Description 24 - King of Kensington

The King is dead; long live the neighbourhood. I try to figure out the significance of one of the only Canadian sitcoms anyone bothered with, then walk through the rain to get my haircut where it took place. Includes a globe on a chair 20 feet in the air, saffron-wasabi truffles and George Clooney's head used as graffiti.

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Associated links:
King of Kensington on Wikipedia
Remembering the King in Forget Magazine
Northern Stars bio of Al Waxman
"Welcome to Kensington" from the Kensington Market Community Site
Rice Bar Online
Shampoo Hair Studio in Toronto Life
Alchemy Baking (where the wierd shortbread cookies are)
Toronto Life's picks on Augusta.
Tom's Place
[murmur] in Kensington
Twitch City is coming to DVD!
Scenes from Twitch City on YouTube
(And here's how the whole series started!)
Photos and video of the Kensington Festival of Lights (for the winter solstice)
Corner Gas

Seeing those youtube clips of Twitch City reminded me how awesome it was to have two of (imho) the hottest guys in Canada, Don McKellar and Callum Keith Rennie, in the same show. I once saw McKellar's film direction debut, Last Night, and there's this one scene in an apartment building lobby that caused me to say, "All right - I've now seen everything I ever wanted to see in a movie. I don't have to see movies anymore." Yeah, I've gone on to see other movies since then. But mmmmmmmmm, that was sweeeet.

Oh, there's some noise during my blathering in the first part of the episode, which I think is some neighbour knocking his pipes for some reason. Or maybe the pipes themselves were knocking, as pipes can sometimes do. Whatever.

I think I've said pretty much everything I wanted to say in the episode, so I'll take some space for a Day Job Plug for something everyone can check out if they have broadband and QuickTime...uh, which I guess doesn't mean "everyone"...sorry.

This time last year, we were working our asses off describing dozens of films of varying lengths and types for the National Film Board of Canada, for a huge project of putting their catalogue online. That project is finally coming to fruition. We have a few films on their Focus on Animation site (specify "films + described video" and specify QuickTime as opposed to Flash), longer films on their Aboriginal Perspectives site (same deal with QuickTime spec; it's hit-and-miss finding the movies we did; try the films Riel Country and Incident at Restigouche).

That all sounds kind of hard, and it is, really. It's even harder getting into the motherlode, which is their CineRoute site, though, granted, it is a pilot project. To really get in there, you have to sign up for the NFB Film Club and get invited to CineRoute, blah blah. However, I got in and I have links that go straight to their embedded QuickTime Player - yay! So here are some examples of what I do for a living, one click away (I hope...). The first example is only one minute long.

For the described version of "Canada Vignettes: Faces" (if you lived in Canada in the '70's, you'll remember seeing this on tv), click here.

For the original undescribed version (to find out what we added), click here.

And here's more described fun stuff:
Neighbours (classic Norman McLaren, but a bitch to describe)
The Motorman (funny day in the life of a Montreal streetcar driver)
Adventures (a kid watches a racoon get into trouble - too cute!)
EyeWitness (a newsreel that would play in movie houses to keep folks up with the times).

Email me if you have any comments or questions on the NFB programmes and what the heck we do with them.


Another Cinderella Moment

So I crawl back into work after a fast and furtive Labour Day weekend in San Diego (for all I'm about to say, that's probably the thing you'll be most curious about. "Soooo, what about San Diego, hmmm? Winkwinknudgenudge saynomore?"), and there's a gmail from Sue Campbell, one of the producers of the big-deal CBC Radio extravaganza Sounds Like Canada. She wants to know if I'd be part of a panel on podcasting on the show the next day.

Yeah, that would be the national show hosted by the beloved (and well she should be) Shelagh Rogers, who I quoted in Description 6 and who I was too gutless to talk to at Podcasters Across Borders.


Uh, yeah, I can do that.

And so I did, with Shane from Shane and Tom's Squeezebox (the guys who did those wicked t-shirts at the conference!) and Tim from The Twisted Wrist. We talked with Shelagh about what we do in podcasting and why, and by all accounts, I kept my heart from pounding into my throat. Whew. You can find my recording of that half hour here. (Excuse the redundancy at the beginning for the benefit of the subscribers who didn't get to read this.)

Then after going off the air, we chatted some more, and that's ended up on the Sounds Like Canada Digital Extra podcast. Even before all this, it was my favourite of the new rash of CBC podcasts, so being on that is about as much of a thrill as being on the main show. Go here to subscribe or to download directly.

Thanks very much to the Sounds Like Canada folks and the Podcasters Across Borders guys for steering them my way. Also congrats to Shane and Tim for a great job.