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Music: Christmas Carols
A devout atheist reveals an unrepentant penchant for Christmas carols, and offers a list of top yule tunes, as well as a few nasty disasters from the past
By Rod Mickleburgh
A confirmed atheist from birth, I nevertheless fell under the spell of Christmas carols early on in my twisted, hippie life. I well remember a time when, in the days leading to Christmas, CBC Radio would broadcast the singing of carols every morning from the Timothy Eaton’s Store in Toronto. And this was no professional choir. The singers were the shoppers, and whoever else showed up to carol at 8.30 a.m., when the half-hour live broadcast began. Complete with coughing, the grave, echo-y announcements of the next carol, the audible rustling of the carol sheets and finally, the glorious sound of all those voices raised on high, it was an indelible part of my “child’s Christmas in Newmarket”.
I can tell you they never did Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer or Frosty the ...
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Movie review: The Big Short
Capitalizing on his comedy savvy talent, director-writer Adam McKay turns Wall Street's crooked ways into a fragmented farce that makes us laugh at our own funeral
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Movie review: Bolshoi Babylon
Documentary filmmakers Nick Read and Mark Franchetti go behind the red velvet and once iron curtain to unveil the ugly beauty that is Russia's legendary ballet company
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Podcast: Pop This!
The digital divas take on the tale of two Mrs. Drapers, television's serial rape culture, and whether the chair-spinning moment in The Voice is a thrill or flat contrivance
Featuring Lisa Christiansen and Andrea Warner. Produced by Andrea Gin.
A sampling of what you might hear in this week's episode:
"I did not care for the end of Mad Men, I hated the final episode."
"At what point am I complicit in the rape culture by tuning in?"
"I celebrate shows that have lots of sex."
"Girls is over..."
"I highly recommend Casablanca, the original, not the Pamela Anderson remake."
...and so, so much more.
For past episodes, click here. Or subscribe to Pop This! on iTunes.
THE EX-PRESS, December 20, 2015
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Movie review: Mississippi Grind
The team behind Half Nelson and Sugar return with a film about chronic gambling that isn't as depressing as it probably should be, thanks to a pair of pocket kings in Ryan Reynolds and Ben Mendelsohn
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Festivals: Festival International Du Film De Marrakech
Liberated from the Oscar bait vying for her attention in New York, veteran film critic Thelma Adams lets go in the exotic darkness of a Moroccan movie palace
By Thelma Adams
MARRAKECH, MOROCCO -- "Each person dies as best they can," says Julian (Ricardo Darin) in the Spanish-language dramedy Truman, screened out of competition at the Festival International Du Film De Marrakech. Julian is a self-involved and straight-shooting stage actor riddled with cancer and reluctant to go another round with chemo. His best friend Tomas (Javier Camara) travels to Madrid from Montreal for a reluctant reunion. It will likely be their last.
In this Spanish-Argentinian co-production there will be tears and tenderness, shared memories and wine bottles, conflicts and revelations – and steamy sex. In Spanish director Cesc Gay's seventh film, there is also a very large, soulful hound named Truman that Julian is seeking to surrender to a new ...
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Movie review: Theeb
Jordan's official nomination for the best foreign film Oscar is a tightly wound adventure story about a Bedouin boy learning how to be a man on the eve of the First World War
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People: Wim Wenders
The German filmmaker says he used stereoscopic 3D technology in Every Thing Will Be Fine, his latest art film about grief and loss, in a bid to bring depth to Quebec's unique landscape
By Katherine Monk
TORONTO – His voice sounds like something straight out of a fairy tale: a soft German accent bending over vowels with a delicate arc and a deep warm tone that seems to echo through hand-milled timber.
Even his name, Wim Wenders, feels like a plucky character from a Grimm plot, so the fact that this German auteur has transformed the stark hues and blinding skies of the Canadian landscape into a cozy microcosm feels strangely natural.
Every Thing Will Be Fine is Wenders’s 46th film, but it marks a series of firsts: It’s his first film in Canada, his first shoot in winter, and the first time any auteur has used 3D technology in the heady pursuit of an art film.
Wenders always thought the technology was used poorly – a point he proved in ...