Hello! People OK!… Separating The Art from the Celebrity (Cross Talk Ep. 31)

Did you hear about what Olivia Munn and Chris Pratt? They might be dating now, and you better believer that Anna Faris is pissed off!

Celebrity gossip, and more importantly, celebrity meltdowns seem to be a fairly commonplace event, don’t they, dear readers? I do my best not to get too involved in celebrity news and hype, but it’s kind of everywhere, and almost impossible to avoid if you have any interest in staying on top of albums, movies or news related to those forms of art. And when you are a cultivator of the arts, like good ol’ timotheories, even more so.

But this is not a rant post. Let’s  make that clear.

For whatever reason, the performing arts seem to draw a lot more attention and drama then say, being a sculptor or a painter. Though I have my suspicions that it’s not simply a black and white matter of these people searching for publicity or having deep-seated psychological issues which haven’t been dealt with yet (I guess those two ideas aren’t mutually exclusive either). The truth is, people are far more complicated then we could assess, and when we focus in on an individual the task becomes impossible. And so trying to simplify someone into their actions is a difficult affair.

Regardless of those considerations, we still have to consume this art and decide if it has merit. As the old adage goes, even doing nothing is making a choice.

This can be a difficult assignment given what I just mentioned on the behaviourisms of celebrities. Sex, drugs, rock ‘n roll, and murder… Which of these proclivities are acceptable and which of them prevent you from enjoying a comedy that OJ Simpson featured in? Can you separate the artist from their art? And does it matter if Shia Lebouf likes to wear paper bags and nude leotards?

That’s the topic of today on Cross Talk – Where Chris and I attempt with a level of sincerity to tackle the topic and figure out if liking Charlie Sheen is still okay or if he’s on the same level as Mel Gibson.

Hit the link below or head over to my YouTube channel to see for yourself.

theories Summarized

We might not have answered that question perfectly, but I for one am still having a hard time watching Mel Gibson and Johnny Depp without seeing their character flaws, regardless of how good they are at directing films or acting in them. But what do you think? And are there better examples out there of celebrities behaving badly that we need to address?

Like the video if you enjoyed, leave a comment if you have some thoughts, and subscribe if you want to see more from us. And come back tomorrow for an album review.


Truth, Records, and Goodwill (Brendon Greene, musician and record label owner interview)

We already know that vinyl records have seen a resurgence in recent years. Likely because collecting music is still an incredible enjoyable hobby, and even though music is even more readily accessible then it ever has been in the history of humankind, people are going to focus on specific sources of musical talent and just absorb what is within their radar. After all, it takes a lot of work to go diving for new music.

Believe me I would know. I Source the internet every week to find a new album to review, one that’s interesting, accessible and just plain entertaining to listen to. But the reality is that music taste is even more subjective then film or fine art.

So imagine being someone who manage a record label. You have to be fairly relaxed, forward thinking, and dedicated to the art in order to keep up with all of the demands. Plus if you’re a grass roots organization like Conscious Collective Entertainment you’ll also want to promote local up and comers, and hopefully maintain a community based imaged.

A musician himself, Brendon Greene has a lot say about why he has decided to have a record label – He started playing guitar 17 years ago, and began teaching guitar 14 years ago. In 2015 he also ran in the provincial and federal election for the Green Party. Immediately deciding upon the end of the campaign that he wanted to learn more about the management of artists, and production. So he incorporated Conscious Collective Entertainment. And he works for Goodwill Industries. AND has slowly been adding artists to his label. Don Bartlett (Modern Fingerstyle, Harp Guitar), Christiana Munch (Classical Fingerstyle), and a punk band called For The County.

If it’s not apparent yet, Brendon loves to teach music and he’ll do you one better. He also wants to help you get a record mixed and distributed for a realistic price too. He believes in stewardship and the value of a good mentor. I personally think he is a pillar for the community but I’ll leave that up to your discretion.

Plus, the interview has even more detail on how to get out there as a musician.

It was a a lot of fun talking with this guy about his business, he has so much passion, and a lot of great insights. I learnt a lot from him too!

I’d love it if you left a comment, and if you liked this artist interview leave one and then share it with a friend or two. Better yet, go visit Conscious Collective and Brendon on Facebook and Instagram, respectively – he’ll appreciate the visit.


And special thanks to Brendon for being bold, brave and brilliant. When it comes to passionate mentorship for burgeoning musicians, this Greene knows how to party with the best of them. It’s a new theory for 2018.


Folding Paper Into Shape (In This Corner of the World review)

Paper is such a beautiful substance. Capable of so much expression, but entirely dependant upon communication and engagement support from whoever it interacts with. This film is like paper in all of it’s glory.


In This Corner of the World (2016)

Cast: Yoshimasa Hosoya, Laura Post, Jason Palmer, Todd Haberkorn, Rena Nounen
Director: Sunao Katabuchi
released on blu-ray November 14, 2017
********* 9/10

IMDB: 7.9
Rotten Tomatoes: 98%, Audience Score 95%
The Guardian: ***/*****

Sunao Katabuchi is a Japanese director, writer and voice actor of anime film, with over 30 years of experience in both film and television production. Having been active since the mid 1980s, Katabuchi is best known for his work on Kiki’s Delivery Service, Black Lagoon, Mai Mai Miracle, and most recently In This Corner of the World. He is married to fellow director of anime Chie Uratani, and keeps a fairly modest life outside of the lime light.

In This Corner of the World was co-written by Katabuchi and his wife, but he did take upon full directorial duties for this film. It is set in between 1930s-1940s Japan, focusing on areas of Kure and Hiroshima. It is a brilliantly executed film that depicts how war changes the traditional culture of Japan through the eyes of house-wife Suzu. While it might seem quite mundane in it’s depiction of life in a generational home, the emotional weight of what takes place during those years demands a complete cross-section.

Courtesy of Wikipedia

A young woman named Suzu, who is innocent and loves drawing, lives in a seaside town called Eba in Hiroshima City. In 1944, 18-year-old Suzu, working for her grandmother’s small family business of cultivating Nori (edible sea weed), is told by her parents that an unknown young man has come to propose marriage to her. The man, whose name is Shūsaku, lives in Kure City, a large naval port city 15 miles away from Hiroshima City, as a navy civilian. Suzu decides to marry him and moves to join Shūsaku’s family in Kure. As Suzu adjusts to her new life in Kure, the threat of the Pacific War slowly begins to encroach on the daily lives of the townspeople.

Suzu, as a young housewife in a Tonarigumi,[c] takes turns overseeing food distribution and attends training against air raids. Like other Japanese housewives, she makes women’s trousers fit for emergency evacuation by cutting traditionally designed clothing, such as kimonos, into parts. As officially allocated food becomes scarce, Suzu looks for any way to feed her family, picking edible plants and trying recommended recipes. The family build the air-raid shelter in the garden. Her daily lives are full of humorous and lovely episodes.

The family house of Suzu & Shūsaku is located on a hillside in the suburbs of Kure, with a view of the Japanese Naval Fleet in the harbor, including the largest battleships, Yamato and Musashi. One day, as Suzu draws pictures of floating warships, the military police accost her and come close to accusing her of espionage. In December 1944, a navy sailor named Tetsu comes to visit Suzu: he was a childhood friend of hers, and he has been assigned to the Japanese cruiser Aoba, which is stationed in Kure. Understanding it might be Suzu’s last chance to see Tetsu alive, Shūsaku leaves them alone to talk without a chaperone. The next spring, Shūsaku is drafted by the Navy and temporarily quartered with troops in Otake City, 40 miles away from Kure.

In July, urban areas of Kure are firebombed, and most of the city burns. Suzu is nearly killed by a U.S. low-level strafing run, but saved by Shūsaku. Like many other Japanese, Suzu is unable to avoid tragedy; in addition to the death of her brother Yōichi, Suzu loses her niece, Harumi, and her right hand, which she describes as an “irreplaceable” part of her body due to its dominance. As she suffers from depression, Suzu debates returning to the relative safety of her hometown (Eba) in Hiroshima City in time for the local summer festival on August 6; when she is unable to see a doctor, however, she decides to stay an extra week in Kure.

Soon, Suzu learns what has occurred in Hiroshima City; a new, devastating bomb has fallen on the town, destroying countless citizens and buildings in Hiroshima City. For a while, Suzu is unable to enter or get information about her hometown.

A few days later, in a radio address, the Emperor of Japan announces the end of the War. Soon, the times begin to change rapidly: US occupation forces, no longer the enemy, come to Kure and provide food for its citizens. Suzu visits her grandmother Ito’s family house in Kusatsu,[d] a rural town to the west of Hiroshima and out of the affected area, to see her sister Sumi, who took refuge from deserted Hiroshima and is the only survivor of Suzu’s family. Sumi informs Suzu of the fate of their parents; Sumi herself has fallen seriously ill from the radiation left behind by the atomic‐bomb radiation. Shūsaku, who returns from his naval service, meets with Suzu by chance in a deserted area of Hiroshima and tells her that he has found a new job. They come across a little girl, a war (atomic bomb) orphan struggling to survive in the ruins after losing her mother, and adopt her into their home in Kure. Suzu regains her passion for life slowly, with the courage and affection of her friends and family. As the credits roll, their adopted daughter is shown growing up in Suzu & Shūsaku’s family home, sewing clothes with her own hands, aided by Suzu in peaceful post-war Japan.

It is an affecting and carefully constructed story which does an excellent job of showcasing Suzu’s life before and during the second World War. I’ll admit that it is challenging to watch the story and not immediately predict how it will impact Suzu, knowing she is from Hiroshima, but that doesn’t make the events any less significant, or emotional.

Pros: Beautifully animated, with deliberate detail drawn upon from historical photographs and documentation, including those families that live on the hills above the city. The daily routines of the family are entertaining and painful to observe with the change.

Cons: As much as I hate to say this, the film does seem to drag on, it might be because the plot is so plain in construction without much detail of goings on a national or international scale. But it intriguing to see how the surrender of Japan feels through Suzu’s eyes – one of anger rather then relief.

Runtime: 2 hours 10 minutes

Points of Interest: The movie was inspired by a graphic novel, and there is an extended cut of the film in the works which hopes to expand upon the details of supporting characters and Suzu’s own feelings about her unique circumstances in time.

What I also enjoyed about this film so much was the relationship established between realistic animation and more expressive surreal moments. This is intentional as Suzu is herself an artist and a daydreamer. It might seem trivial, but when a film can capture the essence of a character through other tools then dialogue, it’s a huge win in my books.

theories Summarized

Movies don’t always have to be full of astounding visual effects, violence or ambient sound to produce a result. For a film to be gentle and unfocused like it’s protagonist Suzu is as much of a conscious decision with consequence as giving an unfeeling assassin or a zany pirate the microphone. I didn’t know I wanted to hear this story, but I’m glad I gave it a chance. Otherwise I would have missed a historical drama that happens to be animated.

That said and speaking of paper, we need to do an about-face and get back into the realm of comedy ASAP because Andre and I have an amazing review to make on the cult classic Office Space. Seriously such a funny movie. It’s so funny that both of us cracked up at several moments as we fumbled our way through it. Watch it!


Creative Parenting (Amanda Wall interview)

Last Sunday I shared a preview of an interview with an illustrator and graphic designer who I’ve known for a quite a few years. She is one of my personal inspirations and she regularly sets a high standard for commitment to her craft.

When I become a parent one day, I can only hope to be as gracious and dedicated to parenting, married life, and art making as this lady does. And she’s a few years my junior to boot.

That’s right, with an exclusive shoot, I’m ready to share the full length and well documented official interview with Amanda Wall.

In case you missed it last week, I wrote about a specific example of Amanda’s skill, which benefits greatly her ability to delegate regularly. No matter what she’s in the midst of this lady is committed – Amanda is a full-time freelance designer, who also stays at home with her son. She is passionate about life. That might seem super vague, but let me explain in greater detail; Amanda loves to produce work related to health and wellness, life events, social issues and the eclectic. She services clients from home, whether a business or an individual.

A graduate of Grant MacEwan University with certification in design and a diploma in illustration, she has been working in the industry for almost decade. And if you were to ask small Wall Riley, there are a set of credentials there that justify the title of Mom too.

Also, I was fortunate enough to get an opportunity to try out on location interviewing for the first time ever with Amanda, so don’t be surprised at the different environment, embrace it. Her kitchen and dining room are really nice, and well lit. Don’t believe me? Hit the picture below to check it out for yourself.

Told you that was going to be a good one. Aesthetically pleasing, mentally inspiring, and otherwise entertaining, I couldn’t have asked for a better hostess my first time off campus. And Riley was very accommodating too, can’t forget to thank him for his patience.

But what did you think? Did you enjoy the theme this time around? Are you a creative professional with something to say? Hit me up for a chance to do your own interview and get your voice heard, because timotheories isn’t just about me, it’s about you too.

And special thanks for Amanda for being amazing, appropriate, and available to meet!


Stop To Smell The Flowers (Amanda Wall, preview interview)

Outsourcing has become a major way to do business in the age of communication.

And as Ferris Bueller once said,

Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once and a while, you could miss it.

What that means for artists, is that it’s actually in our best interest to embrace the idea of outsourcing. Finding ways to trade off certain tasks for the sake of other ones, like making our art, for instance.

But what if you’re a parent AND an artist? Well, you have to figure out optimal ways to live for both of your passions.

Amanda Wall is a full-time freelance designer, who also stays at home with her son. She manages her business and keeps her son Riley engaged with all sorts of different activities, while her husbands works a day job. She is the kind of artist that finds double duty is the best way to accomplish her goals. And she is more than happy to delegate duties out when needed. Whether its meeting a deadline for a client in the service industry or finding time to go to the park and play with the kid, Amanda has a vice grip on life and she won’t let go of either of her two loves.

She’s figured out how to get the most out of her work, family time, and other responsibilities without sacrificing one for the other. It might help that she sometimes likes to think of Riley as a desk-mate, one she works with rather than against.

It’s an inspiring conversation, and this is just a small sample of life as an artist with a small Wall. So take a peek and learn what Amanda has to say when I ask her about outsourcing aspects of her business versus her household responsibilities.

She really does make things optimal, without having to stick to a rigid structure. Like so many of the moms I’ve met in my life, Amanda is an expert juggler with a great sense of empathy, and she’s happy to bring out the flowers when opportunity strikes.

Another week knocked out of the park my friends, and stay with me this week while we explore the city, get some inspiration from figures associated with Space, take a safety dance, review an album by Wilsen, and then dig into the real meat of this Amanda Wall interview, it’s gonna be a fantastic leg into the finish of May. What a week for theories!