My best intentions have led me to two wonderful places this weekend: the Bloor theatre and the Canzine convention.
After an unsuccessful Saturday cab ride to the Varsity movie dome, where 12 Years a Slave was completely sold out, my friends and I decided to finally give Hot Docs a try. I had seen the beautiful marquee of the venue floating high above the pounding spree of Bloor on many a trek through the city. During TIFF, there was a steady stream of beautifully dressed cinephiles lining up outside the movie house. After last night, I know why: a concession that sells Steamwhistle beer; a schedule that highlights enlightened thinking about art, urban planning, and politics; and a balcony to die for. The film we watched, One Track Heart: The Story of Krishna Das, left me wanting more; it seems to me that documentary about a revered musician, be they New Agey or no, should deal directly with the form and specific expressive content of the music said subject performs. Oh well, I can’t wait to see more of what Hot Docs has to offer.
Today being Sunday, I went to church. Well, what Alain de Botton refers to as the modern church — the temple of culture. My temple took on the form of the Canzine convention, a collection of rag tag writers, illustrators, and comic enthusiasts that hole up in a large hall and showcase their wares and ideas. It was a phenomenal experience, especially the “One-Two Punch,” a chance for independents to pitch ideas for projects and receive feedback from established individuals from the indie publishing scene (including the founder of Broken Pencil, Hal Niedzviecki.) I can’t wait till next year’s Canzine. I agree with Botton that these comingling moments, times when weirdos and quiet types that adore culture come out of the woodwork to show off their strange, creative passions, are empowering and life-affirming. Seeing the originality and fluent creativity of fellow human beings does a lot to ease the weary mind.