Waves ’98

I caught this on Mubi, a Lebanese short film (a Cannes Palme d’or winner) that’s mostly animated, but mixing in a few live-action/photographic elements. It has a dream-like or poetic structure, and so narratively I didn’t find much to latch on, but I really loved the visuals on show, beautifully animated.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle

I was pretty excited to watch this — as I wrote when I re-watched The Secret Service not that long ago, I liked it much more the second time around, and was now hyped for more. Overall, I can say I enjoyed it, especially the action sequences which are all top notch (especially that car fight at the beginning). I also really did like the portrayal of Statesmen — the American version of Kingsman — and wouldn’t mind seeing them more in a future entry (if that happens). I did feel that some sequences ran a bit long, in that when I’m watching a film like this I don’t really care about character development (seeing Harry take so long to get his memory back really was a bore), but they jammed in enough fun eye candy and enjoyable action that it didn’t detract too much from my enjoyment. I also found Poppy to be a more fun villain than Samuel L. in the first one, who I couldn’t stand.

Good Morning, Vietnam

I came into this expecting the laughs, and it is indeed still incredibly funny — probably the funniest Williams performance in a movie? — but I’d forgotten (or didn’t appreciate at the time) the fact that it’s really well shot. There are quite a few sequences where I was really struck by how interesting  and beautiful (beauty out of the horror) a particular scene was on a visual level. I also really appreciate that the majority of the non-American cast are not only Vietnamese, but also many struggle with the language, giving it a heightened level of realism (versus the typical Hollywood act of slotting in American-Asian actors no matter the nationality). Very much recommended.

GameLoop & GCX

Today was an enjoyable day, taking in Montreal’s annual GameLoop “unconference” — “unconference” in the sense that as a group we crowdsource the sessions for the day, with each session then acting as a salon-type discussion.

After leaving Japan and moving to Montreal, it’s taken a while for me to decide to start attending this sort of event again. It was a big part of my life in Tokyo — from running the PechaKucha Night series there, my PauseTalk series, and then other types of talk events and workshops I organized throughout the years (and then there are all the events that I attended as part of the audience).

But after the move, my new goal was to concentrate on my new career path (working in the games industry) — you could also add to that the lack of knowledge I had about the creative scene here in Montreal. Then, a couple of months ago I finally decided to check out one of the events organized by the Mount-Royal Gaming Society, Art-UP (also prompted by the fact that my friend Renaud Bédard was one of the presenters), and it not only scratched the itch I had to experience this sort of event, it also made me want more, both in terms of attending and in terms of organizing.

It prompted me to reach out to the person (Nicolas Marier) who was organizing the long-in-hiatus PechaKucha Night series in Montreal, and not only did we hit it off on our first meeting, but it looks like things are brewing in a positive way to reactivate the series.

I then attended the Canadian Gaming Expo, with a day of talks that I found to be hugely inspiring (mostly revolving around indie game studios) — and it was nice to see a few of those presenters as participants in today’s GameLoop event.

It’s good to be bathing myself again in this sort of knowledge sharing — something I try to participate in and push at work as well — and I’m hoping that I’ll get to have a hand in organizing and supporting more events here too.