Some Of My Favourite Things

… happen to be Canadian, yet not all. Some are more intangible, like the way light can illuminate pine cones on an Old Norway Spruce, or how Green Mountain Kenya AA Coffee tastes.

I love Robertson Davies (Canadian Author) just as much as I love Neil Young (Canadian Musician), and for completely different reasons. I admire Neil Young’s integrity, as much as I revel in Davies old fashion prose and style. Maybe they share the fact they both can tell some fantastic stories. Completely different stories mind you. One of little boys growing up to be men in a time and place gone forever, to dying junky friends and Pocahontas.

I have always been attracted to good storytelling, such with Charles DeLint’s Newford tales, a good story can just carry you away. No matter how many times you hear it, you love it just that much more. There are things that I just do not tire of. Books I could read again and again, films that are so engaging that their truths are just as profound after the third, fourth or 15th time you’ve seen them.

Although not Canadian, I have seen the movie Empire of the Sun 15 times. I hope to live long enough to see it 15x more before I die. Each time I watch it I see something new. How can that be? Just sometimes small things, like how the boy looks over his mother’s shoulder once they’re reunited after the war. That blank stare, then he closes his eyes. Beautiful… and full of truth and consequence.

On my top five films I love is a Canadian one, titled In The Company Of Strangers, a NFB (National Film Board of Canada) production, directed by Cynthia Scott.

from the NFB  website “In this feature film, 8 elderly women find themselves stranded when their bus breaks down in the wilderness. With only their wits, memories and some roasted frogs’ legs to sustain them, this remarkable group of strangers share their life stories and turn a potential crisis into a magical time of humour, spirit and camaraderie. Featuring non-professional actors and unscripted dialogue, this film dissolves the barrier between fiction and reality, weaving a heart-warming tale of friendship and courage.” { you can watch the full movie online, or purchase DVD via that link above }

All these women are real. Incredibly and completely real, in emotion, character, thought and expression; it is reality TV for the thinking person. I know, how boring. Yet, I even got my crime drama, fast-paced Tim to actually watch it (all the way through). And he liked it. I had him though, he was all drugged up and his ADHD was well-tempered with the realities only Pancreatic Cancer can provide.

I also LOVE Ofra Harnoy playing Dvorak on her Cello. Or Loreena McKennitt pining away for her Anarchie Gordon on her Harp. Makes the tears drip down my face unbidden. Totally enraptured of their beauty, of their truth. They capture emotions with sounds that touch the soul. And all with their own stories to tell.

I once went to see her live at Massey Hall. There we all sat, my sister, her boyfriend, me and my ex-husband, and my best friend and her husband on the third level, up in the rafters aka: the cheap seats. My sister almost had kittens when she saw how high up we were. She’s like “your sure they didn’t have any higher Paula? Bitch”. My sister is terrified of heights. However, a 1/2 hour later none of that mattered as we all sat with tears streaming down our face. My girlfriends husband turned to me, tears still going, “thanks Paula, this is f’en fantastic”. He meant it BOTH sarcastically, as well as a compliment. Go figure. We all had a grand time. She is an incredible artist, and her music just grips your soul. Whatever the quality of your audio, it can not compare to the sound of her live.

SO, there are some of them. I’ve alot more, but, well that would be rambling. 😉

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3 thoughts on “Some Of My Favourite Things

  1. Empire of The Sun is one of my families favourite films. It was the first ‘grown-up’ film I watched as a little kid with my Mum and Dad and We’ve watched countless times since. It’s perfect how we see it from a young lads perspective but is never constrained by being a kids film.

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    • No, it certainly isn’t… that’s the beauty of it I guess. It’s both heart-breaking and illuminating because of that perspective. Another scene I love is him singing Suo Gan during the ceremony for the Japanese Kamikazes. I find such beauty in that scene…of how a child can break through and, even in a small way, understand….even though they are “the other”…the enemy.

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