The sun never sets (and a few words about rats)

Sunday, 1 July 2007 — 10:39pm | Animation, Canadiana, Film

It’s Canada Day. But before I go on: only $47M? Where were you all this weekend when you were supposed to be seeing Ratatouille?

This is the first time in several years that I’ve not posted here for the entire span of a month, but I assure you that I had an unfinished post from two weeks ago about Pixar’s latest sitting around, which I abandoned in part because it was hopelessly redundant. It went like this:

To absolutely nobody’s surprise, I cancelled all of my plans and zipped off to see Ratatouille as soon as I found out it was playing last night, two weeks ahead of its general release. By now everybody is familiar with the way I gush over every new Pixar film, so I’ll confirm that it’s just about perfect, declare my intention to revisit it several times when it opens, and marvel at how Pixar is a perfect eight for eight and is now indisputably the greatest feature film studio of all time. You know the routine.

… followed by a potpourri of trivial observations that I’ve decided to save until I’ve seen the film a few more times. (For example: was that Chinese take-out box in Linguini’s refrigerator the same model as the magician’s cabinet in A Bug’s Life? And where, if anywhere, is the elusive A113?) More on all this later – and if time permits, a few words about Brad Bird and the American Dream: a post-scriptum to what I wrote about The Incredibles, after a fashion.

Time will probably not permit. I have a lot of Harry Potter to get through. Again.

And now, back to the British Empire (as most things should be).

It’s my country’s special day, of course (musical recommendations: Kenny Barron’s rendition of “Canadian Sunset” on the album Live at Bradley’s, and as always, the entirety of Oscar Peterson’s Canadiana Suite), but that’s not the only special occasion involving the progeny of the Union Jack.

I don’t look favourably upon celebrity culture, so even as a loyalist I’ve never understood the extent of all the fuss over Princess Diana, but I do have to make a special mention of a moment buried in the sea of washed-up pop icons at her Wembley Stadium memorial. It involved Andrew Lloyd Webber, and you can see a segment of it here starring Sarah “I was singing this role before Emmy Rossum was toilet-trained” Brightman and Josh “I’m way too talented for the music I’m given, but Nick’s mother stalks me anyway” Groban.

The other event associated with this particular 1 July was the tenth anniversary of Britain’s loss of the colony of Hong Kong. On the upside, the Hong Kong SAR has managed to retain its autonomy in relative peace for a whole decade. At the same time, that only leaves forty years for the PRC to fall (the sooner, the better) lest the whole operation go to pot. It remains my learned opinion that the PRC basically extorted the place from the British crown by taking advantage of a post-Falklands moment of weakness. And before any of the vehemently anti-colonial types interject, let me point out that there’s a world of difference between a) decolonization in the name of self-determination and b) a transfer of sovereignty to a communist regime that we already knew couldn’t be trusted.

As I was pointing out not long ago to my comrade-in-arms Kyle Kawanami, the British government should have given Deng Xiaoping the finger and fulfilled its contractual obligation to the letter by handing the New Territories over to Taiwan.

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