month : 09/2015 33 results

Listen to Me Marlon filmmakers found heart of darkness

Brando narrates his own story in new documentary Surviving a broken home with alcoholic parents, Marlon Brando found a way to heal using a tape recorder, isolation and a professional obsession with truth that made every performance vibrate with all the beauty, and ugliness, of the human condition By Katherine Monk PARK CITY, UT – When Marlon Brando was still alive, his face was scanned using what was, at the time, cutting-edge digital technology. Pulses of laser light crisscrossed his famous profile, swallowing each feature into an algorithm, resulting in an animated, glowing green grid: a Marlon matrix. The footage lingered for years. Then the producers behind Restrepo, Waiting for Sugar Man and James Marsh’s Project Nim got a call from Brando’s estate. “They approached us to do something and we said we’d be delighted, but only if we can make it in a way that is entirely original,” says John Battsek, one of the founders of London-based Passion Pictures – ...

Movie review: Best of Enemies is galvanizing

A documentary about the 1968 televised debates between William F. Buckley Jr. and Gore Vidal becomes a study of two fascinating men, but also of the way TV, and politics, were changed forever

Movie review: The Kindergarten Teacher

In this Israeli film, a teacher discovers a five-year-old poetry genius in her class and becomes increasingly obsessed with nurturing, protecting and owning his talent  

It’s not jazz camp ’til I cry

Sleep deprivation and the democratization of the arts Charley Gordon finds his groove at jazz camp but suffers whiplash on re-entry into the real world, where the noise isn't always joyful and the pros are competing for gigs with the wide-eyed amateurs By Charley Gordon LAC MCDONALD, Quebec -- It’s about two hours before the final concert is to begin at the jazz camp. I’ve finished warming up in one of a dozen cabins set in the woods beside Lac McDonald in the Laurentians. I step out and hesitate on the step. There’s a light breeze and but music is everywhere, floating on it. From every cabin comes music — an accidental meshing of saxophones, pianos, guitars, basses, voices, each playing something different yet somehow blending into a complicated melody that has a simple theme: nothing matters but music and all’s right with the world.   This particular jazz camp, run by an organization called Ottawa JazzWorks (disclosure:I’m a former board member), ...

Mob Rule – The story continues

We wrap up Chapter One with a hit of caffe machiatto and a fresh pair of pants, and move on to Chapter Two with some mathematical insights into the numbers racket, and a pretty dame in need of a light. Trouble never looked so pretty, and gang wars never looked so bad. Welcome back to Mob Rule.   By John Armstrong ...Right now the best thing to do is nothing, except keep my ears up. “Anyway, I got nothing for you to do the next while. Why don’t you go amuse yourself for a few hours?” “You think it’s a good idea to go out on the street a half-hour after someone tried to clip us?” He laughed. “That’s what I mean - I was your age, someone took a shot at me, it was like doing pushups in the morning and a couple shots of espresso. Gets the blood moving. We would’ve gone out dancing with two girls on each arm and not come home until breakfast. Ah, to be young and dumb again.” He tapped ash into the dish. “Don’t be so serious, kid. Dead is ...

Feeling Blue in a Red State

Blow a kiss? Fire a gun? Bonding with your neighbor can be a blast, but not always in the best way writes one veteran scribe who went for a walk and stared down the barrel of an ugly reality in her own backyard By Carla McClain A beautiful part of the world this is - rural southern Arizona only a couple dozen miles from the border with Mexico. Big sky, big mountains embracing a valley of rolling grasslands and evergreen oak trees. A land of quiet, peace and tranquility. Usually. Walking home from an evening trek with my dogs, high on the solitude of nature only, our reverie was shattered by gunshots - one, two, three, four - a terrifying sound that triggers fight-or-flight in the primitive brainstem, much like the rattle of our venomous snakes when you get too close. I whirled around, to see the distant figure of a man up on a hill, his arm raised, his weapon aimed….at us. Having no time to flee and no way to fight, I screamed, a demented howl of sheer terror. The dogs, as ...

Black Mass: A Whiter Shade of Noir

Johnny Depp's performance as real-life criminal James 'Whitey' Bulger is just another anemic reflection of film noir, the once-virile genre that gave birth to the gangster as American antihero and offered a cautionary tale for the collective subconscious  

Journal: The Sick Days

What happens when you wake up one morning unable to move and no one knows what's wrong with you? You begin a whole new life trying to heal, and hide the problem. Working with serious autoimmune disease (or surviving journalism on 80 mg of daily prednisone) Mystery Illness: In search of an oil can (Part 1) By Shelley Page On Easter Sunday, when I was 19, I awoke from panicky dreams of missed j-school deadlines and failed foul shots to find that I was encased in a body bag of pain. Before I consciously understood that I couldn’t move, my first thoughts were of a feature story due the next day, an air ball I doinked in the last basketball game of an inauspicious season for Carleton University, and a gnawing hunger for carbs. I imagined crumpets, discounted and day-old, from the thrift bakery around the corner. My roommates and I survived on its discards. It was like having a beer store on the block if we were a house of 18-year-old guys with new fake  ID, instead we ...

Fending off the fall chill with lentil, tomato and Tuscan kale soup

When the leaves turn and the sun sinks early, it's time to talk lentils -- the edible pulse that will keep you warm, boost your calcium and create a hearty potage that's good for cardiac health By Louise Crosby September 18, 2015 -- Ok, we’ve had our fun with summer food. The weather is turning cool and it’s time to pay a bit more attention to what we eat. It’s time to talk lentils.   You’ve heard the drill: Whether brown, green or orange, lentils are full of vitamins and fibre, and contain high levels of iron and fat-free protein. They lower cholesterol, stabilize blood sugar, and contribute to heart health. We should be eating mountains of them, but let’s face it, unless they’re dressed up with lots of flavour, lentils can be a bit of a slog.   Marco Canora, owner of the New York City restaurant Hearth, shows us the way. His recipe for Lentil Soup with Tomato and Tuscan Kale, from his cookbook A Good Food Day, layers flavour upon flavour ...

Mob Rule – The Bloodbath Begins

Mob Rule: Part One Gang wars are always brutal and bloody, but if you can't take the heat, you best get out of the place where they make the pasta. That's right, if you like your eggs hardboiled and your orange juice on the pulpy side, then John Armstrong's novel is right up your dark alley as he leads us on a continuing journey to the kingdom of Mob Rule. In this opening instalment, shots are fired, someone goes down and someone brushes off their Borsalino to live another day in the gritty city. “If Satan should ever replace God he would find it necessary to assume the attributes of Divinity.” -- Voltaire       By John Armstrong CHAPTER ONE I was already flat on the ground before I heard the bullets. We had just reached the bottom of the steps when Coriolano, my bodyguard, grabbed me by the shoulders and threw me to the sidewalk, then chips of concrete and stone were dancing in the air to the whine of ricochets and the silly sounding ...