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Showing posts from December, 2010

Hey, Barney! Where's Miriam? Barney's Version Reviewed

I have never read Mordecai Richler's version of Barney's Version. I have read, heard and been told that it is one of the author's best and that it is a beloved tome. Well, it will be a while before the Toronto Public Library (TPL) informs me that my copy has arrived at my pick up location because right now I am 187th on the list of 187; the TPL has 45 copies. At over 400 pages, I didn't expect the screen adaptation written by Michael Konyes and directed by Richard J. Lewis to give me every single detail of the book, so I won't be surprised when I do get my copy of the book that some things did not make it to the screen.

The book and movie is about movie producer, Barney Panofsky, his relationship with his Dad, his three wives, and his two children; it also includes a gun shrouded in a past mystery. A tactless curmudgeon with a bit of the sad sack about him, Barney is played competently by Paul Giamatti, who over the past decade has gone from "That Guy" (re…

A Feast, 8 Women and a Candle

I had a fun chat last Saturday with a couple of my film buds, Kirk Cooper (founder of Film Market Access) and Moen Mohamed film lover, and man about town. We spoke about our Christmas/Winter DVD faves, but we didn't get a chance to mention all the films on our lists so here they are. Kirk and I have a couple of theatrical releases on our lists, but for the most part you can find the films on DVD. If you can't find the films at your local video store, try Queen Video, Bay St. Video or the Toronto Public Library. Please feel free to leave a comment about your favourite cold weather films, so we can all check out something we may be missing.

Moen’s Faves
Babette’s Feast
Bullets Over Broadway
City Lights
Flowers of St. Francis
Imitation of Life
Make Way for Tomorrow
The Ice Storm
The Red Shoes
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

Kirk’s Faves
8 Femmes
Bad Santa
In Bruges
It’s a Wonderful Life
Scrooged (Bill Murray and A Christmas Carol starring Alistair Sims)
The Fighter (theatrical)
The King’…

5 Disco Balls for Priscilla Queen of the Desert!

It is the gayest thing I have ever seen! Priscilla Queen of the Desert the Musical is a stunningly over the top, gay musical that hits all the right notes, and glitters in all the right places. The transition from screen to stage is exceedingly well done, with the elimination of material that is dated or too awkward to fit the stage, and with the inclusion of new scenes and songs that surpasses the film in some respects. Then there is the bus. Holy moly, the bus! Yes, it is pink--very PINK, and a multitude of colours that are as bashful as a jacket by Liberace. After all, she is the Queen of the Desert, and what queen, gay or otherwise, isn't sometimes bedecked in all her bejewelled splendor?

Drag queens, Tick/Mitzie, Adam/Felicia and Bernadette (don't call her Ralph!) trek across the Australian dessert (from Sydney to Alice Springs) with humour, feathers, arguments pizazz, and, ahem, a few road kills. Joining them along the way is Bob, the mechanic who lubricates Priscilla and…

CD REVIEW: d'bi young's "womanifesto"--she ain't goin out like that!

Drop the word “socio-political” in a conversation and most people’s eyes would glaze over in anticipation of the preaching and boredom to follow; but, in the case of d’bi young’s latest CD, “wombanifesto”, all it takes is a listen to the assertive lyrics and reggae, latin, beatbox and punk rhythms and the word “socio-political” will take on an unexpected new energy.

With its raw, powerful lyrics and African-Caribbean rhythms, “wombanifesto” is a powerful assertion of the female in general, and a defiant declaration of existence by the black woman. The CD’s universal appeal will come from the listener’s recognition of what is happening in the world, to the Earth, even as they dance and chant along with the lyrics. young’s dub poetry speaks of long-suppressed truths, truths that resonate with the collective and the individual.

The rocking“gendah bendah” is an anthem to those who don’t fit into any of the institutionalized boxes imposed by society. “animal farm” with its punk-reggae bea…