Monday, October 13, 2014

RIP Subtitle Literate

Hello all, and welcome to the final post of Subtitle Literate (2008-2014). I've had a lot of fun with my first blog over the years, and I surely hope you have as well. But now the time has come for me to put it to bed, methinks, take a break, recharge, and reevaluate a few things, including my perceptions and motivations as both a writer and a person. I'll reemerge in some fresh form of creative expression eventually while in the meantime likely turning out the odd piece here and there, but at this moment, for the most part, I feel like the whats and hows and, most importantly, whys of who I am and why I write are still mysterious to me. In short, I feel like I have some soul searching to do - but I am very excited about the adventures that await me still.

But for now, I again thank everyone who has taken interest in my scribbles, notes, and ramblings both here and elsewhere, and wish you all the best. Cheers.

Friday, October 10, 2014

On "Café de Flore" for Toronto Film Review

Hello all. I'm happy to report that a new film piece of mine is now available for your reading pleasure over at my good friend David Davidson's blog Toronto Film Review. It is on Quebecois director Jean-Marc Vallée's 2001 film Café de Flore - and thus is a natural fit for David's site, since he is easily one of the most passionate and knowledgeable admirers of Vallée's work that I've ever met. If you too love Vallée and his films, I highly recommend taking a peek at the literature David has written about them.

In other news, I am currently at work preparing a brand new endeavor in film writing that I'm quite excited about. Stay tuned.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Kaurismäki + Kurosawa!

Hello all! It's been a good few months since I last had some new writing to share, which was when an essay I wrote about Aki Kaurismäki was published in the 92nd issue of the Toronto-based film journal CineAction. I have been keeping up with my exploration and admiration of Kaurismäki, whom I now consider to be possibly my absolute favourite filmmaker, and now I have a new piece to my name that examines his work! In my latest essay, which is included in the 71st issue of the online film journal Senses of Cinema, I pair the Finnish master of conscientious deadpan comedy up with an at-first unlikely counterpart: Akira Kurosawa, that fabled maker of samurai epics, nail-biting Tokyo noirs, and humanist dramas. It is within the last category where I find common ground between Kurosawa and Kaurismäki, particularly in the context of Kurosawa's One Wonderful Sunday and Dodes'ka-den and Kaurismäki's Drifting Clouds and The Man Without a Past.

Intrigued? Please check out the whole essay here - and feel free to let me know what you think! Also, take the time to sift through the other contents of the issue (tackling Alfonso Cuarón, David Lynch, The Hunger Games and Romanian cinema, to name just a few of the subjects!). As I so often am, I am very proud to be included amongst such talented soldiers of cinema.

As always, thanks for reading!

Friday, January 31, 2014

On Aki Kaurismäki in CineAction Issue #92

Hello all. In this post, I am very pleased to announce the publication of a new essay of mine in the 92nd issue of the Toronto-based film journal CineAction, which has just hit the stands. The piece focuses on one of my absolute favourite filmmakers and an artist whose work has come to mean a lot to me over the past few years: Aki Kaurismäki. I wrote the essay last summer when I was in a particularly uncertain period in my life. Unemployed, living at home in Windsor, desperate to get back to Toronto, and discouraged by meager job prospects, I found myself newly responsive to politically conscientious films and filmmakers that I could relate to in terms of my situation. Of them all, Kaurismäki stood out as a reassuring beacon of hope and truth, and I drew immense measures of comfort and insight from his tales of underdogs, part-timers, and scrappy survivors. Thus, writing the essay served as a way for me to express my thoughts and views regarding the social and economic factors that I, like so many others, was directly confronted with while also allowing me to pay tribute to one of my heroes. Even though I eventually managed to find a new job and make my way back to Toronto, I am still very much concerned about and affected by the social problems explored by Kaurismäki, whose films continue to be as meaningful, relevant, and inspiring as ever.

Many thanks to Scott Forsyth of York University for expressing interest in my piece and including it in the issue. Those interested in checking out my essay, entitled "It's All About Mercy": Aki Kaurismäki and the Art of Getting By, can find it in the current "Politics + Cinema" issue of CineAction, which will be available in stores for the next few months. Thank you for reading!