Marja-Leena Rathje
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books & films

A delicious benefit of the hot lazy days of summer is that I indulge in much more reading than I have time for in other times of the year. I like having longer periods of uninterrupted time so that... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 20/08/2013 | 13 comments
themes: Books, Films

 

last day of 2012

A few scenes from this afternoon's walk... how I love the dark lines and silhouettes of the trees against bright water and sky. I love those white clouds and patches of blue behind. As I wrote five years ago:... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 31/12/2012 | 13 comments
themes: Canada and BC, Culture, Films, Home, Other artists

 

paleo cartoons

Bison from the End Chamber of Chauvet Cave - from Bradshaw Foundation This is fascinating news: Prehistoric cave artists used cartoon-like techniques to give the impression that their images were moving across cave walls, two French researchers have suggested.... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 26/09/2012 | 10 comments
themes: Books, Films, Rock Art & Archaeology

 

the beauty of pollination

A friend sent me the link to this exquisitely beautiful time lapse video. At the end I learned that it comes from a TED talks presentation by filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg: Pollination: it's vital to life on Earth, but largely... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 22/11/2011 | 9 comments
themes: Environment, Films, Other artists, Photography

 

Herzog film on Chauvet Caves

Bison from the End Chamber of Chauvet Cave - from Bradshaw Foundation As most long time readers of my blog know, I am fascinated by ancient pictographs, petroglyphs and other art forms. They have been an inspiration in my... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 31/08/2011 | 22 comments
themes: Films, Rock Art & Archaeology

 

forces of nature

I've been struggling to put words together, more than is usual even for me, about the horrific events in Japan, all that devastation caused not just by a powerful earthquake in a country that has them so frequently but... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 14/03/2011 | 10 comments
themes: Canada and BC, Current Events, Environment, Films

 

Steam of Life - a film

All weekend, our thoughts and conversations seemed to be mostly about saunas, Finnish saunas of all kinds, and Finnish men in saunas, all because of seeing a memorable and moving documentary film that drew on the full gamut of... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 24/01/2011 | 11 comments
themes: Films, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric

 

Alice and algebra

                   image from wikipedia As you can imagine, art has been my main interest in my life right from when I could hold a crayon. I took art in high school along with the required variety... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 07/03/2010 | 10 comments
themes: Books, Films, History

 

Get Out

Go here to see this fabulous award-winning short animation film with a stunning surprise ending. You will enjoy it! Found at Chris Tyrell's Blog. This gives me the opportunity to mention that Chris Tyrell is a well-known arts advocate... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 31/01/2010 | 10 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Films, Neat stuff

 

a murder of crows

about a fascinating program on CBC TV called A Murder of Crows

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Marja-Leena | 10/10/2009 | 13 comments
themes: Blogging, Films, Other artists

 

Film: Recipes for Disaster

If you live in the Vancouver area, you will want to see this important film: On April 16, view the third and final film of DOXA's Documentary Film Series in the lead-up to our May festival. Recipes for Disaster follows... [Continue Reading...]

a Wm. Kentridge video

    This was sent to me by artist friend Dorothy: In "Taking a Line for a Walk" (2007) William Kentridge performs what looks like pantomime until, as it repeats, bare bones animation gives his moves meaning. Delightful! And I... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 11/03/2009 | 6 comments
themes: Art Exhibitions, Films, Other artists

 

talk on creativity

You must watch this amazing video at TED. Elizabeth Gilbert muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses -- and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person "being" a genius, all of us "have"... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 19/02/2009 | 13 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Books, Films

 

together for peace

It's been very foggy for several days here in Vancouver and matching it is my brain fog caused by a head cold. It's a bit like being tongue-tied. So once again, I'm using the words of others here, this... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 16/01/2009 | 8 comments
themes: Current Events, Films

 

lovely links


Our Earth as Art, 3D Picasso's Guernica, International Rock-Flipping Day

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Marja-Leena | 10/08/2008 | 5 comments
themes: Blogging, Films, Nature, Neat stuff, Photography

 

'Centigrade' wins Leos

I'm thrilled to share the news that a certain special film has won five Leos just a few days ago here in Vancouver. The Leo Awards honor the best in British Columbian television and film production every year. Centigrade is... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 27/05/2008 | 4 comments
themes: Canada and BC, Films

 

geologic journey

        Spotting a seemingly insignificant looking rock like this one now sends me wondering about its history, its journey through millions of years. Thanks to the powerful series Geologic Journey, my view of our world, especially of Canada and... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 28/04/2008 | 5 comments
themes: Canada and BC, Films, History

 

a low-carb diet

Thanks to an email alert from the local Finnish community, last night my husband and I enjoyed an interesting creative documentary film on CBC Newsworld's Passionate Eye : RECIPES FOR DISASTER, a Millennium Film of Finland production, directed by John... [Continue Reading...]

colours of music

Can music have colour? David Hockney thought so, as filmmaker Maryte Kavaliauskas shows in her profile for PBS's American Masters, David Hockney: The Colors of Music. Hockney designed sets for perfomances of some of the world's great operas for... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 18/07/2007 | 7 comments
themes: Films, Music, Other artists

 

Power of Art series


This looks to be very exciting: Simon Schama's The Power of Art series is beginning tonight on PBS TV in North America.

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Marja-Leena | 18/06/2007 | 10 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Films, Other artists

 

The Danish Poet

Torill Kove, a Norwegian-Canadian anImator with Canada's NFB (National Film Board) won an Oscar this year for Best Animated Short Film. Her film, The Danish Poet, is a "charming 15-minute meditation on life's peculiar coincidences, based loosely on a... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 27/02/2007 | 9 comments
themes: Culture, Films, Other artists

 

Goldsworthy: Rivers & Tides

I've just finished viewing the DVD Andy Goldsworthy: Rivers and Tides. Wow! It is very beautiful, very inspiring and I want to view it over and over again. I've admired Andy Goldsworthy's work in books, magazines and online but... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 06/11/2006 | 13 comments
themes: Films, Other artists

 

November

November is here. You can tell by the weather, the heavy heavy rainfalls, the wind, the dark and gloomy days. Indoors never felt so good. Turning inward means that my art work is continuing to develop in an interesting... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 04/11/2006 | 12 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Films, Printmaking

 

Shanghai in films


Shanghai of the 1930's is the subject of a documentary and the background for a movie...

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Marja-Leena | 14/10/2006 | 4 comments
themes: Films, History

 

Burtynsky in Vancouver

Image on invitation: Edward Burtyntsky: Recycling No.20. Cankun Aluminum. Xaimen City, Fujian Province, China 2005. Chromagenic print, 58" x 68". Courtesy of Charles Cowles Gallery, NY. I'm really looking forward to seeing the photographic works of acclaimed Canadian photographer... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 07/10/2006 | 2 comments
themes: Art Exhibitions, Films, Other artists, Photography

 

Finnish knitting lesson

(Still from The Last Knit by annekeAnna) Talk about obsessive-compulsive, this animation is extremely well-done and hilarious. Thanks to my husband for finding our evening's laugh medicine. Enjoy!... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 25/09/2006 | 13 comments
themes: Films, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric, Neat stuff

 

Jean Detheux


Back in July, I wrote about Belgian-Canadian artist Jean Detheux, who creates wondrous works entirely digitally after giving up painting for health reasons.

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Marja-Leena | 14/09/2006 | 3 comments
themes: Films, Other artists

 

McLaren again


NFB is celebrating 65 years of Animation and I discovered that we can view four of Norman McLaren's films on the Focus on Animation pages....

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Marja-Leena | 16/08/2006 | 5 comments
themes: Canada and BC, Films

 

Helvetica, a film

Helvetica "is a feature-length independent film about typography, graphic design and global visual culture. It looks at the proliferation of one typeface (which will celebrate its 50th birthday in 2007) as part of a larger conversation about the way... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 15/08/2006 | 10 comments
themes: Films, Neat stuff

 

Blue Buddha

This past Monday evening 'The Nature of Things with David Suzuki' presented Blue Buddha: Lost Secrets of Tibetan Medicine. It traces the odyssey of traditional Tibetan medicine from it's roots in ancient Tibet, to a worldwide interest in it's... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 19/07/2006 | 2 comments
themes: Culture, Films, History

 

watch this!


...the PBS series How Art Made the World is beginning tonight on your local PBS channel. In Vancouver, that's KCTS 9 from Seattle at 10 pm.

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Marja-Leena | 26/06/2006 | 4 comments
themes: Films, History, Rock Art & Archaeology

 

Norman McLaren

This interesting news item about the late great Canadian animator Norman McLaren (1914-1987) brings back a lot of wonderful memories for me: 'The films of National Film Board animation pioneer Norman McLaren will be the subject May 22 of... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 12/05/2006 | 7 comments
themes: Films, Other artists

 

Toronto's Lord of the Rings

"The much-anticipated musical theatre version of The Lord of the Rings made its formal début in a gala première in Toronto on Thursday evening, and the reactions of the audience suggested that the massive production would not be leaving... [Continue Reading...]

The Tommy Douglas Story

Wow - we've just finished viewing a very moving film Prairie Giant: The Tommy Douglas Story, a two-part drama on CBC-TV. It's a fascinating biography of the man who became a long time premier of Saskatchewan and then the... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 13/03/2006 | be the first to comment
themes: Films, History

 

Isabel Bayrakdarian in Armenia

Last Thursday evening we decided to do a rare thing and watch TV, specifically CBC's Opening Night which featured A Long Journey Home. This is a beautifully filmed and spiritually moving documentary that follows Armenian-Canadian operatic soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 22/01/2006 | 2 comments
themes: Culture, Films, History, Music

 

on artists & celebrity

Poking around in my bookmarked "articles to re-read", I was taken in once again by this Guardian interview of JG Ballard about a year ago. His thoughts on today's art scene struck a chord with me: "Today's art scene? Very... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 14/06/2005 | 8 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Books, Culture, Films

 

'Rings' debut in Toronto

"The much-anticipated stage adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings trilogy will have its world premiere in Toronto, producers announced in London Tuesday. The $27-million show, co-produced by Toronto's Mirvish Productions, will open in March 2006 at... [Continue Reading...]

Ararat by Egoyan

Our Saturday Night at the Movies was spent comfortably at home with a DVD of Atom Egoyan's Ararat. Yes, I know it's already two years old, it took us this long to get around to it. Wow, what a powerful... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 30/11/2004 | 10 comments
themes: Films, History

 

Elvish

The Lord of the Rings mania has hit the schools! BBC has an amusing article "Do you speak Elf?", about Birmingham schoolboys who have volunteered for lessons in Sindarin, the "conversational" form of Elvish, invented by Lord of the... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 04/03/2004 | be the first to comment
themes: Films, Folk Legends & Myths, Linguistics

 

Whale Rider

I saw Whale Rider for the first time this weekend, on DVD. Though I do not intend to be a film critic on this blog, this movie is so astounding that I would like to share my excitement about... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 22/02/2004 | be the first to comment
themes: Ethnicity, Films, Folk Legends & Myths