Jul 012011
 

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Here is another first for Numéro Cinq: A full length film script from R. W. Gray (who earlier appeared on these pages as the author of the stunning short story “Crisp”). Not only do we have the original film script for Alice & Huck (who else publishes movie scripts these days?) but we also have an excerpt from the movie, teaser and fan videos. This is a wonderful chance for readers to compare script and the made movie (you can get the complete DVD here; the IMDB movie page is here), a chance to see words embodied in the actors’ gestures and words (a transformation of text to stage that is always a mystery to me). Alice and Huck is a delightful, whimsically romantic love story of close encounters, near misses and second chances.

Robert Gray was born and raised on the northwest coast of BC, and received a PhD in Poetry and Psychoanalysis from the University of Alberta in 2003. He is the author of two serialized novels in Xtra West magazine and has published poetry in various journals and anthologies, including Arc, Grain, Event, and dANDelion. He also has had ten short screenplays produced, including Alice & Huck and Blink. He currently teaches Film at the University of New Brunswick in Frederiction.

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What is Alice & Huck about?

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Alice & Huck Fan Video

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Jun 292011
 

This is an essay about rakes—human and otherwise—about words, definitions, art, 18th century London, paper, printmaking and William Hogarth. It’s an essay that shows what you can do via the simple art of meditation (with a little repetition thrown in), or it demonstrates how a word has tentacles that stretch far and wide into the culture at large, into history, into the inner reaches of human existence. It has a lovely zen feel AND it has pictures.

Susan Olding is the author of Pathologies: A Life in Essays, which won the 2010 Creative Nonfiction Collective’s Readers’ Choice Award and was longlisted for the BC National Award for Nonfiction. Her writing has appeared in numerous magazines and literary journals in Canada and the U.S., including The New Quarterly, Prairie Fire, and The Utne Reader. A two-time winner of the Event creative nonfiction contest, she also won the inaugural Edna Award for Nonfiction from TNQ and the Brenda Ueland Prose Prize for Literary Nonfiction from Water~Stone (Minnesota).  She lives in Kingston, Ontario.

“A Rake’s Progress” is slated to appear in Slice Me Some Truth: An Anthology of Canadian Nonfiction, edited by Luanne Armstrong and Zoe Landale (to be published by Wolsak and Wynn later this summer).

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A Rake’s Progress

By Susan Olding

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As a child, I hated the rake. I hated the way its tines caught the long grass. I hated the blisters it raised on my hands. I hated bagging. The leaves clumped in slimy piles. The piles hid fallen apples, pocked with wormholes, soft with rot. Why did I have to rake, while my friends’ voices rang in some happy outdoor game, or while my book lay open near the fireplace? Was it my idea to plant so many trees? The rake was taller than I was. We made ungainly dance partners. Reluctant to lead, I wrenched the thing around; stiff and obtuse, it stuttered behind or scraped against my shoes. If I complained enough, my mother might relieve me of my duties. I’d slink away, guilty in the knowledge that I’d bought my sloth at the expense of her sore back.

2.

I used a fan rake. The kind whose tines spread wide as a peacock’s tail. But rakes come in dozens of varieties. There are rakes made of steel, aluminium, bamboo, and rubber. Adjustable rakes, crescent-shaped rakes, snaggle-tooth rakes, thatch-removing rakes, rock rakes that look like pitchforks, double-fans that hinge like jaws. There are rakes designed to smooth, rakes designed to gather, rakes designed to disturb the dirt.

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British printmaker William Hogarth didn’t have to dig to discover the dirt of 18th century London. His satirical eye raked the city, gathering its sins at a glance. The streets of the poor and the parlours of the wealthy alike provided compost for his imagination. Often described as the father of sequential art, Hogarth called his pictures his “stage,” and he loved to dramatize the moral issues of his day. His most famous series, “A Rake’s Progress,” depicts the rise, decline, and fall of one Tom Rakewell, n’er-do-well son of a miserly merchant. The thought of a parent’s sore back would never have stopped profligate Tom. In the series’ first plate, he is fitted for fine clothes before the earth has been raked smooth across his father’s burial plot.

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Jun 282011
 

Earlier this year, my former student Richard Hartshorn and his brother Philip set out on an amazing adventure. They made a feature-length motion picture from scratch with nothing but their own inventiveness, persistence, and money (not to mention a tight group of amazingly creative friends). Lots of people talk the talk, but very few ever actually do the work. Through the production Richard kept Numéro Cinq up to date on the film’s progress with his film diary. Because it’s such a unique document I’m repackaging it here as a book—each entry is a chapter with a link at the bottom to bring you back to the table of contents. There are photos and videos, rehearsal videos, trailers and posters. What’s most exciting is that this isn’t some big budget extravaganza, no Hollywood packaging deal; this is real people who haven’t waited for the money gods to touch them or for their degrees from USC film school, people just following their passion and making art.

Click on the title below and read the diary.

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On the Making of Wings Over Arda, Richard Hartshorn’s Film Diary

Jun 272011
 

I first met Katie Vibert a year ago when she sent me an email, out of the blue, about a project some of her students at the CEGEP de Sept-Îles in Quebec had just completed—a series of gorgeous banners depicting North Shore (the north shore of the St. Lawrence) artists and historical figures. There was I, bigger than life, on the college facade (this, of course, is in honour of my novel Elle which is set on the North Shore, even has a scene set on the beach in Sept-Îles). Now Katie has a show of her own work which reflects the both place and history–the North Shore, the Montagnais, new technologies. It’s a startling, vibrant exhibition.

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Katie Vibert: ICÔNES NORDIQUES

Sculpture by  Canadian artist, Katie Vibert, on view in Val-d’Or, Quebec from June 3 – July 17, 2011.

Icônes Nordiques Exhibition Installation

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