Interview with Sarah Ahmad – even if its crap, lie to me

“1. Where are you from?


2. Why did you make this video?

It’s an idea born out of my restless need to experiment. To create something that can be seen and heard. It is the first in a series I’m working on.

3. What is “insignificant” to you?

It is poetry. It is my outrageous, dejected mind continuously refusing to be an optimist.

4. What is your favorite drink/living author?

Drink water. Favorite authors keep changing, sometimes a new book by a new author comes out and becomes my favorite.

5. Do you have political views?

Politics anywhere everywhere only destroy. I keep away from it.

6. Describe your ideal job…

Writing, creating.

7. Anything else you would like the readers of Vauban Inc. to know?

Just hope they like this piece, even if they think it’s crap, lie to me. And if anyone has any time to spare and any interest to visit my blog.

(Sarah Ahmad’s video is the first in what I hope to be a regular feature on Vauban Inc. Send your submissions to”

Genius within: the inner life of Glen Gould

The title of this biopic should have warned me. The term genius littered the first minutes of this film and regularly reoccurred throughout. The documentary adopted the tired formula of so many others, for example, Hunter S Thompson’s biography released a few years back. The story starts with the early years, homing in on some unusual relationship with the mother, then the instant rise to acclaim where the genius of the artist is most apparent, then their fruition, where in art and life they are temporarily fulfilled, know brief happiness with a woman (as all these geniuses are men) and possibly children, however the destructive, obsessive element of their genius comes back to wreak destruction on both life and, in the end, art. Period footage, either in blurred black and white or bleached colour alternates with contemporary interviews in jarringly sharp focus with a series of talking heads – ex wives and girlfriends and childhood friends make good material. Like Thompson’s biography one or two of these informants stand out for their gentle insights into the subject in question. In this film the son of the woman who lived with Gould for four years brought some unaffected honesty to the story. When there was no period footage, the director made up for it with shots of an actor dressed as Gould walking moodily through Toronto streets at night.
I was pleased when it ended. I learnt a few things about Gould’s chronology but got no insight into what his musical genius really consisted of beyond his good looks and nerve. Would that have been too much to ask?