Tales from the Gimli Hospital: Reframed


Tales from the Gimli Hospital: Reframed
Director: Guy Maddin, 1988, 2011
Country: Canada

Cast includes: Kyle McCulloch (Einar the Lonely / Minstrel); Michael Gottli (Gunnar); Angela Heck (Snjófridur); Margaret Anne MacLeod (Amma); Heather Neale (Granddaughter); David Neale (Grandson); Don Hewak (John Ramsay); Ron Eyolfson (Pastor Osbaldison / Patient [as Ronald Eyolfson]); Chris Johnson (Lord Dufferin); Donna Szöke (Fish Princess)

Score composed by: William Satake Blauvelt, Borgar Magnason, Dean Moore, Matthew Patton, Naho Shioya, Maria Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir, Gyða Valtýsdóttir, Kristín Anna Valtýsdóttir

Performed by: Borgar Magnason, Maria Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir, Gyða Valtýsdóttir, Kristín Anna Valtýsdóttir, Aono Jikken Ensemble featuring William Satake Blauvelt, Dean Moore, and Naho Shioya

Narrated by: Kristín Anna Valtýsdóttir

Live electronics: Paul Corley

A love triangle with smallpox

According to Wikipedia, Gimli, Manitoba is a rural municipality located on the western shore of Lake Winnipeg. The area, known as New Iceland, is home to the largest concentration of people of Icelandic ancestry outside Iceland.

“In 1870 Icelanders fled volcanic eruptions and created New Iceland in Canada, north of Winnepeg, the coldest city in North America. They got smallpox and started dying, wiping out the aboriginals, too. This was both ludicrous and tragic.” – Guy Maddin

A live cinematic and musical event commissioned for this year’s PERFORMA 11, Tales from the Gimli Hospital: Reframed pairs Guy Maddin’s first feature film with a live performance of a new score created by Matthew Patton, a superstar group of Icelandic musicians, the Seattle-based musical collective Aono Jikken Ensemble, and live electronics engineer Paul Corley. Former múm frontwoman Kristín Anna Valtýsdóttir (aka Kría Brekkan) expertly performed a narration newly written by Maddin, accompanied by string and vocals by Gyða Valtýsdóttir (cello), Borgar Magnason (double bass), and Maria Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir (violin). Additional music and phenomenal Foley effects were created by Seattle’s Aono Jikken Ensemble (Willliam Satake Blauvelt, Dean Moore, and Naho Shioya).

A night unlike any other.

Ethnobotanical study of indigenous knowledge on medicinal plant use by traditional healers in Oshikoto region, Namibia


Cheikhyoussef A, Shapi M, Matengu K, Ashekele HM.
Ethnobotanical study of indigenous knowledge on medicinal plant use by traditional healers in Oshikoto region, Namibia.
J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2011 Mar 9;7:10.
PubMed PMID: 21388534.

Investigators from the University of Namibia did an ethnobotanical survey in 2008 to collect information from traditional healers in the Oshikoto region. A total of 47 respondents were interviewed with most of them aged 66 and above.

They found that traditional healers in Oshikoto region possess rich ethno-pharmacological knowledge on the use of medicinal plant species for the treatment of various diseases and disorders, with the highest number of species being used for mental diseases followed by skin infection and external injuries. This study allows for identifying many high value medicinal plant species, indicating high potential for economic development through sustainable collection.

Free full text is available via PubMed.

The information on my blog is not intended as a substitute for medical professional help or advice but is to be used only as an aid in understanding current medical knowledge. A physician should always be consulted for any health problem or medical condition.

Bir zamanlar Anadolu’da (Once Upon a Time in Anatolia) – New York Film Festival 2011


Bir zamanlar Anadolu’da
Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2011
Country: Turkey | Turkish with English subtitles | Running time: 157m

Cast includes: Muhammet Uzuner (Doctor Cemal); Yilmaz Erdogan (Commissar Naci); Taner Birsel (Prosecutor Nusret); Ahmet Mümtaz Taylan (Driver Arab Ali); Firat Tanis (Suspect Kenan); Ercan Kesal (Mukhtar); Cansu Demirci (Mukhtar’s Daughter)

A storm is always approaching in Anatolia

We look into smeary window of a basement room onto three men eating, drinking raki and coca cola. A thunderstorm approaches.

A caravan of vehicles traverses the Anatolian countryside. A doctor, police chief, prosecutor, driver, and murder suspect ride together in search of a burial site. The night is not going well for any of them, until they meet an angel.

The stink of yogurt, lamb, corpses. There’s a reason for everything.

Anton Chekov – women can be ruthless. Melancholia – you’ve lost something but don’t know what you’ve lost.

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia won the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes and was nominated for the Palme d’Or. It has also played at the Toronto International and Sarajevo Film Festivals.