Whistler Film Festival

On the heels of the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) comes the Whistler Film Festival (WFF). Not that anyone needs an excuse to go to Whistler; but while you’re waiting for ski season to start (soon enough) film buffs might want to take in this unique little (but getting bigger) festival.  Also; while there, make sure to check out the Audain Art Museum (housing the private art collection of Michael Audain) which is amazing in itself.

Art, Music, Movies, Documentaries….it’s all here!

Whistler Film Festival (WFF) has announced the full lineup for its 22nd edition taking place in-person from November 30, to December 4 2022  in Whistler, BC, and online from December 5 to January 2, 2023. 

Selected from over 2,000 submissions, the lineup includes 86 bold and inspiring films curated into nine program strands. There are 41 features and 45 shorts from 19 different countries, including award-season contenders, new breakthrough Canadian features, heart-stopping extreme adventure films, and previously unseen projects from around the globe. 

”With a particular emphasis on Canadian content creators and distinct and emerging voices, Whistler Film Festival continues to fill a valuable niche within the film festival ecosystem,” says Paul Gratton, WFF’s Director of Programming. “WFF has evolved into a premium showcase for exciting new motion pictures not previously shown at other film festivals. With our strongest lineup ever of Canadian gems, coveted international festival titles, and an inspiring selection of award-hopefuls, our 22nd edition hums with the energy and creativity that result when new voices mix with established filmmakers in one of the most awe-inspiring settings for a film festival.”

WFF is pleased to present an exciting line-up of documentaries, with a strong focus on sports and music.

A little sneak preview:

Acclaimed actor and director Jason Priestley returns to WFF for the World Premiere of OFFSIDE: THE HAROLD BALLARD STORY. Big money, big headlines, and a long list of enemies – Harold Ballard made them all during the two decades he owned the crown jewel of Canadian sports – The Toronto Maple Leafs – down the road to ruin. This not-to-be-missed feature-length documentary explores one of the most controversial figures in Canadian sports history. Directed by Priestley, this world premiere marks the star’s return to the festival for the first time since the release of his critically-acclaimed film Cas and Dylan – the opening night selection at WFF in 2013.

Music has a large presence in the WFF doc mix this year. A special screening of BUFFY SAINTE-MARIE: CARRY IT ON, with a live-streamed and in-theatre Zoom conversation with the iconic  singer, songwriter, and activist, takes place on December 2. The documentary is directed by Madison Thomas, an alum of the Whistler Film Festival Indigenous Filmmaker Fellowship (2017). 

WFF will screen the too-crazy-to-be-believed behind-the-scenes concert doc REVIVAL ‘69: THE CONCERT THAT ROCKED THE WORLD. Coined “the second most important event in rock & roll history,” the Toronto Rock & Roll Revival was a one-day event held at Toronto’s Varsity Stadium. 

It features John Lennon in his first post-Beatles appearance, as well as Yoko Ono, Klaus Voorman, Eric Clapton, Alice Cooper (and the infamous chicken incident that put him on the map), Little Richard, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, and The Doors, plus a couple of hundred bikers used to provide Lennon with a motorized escort from Pearson Airport to Varsity Stadium to make the concert in time. A must-see for any rock historian.

Music fans will love BOY CITY, a funny throwback to the era of boy bands and those who loved them, directed by Sean Cisterna and featuring Jonas Chernick. Chernick is also the co-lead in the comedy THE END OF SEX directed by Sean Garrity, a sort of spiritual successor to MY AWKWARD SEXUAL ADVENTURE which won the Audience Award at WFF in 2012.

This all sounds amazing!

For tickets + info:

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Night at the Opera

On Saturday I attended the opening night of “The Pearl Fishers” – George Bizet’s 1863 opera taking place at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver.

Emily Cooper Photography

I went with my friend Rosa, who is an opera buff and always fills me in on what is good and what is not. The Pearl Fishers; a good Opera, is here in Vancouver until October 30th.

Emily Cooper Photography

The opera is an aquired taste. Going to the opera is either a love or hate relationship for most people – unlike the storyline involved in most operas where love and hate coexist. I’m somewhat in the middle.  If the sets are beautiful, if the costumes are exotic and the music is wonderful (and of course the singing is always excellent) then I’m happy.  But like going to a foreign film where you have to read the subtitles to know what they’re talking about, in an opera our eyes tend to wander up and down between the stage and reading the lines high above the stage to find out what exactly they’re trying to convey. Things happen fast in opera land. It’s emotionally charged and super dramatic. Obviously over the top to make sure the point gets across, but with soulful song and dance.  And simply gorgeous costumes. 

If you want my simple synopsis of this opera, think Popeye the Sailor Man and his old muscular navy buddy Bluto whose friendship ends due to their rivalry over Olive Oyl.  Maybe this is how bullying began – on the account of a woman.

Emily Cooper Photography

If you want the real synopsis here is the overview taken from the opera website:

The Pearl Fishers returns to Vancouver Opera for the first time in nearly 30 years. Directed by Vancouver favourite Rachel Peake, this dramatic opera tells the tale of two devoted friends and the woman that comes between them. The famous “friendship duet”,  Au fond du temple saint, is one of the most beautiful and recognizable pieces in the opera repertoire. Be swept away by the lush orchestration and Bizet’s trademark melodies.

Emily Cooper Photography

Do you see the similarity but different?

To purchase available tickets please visit:

Collective Chemistry

What makes an Artist tick? Saying things with color and shapes that you cannot say any other way because there are no words. Only feelings.

Everything Comes Next…

Bijal Patel showcases a personal journey of loss and trauma through mixed media art where she begins to work blindfolded, responding to music in black ink channeled by inner emotions. It results in a complex and hauntingly beautiful display of inner reflection, that once blindfold is removed she then turns empty spaces into color and line work. An extraordinary play on shadow and light.

I popped into a pop-up art gallery on Dunbar called “Visual Space” so say hello to my friend Bi (Bee) who graduated from Emily Carr and take in her impressive work and that of four other artists: Kier Enemark, Ann Robson, N Byrtus and Mark Yeomanthat.  They all make up a group called “Collective Chemistry.” I love that name.

Raven series by Kier Enemark

Landscape series by Ann Robson

If you’d like to inquire about these pieces and more (not shown here) please contact: collectivechemistry1@gmail.com)

https://www.visualspace.ca/

Photos: d. king

 

ART Vancouver

Uniting Nations through the Power of Art

As the evening starts to open up.

The Aim of Art is not to represent the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance” – Aristotle.

Art Vancouver, Western Canada’s most prestigious art fair is back this year at the Vancouver Convention Center West. Featuring reputable galleries and artists from across Canada and around the world. May 5 – 8th 2022.

Ron Art Mania

I attended the opening with my friend Megan last night. It was an overwhelming feast for the eyes as we wandered around and visited all the exhibitors.  There is truly something for everyone’s taste – well almost.  No booth is alike.

Reinvent by David X – Mixed Media of Elon Musk

What I realize from having visited various art shows and galleries is that we can appreciate a painting, sculpture, photograph and other mixed media works of art for the sheer ingenuity each of these artists put into their work as well as the power of a message, whether you like the piece for yourself or not.

Maybe you don’t find a work visually appealing or perhaps it doesn’t go with your décor, but we can still try to accept and welcome all the different styles, imagination and heart put into the work  – and as this show went to prove, there’s plenty of inventiveness out there, and overall…that goes to create an incredible event.

Industrial Design Artist German Aguirre Reder

Lisa Wolfin – Director’s Foreword:

Whether it be with a piece of clay, brush, or pencil, we all have the capacity to create love.  To say something through a full scale of colour or none at all, it is art which gives a voice to anyone who wishes to use it.  And it is only when you have the courage to share and admire these gifts that an event like Art Vancouver is made possible.  Surrounding ourselves with original art in our homes, the loving energy used to create the art emanates into our space.”

 I took tons of photos so as I’m sharing some today, I’ll post more next week.  Let me know what you think.

We loved a lot of what we saw

Still; if you’re focused on a very specific style for a set area of your home, you may or may not find what you’re looking for, even at a show of this calibre.  Art is so subjective.  You have to fall in love with your personal choice and it has to evoke some emotion. Art for art’s sake is not enough.

I highly recommend Art International Vancouverthis weekend.

Photos: d. king

https://www.artvancouver.net/

Sky Lilah and her wonderful collages and sparkly dress.
James Darin Corbiere Waabshki Makwa (White Bear) – Cowichan Bay, B.C.
Bones & the Residential School of Doom.

Marc Hazel (in mask) with Quynh Nguyen in artistic dress.
Erik Markovs, Portland, USA. Using vintage wallpaper and other materials to create unique and beautiful mosaic wall art.

By Freakshow. And yes; it was!

Wine is an art unto itself and I might add very personal too. I’ll sample this one at the upcoming International Wine Festival (May 16-22) – also at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Art is not what you see, but what you make others see” – Edgar Degas.

There’s Something about Mary Woronov

Back at the Factory…or in this case the cultural center…

Ramona, Mary in the middle and Me.

A group of us attended an art/film/book signing event for Mary Woronov; former muse to Andy Warhol.  A muse by definition is a person or personified force who is the source of inspiration for a creative artist. However, Woronov has since become her own creative artist as actor, figurative painter and author.  But getting back to Andy…

I’ve always had a fascination with Andy Warhol, going so far as once trying to locate him (at a relatively young age) at his studio in Manhattan that everyone referred to as “the Factory.”  Unfortunately he wasn’t there and I’m not even sure what would have happened had I found him.  Perhaps he’d have hired me as an assistant, perhaps he would have put me in one of his underground movies and I would’ve become his muse or maybe he would have just told me to scram…but I didn’t see it that way.

Art by Mary Woronov

Being a bit of a mystery, his work appealed to me and he was way ahead of his time having eventually predicted what is now happening with social media where an average person can become famous through avenues like YouTube or tik tok.  It’s fascinating actually; the world is wide open and yet; it’s not really “real.”  Reality TV, influencers and Art is everywhere.  I remember Warhol’s “Interview Magazine”, nicknamed “The Crystal Ball of Pop”, featuring interviews with celebrities, artists, musicians, and creative thinkers. In 2018, the publication ‘folded’ and ended both its print and web publications.  Times have changed.  But sometimes it’s important to hear significant stories from the past.

with Claudia Reid of Palm Springs POV + variety show entertainer.

Which brings me to my recent meeting with former Warhol muse and cult star Mary Woronov.  It was at the closing reception of her art series “the mystery of the red shoe” and a movie she starred in called “Rock ‘n Roll High School,” at the Palm Springs Cultural Center last Saturday night – the closing night of a MARY WORONOV MEGASPECTIVE presented by The Ebersole Hughes Company – the same documentarian duo who did “House of Cardin,” “My Name is Lopez,” “Mansfield 66/67,” “Dear Mom, Love Cher,” and others.  I’m a huge fan of their work.

Sponsored by HELLTOWN Whiskey & The Cheetah Hotel (links below).

with Roy; creator & co-founder of Helltown Whiskey

Gathered around was an eclectic bunch, to say the least:  An “in-the-know” crowd of documentarians, entertainers, musicians, whiskey makers and the odd blogger who remains curious.

L-R (Me, Mary Woronov, Ramona Huth, Roy Rogers Oldenkamp, P. David Ebersole, Kitty Joselle Gilvezan.

It’s clear that not everyone knows who Mary Woronov is.  A major cult figure as an actress for her work with Andy Warhol and Roger Corman films, she is also an accomplished painter and writer, having published three books —Wake for the Angels: Paintings and Stories, her autobiography Swimming Underground: My Years in the Warhol Factory, and the novel Snake.

Kitty Joselle and hubby Dan Gilvezan

Woronov joined Warhol’s entourage after a class trip to the Factory and starred in a number of his underground films (Chelsea Girls for one), and she appeared as a go-go dancer in the Velvet Underground’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable shows. She left the Factory in the late 1960s and, after recovering from a heavy methamphetamine addiction, spent two years in Europe with a friend. It was during this time, Warhol was shot by Valerie Solanas, and thanks to the now altered Factory dynamic, “there was nothing to go back to.” She then supported herself with work in off-Broadway theatre, got married to director/producer Theodore Gershuny, appearing in three of his films.

Woronov is most famous for her role as Mary Bland in Paul Bartel’s black comedy Eating Raoul (1982).

She’s also funny as hell.  It was a pleasure being in her company.

Speaking of hell….there was Helltown Whiskey where co-founder Roy Rogers Oldenkamp (an L.A. Art Dealer) gave my friend Ramona and me a little education on the making of whiskey as we sampled whiskey sours which turned out to be pretty darn tasty.  The evening ended with us getting a lift to another bar called Truss & Twine with an entertainer who plays piano and sings Dean Martin tunes while his wife sings Dinah Shore oldies. The show is appropriately called “Dino and Dinah.” 

Welcome to Palm Springs!

Cheers!

 Cheetah Hotel:

https://www.cheetahhotelps.com/

Helltown Whiskey

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Maison Bleue Moderne

Oh, just another magnificent modernism maison.

Entrance to beyond la Porte Bleue.

I love observing how other people live. Very nice of the owners to open up their homes and let others take a peek inside and make them feel terribly envious by doing so.  I was feeling very Bleue in this home…but in the most positive way.

This home is like stepping into a vacation.  It’s a nod to the owners’ appreciation of beauty and being by the ocean with a modern nautical theme (despite being in the desert) as variations of water colors flow throughout, from vibrant turquoise to rich navy blues.  It’s just gorgeous.  I’m aware that I overuse this word but I just can’t think of another better word to describe this house and many others on the modernism open home tours.

Michelle Boudreau (pic below) recently re-designed the 1958 William Krisel originally designed Alexander Company home. She seamlessly merged materials and new spaces with modern technology while respecting the existing mid-century cherished design details.

The philosophy of the renovation was to establish a good relationship with the existing structure as it had beautiful bones.” Boudreau states.  I did notice that she herself has beautiful bone structure.  Just had to add this tidbit of info.

To create a poetic home that embraces the Palm Springs lifestyle, Boudreau selected from brands such as Brizo, Dunn-Edwards Paints, Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting, Hunter Douglas & Tidelli.

Check out that wall paper!

The 2,400 square foot artful interior space boasts four bedrooms & four bathrooms.  And lots of gorgeous attractive coffee-table books which I adore. The home and the books are inspired by the owners’ colorful personalities and passion for sailing and travel.

Check out that bedding and wall paper!

The home is nestled below the San Gorgonio mountain range in Vista Las Palmas, Palm Springs.

Simply breathtaking!

All photos: d. king

Modernism week is on until February 27th.  Get tickets for events while they last here:

https://modernismweek.com/

 

Modernism Week – 70’s Featured Home

Welcome to the start of Modernism week here in Palm Springs…home to the largest concentration of Mid-Century Modern architecture in the United States. Modernism week is an annual celebration and appreciation of all things midcentury modern. Think design, architecture, art, fashion and culture.
This is one of the busiest times of year for tourism in Palm Springs when hundreds of events take place that include the modernism show & sale, fabulous signature home tours, films, lectures, premier double decker architectural bus tours, nightly parties, live music, walking and bike tours, fashion shows, classic cars, modern garden tours and even more. Of course numbers to events are a bit more limited now and keeping a safe distance is still in place, however it feels like things are getting back to normal.

Today I toured the stunning 1975 Palm Springs residence referred to as the “Seventies Sackley” home, as it was designed by noted architect Stan Sackley. The home was recently reimagined by interior designers Michael Ostrow and Roger Stoker of Grace Home Furnishings who purchased it in 2012.

Located in the prestigious Indian Canyons neighborhood, the house boasts deep mid-century roots and a distinctive architectural style.  Situated on nearly a quarter acre lot, the 3,044 square foot home contains three bedrooms, three bathrooms and a beautiful saltwater pool and spa. It has brilliant mountain views, high ceilings, clerestory windows and walls of glass. The formal entryway is expansive and the dining area leads to a step-down living and media room, while walls of glass line the back of the house that open to the pool with a wondrous view of the San Jacinto mountains.

A favorite feature for the couple is the combo living room and media room which is separated by one of Sackley’s signature touches, a see-through fireplace with stacked stone detail.

The house’s custom glazed floor tiles were another coveted element, as they’ve believed to have been designed for the house by Sackley himself. 

Stan Sackley is described by Ostrow and Stoker as an architect who left a great body of work but has remained somewhat under-appreciated until recent years.  Ostrow shared that following Sackley’s death in 2001, his work archives were sold at a yard sale.  “Soon after, someone would go up and down the street asking people if they wanted to buy the floorplans to their house,” he says.  “We’re lucky to have it so we can see how the kitchen was configured.”  When they gutted the kitchen, they located a piece of laminate that was from the old cabinet and found the old countertop, a walnut laminated material and a matte white glazed tile. “What we put back in makes it almost look like the original kitchen,” Ostrow says.

When it came time for an update to the home, Stoker and Ostrow decided to implement changes that remained sensitive to the architect’s original design. Eventually, the pair decided on a modest renovation of the kitchen and bathroom with no structural changes.  Luckily, the couple got their hands on Sackley’s original furniture floorplan.

The interiors now feature a classic modern take on Palm Springs style, with a bold green and blue color palette.  Vintage pieces are used throughout the home alongside contemporary pieces from Ostrow and Stoker’s own Grace Home Furnishings Collection and showroom lines.

All photos: d. king

For ticketshttps://modernismweek.com/