Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Dark Knight

Everyone needs to go see The Dark Knight, if you haven't seen it already. It was dark and disturbing. The Dark Knight is an excellent telling of Batman's struggles with himself, his enemies and his city. There were parts where I actually needed to hold Craig's hand; I could see the danger coming. I know Harvey Dent's potential for darkness and I know the Joker's sneaky subterfuge. I was waiting for the betrayal of Gordon's men and wasn't disappointed.


The new suit was fantastic. Christian Bale was fantastic. Heath Ledger was creepy, the most insane version of the joker I think I've ever seen. You could tell from the Joker's final lines that they wanted the possibility of bringing the Joker back in future Batman movies. I loved Two-Face’s face. It was like many of the cartoons and comics I’ve seen. Scary and wonderfully raw; one of my favourite things. The Joker too, the makeup was crazy! Each suit, each costume for all the characters, was so precise and individual, I can’t help but be amazed by it.

Am I gushing yet? I think I might be. The Dark Knight is breaking records and it should. It really is one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. You don’t need to have seen Batman Begins or really know anything about Batman to enjoy this movie. It exists for all movies lovers to enjoy.

Friday, July 18, 2008

A New Generation in Crayons

Seriously? Multi-cultural crayons? Is this a marketing ploy or a real chance at integration? I remember colouring with crayons as a kid. Your task is to draw a picture of your family. I find the "flesh" coloured crayon, thinking this doesn't look right. I quickly learned that I would have to seek out the brown crayons. Sadly, however, there was only one shade of brown. Family drawings as a little girl became not the simple activity I'm sure the teachers thought it was. I always finished the drawings, but they were never right and never left me with the intended positive feeling.

So now we have these multi-cultural crayons. All sorts of faces can be represented, supposedly. It's strange and funny and great and interesting all at the same time. The Grand and Toy tag line is: An assortment of skin hues that give children a realistic palette for colouring their world. Amazon.com’s product description is: Draw pictures of friends, relatives, and children from around the world with 8 colors: mahogany, apricot, peach, burnt sienna, sepia, tan, black, and white.

I've found some criticism of the black and white crayons being included in the box. (http://flickr.com/photos/hondawang/955690504/) According to Crayola, that's for "blending" which makes sense, right? An artist would agree?

I noticed the crayons while ordering supplies for my workplace. It just happens to have a similar product code to some tabbed dividers I needed. Just the sight of them brought up all these thoughts. What I want to know is: does the advent of these crayons mean that race matters less or more? One thing I know is that in my next drawing, I’d like to represent the many faces of my friends and family.

Below are a few places where you can purchase these crayons. They also have pictures and brief product descriptions.


Monday, July 14, 2008

Chance/Soon/Silence from Alice Munro’s Runaway

Could you wait around for a man’s wife to die?

Are your parents really who you remember them to be?

Can you predict how your children will turn out?

Chance, Soon and Silence are the second, third and fourth stories in Alice Munro’s Runaway collection. They each centre on the woman, Juliet, at three different stages of her life. In the first, Juliet is in her early twenties, a scholar and in love with a married man. Juliet is surprise by her own actions, but I don’t think I am. In Soon, she visits her parents. It is several years later and I think she is hoping to recapture some sort of feelings from her childhood, but so much has changed. Silence is an unexpected, yet surprising turn for her life. She started surrounded by “silence” and now she ends that way.

Each of Munro’s stories stand on their own. However, setting them in sequence allows some questions to be answered for the reader. It is an interesting way to look at an individual’s life, how things change; that something you would never have considered twenty years ago is so natural now. I do still wonder about Juliet’s daughter and the reasons for her actions. Perhaps in one of the future stories we will get to revisit her.

Sunday, July 06, 2008


What happened to little Flora? Is Carla going to snap? Is Clark really one of those men that abuses without the physical violence? What will happen to Sylvia? At the end of Runaway, Alice Munro’s first short story in the collection of the same title, I’m left with these questions.

Runaway is a brilliant beginning to the collection. It is thoughtful and interesting. It makes me eager to read the other stories. The ending, though leaving the reader with questions was perfectly crafted. Munro remains one of my favourite short story writers.