Friday, June 13, 2008

Shorts, Canlit and Copyright

A little sleepy.
I went to the Queer CanLit exhibition at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library last night.

Quite a stunning library and there was a small collection of Canadian gay and lesbian literature on display. The exhibition even had a catalogue which I got for free as I was at the opening! That was cool, I would have paid for it.
There were readings, most notably by Wayson Choy and Shyam Selvadurai. It was really excellent and the show runs until August so check it out.

Afterwards I went to the Worldwide Short Film Fest and saw two screenings, one called Celebrity Shorts which was a mixed bag, including some garbage by Kate Hudson called Cutlass about a girl and her father and somehow a Christmas Tree even though it was the middle of the summer.
This was followed by an EXCELLENT series called The Neu Europe, which was mostly films from the Czech Republic and Germany where I just was. The two standouts were Cargo, about human traficking through the eyes of a young boy. It was a chilling tale but excellently done, where the boy gets Stockholm Syndrome and starts to become like his captors. At the end the audience just kind of sat there in shock.
The other standout was GAINING GROUND (LAND GEWINNEN). This film was about a Ukraine family that immegrated illegally to Germany and now had a son that needed to go to school. They couldn't risk sending him and being exposed and deported but they also couldn't keep him at home, they had moved to Germany to make a better life for him. VERY well done.

Finally the Canadian Copyright Law is trying to change and you can read about it in comic book form here. I have contacted my local member of Parliament, not that I voted for her as she's Liberal, and voiced my concern, namely that the reason to change this law seems to be pressure from American corporations. We don't have a system in Canada to sue people for thousands of dollars like the American's do, so who will enforce this new copyright law? Will there be random lawsuits by the motion picture industry? The maximum fine for personal use is to be set at $500. Will this make people start buying CD's again? Doubt it. What it will do remains to be seen. I would be breaking the law right now, I'm downloading the 1956 version of "1984" as I type. Is someone going to send me a $500 invoice for a movie that's out of copyright?

Have to book my hostels today, one of them is already full! Eeek!
Tomorrow an art opening by Robert Giard:

and the Better Reasons festival, whatever that is.

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