tech technology media reviews breakthrough documentary film video youtube sookie 416style television Susanne Jespersen visual researcher photographer writer


Apple Fires Canadian Poet

Are Canadians nicer than Americans? This Canadian thinks so - I mean the one in the video. He was asked to write a poem for an Apple talent show and his bashing may have got him fired. He did have some nice things to say about Toronto though, and Canada too. Maybe Apple Canada's Markham HQ will hire him. I would, he's hilarious.


NFB Joins the Oscar Race

It's the same old story - Canadians don't seem to recognize talent at home until someone recognizes it abroad. This time it's a charming tale of luck and love called The Danish Poet, nominated for an Oscar in the animated shorts category. For the National Film Board here in Canada it's the 69th nomination. Others included the touching documentary Hardwood and the incredible achievement of animated short Ryan, which brought home the Oscar in 2005 for its portrayal of animator turned panhandler Ryan Larkin.

I wonder though how many have taken it upon themselves to watch these brilliant Canadian works - if not, here's the opportunity. The NFB has posted The Danish Poet online for everyone to see and waived their $2 viewing fee at their John Street location too. Though the animation style might not be as compelling as Ryan the story it weaves is just as complex, told through the eyes of one conceived by parents who met in Copenhagen (just like me) whose destiny could just as easily not have been fulfilled. Luck can play a big part in love and life.

Last year luck brought me to Sao Paulo, Brazil for an event showcasing the work of the NFB. The Brazilians I spoke to were amazed and all the films shown were very well received. It made me extremely proud of the industry we've built in Canada. Knowing that the NFB has now garnered the most Oscar nominations for an independent outside LA doesn't hurt either.

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Fully Loaded at the Auto Show

Last year my friend, actor and indie filmmaker Brett Reason, shot and cut a short video which followed four car junkies (including himself) getting wasted and heading to the auto show. Their goal? See how long they could sit in the Mercedes S550 before someone kicked them out. After he showed me the piece, we debated what the name of it should be. He thought Loaded at the Auto Show would be good, I figured Fully Loaded would be more slick. It was his bit, so he won.

Brett called a couple days ago to tell me what the slogan is for this year's show - it's Fully Loaded. I'm not sure if he was more excited that we nailed their ad slogan before they did or just because the show would be starting this week, either way he got me hyped to go and I'm no car buff.

While him and his buddies cruise the fast car corner I might see what's new in hybrids. If you're still driving an old jalopy maybe you should check it out too - Metro recently reported that the biggest emissions (up to 37 times the normal amount) can come from cars 20 years old and up.

Scrap watching the auto show's promotional vid on their site, there's nothing innovative about it. Instead, amuse yourself with a little dark humour at theigloo, where you too can get Fully Loaded at the Auto Show.

photo: Richard Tamayo

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The Shocking Life and Death of Anna Nicole Smith

Anna Nicole Smith
Originally uploaded by Rootje.
Anna Nicole Smith rose to superstardom quickly and seemed to want to stay there, moving from Guess model to Playboy playmate to trophy wife to failing Reality Star with ease. She often mimicked and was found to resemble the late, and also fragile, Marilyn Monroe. For the most part though Anna had a hard time handling life with the same grace. Booze and drugs helped her cope, but also made her out of control - not in a funny Courtney Love way - but rather as a shocking starlet always tripping over her own feet, and often her words too. She made little sense and was sadly mocked by many. I often thought that Anna Nicole Smith and Hustler magazine founder Larry Flynt would make the perfect couple, but that day will never be. Rest in Peace Anna. Just goes to show that even a sexy centerfold worth hundreds of millions of dollars can't necessarily find true happiness.