Friday, January 30, 2015

Oscar's short films

Bitter out there - oh my God Canadians are brave. We survive. With two months to go, at least.

Last night, my home class was here, wonderful writing, people sitting in my living room telling their most important truths. Particularly two students, one of whom is 87 and the other 89, strong, vital, beautiful, fascinating women in the thick of life, both writing about facing death. As inspiring as it gets. I love my job.

Today, after various errands in the freezing wind, I went to TIFF to see the Oscar nominated Live Action Short Films. I love short films and had heard several of these were worth seeing. And they were - so different, when I emerged, I felt I'd been around the world, following the drama of an Afghani girl in Switzerland, an Israeli woman meeting a Danish musician, a pair of adorable northern Irish children, an outdoor photography studio in Tibet, and a woman (the great actress Sally Hawkins) manning a crisis hotline in England, which will probably win. I liked all of them except, unfortunately, the Israeli film, Aya, which I hated, found interminably self-indulgent, slow and dull. I even texted a few times while it meandered on, because the theatre was not full and I wasn't bothering anyone. But - watching real Tibetan families pose for a camera in front of a phoney backdrop, while behind them loom the actual Himalayas - beautiful.

Then I came home to the news that Harper is fanning the flames of paranoia and hatred and extending the powers of CSIS. When he starts to speak, I turn off the radio as fast as possible because I want to throw up if I hear his voice. A loathsome human being who has done his best to destroy everything good about my country, and is still doing so.

Here, thanks to Facebook, is a fabulous bit of rock and roll history: when the musicians of Led Zeppelin were being honoured by the White House, the sisters of Heart did a cover of "Stairway to Heaven." Fabulous on a cold day especially. Will warm you right to your toes.

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