Jumping Jehoshaphat! (timotheories June 2017)

June always reminds me of my grandpa.

This is because when I was very little we would always get together as a big family and celebrate Father’s Day with all of my aunts, uncles, and cousins on my dads side of the tree. Speaking of trees, whenever I think of my grandpa I think of Disney and in particular the films of the 60’s, 70’s and early 80’s.

I may have mentioned previously that I love movies? Like, a lot? Well what I may have neglected to mention was that not only did my dad and I bond over movies when I was growing up, but that my grandpa had a sizeable movie collection of his own, and he almost religiously recorded movies on the regular. It amazed and inspired me from a very young, and impressionable age.

This is back when VHS tapes were a thing. If you don’t know what VHS tapes are my many millennials, look them up, because the first time I watched Disney’s animated classic, The Sword in the Stone, it was on VHS.

That’s where I got the Jehoshaphat reference from. Also June bugs. But enough of that, let’s get to the June calendar.

*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 – June

Stimulating Sundays – (06/04) Colin MacIntrye preview interview, (06/11) Colin MacIntrye interview, (06/18) Cross Talk Ep. 27, (06/25) Cross Talk Ep. 28
Melodic Mondays – (06/05) Paramore, (06/12) alt-J, (06/19) Sufjan Stevens, (06/26) Royal Blood
Theatrical Tuesdays – (06/06) Wonder Woman (2009), (06/13) Beauty and the Beast, (06/20) John Wick: Chapter 2 (06/27) The LEGO Batman Movie
Wisdom Wednesdays – (06/07) Communication Basics, (06/14) Email Communication, (06/21) Verbal Communication, (06/28) Meeting Communication
Timely Thursday – (06/01) timotheories June, (06/08) Siblings, (06/15) Watch Culture Ep. 1, (06/22) First Day of Summer, (06/29) Weddings

This is going to be a month of firsts – it’s the first time I release an episode of Watch Culture, and the first time the world get’s to meet Colin MacIntrye’s Beeverine. Colin is an Edmonton based illustrator, and my featured interview for June.

Also, we have some fun Cross Talk episodes coming out – but I’m not going to share too much more about them, because I don’t even know what the topics will be, yet. But I do know that our first ever female guest will be featured on the show. Her stage name is Alice Creed, and she’s intensely interesting.

But you want to know more.

Okay, well I’m focusing a lot of attention on communication with the Wisdom Wednesday posts, and heck, I have some timely thoughts on siblings, summer, and weddings. You’ll see what I mean soon enough.

theories Summarized

June should be a great month to continue this years theme of campfire stories. Especially those upcoming posts on communication. And pay close attention to that first episode of Watch Culture, you aren’t gonna believe what I decided to start the series of with. Well, I have theory you won’t. In fact, I’ll bet a quarter mile at a time that you can’t guess what it is.

Tim!

A Day To Celebrate Queens (Victoria Day)

This post is filler. I didn’t know what to write about on Thursday, so I decided to do some research and learn about a Canadian national holiday – Victoria Day.

It’s a statutory holiday for us Canucks, but not too many of us know what it’s about. So here is a list of twelve things I bet you didn’t know about Victoria Day, and then a brief summary on what I plan to do about it myself. Savvy? And here we go.

Victoria Day Fun Facts

I’m going to keep these facts, short, topical and entertaining, but if you think of any better ones, be sure to let us know, after all, we try to keep it classy here at timotheories.

  1. Victoria Day is a Canadian holiday celebrated on the last Monday preceding May 25, in honour of Queen Victoria’s birthday. As such, it is the Monday between the 18th to the 24th inclusive, and thus is always the second to last Monday of May.
  2. The date is simultaneously that on which the current royal Queen’s official birthday is recognized (for instance Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday is April 21st). We also sometimes consider this an informal start to summer season in Canada.
  3. Queen Victoria was one of the longest sitting monarchs in all of British history, and inspired an entire era to be named after her…
  4. Canadians have been celebrating the date of her birthday since we became a country in 1845, and it legally became a day off when she died in 1901.
  5. Victoria Day is most definitely a Canadian festivity and is not widely celebrated in the British Isles, though the Scottish and some English do partake.
  6. For one reason or another, likely old hurts, the Quebecois do not celebrate Victoria Day, and for years chose to celebrate Fete de Dollard, after the French hero Adam Dollard des Ormeaux who won a battle with French soldiers against Iroquois in 1660. Now they celebrate National Patriots Day instead.
  7. The original celebrations of the holiday took place annually on May 24th, no matter what day of the week that was, excepting Sunday. In which case the holiday was moved to the 25th of May. And this changed to the current structure in 1952.
  8. Political figures and hip hop artists of today could take some queues from Victoria as she was able to stave off more than six assassination attempts on her life.
  9. Famous for wearing black before Johnny Cash. Victoria went into seclusion in 1961 after her husband Albert died, and was in mourning for a very long time, not getting back into the public until the early 1870s. There has been great speculation that she later privately married her Scottish butler John Brown.
  10. Before they were abolished in 1968, 21 gun salutes were commonly fired in Ottawa and the provincial capitals on Victoria Day AND and a number of other important Queen days – actual birthday, accession day, and coronation day, for instance.
  11. An important mark in fashion, summer clothing is traditionally worn from Victoria Day through until Labour Day… Hence the expression, don’t wear white after Labour Day.
  12. Canadian band Rush, British band The Kinks, and British musician Paul McCartney of Beatles fame have all written songs about the queen Victoria. Which hasn’t been done officially since that time.

theories Summarized

A day for all Canadians, Victoria Day is often celebrated as May Long in the common vernacular, and that’s okay in my books. But we should of course be aware of our history, and do our best to consider it as we each move forward in our own endeavours.

I, for instance, will be spending the May long weekend working on interviews, editing episodes of Cross Talk, Watch Culture and Just n Time Games, watching movies, and making art.

And so should you creative cuties, and so should you. Thank Victoria for the true north, strong and free, because she was instrumental in helping to shape this great nation of ours, at least that’s my theory.

Tim!

Spoilers Ahead (The Fate of the Furious)

I really do love The Fast and the Furious.

The original movie, with all of it’s flaws, is a clear derivation from the equally ridiculous Point Break, and all of the challenges that came with telling a story about a cop gone native.

The story was simple – Brian, as played by the late Paul Walker, was an undercover cop investigating street racers in hopes of uncovering a group of thieves that committed larceny using their cars. Dom, played by Vin Diesel, was the head of one of these gangs, and because of their mutual love of street racing, and Brian’s interest in Dom’s sister Mia, a friendship was born.

One of the things that haters of these kinds of movies seem to forget is that all films are stories. Some of us just happen to prefer certain story themes over others. But all good stories function well at both exaggerating and limiting elements of a tale in hopes of constructing a narrative that affects you on a personal level. I stand by the statement that these are good films.

The original The Fast and the Furious spoke to me not only because of the chemistry between it’s two male leads, but because of how the cinematography was handled, as not once did any shot remain static. Additionally, the attention to crafting relationships with dialogue, as well as the semi-plausibility of it all were essential – I could imagine an undercover cop falling in love with the sister of a suspect, and becoming friends with that suspect and his crew because the cop related to them at some level.

We Ride Together, We Die Together

Each of the subsequent films worked to build on this formula of bonding and added in details to flesh out the stories of Brian O’Connor and Dominic Toretto. Turning them from friends into brothers. This is where the mention of “family” in parodies later becomes brutally apparent. That said, family is what has made these films interesting, the glue that binds them together. Brian gave Dom a 10 second car at the last minute of The Fast and the Furious out of respect and love, but also because another of his best friends, Roman Pearce, was a criminal that he couldn’t/wouldn’t help. In 2 Fast 2 Furious we learned more about Brian’s past, which helped us better appreciate the first film.

Throughout the series Brian realized that family beats out everything, and it became the backbone of his purpose in the stories. Dom served as the father figure that would bring everyone together, and would fight for his loved ones at all costs.

As the franchise evolved, the action sequences and set up for each story became more elaborate, partly because of fan expectations, but also because of a theory I have which demonstrates the heroic nature of the protagonists. They could achieve the impossible, but most importantly, they were at the core, a group of misfits bound by love. They started out as street racers, but were really superheroes underneath it all. This is why when Paul Walker died mid-production of Furious 7,  I had hidden reservations about the future of the franchise.

This Time It Ain’t Just About Being Fast

But when the first trailer for The Fate of the Furious came out, I was still stoked.

Charlize Theron was cast, and I heard rumours that Helen Mirren was a last minute addition. I even did a Facebook live post while I watched the trailer. And as time went on, I enjoyed each of the subsequent trailers that cropped up. Maybe they had found a way to move on without Paul Walker.

After all, the series had managed to progress from robbery and street racing, to drug dealers, to heists, to fighting against international terrorism, why would this film be any different?

Well for a few reasons.

Without going into great detail about the plot of this film, I’ll start by saying that I was glad to go see it, and director F. Gary Gray has done the series justice in terms of cinematography and action sequences, on top of that we get to see the most dramatic portrayal of Dominic Toretto to date.

But it doesn’t have quite that same balance without the glue that is Brian O’Connor. Luke Hobbs, played by Dwayne Johnson, is way too big of a star to properly co-share the screen time with Dom, and adding in former villain Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), just feels dirty and wrong. Lest we forget that Deckard killed Han and several military types en masse as revenge for what happened to his brother Owen.

Deckard then becomes a sort of goofy trigger-happy member of the team in the last act, which, while entertaining, drove me completely nuts. Why couldn’t one of the other members of the team seen more screen-time, like Roman, Tej or Letty? Heck, I’d even have been happier to see more Ramsey, but less Ramsey as object of competition between Roman and Tej.

theories Summarized

In brief, F8 loses some of the charm and brotherhood that made The Fast and the Furious feel like home to me, though to be clear, Dom never really does turn his back on family, in fact, the twist is too good. It perfectly fits with his character. But, if this is a set up for what ends up being a satisfying trilogy conclusion to the Fast franchise post Paul Walker, I hope it’s all worth it.

It could just be a theory, but maybe Scott Eastwood could replace Paul as the new guy with good hair?

Tim!

Time Of Your Life (timotheories April 2017)

 

April is one of my favourite months of the year, for a few reasons.

It’s the month I was born, which every other year is the same time as the Easter holidays, and it reminds me of my family. You see, dear readers, when I was growing up, every Easter, my family of six would all cart ourselves from one province to another to visit the grandparents. We called our grandparents Papa and Nana, of course. Because of the Ukrainian ancestry.

Which is why this month I decided to focus a lot of my posts on things that matter to me personally. Music, film, the arts, and how to be successful as an artist.

Just kidding, I do that every month. A little late for an April Fools joke, but you can’t say I didn’t try. Terribly.

Also, I mentioned this in my HMV post, but technically I won’t have a problem with reliable forecasting on film and music choices, now that I’ve converted to Amazon Prime, but for the sake of humility, I’ll keep this disclaimer up… just in case.

*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 – April

Stimulating Sundays – (04/02) …, (04/09) Cross Talk Ep. 21, (04/16) Cross Talk Ep. 22, (04/23) Cross Talk Ep. 23, (04/30) Alex Racine interview
Melodic Mondays – (04/03) Sampha, (04/10) The Mavericks, (04/17) Arca, (04/24) Father John Misty
Theatrical Tuesdays – (04/04) Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, (04/11) Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, (04/18) A Monster Calls (04/25) The Founder
Wisdom Wednesdays – (04/05) Li Kunwu, (04/12) Life Satisfaction, (04/19) David Deida, (04/26) Facebook Success Stories
Timely Thursday – (04/06) timotheories April, (04/13) Easter, (04/20) Fate of the Furious, (04/27) Birthdays

So I missed the mark on the first Sunday of this month – it’s been a bit of a challenge to stay focused with all of the personal changes going on, and my day job, and a new(ish) relationship. Not making excuses, just letting you see that I too am mortal and fully capable of failing.

But let’s focus instead on the fact that I’ve got three Cross Talk episodes coming your way, one of them about Easter Eggs in film (super fun topic), plus the beginning of a series further exploring how certain themes exist in film, but defy genres.

And no, I didn’t forget about Amanda Wall creative cuties. We’ve been trying to figure out a way to make her interview happen. She is a freelancer and full-time mom after all, and scheduling has proven more challenging than originally anticipated. That said, I do have something in the works with a local game designer by the name of Alex Racine – I promise that’ll be fun.

The rest of the topics are gonna be amazing too, from films set in the Star Wars universe, Harry Potter lore, and an adaptation of the beginnings of McDonalds, plus some Mavericks from my past, I have a ton of theories to share on books I’ve read and social media too. Also, did I mention it’s my birthday month? And that the eighth instalment of my favourite film franchise opens in less then a week?

So many theories, so little April to shower you with ideas. But I’ll do my darnedest!

Tim!

Twilight Zone (Daylight Savings Time)

This isn’t nothing new. We’re playing for keeps in the daylight, in the dark, in the twilight of our hearts.

People have been setting back their clocks for the better part of a century now. First proposed by an American inventor and politician by the name of Benjamin Franklin, back in the late 18th century, Franklin’s idea was to have citizens of Paris wake up earlier in the day and take advantage of the natural light; a means of savings on candle usage.

Burning The Candle At Both Ends

Eventually the idea was refined and defined by New Zealand entomologist and astronomer George Hudson, with German and Austria-Hungarians being earlier adopters in 1916. Since that time numerous countries have adopted it into their calendar year with daylight savings time happening in late winter and ending during fall, when we switch back to standard time. The literal notion of daylight savings time is to spring ahead by an hour, but the rationale is far more complex.

In an industrialized society we follow a clock based schedule, with activities that are not dictated by sunlight, by changing the schedule as the days shorten, we effectively gain an extra hour of sunlight in the evening, when most people are off from their work.

But in agrarian work, daylight dictates how much time is spent in labour. Whether one way or another is better is unclear, but where you live in the world does make a difference in the impact of the event. The closer we get to the equator the less daylight varies throughout the year, while the further north we go, the more wildly the daylight length swings throughout the year.

Hands of Fate

To be honest, I don’t know where I truly fit into this debate. Having danced this dance for quite some time now, it often feels great to get that extra hour of sunlight during the day, but the disruption to my sleep in the first place is definitely unsettling. As something of a night owl, I usually better use of the evening hours anyway, and up in northern Alberta our winters are longer with less daylight, while our shorter summers with longer daylight can be a welcome distraction… And so I can see merit to both sides of the argument.

I will say this though. No matter what art form you choose to make dear readers, and where you live in the world, you absolutely need to find a schedule that works for your own predispositions. It is a daily fight to make that art, so no matter where you live, it’s your responsibility to work within the environment you live in.

theories Summarized

I’ve gotten quite accustomed to using the #liveyourlife whenever I can in social media creative cuties, and I think it rings true here too. Whether or not you need lots of daylight to function properly, and I’m betting that is true for most of us, then absolutely take advantage of what you can get in your climate. That may mean more productivity in summer months and hibernating in the winter, but only you can figure out what that really looks like.

With that mentioned, don’t forget to set your clocks forward this weekend, wouldn’t want you to sleep in on Monday and something melodic.

And just like that, I’m out of theories for the day. Or should I say time?

Tim!