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Showing posts from August, 2010

Toronto After Dark Film Festival Winners

AUGUST 26:
Toronto After Dark Film Festival is thrilled to announce the Award Winners of its 2010 edition. A record over 4,300 votes were cast by festival-goers this year to determine this year’s Audience Award Winners!

AUDIENCE AWARDS, BEST FEATURE FILM
1. GOLD: THE LAST EXORCISM
2. SILVER: THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE
3. BRONZE: I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE

VISION AWARDS, BEST INDEPENDENT FEATURE FILM
The Vision Awards are given out by the Festival in recognition of outstanding independent genre feature filmmaking.
1. GOLD: HEARTLESS
2. SILVER: THE LAST LOVECRAFT
3. BRONZE: ALL ABOUT EVIL

AUDIENCE AWARDS, BEST CANADIAN SHORT FILM
1. GOLD: JUNKO’S SHAMISEN
2. SILVER: KING CHICKEN
3. BRONZE: FIREMAN! and GAME NIGHT (TIE)

AUDIENCE AWARDS, BEST INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM
1. GOLD: OFF SEASON
2. SILVER: PUMZI
3. BRONZE: DEUS IRAE

FANS’ CHOICE AWARDS
New for 2010: Over 100 Festival All-Access Pass Buyers were polled in the week after the festival to select the winners in a range of different film ca…

Toronto After Dark Film Festival: Phobia 2 and All About Evil

I went to the Toronto After Dark Film Festival (TADFF) last night. By myself. I know, I know. What is a self-confessed scardy cat doing at TADFF by herself? Well, I’m not one to hold back on going somewhere just because my friends have other plans. Besides, no one is ever really alone at TADFF; there’s a theatre full of horror/cult/zombie fans to share the experience with you. If a film is scary, there is someone there to jump with you. I’m always surprised that however scared I am, there is always a couple of people squeaking and jumping when I am calm. And, when I do squeak and jump, others are with me, too.



PHOBIA 2Having said all that, I must say, though, that I was nervous about seeing the Thai film, Phobia 2. I can’t take really intense horror, and I had no idea where Phobia 2 fell on the scare-ometre. I hadn’t seen Phobia!, so I had no frame of reference. The film is also made up of five short films, each of which could be any range of scary. I decide to skip the popco…

Toronto After Dark Film Festival: Game Night, Anyone?

GAME NIGHT(the filmmaking team).
TADFF supports Canadian filmmakers each night by showing a short film before each feature. Last night we, at the Bloor Cinema, had the delightful pleasure of watching friendship go down the tubes when playing an old VHS board game leads to dangerous revelations. Beware of clowns!Game Night was shot in 100 hours and was the recipient of the 2009 Film Racing Grand Prix. I hope this film plays at many festivals so that people can get a chance to see this deliciously funny short. It does what a short film should do: keep your script simple, keep the story focussed and get some good actors. It's 3 out of 3 for Game Night. Gspan style="font-weight:bold;">Game Night screened before Phobia 2 and The Pickles Shane (filmmakers not in attendance) screened prior to All About Evil.

What are you doing After Dark?
See what else is showing at TADF: www.torontoafterdark.com
Tickets: $13 more for galas

Toronto After Dark Film Festival Review: The Last Exorcism

The Last Exorcism is my kind of horror film; it’s not gore porn. I love good storytelling, and that is exactly what this film offers in addition to some good scares, and humour. Shot documentary-style, the film pulls you in from the first frame featuring the charismatic lead actor, Parick Fabian playing the equally charismatic character, Cotton Marcus. In the scene, Cotton, a successful preacher, explainins to the camera how he works his congregation. Indoctrinated as a child into the family business of preaching, Cotton is so persuasive that he could talk a lobster into a pot of boiling water. In one scene, he tells the documentary crew (a director and cameraman) that he could throw a banana bread recipe into his sermon and the congregation wouldn’t even notice. When he proves this oratory slight of hand, we are hooked. Cotton is preacher who works magic, but lacks faith in God; preaching is just a job to that allows him to provide for his family, and we want to know more about this …

Toronto After Dark Film Festival: Eli Roth Premiere's The Last Exorcism in Toronto

I had a fantastic time at Toronto After Dark Film Festival (TADF)last night: Eli Roth (irresistibly funny and good looking, what a combo?) and the cast of The Last Exorcism, which Roth produced. Roth’s enthusiasm about the film was so expansive, I’m sure it reached beyond the balcony of the eight-hundred seat Bloor Cinema and out onto the streets. Roth is no stranger to Toronto or to genre films (he is the director of Hostel), so when Adam Lopez, founder of TADF, asked him to premiere the Toronto release of The Last Exorcism at the festival, Roth was eager to do so. Roth praised Toronto audiences for understanding and appreciating indie genre films, and urged us to spread the word about his film. He also promised to give oral sexual favours to all of us if we promoted his film—his two leads also gestured that they would do the same (it was that kind of night). Judging from the reactions last night, I don’t think Roth or the cast have to worry too much about negative comments on social…

SummerWorks Interview: Susana Vera, Costume Designer for The Haunted Hillbilly

donna g: I like to think of costumes as the silent ammunition in an actorís arsenal, but in The Haunted Hillbilly the costumes are at the forefront of the play because the lead character, Hyram Woodside (Matthew Raudsepp) is trying to establish his country music image. Could you please describe your progression in developing Hyramís style?

Susana Vera:Well, from the beginning of the process I was in direct communication with both Graham Cuthbertson(playwright) and Andrew Shaver(director) to understand the story they wanted to convey through the wardrobe. I was informed that Nudie (the vampire) was based off a real man: Nudie Cohn. He's known for designing crazy rhinestone covered suits for celebraties such as Elvis Presley and Gram Parsons. And I was directed to 50's western wear for the general. With this base I was able to play with with my own sewing past.... how I made clothes before and after I studied costume making.

Hyram's clothes were first made by his loving wife …

SummerWorks Review: Even Darkness is Made of Light

The aptly named, Even Darkness is Made of Light, is a one-woman dark comedy featuring the playwright herself, Edwige Jean-Pierre, as the teenage Carrie Edison, who develops depression following the death of Carlos, the object of her affection. The two used to hang out together in a favourite, but precarious spot, doing drugs and taking about homework and how life "sucks".

As a major Twilight fan, Carrie sees Carlos as her Edward but it is never quite clear whether or not Carlos sees Carrie as his Bella. We meet Carlos in flashbacks, but the whole performance is from Carrie's perspective, so we only have her words on the status of their relationship. The heightened emotions of a teenage girl combined with depression could lead the viewer into wondering what is true and what is imagined by Carrie. Are the health care providers and a youth motivational speaker who are supposed to help Carrie with her illness as incompetent as they seem, or is this Carrie's view of them? …

SummerWorks 2010: An Interview with "Say Ginger Ale" Playwright, Marcia Johnson

donna g: I certainly did not expect to have the book Anne of Green Gables pop up in a play about a Jamaican-born Canadian woman traveling back to Jamaica. Was the book a favourite of yours or was the love of the book something you created for your character, Nadia?

Marcia Johnson:I loved that book when I read it at 13 and still loved it as an adult when I read it chapter by chapter to my goddaughter at bedtime when she was 7.

donna g:Say Ginger Ale had a reading at the 2009 International Women Playwrights Conference in Mumbai, India and was well-received. Were you surprised at the response to this Caribbean play, and could you share some of the feedback you received from the audience?

Marcia Johnson:I was very surprised. I thought that some of the humour and issues might not have translated but, in the end, family relationships and conflicts are universal. Plus, everyone has a “fitting in” or migration story. The lone male Indian actor in the reading said that he had relatives in th…

SummerWorks August 5th - 15th

There are five more days left of SummerWorks, Toronto's Indie Theatre and Arts Festival. Have you seen/heard anything yet? Tickets are a very affordable $10, so skip your coffee this week and put that money towards supporting great Canadian talent.

Don't forget to also check out the Performance Bar (free with your ticket stub or pay-what-you-can) with improve dynamos Ron Pederson, Naomi Snieckus, and Tom Baram of Impromptu Splendor. Expect a mix of comedy, theatre and music.

Learn how to relax and learn in the Playground with designers Beth Kates and Ben Chaisson. If you have them, bring them, but there's no need "borrow" your friend's or siblings' children as an excuse to gain entrance to this Playground; your creative curiosity is enough (of course, children are welcome). No experience necessary to make your own video (assistance provided), be a performance artist or build Lego buildings.

If you like to perambulate while you experience theatre, then the S…

Podcast: Andrea Picard on Catherine Breillat and Eric Rohmer

The podcast of last Saturday's The More the Merrier Arts Radio is now up! Guests: Andréa Picard (tiff.cinematheque)on French directors, Catherine Breillat and Eric Rohmer + Actress/producer Alex Appel on The Death of Alice Blue. CLICK HERE to listen. Note: podcast will be up until the end of this week. Photo courtesy of: tiff.cinematheque