Thursday, 25 September 2014

Waiting for August Blues: Thursday, September 25th!

No battle is ever won, he said. They are not even fought. The field only reveals to man his own folly and despair, and victory is an illusion of philosophers and fools. -William Faulkner, novelist (1897-1962) 

Waiting for August

Burdened with the role of stand-in mother at the tender age of 15, Georgina Halmac dwells sardine-can fashion with a handful of energetic rugrats—her five younger siblings—in a social-housing condo on the outskirts of Bacau, Romania. In this gracefully told family portrait, only daytime soaps on a boxy television with shaky reception offer a sliver of escape from the seemingly endless household chores. “God, I’m not having any children,” Georgina amusingly reflects, as she ponders her life of stultifying domesticity. 

Mustard-Shallot Vinaigrette
Harsh economic realities have forced Georgina’s single-parent mother Liliana to go abroad to Italy as a migrant worker. Her loving presence looms—she checks in by phone and occasionally sends a duffle bag crammed with treats— yet she is forced to remain always in the background. Mostly the kids are left up to their own devices…
Teodora Ana Mihai’s astute, award-winning observational documentary is doubly remarkable when you realize it is her first feature. Her compassionate humanism may remind Kore-eda Hirokazu fans of the courageousness of the abandoned children in Nobody Knows (VIFF 04). While stories of immigration and financial hardship can dip into dreariness, Waiting for August avoids such pitfalls by encapsulating, with unmistakable verve and immediacy, both the fragility and bouyant resiliency of children.

[I Don't: A Contrarian History of Marriage, Susan Squire Bloomsbury, 2008
"For nearly a thousand years, an Englishman sick of his wife could slip a halter around her neck, lead her to market -- the cattle market -- and sell her to the highest bidder, often with her willing participation. This informal route to divorce for the lower classes lasted, amazingly, until at least 1887... a drunken husband sells his wife in the opening chapter of Thomas Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886), much to the astonishment of contemporary critics. Oblivious to the informal unlawful marriage and divorce customs of the less literate brethren ('wife-sale' dates back to c. 1073), they could not imagine such a thing happening on British soil in the nineteenth century, even though popular broadsides depicting the practice were still being produced and widely circulated during that same century."]

Chloe Alexis Dunn via Aunt Leah's Independent Lifeskills Society If you were thinking of donating why not do it while this matching is happening!! Aunt Leah's Place Foster youth and young mothers in the Lower Mainland need your help today!

Been very busy this past week as my VIFF shifts started today. Saw three films First was Waiting for August. Second, from Chile, To Kill a Man: "Beautifully wrought and meticulously controlled, Alejandro Fernández Almendras’ tense drama follows a bullied man as he wrestles with the moral implications of revenge." Was able to watch both screenings during my shift as I'm an usher! Both extremely powerful.

[He looks happy J That's so great!!! But stressful, don't want him running into a burning building!! As his Mom, I plan to get to each fire ahead of Alex and his fire truck and put out the fire so he stays safe as his aunt i'm right behind you but ahead of him We are so proud of Alex. What is the next step? Is it the EMT? Love Nana I believe so…xoxo Oy Vey, already yet!]
Walked back to foot of Hornby to take Aquabus to GI and then home. Ragin' Bull was over to help me set up a new external hard disk for back-up purposes. After that Sarge came upstairs and we played bridge, with Coriandre until she had to leave for a meeting, shortly after 5;00 pm. Sarge was off to watch his team curl so Branko very kindly dropped me off at SFU Downtown, another venue for VIFF. 

I had arranged to meet Ruth, in from Squamish, and her sister, Deb, there, at 6:30 pm, to see Of Horses and Men: "An impromptu tryst between two horses—with a humiliated owner caught in the middle—serves as the catalyst for further dark comedy in this celebration of equine grandeur and human eccentricity. Each centred around a different horse, six peculiar vignettes (or are they rural legends?) contained here are crafted with uncommon skill, each leading us down a different twisted path to the devastating punchline that awaits us at the end. As you watch an alcoholic ride his steed into the sea in hopes of scoring more drink from a passing freighter or a man tearing a page from the The Empire Strikes Back’s screenplay in order to survive, you can’t help but wonder how one sleepy village can possibly contain so many uproarious shocks. Every bit as rugged, otherworldly and striking as its Icelandic backdrop, Benedikt Erlingsson’s dryly humorous, highly decorated debut asserts that our vain attempts to tame nature are folly of the highest order." 

A simply stunning work and the sort of "gem" one discovers more by serendipity than anything else! This is what makes VIFF such an exciting event. I'm always astounded, each year, by such incredible films I'd no idea even existed.

Ruth popped me back home before driving home to Squamish. She came in for a brief visit with Cora Lee before she had to go. School started back this past Monday, (Teachers had been on strike since the end of lat June!), and she had to work next morning. Whirlygig, in from Galiano, was to have joined us for dinner but he never showed up and we, (Ragin' came back for late supper as well.), were all a tad concerned about his whereabouts. His brother, Carlos The Jackal, of GranFondo fame, had not heard from him either. Giorgio "waltzed in" around 10:30 pm, smiling broadly/grinning sheepishly. It turned out that the had had a "date" that evening and was embarrassed to tell us about it as they had met on the Net! Anyway, we toasted his great good fortune with a few snorts of malt before we said goodnight to one another.  Did you ever find George on Thursday night. Wayne

Pat, Sylvia and I are very pleased that Wayne seems to have made such a good recovery in a short space of time. To travel to Seattle and back suggests he's well on his way to doing all the things he likes again.
The weather has made the gym workouts more appealing of late and I'm glad you are able to use indoor bikes and elliptical trainers as well as some swimming once you have time. I see you are also involved in the Film Festival again, so that will keep you busy also.
I'm gradually building up my tutoring hours. Rather a slow start with the teachers' problems and schools haven't really got going properly at this point as I gather that classes were poorly organized and many students haven't yet got the courses they want. I spoke with Ted recently about taking the Math 12 course and he gave me some good advice. Ray 
Wayne Sutherland It is hard to believe that it was a month today since I went in to cardiac arrest. I have been home from the hospital three weeks as of tomorrow and have been feeling better every day since. The hardest things are not doing or lifting anything that I am not suppose to. I start to get some freedoms back as of next Monday. My mom has been here looking after me since I got home and she will be going back to Nova Scotia this Sunday so I will be lonely and will need to look after myself. I would like to thank everyone for all the prayers and best wishes. Love you all. Wayne
Hi Patrick, so sorry for the delay in responding. I thought Dave had responded and he's been very busy with harvest and thought I had responded! But in fact your revised itinerary - arriving here on the 28th or the 29th of October- would be perfect. If, as you say, your arrival would be late on the 28th, then the 29th would be better for us. Our adjacent guest house has two bedrooms, one bath, and extra futon sofas in the main living area - so plenty of space for three "bachelors." There is also a large kitchen and you are welcome to bring food and cook in if you'd prefer - especially of course helpful for breakfast and lunch! Only downside is sharing one bathroom - but I'm sure you'll manage!

Sorry to hear that Corinne won't make this trip - but if I were her, I wouldn't want to travel with three michief makers either :-)!

Just let us know your arrival date when you've finalized your plans. No urgency here as no one else will be use the guest quarters that week. Pat
PS Send me some background on Glasgow and Whirlygig before arrival (including their aliases).

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