first novel. I nearly walked out of Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and I plan on never again seeing one of the Fast and the Furious movies or another John Wick film. I know they’re popular, but it’s just not doing it for me.

Fans are delving into all aspects of the sequel and the original, discussing philosophy, racism against replicants, sexism and the objectification of women, slavery, the future, dystopian societies, ad infinitum— or should I say ad nauseam? It’s entertaining if you’ve bought into the premise and want to explore all aspects of this cinematic world. I know it can be fun, but I’m writing this the day after having seen the film and I’m getting on with the rest of my life. I’m not thinking about the film and I found nothing in its themes inspired me to research them.

That wasn’t true before the film. I did research, reading various Wikipedia articles on Blade Runner 2049, on the 1982 original, and on Philip K. Dick, the author of the book “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” upon which the movie is based. While Philip K. Dick is now lauded as a great science fiction author—a partial list of movie adaptations: Total Recall, Minority Report, Paycheck, and The Adjustment Bureau—he seems to have a troubled life: drug use, mental health issues, and financial problems. My pre-film reading turned out to be more interesting than the film.

Final Word
If you haven't seen the original, you'll probably like this. It's a well-crafted movie and it can stand on its own. If you saw the original, and I mean you saw the original when it came out in 1982, you may be like me: you might not buy into the premise. The dramatic, loud synthesizer music, the brooding Ryan Gosling, the prolonged shots as we waited for something mysterious to unfold, were all designed to enhance the profundity of the story. Sorry, no go. I'm not saying it was a total waste of time and I now want two hours and forty-four minutes of my life back, but I won't be clamoring anytime soon to see it again. For me, it was a curiosity.


Rotten Tomatoes: Blade Runner 2049: 88%
Visually stunning and narratively satisfying, Blade Runner 2049 deepens and expands its predecessor's story while standing as an impressive filmmaking achievement in its own right.

Wikipedia: Blade Runner 2049
Blade Runner 2049 is a 2017 American neo-noir science fiction film directed by Denis Villeneuve and written by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green. A sequel to Blade Runner (1982), the film stars Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford, who reprises his role as Rick Deckard, with Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Robin Wright, Mackenzie Davis, Carla Juri, Lennie James, Dave Bautista and Jared Leto in supporting roles.

Rotten Tomatoes: Blade Runner (1982): 90%
Misunderstood when it first hit theaters, the influence of Ridley Scott's mysterious, neo-noir Blade Runner has deepened with time. A visually remarkable, achingly human sci-fi masterpiece.

Wikipedia: Blade Runner
Blade Runner is a 1982 American neo-noir science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, and Edward James Olmos. The script was written by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples, and is a loose adaptation of the 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick.


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Monday 2 October 2017

R5: If

Published on May 11, 2017 by R5VEVO
YouTube: R5 - If (Official Video)
from the EP New Addictions

All my days run together like whiskey and Coke
Hope my nights last forever like the Rolling Stones
All up in your timeline, double tapping, I like, like
Hoping that you don't mind, mind, that was 4 weeks old
Caught up in your eyes, eyes, we been talking on-line, line
I won't trade you no lies, lies that you've heard before

Tell me if you could love me, make me, somebody
If you could love me, do
Can you take on my feelings, angels and demons
If you could love me, do
I could be with you

Uh, catch a flight down to Rio, rode up on a beach
Vacay pay, no deniro, the perks of the peach
All up in your vibes, vibes, you got something I like, like
Sweet like sugar and spice, spice, cool like icicle
Well, baby, let's get hectic, throwing all of your lettuce
Spend it all on your dressing, freaking wonderful

Tell me if you could love me, make me, somebody
If you could love me, do
Can you take on my feelings, angels and demons
If you could love me, do
I could be with you
I could
And I would
I could be with you
I could be with you
I could
And I would
I could be with you
I could be with you
Yeah, ooh

Now I know what you like
Damn, we got a good life
If you could

Tell me if you could love me, make me, somebody
If you could love me, do
Can you take on my feelings, angels and demons
If you could love me, do
I could be with you
I could
And I would (baby, I wanna know)
I could be with you
I could be with you
I could
And I would
I could be with you


Wikipedia: New Addictions
New Addictions is the fifth EP by American pop rock band R5. It was released on May 12, 2017 through Hollywood Records.

Wikipedia: R5 (band)
R5 is an American pop rock band formed in Los Angeles, California, in 2009. The band consists of lead vocalist/rhythm guitarist Ross Lynch, Riker Lynch (bass/vocals), Rocky Lynch (lead guitar/vocals), Rydel Lynch (keyboard/vocals), and Ellington Ratliff (drums/vocals).

Wikipedia: R5 discography
The discography of R5, an American pop rock band, consists of two studio albums, four extended plays, eight singles, two promotional singles, sixteen music videos and other album appearances.

official web site: R5

Twitter: R5 @officialR5

Facebook: R5

Instagram: R5 @officialR5


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