ON FAST FORWARD
September 1st -7th
time is saved in Vancouver we dont even need a 24 hour clock.
You can keep 24 Hour Party People; here they can do it in ten!
Time is clearly very
precious to people in Vancouver.
This summer we have seen a series of events that telescope time in the
name of art and which have attracted hundreds of participants.
The 24 Hour Film Festival where a team make a film in just 24 hours
is one event. (It starts again in September). There is also the wonderful
Reel Fast film festival where filmmakers have the luxury of 48 Hours to
do the same.This took place in August. The Reelfast
experience was a real exercise in building something of a film community
here and the final event at the Commodore Ballroom was a blast.
Speed is addictive however. We also had the 3-Day Novel Writing Contest
sponsored by Anvil Press; where writers have just 72 hours to complete
a whole novel. The prize for the best piece is publication of the same.
Then theres the Vancouver Fringe Festival on Granville Island which
features 700 performance in just 11 days (Tickets 604 257 0355). Yes,
thats 63 performances a day minimum! It's on during September and
the crowds have been racing from one performance to another, comparing
notes and telling each other which is the best. 'Suburbia' had a good
'buzz'. There is also SweetSista
shorts playing at the Carousel.
Not fast enough for you?
Well theres always One-Hour Photo.
Of course Robin Williams appears in a film with that title and its
bit like being on the cover of 'Time' magazine; you know its
so over by the time they notice a cultural phenomenon.
In Vancouver its 28 Minute photo or die.
Everything is faster here. Want a script performed? Write it this morning,
rehearse it on the sidewalk ten minutes before showtime and perform it
that night. It happens at the ColdreadingSeries all summer and the results
are often amazing.
The same trends are occurring in real ' life. In Vancouver, a summer
relationship might even last a whole weekend. A new film is
doing well if it lasts a week. Impatient? I blame a high sugar diet myself.
A society totally hooked on speed and instant gratification. Its
embedded everywhere. The Vancouver Sun has been running a weekly competition
to write a Chapter of an on-going novel, week by week, (the R-Factor)
the climax was reached on Labour Day weekend. Charles Dickens used to
get a whole month. Wimp.
Speed, speed, always speed. Kids wont watch slow movies, like the
much neglected but wonderful 13 Conversations About One Thing
they line up for the drivel of XXX and the minimal
acting skills of Vin Diesel. Fast, stupid, brainless speed.
Vancouverites get up real early. They seem to set their watches to Toronto
time and get to work for seven am (by car of course). Then at around 3pm
they head on home. All of them. They get in their cars and sit there on
the road to Coquitlam or Maple Ridge for a whole 3 hours. Go check it
yourself. Ride the new Millennium Skytrain out to Lougheed Mall and watch
people on the highway sitting perfectly still - for hours every
day. Same thing on Cornwall or 4th and especially Granville to Richmond.
Nothing moves for hours. Youd think these lemmings would stagger
their journeys, or change their working hours, or do overtime, anything
to avoid the traffic, but I guess they always figure someone else will
play chicken first. The way I figure it, is that someone is missing a
trick here. Get all these drivers to enter a three-hour novel contest,
or someone could start a massed cellphone 'compose and sing an opera'
in one traffic jam contest.
I might note that the very same people wholl pull all nighters to make 24 or 48 hour films, or even write 3- Day Novels are the exact
same people who when asked to write a 1000 word essay for class in 10
weeks will be first to put in for an extension on day 69 and whinge a
whole 1000? Are you crazy?
Anyway, I was musing on where all this time saved actually went and suddenly,
on a stroll back from Tinseltown back to Kits the other night I had it
figured. Those people, the ones who rush to work, rush home, get everything
done in quick double time, speed read novels on the train and enter 24
they are the very same Edward Hopper people I see staring
out of Starbucks and Blenz windows at night. Night after night, day after
day. All that time saved, so now they sit staring wired to the
max, killing time.
Me? Im writing a screenplay this September. Im going to take
a whole leisurely month to do it. Just ease in to it, stop for lattes
and apple pie anytime I want. Write it as slowly as I can. Might just
do one word today. Someones got to slow time down, put the break
on and burn rubber off my sneaker heels to even things out. Im heading
for the slow lane and might even take a nap now and then. The Tortoise
wins that race everytime so I heard.
Anyway congratulations to Vancouver for finally getting the new Skytrain
route up and running. Now it actually goes as far as Coquitlam and Loughheed
Mall. It's a sign the city is growing up. Why next they'll actually run
an express bus 'directly' to the ferries, that coordinates with sailing
and arriving times. Hint! This would be nice and above all logical and
Now the Skytrain will go to the airport too!
Even London finally overruled the Taxicab lobby to connect Heathrow to
the City. (Although I learned today in the Seattle-Times that Seattle's
own transit plans mean that their proposed new airport train will stop
2.3 miles short of Sea-Tac - which makes a whole lot of sense.)
Vancouver can show the way. Let's build a fast railway to Whistler
(even a car carrier, just like the Euro Tunnel trains from Waterloo.
© Sam North - Editor September 2002 Hackwriters
The Kids stay in the picture
IN GLASS HOUSES
the new Museum of Glass in Tacoma
Sweats in a Cold Read at the Anza Club
Carine Thomas - A Brighter Image Company