Welcome to the yowLAB Film Festival discussion for our fifth film, Synecdoche, NY, written and directed by Charlie Kaufman. Our reviewer this month is yowLAB co-director Sarah Gelbard. Her review/synopsis is included below.

Instructions:

  • If you have not yet watched the film, it is available on iTunes and at OPL.
  • To contribute to the discussion, please feel free to use the comment section following the review.
  • You are also welcome to post links to your own reviews if you prefer to publish on your blog or website. Please make sure to link to this page on your end.
  • We also welcome guest contributions. Please contact us at info.yowlab@gmail.com if you would like to submit a review to be posted to the yowLAB blog.
  • Or tweet your comments @yow_LAB #yowLABFilmFest

We hope you enjoy the film and the discussion. Without further ado. . .

Synecdoche, NY not to be confused with Schenectady, NY – or perhaps it is meant to be.

A synecdoche (/sɪˈnɛkdək/, si-NEK-də-kee; from Greek synekdoche (συνεκδοχή), meaning “simultaneous understanding”) is a figure of speech[1][2] in which a term for a part of something refers to the whole of something, or vice versa.

Wikipedia

I briefly discussed this film with a few different people this past week. Everyone had roughly the same first comment: “It’s a really great movie but it does drag on a bit.” I hadn’t gotten around to rewatching it yet to write the review but I remembered that was my feeling when I first watched it shortly after it came out in 2008. I was completely blown away and enthralled and confused and distracted, and like being on a road trip, the thought “are we there yet” kept popping up in my head. Finally, I broke. I paused the movie, thinking it must be almost over, only to find out there was still another 20-30 minutes left.

And even with everyone’s warnings and my own memories of the experience, last night as I watched the movie, I hit my breaking point and had to check to see how much longer was left. Once again it was at about 20-30 minutes from the end. I don’t know if it was a self-conscious cue or not but it came just after the line:

I’m aching for it to be over.
The end is built into the beginning.

It’s just one of many examples where it feels like the movie is interrupted to talk to you, the viewer. You’re sucked in to the crazy and disoriented layers of the play within the play. As annoying as it is to feel the movie drag on, it somehow feels like that is what brings you into it the more it makes you want to get away. You empathize with the actor who asks:

When are we going to get an audience in here? It’s been 17 years.

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Thursday July 24
7pm
Les Brasseurs du Temps

Special edition: Sarah’s Montreal send off
Newcomers welcome!

For those who haven’t been, yowLAB meetings are informal; part social, part networking, part brainstorming. It’s an opportunity for people with an interest in architecture, urbanism, and design to meet over a few pints.

We aim to try a different venue each meeting, generally somewhere central. This month, we’re taking advantage of bike and patio season to jump across to the other side of the River at Les Brasseurs du Temps.

RSVP (and update if it changes) so we know how many people to reserve space for. You can RSVP on our Facebook event page or leave a message in the comment section below.

Sarah Gelbard:

I’ve been slow to come up with my reply post. I promise it will come soon. In the meantime, enjoy Brian’s review of our architecture and bike adventure!

Originally posted on OttawaVeloOutaouais:

For the second instalment of Architects on Bikes Checking Out Buildings I asked Sarah Gelbard to recommend buildings she admires within our region, and she accepted! Sarah is a graduate of architecture at Carleton, and is heading off to McGill to do her doctorate on Urban Planning in the Fall. She’s very active within the local design community, as evident in her YOWLAB initiative. She’s also one of this year’s organizers of Architecture Week AND she loves to cycle! My architect-sister-Sue had so much fun on our first instalment of Architects on Bikes Checking Out Buildings, she jumped at the occasion to come along on this ride.

Sarah’s first choice was The Sister’s of Notre Dame campus off Heron Road, while her second choice was The Old City Hall on Sussex Drive. We met up at Art Is In Bakery in City Centre early Saturday morning and headed…

View original 433 more words

#yowLABFilmFest goes fiction for the summer.* The second of our three selections for the season is:

Synecdoche, New York
Online review: to be posted July 17



“A theatre director struggles with his work, and the women in his life, as he creates a life-size replica of New York City inside a warehouse as part of his new play.”

*as a distributed film festival, the idea is to watch the film on your own (or with friends) before the posted date. Details for shared online reviews and dialogue will be posted here soon. The posted date also coincides with the next yowLAB PubNight for those who want to discuss in person.

Copies of the DVD are available at

the Ottawa Public Library
http://ottawa.bibliocommons.com/item/show/445490026_synecdoche,_new_york

the London Public Library
http://encore.londonpubliclibrary.ca/iii/encore/record/C__Rb1648994__Ssynecdoche__Orightresult__X6;jsessionid=F4A59AF478D1C8D97DE2139A4B83DF37?lang=eng&suite=beta

iTunes rental
https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/synecdoche-new-york/id489052696?at=10l9IP&ct=RT&uo=5

Welcome to the yowLAB Film Festival discussion for our fourth film, Before Sunrise, directed by Richard Linklater. Our reviewer this month is Siu Hong Yu. His review/synopsis is included below.

Instructions:

  • If you have not yet watched the film, it is available for online rental on YouTube.
  • To contribute to the discussion, please feel free to use the comment section following the review.
  • You are also welcome to post links to your own reviews if you prefer to publish on your blog or website. Please make sure to link to this page on your end.
  • We also welcome guest contributions. Please contact us at info.yowlab@gmail.com if you would like to submit a review to be posted to the yowLAB blog.
  • Or tweet your comments @yow_LAB #yowLABFilmFest

We hope you enjoy the film and the discussion. Without further ado. . .

I fully enjoyed the last two documentaries featured at the yowLAB FilmFest but was wondering, hey, what about exploring what makes cities click through works of fiction? Maybe it would bring in a different audience. As it turned out, Sarah Gelbard, one of the co-directors of yowLAB, got that all figured out and was just looking for movie recommendations. So here it is, the first one that popped in my head. From condo shopping to city planning, walkability seems to be all the rage these days so why not spice it up with the possibility of finding your soulmate in the process. Bon spectacle!

A chance encounter between two strangers in a foreign city. They walk around, talk, fall in love, kiss and talk some more. Tonight is the only night and when the morning comes, the two go their separate ways, changed.

No, you won’t get any tree-hopping vampires nor old houses to restore here but what “drama” Before Sunrise may lack, it more than recoups with its heartfelt, timeless dialogues and genuine chemistry between our chatty young lovers Celine and Jesse, played by Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke.

Through their conversations on life, death, religion, feminism and of course, relationship and love, Jesse and Celine journey through their first date while taking us on a walking tour of Vienna. From the almost-kissing scene (above) inside a record store listening booth to the confessional faux-telephone calls (below) in Café Sperl, you know in your heart of hearts, this can’t just be a one night stand. They belong to each other!

By mapping out the location sequence, one may be disappointed that it is highly unlikely for the couple to hit all the spots in real life given the time frame. The Cemetery of the Nameless, for one, is practically in a suburb. Deep down, I think part of the allure of this impromptu romantic side trip is the carefree nature of a stroll where parks, bars, café‎s and grand museums are all within walking distance.

And then, on a makeshift bench out of a pile of pallets down a hidden alleyway, Celine ponders about what brings out the magic between two people. The answer lies not in the certainty but the attempt of understanding someone, of sharing something. Is it too much of a stretch to suggest the same goes with the messy business of urban planning?

Walkable cities are sexy.

 

Sources:

http://cursedpoet.net/travelogue/before-sunrise-movie-tour/

http://surprisetours.at/1477/before-sunrise-film-tour-vienna/

http://www.movie-locations.com/movies/b/BeforeSunrise.html#club

Originally published in Centretown Buzz
by Jeff Salmon
June 13, 2014

The housing market is a moving target, influenced by social, economic, and political forces. Successful developers are able to understand the ebb and flow of the market and capitalize by offering timely projects that fulfill a social or economic need/desire. In the last ten years there has been enormous development and growth in Ottawa and at its periphery, and for the urban core in particular the last few years have been marked by condo fever.

Certain neighborhoods, like Westboro and Little Italy, have undergone significant transformations, becoming hubs for development. In fact, Little Italy had to put a freeze on the review of development proposals while the City tried to catch up and formulate a plan for the area.

Though the condo boom is not on the same scale as Toronto, condo towers now dot the map all over the city, with many more on the boards or in the presale phase. However, the fast-and-furious condo tower market in Ottawa seems to be showing signs of slowing, and I think it is safe to say both residents and developers alike are concerned that the condo tower market is becoming saturated, with very little distinguishing one project from another.

In the same way that condo towers have enjoyed success in recent years, so, too, have infill housing projects.

Unfortunately, with the exception of a few projects, the infill projects have become almost as predictable as the condo towers. This is not necessarily surprising: I believe the saying is, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Developers have very little incentive to stray from what has proven to sell. This often means that they don’t tend to stray far from the herd, relying more on an established brand, marketing, or a unique location to sell units.

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