Posts Tagged ‘Movies’

I’ve got a short essay on Outside’s website about the ultimate river trip gone awry, and why the movie has endured for four decades.

Also: Tomorrow I fly to San Francisco for the annual Book Passage Travel Writers and Photographers Conference! I attended for the first time five years ago, as a brand-new aspiring writer with just a couple paid clips to my name. Looking forward to spending time with friends and colleagues there again this year.


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A Few Good Films

When I decided to move to Whitehorse last fall, I made a few (just a few) conscious sacrifices — among them, I knew that I was giving up access to a wide selection of movies on the big screen. This may not seem like a big deal in the era of NetFlix and illegal downloads, but for me it was an important item on the pro/con list. I’ve been a serious movie-goer ever since my allowance got big enough to cover my admission*, and I knew going in that Whitehorse’s two small theaters deal almost exclusively in kids’ movies and bad action/horror flicks, respectively. But I decided I could live with seeing my preferred films on DVD a few months late, and off I went.

So with all that in mind, a year later I was surprised to find that I’ve actually seen a handful of the movies in this list from the Atlantic: 13 Movies to See Before the Oscars. I caught “127 Hours” in New York City in November, but the other three — “The Social Network,” “Winter’s Bone” and “The Kids Are Alright” (all listed as additional worthy films below the main slideshow) — all screened right here in Whitehorse**.


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If you’ve never talked with me about the EPL phenomenon, here’s the quick guide to where I stood before the movie came out: Liked the book; loved Elizabeth Gilbert as a writer more generally; was skeptical about the concept of a journey of self-discovery; thought Julia Roberts was the wrong casting call, but was optimistic about the flick nonetheless.

I saw the movie this weekend in San Francisco (and more on that trip soon, I hope) and co-wrote a review with my World Hum Travel Movie Club partner-in-crime, Eli Ellison. Here’s our introduction:

It’s been a long four years since Elizabeth Gilbert’s travel memoir, Eat, Pray, Love, began its extended stay on bestseller lists around the world. Now, after much anticipation, the film adaptation has arrived. But will the bestseller spawn a blockbuster? World Hum Travel Movie Clubbers Eva Holland and Eli Ellison set aside their half-eaten pasta dishes, rolled up their yoga mats and pedaled their Balinese bicycles to their neighborhood theaters to find out…

Check it out!

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And out like a dine-and-dasher; I have no idea where this past month went. I’ve been keeping busy — I spent the first week of March in the Pacific Northwest, five days mid-month road-tripping the Dempster Highway, and am just back from a weekend in Skagway, AK for a cross-country ski race. And of course I’ve been hard at work, too. Way back at the start of the month we published my annual Travel Movie Awards — the Oscars are long over, but if you haven’t yet checked this one out please do.

I also did an interview with the crew over at SoSauce earlier this month, and realized that, having done a handful of these things now, I should probably collect them in one place. So here goes: In addition to the SoSauce item, I’ve got an interview at Nileguide, and a video chat with Go Galavanting.

Some highlights from the month in World Hum features: We published Lover’s Moon, a Pico Iyer original that sheds some light on his inner soundtrack as he prepared to write “Video Night in Kathmandu” — that was a thrill. I also loved this excerpt we ran from Carl Hoffman’s new book, “The Lunatic Express” — The Mad Matatus of Kenya — and thoroughly enjoyed Tom Swick’s latest musings on the state of modern travel writing.

Up next? An Easter weekend cross-country ski trip, a flying weekend visit to Vegas, and a trip home to Ottawa before I head down to Barbados for some much-needed warmth and sun.

My first winter north of 60 is very nearly over. Maybe a commemorative plaque is in order?

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Just a quick story update. The King would have hit the three-quarter century mark last Friday, so Eli Ellison and I celebrated with – what else? – a list: King of the Road: Five Great Elvis Travel Movies. It was a lot of fun to put together.

I followed that one up on Monday with an interview with Susan Van Allen, the author of “100 Places in Italy Every Woman Should Go.”

Check ’em out!

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It’s been a busy holiday season – in addition to eating all the chocolate, cheese and clementines I could get my paws on, I’ve been neck-deep in the hallowed media tradition of the year-end list(s). We had a raft of 2009 send-off content on World Hum:

The Best Travel Books of 2009
World Hum’s 2009 Travelers of the Year: Travel Bloggers
World Hum’s 21 Most Read Features of 2009 (Check me out at #19 and #20)
R.I.P. 2009: From Mercedes Sosa to Frank McCourt
The Best Travel Videos of 2009 (Some really great stuff in this one!)

I also pulled together this selection of TSA-related tweets in the wake of the attempted Christmas undie-bombing:

Seven Great Tweets About the New TSA Regulations

And on a non-travel related note, I’ve tried and (so far) failed to pull together some thoughts on movies in the 2000s. As a stand-in, here are some of the “Best of the Decade/Year” movie lists I’ve enjoyed:

The Big Picture’s Top Ten Films of 2009
Dana Stevens: The Best Movies of the Year and the Decade
It Takes a Hero: The 20 Best Films of the Decade

Maybe I’ll get around to posting something about my favourite flicks of the year/decade later this weekend. Maybe I’ll even find time to make some New Year’s resolutions… (Resolution #1: Procrastinate less.)

In the meantime, Happy New Year! Here’s to 2010.

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A couple of quick notes: First, this past Friday at World Hum was devoted to “Up in the Air,” the travel-themed movie that looks set to tear up the awards circuit this year. It was adapted from a Walter Kirn novel of the same name, which Jim and Mike have been keeping tabs on since World Hum was brand new. (Among other things, the novel is the source of one of our main themes – “Airworld.”)

Here’s our coverage:

Beyond Airworld – A look at “the bittersweet challenge of the traveler’s life”

A video interview with director Jason Reitman and author Walter Kirn

A whole whack of links related to the movie, the book and Airworld in general

I haven’t seen the movie yet, but here’s hoping it makes it this far north.

Second, I’m thrilled to see that a travel book has FINALLY made its way into the What is Stephen Harper Reading? project. If you’re not familiar, WISHR is author Yann Martel’s one-man effort to make our illustrious Prime Minister more appreciative of the arts – or, in his own words, “to make suggestions to his stillness” – by sending him a series of carefully chosen books. The latest? “Tropic of Hockey” by former Rheostatics frontman Dave Bidini. Here’s what Martel had to say in his accompanying letter to the PM:

Tropic of Hockey is about one man’s love for the game and his quest for its soul. This quest leads him to places where you wouldn’t expect to see ice hockey. And as different as those places are, the spirit of the game, by Bidini’s reckoning, burns with the same intensity as it does in his rec league in Toronto. He finds in Harbin, northern China, in Dubai, in Miercurea Ciuc, Transylvania, the refreshing purity of a game that is not mere entertainment but a way of meeting and being, hockey as culture rather than business, “the spirituality of sports, sports as life,” as he puts it at one point.

I’ve been meaning to read this book for a couple of years now, so thanks, Yann Martel, for the reminder. (And for the effort to expand Prime Minister Harper’s stillness, too.)

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Yup, the one with the two coke-dealing hippies on motorcycles turned 40 last week. Despite my past complaints about the flick, I wrote a short tribute yesterday on World Hum.

Today, I wrote a follow-up post, shouting-out to my favorite road trip movies with meaning – the ones, like Easy Rider, that are about so much more than getting from point A to point B. Here it is:

Travel Movies: Road Tripping in Search of … Something

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Eli and I have our latest up at World Hum: 12 Great Summer Vacation Movies.

Check it out!

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