Friday, November 11, 2016

On epiphanies and coincidences...


Hello, Ez Sez Friends, 

On the occasion of his death this week, here is my Leonard Cohen story...

I hopped a flight to L.A. about 12 years ago with my first iPod. It was, on a whim, loaded up with three early Leonard Cohen albums I had never heard before.

Somehow, perhaps because I had been so focused on Dylan's music in previous years, I had never given Leonard's music a chance. Sure, I had heard a song or two on the radio or on a record store's sound system, but I'd never felt compelled to add an album of his to my collection. My loyalty to Bob was perhaps at the time too strong.

On the flight, I stared out the window and soaked in those old Cohen albums carefully, enjoying them immensely. No distractions, just plain old fashioned focus. And it all clicked. The music, the man, the message. I was finally "getting" what it was that excited - that hooked - people so much about him. It felt so good to join the LC club as I floated high above the clouds and stared at the Earth's horizon listening to this one true dude. An airborne epiphany.

After the flight, as I awaited my bags at the baggage carousel at LAX, I just barely, somehow - as if guided by God or god knows what - spotted none other than that selfsame one true dude hurrying down the hallway 25 feet away.

The coincidence of it all was startling and I knew had to tell somebody. Someone needed to be a witness to this. I abandoned my bags at the carousel and decided... "I'll just tell the man himself."

I zipped over alongside him and excused myself for the interruption.

He graciously replied he was in a bit of a rush. I gently countered with, "I won't take up more than a few seconds of your time. I had to share this coincidence, Mr. Cohen. I'm a nice young Jewish boy like yourself from Montreal and a few days ago I got my first iPod. I loaded it up with your music which I'd somehow never before heard in any detail. I just sat on a plane from Montreal giving it a very careful listen. And then you walked by. And here we are. So, I just had to tell you, Mr. Cohen, mazel tov. That is some beautiful music. Thank you for making it and thanks for being here for me to thank you."

He chuckled, smiled, and gave me a patented deep-octave, rumbly "Well, thank you. Thank you very much." And then he walked away.

One of the coolest coincidences of my life. Glad to have shared it with him and glad to have shared it with you.

P.S. The above photo of a crowd in awe was one I took at Cohen's Bell Centre show a couple of years back. I knew I'd have a use for it some day. Pleased to join it to this post as a tribute to him and to all you guys who have shared so many memories of Leonard yesterday and today on Facebook. Keep them coming.

Nor oyf simchas, as they say. On happier occasions. Ez

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Introducing Earle E. Squirly

This. Guy. Likes. Punkin'. Seeds. Yip.
(Click image to watch)

An Earle E. Halloween from me and my new short movie star and friend, Earle E. Squirly.

Watch his new 1 minute short today. And/or tomorrow.

Ez

EzraSoiferman.com

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Ez Sez Artist in Res'

Dear Friends,

I'm thrilled to announce that I've been selected as the very first Artist in Residence at Tweed, Canada's largest licensed producer of medical cannabis. This is by all accounts the first artist in residence program at any cannabis company worldwide. As a longtime advocate for the sheer versatility of this plant, and as a proud artist, you can imagine what an honour this is. Especially at a time when we see cannabis legalization turn a corner from pipe dream to a multi-billion-dollar industry.

There is most certainly a place for a bit of art and fun in all this, and I'm ready to bring it.

Here is the company's official press release.


Though Tweed is headquartered in Smiths Falls, Ontario, and housed in Canada's sprawling former Hershey's Chocolate factory, the year-long photography-based residency will see me continue to reside at home in Montreal (perhaps you were wondering if I'd have to live in a giant marijuana factory - I don't), all the while affording me a budget and mandate to travel to various cities across Canada and worldwide to create exciting new photo series of my own creation. Some of these photo project will be marijuana and hemp related while others will be more general in theme, taking their inspiration from the colourful world around us.

Ez in Res': a lab coat selfie on a recent visit to Tweed's headquarters

The Tweed factory in Smiths Falls, ON
I first met the good folks at Tweed back in 2014 when I visited there to film a pivotal scene from my cannabis edibles film, Grass Fed. I had dropped by with comedian, sciatica patient and Tweed customer Mike Paterson. You can watch Mike and Tweed's parent company president Mark Zekulin in this unforgettable scene in Grass Fed which is now on iTunes.

I stayed in touch with the team at Tweed ever since and they loved my idea for the company to take on an artist in residence. I'm incredibly grateful to them for this unprecedented opportunity.

Extra special thanks also go out to my old pals Paul Flicker and Andy Nulman for their very kind letters of reference on my behalf. Andy gracefully began his letter to Tweed with:

"If you are actually, seriously considering making Ezra Soiferman your inaugural Artist-in-Residence at Tweed, I’d ask 'What are you smoking?'...but that would be obvious and disrespectful."

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Josh Ritter and me backstage
at his recent concert in Albany, NY
And now some more good news, I'm very pleased to share the inaugural project of my residency. "The Walls of Montreal" / "Les Murs de Montréal" is a brand new music photeo (huh?) featuring the captivating song "Homecoming" by Idaho-born, Brooklyn-based folk-rocker Josh Ritter, of whom I'm an old fan.

Click the above image or this link to watch the brand new video!
(Featured mural by Chris Dyer)
Between 2013 and 2016, I photographed over 1500 artistic painted murals throughout the streets and alleys of Montreal. The project was inspired by my daughter Talula's fascination with the colourful murals we were constantly discovering together on our everyday adventures in our neighbourhood (NDG) and throughout the city. We could not believe how many there were out there.

On the hunt for more murals
Talula admiring a downtown mural
The video will be shared by Tourisme Montréal and Notre-Dame-des-Arts and will make its film festival premiere at NDG Arts Week on Friday, August 26th at 8pm at the NDG Off The Wall Film Festival in Montreal's Girouard Park. Please join me for this fun annual outdoor community event.

Tweed recently entered into a business venture with hip-hop legend Snoop Dogg. As part of my residency, I was invited down to Toronto by the company to photograph Snoop at his concert and at a private Tweed-sponsored after-party at which he was DJ'ing. Quite the experience, to say the least. Here are a couple of shots from the night. I'll be releasing more shots from this night throughout the year.

 


'Soif Dogg' at the Snoop after-party in Toronto
Stay tuned for more photos, photo series and music photeos from me throughout the year. There's lots and lots in the works and I'll be sharing it all for you here and at my new site: EzraSoiferman.com.

Huh?! New website?! Why yes... I built a brand new site and it's already loaded up with many photo series for you to see!  Have a look around. EzSez.com will remain the go-to place for all my news and  EzraSoiferman.com will feature in-depth looks at my photo projects, info on my ongoing filmmaking work and much more.

As we like to say at EzraSoiferman.com, "Come for the flicks, stay for the pix!"

Finally, I'm also now on Twitter. Follow @EzraSoif today.

OK, please enjoy my new short video "The Walls of Montreal", an entirely new way to appreciate this city I love, thanks to the art of so many truly incredible mural artists.

Regards to all from Montreal,

Ezra

Ezra Soiferman
Documentary filmmaker and photographer

Friday, March 25, 2016

"Last Game at The Forum" - 20 years 'on ice'...




Watch the "Last Game at The Forum" video : 

Watch the project's 'music photeo' (huh?) by Ezra Soiferman 
featuring the rousing song "We Go Home" by Adam Cohen.
Click here to watch it on YouTube.
Special thanks to 
Adam Cohen and his manager Jake Gold for their blessing to use this song as part of the project.

Version française ici.

I’ve been keeping this project 'on ice' for 20 years… 

“Last Game at The Forum” is my new limited-edition coffee-table book and gallery exhibit featuring previously-unseen 'time capsule' documentary images I took of the staff, fans, structure and soul of the beloved Montreal Forum on March 11th, 1996, during the final Canadiens game at the hallowed building.


Photo of Ezra by Heather Black, Westmount Independent

The project was unveiled with a gallery vernissage and book launch at Le Frame Shoppe's Art Victoria Park on March 11th, 2016, the night of the 20th anniversary of that 'last game'. It was incredibly heartwarming to see the enthusiastic crowd on hand to see the photos.  All books at the event sold out as well as all the copies that had been printed up for online pre-orders. I was overjoyed by the response.

"The Reds"
Book Update: The first batch of books sold out thanks to online orders and the gallery opening - Thank you! New ones have now been received from the printer.  Place an order for your copy below. 

Gallery Update: The gallery show has now come down. It went up on March 11th, 2016, and was held over due to popular demand until April 8th. The show featured 25 limited edition frames at Art Victoria Park in Montreal. Thank you to everyone who purchased signed and limited edition frames at the gallery.  To inquire about purchasing frames from the series, please contact: ezrasoif at gmail dot com.



"Silhouette"
“Ezra Soiferman’s book revives Montreal Forum ghosts. What’s most appealing is that the photos don’t focus on the game, rather on the fans, Forum hot-dog and beer dispensers and other human fixtures and the building itself.”
-Bill Brownstein, Montreal Gazette


Click here to read the Montreal Gazette article by Bill Brownstein

“Beyond excited, I got teary-eyed.”
-Toula Drimonis, Host, CJAD


"Forum"

I became wildly nostalgic as soon as I started to look at these pictures… 
It managed to capture the spirit of another era. 
If you have ever been to the Montreal Forum, 
or if you never got to go to the Forum, you want to see this.” 
-Terry DiMonte, Host, CHOM 97.7FM


With Global TV reporter Kelly Greig at the Forum, now a multiplex cinema.
Click here to watch the full report. 

Press coverage for the photo series and book: 

- The project's music video was talked about on CBC-Montreal's Homerun show on April 1st.
- Coverage of the show in the Westmount Independent's March 22nd issue. Features the photo of Ezra seen above.
Covered on Dave Fisher's Dave's World CJAD radio show by Gazette columnist Bill Brownstein on March 19th.
Review of the book by Stuart Nulman in the Montreal Times of March 19th.
Featured by Le Devoir in the 'Sorties week-end' section on March 18th.
-Bill Brownstein of the Montreal Gazette wrote a column all about the project on March 15th, 2016.
- I participated in a Forum reminiscence session and interview on CJAD's The Exchange with Dave Kaufman and Dave McGimpsey on Friday, March 11th right after the book launch event.
Fun interview on TSN Radio 690's "The Montreal Forum" show with Tony Marinaro on March 11th.
-Featured on Global TV Montreal with Kelly Greig on March 11th. Watch the full clip here. I also appeared in this separate clip from the Global nightly news the same day.
Sue Smith interviewed me on CBC-Montreal's Homerun show on March 10th talking about the book and the 'chocolate hockey pucks' to be served at the book launch.
- Always awesome talking to CHOM 97.7. This interview was on March 10th, with Terry DiMonte + Heather Backman. 
- Read Mike Cohen's March 9th column in the Suburban about "Last Game at The Forum" here.
- Photos from the book featured on the MTL Blog's facebook page on March 7th.
- Here's an in-depth interview I did on March 5th with CJAD host Toula Drimonis all about the project and how it came to be. The interview also features a discussion about my TVO/CBC doc Man of Grease.

Download the full press clippings kit for the project here.

Canadiens legend Guy Lafleur and Forum anthem singer André Ouellet

About the book...

The 72-page "Last Game at The Forum", a Limited Edition volume released on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the last Montreal Canadiens game at the Montreal Forum, features:

- 11”x9” glossy coffee-table format with bilingual English/French text
- 65 powerful colour and black + white 35mm photos, shot on March 11, 1996
- Historical images of the Montreal Forum from the Ville de Montréal Archives
- A foreword by Ronald Corey, President of the Montreal Canadiens from 1982-1999
- An Artist’s Statement outlining the unexpected way that this project came to be
- The Artist's signature

Order your signed* copy of “Last Game at The Forum” securely with Paypal using the pulldown menu below. 



All prices include shipping, handling and applicable taxes EXCEPT "Pickup" prices which do not include shipping and handling. Select pickup ONLY if you'd like to arrange for pickup in NDG.

To whom should book be inscribed? i.e. 'For John'. (By leaving the box below blank, you will receive an artist-signed book without a personal inscription.)

Note: If you do not use Paypal, or have any ordering questions, please contact Ezra Soiferman at: ezrasoif at gmail dot com, or through this Contact page. Other payment methods are available.

"Stanley Cup Hats with Kid Mercury", the image referred to at the start
of Bill Brownstein's Montreal Gazette column about the book

Thanks to everyone who emailed me since I announced this 'surprise anniversary' project. Happy to know it's got you reminiscing about the Forum back in the day. This all means a lot to me. I love hearing your stories about going to see games and concerts at the Forum. Keep them coming! (my contact info is above)

"On Their Feet"

And finally, a little bonus: Part of the fun with the project has been letting people know that if you were at the last game at the Forum and spot yourself in any of the photos in the book, you will receive a free signed print of that image as a token of my appreciation. Let me know...

Please spread the word about this historical art project with friends who love hockey, fellow Habs fans and fans of Montreal.

Go Habs Go...

-Ez

Ezra Soiferman


'Last game' ticket (supplied by www.CanadiensMemorabilia.Com)

"Backs of Heads - Forum"

Dernier match au Forum : 20 ans « sur la glace »

Regarder le vidéo-clip « Dernier match au Forum »  :


Le vidéo a comme trame sonore le chanson « We Go Home » par Adam Cohen.
Regarder le video ici sur YouTube. 

For English, click here.

Je garde ce projet de livre de photographies « sur la glace » depuis 20 ans… 

Dernier match au Forum, mon nouveau livre cadeau à tirage limité et mon exposition, présentent des images documentaires jamais vues : les photos que j’ai prises des employés, des fans, de la structure et même de l’âme du bien-aimé Forum de Montréal le 11 mars 1996, pendant la toute dernière partie qu’ont jouée les Canadiens dans ce bâtiment sacré.

Photo d’Ezra par Heather Black, Westmount Independent
Le projet a été lancé avec une exposition et le lancement du livre à l’espace Art Victoria Park de Le Frame Shoppe le vendredi 11 mars 2016, soirée du 20e anniversaire de cette partie. J’ai été vraiment touché de côtoyer les très nombreuses personnes qui se sont présentées pour voir les images et accompagner ce projet à ses débuts. Tous les livres du premier lot ont été vendus lors du vernissage ou à l'avance, en ligne. Je suis réellement enchanté et extrêmement reconnaissant.

Mise à jour concernant le livre Tous les livres du premier lot sont épuisés grâce aux ventes en ligne ou lors du vernissage. Un immense merci à tous et toutes pour vos achats. J’ai commandé un nouveau lot de la même édition du livre à l’imprimeur et ils sont déjà arrivés. Vous pouvez commander votre (vos) exemplaire(s) ci-dessous.

J’adresse des remerciements particuliers à ceux et celles qui ont acheté des reproductions signées en plus des livres à l'espace d'exposition Art Victoria Park (11 mars - 8 avril, 2016). Les reproductions encadrées font partie de séries à tirage limité (seulement 20 exemplaires pour chaque série). Pour plus de renseignements : ezrasoif à gmail point com

« Le livre d’Ezra Soiferman ranime les fantômes du Forum de Montréal. Le plus touchant, c’est que les photos ne montrent pas la partie, mais plutôt les fans, les distributeurs de hot-dogs et de bière du Forum et autres éléments du “mobilier humain”, ainsi que le bâtiment lui-même. »
Bill Brownstein, Montreal Gazette

« J’étais plus qu’enthousiasmée, j’en avais les larmes aux yeux. » 
Toula Drimonis, animatrice, CJAD

« Je suis devenu éperdument nostalgique en posant les yeux sur les premières images […][Le livre] réussit à saisir l’esprit d’une autre époque. » 
Terry DiMonte, CHOM 97.7FM

Avec la journaliste de Global TV Kelly Greig au Forum, aujourd’hui un cinéma multiplexe.
Cliquer ici pour visionner l’entrevue.
 
Couverture médiatique de la série de photos et du livre : 


Sue Smith a discuté le nouveau vidéo-clip du projet au cours de l’émission radiophonique Homerun de CBC-Montreal le 31 mars.
- Le Westmount Independent a annoncé l’exposition dans son édition du 22 mars. Voir plus haut la belle photo de moi prise par leur journaliste.
- Le chroniqueur de la Gazette Bill Brownstein en a parlé pendant l’émission de radio de CJAD Dave’s World animée par Dave Fisher.
- Stuart Nulman a écrit un compte rendu sur le livre dans le Montreal Times du 19 mars.
- L’exposition était annoncée dans le cahier « Week-end » du Devoir daté du 18 mars.
- Le 15 mars, Bill Brownstein de la Montreal Gazette a consacré toute sa chronique au projet.
- Le vendredi 11 mars, juste après le lancement du livre, j’ai échangé des réminiscences du Forum, avec Dave Kaufman et Dave McGimpsey, en participant à une entrevue à l’émission The Exchange sur CJAD.
- Vous pouvez écouter ici mon entrevue avec Tony Marinaro dans l’émission The Montreal Forum, diffusée le 11 mars sur la radio TSN 690.
- Je me suis entretenu avec Kelly Greig sur Global TV Montreal le 11 mars. Cliquer ici pour visionner l’entrevue. J’apparais aussi dans cette autre séquence des nouvelles de Global, le soir du même jour.
- Sue Smith m’a interviewé au cours de l’émission radiophonique Homerun de CBC-Montreal le 10 mars et nous avons parlé du livre et des « rondelles de hockey en chocolat » qui seraient servies lors du lancement du livre.
- C’est toujours formidable d’être interviewé sur CHOM 97.7. Cette entrevue a eu lieu le 10 mars avec Terry DiMonte et Heather Backman.
- Lisez ici la chronique que Mike Cohen a consacrée à Dernier match au Forum dans le journal The Suburban daté du 9 mars.
- Des photos tirées du livre sont parues sur la page Facebook MTL Blog le 7 mars.
- Écoutez la longue entrevue que j’ai eue le 5 mars avec l’animatrice de CJAD Toula Drimonis au sujet du projet et de sa naissance. L’entrevue a aussi donné lieu à une discussion sur mon documentaire pour TVOntario/CBC, Man of Grease.


La légende des Canadiens Guy Lafleur et le chanteur d’hymnes du Forum André Ouellet

Au sujet du livre

Procurez-vous le tout nouveau beau livre DERNIER MATCH AU FORUM.

Cet ouvrage de 72 pages à tirage limité, publié à la veille du 20e anniversaire de la dernière partie des Canadiens de Montréal au Forum, présente :
- un format 11 x 9 po (27,5 x 22,5 cm) sur papier brillant avec texte en français et en anglais;
- 65 photographies 35 mm impressionnantes, en couleur et en noir et blanc, prises le 11 mars 1996;
- des images historiques du Forum de Montréal extraites des Archives de Montréal;
- un avant-propos de Ronald Corey, président des Canadiens de Montréal de 1982 à 1999;
- les réflexions de l’artiste, qui résument la manière inattendue dont ce projet a vu le jour;
- la signature de l’artiste.

Pour commander votre exemplaire autographié* en toute sécurité avec Paypal, utilisez le menu déroulant ci-dessous. 


Tous les prix comprennent l’expédition, la manutention et les taxes applicables SAUF les prix « collecte », qui ne comprennent pas l’expédition et la manutention. Choisissez l’option « collecte » SEULEMENT SI vous souhaitez venir chercher vous-même votre exemplaire dans Notre-Dame-de-Grâce :

*À qui souhaitez-vous faire dédicacer le livre ? (Si vous n’inscrivez rien dans la case ci-dessous, vous recevrez un livre autographié par l’auteur sans dédicace personnelle.) :
Remarque : Si vous n’utilisez pas Paypal ou si vous avez une question concernant la commande, veuillez communiquer avec Ezra Soiferman à : ezrasoif  à gmail point com ou par l’intermédiaire de cette page. Il existe d’autres modes de paiement.

Mes remerciements à toutes les personnes qui m’ont écrit par courriel depuis que j’ai annoncé ce projet « d’anniversaire-surprise ». Je suis heureux de savoir qu’il vous a rappelé des souvenirs du Forum en son temps. Ces commentaires sont très importants pour moi. J’adore lire vos histoires concernant les matchs et les concerts que vous avez vus au Forum. Continuez à m’en envoyer! (Vous trouverez mes coordonnées plus haut.)

Finalement, un petit bonus : une partie du plaisir que j’ai retiré de ce projet a été de dire aux gens que s’ils avaient assisté à ce dernier match au Forum et s’ils se voyaient sur l’une des photos du livre, ils recevraient un exemplaire autographié de cette image en témoignage de ma reconnaissance. Manifestez-vous...

Merci de faire connaître ce projet artistique historique à vos amis et amies qui aiment le hockey et qui, comme moi, aiment les Canadiens et Montréal.

« Go Habs Go! »

-Ez

Ezra Soiferman