What lies beneath the waves falls on silent shores

The very first time I went scuba diving was in the Bahamas. Fascinated with what lay beneath the sea, I was lucky enough to go out with a team from National Geographic and swam with sea turtles and lots of Grouper.  I was hooked!  Since that time, and in other locales, I noticed it getting rarer and rarer to spot certain fish and especially sea turtles.  A lot of these creatures have been around much longer than me, and sharks have been around since the time dinosaurs roamed the earth. Which is a lot longer than me.

Karina Holden’s Blue is an important and timely documentary for everyone living on planet Earth. Filmed on location in Australia, Hawaii, the South Pacific, Philippines and Indonesia, it’s a very tough closeup look at our oceans and all disappearing marine life.

It really hits home, as it should. It makes you consider your choices and makes you question how you can make a difference.  How even one person can help make a difference.   Think about it.

Why on earth, in this day and age, are people still cutting off shark fins and throwing shark bodies back into the ocean?  It’s sickening and it made me cry. Seabirds who rely on fish to sustain them are also in rapid decline. We, as a whole, have to do something about it. But there is a chain reaction because uneducated people who have no money and who live in small fishing villages in third world countries thrive on the livelihood of this industry. And $100 per shark fin is a lot of money. It is wasteful and horrific.

WARNING: More than half of all marine life has been lost due to plastic pollution, over fishing, habitat destruction and the expansion of industrialization.

While we get closer to a trek to Mars, why not concentrate first on what we can do here on Earth to make our planet a better place for all living species?

Because a healthy ocean is key to a healthy planet.

Please WATCH this short Trailer:

The Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) is on until Friday, October 13th.  For tickets and information please visit:






Funny thing about timing that the first two movies I’ve chosen to see at the Vancouver International Film Festival would have the words “Breathe” and “Meditation” – two things that I’m trying to better accomplish.  But enough about me.

Meditation Park

How to make choices?

The first thing I look for when going through the movie listings are the film titles, then to find out who the actors are.  It doesn’t go to prove that actors who are well known will make a better movie, but if I’m familiar with and like the actor’s previous work, I’m more likely to want to see another film they’re in.  But since this is an International Film Festival, you must keep in mind that you will NOT likely be familiar with the talented actors and worthwhile great story telling from a host of other countries.

Then of course the overall synopsis.  But I don’t like to know too too much about the movie because it ruins the element of surprise (which can work out good or bad, depending.) I try to keep it diversified mixing drama, comedy, documentary and thriller. Well done animation is good too  The great overall thing about going to a film fest is that you get to see films firsthand.  And that in itself is exciting enough.  So having said that, here are two simplified reviews to begin:


Oh; and the film clip photos in the booklet attract me.  The romantic, dreamy looking picture has two actors whom I admire: Claire Foy (she played Queen Elizabeth II in the Netflix series “The Crown” which I became addicted to) and Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge, The Amazing Spiderman). Suffice to day that was enough of a decision for me to say YES.  Bonus: Hugh Bonneville (Lord Grantham in Downton Abbey – watched ALL episodes as it was one of my favourite series).

Breathe is an inspiringly beautiful but tragic story.  In a debut directorial role, Andy Serkis directs the true story of the parents of his best friend and producing partner, Jonathan Cavendish.

It’s about how a couple, Robin and Diana Cavendish refuse to give up their fight when Robin is struck down by polio at only 26 years old, and just before he is about to become a father.  It’s about how people face challenges and overcome hardship in the face of adversity and with a debilitating disease. It is heartwarmingly sad and uplifting at the same time.


This film was chosen for the Opening Gala.  Directed by Mina Shum, it’s filmed entirely on Vancouver’s East Side & Chinatown.  While I’m familiar with incredible actors Sandra Oh and Don McKellar, the real star of this film is Cheng Pei Pei (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) who plays Maria.  A  traditional  first generation immigrant Chinese wife, Maria turns a blind eye to her husband’s (played by Tzi Ma) infidelity at first, but when she decides to break from convention, take charge of her life and become more independent, all hell breaks loose.  It is charmingly funny in part and because I live in Vancouver, partly familiar.

The only common denominator between the two films is that they are family dramas.

VIFF is on until October 13, 2017. For information and to purchase tickets please visit:


Feel-good Friday: FILM FEST

Fall is Film time

Very Intriguing Fabulous Films
Very Intriguing Fabulous Films is what VIFF also stands for

It’s a frenzy. There’s a ton of good films out there – you’ve just got to find them!  And there’s literally something for everyone.

Movies are not only an escape from daily life (sometimes good, sometimes not) but many are insightful, you can learn something,  or maybe you just want to be totally entertained, or shocked, or frightened, or moved or infuriated or turned on and so forth….that’s the beauty of it all.

Inuit Cowboys in the Arctic, Maliglutit was inspired by John Ford’s The Searchers (1956), a classic cowboy movie starring John Wayne.
Inuit Cowboys in the Arctic – Maliglutit was inspired by John Ford’s The Searchers (1956), a classic duster starring John Wayne.  I never liked cowboy movies….

It’s like feast or famine for me (and not just with movies).  I binge watched ALL the Academy Award nominated movies for the last awards show….after not having been to a movie theatre in a very  loooong time.

I mean who has time to watch a ton of movies all at once when there are fashion shows to attend and foodie/wine events to go to?

Oh and I forgot about binge watching Stranger Things & Bates Motel on Netflix.  There’s a lot of stuff on my plate now.. besides food.

So now I’m attending a handful (actually two handfuls) of movies not yet released in theatres – all part of the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF). So many to choose from in all genres.

Good movie but could be shortened by about 40 minutes.
Good movie but could be shortened by about 40 minutes.

THIS YEAR they’ve divided the festival guide into categories.  Panorama, focusing on contemporary world cinema, Ignite, showcasing inspired works emerging from the creative nexus that is British Columbia, True North, celebrating extraordinary creativity by Canadian storytellers, Impact, uncompromising films and discussions that spark action and change the way we see the world, Gateway, a journey into a compelling cinematic world of East Asia’s most adventurous artists, M/A/D (Music, Art, Design) and Style in Film and ALT (Altered States) – Short Films.

I’ve managed to pick at least one from each category to watch and review.  The first thing I do is to look at each title.  If the title intrigues me then I read the blurb about the film and mark it as either YES or NO.  This is a challenge in itself because most of these films (if not all) are being reviewed for the very first time as they are not yet released.  So I thought I’d try my hand as a movie critic…of sorts.  Keeping in mind that I only choose movies that intrigue me and that I’m going to like… or at least hoping to like.  So I’m very unlikely to give a bad review having carefully gone over all critical criteria beforehand.

Finding time to fit these films into your schedule….now that can be a challenge.  There are a few I want to see but cannot.  There are others that overlap and a few which are several hours apart from each other, so you have to figure out what to do in the time in between.  Sigh…….And you know your life is full when you must choose between seeing a movie totally filmed in the Arctic complete with dog sleds and igloos vs taking a fermented cooking class.  Choices!

Time in between can be spent eating, shopping, walking the dog again, going to a yoga class or just….meditating.

Such is life in the world of cinema and all us crazy film buffs (even if we’re only part -timers).

That’s all to say that up until October 14th (maybe beyond) you’ll be hearing about these movies.  But then you won’t….possibly for quite some time.  So enjoy it (or not) while you can!

Are there any movies you’re anxious to see? Are there any that intrigue you to go and see from my notes on this blog?