Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Receipt Diary 

Vacances du Québec
Dig a little deeper and you can expose the complete EXIF data for every photo taken.

For years I’ve kept receipts. They have piled up on dressers and side tables. On the surface I keep them in case I need proof of purchase for a return but more deeply, they are a record of my life. Paper print-outs of data that record where exactly you were at what time, doing exactly what. Paper fossil records of a day in the life. I’ve definitely missed some including items purchased where I refused a receipt or lost an inconsequential one (ice cream bought at a truck, items at a corner store, a fast food meal purchased with the tap of a debit card), not to mention use of things procured within a mobile phone app or on a tap-to-use transit card. Yet this marks a journey of just some of the data bread crumbs I’ve left behind. You can even garner the exact time the photos were taken (somehow that seemed like overkill - or I was too lazy to note it). I’ve added notes where I remembered the transaction but amazingly you forget what it was you were thinking or even doing despite having an actual record of it in your hand. This seems a little strange to share how much I spent and what I bought but it also feels “truer” if that makes sense? I’m not sure why I’m starting this on August 5? Maybe it was the first August receipt I could find. I’ve also included my activity data to fill in when I wasn’t buying something. It’s strange how there are very little impressions from these moments yet it feels like it adds up to something. This is how I spent August including a week on vacation in Québec.
Read more »

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Seen in July 

There are very few things I love more than escaping the summer heat by retreating into an air conditioned theatre to watch a movie about people enjoying the summer. In theatre there is a term, synecdoche, appropriately Greek in origin which is when a singular word or phrase is a stand in for a longer term or larger idea (like saying "Ottawa" when you really mean the entire system of the Canadian federal bureaucracy). Or when the curtain rises on an interior in a Manhattan apartment which is really a set on a stage in Toronto but we all just accept that we the audience are there, in an apartment in another city in another country. The set on the stage is a stand in for another place which is itself inside a place in city within a country. Of course, this shared self-delusion and layering of experience happens all the time in film and theatre. Perhaps it's even a stranger phenomenon in film when we are watching a movie set in London, that was really filmed in a Hollywood studio that we are watching in a theatre in Toronto. For me, the somehow "meta" synecdoche of watching summer movies in the summer only adds to its dreamy otherworldliness and transports me much more easily than say a plane or ferry to a faraway vacation spot. Here's some of the transport I took in July.

Dakota Johnson in A Bigger Splash

A Bigger Splash
Tilda Swinton is a vacationing rock star recovering from vocal chord surgery and enjoying a holiday with her filmmaker boyfriend on a beautiful and remote Italian island when an old flame, played by Ralph Fiennes shows up with his beautiful daughter (Dakota Johnson). Their unexpected arrival causes ripples then waves and ultimately, a dangerous storm. Based on the 1969 film La Piscine the movie reminds me of a lot of other summer dramas involving sunbathing, swimming, meals, music, dance and, of course, tension (like Stealing Beauty, L'Avventura or La Collectionneuse). Ralph Fiennes is great as the enthusiastic old lover hoping to somehow tip a happy relationship into disarray. Tilda Swinton is unbelievably ageless while Dakota Johnson is sort of annoyingly perfect as the overly confident and coy ingenue looking to push whatever boundaries exist.
Read more »

Labels: , , ,

Monday, August 01, 2016

Summer is a Girl 

Haydée Politoff in Eric Rohmer's La Collectionneuse represents the kind of girl the protagonist says he has no interest in, despite being seemingly obsessed with her.

Summer is a girl on a bike, gliding effortlessly, brown shoulders bared with her hair blowing in lazy loose wisps and a tattoo dripping down her thigh. Summer is an ice cream that started to melt before the first sting of cold even touched your lips. Summer is when you savour the last rays of daylight like a candy you let dissolve on your tongue. Summer is the flutter of birch leaves and the dappled sunlight diffused beneath its branches. Summer should be warm cheeks and cool breezes, sudden storms, fresh cracked cans of beer, the spit of a sizzling steak and the electric hum of cicadas. It should be air from open windows disturbing papers while fans throb and sweating glasses leave rings on tabletops.
Read more »

Labels: , ,