Linda Thorson: Ready for her close-up
People: Linda Thorson
After a career that bathed her in the London limelight, the Canadian actress who replaced Diana Rigg on The Avengers makes a homecoming in her first starring role as an icy Ontario matron in The Second Time Around
By Katherine Monk
“Never a dull moment.” For Linda Thorson, it’s more than a life motto. It’s an existential promise. The Toronto-born actor crafted a career on British stage and television after replacing Diana Rigg on The Avengers, but the life adventure just keeps going.Thorson has a new boyfriend, and after five decades in the business, her first starring role in a feature film. Thorson plays Katherine, an uptight, opera-loving matron who finds love in a seniors’ home in The Second Time Around, a new movie from Leon Marr that recently picked up the audience award at The Palm Beach film festival.Currently on the Canadian art house circuit with stops in Vancouver and Montreal, The Second Time Around tells the story of Kather...
Screwing up his courage for The Second Time Around
People: Leon Marr
Talking about sex and the seniors' residence with the director of The Second Time Around, a new movie that tackles taboo and takes us into the boudoir with tenderness, patience and operatic ambition
By Katherine Monk
(April 3, 3017) -- The Centers for Disease Control declared April STD awareness month, which means there’s no better time for the release of The Second Time Around. It’s a new feature film by Leon Marr after a decades-long hiatus, and while it’s not about sexually transmitted disease – at all – it does focus on a demographic with an increasing transmission rate: senior citizens.The CDC suggests the aging baby boomers are making the most out of their senior years, if the steady rise in syphilis cases among those over 65 is any indication: between 2007 and 2011, researchers noted a rise of 52 per cent.Part of it has to do with taboos surrounding sex in the golden years. It’s not something society talks about all that often ...
The wide river of Gordon Pinsent’s dreams
Movie Review: The River of My Dreams
Documentary about the Canadian actor captures much of his impish charm, but it leaves many questions unanswered about what really makes him tick
John Madden hits home with Miss Sloan
Interview: John Madden on Miss Sloane
The director of Shakespeare in Love says casting Jessica Chastain as a shrewd, morally ambiguous D.C. lobbyist was the best way to expose the ugliness of modern politics
By Katherine Monk
WHISTLER, BC – John Madden doesn’t want to get bogged down by the F-word: Feminism has so much ancillary luggage, too many awkward hard edges to cram into the narrative anchovy tin called a feature film.Yet, Miss Sloane, the latest film from the Academy Award-nominated director of Shakespeare in Love points a laser beam at the modern female experience. A D.C.-set (Toronto-shot) thriller starring Jessica Chastain as the title character, Miss Sloane offers a close-up view of the lobbyist’s reality.Watching from a slightly distanced perspective, the viewer picks up the trail of professional lobbyist Elizabeth Sloane just as she embarks on a career move that will change her life forever.Madden was reluctant to give away too many details about his ...
Tatiana Maslany, Tom Cullen fire up first-timer
Interview: Joey Klein on The Other Half
In a world full of malaise, misanthropy and unmitigated sorrow, first-time filmmaker Joey Klein says he wants to hold up a funhouse mirror to ambient pain
By Katherine Monk
(November 30, 2016) Joey Klein is what you’d call a ‘late bloomer.’When he was a kid growing up in Montreal, he assumed he’d become a doctor like his father. He ended up in McGill management school instead, and hated it. So he headed to New York City at the age of 25 to study acting, a career he pursued with success, landing roles in American Gangster and 12 Monkeys -- to name a few.Yet, he craved a bigger challenge still. He had a hankering to address the ambient angst of modern experience – without exploiting Hollywood trope – so he started writing. And now, just a year shy of his 40th birthday, he's making his directorial debut with the theatrical release of The Other Half.“Originally, it was a story about grief… and about grief over time. ...
Leonard Cohen and me: A reminiscence
By Jay Stone
Even if we stated our case very clearly and all those who held as we do came to our side, all of them, we would still be very few. -- Leonard Cohen, Parasites of HeavenWhen he died last week his constituency emerged, thousands, millions perhaps, smitten, devoted, some with stories of how they had gone to his house in Montreal and he had made them egg salad sandwiches. He was gracious, modest, haunting, and with the key to something we thought was ours alone. “Have you ever noticed how private a wet tree is, a curtain of razor blades?,” he wrote (in A Cross Didn’t Fall On Me), and suddenly you did notice. A poem is something that everyone knows but no one ever said before.I found him by accident. When I was a teenager, there was a copy of his first novel, The Favourite Game, on the bookshelf in my father’s den when we lived in north Toronto. I don’t know how it got there, but my father got a lot of books from publishers because he was on the radio ...
Bob Dylan don’t need Nobel, or stinking badge
Comment: On Bob Dylan, Nobel laureate
Looking back on a close encounter of the Dylan kind reveals a slightly rumpled honouree who has a hard time accepting praise, let alone the Nobel Prize
*Caution: This article contains a top-100 list of Bob Dylan songs.
By Rod Mickleburgh
In the winter of 1990, I waited with a handful of reporters and photographers in a grand salon of the Palais-Royal in Paris for Bob Dylan. More than 25 years ahead of the Nobel Prize people, the French had decided that Dylan’s lyrical prowess was worthy of the country’s highest cultural honour, Commandeur dans l’ Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. T.S. Eliot was one of the first to receive the award in 1960. Borges followed in 1962. And now, following in the footsteps of Sean Connery (1987), it was Bob’s turn.Finally, the gilded, ceiling-high white doors opened, and there he was, ambling into the opulent room, followed by France’s flamboyant minister of culture at the time, Jack Lang. He was wearing a ...
Life, death and Andrew Huculiak
People: Interview with Andrew Huculiak
Getting metaphysical with the first-time director of Violent means dipping a big toe into the cold, dark waters of existentialism and cozying up with Kierkegaard
By Katherine Monk
(October 19, 2016) VANCOUVER – A gentle drizzle falls outside, and the faint smell of woolly dampness mingles with the scent of fresh pie. It’s a typical fall day in Vancouver -- wet, dark, and cool -- the perfect backdrop for an interview with Andrew Huculiak.Huculiak is the director behind Violent, easily one of the best first features in Canadian film history, but up until now, it was also one of the most difficult to access.Shot two years ago in Norway with a unilingual Norwegian cast, Violent was invited to Cannes, picked up top prizes at The Vancouver International Film Festival and was shortlisted as Canada’s best foreign film Oscar submission. By all accounts and measures, it should have hit theatres nationwide.Yet, it’s only now, two years later ...
Penetrating Helen Gurley Brown
Books: Not Pretty Enough - The Unlikely Triumph of Helen Gurley Brown
New biography of the woman who recreated Cosmopolitan as a vehicle of sexual empowerment reveals lifelong insecurities and a penchant for moisturizing with baking lard