Film Festival 34 results

Canadian women bound for Palm Springs

Movies: Palm Springs International Film Festival The partnership between Palm Springs and Telefilm continues to push the Canadian film cause in influential U.S. circles, with female directors taking centre stage By The Ex-Press (December 22, 2016) — A delegation of strong Canadian women will be heading to Palm Springs in the new year, showcasing work that touches on everything from Kenyan marathon runners to resource extraction and First Nations issues in the North. Anjali Nayar’s Gun Runners, Nettie Wild’s Koneline, Anne Émond’s Nelly and Chloé Robichaud’s Pays were selected to screen at this year’s Palm Springs International Film Festival, joining Zacharias Kunuk’s Maliglutit, Xavier Dolan’s Juste la fin du monde and Juan Andrés Arango’s X Quinientos as part of this year’s seven-film Canadian delegation, one of the strongest in recent years. “With a diverse mix of Canadian features—including works from emerging talent and an Indigenous pioneer, ...

John Madden hits home with Miss Sloan

Interview: John Madden on Miss Sloane The director of Shakespeare in Love says casting Jessica Chastain as a shrewd, morally ambiguous D.C. lobbyist was the best way to expose the ugliness of modern politics   By Katherine Monk WHISTLER, BC – John Madden doesn’t want to get bogged down by the F-word: Feminism has so much ancillary luggage, too many awkward hard edges to cram into the narrative anchovy tin called a feature film. Yet, Miss Sloane, the latest film from the Academy Award-nominated director of Shakespeare in Love points a laser beam at the modern female experience. A D.C.-set (Toronto-shot) thriller starring Jessica Chastain as the title character, Miss Sloane offers a close-up view of the lobbyist’s reality. Watching from a slightly distanced perspective, the viewer picks up the trail of professional lobbyist Elizabeth Sloane just as she embarks on a career move that will change her life forever. Madden was reluctant to give away too many details about his ...

John Mann’s Unforgettable Spirit captured on camera

#VIFF16: Pete McCormack on Spirit Unforgettable The Spirit of the West frontman was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's in 2014, spurring his good friend, fellow musician and film director Pete McCormack to follow him with a camera in a bid to document the one-way trip

Ed Gass-Donnelly hides a message up his sleeve

#VIFF16: Interview with Ed Gass-Donnelly The Toronto-based director takes a pry bar to the basement door of family secrets in Lavender, a psychological thriller starring Abbie Cornish, Dermot Mulroney and Justin Long   By Katherine Monk VANCOUVER – The man who made The Last Exorcism Part II is marked. Ed Gass-Donnelly rolls up his right sleeve in the firelight, and reveals two words written in deep indigo capital letters: “Find Beauty.” Buy celexa online “I’m not doing this to pay the bills,” says the Toronto-born director of Lavender, a psychological thriller unspooling at the Vancouver International Film Festival this week as part of the Altered States program. Buy desyrel online “I have to remind myself of that… after making [The Last Exorcism Part II] I think I found new perspective,” he says, sitting back in a leather couch at the Sutton Place lounge. “I appreciated the experience of coming out on 3000 screens. It was like ‘WOW!’ – ...

Lawren Harris resurrected on screen

#VIFF16: Peter Raymont and Nancy Lang on Lawren Harris The Group of Seven founder rides a wave of rediscovery with the bow of a revealing and personal Harris documentary from Peter Raymont and Nancy Lang that gives the viewer a portal into the painter's time

The Promise not worth keeping

#TIFF16: Critic's Dispatches A bad old-fashioned historical drama about the Armenian genocide revisits final days of Ottoman Empire while La La Land and few gin and gingers quench artistic thirst By Jay Stone TORONTO — They threw a party last night at the Toronto International Film Festival where they served a delicious drink made of gin and ginger ale, and you could have as many as you want. When I regained consciousness, it was time for The Promise, a bad old-fashioned historical drama in which the troubles of three little people — in this case, an Armenian apothecary (Oscar Isaac), a comely dance teacher (Charlotte Le Bon) and an American journalist (Christian Bale) — don’t amount to a hill of beans when they’re cast across the vast and clichéd canvas of tragedy during the First World War. Fusillades of exposition fly across the screen, capturing our doomed heroes in a crossfire of clunky dialogue, tired movie tropes, and earnest over-acting. Pass the gin and ...

Seeking inspiration in the Big Smoke

#TIFF 16: Critic's Dispatches Damien Chazelle's La La Land offers a deep breath filled with human notes in an urban landscape where the creative urge is often filtered and conditioned for comfort By Katherine Monk TORONTO — The condo tower I’m staying at affords me a view of downtown Toronto’s rooftops: squares and rectangles carving their way into the horizontal blue line of Lake Ontario. Sheer glass and steel boxes topped with trailing steel tubes that allow sealed office buildings to breathe. Inspiration, mechanized. It’s a necessity in an urban landscape that denies human scale, and emotionally speaking, all things human. But I didn’t even notice the ambient drone of a thousand HVAC fans whirring away over the Big Smoke until today — until I saw Damien Chazelle’s La La Land and rediscovered what true inspiration really feels like: A deep breath exhaled as song. Sure, La La Land had already been touted as the big buzz movie at this year’s Toronto ...

Three at-bats, but no TIFF hits on this day in cinema sports

#TIFF16: Critic's Dispatches Seasoned critic sacrifices a Blue Jays game to take in The Queen of Katwe, Planetarium and The Bleeder but finds little to celebrate beyond a sweet mid-movie slumber By Jay Stone TORONTO — I went to three films today, which means I didn’t get to watch the Toronto Blue Jays game on television. The films weren’t great as cinema, but they were excellent as distractions from the Toronto Blue Jays. For the record, the Boston Red Sox beat the Jays 11-8, and I went 0-for-3. The first movie was The Queen of Katwe, a Disney movie based on a true story about a teenage Ugandan girl who lives in dire poverty on the bad side of a small African village — mud streets, bare shacks, a cacophony of people trying to sell maize to people in cars stuck in monumental traffic jams at red lights — and becomes a chess champion. Yes, it’s that movie, which suited my fellow movie-goers to a T. They laughed and applauded on cue, which makes me think The Queen ...

On American Pastoral and Canadian Shields

Movies: #TIFF16 American Pastoral press conference Ewan McGregor's adaptation of Phillip Roth's novel points out the problems in bringing internal narrative to the big screen, but the actor-turned director faced the same challenge as those who braved the work of Carol Shields By Jay Stone TORONTO — Here’s something pretty interesting: in the Carol Shields book Unless (now a motion picture at the Toronto International Film Festival), a sensitive teenage girl sees a monk setting himself on fire and is inspired to drop out of society and become a mute beggar in front of Honest Ed’s discount emporium in Toronto. In the Philip Roth novel American Pastoral (also a movie at TIFF), a sensitive teenage girl sees a monk setting himself on fire and is inspired to drop out of society and become a domestic terrorist. This tells us something about Canada and the United States — or perhaps just something about Carol Shields and Philip Roth, and about the film industry in general. ...

Oliver Stone says paranoia is par for the course

Movies: Snowden press conference at TIFF 16 The director and stars of Snowden say they now put bandaids over the cameras on their computers and have a new appreciation for what freedom really means By Katherine Monk TORONTO — It didn’t take long for Oliver Stone to affirm his public reputation for being a little paranoid, calling President Obama “the most efficient managers of the surveillance world,” pointing out the presence of “rockets 200 miles in space peeking in on us” and accusing the U.S. government of “lying all the time.” In other words, it was everything you could have wanted out of an Oliver Stone press conference. This time, the director of JFK and Nixon was speaking about Snowden, his latest feature screening at the Toronto International Film Festival starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as whistleblower Edward Snowden and Shailene Woodley as girlfriend Lindsay Mills. “It’s out of control,” Stone said, citing Snowden’s own words from a recent ...