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Monthly Archives: April 2011

The modern dance class brought me up today.  It’s good.  I asked the instructor of the class if I could videotape in the future a dance I choreographed as a duet. She said yes. Glad. I asked if we might have a gathering for the dance class after it’s finished in July. I said I’d help organize.  She said yeah.  I felt glad.

Had lunch at the Women’s Centre, a Spring lunch it said.

Obtained 5 dvds at the Central Library which I watch each week.  This last time, Germany Year Zero, 1947, a feature drama written by Roberto Rossellini, Carlo Lizzani and  Max Kolpe was the best of 5.  Film – black and white  and neo realist.  Just never know how a film will turn out to be. Saw 2 books,  The True Story of Jac Holzman’s Visionary Record Label, Elektra by Mick Houghton and Roman Polanski: A Life in Exile by  Julia Ain-Krupa.  Elektra signed the Doors.

I made the skytrain before 3 p.m.  Crowded.  With the newer skytrains room is roomier and ride is smoother.  Old cars are bumpier and throw me around on curves with the bike.  Old skytrain cars feel crammed.  A blonde woman about 26-30 years old walked in with her boyfriend. I had to stand with my bike on the skytrain.  Sometimes at that hour not many people ride the skytrain.  There’s room to sit with the bike.  This time I couldn’t. I stood in various ways and moved my bike to get out of the way of people.  Unusually crowded.  At New West Minister, a young guy had to get out.  The cable for his headset caught on my bike handle.  I moved it aside so that he didn’t have to ruin his cable. It worked out fast.  I said, did it.  Then I decided to sit down.  I knew the blonde woman was saying something about me. She whispered in his ear and laughed a little. I caught her in the act. I looked at her, stared at her and her boyfriend very hard.  They stared at me, but then they quit staring at me. They said nothing to me.  She looked away.  She couldn’t look at me straight in the eye.  I lasted longer without flinching.  I have done that to kids who stare too much at me when they don’t need to.  Young kids turn their gaze away from me.  My silent way to combat a person who makes fun of me or who dislikes what they see.  I do not know why this woman did that.  Smelled of racism though.  Has that happened to you ever?  I asked my partner that question ever in his life, has it happened. He said no. People coil up.  Cannot take being stared at. Why do people make fun of people?  Because they want to appear superior.  Even at my age of 62 this happens?  Can you believe that?  Definitely I am a person of color with my dark brown skin.

It reminds me of the students at California State University at Long Beach. They wrote a racist article about Native people and the Pow Wow. It happened in early April. However it was not beautiful at all.

So that’s what I meant when I said, the modern dance class brought me up.  I do real well in class. Even the teacher says so.  When I go into the class, all the ugliness of the world disappears.  I do not feel it. My films and videos will change the world is how I’ll combat racism, too.

Watched a film on dvd, the White Dove, 1960, by Frantisek Vlacil, a Czech filmmaker.  What a filmmaker.  Luved his stuff. I saw 2 of his. White Dove had great cinematography  just out of this world.  Have to see his stuff.  Wow.  I saw this other one called Father and Son, 2003, a Russian filmmaker, Alexander Sokuruv. Similar. There wasn’t any great climax typical of many films with climaxes, the monster gets killed.   All these styles and films validate what I did with the Graffiti. It didn’t have that grand climax either.  It wasn’t liked as much because it didn’t have it. It’s expected with most films to have that.  American audiences or should I say North American audiences expect a lot of action and a lot of typicalness.  Now I understand the dislike.  When I understand, I am  less anxious and angry.  These 2 filmmakers didn’t have that, too; yet they screened at Cannes, well at least the Russian filmmaker did.   If I hadn’t seen those 2 films, their styles of filmmaking, I think I would’ve felt lost for a long time, but now I know.   That’s all.  So it’s good to look at various movies. I find my answers there.  Far far with the Europeans  I view from the 60’s I share a commonality  of film-video aesthetics with them.  I see the world, write and shoot with the camera in a similar way. Just saw La Strada again.  I luved it too.  Not many happy endings for me but it’s cool.

Mark and I biked today near Elgin Park. We sat in the sun near a swampy river in White Rock.

I really luv my modern dance class that meets every Wednesday morning in Vancouver. I will try to obtain permission to shoot it. The modern dance class creates a lot of meaning for me in my life a lot.

Michael Jackson sings and plays on the internet radio. I move to the beat of his song as I work on my blog, a tune which is very danceable.

There were pictures here but none anymore.  The software went out of business. Left it in a mess.  I will never do that again.  Trust stuff like that.  Leaves pictures undone.  Have to fix it.  It was in a slide show is what it was.  I use to show myself at the dance class, pink tree with pink flowers which signifies Spring, Vancouver landscapes: thick, fluffy clouds mixed with blue sky, a sky typical of this place,  an orange building which houses a Jimi Hendrix homage,, Crab Park Beach,  snow capped mountains across the water, East Vancouver, Vancouver city sunsets, Vancouver with snow at Pigeon Park in the Lower East Side.  Fog in Surrey. Surrey when it snowed in February. I went out and took pictures the same night.  Pictures of snow are so different than the regular landscape.  Regular landscape looks so dull sometimes. White snow reflects more light which creates a brighter light. Small kitten tabbies, Ninja Pants sleeps and Marie Baker and myself.  Marie visited Vancouver.  She had a reading in Vancouver.

Really have not kept up this blog when I should. Sorry. Has been hard to do.

Lately I attend a modern dance class in Vancouver which begins every Wednesday morning.  I like dance a lot.The dance class started in January 2011. In July we will perform our choreographed dances.  Had not taken a dance in such a long time. The last time I took a dance class where students met for at least 3 months straight, might have been at UCLA dance department in the mid-80’s.  Otherwise, the dance classes I have taken were here and there for an hour and half such as at the Round House, Dupree in West Hollywood (which no longer exists in LA) and other places. Roundhouse has good teachers who teach various types of dance. There is another dance class in town for low income people. I observed it and took it once, but I did not like it.  It was not my style.  Besides the dance class was held inside a cold, dark gymnasium.  The dance class I take now is warm, not cold and natural light floods into the class which I like. I can handle that.  Most of the students are women and my age.  Some are younger.  I like the mix.  One white guy, Neal takes the class.  Glad a guy takes the class. He is the only guy open minded enough to withstand women like us. He is surrounded by women.

This last Wednesday, March 30 we rehearsed the dances we made up from four movements and at different levels. For example if  the dance moves low to the ground, then choreograph another set opposite of low, which is high level.  The teacher paired us with people as duets.  Fun.  I did not get to view the dance I created with the person I was paired with.  Some of the combinations are balletic and little complex.  I do not practice ballet movements constantly, which is part of it.  Ballet is not my forte. Rusty.  I thought, too when I viewed all the other choreographed dances, some people can choreograph real well, although they are not professional dancers or choreographers.  I like the choreography a lot. At the end of class I showed Neal a step that needed to be practiced.  If a person understands a bit of it and before he/she does not hardly understand any of it, for sure it is a big deal. He understood the steps better after running through it 4-5 times.

Also, working on my Indigenous Women Filmmakers’ Conference idea.  Hard work.  Learning in particular about the history of why the Indigenous women in United States do not make as many dramas such as feature dramas or venture off into the other lesser known genres as animation, comedies and other forms.  Canadian Indigenous women filmmakers make more short dramas and feature films.  I have learned that I have to look and investigate more of the greater picture than just the film and video history.  This will help myself and the proposal once I try to write it up.  Instead of being  impatient about the reason Indigenous women from United States do not make many dramas yet, this information  helps to understand and accept the circumstance of it.

The personal life I have to look after.  Lot of stuff.  A step at a time to fix things.

If I want to do something or create something, I try for it and it is why things happen sometimes in a positive way for me.  Not every time do things happen, but I try.  It makes a difference.  Hard to upkeep it. Sometimes I only have a few days to write up something; for example a grant because I may find out information about a grant within a week or so.  Or I read about details to enter a film festival or grant within a week.  The brain has to work fast, set it up, write, and get the written pieces into the mail or send it off on line on time. Have to try for grants and things. Just finished a grant called the Purpose Prize, an award for people over 60.  I turned it in last night.  HARD TO DO. I am setting up another try,  a short one  for a song writing contest.  I shall see about that.

Also I watch dvd feature films a lot checked out from the Vancouver Central Library.  I take the dvds back every Wednesday. This viewing of films also aides the research of the Indigenous Women Filmmakers’ Conference idea.  I have always watched films and documentaries a lot all my life, but now I have been reading what other writers write about the filmmaker, the country the film stems from and period of time.  Also the history of filmmaking and viewing of films helps to decide what I want to do next with the drama, my own stuff. Ideas churn definitely for sure. Been viewing a lot of films by European male filmmakers such as latest Adleheid released in 69 and written by Vladimir Korner and Frantisek Viacil, Czech filmmakers, which I viewed last Friday, 26 and Saturday, 27. I like films made by women but very few women make feature dramatic films; however,  more and more women write, direct and produce feature films.  Filmmaking business is a patriarchal white business, which is why few women and particularly women of color do not produce as many feature dramatic films in this world as the men: sexism, censorship and prejudice.  However, I read in March 2011 issue of Glamour magazine that  men tend to promote themselves more than the women artists.   Women artists are paid less for their pieces.  I wondered if the promotion characteristic carries over into the filmmaking world.  I know for myself that I do not promote myself a lot compared to other women. I should do more. Perhaps  male filmmakers promote themselves more than the women?  The more I read and ask about artists, film, video, television, promotion of self and etc. in the film-video and art world, the better it gets and the better I understand.

Films viewed which I liked a lot so far:

Pierrot Le Fou, French film written and directed by Jean Luc Godard, released in 65.

Mouchette, French film released in 67.

Padre Padrone, Italian film written by Paulo and Vittorio Taviani, released in 77.

Camera Buff, Polish film written by Krzysztof Kieslowski, released in 79.

Bitter Sugar, Cuban film  released in 96

BridesMaid, French film released in 04.

Gilles’ Wife, French film released in 05.

& others.