Song of Lahore
April 22- 26, 2016
Directed by Sharmeen
If you are into jazz, Song of
Lahore is a "must see." The film takes us
to Lahore, Pakistan where we meet a group of
serious musicians coming from a long tradition
of music. They once were able to earn a living
with this profession, but in 1977 there was a
coup creating the
Islamization of Pakistan. Once the Taliban
took over, music was considered a sin. Under
Sharia law, it was forbidden. Sharia infidels
were shot and killed. Instruments were
They are invited by jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis to join his big band for a concert at Lincoln Center in New York City where he is the artistic director. We see them packing for their journey. Curiously, this is the only time we see women with them. The jazz ensemble is all men.
The Pakistanis travel to America
(the flight takes 14 hours) and are anxious to
prove they are artists, not terrorists. They are
ambassadors of culture.
The big band includes trombones, trumpets, piccolo, flute, clarinet, bass, drums...
One of the outstanding sequences during a rehearsal is the intercutting of the Pakistani flute player Baqir Abbas with the American flute player Ted Nash. Equally amazing is a similar shot intercutting the tabla player Ballu Khan with the big band's drummer Ali Jackson.
Song of Lahore is essentially people from different worlds coming together to share music. The concert is a grand success. They achieved what they dreamt would happen - creating hope for the musicians of Pakistan. Finally, we see them as they appear for a big concert in Lahore during the end credits of the film. This is a new beginning....
Mojave Desert (California), there is a graveyard
of airplanes. History has only known
airplanes for some 200 years.
could fly. Why couldn't man. In 1903,
Wilbur and Orville Wright did just that with the
Kitty Hawk, their first powered aircraft.
There are 100,00 take offs and landings per day now.
Airplanes affect commerce. We live in an international community. Perishables are flown around the world every day, such as roses that have a 14 day life span. Airplanes can deliver merchandise quickly.
For thousands of years, flying was just a fantasy. Who would have thought that hundreds of people could move so fast in a container at 35,000 feet.
"Living in the Age of Airplanes" is visually interesting and is definitely worth seeing. It was filmed in 18 countries across all seven continents.
will be happy to know that "No airplanes were
There lives a fascinating world beyond what we
Review by Lois Siegel
Where to Invade Next
March 4 - 13, 2015
It's been six years since Michael Moore released a film. According to Moore, "Where to Invade Next" was shot entirely outside the USA. The exception is stock shots from archives.
This is definitely one of his
films you should see. You will learn some
interesting things about how other people live
in other countries: extensive paid vacations,
paid honeymoons, two-hour lunches for factory
workers, education alternatives (serious sex
talk), and no homework for students.
Brains have to relax. Some institutions have
even banished standardized tests. In one city,
all schools are the same. No private schools. In
the U.S.A., Moore insists, school is a business.
Moore says he wants to take the best ideas he discovers abroad back to America.
One enticing idea is unveiled in Normandy, France. Gourmet food is served at tables set with real china in an elementary school cafeteria. There's camembert cheese and lamb skewers or chicken; scallops with sauce, or fillet of cod, and fruit for dessert. There are no vending machines.
In Slovenia, students at one college have no debts. Essentially, education is free. Some U.S. students have caught on to this and are attending. One hundred courses are taught in English.
In Germany, a pencil factory actually has windows, letting in good light. The owner doesn't want ill workers. His employees are on the Board of Directors and often propose good ideas for change. "That's the key to success," he says.
Moore states that the U.S. hides from their sins. It's a country built on the backs of slaves.
And we are shown a prison in Norway that focuses on rehabilitation. Prisoners are not locked in. We see a murderer making food in a kitchen where there are knives on the wall. He's using one. There are 115 inmates with only four guards who don't carry guns. The prisoners' punishment is a loss of freedom, but they are being helped to return to society. The 'residents' take classes. There's a library and a recording studio. Creativity is encouraged. Prisoners also have the right to vote. In the States, Moore, explains, 80% of prisoners are re-arrested. In Norway, only 20% are.
It doesn't matter if you are a fan of Michael Moore or not. This film is worth seeing. It's good to discover there are other ways of doing things.
A Perfect Day
March 25, 28-29, 2016
Directed by Fernando
Leon de Aranoa
If you work for "Aid Across
Boarders," you don't carry a gun,
Military convoys are targets for attacks. You have to stay away from them. "Cities" have been bombed out, walls are inscribed with nice sayings, such as "Welcome to Hell," and there are young kids with guns.
The centre of the story is an obese corpse in a deep well. It will contaminate the water that people need if it isn't removed, but this is not an easy feat. There are few supplies. It's even difficult to find a length of rope. But the people in the countryside need help. They become your family, so you go to great lengths to do exactly that.
"A Perfect Day" received a 10-minute standing ovation at Cannes. That should tell you something.
The music in the film is timely
and perfect for each setting.
Review by Lois Siegel
Directed by Lisa
Peggy Guggenheim came from a colorful family. They started as peddlers, selling door-to-door and then invested in banking and mining. Amassing fortunes, they lived like royalty with servants, but Peggy was the black sheep of the family who went on her own Bohemian way. She was a rebel and loved to shock. She once shaved off her eyebrows.
In Europe during the 20's and 30's, she met artists who were disgusted with the civilized world and looked for an alternative to the bourgeoisie. Peggy started collecting their work. During WWII, Art was cheap because these artists were not yet famous, and they were desperate to sell - they needed money. She purchased works that would later sell for fortunes.
For 40,000, she put a collection together. She broke all the rules in the male-dominated world of those days. Peggy liked art, and she liked artists. She slept with many. They were her teachers and lovers. "You don't have to be a painter. It's all about art and love." It's said that at one time, she bought one painting a day.
artists: Pollock, Rothko, Duchamp, Arp, Beckett,
Brancusi, Dali, De Kooning, Ernst, Giacometti,
Kandinsky, Motherwell, Miro, Mondrian, De
Chirico, Tanguy, Magritte ... Peggy was
self-educated and had an intuition for talent.
She eventually realized that there was a serious threat in London during the war that her 'museum' could be bombed. She managed to send her paintings by ship to the U.S.A. as 'household objects" and also helped artists leave Europe for New York. Peggy opened a gallery on 30 West 57th Street, one of the first international galleries with European and American paintings.
was unusual. There is humor in the film. We
learn about certain eccentricities in the
family: Her mother repeated everything three
times. Her aunts and uncles were described as
being "off their rockers." Another relative was
said to sing everything, instead of talking.
Peggy Guggenheim died at age 81, buried with her 14 dogs.
She is a very engaging art
addict. The film is filled with candid
interviews with her and photos of the
outstanding work of some of the best known
Review by Lois Siegel
Directed by Tom
Boston 2001, the church was feared and
respected, so evidence of wrongdoing was
routinely disregarded. The Globe’s new editor,
Marty Baron (Liev
wanted to change this and
went after the church. This was a
risky move since 53% of their readers were
Running time: 128 minutes
Review by Lois Siegel
The Big Short
In 2007, thousands of people lost
their homes during the U.S. mortgage housing
crisis. The banks gave almost anyone a loan,
even though they knew this was risky. Bad loans
were hidden inside prime quality bonds, assuming
that the banks behind the bonds were “too big to
fail.” Greed ruled. Some people started to
realize that this bubble would burst. They
recognized that the banking system was unstable
and widely corrupt, so when nobody would listen,
they placed bets against it, making millions of
Using humor, the film helps us comprehend what happened. Despite the complications of understanding all the details of the transactions in the film, the basic story is clear. We become involved with the characters. One of the most interesting individuals is Michael Burry (Christian Bale), an eccentric. He’s an ex-doctor and a Capital hedge fund manager who wears shorts to the office, doesn’t wear shoes, and plays a mean set of drums.
The story of these fraudulent systems is like Chicken Little – the sky is falling, but most people refused to believe it. When millions lose their homes, reality hits. We see them living in their cars or tents. It’s painful.
Despite years of unethical and criminal behavior, only one banker went to jail, and the others were bailed out. The regulations that led to this have not been substantially changed. It might happen again.
The acting and editing are excellent. This is one of the best films I’ve seen this year.
Oscar nominations: Best Picture,
Best Supporting Actor (Christian Bale), Best
Director (Adam McKay), Best Film Editing, and
Best Adapted Screenplay.
Amazon.com: DVD available for Pre-Order.
Review by Lois Siegel
Dean Kamen is best known as the inventor of the Segway, a Personal Transporter that has two wheels and is a self-balancing electric vehicle controlled by shifting body weight.
Many people think it’s just a luxury toy like the go-kart, but it’s not. When I was a guest speaker at St. Andrew’s College, Laurinburg, North Carolina, I was surprised to see a physically challenged kid zoom into class on a Segway. Only then did I realize one of the outstanding uses of the Segway: Physically challenged kids were able to move around the campus with ease and speed.
likes technology and machines… it’s their
efficiency. They deliver.
He certainly doesn’t know the different between work and play. It’s one and the same to him. He says you have to be lucky to find work you love.
eccentric and extremely interesting. He lives in
a house with secret passages and hops into his
helicopter in the morning to ‘drive’ to work. He
also flies his own jet. His closet is
jam-packed with blue denim shirts and pants. He
wears the same-looking clothes every day. This
must make his life easier because he doesn’t
have to think about what he is going to wear.
Kamen dedicates his life to creating machines that help people in need. He has over 440 patents. His inventions include a prosthetic arm, a home dialysis machine, and a pharmaceutical system that delivers insulin. He has also started a robotic program for students.
How does he do this? “You have to take a big intellectual leap,” he explains. “Every decision is a compromise.” He realizes that people accept new ideas very slowly. Kamen survives because he is an optimist, despite the fact that innovation is a difficult and frustrating process.
He is obsessively focused on his work. He doesn’t have children. His inventions are like his children.
This is a film everyone should see. It’s inspiring to learn about this very unique man.
Running time: 88 minutes
"Await The Freight"
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 07.02.2011
NATIONAL CAPITAL TO BE MOVIE SET OF NEW DARK COMEDY
•Quiet Revolution Pictures, Majika Pictures and Denmark's Fridthjof Films with the support of
Telefilm Canada and The Danish Film Institute will be filming the feature-length dark comedy,
"Eddie" in the Nation’s Capital.
Photo by Lois Siegel
• Starring Thure Lindhart (Angels & Demons, Into The Wild), Georgina Reilly (Pontypool, This Movie is Broken), Al Goulem (18 to Life, The Trotsky) and Dylan Smith (300, Love & Savagery).
Production is scheduled to begin February 7, 2011.
Ottawa, ON Canada, February
7, 2011 –the Nation’s
Capital is being transformed into the set of a twisted, dark-comedy
movie entitled "Eddie." The satirical story is about a once-famous
painter who rediscovers inspiration after he befriends a
sleepwalking cannibal. Telefilm Canada and the Danish Film Institute
have partially funded the project to be directed by Boris Rodriguez
(Havana Kids, Beso Nocturno) and produced by Ottawa native
Michael A. Dobbin (The Devil’s Curse, Powerful: Energy for
Everyone, The Maiden Dance to Death) and Ronnie Fridthjof (Armadillo,
Tempo). “The National Capital Region is the ideal setting for
this movie. I’m really looking forward to working here,” says Boris.
Director Boris Rodriguez is a graduate of Concordia University and the Canadian Film Centre. Boris’ films Beso Nocturno (Night Kiss) and Perfect both had premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and Beso Nocturno was selected for a retrospective at the Museum Of Modern Art in New York.
Michael’s past work as a producer includes Toni Harman's debut horror entitled The Devil's Curse (aka Credo), (currently available through Lionsgate and iTunes), David Chernushenko’s Powerful: Energy for Everyone as well as Endre Hules' The Maiden Danced to Death. Michael was mentored by BAFTA-winning producer of East is East, Leslee Udwin. He’s an alumnus of the film programme of Ryerson. In October 2006, Michael founded the ‘Just Watch Me!’ Canadian Film Festival and as a story editor, script doctor and lecturer is in steady demand on both sides of the Atlantic.
The 2007-2008 edition of the Registry is available.
Visit our web site or call us to order your copy today.
1386 Richmond Rd., P.O. Box 32114
Teen Filmmaker First Local to Win
at Ottawa International Animation Festival
Inrig's short, animated film
This is his first animated film and
tells the story of a humble shepherd
Inrig gained significant attention last
summer with his debut feature documentary film
The film is inspired by his younger brother
who has been diagnosed with severe autism.
Inrig is mentored by Order of
Canada recipient Alanis Obomsawin,
Inrig's first dramatic feature about an
enigmatic alien landing in northern Ontario,
"The Depose of Bolskivoi
Hovhannes" was made as part of