Refreshingly upbeat philosophy on life by excellent musician
Preparing to go to Hillside Festival on Guelph Island this summer my girlfriend and I did some internet research on some of the artists to check out. So-called was amongst the artists playing and upon hearing such marvellous tracks as 'These are the Good Old Days' and 'Ricce Dicca' were excited to see him live. The show was no let down, as he really got the tent jiveing and even threw some nifty magic tricks into the bargain.
A few months later and my girlfriend and I are travelling through Canada from Toronto (we're English on a year's working holiday) and last night, whilst in Winnipeg, chanced upon the poster for 'The So-called Movie' at a local cinema. Needless to say, we zoomed straight in.
This documentary-style film is a joy to watch and reveals much about the carefree, fun-loving and infectious nature of his "cut and paste", multi-generic music. Josh Dobin is revealed as a modest, very down to earth, but slightly eccentric character who knows what he finds meaningful in life and, effortlessly it seems, sets out to fulfil it. He is obviously a passionate and talented musician, without ever taking it too seriously, and he is not shy to approach his "heroes" in helping him achieve his goals. It says a lot about his talent, his versatility but also his likable nature, that such apparently estranged artists as old funk legends, Jewish clarinet virtuosos, gay porn directors and classic 1950s piano maestros all find common ground with him, as he provides a musical realm for their various creative talents to flourish.
There are some hilarious sequences (including the skim of some of his supremely punning teenage cartoon sketches, some bizarre short films he directed featuring some of his heroes but especially the Youtube tune he persuades the 50s piano star to write) but also some poignant and touching moments too (most notable being the epic boat trip he organised with his parents to provide a more joyful experience for Jewish Holocaust rememberers).
All in all, he comes across as a very happy man, with a more unusual talent for musical creation than most. He, quite simply, knows what is meaningful to him and endeavours (very successfully) to provide a space where others can come together and celebrate what is meaningful to them.
Very uplifting attitude and a lesson to all. Don't take life too seriously and pursue your dreams! (Wow, I ended that in rather a corny fashion but it's too late to change it now, I'm about to press submit...
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