Feel-good Friday: Echo in the Canyon

This is the most feel-good I’ve felt ALL WEEK

(left) Tom Petty gives his last film interview to Jakob Dylan (son of Bob) in “Echo in the Canyon”, (right) David Crosby recalls the neighborly “social network” that made Laurel Canyon special – images The Argonaut (by Bliss Bowen).

This is music history in the making with a loving look at Laurel Canyon and the California Sound back in the day.  ENTERTAINING to say the least.

This NETFLIX rocdoc is a must for all music and rock fans in general.  It’s a well thought out documentary about the history of music in L.A. with interviews going back and forth with some of music’s greatest.  Uplifting, funny and most of all, fantastic music.  You won’t want to miss it.

Now on Netflix

Mural in the Making – painting a story

Let me introduce you to extremely talented Canadian visual artist Kris Friesen.  Everybody has a story.  He can paint yours.

The header today is the finished mural at the Greek restaurant Koutouki in the 124 Street neighborhood of Edmonton. It depicts a colorful streetscape of busy life in restaurants and cafes in Athens.  By Kris Friesen.

I love painting split scenes that show wildlife above and below a water line. From left to right in this river mural are: a coyote, tiger salamander, Canadian toad, mallard ducks, silver redhorse, river shiner and beaver – Kris Friesen.
A smiling drummer in traditional African clothing performs in the foreground of this mural, celebrating the Kaleido festival in Edmonton – Kris Friesen.
This group portrait painting depicts four generations Canadian military service with five members of the Scott family, from the Royal Canadian Air Force in World War 1 to Combat Engineers in Afghanistan. Where the oldest generation did not meet the youngest, and a photograph would be impossible, all are painted shoulder to shoulder in this portrait – Kris Friesen.

I first met Kris about 15 years ago when my husband and I commissioned him to paint a wall on part of our outdoor courtyard after seeing his work on the outside of a gelato shop on Commercial Drive in Vancouver.

Jia Jia lying by the first mural flanked by real rocks, shells & wood flowers.  Photo: d. king

Our friend Jackie was anxious to take us to this new place for the best gelato in the city, but as good as it was we were more mesmerized by the lifelike Italian scene depicted on one whole side of the building.  The attention to detail was amazing. Actually, it was the best mural we’d seen to date and it got us thinking about how we could incorporate something personal to our own outdoor space.  So I got in touch with the shop owner who let Kris know we were interested.  Unfortunately the shop along with the mural is no longer there.

We had some ideas, Kris painted a story board and voila, our idea came to life.  A bit Santa Fe, a bit Wine Country and some water and mountains off to the distance.  And of course, an expanse of sky.  When we sat out there we felt like we had a special view of everything we like.  And it was after that that we wondered why on earth we hadn’t asked him to paint another wall.  We pondered that idea for several years.  Then we decided to move on it.

However by then Kris had unfortunately for us, moved to Edmonton and we dressed up the blank wall with a wall hanging and later on a mirror with plants in front.  We felt it needed something.   Fast forward to this past summer when I found Kris’s website and sent him an e-mail not even sure he’d remember me. Surprisingly he did.  By this time he had moved to Duncan, B.C. – at least it was a lot closer.  I told him my husband had passed away and that we had been talking for years about wanting to get him back to do some more art.  Luckily for me, Kris was Vancouver bound for several days just recently so we discussed the wall.  I thought Spring would be a perfect time to start however Kris was going traveling for a while and not sure exactly when he’d be back.  Since the weather was good and considering how well the other mural held up over the years, I decided to go ahead.

I wanted the older mural to be extended around the corner and a few other things added to the much smaller blank wall area; which would have not been in the original plan.

The work in progress:

Always start with a blank canvas
Draw it out for a rough draft
Get started.  Looks a bit sketchy.
Starting to take life
Just about finished.  I have to leave a little bit to the imagination.  There’s a few missing little details.  Group of photos: d. king

Mural Mural on the Wall – I’m very happy with the finished result.  He even put another protective coating on the first mural which had held up very well and re-painted a few things on the upstairs deck.  Oh yeah; he also painted some rocks, sagebrush, flowers, gekkos and butterflies on the upstairs deck.  Looks great.

Here’s a small sampling of his other diverse original works of art.  Kris not only paints murals. He started with that, however now he paints on canvas and panels mostly.

This painting of a Chinese flute player that has been called a fairy or spirit by some members of Edmonton’s Chinatown – Kris Friesen.
This Asian elephant moves forward into a stream of water while throwing up an airborne stream of dust. As much as I like the contrast between air and water my understanding of elephants suggests they might like it more, as their trunks can provide a unique medium between the two – Kris Friesen.
The Battle of Vimy Ridge saw Canadians advancing uphill against Germans defending their hardened positions. The mural depicts some of the terrible conditions Canadian troops would have experienced as they gutted out their rolling barrage. To emphasize the challenges soldiers faced I made the direction of the mural up and to the left, the most uneasy direction to look if viewed by a westerner, as we read left to right and downwards – Kris Friesen.
First Nations peoples utilized Alberta resources long before Europeans arrived, like this painting of a spring fishing camp, where walleye and pike are caught and prepared with stone tools at a northern stream. Fish that are not cooked or smoked are placed on wood racks to dry in the sun, while nearby two people seal a birch bark canoe with spruce pitch and bitumen – Kris Friesen.

Website:

http://krisfriesen.com/

 

Frames for the Face

Meet 661.  Where Function meets Fashion.  Where Art meets Eye.

Came across a funky little eyeglass shop In an equally funky little neighbourhood of Vancouver that is becoming affectionately known as Fraserhood.  It borders on Fraser and Kingsway and is sandwiched in between a high end hidden gem of a French Restaurant Les Faux Bourgeois and a long standing for those in the know Japaribbean restaurant Lion’s Den not to mention cool coffee shops, a Mexican street food bistro among other interesting establishments.  I’m telling you if you haven’t been you should check out the area.  You might feel like you’re in Soho, New York.  The shop, like the area itself is definitely not your run-of-the mill. The frames are strewn artistically on plain white shelving units not typical of your usual framing shop.  More typical of an art gallery.  In fact at one time it was.

Meet friendly co-owners Andreja and Michael

The eye glasses and sunglasses are  from Italy, France and Japan. Designed by Anne et Valentin from Paris, France.

Even if you don’t need to wear glasses you’ll definitely want a pair of these, if only to make a fashion statement.  There’s a pair (or more) for every face shape in pretty much every style imaginable.  I’ll be back!

Paul tried on a pair
661 15th Ave. E

On Saturday, November 8th between 1-5 pm Ann & Valentin will be in store with all the framing styles available.

https://www.the661.ca/

Photos: d. king

 

 

 

 

 

La Nuit en Rose

CF Canada 19th Annual 65 Roses Gala took place Saturday night at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel.

My sister and I were guests at the Kohse family table.  After a champagne cocktail on arrival we then enjoyed a delicious dinner and overflowing wine amongst friends. The overall theme was Parisian, so hence the take on Coco Chanel.  When I think of Paris, I think of her.  How much layering is over the top?   Nothing is too much if done in style.

with Lisa King
my updo from Eli at Fujon Salon.

We had a fun evening where over $250,000 was raised for cystic fibrosis research, advocacy and care.  We all hope that one day CF will stand for Cure Found.

Our tables were decked out with eiffel towers, crystal candle holders and of course, roses.
Macarons for tout la monde

 

 

 

Some of the silent auction goodies. I came away with two gift baskets. Yay! All monies donated to CF.
une bonne soirée

Photos by Matt Smart

No 19 is my lucky number.  Right after No 5.

Climate Change – Colder Weather Wear

Coveting Cover Ups: from Peacoats to Parkas and all kinds of cozy sweaters.  Here are some chic and practical style options to consider for this time of year:

Jlo often chooses a fur lined parka when making her casual runs.  Wise fashion choice.

Try Houndstooth, Animal print, Max Mara’s Teddy Coat and/or Faux Fur if you don’t have anything like this in your wardrobe.  It will make going out in the cold more fun.

Do you have a favorite style?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Delectable Desserts

There are desserts and then there are DESSERTS; know what I’m talking about?

A friend introduced me to a new not-your-run-of-the-mill bakery.  Definitely not!  I was really impressed by the quantity and quality of specialty treats found at Forêt Noire – a high end French patisserie located in Vancouver in an offbeat area considering the kind of establishment.  You would be more likely to expect running across something like this on South Granville or maybe Yaletown.

They say simplicity is their touch.  Maybe so; if fancy upscale works of art in the shape of tasty treats are your thing.  

We went in for the best double baked almond croissant in the city, but once there we also tried the cheese (filled with feta + riccotta) which was also excellent.  Then we left with 3 pastries (one hazelnut filled, a pistachio cake and a vanilla with fresh mango pudding).  All outstanding.

Packaged in a pink take-out box.

Think I’m in trouble.

Know what I’m talking about?

Website:

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Monday Mood: the Calm after the Storm

I’ve driven by them countless times yet never took the time until only recently to visit a few of the astonishing  Buddhist temples of Vancouver.  What a humbling experience, especially after having come from the shopping meccas of the likes of IKEA, COSTCO and Home Depot on a dull and rainy afternoon.  I’m not kidding when I say those places gave me a headache, however my mood changed and I immediately felt calmer and more relaxed after stepping inside a much more peaceful environment. Not to mention a whole different world.  Here are some photos I took of the impressive Tibetan and Chinese Buddhist temples.  I hope you like them.

 Thrangu Monastery Canada

Located in Richmond, British Columbia, it is the first traditional Tibetan Monastery in the Pacific Northwest.

The Monastery teaches in the Buddhist tradition that one needs to accumulate both merit and wisdom in order to generate the auspicious circumstances for realization.  photo: d. king

The Monastery serves as The Very Venerable Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche’s seat in North America. Here, Rinpoche continues his teaching activities in the West. Students come to study and practice under his direction in a traditional monastic setting.      Photo: d. king

The International Buddhist Temple

Photo: d. king

This truly impressive complex of gardens, ornate buildings, shrines and statues of Buddha is also located in Richmond, B.C. Modeled after Beijing’s Forbidden City in China, the temple showcases elaborate carvings and stonework, beautiful Chinese gardens, and art gallery-quality paintings, works of calligraphy, ceramic murals and sculptures.  Totally exquisite!  Let’s walk through the garden:

Photo: d. king

Photo: d. king

Photo: d. king

Photo: d. king

Photo: d. king

photo: d. king

Photo: d. king

Photo: d. king

Photo: d. king

photo: d. king

Photo: d. king

I like this quote: How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours – Wayne Dyer

 

FAB FILMS – Vancouver International Film Festival

VIFF may have come to an end, however the last four movies I’ve seen have resonated with me.  They’ll be released to theatres Nationwide November/December. Here are the reviews:

La Belle Époque

La Belle Époque

This French movie (with English subtitles) was chosen for the closing gala.  I had no idea what to expect and ended up loving it!  I had just come from watching the fast-paced Ford vs Ferrari at the Playouse and was not sure whether I wanted to stay or not as I was leaning towards the later second viewing and the first showing ended late.  As patrons made their way out of the theatre (Centre for the Performing Arts) I could not help but notice everyone’s big smiles.  I asked the question before entering – “Is the movie worth staying for?”  A resounding “Yes you must stay, it’s excellent.”  So stay I did.

The movie centers around Victor (a cartoonist played by Daniel Auteuil) and his marriage to vivacious Marianne (Fanny Ardant) which is turning into a disaster.  His son has a friend who has embarked on a new venture “Time Travellers” – a troupe offering clients the chance to go back in time to any moment they wish complete with a team of actors and technicians to guarantee a completely realistic version of whatever era is chosen.  Victor decides to go back to 1974 – the day he first met Marianne to relive the moment and the woman he first fell in love with.  What follows is very entertaining.  The film is witty and original. Highly recommended.

Ford vs Ferrari

Image: Variety

James Mangold (3:10 to Yuma) directs Matt Damon and Christian Bale in this high-speed biographical drama that pits an underdog team of American automotive engineers against Ferrari in the 1966 “24 Hours of Le Mans” endurance race. He tells the tale of real-life superheroes Carroll Shelby (Damon) who wins France’s prestigious Le Mans race in 1959, a rare feat for an American, and Ken Miles (Bale), a brilliant driver who runs an auto shop.

This is a gripping true story that will keep you on the edge of your seat even if like me, you’re not really a fan of racing.  Excellent.  Coming to theatres in December.

Pain and Glory

Antonio Banderas in Pain and Glory

This film is in Spanish with English subtitles. Pedro Almodóvar is the Director and that alone made my decision.  Julieta, Volver, All About my Mother, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown…….no further explanation needed.  Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz star in this complicated, bittersweet movie within a movie which is apparently autobiographical.

This film also marks a 35 year reunion between Almodóvar and Banderas who started his career in an Almodóvar film called “Laberinto de pasiones” (1982; Labyrinth of Passion).

I think this paragraph written by Peter Bradshaw (Guardian) sums it up best:

“As ever, Almodóvar has made a film about pleasure, which is itself a pleasure, witty, intelligent and sensous.  It is about love, memory, art, mothers, lovers and most of all it is about itself…the film within a film, the story within a story, the dream within a dream.”

The Two Popes

The Two Popes starring Anthony Hopkins & Jonathan Pryce,

The following review was written by my friend Paul H. LeMay who accompanied me to the screening.  I too was pleasantly surprised by this film. His summary may appear in other publications.

Despite such an unassuming title, “The Two Popes” is anything but bland. Rather, it is a penetrating biopic about German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (excellently played by Anthony Hopkins), and Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, (equally well played by Jonathan Pryce), at a momentous turning point in the Catholic church’s history.

The film’s opening is filled with the sumptuous visual grandeur of the Vatican and Sistine Chapel during a conclave of the Cardinals after the death of Pope John-Paul II.

In real life, the event represented a veritable historical showdown between the church’s more conservative traditionalist Catholic viewpoints – as were championed by Pope John Paul II – and more reform-minded liberal ones, as had been previously championed in the early 1960s by Pope John XXIII. In this more contemporary story however, this same struggle is personified in these two aforementioned figures, who were each prominent papal candidates in their own right. Each effectively represents one of the two prominent psychological poles that continue to define our political divides today.

Yet despite the great philosophical gulf that separates their respective views about Christ’s teachings, we get to see how each man was able to bridge that gulf. What works so beautifully is how we penetrate beneath the outer appearances of their respective white and black cassocks to get a rather intimate glimpse of these two mortal men who are both intent on resigning from the burdens of their respective high status clerical roles, for as we discover, neither wants the onerous responsibility or power that comes with their offices. In this desire for self-surrender, we see their humanity shine through. The fact these two men were able to bridge their own huge philosophical orientation gaps and actually become good friends in real life, demonstrates we can attain no less. In effect, each really did come to love his enemy. The enduring feel good message that comes through in the end is that we are here to help one another, not to control or take from one another. On this score, this substantive film scores 10 out of 10 in my books.

 

AND in between all the above, I managed to see

Judy

starring Renee Zellweger who was absolutely superb as Judy Garland and deserves to win the Oscar.

Renee Zellweger as Judy Garland (l). Young Judy Garland as Dorothy in the “Wizard of Oz.”

Many people have no idea about the star’s struggles surrounding the last few years of her life.  And then again, many younger people today have no idea who she is period.  This movie is a must for those who know and especially for those who do not. It’s a close-up look into the life and loves of one of the most talented women in showbiz who was sadly and unfairly taken advantage of.

OK now back to regular movie going….

Seen any good movies lately?

 

 

Creator Talk: Calling the Shots

Meet the Showstoppers:  FIVE FABULOUS FEMALES in charge.

YEAH LADIES

This is the first time I’ve attended a creator talk as part of the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF).  What was so special about this one is that it was with a panel of five fabulous female powerhouses (names below) responsible for creating and producing some of the current top rated TV shows.

Tim Goodman, chief TV critic from the Hollywood Reporter was asking the questions and it was very inspiring to hear what everyone had to say about the challenges and responsibilities, good and bad, of  being a showrunner.  From manipulating scripts and mapping out plot lines to what they look for when staffing a writers room, they provided an insider’s peek into the dynamics of working in this competitive industry.

They also talked about what they’re currently watching and what excites them.  And they were funny.

Session Participants

Gloria Calderon Kellett
Co-Creator/Executive Producer, One Day at a Time
Sera Gamble
Co-Creator/Executive Producer, You
Alexandra Cunningham
Creator/Executive Producer, Dirty John
Jami O’Brien
Creator/Executive Producer, NOS4A2
Jennica Harper
Co-Creator/Executive Producer, Jann
Tim Goodman
Chief TV Critic, The Hollywood Reporter
Presented by
Pacific Screenwriting Program
You had the power all along my dear.”
—Glenda the Good Witch in The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum