Sundance Critic’s Notebook
Film: Sundance Capsule Reviews
Keeping it in the Family Norman Lear: Another Version of You (Directed by Rachel Grady, Heidi Ewing. Featuring Norman Lear, Carl Reiner, Rob Reiner, Mel Brooks)
Norman Lear revolutionized the small screen by creating characters such as Archie Bunker, Maude and the Jeffersons, but as this sweet documentary portrait makes abundantly clear, he was also a true Mensch. Constantly striving to make the world a better place by forcing his fellow citizens to face intolerance and prejudice through narrative, Lear found the fussy fulcrum between entertainment and enlightenment. Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady’s (Jesus Camp, Detropia) opening night feature doesn’t reinvent any wheels of form as it relates the story of Lear’s fascinating life, but it does try some different techniques, such as archival projections over re-enacted moments, and the irritating use of a young actor to play Lear’s inner child and former self. Because Lear is such a grand ...
Greening the bleak midwinter
Food: Recipe - Broccoli-Quinoa Salad with Buttermilk Dressing
The colour palette may be all black and white this time of year, but you can treat your palate to a rainbow of taste with this delicious salad that feels like spring
By Louise Crosby
The winter colour palette is bleak but beautiful, all black and white and shades of grey. Snow has a way of softening the hard lines, of putting some magic into the landscape. There’s nothing prettier, for example, than a dusting of snow on bare branches, or an expanse of rooftops iced like cakes in white frosting. The only problem is that, at some point, our eyes long for colour. Many go south for their fix of pink bougainvillea and turquoise sea. Others buckle up their bootstraps and carry on, their eyes fixed on the horizon, where spring will appear. I’m in that second category, toughing it out, grasping at little life rafts to help me get through, life rafts like this bright green Broccoli-Quinoa Salad with Buttermilk ...
Under the Gun at Sundance
Film: Sundance Film Festival
Director Stephanie Soechtig and producer Katie Couric take aim at the rhetoric of fear and the politics of paranoia surrounding firearm regulation in the U.S.
By Katherine Monk
PARK CITY, UT — The explosive topic of gun control isn’t just at the heart of two documentaries here at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, it’s an issue that’s seeped into the very fabric of the Sundance vibe. For the first time ever, attendees must undergo a security check before entering a theatre. Bags are screened, coats must be unzipped and open — and they aren’t just checking for recording devices. According to organizers, the festival didn’t receive any specific threat to mandate the new policy. It’s just a new measure to keep up with the new American reality, where mass shootings are almost commonplace and ordinary citizens are at risk of a violent death at the hands of a gun-toting stranger. It’s a fact that haunts and conflicts the ...