Tag Archives: film festival
Hello again, Friday. That week just went super fast – but of course it did. It’s TIFF. Which means I haven’t been home much, except to sleep (and write this).
Have you seen any great films this festival? So far my favourite probably remains the behind the scenes 12.12.12 doc, which my photo above shows the Q & A with Strombo interviewing Harvey Weinstein and his team after the film.
The 12.12.12 fundraiser was such an incredible lineup of artists, and getting a behind the scenes look into how they pulled all those huge acts together so fast was incredible. Harvey also told us how he tried SO hard to complete the 60′s/70′s English legend bands with Led Zeppelin but Jimmy Page’s dirtbag manager Peter Mensch convinced him NOT TO DO IT! They even got President Obama AND President Clinton to personally ask Page to do it. WTF. Makes me think much less of Jimmy Page now. Who refuses to do a charity benefit concert because they want to be paid outrageous sums of money when they’ve already got more money they they’ll ever use in this life? Sad.
I usually forgo TIFF parties in favour of actually seeing films, but Tuesday I went to the SXSW TIFF party, and quickly realized just how male dominated the film world truly is. I was so shocked that the party was 90% male. I always feel the music industry is so male dominated, but at least at our parties, it usually feels 60/40 split. But I was also told that’s because men in music are cool and usually have women around them – men in film, not so much.
I also took a TIFF break to check out the unbelievable Christian Louboutin shoe exhibit at the Design Exchange. I’ve never wished I had unlimited disposable income more in my life. So many incredible, incredibly expensive, beautiful shoes. One day.
Anyhow, now for the links!
- 30 Great Music Moments in Movies In the spirit of TIFF…
- 29 Music Pilgrimages you need to take before you die Do it. I’m working my way through this list.
- 24 Things You Should Know Before Starting a Vinyl Collection Lots of great tips for any vinyl newbs.
- Digital Dreams – A look into the EDM scene in Toronto Even though it’s not really my thing, we really do have a very strong EDM scene here.
- Thom Yorke, Trent Reznor and a Chorus of Artists Speak Out For An Ethical and Sustainable Internet
- Watch Joe Strummer Dissect the Clash in New ‘Audio Ammunition’ Documentary This is pretty great.
- David Bowie, Arctic Monkeys on Mercury Prize Shortlist Go Jake Bugg! Saw him at Osheaga and fell completely in love.
- Hear now: Isolated tracks from Nirvana, Whitney, Marvin, MJ, more There’s something amazing about hearing the isolated tracks, really makes you understand the sheer talent of the person performing.
- Why You Love Your Parents’ Music We are all nostalgic.
- Disruptions: Apple’s Next Unveiling Could Make or Break a Business
- Canadians Earned $1.1 Trillion In 2010, And Other Interesting Stats From The National Household Survey Do you pay too much for your rent? I feel like most of Toronto probably does. We don’t make a lot, but we sure do pay a lot.
- Finally, if this video of bearded dragons waving to each other from their separate cages doesn’t make your weekend, you may need to check your pulse:
Hey guys! Happy September! It’s crazy how fast the city changes from calm and warm to crazy and cold as soon as September hits. It’s overwhelming. The past couple weeks have been busy.
Super cool thing – I did my first ever guest lecture, on social media/blogging, for the music/film/management students at Trebas. That was awesome. I’ll post more about that in the coming week.
I also got a new job I am SUPER excited to tell you guys about. Let’s just say I’m gonna be working for the people I’ve wanted to work for since graduating college. It’s one of those “if you believe you can have it, one day, you will” moments.
Did you guys have an amazing long weekend? This week actually marks my 10th anniversary of living in Toronto. 10 years ago I was just like all those other Frosh kids wandering the streets this week. Time flies.
Are you checking out any TIFF films? There are tons of great music ones to check out (I may post a list if I get the chance). I’m also pumped for Spike Jonze’s Masters chat. You can buy tickets directly through that image in my sidebar! And if you want to do a fun TIFF related party tonight, you should head to Adelaide Music Hall for YLMC’s Clockwork Orange theme party. Great bands playing, and they always throw a good show. This was Kubrick’s best film, after all. I dressed as Alex for Halloween regularly as a young teen – my neighbors thought it was inappropriate.
With all that said, here are the links:
- Whole Foods Has a Record Store umm… I guess everyone’s doing it.
- City lets Ryerson out of contract on famed Sam the Record sign Damn. They need to put it in a music museum at this point. Don’t let it get trashed.
- Miley Cyrus Sees Digital Sales Benefits from VMA Performance That whole thing was horrific, but then again, management probably told her to do it, because it sure does pay to whore yourself on stage, apparently.
- Chatting With the Founder of the Polaris Prize
- Brand New 4 Track Pixies EP What do you think?!
- The First Replacements’ Show in 22 Years As reviewed by a semi-famous Replacements fan.
- David Bowie has ‘no plans for live dates’ following reports of lucrative London gig offer NOO. Please Bowie, you’re one of the few still left on my live music bucket list. C’mon.
- The Sound of Going to Pieces The Clash members reminisce on the making of the legendary London Calling.
- The 50 Best Elliot Smith Songs Who can choose? He didn’t write a bad song…
- Music Man Murray Dies at Age 91
- How to Help Bring Your Favourite Band to TO Good advice for aspiring promoter types.
- New Fees For Non-Canadian Acts Threaten Local Venues THIS IS AWFUL!!!
- Why New Fees For Foreign Acts are a Mistake More reasons why it’s awful. It will destroy our live music scene.
- The Canadian Government Wants to Rob Touring Bands of Their Cash Yep.
- Sign The Petition to Oppose the above Point DO IT!
- Statement from CIMA On Changes to LMO Process for Temporary Foreign Workers They claim it will help Canadian musicians, but even CIMA doesn’t see it that way.
- Mumford Concert Injects $10M Into Local Economy Thanks, Mumford.
- 10 Reason’s It’s OK to Use your Mobile at a Gig Yep, so stop complaining when you see phones. It’s part of the experience, sorry.
- The Losing Battle Over Lyrical Copyright Interesting. I live for lyrics so I rely on these sites.
- Why is Television Losing Women Writers? Good question.
- Office Hours with Sheryl Sandberg Love her. Love this. Lean in, ladies.
- I Have a Character Issue As Breaking Bad ends (OMG what will I do without it!!!), it’s interesting to hear her talk about the weird hate her character has received.
- Anna Gunn and Skyler White: Just the Tip of a Very Big Iceberg This. Exactly. It’s a lack of female writers… you can’t write what you don’t know, and men don’t know what it’s like to be a woman.
- 50 Bars With Extended 4 AM Last Calls for TIFF 2013 Hell yeah.
- How to Find Free (and cheap) Parking Spots in Toronto Helpful stuff. Parking is so fucking expensive here. It’s the main reason I can’t imagine ever owning a car here.
- What Your Regrettable Music Scene Tattoo says about you Heh.
- Being a Music Fan in Your 20s Vs Your 30s Man. This is the future?
- Finally, a little more BB content to celebrate the end of my all time favourite show, the best show television ever gave us:
Anita is a look back at what the exact moment where sexual harassment became a valid work problem that is taken seriously. Prior to Anita Hill infamously speaking out against the sexual harassment she endured working for Clarence Thomas, this kind of treatment was tolerated by women (and men) because they didn’t know they had any other option. She gave us all a voice and right to speak up without the risk of losing our jobs.
I was so young when she did this for feminism that I didn’t even realize she is the one to thank for the times where I’ve felt uncomfortable at work – and been able to do something about it. The beauty of this film is that it is educating my generation and those women younger than me on what she did for us, and how different the world was just 20 years ago - how acceptable that kind of workplace abuse was. I feel so incredibly lucky to have been born in the time of history that I was.
It was startling to watch her give her testimony facing a large panel of old white men, as they interrogated her and accused her of man hating, revenge, bitterness and lying. They tried to tear her apart because she was honest, and yet she remained calm and poised throughout the entire process. I have no idea how she did it. She deserves a medal from every woman. As if it wasn’t bad enough that she suffered through his harassment the first time, they put her up there and did everything they could to humiliate her in front of the entire world, making her relive every minute detail.
And of course, in the end, they didn’t even care about her testimony. Thomas made it into a racial issue (which is crap considering she shares his race), the politicians got scared, and nothing ever happened to him. He took his seat on the Supreme Court, while she had to move to another state to avoid all the death threats and harassment she endured after it was over. That in itself is depressing – but the film makes it very clear that what she did is an act of heroism that will be remembered for generations to come.
Thank you Anita.
Kathleen Hanna is another fascinating, inspiring woman to my generation. As much as I could never really get into the whole riot grrrl scene because of my aversion to vocals that involve screaming, I have incredible respect for its place in the third wave of feminism that sparked because of the injustices faced by women like Anita Hill at the time.
While I never really enjoyed Bikini Kill’s sound, I did like Le Tigre to some degree, but I was never quite interested enough to dig into their story. This film definitely made me realize what I was missing out on, and how incredible Kathleen was (and still is).
She is exactly the kind of person I aspire to be – and I have been living by her manifesto, despite not being particularly aware of it, all along. Her “ALL GIRLS TO THE FRONT” mentality at shows is literally the best concept in music history, ever. EVERY BAND SHOULD DO THIS. The way they explained it in the film made me so happy, because men don’t seem to realize that they make such a hostile environment for women at shows – or they do realize and they just don’t care. The last thing I want to deal with is getting head butted by moshers (this has happened to me) because I’m at the front trying to actually see the band. If the male population were kind enough to do that shit in the back, and stand back so that women who are generally at least 5 inches shorter, could actually see the stage – the concert going experience would be oh so wonderful for everyone.
I wish I could have went to a Bikini Kill show just to be a part of a concert where there was a priority put on women actually being comfortable/having a stage sight-line.
The look into her health issues and the decision to end Le Tigre was also insightful. Lyme disease is something most people (myself included) certainly don’t understand, and it went a long way to explaining how dreadful the disease can be – especially when it makes a singer lose control of her most precious asset – her voice. I also loved when she talked about meeting Adam Horovitz and feeling conflicted about dating someone who sang such sexist songs in those early Beastie Boys days, and how you don’t choose who you fall in love with.
If you are at all interested in 90s music culture, feminism, riot grrrls or just want to see a doc about a groundbreaking artist, make it a point to see The Punk Singer.
I’ll admit I was fairly uninterested in the whole Pussy Riot thing. I heard about it non stop to the point where I just decided to tune it out. Again, not being all that into the riot grrrl scene, I just didn’t pay much attention. When I hear Peaches is involved in something I kind of lose interest, as it always tends to feel like a spectacle.
Of course, seeing Pussy Riot – A Punk Prayer made me feel foolish for not paying attention. It is scary to me that this kind of church meets state environment still exists in what looks like a modern part of the world. They were doing nothing more than what Kathleen Hanna and the riot bands did 20 years ago, but they are in jail for it!
The best part of Hot Docs is that it shocks me into remembering just how lucky I am to be living where I do, in the age that I do. After watching the injustice these girls are going through, I am thanking my lucky stars that I do not live in Russia. It literally boggles my mind that things could still be so backwards in a developed country – but religion makes people act in very strange (ungodly) ways.
Can you imagine being sent to jail for 2 YEARS for just barely starting to sing a ‘punk rock’ song in a church? It’s absurd. I agree that it was crossing a line since so many people were offended by it, and they could have maybe banned them from the church for life or something – but putting them in jail away from their babies for years because they created art in public? Insane.
The film gives these women faces, families, and history – which is something you don’t get through our exploitative news. Watching their parents talk about how they were as kids, and how they grew into feminist artists trying to move their part of the world forward in the same way that Kathleen Hanna did, makes it a must see. It’s also inspiring to hear them talk during sentencing – the fearlessness these women have for the message they are trying to spread of equality for all women is so powerful. I know that when they get out they will continue to create positive change and hopefully help move Russia into the current decade.
Come Thursday, another Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival is upon us for 11 days, and I couldn’t be more excited to be covering it. Documentary film is the most reliable format for great filmmaking, in my opinion, because real stories always resonate – even if the camera work and production value are poor – the aspect of humanity being portrayed is almost always palpable.
With that said, Hot Docs has asked me to give you guys tickets to some of the films I am most excited to see. I have a pair of tickets to giveaway to the first screenings of both The Exhibition and When I Walk.
It is no secret that I have a very strong interest in crime stories. I’m obsessive about shows like Dateline, 48 Hours, Dexter, Breaking Bad and Criminal Minds. The Exhibition blends that interest with my true passion for arts, creativity and artists who aren’t afraid to break the rules – making this one of my top picks for this years festival.
It looks at the largest serial murder case in Canadian history – that of Robert Pickton and his pig farm back in 2007 – and an artist, Pamela Masik, who created paintings based around the faces of the 69 missing women police revealed at the time. Masik created gruesome portraits of the women – meant to highlight a racist and sexist society that let such violence against women take place for so long. But of course, using real victims for your art is going to piss a lot of people off, and for it, she faced a shitstorm of criticism that forced her to cancel the exhibition of this massive collection of work.
Win tickets to see it on Saturday April 27th at 9:30pm at TIFF Bell Lightbox.
When I Walk is the personal story of director Jason DeSilva and his diagnosis and subsequent battle with a severe form of multiple sclerosis at just 25 years old. As a filmmaker he was used to a life of travelling the world and creating. The disease, as it quickly stole his ability to walk, took this from him.
I watched my aunt live with multiple sclerosis for the first 10 years of my life – visiting her at the hospital every weekend with my dad – watching her turn into a skeleton until she finally passed away. It created within me a fear of hospitals that remains to this day. Not because of her – she was incredible despite all the pain, lighting up with joy anytime we were in the room – but because she was stuck there in this bland place surrounded by a rotating sea of geriatrics on their death bed – young and alive but unable to live – a true nightmare for someone as fun as she was (a rebellious Beatles fanatic and a mod, I wish I could have known her once I was older as I obviously got a lot of my personality from her).
MS is a terrible, incurable disease that strikes a very large portion of Canadians because of our cold climate – and while things are a lot more hopeful now than they were back when my aunt was diagnosed – there is still a lot more that can be done. Films like this have the potential to educate and humanize something that is very hard to understand unless you have experienced it. A cure is within reach.
Win tickets to the Friday April 26th screening at 9:30pm at TIFF Bell Lightbox.
To win, leave a comment with the name of the film you are interested in seeing (or both, if you’re interested in both), using an email address I can contact you at where it asks for your email address (do not put your email in the body of the comment).
You can also enter by becoming a Facebook fan and commenting on my status about this giveaway with the film you would like to see.
Both winners will be chosen and notified on Wednesday morning either via their email address or on Facebook, depending on method of entry.
Hey peeps! Welcome to another TGIF. This has been the best week ever for me as I finally met the woman who had the biggest impact on the choices I’ve made in my life. And it’s International Women’s Day today, so perfect timing!
I got to see both her performances at AGO’s 1st Thursday last night, and I’m seeing her again tomorrow night at Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Only took a decade but I finally crossed her off my bucketlist, but it was beyond worth the wait. Review to come.
But for now, peruse all of this:
- SXSW: Waste of money, or indie band ‘rite of passage’?
- Why I’m not going to SXSW this year. Seems there’s a lot of anti SXSW posts this year. I stupidly applied at the last minute meaning there were no hotels left, or I would be there with bells on. Next year for sure.
- Google Chrome browser improving music listening on the web.
- Stompin’ Tom Connors Dead at the age of 77. He was the Hank Williams of Canada. I may find the hockey song a bit hokey but he was a true talent.
- Canadian indie music scene hits the right economic note.
- Add a song, make a movie. Music supervisors in film seek more recognition. I seriously considered being a Music Supervisor fulltime when I first graduated, as it combined my two biggest passions in a perfect way, and while it seems I might be getting back into it as my sister pursues her dream of making films, I still enter with hesitation because of the things this article points out. It’s really not taken seriously or respected in the film world the way that it should be.
- Music Sampling: A War Rages within the Music and Art community on a Legal Battleground.
- The Postal Service auditons: Funny or Die edition. This is so hilarious – and the PERFECT way to promote the rerelease of an album. Moby’s part is the best.
- MaKey MaKey is so awesome. I want to make random things into musical instruments!
- If people talked about Seinfeld like they talk about Girls. SOOO TRUE! The Girls criticisms are ridiculous just as the criticisms laid on Seinfeld were. Some people seem to have missed the joke in both shows.
- This Ignite Talk is a must watch. Words matter. Be mindful about what you say and how you say it.
- Finally, my beloved Teenage Kicks have a new video, and it’s only slightly NSFW: