Gord Downie’s Courage
Tribute: Gord Downie
Gord Downie Tragically Dead at 53, but the Hip's tune Courage will endure through The Sweet Hereafter, as will the frontman's legacy for compassion
By Katherine Monk
(October 18, 2017) — The song is stuck in my head. No doubt, there are others stuck in a similar loop of Gord Downie lyrics as they process the loss of the Tragically Hip’s iconic frontman today.According to the band’s website, Downie passed away last night surrounded by friends and family. He was 53.Downie succumbed to the brain cancer we learned about last year, after his oncologist held a news conference releasing the terminal diagnosis. Ever since, we’ve been waiting to hear the worst. And ever since, the words to the song Courage have been churning through my head.Yet, it’s not Downie’s voice I hear — though his gut-clenching vocals are familiar enough to be conjured at will. I hear the whisper of Sarah Polley’s soft soprano from The Sweet Hereafter.Mychael ...
No Light, But Lots of Thrills At the End of the Tunnel
#VIFF17 Capsule Movie Review - At the End of the Tunnel
Director Rodrigo Grande and lead actor Leonardo Sbaraglia strip Hitchcock down to the studs in this clever thriller that throws the viewer down a moral staircase
Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story Will Blow Your Mind
#VIFF17 Capsule Movie Review - Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story
Alexandra Dean's new documentary reveals the iconic beauty's intelligence as well as her patent for 'frequency hopping' -- technology now widely used in cell phones, GPS and Wifi
Blade Runner 2049 Functions on Memory More than Feelings
Movie review: Blade Runner 2049
Denis Villeneuve recreates the moral vacancy that defined Ridley Scott's masterpiece through his textured frames, but even with Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling in lead roles, the movie lacks an emotional connection
Mike White Bares Male Insecurity
The writer-director of Brad's Status is an indie darling, but he says he still wrestles with insecurity and ego issues because we live in a world of false comparisons
By Katherine Monk
TORONTO — “I think you have your epiphany, and then you forget about it,” says Mike White. “Then you remember it again. And you forget it again. It’s like you are inching toward wisdom. Or circling the drain.”White seems to be doing all of the above, all the time, because his mind seems to radiate ideas. He creates tangent lines mid-sentence, leaving orbit, only to fall back to earth, chained by the full force of gravity.It’s his ability to levitate and fall with giddy aplomb that makes his voice so unique and his characters so memorable, whether it’s Selma Hayek as massage therapist and healer in Beatriz at Dinner, Laura Dern as a recovering executive experimenting with faith in Enlightened, or the entirely childlike Chuck, from the indie landmark Chuck & ...
Mother! Rips TIFF Audiences Apart with Creative Labour Pains
Darren Aronofsky's latest is a dark swan dive to the depths of the artistic process that could be read as brilliant biblical allegory or a self-absorbed bid at vindicating failure
By Katherine Monk
TORONTO (September 10, 2017) - Oh, mother! The creative process can be a real bitch. Just ask Darren Aronofsky. The director of the Oscar-winning Black Swan returned to the Toronto International Film Festival with his latest film, mother! And already, it’s dividing audience opinion.A laborious metaphor about the act of making art, the film stars Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem as a handsome couple renovating an old farmhouse in the middle of nowhere. He’s a successful writer struggling with a blank page. She is the young muse, fixing and mending broken walls, looking to restore the house to its former glory after a fire burned it to the ground.The only thing left is a diamond-like stone with a mysterious glow that he carefully places on a ...
mother! is a lot of bother!
Darren Aronofsky's new movie is a biblical allegory about the invasion of a rural Eden by the vandals of the world. Or perhaps it's not about anything much at allBy Jay Stone
TORONTO — In 2006, filmmaker Darren Aronofsky — best known at the time for his disturbing drama Requiem For A Dream — made the absurd cosmic love story The Fountain. It was about a couple chasing one another through the time and space of an irritating cosmos of spiritual set design, and it starred Rachel Weisz, then the director’s romantic partner. They have since split, and Aronofsky is now dating Jennifer Lawrence, the star of his new movie, mother! After redeeming himself with such films as The Wrestler and Black Swan, he has returned to the murky business of making grand metaphorical showcases for his new love. mother! is another epic of self-regard, this time about nothing less than Creation itself, and the horrors that are visited upon poor Jennifer Lawrence. It has ...
The parents and children of TIFF
Three movies the the Toronto film festival present different versions of the cinematic parent — Interfering Mother, Distant Father — with varying successBy Jay Stone
TORONTO — It was parent-and-child day at the Toronto International Film Festival, which is always interesting for those of us who are parents and wonder which of several cinematic categories we might fall into: Distant Father, Interfering Mother, Demanding Taskmaster (or –mistress), Indifferent Hippie or Kooky Eccentric. I think that’s all of them. We began with a terrific little coming-of-age title called Lady Bird, starring Saoirse Ronan — heroine of yesterday’s movie marathon and providing further proof here that she can do no wrong — as a rebellious high school student growing up in terrifyingly unhip Sacramento, Calif. She laughs with her best friend, dumps the friend for some new rich kids, dumps the rich kids for the old friend, meets a couple of boys who are ...
TIFF diary: My day in Auditorium 12
What's it like to spend the entire day in one cinema, watching whatever comes along? Jay Stone sets out to find out at the Toronto film festival