Tag

Film

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The Razor’s Edge: The Erratic Brilliance of Martin Scorsese

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It all begins in a bloody bathroom. A young man shaves at a mirror, his body arched over a porcelain sink. With each new stroke, a torrent of blood gushes down his cheeks, streaking across the tiles in a crimson cascade. A romantic ballad floats over the soundtrack and the young man’s gaze is as placid as the singer’s voice. He slits his throat without a sound. The Big Shave is the 1968 student...

China behind the headlines: Lou Ye and the vitality of Chinese independent cinema

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Canadians are daily inundated with news reports concerning the “rise of China,” as visions of that country’s latest economic mega-project flood our television screens. Universities and governments have flocked to China, both literally and figuratively, producing mountains of discourse concerning the new “global superpower” and how Canada should interact with it. Yet how can an average Canadian...

Choosing genres, missing art, and Wes Anderson presents the Bible: Bookishness for May 13, 2013

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What to expect when you’re expecting a book “I waited until my first book was published to learn the genre, and when Oprah announced “It’s literary fiction!” just seconds after my pub date, I was overcome with joy. When we found out that I’d written a second book, however, we decided to find out ourselves what it was. A genre reveal party, in which we’d learn the genre of the book at...

Da Vinci and The Circle at Hot Docs: Science, art, and the imagination

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Reviewed in this essay: Da Vinci and The Circle at Hot Docs. “I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” So states the Albert Einstein epigraph that prefaces Bram Conjaerts’s documentary The Circle, which is currently playing at the Hot Docs festival in a double...

Oil sands, Pussy Riot, and Arnaud Maggs: A guide to the 2013 Hot Docs Festival

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Toronto’s twentieth annual Hot Docs film festival begins April 25th and will screen 205 films over eleven days. The complete list is here — but here are a few that caught our interest. The festival will kick-off with director Shawney Cohen’s The Manor, a film about his journey back to Guelph, his home town, to help out through a difficult time at the family strip club. In two films, music helps...

Earth Day, dragons, and Hot Docs picks: Bookishness for Apr. 22, 2013

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Borrow, grow, return Happy Earth Day! To celebrate, why not check out the newly opened Markham Grows Seed Library at Markham Public Library’s Milliken Mills Branch (7600 Kennedy Road) where Markham residents can check out free, organic, heirloom seeds? Don’t live or work in Markham? Check out the Toronto Seed Library. Then get outside! Unfortunately… …this award winning...

Eudora Welty, Veronica Mars, and ghostwriting Sweet Valley High: Bookishness for Mar. 18, 2013

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Ghostwriting “Imagine, superimposed on the gray-and-grainy screen of a floundering, slightly depressed twenty-something, the shimmery outlines of an idealized adolescent world. All drawn—I just had to color it in. I could pick any colors, as long as they were pastel!” On ghostwriting Sweet Valley High. “At least I want to see a ‘Veronica Mars’ movie — I can’t say the...

Freedom to Read Week in Toronto: A guide

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Though some of you will no doubt choose to celebrate Freedom to Read week in Toronto by exercising your freedom to stay home and read (for which we would never fault you), the week of Feb. 24-Mar. 2, 2013, does promise a thrilling roster of events about censorship and books to draw you out of the house. →Type Books is hosting a “Challenged Books Display” called CENSORED until Mar...

Hope at life’s end: Michael Haneke’s Amour

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Reviewed in this Essay: Amour. Written and Directed by Michael Haneke. Starring Jean-Louis Trintignant, Emmanuele Riva, and Isabelle Huppert. Running time: 127 minutes. Mainstream cinema often treats death with cosmic reverence or ignores it altogether, but Michael Haneke’s Amour forces its viewers to confront mortality, as intimately and physically as possible. The film is nominated for five...

Al Purdy, cabin porn, and Dachshund UN: Bookishness, Feb. 4, 2013

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“What will become of all of you? What will you do with no good movies?” Richard Kramer writes about Pauline Kael. Book to film “I find that a lot of my best character stuff and ideas come unwittingly from novels… [Y]ou get to learn how to make good backstories in your own head, without needing to share them with anybody. You can just know stuff about your character that...

Forgoing truth for drama: Kathryn Bigelow’s not-so-true story Zero Dark Thirty

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Reviewed in this essay: Zero Dark Thirty, written by Mark Boal. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow. Starring Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, and Kyle Chandler. Running Time: 157 minutes. Opening in Toronto Jan. 11. Kathryn Bigelow’s Academy Award-winning The Hurt Locker (2009) succeeded as a straightforward study of military bomb disarmers. Although the film was set during the second Iraq War, Bigelow...

Racism or condescension: The Wachowskis’ Cloud Atlas problem

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Race has been at the centre of some debate surrounding the Wachowski Starship’s latest cinematic offering, Cloud Atlas. Assigning their ensemble cast to a variety of characters each, across six different storylines, Lana and Andy Wachowski use facial prosthetics and post-production touch ups to transform the racial and sexual orientations of their actors. The result has elicited charges of...