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Oscars

Movie Review: Obit

Hot Docs - Obit - Bruce Weber and Vanessa Gould

Director & Producer Vanessa Gould and Reporter Bruce Weber

What do you consider a newsworthy death?

Well, the New York Times’ obituaries section is not limited to celebrities and politicians, as there are many ordinary people doing extraordinary things and their stories deserve to be told in print and online. By flipping to the obits section, you can access history from the perspective of a skilful reporter who wrote a retrospective about a person who led a meaningful life. That’s something worth reading.

After job shadowing a movie critic at The Globe and Mail during high school, I was intrigued by the movie Obit, as it promises to offer a behind the scenes look at The New York Times. Thankfully, Vanessa Gould’s movie is insightful and engaging and you don’t need to be a journalist to enjoy this documentary at Hot Docs. After all, the obits are written for everyone. One of the reporters communicated this effectively when he said that their challenge is to craft an entertaining piece about history for people who don’t know history.

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All Stars Wear Converse

Converse - Made By You - Andy Warhol

Photo Source: Esquire

It’s Throwback Thursday and that calls for a spotlight on a campaign from a classic brand: Converse. I’ve never doodled on my Converse, but I love to wear them. I suspect they’ll be a wardrobe staple indefinitely.

Every owner of Converse sneakers has the option to personalize their footwear to reflect their personality and interests. Converse is celebrating consumers’ flare for customizing sneakers with their latest Made By You campaign.

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Sunday Night TV Highlights

Photo Source: Hollywood Life & E!

Photo Source: Hollywood Life & E!

Aside from the Oscars and Super Bowl, Sunday night doesn’t usually imply appointment viewing. Last night was an exception. I found myself flipping back and forth all night between the American Music Awards on CTV/ABC, Canada’s Smartest Person on CBC and Kourtney & Khloe Take the Hamptons on E! I’m one episode behind on The Good Wife, but I’ll fix that soon with Rogers on Demand.

Kourtney & Khloe Take the Hamptons

I wonder how many other dads leave hundreds of dollars worth of gifts for their kids and partners on their way to rehab. In the last episode, Scott went to rehab for five days, Kourtney’s therapist flew to New York for a surprise counselling session and Khloe celebrated her 30th birthday.

It looked like Khloe had a fun birthday bash and an even better surprise party, where French Montana gave her a Jeep. It’s a shame that Khloe’s anxiety about her age and relationship with Lamar interfered with her having a good time with friends.

Overall, it was a juicy drama-filled episode that was satisfying, yet somewhat difficult to watch given the sensitive subject matter about Scott’s behaviour and Kourtney’s health.

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Fitz and the Tantrums

Fitz and the Tantrums is one of those bands you’ve heard on TV, but can’t remember how you were introduced to their music.

Begin Again star Adam Levine reportedly discovered Fitz and the Tantrums through a tattoo artist and then invited them to open for Maroon 5. Since then, Fitz and the Tantrums has been featured on Suits, Desperate Housewives, Criminal Minds and The Vampire Diaries.

More recently, Fitz and the Tantrums cemented their place in the spotlight once Ellen Degeneres danced to The Walker in the 2014 Oscars trailer.

Third Tuesday: Gini Dietrich

Hot On The Street - Gini Dietrich and Sarah Prince

This month’s Third Tuesday may have been scheduled on a Monday evening, but it was as informative, inspiring and engaging as always. Third Tuesday was generously sponsored by Rogers and Cision Canada and hosted by Thornley Fallis at The Pilot. So far, I’ve only gone when the guest speaker is an author – Mitch Joel, Nora Young and last night, the lovely Gini Dietrich.

While sharing her insights about astroturfing, whisper campaigns and media manipulation, Gini subtly promoted her PR firm, book and blog. It was especially interesting to hear Gini’s perspective as a blogger because I initially learned about her through a Behind The Brand interview on Hot On The Street! I had to laugh when Gini told a story about meeting blog commenters at a conference and referred to them as “Spin Sucks crazies.” Don’t worry, she was just kidding. Most bloggers are thrilled to meet their loyal readers in person!

Gini began her presentation with a simple overview of how Miley Cyrus’ career is a good case study for PR pros. Kicking off a presentation with slides about Miley is a sure fire way to excite an audience, but I wonder how much longer speakers can get away with it. When Toronto has a new mayor (fingers crossed!) and Ellen’s Oscars selfie is ancient history, presenters will need to find a new pop culture reference. When I pay to see a major thought leader, I want to hear their opinion about current events, not yesterday’s news. Marketers are increasingly encouraged to explore real-time marketing, memes and news-jacking and I think keynote speakers should take the same approach when preparing presentations.

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