Learning To Keep Pace (Cross Talk Ep. 14)

Christmas drives me absolutely nuts dear readers. I have to run around at a breakneck pace in order to keep up with all of the events, people, and deadlines. And that doesn’t even factor in my day job or running timotheories dot com. Now to be fair, I’m not telling you this to ask for sympathy, because the fact of the matter is that we are all running around like idiots.

It’s the nature of the beast. Every year Christmas gets bigger and bigger, We want to tap into that nostalgia, fuel the fire of Christmas cheer, and be even more generous with our giving. It’s enough to make you sick. In fact, I bet dollars to doughnuts, that a large number of us are going to get sick just as the madness settles down and we are able to enjoy the day.

It’s Murphy’s Law. Anything that can happen will happen. But what if there is a happy medium my friends?

What if you don’t have to be the tortoise or the hare? What if I were to tell you that pacing does matter and that you can achieve it? Well you’d probably tell me that I’m nuts.

Tortoise and hare

But here’s the thing, when it comes to art, we all know that old adage, about it imitating life, and the best films have incredibly tight pacing, no matter who you ask.

In case you don’t know what pacing means in film, I’m going to share a little quote with you from Wikipedia;

All time arts – music, dance, drama, film – are enormously concerned with pacing – with rhythm or tempo. As the film director translates events in a script into actions that make up scenes and sequences, that is, as the director shapes the actors’ performances and stages the other actions in front of the camera, one of his paramount concerns is pacing, making the action swell, subside, and swell again. The director does this to keep the scene from losing its energy and intensity. Later, after the shooting is over, the director, working with the film editor, will further control, construct, and perfect the pacing in the way he builds shots into scenes and sequences.

In order for life to flow properly, there needs to be proper transitions and rates of change. When you run a mile a minute for a month straight, life is gonna course correct you in turn. HARD.

This is probably one of my favourite topics when it comes to film; Chris and I are stoked to talk about it, and you can really see the passion between us flair up quick when we discuss the importance of pacing in a film. Both Andre and Singh backed out of this one, because they couldn’t handle the heat. It should be a good one. timotheories presents episode fourteen of Cross Talk.

And now I’m theoried out for the year my creative cuties. Check back over the next four days for a couple of Christmas themed movie and music reviews, some wisdom on the season, and a convenient update. Otherwise, please comment, subscribe, and share this video with friends. We want to hear your feedback!

Tim!

Fa La La La La, La La, La La (The Singing Christmas Tree)

This Christmas season dear readers, I decided to start a NEW positive tradition for myself. And so far, it’s gone over pretty well.

Now, I realize I can’t really call it a tradition until I’ve been doing it for a few years in sequence at the very least, but the event I was originally going to embrace was the holiday spirit.

Yeah, that looks weird upon second viewing.

I’m gonna run with it though. So gaining holiday spirit and participating more fully in all of the things going on in the city is important to me to foster community. With the intent of relaying more value on Christmas and showcasing the creative talents so many people throw into supporting a holiday of peace and goodwill I think I found the perfect event that demonstrates these ideas. But given the new state of affairs, I may or may not have ramped up my efforts INFINITELY MORESO because I met a special someone recently.

buddy-the-elf-activities

That’s right folks, my new girlfriend is a lover of all things Christmas. So I said to myself, I said “Tim, you need to buck up and enjoy Christmas more than before,” and so far, sooooo good friends.

As a for instance, we decided this week to check out The 47th Annual Singing Christmas Tree at the Jubilee Auditorium. Believe it or not, I’ve never been to this event in all of my years – I’ve lived in Edmonton my whole life folks and I’ve never been to this event before. I think it helps that my girl is bffs with one of the Singing Christmas Tree singers, Candice Ryan. And Candice has a solo performance in the show too. What this means is that I have to pay special attention to one spot of the 35 foot tall Christmas tree to ensure I give proper feedback on her performance and then I can somewhat relax when she is on stage by herself, well, because it’ll be easier for my ears to jusge and less of a visual distraction for my eyes.

Candice is also the new morning disc jockey at CFWE Radio, which is pretty cool, but that’s more of an aside then particularly relevant to this post. Just a thing a good boyfriend should remember.

Now, if you’re like me and you don’t know very much about The Singing Christmas Tree, I’ll fill you in. As previously mentioned, The Singing Christmas Tree has been around for quite a long time and features a choir of over 150 singers, a live orchestra, incredible sets and costumes, and an assortment of performances that include dancing, acrobatics and solo singing performances. All of these is themed around Christmas classics, and taking place between December 15-18 at the Northern Jubilee Auditorium (11455 87 Ave Edmonton, AB T6G 2T2), this is one of those family friendly events that always generates a ton of excitement.

Even better, all of the net proceeds go to the Edmonton Singing Christmas Tree Foundation, which is set up to give music education, food and gifts to children in need. It’s pretty neat.

As I share this with you, I am in the midst of the first performance, so keep your voices down, I’m trying to enjoy the show.

Tim!

I Know What I Know, You Know? (timotheories December 2016)

 

Everybody loves Christmas right? Something something winter wonderland.

Well, all I really know is that it has finally snowed in Edmonton and in a sizeable fashion. AND because I started a new relationship recently with a wonderful lady, literally everything is magic. It’s magic dammit!

So many feels too.

Speaking of feels, I declare it officially appropriate to do your Christmas(y) things now.

emiej

Which means that it’s also important I invest a little of my blog calendar to Christmas related activities and culture, because after all, I’m as white as the damn snow and this is what I know. Rhyme unintended, but conveniently placed for effect. Also, I’d like to give you all fair warning that I will be taking the last week of December off for Christmas and New Years, and to reflect upon the past year, potentially to also come up with some cool ideas for 2017. And maybe watch a metric ton of movies.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet.

*Disclaimer* As always, every week I purchase an album and movie one week ahead of the actual review release and while I have the best intentions, I don’t always get what I want… so if you follow me on instagram (@timotheories) you can actually see what’s coming.

timotheories summarized – December

Stimulating Sundays – (12/04) Georg Rockall-Schmidt, (12/11) Cross Talk Ep.14, (12/18) Cross Talk Ep. 15
Melodic Mondays – (12/05) The Weeknd, (12/12) The Rolling Stones, (12/19) Michael Buble
Theatrical Tuesdays – (12/06) Hell or High Water, (12/13) Don’t Think Twice, (12/20) Die Hard
Wisdom Wednesdays – (12/07) Jobs, (12/14) Arnold Schwarzenegger, (12/21) Good Will
Timely Thursday – (12/01) timotheories December, (12/08) Megan Warkentin exhibition, (12/15) Singing Christmas Tree, (12/22) Christmas

Can you believe it dear readers, friends, and creative cuties? The year of all killer, no filler is drawing to a close. That means I need to come up with a new theme soon, but for now, let’s look at what’s on the menu for December…

christmas-dinner-table-1442583220gac

There are some great album and film reviews lined up, and a couple of Xmas themed classics for your enjoyment too. Then the wisdom continues as I read a book by Arnold Schwarzenegger for starters, I’ll  continue my series on the OECD index about health and well-being with some thoughts on “jobs”, and then I’ll cap it off with some theories on good will. Our timely entries for the month feature my friend Megan’s graduation exhibition, a couple of Christmas events, and oddly enough, the day in particular.

I already know I’m on the naughty list for not following through with twelve unique interviews each month in 2016, but let’s be honest with ourselves folks, these interview previews have really taken off, eh? And Georg has such a wealth of information that I just HAD to give him two preview clips last month, so now we top off his entry proper with a legit full-length interview.

What about Cross Talk you say? Everyone’s always wondering about Cross Talk. Well Cross Talk isn’t going anywhere, in fact I’m gonna keep adjusting the group rotation and really aim for a weekly rotation into 2017, but for now I’ve got Episode 14 and 15 in the can, heck, we might even see about Episode 16 if I can squeeze it in somewhere… pacing, essentials, and wisdom for sure.

That’s literally all of the theories I have left in 2016, you magical makers. I want you to pat yourselves on the back for making it this far, and really enjoy this month. We’ve got some great stuff lined up, and now is the best time to give the gift of subscribing to the blog, sharing it with friends, leaving some helpful comments, and contacting me to let me know what you love, what you hate, and how you relate.

Spreading the love the only way I know how. With theories.

 

Tim!

One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other Ones (The Night Before review)

Christmas movies are an interesting topic, because what constitutes a “Christmas” movie can vary by opinion. But the general idea is that a movie has to open no later than November (American Thanksgiving) and the story has to take place inside of the holiday season.

Whether the story is about Christmas itself is where the debate opens up, but fortunately for us, this week’s review is safely within that criteria.

 

 

 

The Night Before (2015)

Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anthony Mackie, Jillian Bell, Lizzy Caplan, Miley Cyrus
Director: Jonathan Levine
released on blu-ray March 1, 2016
****** 6/10

The-Night-Before-Movie-Poster-001

IMDB: 6.6
Rotten Tomatoes: 67%, Audience Score 67%
The Guardian: **/*****

Jonathan A. Levine is an American film director and screenwriter. He has directed 6 feature films to date, and the one you’re most likely to have seen is 50/50, which also happens to star Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen. It’s a great movie about the trials of cancer both from the perspective of the friend with cancer and the friend without.

And that movie wouldn’t exist if The Wackness hadn’t done so well at the Sundance, LA and Melbourne film festivals.

So what is The Night Before about?

Taken from IMDB and edited,

Ethan Miller (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) lost his parents in a car accident on Christmas eve 2001. His best friends Isaac Greenberg (Seth Rogen) and Chris Roberts (Anthony Mackie) start a tradition to hang out every Christmas Eve. In 2008, while at a bar, they learn about the craziest Christmas party ever – The Nutcracker Ball. Each year, the guys try to find the party, but never succeed.

In 2015, Chris is now a famous football player that secretly uses steroids while Isaac is married to Betsy (Jillian Bell) and is expecting their first baby. Ethan is a struggling musician that has recently broken up with his girlfriend Diana (Lizzy Caplan) and works at a hotel. While tending the coats, Ethan finds something in one of the pockets – three tickets to The Nutcracker Ball. He calls the number on the tickets and learns that the location will be announced at 10:00 PM.

Isaac is at a party hosted by Betsy’s sister Cindy (Helene Yorke). Ethan, already a little drunk, shows up before Chris arrives. Isaac and Chris want their yearly tradition to end now, but don’t think Ethan is quite ready. Before heading out, Betsy gives Isaac a box full of every drug known to man.

They take a Red Bull limo (Chris sponsors it) to Rockefeller centre where Ethan reveals the tickets. They kick off the night by going to FAO Schwartz and dancing on the piano like Tom Hanks in “Big” to Kanye West’s “Runaway”. Chris calls teammate Tommy Owens (Aaron Hill), who is attending The Nutcracker Ball and asks for weed. The guys call their dealer Mr. Green (Michael Shannon) who shares some weed with Chris and tells him to go to a party he’s throwing later, and to tell Isaac that he’ll see him later.

Next the guys sing “Christmas in Hollis” at a karaoke bar while wearing three festive sweaters that Ethan wants them to wear. They are met by Diana and friend Sarah (Mindy Kaling). Ethan and Diana make small talk while Isaac is already tripping. He runs into the bathroom to do coke and balance himself out, and then makes a video expressing fears over becoming a dad. He goes back to talk to Sarah, gets them both drinks but his nose starts bleeding and a drop falls into Sarah’s drink, which she drinks unilt Isaac’s nose bleeds harder and he admits he did coke. Outside the bar, Chris talks to a fan named Rebecca (Ilana Glazer), who admittedly hates Christmas. The two have sex in the bathroom.

Afterwards, Ethan call for the party address. Chris then realizes Rebecca stole his weed during sex. They contact Mr. Green again and wait at Chris’s mother’s house. Isaac gets the weed when Mr. Green shows up. He shares weed with Isaac and gives him a glimpse of the future where his daughter is a stripper.

When Isaac goes back inside the house, his phone’s ringtone goes off, waking up Mrs. Roberts (Lorraine Toussant). She feeds the guys while Isaac trips out and looks at his phone to find a dick pic from a guy named James. Confused, Isaac responds and is propositioned by James. Realizing he has Sarah’s phone, Isaac freaks out that Sarah while show Diana his video, which will get to Betsy. Meanwhile, Chris and Mrs. Roberts talk about Ethan and Diana, Mrs. Roberts suggest Ethan take the opportunity on Christmas to make it up to her.

This festive comedy is fun and entertaining, but a little bit mediocre.

Pros: The story is best when the nuances of the three friendships are tested and enjoyed, but the real comedy comes from Seth Rogen and Michael Shannon.

Cons: The scenes change constantly without ever really feeling necessary, and the plot can feel gimmicky, especially at the very end.

Runtime: 101 minutes

Points of Interest: Jonathan Levine admitted that the comedy elements of the story were mostly improvised but the dramatic ones were planned, and served as an outline. All three main actors have portrayed super-heroes.

The movie has its moments, particularly the vision into the past where the two friends become Ethan’s symbolic parents, and joke about James Franco and Seth Rogen’s character is very on point. Where I struggle with it, is that the movie never fully committed to Ethan as the protagonist and the plot had too many threads.

I will say this though, the movie is very entertaining for a Christmas themed one, and I can definitely picture it coming out occasionally for those times when you’ve got the Christmas jones.

The Night Before is definitely a Christmas movie, but whether it can be considered a prestigious one is unlikely. Having said that, that doesn’t mean you should avoid Christmas movies altogether, especially if you like comedy. Christmas Vacation, Elf, A Christmas Story, Scrooged and Home Alone are all excellent choices to consider.

Anyways, I’m all out of theories for today folks. I’ll see you tomorrow with some wisdom. Comment! Subscribe! Email!

Tim!

Ante Up! (timotheories 2016)

Well, another year over, and a new one just begun. (Or to put it another way – I think 2015 was great, but for 2016 I just can’t wait!)

Have you ever listened to that original Christmas song by John Lennon and Yoko Ono? It’s called Happy Xmas (War Is Over), which might be obvious to you if you like(d) The Beatles, were alive in the 70’s and/or are British.

This is one of those songs which everyone has heard in some capacity, but I suspect that not all of us realize the connection with John Lennon. I mention this because it has been covered A LOT in the past couple of decades by a number of different recording artists.

The one that I am most familiar with and enjoy the most is done by an emo indie band called Sense Field. They were popular in the early 2000s and similar in sound to Jimmy Eat World if that helps you get a sense of what to expect from them. Check the song out here, you might enjoy it.

Anyways, it’s time to start connecting the dots.

I hope all of you enjoyed your Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and Festivus breaks, dear readers, because it’s time to make this year on timotheories the most memorable one yet!

It’s incredibly convenient that memories serve as little reminders of a mission completed, a task checked off, of a lesson learned. Don’t you think?

And that is what today is all about. You see, I took a week off of timotheories if you haven’t visited us in a while.

I did this because it was Christmas time for me, my family, and girlfriend’s family. I always plan my life this way around the Christmas and New Year’s season, because I know that a lot of things go down at this time of year, and it can be difficult to fit it all in if I don’t make room in my schedule for it.

Which is why it’s time for me to get started with taking my organization to the next level, and I’m going to share some of my plans with you to inspire you and to also give you a better idea of what to expect after the Timely Thursday post I left you with on December 24th. Check it out here for a refresher.

You see I’ve been sick the past couple of days, and whenever I get sick, I get to thinking and I also get to movie watching. It’s always been something I’ve done when I was under the weather. Think about life, make adjustments, and watch movies.

Which may be part of the reason why I invented the Watch List.

And so I’ve come up with a short list of what to expect for sure in 2016, though there will definitely be some surprises in store too. Below is what I’ve thought about during my time away.

  1. I am going to put together an interview with a local artist and release it every month. That means 12 interviews this year. This will go on my timotheories YouTube channel, currently called timotheories Interviews. Exciting right?
  2. For the first time ever, timotheories will start releasing another series of videos on my YouTube channel called timotheories presents CrossTalk – where I and my not yet named co-host will address themes which are hidden in films. It will feel like a conversation, as opposed to a “best of”, “top 10”, “review” series. Think barroom philosophy meets YouTube production. This will likely also be released once a month, but the frequency will depend on how often we can get content together
  3. I host a weekly “game night” at my house which has now come under the fold of timotheories presents Real Time Games. Real Time Games is a recognition of the inherent value of socialization in an ever-inward facing world and a challenge to pick up board games to get much needed interaction with other human beings. We will be releasing video reviews (minimum one a month) that explain the game in a fun and straightforward way. We make board games accessible for all.
  4. I am going to continue to release 5 posts a week under the main timotheories banner.
    • Stimulating Sunday posts will be about theories in the arts and new content to the brand
    • Melodic Monday posts will feature music reviews (either local or international)
    • Theatrical Tuesday posts will zero in on film releases (in cinema or for home) and local theatre
    • Wisdom Wednesday posts will provide you with ideas for your art practice and motivation
    • Timely Thursday posts will be topical, whether it’s what is going on in the world or more personal

And that’s about it for theories right now!

It might seem a little ambitious my friends, but I promise that the further along we go, the more this will benefit you and by the time 2016 is over, we’ll be surprised by all that has been accomplished.

Check back tomorrow for an exciting album review and if you want to hear more about my personal goals for 2016, be sure to tune in on Thursday for another timely post!

Tim!