Marja-Leena Rathje
Home ::: 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 way, so I'm happy about that. But in other art related news, I'm disappointed with some news, as are many of my fellow printmakers who submitted work last spring for jurying to the Krakow Print Triennial. I found out second-hand from an artist who was was in Krakow for her solo exhibition there (she was the Grand Prix winner in 2003) that about 350 artists were selected from over 2500 applicants. Only three Canadians, unknown to us, were accepted and none from the US, a rather unusual result. Rejection is par for the course but our biggest complaint is that there has been no communication from the triennial organizers about whose work has been accepted, which is unusual for an organization with an excellent reputation in the past. Funding issues, perhaps? Anyway, I had another look at the Triennial website and their list of winners, noting that one of the prize winners is a Canadian, one Cécile Boucher.

The dark, cool and damp evenings make us non-TV watchers a little more inclined to cuddle up on the sofa and watch a good movie. We'd been to the library a few days ago and scoured through their collection for some good selections so last night we watched one choice, The Constant Gardener. We enjoyed the love story, the exciting drama of attempts to expose the corrruption of the pharmaceutical companies in Africa, and most of all the film's beautiful and horrible scenes of northern Kenya and its very colourful and musical people. Here's a Quicktime trailer.

Now I'm awaiting the family's arrival any minute for a visit and dinner, another pleasant diversion away from the miserable weather beyond the rain-washed windows.

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


Didn't I recommend The Constant Gardener awhile back? :) Glad you liked it. I thought it was beautifully tragic.

I enjoyed The Constant Gardener, but I love Ralph Fiennes. And the cinematography was wonderful. You might also enjoy Nowhere in Africa. Funny, I saw it during a driving rainstorm, and felt warm and cozy in the theatre. It's a more personal story than political, set during WWII, a family of German-Jewish exiles in Africa. Gorgeously filmed and I found the relationship story interestingly complex.

Enjoy your family visit!

Nice photo and words. I do love this gloomy month. The problem is that here, so far, it's been clear and sunny. Darn the luck!

Erika, I think you did, and I'm glad I finally saw it.

Leslee, it's odd that both of the movies I've seen recently starred Fiennes. Thanks for the suggestion of Nowhere in Africa - I'll put it on my list of must-sees. And the family visit was fun - youngest grand-daughter is walking, almost running with such abandon and joy that one can't help but be happy watching her!

Dave, thanks! I remember you saying you don't like hot weather, but to actually like gloomy...I don't know that I believe you :-) I like cooler weather and don't mind some rain, but these storms are too much but they're typical November weather here in the rain forest.

I'm sorry about the non-acceptance. Lack of information is one of the worst things in life, and I wish that more organisers were considerate of applicants.

We enjoyed the beautiful landscapes in The Constant Gardner too. An apt antidote to a surfeit of greys!

Omega, I didn't quite know what to expect from the movie, so you're right, it turned out to be a great antidote in terms of the beautiful colours in the landscape. A little escapism does one good now and then.

That photo looks so "November" in wet territory. (I love the reflection of the gate.) Now I'm off to check out the movie. I could use a little color!

MB, wet is right and more storms are on the way. I think that calls for another movie of a warm colourful place, with or without plots about corruption. Hope you find this one suits.

I loved The Constant Gardener; and yours is a wonderful description of November. It does seem to be the time when everything pivots inward. As a writer, I welcome it, greys and all.

Thanks Patry! The outdoors doesn't tempt quite as much and gardening chores are almost done, so more time for artwork and writing! Actually, instead of being grey here, it's all very green with so many evergreens and even the lawns are greener than in summer.

Sorry about the Triennial selections, Marja-Leena! You are so generous, no matter what.

November in the northeast is one of my favorite months, color-wise, if not for its temperatures and rain! The vegetation turns to the most fabulous tapestry of chartreuse, gold, lavender, ochre, grey -- it feels a lot more harmonious and interesting to me than at many other times of the year, even if you have to work a little to see it!

Thanks, Beth. How marvelous it sounds out there! I know east of here there are so many more decidious trees that offer gorgeous fall colours, especially after frosts. This fall we had more colour than usual perhaps because of the drought, and we were admiring them right until November. The high winds and rain have knocked a lot off, but there's still colour.

The "Pineapple Express" continues here with warm temperatures and deluges of rain, apparently the tail end of a monsoon that hit the Philippines first. It was an adventure driving this morning, such as crossing a lake where the road should be, and having the windshield wipers going as fast as they could and still not seeing out! November is the wettest month here. A year ago there was a slide that destroyed some houses and killed one woman, so that's been under watch now, along with warnings to stay away from overflowing creeks and rivers running down the mountains. November has only just begun, so it's going to be long month, sigh. Anyways, looking inwards and being creative helps.