Monday, 29 December 2008

I've Loved You So Long/ Il y a longtemps que je t`aime: A Must See!


Frequent guest, Kirk Cooper, has been telling me to see this film since seeing it earlier this year. Well, I finally saw it and LOVED it! No bells and whistles, just a story that engages you with its simplicity and complexity. Simple, in the fact that it is the reunion of two sisters: Lea (Elsa Zylberstein) and Juliette (Kristen Scott Thomas). Complex, in the fact that Juliette has been in prison for 15 years. The wonderful script by Philippe Claudel (who also directs) begins with Lea picking up Juliette for an indefinite stay with her and her family (her husband, his father and their two Vietnamese daughters).

The trailer is very dramatic, but the film is not overwrought by emotions, has funny moments throughout, and the script is never cliched in any respect. As the story unfolds, we are allowed to fill in pieces of the puzzle that is the lives of these two separated sisters. Why was Juliette in prison? What has Lea's life been like growing up with a sister in jail? Are they still "sisters"?

Some questions are answered as the film progresses, some we just have to use our imagination and fill in ourselves, which is why you will not be able to forget this film. Philippe Claudel's script and direction are lean, and even at 115 minutes, this film does not seem long. Besides the brilliant performances by the two leads, the film is populated with a fantastic ensemble cast of actors that make their characters very believable. I was all set to roll my eyes at the two daughters in the film thinking that they would be the usual "love me I'm cute" screen children; instead, I received unspoiled, natural acting that is on par with the adult actors-- more from the older daughter (Lise Segur) as the younger is just a toddler.

Please go see this film and leave me a comment about your feelings.

Photo #1 Credit:Left to Right: Elsa Zylberstein as Lea, Kristin Scott Thomas as Juliette Photo taken by Thierry Valletoux, © 2007, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Photo #2 Credit: Left to Right: Lise Segur as P`tit Lys, Kristin Scott Thomas as Juliette, Photo taken by Thierry Valletoux, © 2007, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Mongrel Media is the Canadian Distributor of I've Loved You So Long/ Il y a longtemps que je t`aime

Sunday, 14 December 2008

TMTM Dec. 13th Show: For Your Information

As promised here is the information about upcoming performances by my guests, Sistah Lois and Brainerd Blyden-Taylor:

SISTAH LOIS and Gifts of Life Celebration:
The first "Gifts of Life Celebrations"(GLC) musical and cultural event is Friday, December 19th at the Savannah Room, 294 College Street. This is the first of 5 events by the Kaloko Farmer's Adventures in support of Zambian farm women who are raising their HIV-positive grandchildren. Musical performers include SistahNuVizhan, John Tee Davis, Jack and JoAnn, Empress Lyrics, Zoé and freestyle dj Kalmplex. The event also includes a silent auction. Doors open at 7pm. Cover charge: Pay-What-You-Can with a suggested donation of $5.00.

For more information:
Contact: Mshimpi (mmm-shim-pee)
Phone: 416-588-7315

If you are a senior or know one who is interested in lectures, check out Sistah's Tuesday Lecture series at Learning Unlimited Etobicoke:
Tuesdays, January 6 to March 10, 2009, 10:00 A.M. to 12 noon
Burnhamthorpe Adult Learning Centre - 500 the East Mall, Etobicoke - 416-410-6204
This series will employ oral, musical and written stories, to explore the diversity of cultural experience shared by those of the African diaspora who call Toronto home.

THE NATHANIEL DETT CHORALE: An Indigo Christmas... Raise the Roof with Great Joy!
AN INDIGO CHRISTMAS is an evening of Christmas music, gospel style! Toronto’s renowned NATHANIEL DETT CHORALE, recently returned from a successful US tour, will be joined by acclaimed pianist/composer Joseph Joubert, a live band, and members of the York University Gospel Choir. Included in the program will be Great Joy—a collection of traditional Christmas music co-arranged by Joubert.

Wednesday and Saturday, December 17 & 20, 2008 - 8:00pm
Glenn Gould Studio, 250 Front Street West, Toronto
Subscribe to all 3 NDC concerts for $99
Individual tickets $39.50, students/seniors $35.
Tickets available in person at the Roy Thomson Hall box office, 60 Simcoe St.,
by calling 416.872.4255 or online at

Show Playlist
Bahamian Christmas Compilation (Little Drummer Boy by T'rez Hepburn)
Nathaniel Dett Chorale -An Indigo Christmas (Hombe + The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy)
Rita Di Ghent -The Birth of Sprawl (God Bless the Child)

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Seen Any Good Films Lately? YES!

David Lean's HOBSON'S CHOICE, part of Cinematheque Ontario's Encounter David Lean series that has kept me out late at night.

It seems that since TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) I have been going from one film festival to another or attending Doc Soup screenings. With Toronto being a film city, I'm sure many of you have attended the same screenings. Did you see what I saw?

I didn’t cover this festival, but a friend had a couple of tickets so I managed to see the hilarious office vampire tale, Netherbeast Incorporated (Darrel Hammond and Judd Nelson) and the visually stunning, but poorly written, Mutant Chronicles (Thomas Jane, Ron Perlman). The highlight of attending that night was seeing Steven Kostanski's short film, Laser Ghosts 2: Return to Laser Cove, which effectively parodies common sci-fi horror plots. I can do horror comedies, and action horrors, but I can't go gory. I loved the trailer for Tokyo Gore Police, but had to pass on the ticket because I just can't see these types of films. My friend, who is a hardcore horror fan and enjoyed the film, told me that the cinematography was wonderful, but agreed that I would not have been able to last.

Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival
I had a wonderful discussion with Academy Award Nominee, director, Christine Choy about Asian representation in North American cinema. Her documentary Long Story Short chronicles the experiences of Tony and Trudie Long as recounted by them and their daughter, Jodi Long. In the documentary, Tony Long is fired from his role in Flower Drum Song because of a fight with one of the producers. The movie and the play are integral to the documentary, and Christine and I spoke about the Asian representation from the first incarnations of this work to the play's revival on Broadway with an updated script. Besides the lack of non-stereotypical work for Asian actors and the persistence of Chinese actors playing Japanese roles etc, we also touched on the topic of film schools (Christine is in the film department of NYU), and how Asian students are not being encouraged to write stories that reflect their own experiences.

Congratulations to Aram Collier on his award for "THE OTHERS" featuring Lou Diamond Philips (the Every Asian/Latino/Inuit/Indian) and Randall Lloyd Okita for the incredibly inventive, MACHINE WITH A WISHBONE. I wish I could say the same for THE DRUMMER, but unlike most of the audience I did not like this mix of Zen meets gangster movie. For other award winners, visit

Doc Soup
Both October and November screenings at Doc Soup took me to the American South with very personal films. Trouble the Water, which has won a Sundance Film Festival award, took me to New Orleans and the personal videos of a young couple as they deal with the encrouching waters of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. One of the things that resonate with me is the couple's reaction to seeing Black people outside of New Orleans who lived suburban lifestyles that they had never seen before. As bad as the situation that they lived through, they probably never would have had the opportunity to move beyond their own impoverished neighbourhood. The Order of Myths took me to Alabama and the racially segregated celebration of Mardis Gras. The filmmaking is rudimentary, but the film is worth watching because of the class differential that I don't usually see when filmmakers tackle the issue of racism. Class structures are usually seen in films about England, but in The Order of Myths, to be part of the White Mardis Gras world, you have to belong to certain White families. Getting a glimpse into this closed world where Blacks are still the ones serving food in the background is like watching a video of modern Alabama superimposed on a slide show of American slavery. As for the Black Mardis Gras, it was interesting to see how they out-formalized the White Mardis Gras functions in terms of pomp and glitter. This film was a very interesting social commentary.

Canadian Films:
32 Short Films About Glenn Gould

I love talking film with Steve Gravestock, Associate Director of Canadian Programming and Special Projects for the Toronto International Film Festival Group. He loves Canadian and Nordic film and so do I, but I enjoy talking film with him because he always keeps it conversational. (If you've ever been stuck discussing aspect ratio and film run times with die hard film afficionados you'll know what I mean.) If you tuned in to our chat on Saturday, November 15th, I hope you got a sense of what this film meant to Canadian cinema of the early 1990s and why its still relevant today. If you missed the recent screenings at the Royale Cinema, rent it. The DVD won't be the fresh new print that was screened and it has been formatted for television, but until a newer version is released, it will be as good as it gets. The colour palette and depth of the photograpy, Colm Feore performance and Glenn Gould's music is well worth it.

In their continued support of Canadian film, The First Weekend Club has launched Canada Screens, a monthly screening of Canadian films. Jean-Marc Vallée's C.R.A.Z.Y was shown in the very intimate underground of the Drake Hotel on Sunday, Nov. 30th, and even though I had seen this film before I still teared up at the end (as did many others in the audience). During the Q & A following the film Jean-Marc talked about how important the soundtrack (Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, David Bowie,Patsy Cline...)was to the making of the film ($650, 000 for music out of a total film budget of 7 million) was to the story and how he fought to get certain songs to reflect the rebellion of his main character as well as mark the passing time from the early 60's to 80's. He also expressed his immense surprise at how well the film connected with everyone who saw it (the film swept the Genies and the Jutras and has won many International awards).

I also had a chance to speak to Jean-Marc about the difficulty of distribution and about the heartbreaking process of making a film and not having final say (his last project, not C.R.A.Z.Y). The reality is film is a business and studios will do everything to get bums in seats; they won't risk their money on anything that appears too "art house". As an audience we lose when what we see at the theatres is limited. Thanks goodness for festivals and special screenings! Next up for me is David Lean's The Bridge on the River Kwai, just one of the many Lean films I've seen over the past few months (Oliver Twist, Brief Encounter, The Passionate Friends, Summertime). To be cont'd...

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Congratulations Jannett Scott aka Lady Luscious!

At the end of the show on Saturday, November 8th we decided to honour one lucky winner by drawing for one of the prizes. CONGRATULATIONS to Jannett Scott aka Lady Luscious on winning the Mooredale Concerts tickets.

Janett has won A PAIR OF TICKETS to Mooredale Concerts featuring Germany’s Kolja Lessing on violin and Anton Kuerti (recipient 2008 Governor General's Performing Arts Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award) on piano. Tickets courtesy of Mooredale Concerts.

CONGRATULATIONS also to Zabrina Chevannes, who won a $50.00 gift certificate courtesy of Harlem Restaurant. The gift certificate was a surprise donation brought to the station by publicist Kirk Cooper who was assisting me with the fundraising show. Thank you Kirk and thank you Harlem Restaurant for this wonderful surprise.

One lucky winner will be selected at 1:00 pm on Saturday, November 15th for the remaining prizes in the exclusive show prize package.

Friday, 7 November 2008

Pledge and WIN! SUPPORT The More the Merrier DURING CIUT's FRIENDS of 89.5 FM FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN. CALL 416-946-7800 or 1-888-204-8976

DONATE to The More the Merrier on NOVEMBER 8th and YOU COULD WIN ALL OF THIS:

A PAIR OF TICKETS to the Cinematheque Ontario screening of David Lean's classic epic, LAWRENCE OF ARABIA. Tickets courtesy of Cinematheque Ontario, a division of The Toronto International Film Festival Group.

A PAIR OF TICKETS to "Lost Action", choreographed by the internationally renowned, Crystal Pite. "Lost Action" is part of Harbourfront Centre's World Stage programme celebrating dance, theatre and multi-disciplinary performances by artists from Canada and around the world. Tickets courtesy of Harbourfront Centre.

to Ballet Creole's "The Messiah", a Soulful Celebration. Tickets Courtesy of Ballet Creole.

1 pair of tickets to "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" PLUS 1 pair of tickets to "Bird Brain". Tickets courtesy of the Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People.

to "The Order of Myths", Sundance Film Festival selection making it's Toronto premiere at Doc Soup (Hot Docs monthly documentary screening). Tickets courtesy of Hot Docs, North America's largest documentary festival.

A copy of TRIO MAGNUS:EQUALLY SUPERIOR, a wild sketchbook collaboration by 3 Toronto-based illustrators, Clayton Hammer, Aaron Leighton and Steve Wilson. Book courtesy of Koyama Press.

A Selection of FRIGHT NIGHT DVDs courtesy of Cinemavault

Click here to DONATE NOW or CALL 416-946-7800 (local) or 1-888-204-8976 (toll free) on NOV. 8th. One lucky winner will be selected. Pledge must be at the membership level of $25 or more.

Monday, 27 October 2008

Different Voices: Irish and Latino

Literature was the focus of the show on Saturday, October 25th, with interviews with Irish writer, Dermot Bolger, Halli Villegas, publisher of Tightrope Books and poet, Monica Rosas. Bolger is a participant in Harbourfront Centre’s International Festival of Authors (IFOA), which for the first time, is spotlighting authors from a particular country: Ireland. Bolger’s thick accent and rapid-fire delivery was a pleasure to listen to as we talked about the wealth of writers in Ireland due, in part, to the introduction of free secondary schools and tax breaks for writers, and also to the Irish imagination. Where other countries had a tradition of opera and performing arts, Bolger says it’s writing that has always been a popular method of artistic expression in Ireland. Bolger’s first novel, Night Shift, was written while working in a factory. He used his co-workers as characters since he didn’t think it would really get published. Lucky for him, everyone was okay with the obvious characterizations. Bolger has since written many award-winning poems, plays and novels, including The Journey Home, from which he reads at the Fleck Dance Theatre the evening of October 25th along side other Irish authors Emma Donoghue, Hugo Hamilton, and David Park.

Being involved with the Irish writing scene (he started Raven Arts Press which has since turned into New Island), Bolger is encouraged by the variety of expression in contemporary Irish literature. As a member of the Aosdána, an organization which provides small stipends to writers so they can concentrate on their craft, Bolger hopes that the tax breaks and government funding to the arts will not be cut during this current economic climate.

IFOA runs until November 1, 2008 at Harbourfront Centre. 416-973-4000.

How familiar are you with Canadian voices of Latin American descent? I sometimes see event notices for readings by Latin American writers, but these writers have usually been invited from outside Canada. Tightrope Books publisher, Halli Villegas who is half Mexican-half Welsh and looks Caucasian, became involved in the upcoming event, Other Voices: Latino Writing and Music because she has an interest in promoting the works of people who look like her and who share a Latin American heritage. Villegas founded Tightrope books in 2005 because she wanted to take Canadian publishing in a different direction, connecting more with the writer, and publishing books that resound with unheard voices.

Poet, Monica Rosas (of Colombian-Peruvian heritage) is one of the performers at Other Voices. Rosas has an interest in bringing to the forefront experiences of gender and cultural status, demonstrated in her very eloquent reading of a selection from her chapbook,Inside Out.

Monica’s book is published by Lyrical Myrical Press and will be available for sale, along with the works of other writers reading on Thursday, October 30th at the Trane Studio (964 Bathurst Street). Doors open at 6:30 pm and includes music by Cubanos. The event is FREE, so please bring some money to support these authors.

Photo: Dermot Bolger
Photo Credit:

Photo: Monica Rosas
Photo Credit: Stephanie Sonnemann

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Coming Soon! Coverage of the12th Annual Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival Nov. 12-16th

Long Story Short by award-winning director, Christine Choy features actress Jodi Long (Margaret Cho's mom on the short-lived sitcom, All American Girl) and delves into her family's multi-generational attempts to make it big in show business. Just one of many films I'm looking forward to at this year's Reel Asian International Film Festival.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Arts for Everyone

The Federal election may be over, but I hope you haven't forgotten the round table discussion I had a few weeks back about cuts to the Arts. My guests for that October 4th show were Claire Hopkinson (Executive Director of the Toronto Arts Council), Kelsey Matheson (Eastern Regional Director of First Weekend Club), Bobby Del Rio (actor/producer and founder of INCLUDE, Canada's largest multicultural entertainment industry network), and Kirk Cooper (publicist and founder of Film Market Access). All pointed out the economic benefits of the Arts & Culture sector from providing employment to millions of Canadians to the trickle down effect of businesses (hotels, restaurants, shops) who benefit from people attending events such as film festivals, stage shows, concerts etc.

That the Arts are for everyone, something Canadian conductor, Kerry Stratton and I agree upon wholeheartedly. Stratton will be conducting the Orchestra Internazionale d'Italia at Roy Thomson Hall on November 3rd, as part of Gala Italia. He is also taking the OIDI to such places as Milton and Welland and several other Ontario cities. Stratton loves to take classical music to underserved communities and unusual venues (he recently took a classical violinist to the Bovine Sex Club--it's not what you think!), and enjoys showing visiting musicians a bit of Ontario.
Gala Italia
Nov. 3rd, 8:00 pm
featuring L’Orchestra Internazionale d’Italia
Roy Thomson Hall
$35.00 ($25.00 students/seniors)
416-872-4255 or
click here

Planet in Focus International Environmental Film and Video Festival (October 22nd - 26th)Yes, there are films about climate changes and the dangers of food, but there are over 100 films in this international festival about other issues. Canadian filmmaker/producer Tina Hahn's documentary Tales of a Yellow Bike deals with sustainable transportation. Hahn traveled to such places as China, Paris, and Amsterdam to see how those places were able to launch and maintain programs when Toronto's own award-winning, Bike Share Program had to fold. Imagine 3 million people going out for a nighttime bike ride with their families. Well, it happens in Columbia.
Tales of a Yello Bike
Sat. Oct. 25th, 11:00 am
Innes Town Hall
2 Sussex Avenue
Tickets: 416-967-1528, or Box Office at 55 Bloor Street West (Manulife Building, north entrance). Tickets are also available at the door of each venue.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Intimate and Interactive with Musicians in Ordinary and Comedian, Zabrina Chevannes

Last Saturday's show turned out to be more intimate than expected. Lutenist (but this time on baroque guitar), John Edwards and soprano, Hallie Fishel and I huddled around 1 microphone on Saturday due to a technical difficulty in our interview studio. Both Hallie and John were great sports as they talked about their upcoming concert Guard My Cows, which showcases music from 17th century Spain and Mexico. The last time John was at CIUT we talked about lutenists being hanged as spies during the Elizabethan era. This time round he and Hallie talked about the dirty songs of the 17th century that were banned! And you thought music from the past was boring. I hope you enjoyed the interview as well as some of the selections they performed.
Musicians in Ordinary
Sat. Oct 25th, 8:00 pm
Heliconian Hall, 35 Hazelton Ave. (near Bay Subway) at 8PM, Single tickets $20 / $15 students & seniors. For information call us at 416 535 9956 or click here

Zabrina Chevannes, Tim Sims Encouragement Award NomineeI didn't ask stand up comedian, Zabrina Chevannes to do or say "something funny". She hears that all the time as soon as people find out she is a comedian. Zabrina will be performing at Second City on Monday, Ocotber 27th, 8pm. She is just one of 5 nominees who will be showing off their comedic skills and timing to a panel of judges. She will be the only Jamaican, the Black woman, and the only nurse in the line up to win the $5,000 award. Click here for details or contact Second City (51 Mercer Street)(416) 343-0011. Tickets are $10.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

This Weekend

Staying home? Check out Black Books.

Black Books - video powered by Metacafe

Going Out?

I still recommend the French thriller, Tell No One.

I missed it at TIFF 08, but a few friends have recommended I see Blindness. It's a Canadian film, and you know how I love our films.

If you've got kids, check out Harbourfront Centre's celebration of Geeks.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Things To Do This Weekend

ON SCREEN: Tell No One (Ne le dis à personne)

Tell No One (Ne le dis à personne) is a gripping French thriller about a man who receives an email from his wife. The catch? A serial killer murdered her 8 years ago. Is she his wife? Is someone playing a cruel joke on him? What is going on? Travel through this gripping cinematic labyrinth with Alexandre Beck (François Cluzet) as he tries to figure out exactly what is the truth? This movie has starts out as a romantic drama and escalates into a fantastic thriller with one of the best street chases I have seen in a very long time. British actress Kristen Scott Thomas has a wonderful supporting role as Beck's ally. I haven't seen Nathalie Baye on screen in a while, so it was great to see her, even if her screen time is limited.

ON SCREEN: "Religulous"

Comedian Bill Mahr challenges believers of various religions. Mahr was raised Catholic and didn't find out his mother was Jewish until he was thirteen years old. From his perspective, religion causes more problems than it solves. What will you think after seeing this film? How do you think it compares to another film, "For the Bible Tells Me So"?

Catch a double bil at the Berkeley Street Theatre with Marcia Johnson's production of "Late"
and Wesley Enoch's "Black Medea".

Presented by Obsidian Theatre Company until October 5th. Click here for details.

AROUND THE CITY: Nuit Blanche (click link for details)
October 4th, 6:52 pm to sunrise

There is a lot to check out, but I'm going to make sure I visit the Toronto Reference Library to experience "Circus of Dreams"

Why not get out and vote? I have voted at the advance polls for years because I don't want to be out of my riding on election day, and miss my chance to do my civic duty. For more information visit

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Vote for the Arts: Tune in on Saturday, October 4th from 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Tune in to The More the Merrier on Saturday, October 4th from 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm for a discussion about the Arts and the Federal Election. Guests: actor/playwright Bobby Del Rio; Claire Hopkinson, Executive Director of the Toronto Arts Council; Kelsey Matheson, Eastern Regional Director of the First Weekend Club; Kirk Cooper of Film Market Access Publicity.

The More the Merrier (TMTM)
Arts Outreach and Education
Saturdays 1:00 - 2:00pm
Listen Live on CIUT 89.5 FM,
Rogers Digital Channel 946 or Star Choice Satellite Channel 826

I hope you will be listening!
donna g

Monday, 29 September 2008

Your Faves at TIFF 08

Yes, my guest from a couple of weeks ago Nick Ashdon of El Greco, did like Slumdog Millionaire. I forgive him because he loves Toronto. Kirk Cooper and I had a wonderful discussion with both Nick and Theo Alexander (also in El Greco) about films and how great Toronto audiences are.

Mark Van de Ven, director of the short film Us Chickens loved the editing in Hunger. I enjoyed what Mark had to say in his own film, and both he and I thought very highly of Denis Villeneuve's award-winning short film, The Next Floor.

As for Kirk Cooper, his favourite film from TIFF is the Turkish film Three Monkeys (Üç maymun). I hope it gets released so that I can have a chance to see what he is talking about. We sometimes, after all, do agree on some films.

Festival-goer and blogger, Heidy M, enjoyed the Korean Western,The Good, the Bad,the Weired (Joheun-nom, Nabbeun-nom, Isanghan-nom). An avid Midnight Madness fan, Heidy also thought Sexykiller kicked butt.

Patrick Age 1.5 was a big hit with The More the Merrier fan, Gord, and Anne enjoyed It Might Get Loud.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

donna g’s TIFF 08 Film List and Top Ten Faves

So how did I chose my Top Ten? Emotional response. There are just some films where seeing the title triggers an emotional response and instant images from the film flicker in your head. It was still hard to narrow it down to ten, and I included the short film, Jesus and the Giant in the list because it was such a great pairing with its screening buddy, Medicine for Melancholy, so I guess you could call this my Top Ten and a Half list. The only easy choice was my Number 1 pick, Ramin Bahrani's Good Bye Solo. I love understated films with brilliant performances.

My Number 1 Pick: Good Bye Solo

Souléymane Sy Savané as Solo

1. A Film With Me In It
2. Acné
3. Aide-toi le ciel t'aidera (With a Little Help From Myself)
4. Appaloosa
5. Apron Strings
6. At the Edge of the World
7. Borderline
8. Brabat
9. Brothers Bloom, The
10. Chocolate
11. Control Alt Delete
12. Country Wedding
13. Detroit Metal City
14. El Greco
15. Good Bye Solo**
16. Happy Go Lucky
17. Horn of Plenty (Cuerno de la abundancia)
18. It Might Get Loud
19. JCVD
20. Me and Orson Welles
21. Medicine for Melancholy + Jesus and the Giant
22. Mia et le Migou
23. Patrick Age 1.5
24. Peace Mission
25. Radio Love
26. Rain
27. Return to Hansala (Retorno A Hansala)
28. Slumdog Millionaire
29. Tears for Sale
30. The Stoning of Soraya M.
31. Unmistaken Child
32. Upstream Battle
33. White Night Wedding
34. Youssou Ndour: I Bring What I Love
35. Zack and Miri Make a Porno

I enjoyed almost all of the films I saw this year at TIFF, the exceptions being the really horrible Radio Love, and People's Choice Award winner,Slumdog Millionaire--and even with that one I loved two thirds of the film.

What films did you enjoy at TIFF? Click on Comments and share your picks with the rest of us.

Friday, 12 September 2008

donna g's TIFF 08 Coverage: What I'm Seeing on Day 10 (Saturday, Sept. 13th)

MIA AND THE MIGOU (Mia et le Migou)

HORN OF PLENTY El (Cuerno de la abundancia)



donna g's TIFF 08 Coverage: Canadian, Eh?

I go to TIFF to see films from around the world, but I love Canadian films and always always make a point of seeing what our talented filmmakers have to offer. Besides, Borderline and Control Alt Delete, I had to see C'est pas moi, je le jure! (It's not me, I swear!) by filmmaker Philippe Falardeau. I've been a fan of Falardeau since seeing his films, La Moitié gauche du frigo (TIFF 02) and Congorama (TIFF 06). He doesn't disappoint in his new film about a ten year old boy dealing with his parents rocky marriage and eventual separation. I have never laughed so much while watching a heartbreaking film.

Falardeau does a fine job of bringing us into little Léon's 1960's suburban world. It's polyester and smoking, nosey neighbour ladies and the Catholic Church, but it's also a world seen through the eyes of a precocious boy with a penchant for breaking and entering and suicide attempts. I love the sound of this movie--not just the innocently funny dialogue, but also the sound of the wind blowing across the cornfields where Léon and his friend Lea play. We know this secret place will soon be bulldozed into more suburban sprawl and this too references the sadness of the inevitable.

We Are Funny!

Synthétiseur (Synthesizer) directed by Sarah Fortin
Recent break up? Slightly depressed? Discover the exotic sights and scenes of your city's subway system, and maybe meet a new love.

Next Floor
I loved everything about this gorgeously photographed, darkly wicked, and sublimely acted commentary on societal excess. Gluttony has never been so well-examined, or so well-scored.

Leave it to us Cannuks to make a movie about a jealous senior who takes out her rival 106-year old.

donna g's TIFF 08 Coverage: Day 9 a.k.a Two for Saturday + Sorry, Brothers Bloom

Canadian or Spanish? The choice is yours tomorrow morning.


First time director, Lyne Charlebois, shows confidence in this tale of a young woman dealing with her sexual addiction and turning 30. Isabelle Blais is outstanding in the role of Kiki Labrèche. I especially love the shots of Kiki at various ages walking side by side with herself or passing herself on the street. This film is one of those instances where nudity and sexuality are an integral part of the script and not simply for titilating purposes. I've had a crush on Jean-Huges Anglade since Nikita, and it was a welcome treat for me to see him on screen.

Final Screening:
Saturday September 13 12:00PM VARSITY 1

RETURN TO HANSALA (RETORNO A HANSALA This is one of my favourite shots in this film.

In 2002, director Chus Gutierez explored the issue of illegal Moroccans working in Andalusia in her film, Poniente. In this year's Return to Hansala, we get the story of an Andalusian traveling with a young woman to her village to return her brother's body after it was washed up on the Spanish shores. This is a beautiful film in which the characters are humanized by their personal conflicts and mutual understanding. The music by Tao Gutiérrez is a fitting backdrop to this road picture, featuring two lead actors (Farah Hamed and José Luis García Pérez)whose performances brilliant and unaffected.

Final Screening:
Saturday September 13 01:00PM VARSITY 6

THE BROTHERS BLOOM I loved this scene with Rachel Weisz and Adrien Brody, which is why I'm so sorry I forgot to mention it in my post last night.

Despite the weak ending, I enjoyed this con game movie with Weisc, Brody, Mark Ruffalo (the other Bloom brother) and Rinko Kikuchi. Director, Rian Johnson, follows his debut picture (Brick)with this lively, character-driven film that entertained us all yesterday at the packed Ryerson Theatre. Even the actors appeared to be having fun in this stylistic romp.

1.         Photo courtesy of A BUMP ALONG THE WAY (DISCOVERY) Synopsi s: With her charismatic smile and formida...