The Bill Murray Stories

billmurraystoryApparently there are lots of stories on the internet about Bill Murray doing some crazy spontaneous things where he crashes a party or a wedding picture session, comes behind someone in a public toilet and puts his hands on the person eyes saying “No one will ever believe you”, or ends up doing the dishes in some kid’s apartment. He just shows up out of the blue, acts like he is just a normal guy (not a celebrity) but in a way that touches people’s life. Could those stories be true? That’s the question which Tommy Avallone asked himself and decided to make a documentary about it. 

The Bill Murray Stories: Life Lessons Learned From a Mythical Man is a documentary that retells those stories and interviews the people who experienced them. It really seems that most stories — at least those told in the documentary — are true and there is pictorial or video evidences to prove it. Avallone then goes on asking himself: why? Why someone like Bill Murray would do such things? To goof around? As a publicity stunt? Not at all. It is just who Bill Murray is. It is part of an improv thing and part of a life philosophy (something like taoism or zen). He just like to live in the moment and make people happy.

Personally, I am just wondering what makes people wake up in the morning and decides to make a documentary about Bill Murray. You are in movie school and need to do one as an assignment? Or really want answers to those questions and decide to just films everything and try to make money out of it? Or you just have the “reporter” gene in your blood? I guess someone should make a documentary about that.

It’s not a very good documentary (it’s clumsy, particularly toward the end, and I dislike when someone makes a documentary about themselves looking for something) but I enjoyed it because I not only learned a lot about who is Bill Murray, but it was also quite entertaining (lots of funny anecdotes and movie excerpts). It reminds me of this book that I once saw in the library: The Tao of Bill Murray: Real-Life Stories of Joy, Enlightenment, and Party Crashing, by Gavin Edwards and R. Sikoryak, which was basically asking the same questions. [ Amazon / Goodreads / Library ]

Apparently, Bill Murray is quite an interesting person. But whether you are interested or not, whether you like documentaries or not, it doesn’t matter: if you just take the moment to watch this sixty-seven minutes movies you will certainly enjoy it. And maybe, maybe, you’ll take something out if it and wonder, like me, could I ever be that spontaneous and really live in the moment? stars-3-0

To learn more about this title you can consult the following web sites:

[ AmazonGoogleIMDbNetflixRotten TomatoesWikipedia ]

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Notable News (w42-w53)

It has been a little more than two months since the last entry of our journal. The weather has been relatively gray, since we’ve had very little snow so far, as it was—more often than not—rain and freezing rain, and lots of ups and downs in the temperature. The most notable events on the domestic front included a strange saga over the video of a panel at the book fair, where I also attended the launch of Solaris #208 and did a capsule interview with Catherine Sylvestre. We had again a problem of flicker in our electricity (strangely only on one side of the house), so bad that one night I thought my apartment had become a disco! Finally, we found the source of the problem (old wirings) and hired an electrician for a temporary fix but we will have to change the electrical entry in spring.

Somehow my sister’s cats managed to start the shower while she was on vacation. It lasted about twenty minutes before we realized that water was dripping from my bathroom’s ceiling. Luckily this small flood was relatively contained but we had to mopped the floor for a couple of hours in the middle of the night. The damage is limited but we will have to redo our bathroom’s ceiling…

The work-place was not too much a strain on my mental health, beside the continuing problem with the ventilation and heating system (strangely when this happens at another library of the borough they close immediately while we have to endure and work in very unpleasant conditions—that’s so unfair!) and some dubious decision on age classification of some mangas (Bride Stories, Nausicaa & Mafalda for kids! Are you joking?)!

readings2018Apple announced new Macs and iPads. We attended the vegan fest again, visited the Book of Hours and the Calder exhibits. I reached my reading goal for the year (fifty books! But, as usual, it was mostly comics and mangas). This allowed my to comment on  a few books (C Comme Cthulhu, Le Chat du Rabbin 8, Isabella Bird 3, Nous rêvions de robots, Pline 6, Ross Poldark, and a book about the New Yorker’s cartoons). I also wrote about the works (bande dessinée) of Philippe Gauckler: Convoi, Prince Lao and Koralovski. Unfortunately, I still watch too much TV and movies (A place to call home season 6, Mars season 2, Murder on the Orient Express, Outlaw KingPicnic at Hanging RockRBG, Solo, Transformer: The Last Knight, Traverlers season 3). Finally, I took some time to reminisce about the fanzine era and the old Protoculture days.

2018blogstatsI just completed my first year with so I don’t have much basis to compare this year’s statistics (although I remember that with Internic’s hosting I had ten times more traffic so either they were calculating it differently or I lost some followers in the switch or WordPress is not promoting the traffic as well). There is also a slight difference between WordPress’ and StatCounter’s numbers. Anyway, in 2018 I posted 319 entries (a 16% increase), acquired 68 followers and received (if we round up a little) an average of a thousand views per month or 350 visitors per month (about 135 returning visitors per month). It is not as much as I would I’ve liked but it is a beginning. The most important is that it keeps increasing from month to month. I’ll keep improving the blog and (hopefully) writing more so it will be at its best when I retire and make it my main occupation (in about 3064 days!). 


Doonesbury (2018/10/21)

On the world stage, the months of November and December had their lots of typhoon, floods, wildfires, tsunami, and violent protests in France, but it is mainly the U.S. Mid-term elections that retained the attention. In reaction to Trump’s insane White House, people went to the ballot with numbers not seen in nearly a century allowing the Democrats to retake the House by electing many young candidates, including several women (95), members of racial minorities (two Muslim and two Native Americans) or of the LGBT! Space exploration was also in the news as we landed another probe on Mars, explored more asteroids and mini-planets, and China landed a probe on the far-side of the moon.

All in all, 2018 was a very challenging year for everyone, so let’s hope that 2019 will be much better.

Through all this I tried to stay acquainted with the affairs of the world and gathered a few notable news & links — which I now share with you (in both french or english, slightly categorized, but in no particular order — note that, to save on coding time, the links will NOT open in a new window as usual), after the jump.

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SDL: La Philosophie-Fiction


Voici une vidéo qui offre des extraits de la conférence sur la “Philosophie fiction” présenté sur l’Espace TD du Salon du Livre de Montréal le mercredi 14 novembre 2018 à 19h00 — voir mon billet “SDL: Jour 1, mercredi”. Animée par Jocelyn Lebeau, les participants incluaient Elisabeth Vonarburg, Esther Rochon, Bernard Werber et Karoline Georges. Dans cet extrait il manque les quinze première minutes ainsi que toutes les interventions de Mme Georges (retirées à sa demande)… mais cela reste une très intéressante discussion qu’il valait la peine de partager, je crois.

(Mise à jour: 2018/12/03)

J’ai retiré la video de la conférence à la demande de Karoline Georges qui affirme ne pas avoir donné son consentement pour être filmé ainsi que pour la diffusion de la conférence.  Toutefois aucun consentement de la sorte n’est requis pour filmer et diffuser un événement publique, qui se déroule sur un lieu publique. J’ai vérifié ce point légal avec un ami avocat qui pratique le droit intellectuel international dans une firme importante et qui l’enseigne dans une université américaine. J’ai cependant retiré la video pour le moment par courtoisie.

Je trouve cela très dommage car cette table-ronde offrait une discussion très intéressant et que ce n’est pas tout les jours que des auteurs de science-fiction québécoise ont la chance de débattre ce genre de sujet sur une scène du salon du livre.

Je reste très pantois sur la position de Karoline Georges. Un auteur se présente au salon du livre pour faire la promotion de sa personne et de ses livres. Il est dans son intérêt de rejoindre le plus de personnes possible, chacun étant un lecteur potentiel. Lorsqu’un bibliophile (promoteur de la SFQ de longue date) assiste à une conférence publique (sur un lieu publique), l’enregistre et veut la partager parce qu’il trouve ça bon et intéressant, n’est-ce pas dans l’intérêt de l’auteur qu’elle soit diffusée? Si une personne ne veut pas être vue, elle n’a qu’à NE PAS monter sur une scène publique et prendre la parole! Beaucoup d’auteurs n’ont pas la chance d’avoir une telle tribune. Je ne comprends simplement pas.

Ce sera quoi la prochaine fois? Demander qu’on retire un commentaire de lecture parce qu’on aime pas la critique? Vous en pensez quoi, mes chers lecteurs?

Je serais particulièrement intéressé à lire ce que mes collègues du milieu SFQ en pensent… N’hésitez pas à commenter sur ce billet ou sur le fil Facebook

(mise à jour : 2018/11/20)

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SDL: Jour 1, mercredi



Mercredi, 14 novembre, le salon du livre (SDL) était ouvert gratuitement au grand public. Tel que promis, j’y étais. J’avais peur qu’il y ait une foule monstre mais finalement il n’y avait pas tant de monde que ça. La journée des bibliothèques (où l’on peut entrer gratuitement avec une carte de membre des bibliothèques de Montréal ou de la BAnQ) est maintenant le jeudi! Il est clair que le salon fait de grands efforts pour être accessible à un plus grand public.

Cette année, les invités d’honneur sont Joséphine Bacon, Samuel Champagne, Martine Devaux, Marianne Ferrer, Dany Laferrière, Heather O’Neill, Alain Vadeboncoeur et Bernard Werber. On note quelques innovations dont une zone SDL ADO (c’est tout un engagement de tenter de dynamiser les visites des adolescents au salon. Bonne chance!) et une présence accrue d’éditeurs et d’écrivains anglophones, entre autre avec la présence de l’Association of English Language Publishers of Quebec et la Quebec Writer’s Federation, ainsi que des librairies anglophones (Drawn & Quarterly et Paragraphe).

IMG_3895Comme à mon habitude, j’en ai fait le tour dans tout les sens, afin de prendre le pouls de l’édition cette année. Mais il y a tellement de chose à voir (des BD, des romans, des tonnes de documentaires, des livres pour enfants, des livres audio, et j’en passe) que s’en est accablant. La tête me tourne juste à y penser…

Je note d’abord l’absence du cahier-guide habituel qui a été remplacé cette année par une charmante carte beaucoup plus pratique et, surtout, écologique. On a pas vraiment besoin des articles qu’offrait auparavant le cahier. C’était la carte qui était le plus utile. Bon choix.

Chrysanthe1GFCette année, je n’ai rien vu dans les nouveautés qui ait particulièrement éveillé mon désir. Un livre m’a intrigué: Shinrin Yoku; Les bains de forêt, le secret de santé naturelle des Japonais par Pr. Yoshifumi Miyazaki [Biblio-Mtl]. Et il y a bien sûr les plus récentes parutions chez Alire: Les Pierres et les Roses 2: La voie des roses et Les Pierres et les Roses 3: La Balance et le Sablier par Élisabeth Vonarburg, Radio Vérité: la radio du vrai monde par Jean-Jacques Pelletier, Neiges Rouges par François Lévesque, Chrysanthe 1: La Princess perdue  par Yves Meynard, et Les Traitres du Camp 133 par Wayne Arthurson. Ne manquez pas de mettre la main sur leur Catalogue 2018-2019!

J’ai profité du salon pour prendre contact auprès des distributeurs de BD et de manga pour quêter quelques services de presse. Je n’ai pas eu recours à des services de presse pour faire des commentaires de lecture depuis très longtemps (pendant plus de vingt ans j’ai écris sur la SF francophone quand je faisais Samizdat et sur les mangas en anglais quand je faisais Protoculture Addicts). Mais je fais ce blogue depuis plus d’une dizaine d’années alors il serait temps que je commente un peu plus de nouveautés… Et pour ça, je vais avoir besoin de recevoir des services de presse. On verra ce que ça donne.

IMG_3900J’ai aussi assisté sur l’Espace TD à une intéressante conférence sur la “Philosophie fiction” avec Karoline Georges, Elisabeth Vonarburg, Esther Rochon et Bernard Werber. Mais n’est-ce justement pas l’attribut de la science-fiction (et des littératures de l’imaginaire) de raconter des histoires qui se déroulent hors de notre quotidien ou de notre réalité pour se questionner sur la nature humaine et ses possibles devenir? Des extraits video de la conférence seront ajouté au blogue dans les jours qui suivent.



Je remarque qu’il n’y toujours pas de présence des bibliothèques de Montréal au SDL (en fait, cette année, je crois que même la BAnQ n’avait aucun kiosque). Cela est très décevant car le SDL est pourtant l’endroit idéal pour rejoindre des lecteurs. Étrangement, beaucoup de citoyens de Montréal ignorent qu’ils ont accès à un vaste réseau de bibliothèques où ils peuvent emprunter gratuitement tout les livres qu’ils désirent (ou presque)!

En fait, plus je fréquente les bibliothèques et plus je me rends comptes que je n’ai plus (et ne ressent plus) le besoin d’acheter des livres, puisque je trouve tout ce que je veux dans les bibliothèques (même les nouveautés — avec un léger délai). Je n’achète donc presque plus de livres — à moins, bien sûr, d’un énorme coup de coeur (ça arrive). Et puis, il faut tout de même en acheter quelques uns pour faire vivre les libraires, les éditeurs et, surtout, les auteurs!

IMG_3898Le SDL est donc à voir absolument. C’est l’endroit idéal pour avoir une vue d’ensemble de l’édition francophone, pour découvrir les dernières nouveautés et pour faire ses emplettes des fêtes!

Moi, j’y retourne samedi pour le lancement du numéro 208 de la revue Solaris (au kiosque d’Alire — le #364). Au plaisir de vous y voir!

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FFM 2018: Wrap-up


It has been a good festival this year.

There was no scuffle to get the credentials, no problem with the schedule or screenings and an excellent selection of titles. 

Of course, it could be better. Apparently they brought back the Movie Market (and the press room?). I heard it was on the third floor of the Imperial, but couldn’t find how to get to it… In the past, they were always the practical places to access press information and to be able to screen video on our own schedule. However, what I really miss is the press conferences where we could have direct access to the film crew and cast of the movies in competition. Beside that, for me, the festival is already all I needs it to be.

As long as there’s good movies to watch, people should be happy. At least, as long as there’s Japanese movies, I’ll be happy. Although, come to think of it, the festival deserves a bigger audience. In the past, I used to see lots of people from the local Japanese community, but I saw very few of them this year. Most of the movie I’ve screened this year had barely an audience of a dozen people! Of course, there was absolutely no advertising this year and very little media coverage, so it certainly didn’t helped. And the last couple of years have had a fair share of scheduling and screening problems which might also have discouraged people from attending this year. If there is a festival next year (the same question come back every year lately), this really must be improved.

Another needed improvement, beside more advertising, would be more screens. The festival could use at least a couple more rooms of the Quartier Latin (if not the entire floor like in the good old years). However, for that to happen, the festival would need more budget. Not to put on lavish parties, but to make sure that all the movies can be screened at least a couple of times. Why not giving the festival a chance and give it again at least some subsidies?

The festival certainly has its share of detractors. People who don’t think it can improve or who want to see something else in its stead. Strangely, most of the criticism seems to come from the anglophone community (for example, the articles in The Gazette appears to be quite hostile). However, I don’t think that the majority of people in or around the local movie industry want the festival to continue in its downward spiral of death. But we don’t want a glamorous festival like Cannes or Toronto either (yeah, it’s nice to see Brad Pitt or the latest blockbuster with its load of stars, but what’s the use if that movie is gonna by in all theatres two weeks later?). Personally, I want a festival where I can see movies I couldn’t see anywhere else. Movies from all around the world. A festival that gives their chances to young or unknown directors, to small productions. A festival that doesn’t exclude stars, but that is not built around them. That’s what the festival was in the past and I think this formula can still works. There is no other festival like this one. And we can still mend its wounds. We must. Of course, every parties will need to water down its position a little. The government (local, provincial or federal) must look past previous disagreements and accept to provide a little help. And Losique needs to let go of his creation and prepare some sort of succession. Pass on the mantle while still remaining in the background to provide his knowledge and wisdom. If he doesn’t do that, the festival will surely die with him… We’ve seen a little improvement this year, so let’s hope it can continue in that direction…

All in all, this year, I’ve succeeded to watch five of the eight Japanese movies. I am pretty happy with this score. The selection included a great variety: a samurai movie, a docudrama-style movie, a comedy, a yakuza movie and a biopic — I wish I could have added to my score card the documentary, the action movie and the scary co-production!  And almost all the titles I’ve seen were good movies — save one which was a disappointment. Beside this last entry, I was able to write seven articles (including five movie comments) about the festival (which represents more articles than La Presse, Le Devoir or The Gazette each wrote about the FFM !).

Please read our other articles on the festival:

Your can also check the review of the Japanese movies at the FFM by Claude R. Blouin (in French: “FFM 2018: Cinq témoins japonais de la condition humaine” on

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The festival’s awards:

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