In a top NHL hockey market, there is nothing a Vancouver Canucks player or coach does on or off the ice that goes unnoticed by the city's sports media. During the recent off-season, Vancouver headlines focused on the new "man in charge", coach John Tortorella, a man known for his impatient and often volatile relationship with sports media. From screaming and swearing at reporters to his aggressive approach in post game media scrums, Tortorella has earned a reputation with those in the press box. So how has the NHL coach handled the tenacious Vancouver sports media so far?
This VIFF, the vast preponderance of films were projected digitally (only four out of 340 films at the fest were actually shown on film). Every film I saw looked and sounded great, insofar as there were no scratches, missing chunks, stutters, mis-projections, or glitches. It's hard to argue with perfection. That said, a new 35mm print of a film like Tarkovsky's Nostalghia is a cause for great excitement, and more than merited a talk with the Cinematheque's Jim Sinclair about film vs. digital, Tarkovsky, and other upcoming film fare.
If TransLink is as broke as it claims to be, why are taxpayers so grossly overpaying its chief executive officer? Ian Jarvis received $394,730 in salary, incentives and taxable benefits in 2012, plus another $32,552 in taxpayer-funded petition contributions. On top of that, Jarvis took $11,418 in "other" benefits, including a "Wellness Allowance" that apparently only the CEO is eligible for. That's a total compensation package of $438,700. Jarvis made $140,000 more last year than the province's deputy transportation minister, Grant Main. He made $200,000 more than Premier Christy Clark. Clark wasn't alone; Jarvis out earned Prime Minister Stephen Harper by nearly $75,000.
My favourite film to deal with life in Vancouver -- maybe even my favourite film to be made here -- remains Bruce Sweeney's 1998 offering, Dirty. Workshopped in a way informed by Sweeney's experiences at a VIFF forum with Mike Leigh, the film digs into the muck of the city's damaged psyche, offering characters that are unforgettable and all too familiar in their dysfunctionality -- including a pot-dealing dominatrix (the late, terrific Babz Chula); a painfully lonely schlub from Port Alberni with anger-management issues (Ben Ratner); a student saddled with massive student loan debt and an eating disorder (Nancy Sivak); and an anal, preening UBC student with a secret need to be spanked and humiliated (played by the great local actor, filmmaker and UBC professor Tom Scholte).
A recent winner of the Camera d'Or prize at Cannes, Ilo Ilo quickly sold out its first screening at the 32nd Vancouver International Film Festival. This subtle yet detailed film about family life in Singapore shows the skilled editing and directorial abilities of Anthony Chen in his feature film debut.
At the beginning of my rehabilitation process, I had to find various ways to comfort myself. If the knee was or wasn't going to get better in time for the Olympics, at least I would know it much sooner than later. It was so easy to get discouraged, to give up, to wonder why I would return to skiing after it took so much from me already. So I made myself focus on what mattered.
I love juicing, and I'm not alone. I sat down with fitness genius Joe Cross, and he gave me some basic tips and tricks for how to pull off a successful juice cleanse. After speaking with Joe for ten minutes, I was starting to understand how he has motivated people around the world to lose more than half a million pounds.
One does not decide to spend four days on a trip that can be accomplished in 5 hours by air without some weighing of the pros and cons. On the upsid...
The moment you've been both dreading and getting excited for is almost here. I'm referring, of course, to the series finale of Breaking Bad this Sunday. This "blue meth" inspired drink is lovingly nicknamed "The Heisenberg" and may just be the perfect drink to accompany your Breaking Bad viewing.
Nothing quite like a good midnight movie. Savvy, cinephilic audiences meet provocative, culty film fare at a time when, as Dick Miller observes in Martin Scorsese's After Hours, "different rules apply." The programming for VIFF's new late-night series, Altered States -- handled by longtime Vancouver journalist and VIFF staffer Curtis Woloschuk -- certainly reflects this observation. And what's striking about the series as a whole, is that the movies featured have much of the sophistication usually spotlighted by VIFF -- they're just cranked up a notch.
With traffic congestion on the rise, many of Canada's highways are in immediate need of overhaul. And, with tax increases as unpopular as ever, road operators in several provinces have turned to tolling to fund the safe, efficient roads that communities need -- and voters expect.
Answering "how is the world left better because of me" guides people from abstract goals and mindsets to deciding what behaviours are necessary every day. Focusing on the emotional response to these questions is the foundation for a business's culture and brand. In just two hours with Institute B, I learn more about myself, personally and professionally, than I do in most of the business workshops I attended this year combined. Now that's good for business.
Giving TransLink more tax dollars is like giving a pyromaniac a fresh box of matches. Both will eventually run out and keep coming back for more -- unless they change their ways. TransLink's executive vice-president Bob Paddon, he of the $307,857 annual pay, claims his operation is an "efficient and well-run organization." The facts prove otherwise. TransLink is a rat's nest of redundancy and waste.
There has never been an independent analysis of InSite, yet, if you base your knowledge on Vancouver media reports, the case is closed. InSite is a success and should be copied nationwide for the benefit of humanity. Tangential links to declining overdose rates are swallowed whole. Thomas Kerr's claims of reduced "public disorder" in the neighbourhood go unchallenged, despite other mitigating factors such as police activity and community initiative. Journalists note Onsite, the so-called "treatment program" above the injection site, ignoring Onsite's reputation among neighbourhood residents as a spit-shined flophouse of momentary sobriety.
More and more, we're doing work, finishing errands, having fun and connecting with friends and family via our smartphones, tablets and personal computers. Engaging with your local government online is an extension of that. You no longer have to postpone dinner or sacrifice checking your kids' homework to attend an evening town hall meeting. You can tell city hall what you think from your phone on your commute to work, or from your couch at the end of the day. Local governments are trying to make it easier for you to have your say about transportation, or the cost of living, or city budget priorities, or your library or community centre's opening hours.
As a director, it would be pretty easy to find a half hour here or there to talk about the day, but, as a producer/director, running around to meetings, festival events, conferences, and more meetings, it's almost impossible.