Interviews 43 results

Linda Thorson: Ready for her close-up

People: Linda Thorson After a career that bathed her in the London limelight, the Canadian actress who replaced Diana Rigg on The Avengers makes a homecoming in her first starring role as an icy Ontario matron in The Second Time Around By Katherine Monk “Never a dull moment.” For Linda Thorson, it’s more than a life motto. It’s an existential promise. The Toronto-born actor crafted a career on British stage and television after replacing Diana Rigg on The Avengers, but the life adventure just keeps going. Thorson has a new boyfriend, and after five decades in the business, her first starring role in a feature film. Thorson plays Katherine, an uptight, opera-loving matron who finds love in a seniors’ home in The Second Time Around, a new movie from Leon Marr that recently picked up the audience award at The Palm Beach film festival. Currently on the Canadian art house circuit with stops in Vancouver and Montreal, The Second Time Around tells the story of Kather...

Screwing up his courage for The Second Time Around

People: Leon Marr Talking about sex and the seniors' residence with the director of The Second Time Around, a new movie that tackles taboo and takes us into the boudoir with tenderness, patience and operatic ambition By Katherine Monk (April 3, 3017) -- The Centers for Disease Control declared April STD awareness month, which means there’s no better time for the release of The Second Time Around. It’s a new feature film by Leon Marr after a decades-long hiatus, and while it’s not about sexually transmitted disease – at all – it does focus on a demographic with an increasing transmission rate: senior citizens. The CDC suggests the aging baby boomers are making the most out of their senior years, if the steady rise in syphilis cases among those over 65 is any indication: between 2007 and 2011, researchers noted a rise of 52 per cent. Part of it has to do with taboos surrounding sex in the golden years. It’s not something society talks about all that often ...

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 ...

Tatiana Maslany, Tom Cullen fire up first-timer

Interview: Joey Klein on The Other Half In a world full of malaise, misanthropy and unmitigated sorrow, first-time filmmaker Joey Klein says he wants to hold up a funhouse mirror to ambient pain By Katherine Monk (November 30, 2016) Joey Klein is what you’d call a ‘late bloomer.’ When he was a kid growing up in Montreal, he assumed he’d become a doctor like his father. He ended up in McGill management school instead, and hated it. So he headed to New York City at the age of 25 to study acting, a career he pursued with success, landing roles in American Gangster and 12 Monkeys -- to name a few. Yet, he craved a bigger challenge still. He had a hankering to address the ambient angst of modern experience – without exploiting Hollywood trope – so he started writing. And now, just a year shy of his 40th birthday, he's making his directorial debut with the theatrical release of The Other Half. “Originally, it was a story about grief… and about grief over time. ...

Life, death and Andrew Huculiak

People: Interview with Andrew Huculiak Getting metaphysical with the first-time director of Violent means dipping a big toe into the cold, dark waters of existentialism and cozying up with Kierkegaard By Katherine Monk (October 19, 2016) VANCOUVER – A gentle drizzle falls outside, and the faint smell of woolly dampness mingles with the scent of fresh pie. It’s a typical fall day in Vancouver -- wet, dark, and cool -- the perfect backdrop for an interview with Andrew Huculiak. Huculiak is the director behind Violent, easily one of the best first features in Canadian film history, but up until now, it was also one of the most difficult to access. Shot two years ago in Norway with a unilingual Norwegian cast, Violent was invited to Cannes, picked up top prizes at The Vancouver International Film Festival and was shortlisted as Canada’s best foreign film Oscar submission. By all accounts and measures, it should have hit theatres nationwide. Yet, it’s only now, two years later ...

New CBC sitcom exposes The Convenience Truth

People: Interview with Andrea Bang The Vancouver star of Kim's Convenience says the first Canadian sitcom to feature Asian leads is about transcending ethnic stereotypes through human universals   By Katherine Monk VANCOUVER – Andrea Bang thanks the Toronto Blue Jays. Not only did the team win the required games to advance, they pushed back the network premiere of her new show, Kim’s Convenience. The new CBC comedy based on Ins Choi’s award-winning Fringe play airs tonight on the National Broadcaster, but it was originally slated to air last Tuesday – in the heat of the Blue Jays’ wildcard bid. The network wisely aired the ballgame instead, but Bang wasn’t depressed about the delay. It gave her another week to mentally prepare while promos whetted the public appetite for a family comedy set in a Toronto convenience store. “You don't want to compete with the Toronto Blue Jays,” says Bang, sitting down for a chat on a rainy day in Vancouver. “I know our ...

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.” “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. “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!’ – 3000 screens at once is what you ...

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

Claude Joli-Coeur’s big plans for a better board

Movies: Interview with Claude Joli-Coeur National Film Board Chair reaffirms original vision of 'unity through diversity' with new gender parity policy but that's just the beginning of some bold moves, including a new brick and mortar headquarters in Montreal By Katherine Monk VANCOUVER –  “If the National Film Board were a person, how would you describe their identity?” Claude Joli-Coeur reflects for a second with a serious look hazing over his gentle features. Then, in an instant, a gleeful burst: “Leonard Cohen!” After serving at the board for 12 years, currently as Government Film Commissioner and Chairperson for the NFB, Joli-Coeur has spent a few all-nighters in the company of his current passion. He has the type of insight that only comes from intimacy. “The personality. The sparks. The surprise. The iconic… He grew up in Montreal and achieved world renown. He was open to different questions of identity…. Everything, eh?” For Joli-Coeur, a ...