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Movies, music and popular culture reports from Ex-Press staff

Men and women at TIFF 2018

At some of the movies, it's not the same old story any more. As long as the ladies don't try to be in charge By Jay Stone   TORONTO — Today’s topic is the question of men and women, which, despite many scientific advances — dermatologists have done an especially heroic job — remains a thorny one. As I understand the way things stand now, you can decide for yourself what sex you want to be, but if you pick female, you may not get your movie made.   Or maybe that’s not it at all. In any event, we start our day with Widows, a heist thriller from a surprising source: the British visual artist Steve McQueen who became an accomplished filmmaker of intense art-house fare (Shame, Hunger, 12 Years A Slave) and has now moved closer to the mainstream.   Widows is the story of a group of wives whose husbands died in a robbery gone wrong. Now the women have discovered plans for the gang’s next heist, and decide to do it themselves. The impetus for the ...

At TIFF 2018, it’s all about the music

Movies: #TIFF18, Toronto International Film Festival The soundtrack of movies can leave you with the exhilaration of the dance floor, or bring you down into the existential angst of neo-noir By Jay Stone (September 8, 2018) TORONTO — There was a great moment at the movies this morning, near the end of Gloria Bell, Sebastian Lelio’s English-language remake of his own 2013 drama Gloria. Julianne Moore, replacing Chilean actress Paulina Garcia in the original, stars as a 50ish divorcee — are they still called that? — who has a productive but somewhat lonely life that she spices up by going to dance clubs and letting herself get lost in the candy sounds of disco. A romance with a divorced man (John Turturro), who seems not quite totally divorced, disrupts her balance, but in the final scene, we see Moore back on the dance floor, raising her arms and swaying from side to side as Laura Branigan sings the old hit Gloria. You can sometimes forget the importance of music in ...

TIFF 2018: The top 10 movies to watch for this fall

Movies: #TIFF18, Toronto International Film Festival On his 25th anniversary of covering the Toronto film festival, a critic decides he is ready for the quieter side of cinema. By Jay Stone (September 5, 2018) - I’ve been going to the Toronto film festival for 25 years, which means I’ve seen maybe 1,000 movies there, interviewed almost as many celebrities, and enjoyed so many all-you-eat shrimp buffets that I believe my liver is now breaded. I’ve sat in hundreds of darkened cinemas and endured millions of feet of film — back when film had feet; hell, back when there was film at all — filtered through modern sound systems that seem to assault your eardrums directly through your eyeholes. When people ask me what I’m looking forward to this year, I tell them I would be grateful to return with the shreds of my hearing intact. I think it’s a pretty good answer too, given that most of the time I didn’t hear the question. But you want to know about the films. ...
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BlacKkKlansman exposes a history of ugly realities

Movie Review: BlacKkKlansman Spike Lee's movie, based on the true story of a black policeman who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan, is more concerned with the cultural history of racism

Christa Dickenson named new head of Telefilm Canada

News: Canadian Film Christa Dickenson named Telefilm Canada’s new executive director, replacing Carolle Brabant as keeper of Canadian entertainment’s purse strings. By Ex-Press Staff (June 26, 2018) — Veteran marketing executive Christa Dickenson will replace Carolle Brabant as the executive director of Telefilm Canada, the public administrator responsible for funding the vast majority of Canadian audio-visual content. Heritage Minister Mélanie Jolie made the announcement today via press release, which cited Dickenson’s years of experience in the entertainment industry, as well as excellent language skills, as central reasons for the hire. Dickenson will leave her job as president and CEO of Interactive Ontario to start the five-year mandate on July 30. “To say that I'm excited to be named the Executive Director of Telefilm Canada is an understatement,” said Dickenson in the release. “I cannot wait to be part of an organization that has put Canadian ...

Disobedience is an uncertain love story

Movie Review: Disobedience An art photographer and an Orthodox Jewish wife re-ignite a forbidden passion in a romance that never quite finds its footing

Lisa Beare nods to #metoo in new funding announcement

News: BC  Politics, Gender Equity Minister Lisa Beare puts up $175,000 to promote education and awareness of systemic bias, while Oscar-winner Geena Davis drove the message of gender equity home at recent Women on Top Conference. By The Ex-Press VANCOUVER, BC -- British Columbia’s coalition government is putting some money where the #metoo movement is by funding $175,000-worth of new initiatives to improve workplace safety and awareness regarding abuse, discrimination and harassment. Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture made the announcement at Whistler Film Festival’s “Woman on Top” Vancouver luncheon Friday. “The #MeToo movement has elevated awareness that abuse, discrimination and harassment are serious problems globally,” said Beare. “Our government is deeply committed to ensuring that the people working in B.C.’s creative industries are protected. That’s why I’m implementing new measures to promote safe, respectful workplaces for workers ...

Shailene Woodley’s Hazel Gaze Gives Adrift Direction

Movie Review: Adrift Director Baltasar Kormákur hoists his mariner's knowledge and fills his narrative sails with believable dangers in this unfathomable survival tale based on the true story of Tami Oldham.  

Ron Howard Plays It Safe With Solo

Movie Review: Solo: A Star Wars Story The backstory for the biggest risk-taker in the Star Wars franchise plays it perfectly safe, meaning Solo gets home in one piece -- riding on decades’ worth of character collateral.

Eisha Marjara Finally Feels Like She Belongs

Interview: Eisha Marjara Venus is a new transgender comedy that finds new curves thanks to the veteran director’s elusive quest for belonging, and an internalized sense of misogyny that helped her understand the negative effects of gender dysphoria.