We’re back from a week on “The Island”.
Around here when you say “The Island”
everybody knows what you’re talking about.
And if you’ve ever been there you know that
Vancouver Island is a piece of paradise.
That’s why a lot of folks here retire to ‘The Island’.
When we got back to Calgary we were pretty tired.
I often used to joke that I worked harder on vacation than I did at at work.
All the walking, hiking and exploring can wear you out.
Especially when you’re 73 years old.
30 years ago that wouldn’t have even made me sweat.
But those times are gone.
In all this, Rose and I took over 2000 photos.
It’s an old Photojournalism trick – take a absolute ton of pictures –
one or two are bound to be useful.
And thanks to digital technology you can do that these days.
In the past the film would have cost us a fortune.
A lot of our photos are just tourist quality fare though,
but we still came up with a few good shots to show.
Flew out. We only had a week and to drive from
Calgary to Tofino would have taken a whole day.
Calgary To Victoria: https://email@example.com,-116.4069041,6.51z
It takes about and hour and a half to fly over.
Land at Victoria Airport (up the peninsula).
Take a boo.
Rent a car …
… head for Tofino.
It takes about 4 and a half hours – if you don’t stop.
We were off and running …
Dr. Strange Tagline: “The Impossibilities are Endless.”
Put on hold in January 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is scheduled to be released in the United States on March 25, 2022. I have my doubts this will be a good as the first film,
but they are still working on it.
I like Marvel’s Thorquite a bit, but some of the new posters for Thor: Love and Thunder are truly awful. Look at that thing!
Maybe it’s because The Guardians of the Galaxy – the only Marvel characters I truly dislike – are a big part of the movie.
But apart from Chris Hemsworth, the one thing that might save this film is that it looks like Natalie Portman will finally have a much bigger role
than she normally gets.
Natalie Portman Goddess of Thunder
I think this wuz supposed to be a secret.
But it’s sprung a big leak.
Meanwhile similar things are emerging at Stark HQ.
Hearing a few different titles: – Iron Man 4: Iron Heart Legacy?
Incredibly as of this moment it’s still uncertain whether this is actually ‘a GO’ or a fan fantasy? It’s been on and off.
A lot of stuff that appears legitimate is actually created by fans.
Including Trailers and posters.
They are clever and well done.
I’ve been fooled a time or two myself.
Such is the nature of the internet.
Only thing that seems certain right now is Iron Man will become Iron Woman.
This was sort of supposed to be a secret too … ?
I’m having a heck of a time keeping track of all this.
Pretty soon going we’re going to need a special chart (like we had for Game of Thrones) and a congressional investigation.
to figure who’s who and what’s going on?
Release Date? 2022-2023
We don’t know yet.
I was going to do a preview of another movie ..
but that’s enough for now.
There are a lot of nice Day Trips out of Calgary. Sheep River Falls is just one.
Sheep you ask?
We’re talking about these guys:
Not those other things with the wool.
Didn’t see sheep of any kind tho.
It was a nice day.
The Heat Wave is over. For now.
Sheep River Provincial Park is in the Rockies.
Kananaskis Country to be certain.
Campfires are OK right now.
And just in case you forgot this is the Wilderness.
They just discovered this gentleman’s body. Missing since May.
Cause of death as yet unknown.
Every year people go missing up here. Some are never found.
Advice: Don’t hike alone.
Getting there. The Foothills of Alberta.
It’s a nice drive. About an hour and a half.
I’m becoming an expert at taking photos from a speeding vehicle.
Sheep River at it’s low point. In the Spring it’s a torrent.
Right now it’s just a nice creek.
Lots of people here. It was a Long Weekend and families were out.
It’s no Niagara, but during Spring run-off Sheep River Falls is s raging torrent and pretty spectacular. And dangerous at that time and you definitely couldn’t be standing where these people are.
I’d say this (late Summer) is it’s lowest point.
There she is.
I think it’s the purity that inspires me the most.
I often remove people from my photos.
But this time they added something that I could never have created.
Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi Theme | Kenobi Series Unofficial Soundtrack
Another production I’ve been eagerly awaiting.
It’s been postponed a lot as well.
BUT that’s not always a bad thing.
Because many productions are released before they are finished.
The delays have given them time to refine their products.
Some have even undergone massive re-writes;
changed Directors; and Casting …
Ewan McGregor is set to reprise his role as a Jedi master in Obi-Wan Kenobi, a live-action series for Disney+ set between the end of the prequel trilogy and the start of the original trilogy. The TV series will consist of six one-hour episodes. It was announced that Hayden Christensen would return as Darth Vader in the series and that it would be set ten years after the events of Revenge of the Sith.
At the very least we’re given a lot of great posters/artwork.
A lot of these are not Official Posters – but some wonderful fan art.
Back a bit I showed a Dylan Painting.
I like it.
Now I’m showing a few more because he has expressed admiration for Vincent Van Gogh on a few occasions in his music.
(I won’t post that here)
Anyway … have a look.
I think we can see there’s some Van Gogh influences in his style.
Sometimes Bob paints several variations of the same scene.
Unlike Van Gogh though, Bob paints BIG.
I like this one. I’d buy it … if I could afford it.
And I might be able to.
By Art standard Bob’s work is cheap right now – “ranging from $67 USD to $17,816 USD, depending on the size and medium of the artwork. Since 2014 the record price for this artist at auction is $17,816 USD for Train Tracks, sold at 1818 Auctioneers in 2021.”
Trust me. Any of his works would be a very good investment.
“Normal people do not create art.”
― Irving Stone,Lust for Life (the book)
Lust for Life Taglines:
THE MOST REVEALING LIFE-INSPIRED STORY EVER FILMED! (original print ad)
The best-seller comes to the screen…the drama of a man who lived with insatiable passion.
He had a lust for life. Sometimes he was brutal, sometimes delicate—always he lived with insatiable passion!
Over the years there have been many documentaries and several notable Films portraying Vincent Van Gogh.
I’d say this is a daunting challenge for any Actor, but at least 4 of my favorite Actors have made the attempt: Kirk Douglas (Lust for Life /1956), Willem Dafoe (At Eternity’s Gate / 2018) Benedict Cumberbatch (Van Gogh: Painted with Words / 2010) and Tim Roth (Vincent and Theo/ 1990).
Strangely – though Van Gogh was Dutch, and I’m uncertain that he spoke any English at all? the most notable Film productions are by English speaking Actors: Kirk Douglas (American), Benedict Cumberbatch (English), Willem Dafoe (American) and Tim Roth (English).
These 4 have received Critical praise for their portrayals
and I have not seen any of these films!
I’m going to change that.
But from the outside let’s have a look.
Lust for Life / 1956
Amazing! Douglas was really able to look a lot like Van Gogh. And we know what he looked like from all his self portraits.
Unsure why Douglas tackled Van Gogh, but he was surely ‘all in’ on the project.
Likely he read the book.
Everybody liked this.
Nice work Kirk.
Best Actor – Kirk Douglas – Nominated
Actor in a Supporting Role – Anthony Quinn – Won
Best Screenplay – Adapted Norman Corwin – Nominated
Best Art Direction (Color) Art Direction: – Nominated
Set Decoration: – Nominated
Golden Globe Awards
Best Motion Picture – Drama – Nominated
Best Actor – Motion Picture Kirk Douglas – Won
Best Supporting Actor – Anthony Quinn – Nominated
Best Director – Vincente Minnelli – Nominated
Book and Movie available on Amazon and likely at your local Library.
Before Covid it was known that there was at least 4 spin-offs from Game of Thrones in the works.
I’ve heard that one has been cancelled, but 3 is plenty.
Incredibly, Author George R. Martin himself once confessed he didn’t know if Game of Thrones itself would even get past it’s initial pilot show.
Now it’s become an industry. House of the Dragon looks like it’s going is the first to hit the screen on HBO.
Another large Cast. Hopefully not as large as Game of Thrones whereby I sometimes needed a chart to see who belonged where???
Most of the Cast is not well known to North American audiences. Mainly European/British actors. BUT that never affected Game of Thrones a bit whose Casting was brilliant.
No shortage of posters either.
“House of the Dragon is an upcoming American fantasy drama television series created by George R. R. Martin and Ryan J. Condal for HBO. It is a prequel to the television series Game of Thrones (2011–2019) and is based on Martin’s 2018 novel Fire & Blood. The series is set before the events of A Game of Thrones and chronicles the beginning of the end of House Targaryen. House of the Dragon received a straight-to-series order in October 2019 with casting beginning in July 2020 and principal photography beginning in April 2021 in the United Kingdom. The first season of the series is scheduled to air in 2022 and will consist of ten episodes.”
10 initial episodes – the usual.
If the Dragon doesn’t fly after 10 episodes it’s a bust.
I’m sure it will.
I think that Miracles happen around us all the time.
I miss most of them. Or dismiss them. Or discount them.
Or rationalize them away. ” It was just a coincidence”, I say.
Yet I’ve learned there is no such thing as coincidence.
Everything happens for a reason.
We just have to figure it out.
Sometimes it’s obvious – no need to intellectualize things.
I call these Small Miracles.
Where no ‘seas are parted’ – no ‘mountain are moved’.
They are just there. And usually very private.
Between you and God.
Not small at all.
At times a Small Miracle can be ‘life changing’.
Missed – or Taken.
A missed relationship? – or a job? – sometimes a warning …
Not small at all.
I’ve had my share.
I bet you have too.
And in looking back I can see many that I missed.
We all do.
Many I just simply didn’t recognize in the moment.
Others just don’t fit in my little shoebox at that time. My Reality.
So I dismissed them. Or missed them entirely.
Failed a test?
I look back now – as far as my childhood.
I’m sure I could have passed most any Test,
but I usually chose the easy way out.
It was usually my courage that let me down.
I wasn’t ready.
‘Weighed and found wanting’ is the expression.
I was ‘blindsided’ – and blind.
Sometimes they came at me from an angle I didn’t even know existed.
I didn’t understand. Until later.
And I wish I could go back …
I wonder now how my life might have been different?
Sometimes we do get it right. We do make the right decision.
And do the courageous thing.
And Pass the Test.
These are some Triumphs and Victories.
But as I think about it all this …
I’m just very grateful that someone – or something – considers and cares about enough about me to offer me such chances. Such choices. Opportunities. Gifts.
Even if I fail.
Just a couple of days ago a ‘Small Miracle’ happened to me.
I was playing a computer game called The Division 2.
My character is “Old Kanuk” and I was exploring
a huge map of Washington DC.
‘Free roaming’ we call it.
I came across an underground parkade.
And decided I’d go down and look around.
Who knows what I might find?
I found this:
One of Vincent Van Gogh’s most famous self-portraits.
And since I’m in the middle of creating several Posts about Van Gogh
on my Blog I was very pretty amazed.
But I REALLY have to wonder at what the odds of discovering this are ?
I didn’t even know it existed in this game and I wasn’t looking for it.
I could have been in a thousand other locations on this map
and never discovered this at all. Ever.
And I’d say that if did know it existed in this game and were actually looking for it, your chances of finding it would be extremely remote.
Nothing is impossible, of course, but this would be a candidate.
Yet there it was.
No, this is not a life changing event.
But why … ??
I’ll just call it a Gift.
Covid, The Heat Wave, and other life changing events
have taken a great many lives and continue to effect us much.
The Film and Entertainment industry has reflected this.
Yet they are still here … and beginning to re-emerge.
Many projects that have been held back for a long time are about to come back to our TV and Film Screens very shortly.
It seems like it’s been a long wait.
Here’s the first 3 I’m profiling:
Eternals starts a new era of Marvel Epics:
Kit Harrington, who most notably played Jon Snow in AGame of Thrones spearheads Eternals. Marvel productions have never been short on
Then the Last Kingdom will be shortly for it’s final Season.
Will Uhtred of Bebbanburg finally regain his rightful Heritage?
We’ll see? This has been postponed several times …
“Release Dates” then?
Quite a few Productions seem to have no definite Release Date as of yet.
I’m guessing it might be because when you are suddenly in competition with about 30 other High Production shows.
A Release Date then is a huge decision that can cost you millions of dollars.
Vincent (Starry Starry Night) Sung by Lianne La Havas – written by Don McLean
“A great fire burns within me, but no one stops to warm
themselves at it, and passers-by only see a wisp of smoke”
Gremlins visited my Blog the other day.
First they posted the wrong song!
Then they made my one of my images so HUGE
– that it threw the whole post out of whack.
I fixed all this.
So I’m reposting Lianne La Havas’s version of Don McLean’s
songwriting masterpiece Vincent (“Starry Starry Night”). Because it is so beautiful I don’t want anyone to miss it.
There has to be at least 100 versions/interpretations of McLean’s song,
but I like this one the best. It’s the feeling she puts into it.
Inspired works worthy of Vincent Van Gogh.
Beyond Van Gogh
My eldest brother, Richard, sent me photos that he took of the exhibition (Beyond Van Gogh) when it visited Edmonton.
I’m gratefully using some of these.
So we enter the larger hall now:
The displays are very impressive and wonderous.
Moving constantly around the room to music.
I apologize for my very amateur photos, but this short video will give you some idea no still photos could really capture this.
I wouldn’t say that your experience would be as glorious as this.
I don’t feel ours was.
My guess it that the production quality varies from venue to venue.
That might be dependent upon the facility?
In Calgary Beyond Van Gogh = $50 per person.
I also wouldn’t say that this is for everyone.
I studied Art so it has a strong appeal for me.
For some however, they’d probably wish they
were watching the football game.
More coming …
including Actors who played Van Gogh
Vincent (Starry Starry Night)
Sung by Lianne La Havas – written by Don McLean
“I would rather die of passion
than of boredom.”
Beyond Van Gogh
The first room was a montage of moving images accompanied by music. I wondered at the 2 doorways? But the images flowed around them like water. Most of my photos here were so poor I borrowed a few from YouTube.
I couldn’t believe the couldn’t find a better way to display this.
The two doorways?
I hope this will give some impression of the first part of this exhibit.
Anthony Mann and Jimmy Stewart – one of the three great director/actor partnerships (the others, of course, being John Ford and John Wayne and Budd Boetticher and Randolph Scott) that made such an impact on the western and how it was to develop. The importance and the legacy of their collaborative body of work is undeniable; I think it’s safe to say there’s consensus on that. A thornier issue, or at least a more subjective one, is attempting to settle on their best work. When it comes to Stewart and Mann I reckon a case could be made for any one of their westerns – although I do feel that The Far Country is probably the least of them – which is a testament to the consistency of their quality. However, having given it a good deal of consideration, I feel The Naked Spur (1953) just about gets its nose in front. There are two major, interdependent, factors for this: the obsessive and relentless tone that never lets up, and a lead performance by Stewart that I can only describe as magnetic in its intensity.
That this is going to be a dark and tense affair is evident right away as Bronislau Kaper’s moody score plays over the blood red credits. A solitary rider slowly dismounts and ever so cautiously picks his way towards some target he’s spotted up ahead. This is Howard Kemp (James Stewart), a man who’s been doggedly pursuing a wanted murderer all the way from Kansas. On this occasion he doesn’t have his man, it’s merely an old prospector, Tate (Millard Mitchell), he’s stumbled upon. However, the two men strike a bargain to track what may be Kemp’s quarry. Before they can run down their man though they’re joined by another traveller: a flashy young man, Lt Anderson (Ralph Meeker), who’s just been drummed out of the army with a dishonourable discharge. Immediately, the viewer is caught a little off guard as there’s no clearly identifiable hero figure: Kemp is a driven, secretive man who’s exhibiting signs of instability; Anderson is a vain, amoral criminal; and Tate is a sly opportunist. When we finally see the fugitive, Ben Vandergroat (Robert Ryan), he’s all smiles and affability, and he’s even got a beautiful young girl called Lina Patch (Janet Leigh) as company. Who are we to root for here? As the story progresses it does become clearer where our sympathies are being drawn. Nevertheless, at no point does it become a simple black hat vs white hat exercise. Apart from one short skirmish with a party of faceless Blackfeet, it’s these five, disparate characters who dominate proceedings as they trek across a breathtakingly beautiful landscape towards Kansas. The real conflict of the picture is contained within this tight group, and more specifically within the heart of Howard Kemp.
Anthony Mann’s direction is tight as a drum, never slackening the pace for more than a moment or two at a time and maintaining the high pressure atmosphere right to the end. He keeps the viewer on edge throughout with a bombardment of disorienting high and low angle shots and extreme close-ups, yet intersperses these with enough long range views to ensure that the geography of the action remains apparent. Even here though, where William C Mellor’s camera showcases the natural beauty of Colorado, the binding together of the five travellers is highlighted – simultaneously dwarfed by the towering mountain backdrops and still hemmed in by their need keep each other as close as possible at all times. There are also examples of what Jim Kitses refers to as Mann’s visual motif of a man straining to scale a high place. Kemp is the one who struggles, and fails initially, to reach that higher ground. By the end he succeeds, he’s no longer overreaching himself and consequently achieves the redemption he’s been searching for all along.
It’s the redemptive quest that marks The Naked Spur out as a genuine classic western, but what ensures its successful execution is the power of James Stewart’s performance. Stewart’s wartime experiences gave him a quality that’s very difficult to define but very easy to discern. He could still draw on and display the old geniality of his earlier years, yet there’s an edge there too. His eyes could suddenly fill up with doubt and paranoia, and that “aw shucks” drawl could just as easily strangle itself into a choked stammer. Both Anthony Mann and Alfred Hitchcock got him to tap into this and coaxed performances from him that are almost painful in their honesty. Stewart’s Howard Kemp is a real three dimensional character, a man who marched off to war to do his duty yet finds that in so doing he has ended up at war with himself. He’s driving himself to reverse the mistakes of the past while also loathing the kind of man he’s forced himself to become in the process. In contrast, Robert Ryan’s Vandergroat is a man at peace with himself; he knows he’s no good, he feels no regret for his past actions, and has no hesitation in turning any situation to his own advantage. Ryan was usually best when he was bad, and in this movie he turns on the charm as the unscrupulous student of human weakness to whom manipulation is second nature.
It’s always disappointing when a top movie is handed a less than ideal presentation. The R1 DVD of The Naked Spur from Warner Bros is not a terrible transfer, but it is weak. Clearly, there was no restoration done on this title, and while there isn’t any significant print damage visible there is a softness and lack of detail in the image. These muted visuals are especially noticeable in the long shots. Extras on the disc are confined to a couple of shorts and the theatrical trailer. Anyway, I feel this film remains the pick of the Mann/Stewart westerns, although that’s not to be taken as a criticism of the other films they made together. I’d just place it at the top of an already highly elevated group of films.