Sunday, February 28, 2010

Day #21,620

Walk km 4004-4010: Mill/Louise/Market/Harvard/Grove/Kietzke/Plumb/Harvard/Market/Louise/Mill

a hand made memorial
aprox km 4010 Mill Street

Movie #1211 (#37 this year): The Simpsons Movie (2007, David Silverman)

Kinda reminds me of the TV show except that it's much longer. A few laughs but better in shorter doses.

Movie #1212 (#38 this year): Hi De Ho (1947, Josh Binney)

The 30 minute 60 minute movie. The plot is over after 30 minutes so they pad to 60 by presenting a concert film to fill in. The first half has all of the production values of a play put on at your local high school. Music is fine and I think I actually liked the instros the best - without Cab they really wail! In the second half we have Cab doing a great "St Louis Infirmary" plus a bunch of other singing and dancing acts that were all entertaining. Better than I was expecting.

Book #285 (#9 this year): October Crisis 1970 (2007, William Tetley)

Read this book to get some background information on the criticisms presented by Michel Brault's film "Les Ordres". It turns out that Mr Tetley agrees with those criticisms: many people were arrested who should not have been and they were not treated in a proper manner. This appears to be conclusive proof because Mr Tetley otherwise agrees entirely with the way the government handled the crisis.
The book itself is a disappointment as it is not in chronological order and so:
a) it is hard to keep track of what is happening
b) many items are repeated needlessly

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Day #21,619

Walk km 3999-4004: Mill/Louise/Market/Kietzke/Taylor/Wells/Lamb

aprox km 4000 Louise St

Friday, February 26, 2010

Day #21,618

Walk km 3985-3999: Glendale/McCarron/Nugget/Pyramid/Victorian/Kietzke/2nd/Lake/4th/Virginia/2nd/West/1st/Virginia/Mill

Silver Club Hotel
aprox km 3990 Sparks, Nevada

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Day #21,617

Walk km 3977-3985: to Grand Sierra and return then Market/Kietzke/Plumb/Matley/Villanova/Market and then to the Grand Sierra again

view from my room
km 3985 Grand Sierra Reno

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Day #21,616

Walk km 3973-3977: airport to hotel and hotel to Wendy's (Reno)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Day #21,615

Walk km 3968-3973: running errands

Book #284 (#8 this year): Someone Is Bleeding (1953, Richard Matheson)

Famed SiFi writer takes on "noir" early in his career. It doesn't work. I didn't believe a word he was writing. I wish I knew more about writing so I could explain why the story had no credibility, but I cannot. All I know is that it was just words on paper.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Day #21,614

Walk km 3959-3961: to the library
Walk km 3961-3968: King Edward/Ash/24th/Tupper/16th/Cambie/15th/Kingway/St George/13th/Commercial

that's an odd looking house
aprox km 3962 King Edward Ave

Movie #1210 (#36 this year): Les Ordres (1974, Michel Brault)

Re-enactment of the stories of people imprisoned during the 1970 War Measures Act. Very one-sided. Of course, maybe in real life it really was one-sided but I cannot tell by watching this film.
An indication that the filmmaker may not be totally impartial is the use of family to garner sympathy. He shows the affects on the children of having their parents arrested and sent to prison. And then there is the prisoner whose father dies while he's in jail.
And I can't agree with the premise that everyone was against them. If I remember correctly there was outrage about people being arrested because they were in favour of seperation and not because they had anything to do with kidnapping and murder. And I lived in an English speaking part of Canada.
But the main problem is that this is specific not universal. There is no digging into "the orders" which the jailers all site as they're reasons. If there is human weakness or even an evil intent behind these "orders" then why not expose it? That would have made a much better film because then anyone who watched this film could relate to it.

Day #21,613

Walk km 3955-3959: visit to Kathy in New Westminster

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Day #21,612

Walk km 3947-3955: Robson/Hornby/Georgia/Cambie/Cambie bridge/(skytrain)/Cambie/18th/Kingway/18th/Dumfries/Clark park/Commercial

children's slide (in the dark)
aprox km 3954 Clark Park

Friday, February 19, 2010

Day #21,611

Walk km 3940-3947: Cypress/Ogden/Chestnut/Cornwall/Walnut/Creelman/Arbutus/Cypress/McNicoll/Maple/(bus)/Homer/Georgia/Denman

globe with taps
aprox km 3942 Museum Of Vancouver

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Day #21,610

Walk km 3934-3940: Robson/Hamilton/Cambie/(bus)/Clark/Franklin/Renfrew/Pandora/Woodland

water spouting
aprox km 3940 Georgia Street

Movie #1209 (#35 this year): Le Plaisir(Max Ophuls, 1952)

Gotta give credit to Max and crew, this movie looks gorgeous. However, these three De Maupassant stories had me yawning from start to finish.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Day #21,609

Movie #1208 (#34 this year): Nadia Boulanger: Mademoiselle (1977, Bruno Monsaingeon)

For people who want to know more about music teacher Nadia Boulanger. Others will fall asleep.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Day #21,608

Walk km 3931-3934: Thurlow/seawalk/Denman

internet webcast of Olympic curling
my apartment

Monday, February 15, 2010

Day #21,607

Walk km 3925-3927: to the library
Walk km 3927-3931: Robson/Hornby/Georgia/Granville/Nelson/Pacific/sea walk/Drake/Hamilton/Davie/(skytrain)/Georgia/Howe/Robson

people milling about
aprox km 3928 Granville @ Robson

Book #280 (#7 this year): Blackmailer(1952, George Axelrod)

I've had some luck with the "Hard Case" series but my luck ran out here. This is strictly a whodunit and not a very good whodunit at that. Cardboard cutout characters run through this book either being shot or doing the shooting. And why did I finish it? Well, I do have to read 50 books this year and it was only 200 pages.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Day #21,606

Walk km 3913-3925: Robson/Denman/Georgia/Stanley Park seawall/Morton/Denman/Robson

ugly boat
aprox km 3919 under the Lion's Gate bridge

Movie #1207 (#33 this year): The Stone Merchant(2006, Renzo Martinelli)

Propaganda film in favour of Christianity and against Islam. Main character is poor Christian who is so hard done by and of course there are plenty of well-meaning types who just won't believe him when he warns them about those evil Muslims! Terrible! And his wife..........dumb as a stump: runs off to have an affair with a terrorist. And the European who has converted to Islam learns too late what a mistake that was. Trash. Contemptable trash.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Day #21.605

Walk km 3905-3911: 49th/Ontario/50th/Ross/51st/Argyle/55th/Dumfries/59th
Walk km 3911-3913: shopping

car with no identifiable markings except VW hubcaps
aprox km 3910 55th Ave

Movie re-watch (#32 this year): Little Caesar (1931, Mervyn LeRoy)

TCM had both "Public Enemy" and "Little Caesar" on recently. These are the two films that started the gangster genre. The public enemy was James Cagney and Little Caesar was Edward G Robinson. There is not much of a difference between the two. Little Caesar has some awkward moments but it also has Robinson. The year after this (1932) Robinson and LeRoy made the much superior "Two Seconds".

Friday, February 12, 2010

Day #21,604

Walk 3899-3905: Smithe/Granville/Nelson/Seymour/Davie/sea walk/Cambie bridge/(skytrain)/49th/Alberta/Langara GC walkway/Cambie/59th/Columbia/Marine

stairway and escalator
aprox km 3905 Marine Station

Movie #1206 (#30 this year): Place de la Republique(1974, Louis Malle)

At the time, this must have seemed like a pretty lame idea. Louis Malle with camera and sound technicians walks around a Paris neighbourhood and chats with the people that he meets. That's it, that's all. However, 36 years later, watching one particular point in time and space makes for a great viewing experience. The best part is when some of the people who appeared earlier make return appearances and a sense of community is established.

Movie #1207 (#31 this year): Humain, Trop Humain(1974, Louis Malle)
Documentary about auto assembly lines. They're monotonous. This movie is monotonous. I think that was supposed to be the point. However, I already knew this (I used to work for a living).

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Day #21,603

Walk km 3892-3897: McDonald/5th/Trutch/18th/Balaclava/19th/Camarvon/20th/Balsam/22nd/Arbutus/21st
Walk km 3897-3899: to the library

Nissan Pao
aprox km 3895 22nd Ave

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Day #21,602

Walk km 3882-3884: running errands
Walk km 3884-3892: Smithe/Howe/Helmcken/Hamilton/Davie/(skytain)/Cambie/20th/Clark/(bus)/Keefer/(sktrain)/Burrard/Alberni/Thurlow

International Village
aprox km 3891 end of Keefer St

Book #279 (#6 this year): The Eighth Victim(1988, Eugene Izzi)

On a recent walk, I stumbled across another PulpFiction book store. I got a three-pack of Richard Matheson plus this Izzi. I thought I'd read almost all the Izzis but I don't remember this one. As usual, the pages just fly by with Izzi. However, he's not up there with the likes of Henning Mankel because all his characters are abnormal in one way of another. The reader doesn't get to sympathize with an "average joe" like Wallander in the Mankel books. Most readers just wouldn't be able to relate to these characters. And then there's the psychic healer.....huh?

Movie #1205 (#29 this year): Le Deuxieme Souffle(1966, Jean-Pierre Melville)

A caper movie. But, really more about a code of honour among thieves. A code that says that killing people is OK but ratting on another crook is not. In the final scene, the police agree and try to save the reputation of a cop-killer. Sorry, I'm not buying it.
By the way, this movie is beautifully directed.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Day #21,601

Walk km 3876-3878: running errands
Walk km 3878-3882: Smithe/Granville/Davie/(skytrain)/Broadway/Yukon/11th

funeral parlour with "underground parking"
aprox km 3880 11th Ave

Movie #1204 (#28 this year): 101 Nights (1995, Agnes Varda)

Like Tarantino on steroids. Not just a bunch of references to old movies but an entire movie of nothing but. Fun to play along and try to detect all of the references that come flying past from start to finish.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Day #21,600

Walk km 3864-3876: from Science World to English Bay (and return) with the Meetup group and then to Chinatown to catch a bus

the Russians are coming!
aprox km 3865 at what used to be Science World

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Day #21,599

Walk km 3859-3864: Vanness/McGeer/Queens/McHandy/29th/Skeena/Anzio/20th/Windemere/Grandview

lions guard the gate
aprox km 3864 Grandview Ave

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Day #21,598

Walk km 3848-3850: running errands
Walk km 3850-3859: Smithe/Granville/Homer/Davie/(skytrain)/Cambie/20th/Oak/19th/Kingsway/Broadway/Main

Book #278(#5 this year):
Scorpion Reef (1955, Charles Williams)

On one of my walks I passed a bookstore called PulpFiction. I went back the next day to see if they had any books by my old favourites that are no longer in the library. The only one I found was "Scorpion Reef" by Charles "Dead Calm" Williams. Williams was a true professional whose books always lived up to the blurb on the cover. A commercial ship comes across a pleasure craft with no one aboard. No one aboard but the coffee pot is still warm on the stove. Where did everyone go? The captain takes the ship's log and settles down for a good read.......

Movie #1203 (#27 this year): Manina La Fille Sans Voile(1952, Willy Rozier)

It's a stinker. It may not be the worst movie ever made but Willy and his crew certainly come mighty close. The only thing that saves it is a teenage Brigitte Bardot who makes her appearance about half way through the movie. Of course, this will only be of interest to half the audience. The other half have to put up with leading man Jean-Francoise Calve who, to be charitable, is best described as "goofy looking".

Friday, February 5, 2010

Day #21,597

Walk km 3840-3848: 46th/Fraser/5th/2nd/Main

entrance to Sammys Marketeria
aprox km 3846 Fraser @ Broadway

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Day #21,596

Walk km 3832-3840: 32nd/Pine/33rd/Cypress/57th/Laburnum/66th/Granville/67th/Heather/68th/Ash/Marine

Red Star Seafood Restaurant
aprox km 3837 Granville @ 67th

Movie #1202 (#26 this year): Public Enemy (1931,William Wellman)

One of William Wellman's most famous movies but not his best. This is the one that made James Cagney famous. I found the atmosphere a bit too light and breezy for the subject matter. Loved that final scene though.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Day #21,595

Walk km 3823-3832: Smithe/Hornby/Nelson/Richards/Davie/(skytrain+bus)/Angus/75th/Milton/Marine/Hudson/77th/Oak/Marine

strange looking tree
aprox km 3827 Angus Street

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Day #21,594

Walk km 3816-3820: Robson/Hamilton/(skytrain+bus)/Broadway/Bayswater/Point Grey/1st/Stephens/York/Cornwall
Walk km 3820-3823: Burrard/Georgia/Denman/Robson

apartment block entrance with Andy Warhol artwork
aprox km 3821 Georgia St

Monday, February 1, 2010

Day #21,593

Walk km 3803-3816: Burrard/(skytrain)/Science World to English Bay (and return) with the Meetup group/(skytrain)/Burrard/Robson

Korean flag
aprox km 3815 Robson St

Movie #1201 (#25 this year): The Dark Corner(1946, Henry Hathaway)

This one doesn't really work. Mark Stevens and Lucille Ball are miscast as the private eye and secretary. That and the upper-crust world of the protagonists destroys any "noir" feel that Hathaway tries to evoke. And he does try to evoke a noir feel by the clever use of shadows which give a great look to some of the individual scenes.