January 31, 2006
The Adventures of Slim Johnny... Performed
The Maritime Rock Opera Club got together and delivered the world premiere of "The Adventures of Slim Johnny" at the Stereophonic music festival in Sackville, NB, Canada. It was raw and ragged, my voice was perpetually out of tune, and we had no stage lighting, but the audience was warm and wonderful and in the end the rock opera was a success.
Jamie Brewer, our M-ROC guitarist, is putting together a little website to preserve the memories. You can check it out here.
We also got covered by the CBC, so feel free to check that action out here. Cue the show to 17 minutes 38 seconds for talk about the Stereophonic festival, 21 minutes 40 seconds for the rock opera itself.
Posted by matt at 10:08 PM
January 12, 2006
The Adventures of Slim Johnny
My time in Fredericton is once again at an end. I depart tomorrow to Sackville, New Brunswick, to be part of a little music festival called Stereophonic. While I was at home over the holidays I put together a crew of friends to form the Maritime Rock Opera Club, and tomorrow night we will premiere a fairly ridiculous 30-minute opus entitled "The Adventures of Slim Johnny." Here's the synopsis:
“The Adventures of Slim Johnny” is the story of a twenty-something-year-old everyman who works at a call centre in the Canadian maritimes and battles with the quarter life crisis blues. While at work Johnny daydreams about moving to a shack in the woods to whittle sticks and contemplate the universe. But one fine day he falls in love with a feisty tae kwan do teacher named Red, and the two discover that together they make a formidable crime fighting team. After clocking out from work each day, Slim and Red happily moonlight dancing a ballet of vigilante justice, putting a stop to corporate crooks, cookers of books, burglars, swindlers, and thieves of all sorts.
Sadly, the lovers’ crime-fighting honeymoon is not to last, as it is discovered that the entire human race is about to be wiped out by a plague of unfathomable deadliness. But all is not lost: a collective of noble scientists discover a rugged miracle coral growing in the North Atlantic ocean, and they enlist the trustworthy Slim and Red to harvest the precious cure in two tiny submarines. The journey proves perilous and our heroes almost lose their lives in the dangerous ocean depths, but they are helped in the end by dolphins. Surfacing just in time to save the day, Slim and Red return the coral to the scientists and quietly head back to work, but with the realization that superhero potential is in all of us.
Posted by matt at 07:08 PM
January 06, 2006
The Grizzly Man and Murderball
Okay, so I haven’t been doing very well with consistently posting to this website, but my New Year’s resolution is to do better. I’m back in my hometown of Fredericton for a couple of weeks, researching by day and watching movies by night. From my viewings, I can recommend two great documentaries called The Grizzly Man and Murderball.
The Washington Post on The Grizzly Man:
"Grizzly Man" is … a small masterpiece of a documentary that takes us into the heart of a complex darkness: the mysterious land of Alaska, the world of grizzly bears and, most significantly, the soul of Timothy Treadwell, a man who tried to break down the atavistic borders between man and beast, and failed. After spending 13 summers with his beloved grizzlies, Treadwell (along with his girlfriend, Amie Huguenard) was killed and devoured by a bear in October 2003 … Treadwell, who considered himself a wildlife activist, was many other things, too: a lothario; a surfer; a failed TV actor; a serial makeover man, who, at one point, reinvented himself to "be" Australian; and a recovering addict, who considered bears to be a sort of magnificent distraction from his destructive inner demons … The result is an extraordinarily moving portrait of a man, a sort of illiterate artist, untrained as a filmmaker but powered by his own conviction and personal vision … There is a powerful argument running through the movie, an ideological clash between Treadwell's environmental harmonizing and [director] Herzog's view of the universe as an eternal catastrophe of destruction and chaos … It's a portrait not only of a fascinating man but also of human nature in general.
And Roger Ebert on Murderball:
This is one of those rare docs, like "Hoop Dreams," where life provides a better ending than the filmmakers could have hoped for. Also like "Hoop Dreams," it's not really a sports film; it's a film that uses sport as a way to see into lives, hopes and fears. These tough all-Americans compete in international championships. Once they were shattered young men waking up in hospital beds and being told they would never walk again …[Murderball] works like many great documentaries to transcend its subject and consider the human condition. We may not be in chairs and may not be athletes, but we all have disabilities, sometimes of the spirit. To consider the bleak months and sleepless nights when these men first confronted the reality of their injuries, and now to see them in the full force of athletic exuberance, is to learn something valuable about the human will.
Posted by matt at 08:34 PM