Friday, June 17, 2016


Yesterday afternoon Debra told me about a movie she read about at the CBC website: Ottawander. There was a special, one-time screening at the Mayfair at 9:30, and why wasn't I going? If you're a longtime reader here at 30Squares, you know I'm partial to staging urban night photos on my layout, so it was right up my alley. I went.

Actually, Ottawander is a new local tv series available on Bell Fibe - I have Rogers, so the Mayfair screening was all I was going to see unless I switch - whose episodes are 40 minute nighttime wanders through various Ottawa streets with an ultra- high-res digital camera taking in all the sights. So far, only the first episode has been shot, and that's what the Mayfair was screening. 

The Ottawander crew's initial outing was a low-speed ramble along the hard luck Sparks Street pedestrian mall at around 9pm on an evening in late April. The photography is gorgeous. Pop-ups and superimposed old photos are inserted at various points along the way to explain facts and events that happened in the locations being shot. At this showing the band providing the soundtrack, the space-folk group the Orienteers, performed live. You might think of this a 21st century silent movie experience: ultra-high-res digital movie, dialog-less with integrated text, and an excellent live band providing music, all staged in a 1930s era movie house. 

At the post-screening Q&A it was noted that Ottawander was meant for ambient viewing at home or a party, but it does holdup for viewing in one sitting. I would have liked to have seen more regularly inserted pop-ups to provide a little more information about what I was seeing and to help keep the movie flowing. Although from the ones provided I did learn where Pierre Trudeau watched The Godfather in '72, where D'Arcy McGee was assassinated, and where Britain stashed all their gold reserves during World War II. This was a most enjoyable episode and I'm looking forward to seeing more in the Ottawander series.

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