It was fun for me to see what lead to the the Equal Pay Act 1970, and I think you will have fun watching the film as well. I especially love one scene between the characters played by the beautiful Rosamund Pike and Sally Hawkins. Rosamund, playing a Cambridge/Oxford educated smart woman who was reduced to a “supportive wife” role by her husband and partly by herself, encouraged Sally to keep up the fight as Sally was doing what Rosamund dreamt of doing but never had a chance of doing much after her university education.
In Jeff’s live action and animated documentary One Big Hapa Family, he insightfully and in a fun way explores “why almost 100% of all Japanese-Canadians are marrying interracially, the highest out of any other ethnicity in Canada, and how their mixed children perceive their unique multiracial identities.” Jeff explored the subject with insightful interviews and observations.
Jeff has also blended animation nicely into his documentary so the film can also reach the younger audiences and students easier. If you have a chance, I highly recommend you check out the film. Look out for the film as it will be coming to your local OMNI TV channel in 2011.
The following animated frames are examples of Jeff skillfully using animation to tell the story in a more fun and informative manner. Sushi may now be loved by many North Americans, but the first frame illustrates the younger Jeff having the unfortunate experience of his home-made sushi being unloved and rejected by his fellow classmates. The worst thing was even his teacher didn’t even break the ice by trying one piece!
This is a drama/romantic comedy with a twist. Here is the CIFF film synopsis (with emphasis added),
“ME, TOO is the story of Daniel (Pablo Pineda), the first European with Down syndrome to graduate university. Raised in a highly academic home environment, the 34-year-old Daniel is constantly caught between two worlds, without quite fitting in on either side. He is more intellectual than the average person with Down syndrome, but not “normal” enough to fit in with much of “normal” society. Because of his loneliness, his relationships are the most important part of his life. When Daniel starts a new job, he soon forms a close friendship with one of his co-workers, Laura (Lola Dueñas). The friendship advances quickly into something more all consuming, and soon Daniel falls in love.
The intimate journey of Daniel, Laura and their friends and family captures the intense emotions each of them experiences. ME, TOO is a fascinating and emotional first feature film written and directed by the team of Álvaro Pastor and Antonio Naharro.”
In Out of Infamy, Sharon and Nancy, using archival film footage and stills, tell the story of the camps by focusing on one particular detainee, Michi Nishiura Weglyn, who spent an impressionable part of her youth during World War II in the Gila River War Relocation Center near Phoenix, Arizona. Her story is especially interesting because she later became a successful fashion designer, probably best known for doing the costumes for The Perry Como Show on network TV during the 1960s. Several years after leaving the Como show, Weglyn took a bold turn in life and did extensive research on the concentration camps and wrote a definitive history called Years of Infamy that exposed this shameful stain on America’s recent past. The book’s road to publication was fraught with resistance from American publishers who didn’t want to touch the story. Weglyn should be known as a hero to all Americans for her tireless struggle to reveal such an unpopular truth.
I am going to sit back and enjoy the beauty of this documentary film, a film that the husband and wife filmmaking team spent 10 years in making.
Here is the film’s synopsis from CIFF (emphasis added),
“An unsentimental elegy to the American West, SWEETGRASS follows the last modern-day cowboys to lead their flocks of sheep up into Montana’s Absaroka Beartooth Mountains for summer pasture. This astonishingly beautiful yet unsparing film reveals a world in which nature and culture, animals and humans, vulnerability and violence are all intimately meshed. The colourful characters and beautiful mountain scenery will at once feel familiar to Albertans who are acquainted with “Big Sky Country” and the lives of “real” cowboys—individuals who are distinctly a breed apart from the ones usually seen on the big screen at a multiplex. The husband and wife team of Ilisa Barbash and Lucien Castaing-Taylor spent 10 years filming the 150-mile trek into the mountains; of the nine films composed from hundreds of hours of footage shot, SWEETGRASS is the only one intended for theatrical exhibition.“
“When comedians get huge laughs from an audience, it’s referred to as having “killed it;” when a comedian tanks, they “die” on stage. When Canadian comedian Carla Zilbersmith is diagnosed with ALS (commonly known as Lou Gerhig’s Disease), she kills it while dying. Academy Award-winning Canadian filmmaker John Zaritsky (JUST ANOTHER MISSING KID) aims his lens directly into the abyss of death again, as he did in THE SUICIDE TOURIST, only this time it isn’t about the right to die—it’s about dying right. Films from her final tours abroad are intercut with interviews, confessionals and skits that form a portrait of a brave woman prepared to drink deep from the cup of life, savour every moment and, when the curtain falls, leave them laughing.”
Here is the film’s trailer. Warning: Coarse Language & Mature Subject Matter
*** Spoiler alert. *** Please skip the following if you want to watch the film without knowing how things turn out.
A good documentary will touch us and sometimes change how we see the world and live our lives. I look forward to watching this film even though I expect the audio quality of the film might not be the best at places.
P.S. I really appreciate Jeff openly sharing his creative work-in-progress here. It reminds me of my 2008 interview with painter Christine Cheung where she chatted with me about her abstract painting and let me interviewed her and filmed her painting.
In the interview Jeff and I chatted about what inspired him to make the documentary, why he thinks may explain the stats of 95% of Japanese-Canadian marries inter=racially or Japanese of non-Japanese decent (South Asian is 13%), why can we learn from this difference. Jeff and I also talk about the animation techniques he used, what inspired him to draw some of the scenes in his over 1.4 million views “Yellow Sticky Notes“, his recommended animation book “The Illusion of Life“, and other animation/filmmaking ideas. Enjoy.
Here is my interview with the filmmakers May Charters & Mark Hug.
Here is the film synopsis from CIFF,
LOVERS IN A DANGEROUS TIME is romantic Canadiana, centering around two former childhood friends – Todd, a small town could-have-been, and Allison, an overly nostalgic children’s book illustrator – who are reunited at their ten-year high school reunion and embark on a childish yet romantic adventure recapturing the life they use to live.
The film’s characters eventually spiral into delinquent behavior, where scorching campfire antics, teenage bush parties, and childhood memories only delay their impending return to adulthood. Directors Mark Hug and May Charters build a story that shows what occurs when we try and revisit the folly of youth, and the results of trying to hold on to the past.
A SXSW screened film “My Suicide, 7:15pm, Eau Claire” (Here is a Variety review of the film in case you are interested. I am testing if I am young at heart and can I stand “the editors’ riotous pacing, which never rests for more than 30 seconds on a shot and comprises a barrage of manipulated footage, 1950s public-service docus, animation and forever-shifting video images.”)
THE PHILOSOPHER KINGS is a documentary film about the kind of wisdom that gets you through the day – the wisdom that comes from surviving hard times, lost loves, shattered dreams, and bad choices. The film goes deep into the most well-respected and prestigious universities to seek wisdom from the people who see it all and have been through it all – the janitors. […]
Shot over the course of nine months, 45365 (pronounced: four, five, three, six, five) captures small town American life in striking cinema-verité style, peeling away the layers of Sidney, Ohio – population 20,000 – to reveal a deeper shared experience. The film follows the lives of the town’s residents as their storylines coalesce into a mosaic of faces, places, and events. […]
Grand Jury Award Documentary Feature SXSW 2009, Special Documentary Feature Jury Prize Newport International Film Festival 2009
I had a great time chatting with Eric Howell, writer-director of the wonderfully made and heart-gripping short film Ana’s Playground: “an allegory about the moment when a child is forced to choose between ideology and humanity while living and playing in a dangerous war environment.”
Oh, My God! (winner of the Special Prize of the Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk – one of the main prizes in the Generation KPlus programme at the Berlin International Film Festival)
DIRECTOR Anne Sewitsky, Norway, 2008, 9 MIN
Norwegian with English subtitles
Oh my God! Is a film about the orgasm, a spoon, and trying to fit-in.
DIRECTOR Hanne Larsen, Norway, 2008, 15 MIN
Norwegian with English subtitles
Johan (11) faces a moral dilemma after having started playing a seemingly innocent prank.