Remember how I said the number of Habs songs was disappointing this season, particularly since the massive roster overhaul over the past year has made those old ones obsolete?
UPDATE (July 25): The inevitable parody version went up a few weeks later:
Concordia’s journalism program, which has been making a habit of posting its class TV productions onto YouTube, has produced this 45-minute documentary about Canadiens fandom – one of the few things we can claim to have an advantage over all the other teams in the NHL.
Spoiler alert: The Canadiens aren’t a religion, but they do have a lot of enthusiastic fans.
Il n’y aurait plus de fautes de français dans les tableaux et dans les réponses.
Douglas Honegger, of Call-TV, to La Presse’s Hugo Dumas last month, in response to concerns that this awful, ethically questionable pay-to-play lottery show that aired during late nights on TQS might return to making awful gaffes when it returned to the network now called V.
And this week, they forget how to spell “Lionne”.
You know how they say it’s so bad it’s good? This is worse than that. No wait, it’s even worse than that. It’s so bad, it’s not even the bad that’s worse than bad, it’s so bad people watch it and live-tweet about it to talk about how bad it is.
I don’t know if it’s because of the recession, because nobody expected the Canadiens to even make the playoffs – much less be able to compete against the Washington Capitals – or just because the Justiciers Masqués aren’t on the air anymore, but the number of Habs songs and Habs-related song parodies produced in preparation for this year’s playoffs is pretty sad compared to previous years.
And if there was ever a year we needed more songs, it’s this one. We can’t just take the songs from last year and replay them – it’s hard to get excited about Saku Koivu, Alex Kovalev, Mike Komisarek and Christopher Higgins since they all play for other teams now.
Still, a few amateur songsters have stepped up to the challenge:
by Clermont (featuring Kra-Z-Noize)
by Vince Colletti/Tanya Kassabian
by Alex G.
by Alex G. (also available in French)
by Martin Scully
by Patrick Charles, Cat Spencer and Mark Bergman for CJFM. Sung by Lissa Vescio
by Annakin Slayd
by CHOM FM
by Daniel Iorio
by Justiciers Masqués
by Virgin Radio
by Porn Flakes
by Christopher Pennington and Felicity Hamer
From the Association des journalistes indépendants du Québec, this video uses some fancy graphics to show how much it sucks financially to be a freelancer here, and how that suckitude has only gotten worse as rates have been frozen or even dropped while inflation goes up.
The AJIQ has made some progress for freelancers, particularly with signing a deal with Gesca, though some are upset that with a fixed freelance budget, this will mean fewer opportunities for work with Gesca papers.
There’s an argument that a union representing freelancers is a contradiction in terms. But to suggest that most freelancers are truly free is to ignore the reality of the situation.
I don’t remember why I originally saw the documentary. Maybe I stumbled across it on Newsworld while looking for something to watch. Maybe someone recommended it on Facebook or Twitter and I watched it online.
It’s called 65_RedRoses, and it’s a documentary about a young Vancouverite named Eva Markvoort. She has cystic fibrosis, a disease that affects the lungs and can stop people from being able to breathe. The documentary, shot by a friend and his film-school partner, chronicles her life as she waits for – and eventually gets – a lung transplant.
Markvoort is an ideal candidate, not only because she’s young, pretty and well-spoken, but because she’s very open. She keeps a blog where she posts thoughts and pictures, and the documentary references and quotes from a bunch of blog posts. Maybe that’s part of the reason it appealed to me.
The key moment in the film comes just after the 20-minute mark, during what seems to be a very boring segment with bad audio in which Eva and her friends head out to the car. Suddenly, there’s a beeping sound, barely discernible on the documentary’s audio track, and Eva goes into shock. Her pager, whose sole function is to alert her when a donor has been found for transplant, is going off. After nine months of keeping this little brick attached to her, nine months of waiting, suddenly she’s getting the call. (It’s interesting to me to go through this blog and see the individual posts referenced – it makes it seem more real somehow.)
What follows is an emotional few minutes in which she’s so nervous she can’t properly dial a phone. Even the filmmakers are nervous. This event wasn’t staged, there was no advance notice. They’d just been following her for so long, capturing so much footage, and suddenly, in October 2007, they hit the jackpot.
I can only admire this from a strictly journalistic perspective. It’s like being at the scene of a car crash with a camera rolling. They didn’t call her after the fact and ask her what it was like. They didn’t re-enact the scene with actors. They were there, and we saw her face while it happened.
It was this shaky, low-audio footage that got the CBC on board to produce this documentary, according to an article in Eye Weekly. It’s easy to understand why. You don’t see such sudden, raw, real emotion very often. The funding led to better production values, including some computer-generated title sequences that unfortunately are a bit lame.
The documentary is a roller-coaster for Eva, her parents and friends – and, naturally, the viewer. She gets better, she gets worse, she gets a transplant, she gets better, she gets worse, she gets better again.
The documentary ends on a happy note. After surviving an early post-transplant scare, Eva recovers and is discharged from the hospital. Slowly, her breathing improves and she’s healthy again.
Another poignant moment happens when Eva participates in a dragon boat race, something she couldn’t do before the transplant. It’s at that point she meets one of her best friends, Kina, who lives in Pennsylvania and also has CF. People with CF aren’t allowed to interact with each other because of the risk of spreading superbugs, as we learn in the documentary. But with the transplant, that’s no longer a worry. Eva loses her composure as she runs to her friend, and before long everyone’s in tears.
It’s 2009, and Eva’s doing great. This 2008 year-in-review post on her blog gives a good idea of what her new life is like (ironically, her posting frequency dropped noticeably as she went out and enjoyed herself). The documentary ends with a happy Eva smiling, optimistic and excited about her future.
Except, not. After the fade to black, text comes on the screen explaining that a few weeks before the documentary aired in November 2009, Eva was back in hospital, suffering from chronic rejection. She was still posting, still doing her best to promote this documentary that stars her, particularly now that it’s gotten this exposure.
CBC decided to re-air the documentary yesterday on CBC News Network. Kina, Eva’s friend, is trying to get it to air in the United States.
Canadians can watch 65_RedRoses free on the CBC website.
Especially when you’re hopping roofs on the way home.
Conan O’Brien, who isn’t allowed to “be funny on television” until the fall as a condition of his $45-million buyout from NBC, has launched a North American comedy tour to pass the summer until he’s inevitably picked up by Fox.
The Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour has three stops in Canada: Vancouver (two shows April 13-14), Enoch, Alta.(just west of Edmonton, April 17), and Toronto (May 22).
Sadly, Montreal isn’t on this list (though neither is Calgary, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Halifax and a bunch of other cities). People have been pleading on Twitter for him to come, hoping that the eight-day hole after his Toronto stop could be easily taken up with something at a Montreal venue.
(He even helpfully translates “Bell Centre” into the Americanese “Bell Center”)
Oh right, we have the Canadiens, who barely squeaked by the worst team in the NHL.
Time to watch curling.
Recognizing, I guess, that despite not having most of its journalists the Journal de Montréal is still putting out a paper every day and people are still reading it, the union representing the 253 locked-out employees has released a new ad comparing the evil newspaper to some sort of drug, and Rue Frontenac to the nicotine patch.
It’s cute, but it just reminds me that people are still reading the Journal. And I don’t think most of them are trying to stop.
Meanwhile, the union has also put up a 13-question FAQ for those who want to learn more about their position and what’s at stake in this conflict.
From Dave Rosen on Facebook, a video of Vancouver’s False Creek during the gold medal men’s hockey game on Sunday. The overtime goal comes at 1:20.
I got a visit at the end of January from two Concordia students putting together a package for their TV class about blogging. The result is the video above, which is very brief and probably doesn’t give you any insight you didn’t already have into me (except the fact that there’s an embarrassingly large pile of unread newspapers in my sparsely-decorated living room).
A bit more interesting is that they also visited Midnight Poutine’s Jeremy Morris, shadowing him and his new partner as they recorded a podcast (you can listen to that particular podcast here).
If you haven’t heard it, Midnight Poutine’s Weekend Playlist Podcast is a weekly podcast, about an hour long, that features music from bands performing locally over the coming week (almost always independent bands performing at smaller venues). Not only is it useful in that sense (if you like the music, you can go see the band that week), but it gives people a chance to discover new music they can’t hear on commercial radio because they’re too busy replaying that Black Eyed Peas song for the 10,000th time.
UPDATE: The team that brought us the video above also had this shortish video interview with The Gazette’s Sue Montgomery about her trip to Haiti.
In case you haven’t seen it yet, there was an interesting documentary, shown over the past two weekends, about the revolutionary changes happening to journalism and the media. It featured interviews with (francophone) journalists from various (Montreal) media, as well as with experts and people involved in the new media journalistic ventures that are slowly taking their place.
The second part of it aired this weekend on … V? Wait, that can’t be right. … Really? OK, V. You can watch the whole thing online starting here. It’s produced by B-612 Communications, which gave us La Maison de Maxim Lapierre, of all things.
What struck me about this documentary wasn’t so much that it brought anything new to the table – if you have even a passing interest in media you probably already know what’s going on – but the serious, sober way in which it’s discussed. It consists almost entirely of individual interviews, with Nathalie Collard and Patrick Lagacé of La Presse, with Richard Martineau and Benoît Aubin of the Journal de Montréal, with Gabrielle Duchaine of Rue Frontenac, with Stéphane Baillargeon and Bernard Descôteaux of Le Devoir, with Patrice Roy of Radio-Canada, Pierre Bruneau of TVA, Jean-Luc Mongrain of LCN, Jean Pagé and Ève Couture of V, and many others.
It’s jarring to see people like Martineau, Mongrain and Pagé speak so seriously about this, considering the personalities they’ve developed on TV. Maybe it’s just an impression I got, or maybe it’s an indication that they’re putting on a show for TV that doesn’t necessarily reflect their true personalities.
The doc also features interviews with people on the other side of the equation, like Jean Trudel of 25Stanley.com, Frédéric Guindon of 33mag.com, as well as experts like Florian Sauvageau of
UQAM Université Laval.
If anything, the film relies too much on interviews, combined with a little bit of voice-over and edited with extreme close-ups. It also has bite-size bits of information scrolling along the bottom – some of which is dubious, like the claim that only UQAM offers a bachelor’s degree in journalism in Quebec, by which I can only conclude that either Concordia isn’t considered in Quebec or that it doesn’t offer a bachelor’s degree acceptable to the producers.
It also confines itself – it doesn’t talk to anyone at any anglo media, nor anyone at any media based outside Montreal. (Sauvageau is the closest thing they get to a regional perspective)
And it doesn’t talk to Steve Proulx. Or me. Or a bunch of other media experts named Steve.
Still, as a balanced discussion into the future of the media, and as a way to see your favourite media personalities in high definition, it’s worth a watch.
If you were watching the U.S. broadcast of the Super Bowl on Sunday, you missed a few dozen CTV commercials reminding you that the Olympics are coming. Among them, this video featuring Montrealer Nikki Yanofsky singing the English version of CTV’s Olympic theme song, I Believe:
Of course, this being Canada, there’s also a French version, sung by Annie Villeneuve, called J’imagine:
How does this compare to previous Olympic songs?