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 NETFLIXrocdoc 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.
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 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.
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:
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.
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.
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!
On Saturday, November 8th between 1-5 pm Ann & Valentin will be in store with all the framing styles available.
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.
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.
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.
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 International Buddhist Temple
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:
I like this quote: How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours – Wayne Dyer
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
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
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 Mansrace 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
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 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
starring Renee Zellweger who was absolutely superb as Judy Garland and deserves to win the Oscar.
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.
Meet the Showstoppers: FIVE FABULOUS FEMALES in charge.
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.