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Comments: 0Friday, September 18, 2015 03:55:19 AM
Must… review… movies…Into the Forest (Canada, 2015): In her first movie in seven years, Patricia Rozema takes on Jean Hegland’s high school classic and amps the ante to unbearable levels. Set in the proverbial not-too-distant future, Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood are sisters holed up in a cottage in the forest following a massive power outage.As the lack of e
Comments: 0Thursday, September 17, 2015 04:20:37 AM
The cellphone situation is getting out of hand, even at press and industry screenings. It seems like the notion of cinema as an immerse experience is lost in quite a few people.Here are some common sense rules to follow if you don’t want me to tap your shoulder and gently tell you to TURN OFF YOUR EFFING PHONE.If you are waiting for a text or e-mail, maybe you shouldn’t be at the movie
Comments: 0Wednesday, September 16, 2015 05:00:14 AM
Anyone wants to hear about my day today? Nobody? Alrighty then.45 Years (UK, 2015): This slow simmering drama is bound to be part of every best-of-the-year list. A terrific script is enhanced by spectacular performances by Tom Courtenay and Charlotte Rampling, both doing the most of silences and pauses.Kate and Geoff have been married for nearly 45 years. A week before their anniversary,
Comments: 0Tuesday, September 15, 2015 07:27:56 PM
It's almost Expo Weekend!An elite squadron of artists will be descending upon Saskatoon with pencils and s-foils locked in attack position. We're bringing them together Friday night for a group art show inspired by a galaxy far, far away...This Friday, September 18th, from 7 to 10 pm at Unreal City - 139 2nd Avenue North. One night only. All pieces will be original. No prints. No disintegr
Comments: 0Tuesday, September 15, 2015 04:01:16 AM
Halfway through the festival, my longest day: Six interviews! Here are the headlines:Michael Nyqvist (Colonia): The star of the Swedish Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy has a Christopher Walken-quality to him.Andrew Haigh (director of 45 Years): The filmmaker has the best film of the festival, but he doesn’t seem to know it. Humble, interesting fella.Anders Thomas Jensen (director of Men
Comments: 0Monday, September 14, 2015 12:50:55 AM
After a couple of rough days, a perfect game. Five strong interviews that you hopefully will get to read in the magazine in the near future. One of them, Kiernan Shipka (Sally Draper herself), is grown up enough to star in her own horror movie. I feel old.Beeba Boys (Canada, 2015): In an apparent departure from her usual output, writer/director Deepa Mehta (Water, Midnight’s Children) tackle
Comments: 0Sunday, September 13, 2015 04:42:28 AM
These are the kind of journalists you’ll meet at a roundtable at TIFF:The keener: The one who write original questions in advance, doesn’t digress and makes faces when other reporters make silly questions. These are my people.The slug: The one who doesn’t open his mouth the entire time, but will profit of his/her colleagues work.The loudmouth: The one who speaks on top of others,
Comments: 0Saturday, September 12, 2015 03:19:08 AM
Not my finest day of interviews. The directors I talked to –Jay Roach, Gavin Hood- were gracious, interesting and fun, especially when you talk shop with them. The actors were also gracious, but not nearly as talkative. Not necessarily their fault: Journalists out of breath are rarely good conversationalists. Luckily, there are plenty of filmmakers (and a few thespians) coming my way for me
Comments: 0Friday, September 11, 2015 05:21:41 AM
This is the sixth year I cover the Toronto International Film Festival and I’m getting jaded. I’ve always avoided the press conferences (most of the questions are mind-bogglingly stupid), but now even the roundtables annoy me (people trying to talk on top of each other, just to lay the most obvious inquires). One-on-ones are ideal, but also the rarest of beasts.It doesn’t seem th
Comments: 0Friday, September 4, 2015 03:44:41 PM
            I once wrote that The Karpinka Brothers were, “the glowing, thumping heart of the Saskatoon music scene,” and those words still stand. You Can Count On Me is the third full-length album from the brothers, and as always, it’s a deeply earnest and buoyant collection of songs. In fact, their music would seem somewhat
Comments: 0Friday, September 4, 2015 03:42:56 PM
            One probably doesn’t think of Saskatchewan as a hotbed for the international DJ scene, but surprise, surprise, it is home to the winner of the Canadian Redbull Thre3style Competition for 2015, DJ Charly Hustle.   The Redbull competition is the largest of its kind in the world, which means more recognition for Hustle
Comments: 0Thursday, July 16, 2015 07:43:18 PM
Things didn’t look good for Ant-Man early on. The outrage over Edgar Wright being sidelined from his pet project, followed by the hiring of a middle-of-the-pack craftsman (Peyton Reed) were particularly worrisome signs. The commissioning of a rewrite (courtesy of comedy specialist Adam McKay) was the cherry on what was expected to be a tasteless cake, at least by comic book geeks a
Comments: 0Friday, June 19, 2015 01:09:48 AM
Alongside people like Woody Allen and Ridley Scott, director Michael Winterbottom is among the most prolific filmmakers at work today. The British auteur averages a movie a year. This is both a blessing and a curse: At best, Winterbottom’s movies can be fun and breezy (The Trip saga, 24 Hour Party People). At worst, they feel painfully undercooked (The Killer Inside Me, the unwatchable Trish
Comments: 0Friday, June 12, 2015 04:02:01 PM
Jurassic World’s intention to be more like the original wasn’t just words thrown lightly in the heat of promotion. There are Spielbergian overtones all over this film, not to mention a pro-science agenda and certain contempt for corporations.Indeed, Jurassic World easily stands above the third movie and gives The Lost World a run for its money, at least in subtext (
Comments: 0Friday, May 22, 2015 03:04:45 PM
A surefire way to tell if a movie is any good is by keeping track of the physical reactions it triggers. The conclusion of Tomorrowland had me desperately trying to control my sobbing as I was surrounded by critics (they are judgy people, it’s in the job description).Next to those dystopian scenarios that are all the rage today (Mad Max: Fury Road, young-adult franchises using teens as canon
Comments: 0Saturday, May 16, 2015 07:11:50 PM
By this point, you have probably read a number of glowing reviews of Mad Max: Fury Road, perhaps even in this magazine. Adjectives as “ moviemaking master class”, "thought provoking" and “of the uttermost brilliancy” have been used to describe it.This one is not that kind of review.Let me put it this way. Yesterday, I saw a drama starring the septuagenarian B
Comments: 0Friday, May 15, 2015 03:12:25 PM
Independent, low-budget Canadian cinema depends in large part of a strong script and competent performers. Songs She Wrote about People She Knows has both, so much so, one ends up wishing for higher production values in order to give the film a proper framing.The delightfully deadpan Arabella Bushnell is Carol, a fed-up office worker who finds a degree of solace in writing mean-spirited tunes abou
Comments: 0Friday, May 1, 2015 03:47:40 AM
Welcome to Leith (USA, 2015): In a foreboding corner of North Dakota you’ll find the town on Leith. The small, tight-knit community had no idea what was coming when a cantankerous, lonely man moved in. It wasn’t just a regular Joe trying to get away from it all, but militant white supremacist Craig Cobb, who soon enough started to buy land for his fellow neo-Nazis.The excellent Welcome
Comments: 0Thursday, April 30, 2015 03:58:52 AM
Chuck Norris vs. Communism (Romania/USA, 2015): A usually successful strategy to make a documentary is to take a very specific phenomenon and see how it relates to a larger movement. The terrific doc Chuck Norris vs. Communism takes this approach and runs with it, with the added bonus of one fascinating subject.During the Eighties, the only way to have access to American movies in Romania was thro
Comments: 0Wednesday, April 29, 2015 01:05:02 AM
While this year’s HotDocs features plenty of hard-hitting, thought-provoking features, a couple of crowd-pleasers have made it into the line-up. Here are two of them.Raiders! (USA, 2015): For most of their teenage years, three kids spent every summer filming a shot-by-shot recreation of Raiders of the Lost Ark. With no more resources than sheer will and gung-ho spirit, the boys succeeded for
Comments: 0Tuesday, April 28, 2015 03:33:23 AM
A common thread on this year’s HotDocs’ line-up is the number of films depicting the conflict between the law and modern life. Often, legislation is not speedy enough or lacks the tools to tackle grey areas related to technology and human behaviour.Deep Web (USA, 2015): Director Alex Winter may be better known as Bill Preston from the Bill and Ted movies, but is als
Comments: 0Monday, April 27, 2015 04:42:56 AM
Deprogrammed (USA, 2015): Cult deprogramming is a complicated affair: Those in need of it won’t participate voluntarily and kidnapping and unlawful confinement is, well, illegal. In the early 70’s –the heyday of religious cult activity- a high school dropout became the foremost specialist in the subject.Deprogrammed tells the story of said man, Ted Patrick. His methods were quest
Comments: 0Sunday, April 26, 2015 04:22:36 AM
The emergence of two major players in the documentary field –Netflix and CNN- plus the continuous strength of HBO is doing wonders for the genre. If there was a time a couple of outliers were the only ones to leave a mark in the box office, now documentaries are easily accessible and are more poignant than feature dramas by a mile. Yesterday, the CNN-acquired The Wolfpack had the crowd going
Comments: 0Saturday, April 25, 2015 02:56:37 AM
While documentaries seldom get the same distribution opportunities as feature films, there is a built-in audience looking for them. HotDocs, one of the foremost festivals dedicated to the genre, is already attracting crowds in Toronto. Judging by the first two films I had the chance to watch, the 2015 version is looking strong.Drone (Sweden, 2014): The War on Terror’s favourite toy
Comments: 0Saturday, April 18, 2015 07:54:15 PM
Simon Curtis speaks fast. He can burn through fifteen questions in less than ten minutes. He also has no trouble keeping his answers short if an adverb suffices. The director of My Week with Marilyn (for which Michelle Williams and Kenneth Branagh received Oscar nominations) is now back in the big screen with the more modern drama Woman in Gold.In 1998, Austria introduced new legislation to deal w
Comments: 0Tuesday, April 7, 2015 01:06:33 AM
While limited, the influence of auteurs Lars von Trier and Michael Haneke cannot be understated. Their grim perception of the world is as necessary as, say, Pixar’s output, but very few are willing to experience it.It’s different among young filmmakers going for substance. Haneke and Von Trier are hard-to-shake referents and their prints are easy to spot. It’s the case of the min
Comments: 0Friday, March 6, 2015 05:26:21 AM
There is something surreal about meeting Jemaine Clement in person. Bespectacled, tall and lanky, fits perfectly any preconception you may have of him based on his Flight of the Conchords public persona.With the comic duo on hiatus, Clementco-wrote, co-directed and co-starred in What We Do in the Shadows, a horror parody that gets a lot of mileage of a premise a thousand times visited: Vampire lif
Comments: 0Sunday, February 22, 2015 04:29:05 AM
One of the biggest problems of turning the Oscars into veritable presidential campaigns is that the element of surprise has been all but eliminated. With all the awards handed in advance and the momentum measured to a fault, we know the winners well ahead of the event. Sure, Birdman and Boyhood are fairly even forces, but as the later begins to fade, the former is at the peak of its powers. T
Comments: 0Thursday, February 12, 2015 09:22:05 PM
There isn’t a good explanation why fan-fiction-turned-best-seller “Fifty Shades of Grey” became so successful. It was built following the “Twilight” blueprint, hardly anybody’s idea of a great book. It wasn’t even well written: “oh, my” was often the way to describe whatever was going on plot-wise.Unlike “Twilight”, the overarching
Comments: 0Monday, January 26, 2015 12:25:48 AM
Pablo Escobar Gaviria was a larger than life character, whether we like it or not. Because he was notoriously shady in spite of his gregarious public persona, any attempt to portray him is bound to come short. Escobar could be your staunchest ally, until you stop being of any use.Escobar: Paradise Lost does several smart things in its approach to the drug lord’s life and times. It doesn&rsqu