June 7, 2007

Back in the Groove

During the last half of my trip last week I was feeling pretty unhealthy and gross from eating out all week and getting no exercise. So I set on biking 50km instead of 25km for the Becel Ride for Heart that was happening the morning after I returned. Unfortunately I caught a cold the night I got home and the next morning when I woke up at 5:30am I felt horrible — I didn't even want to get out of bed let alone bike. I guess I'm a bit crazy but I forced myself to go and completed the 25k, which felt great after a week of pigging out. My legs felt surprisingly fine after biking hard but my poor nose suffered.

After taking an hour break upon returning to the starting point I biked up to Bloor for the architectural preview of Libeskind's crystal at the ROM as part of the Luminato festival. I had to wait 20 in line to get a free ticket, which had a certain entry time at which I could actually go in. So I returned in line 1.5 hours later to wait in line for another 30 minutes before finally getting into the ROM. Since the preview was to just allow visitors to explore the architectural space, no exhibits were installed yet, which was great. The final structure itself wasn't exactly how I expected it to turn out... I had preferred Libeskind's initial proposal that had the crystal structure made mostly out of glass, but due to technical and environmental factors it wasn't the most feasible solution. Nonetheless it remains a pretty cool piece of architecture and it still allows for some transparency that connects the interior of the museum to the public. I love all the skewed geometries throughout the building: the random cuts of glass slits on the facade, the criss-crossing ceiling lighting in the lobby, the slanted columns that go through each floor, and the interesting bridge walkways that intersect and cross through a dark and empty space (very reminiscent of the Void in Libeskind's Jewish Museum in Berlin). I'm looking forward to see how the space will be filled with the exhibits along with the completion of the rest of project phases.

Last year at TIFF the film Brand Upon the Brain! was screened once in Toronto that ended up selling out so fast and was a huge hit. It returned again to show for its second time here, this time for Luminato, and I was ecstatic that I was able to score tickets for Christina and I. It was playing at the Elgin Theatre and the director Guy Maddin made an appearance to introduce the film. It was the most unique film-going experience I've had, mainly because it was integrated with a live performance. The film was shot in the style of a 1920's black & white silent movie and the entire soundtrack was performed right in the theatre — there was the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for the background score, 3 foley artists for all non-musical sounds and effects, a narrator, and a castrato (although I've read that it was a joke since there are no living castrati, and that the "castrato" was actually lip-synching to a recorded woman's voice). The sound effects brilliantly executed and timed that sometimes I even forgot there were live performers. The film itself was erratically yet beautifully shot, but poor Kris got a bit motion sick from the flashing and jumping images. The storyline looked at the teen detective genre through the eyes of a young Maddin, who placed himself on an island where his evil parents kept a lighthouse that housed orphans for a bizarre purpose — it was all at once intriguing, playful, hilarious, wildly imaginative, mysterious and absurd. My favourite line of the movie was just as random as all the rest: "What's a suicide attempt without a wedding?" In one scene where the characters are trying to bend a stiff corpse back into place, the imagery along with the sound was so grotesque that I was cringing, but when I took a look over at the foley artist creating the crunching sound, he was simply twisting a stalk of celery in half, which made me burst of laughing along with the rest of the audience.

Posted by mich at June 7, 2007 9:57 PM
Comments
Post a comment









Remember personal info?