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Bryan Rombough
Attended Algonquin College
Lives in Ottawa
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Perhaps Norman McLaren's greatest work.

Enter a hypnotic world of movement and light in this entrancing film that harnesses the power of cinema to trace the movements of ballet. Dancers Margaret Mercier and Vincent Warren create a dream-like effect in this award-winning Norman McLaren film, complete with the revolutionary visual effects one expects from this master filmmaker.
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The HiRise Mars orbiter photographs Curiosity. 
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UPDATE: In honor of the 81st anniversary of the day the Bauhaus closed in 1933, we're re-publishing this popular infographic, which was originally published
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Rhymes for Young Ghouls.  A must-see if you can find it.  Still playing at the Mayfair in Ottawa 'till the 21st.
#rhymesforyoungghouls   #jeffbarnaby  
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When it was built in 1977, Citicorp Center  (later renamed Citigroup Center, now called 601 Lexington) was, at 59 stories, the seventh-tallest building in the world. You can pick it out of the New ...
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Friday:
http://mayfairtheatre.ca/movies/Rhymes-For-Young-Ghouls/

A young Aboriginal teenage girl, a drug dealer by trade, plots revenge against the Indian agent who is dominating her life.

*

So begins this harrowing, explosive debut from Jeff Barnaby. The backstory may be unfamiliar to international audiences - the post-genocide period of my country's treatment of its Native population was governed by the Indian Act, words from which serve as the introductory passage to this film. It was mandated that any child of age was to be placed into a "residential school", and that "any means necessary" could be used to force the youth away from their communities. Ostensibly to foster the education of these children, the schools became rife with abuse and corruption, where the language and culture of the individuals was subsumed under the aegis of "civilizing" these children.

This practice continued well into the 20th century, serving as a backdrop for this film set in the late 1960s and early 70s. After this stunning opening sequence, we're introduced to Aila, now fifteen and already savvy enough to be running her own drug enterprise. She uses the profits from her dealings to pay off the local representatives of the school, basically paying her way to freedom from formal education, but also freedom to live life within her community.

Underscoring the film is a kind of fable, adopting Mi'kmaq legends and even animated sequences to tie the elements together. Masks play a prominent role in the past, and the film teases with other "Indian" iconography, with pointed questions about why there's a headdress on a particular image, or how frightening it is when two artists join forces to illustrate native ways.

There's an anger to the film, to be sure, and some may well defensively pick apart the representation of the dominant culture. While the "white man" portrayal may be needlessly one-dimensional (for overt story reasons more than ideological, I'd hazard), the same can't be said for the Native portrayals. We see the gamut of behaviours and impulses here, subtleties of characterization that's extraordinarily rare on screen. It's a tribute to Barnaby's storytelling skills that he's able to tell a heroic tale while still offering shades of subtlety in his characterization.

From the ensemble cast we're treated to many powerful and fresh performances. Kawennahere Devery Jacobs plays the older Aila, and her intense stare and subtle beauty allows her to carry much of the film on her shoulders. Glen Gould plays her father with the right mix of intensity and compassion, while Brandon Oakes as "Uncle Burner" provides the most interesting, and most morally ambivalent, of characters. The child performers are for the most part excellent, and the rest of the cast feel as perfectly integrated into the story as does the remarkable sets, locations and production design elements.

The film is told with a mix of lyricism and kicks to the gut, and is all the better for these shifts in tonality. It's remarkable how the narrative feels both highly specific to this community, yet near mythic in a more universal, classic sense. What is clear here is that Barnaby, as both screenwriter and director, is a tremendous talent, able to juggle these differing elements effectively while creating a world class piece.

Too often in this country we dismiss our own art, looking particularly to the South for much of our cultural representation. While French language cinema has done well to break out of its cocoon and craft Internationally prominent cinema, too often on the English side we're left with mediocrity. At the same time, often "issue" films like this one get bogged down in polemics, with debut film in particular victims of trying to do everything at once and losing the focus on the core aspects of the works as a film, rather than a screed. Rhymes is thus all the more cause for celebration, for it's an impressively accomplished debut, a startling, unsettling narrative, and a series of strong performances that should solidify this as a future touchstone in both Native and English Canadian cinema.

One of the better films I saw at this year's festival, Rhymes For Young Ghouls is an absolute must see. It's a showcase of emerging talents as well as a hard-hitting, insightful cultural expression from this land, a film certainly deserving of a wider International audience.

-JASON GORBER, TWITCH FILM
#rhymesforyoungghouls  #jeffbarnaby  
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The history of Johannesburg‘s Ponte City Apartments is a provocative one: built in 1975 and designed by Manfred Hermer as the height of luxurious (white-only) living in South Africa, the continent’s tallest residential building soon became a notorious vertical slum, filled with crime and poverty, its signature hollow core re-purposed as a trash dump and a suicide drop.

Since 2001, however, the building has been the centerpiece of a drive to regenerate the wider Hillbrow neighborhood. The building is gentrifying once again – an almost color-coded gentrification as white people move back into the tower, mostly taking the more expensive upper apartments. However, as the video by Vocative shows, in the case of Ponte, gentrification is not as simple as elsewhere: heavy security eases the fears of middle class residents in what is still one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Johannesburg. As the video shows, there’s a palpable excitement that, finally, the building is becoming a truly multi-ethnic community.
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Bryan Rombough

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Have him in circles
118 people
David Hill's profile photo
Paul Baldowski's profile photo
Nils Devine's profile photo
Tom McCambley's profile photo
Jesse K's profile photo
Greg Perkins's profile photo
Colin Gray's profile photo
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CADmonkey
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Ottawa
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CADmonkey
Education
  • Algonquin College
    Architectural Technology, 1998 - 2001
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December 10