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We don’t need no stinking’ category. Sometimes, writing doesn’t fit into a box.

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 ...

Movie review: The Death of Stalin is brutally funny

Movie Review: The Death of Stalin Dark satire set in the Soviet Union in 1953 finds bleak humour in the betrayals, slaughters and political manoeuvering of a host of communist leaders

Looking at Canada’s Record-Breaking Winter Games

Sports: 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang From the history-making luge team to comeback kid Mark McMorris, Canada has had a Games to remember — and it could get even better during the last week of competition By Bev Wake There have been moments, during these 2018 Winter Olympics, that should stay with us for a while. There was Sam Edney, unable to control his tears after winning a silver medal in the luge team relay. Those were more than tears of happiness after the heartbreak of Sochi, where the team had three fourth-place finishes. They were tears of validation, of discovering good guys sometimes win after all and hard work can pay off. It had only been a couple of weeks since Edney, Alex Gough, Justin Snith and Tristan Walker learned that their fourth-place relay finish in Sochi — which late last year had been upgraded to bronze due to Russian doping — would stay a fourth after all, thanks to a ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. And now they had their ...

Loving the Alien

Movie Review - Alien: Covenant Ridley Scott gestates another fiendish fetus in the continuing Alien saga, yet for all the blood, gore and acid burns, Covenant leaves a gaping hole

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    

Bringing up Babies: Top Ten movies of 2016

Movies: Top Ten 2016 Some say Donald Trump won the Presidency playing to childish insecurity and name-calling, but the annual box-office derby also proved a public appetite for adolescent entertainments. Film Critic Katherine Monk breaks down the top-ten money earners, and offers her own take on the year's best. By Katherine Monk (Published Jan. 2, 2017) The political arena wasn’t the only place where childhood behaviours prevailed in 2016. Movie theatres also played to our apparent desire for less-sophisticated, over-simplified entertainments. It was the year the Mouse House roared: The Walt Disney Company was responsible for five of the year’s top ten earners worldwide, for a record haul of $4.829 billion - just a little under half the cumulative worldwide gross of $11.3 billion. Disney raced to the pinnacle of a relatively static box-office heap with titles that included the top-earning Captain America: Civil War ($1.153B), Finding Dory ($1.027B), Zootopia ($1.023B), The ...

Cohen, Prince, Bowie and now… Comparelli

Tribute: R.I.P. Peter Comparelli A fellow scribe remembers the good old days when journalists spoke truth to power, a per diem could get you drunk and a guy named Peter Comparelli backstopped the labour beat By Rod Mickleburgh It has been a terrible year. Bowie and Prince taken far too early. Leonard Cohen leaving us to mourn and light candles against the dark. Long-time friends battling serious health issues. Fake news, the decline of newspapers and the mainstream media, more necessary than ever to hold governments and politicians to account. An antiquated electoral system, an FBI “announcement coup” against Hillary Clinton and Russian hackers delivering a sniveling, bullying, thin-skinned, shallow-thinking prima-donna with the attention span of a child to the White House, while the most adult of U.S. presidents takes his dignified leave. Terrorism in Europe. Aleppo. And now, to cap off this annus horribilis came news of the passing of Peter Comparelli, as lovely a person as ...

Canadian women bound for Palm Springs

Movies: Palm Springs International Film Festival The partnership between Palm Springs and Telefilm continues to push the Canadian film cause in influential U.S. circles, with female directors taking centre stage By The Ex-Press (December 22, 2016) — A delegation of strong Canadian women will be heading to Palm Springs in the new year, showcasing work that touches on everything from Kenyan marathon runners to resource extraction and First Nations issues in the North. Anjali Nayar’s Gun Runners, Nettie Wild’s Koneline, Anne Émond’s Nelly and Chloé Robichaud’s Pays were selected to screen at this year’s Palm Springs International Film Festival, joining Zacharias Kunuk’s Maliglutit, Xavier Dolan’s Juste la fin du monde and Juan Andrés Arango’s X Quinientos as part of this year’s seven-film Canadian delegation, one of the strongest in recent years. “With a diverse mix of Canadian features—including works from emerging talent and an Indigenous pioneer, ...

Christmas found in Stollen recipe

Recipe: Snidal’s Christmas Stollen Most store-bought gifts will end up as landfill, so why not fill the tummies of loved-ones with delicious homemade goodies such as German Stollen instead? By Louise Crosby (December 14, 2016) - Since my family stopped exchanging gifts at Christmas, food has taken on more importance. This is that one time of the year when you can rationalize buying those fancy Spanish sardines in olive oil, some of that aged-to-perfection, sliced-paper-thin jamón ibérico, that sublime, creamy raw goat cheese from France. Expensive yes, but hey, it’s Christmas. Of course, it’s also a time for baking. This year I’m making Mexican Wedding Cakes, Chocolate Hazelnut Crinkle Cookies, Coconut Stars, and Pecan Sandies. (Notice that all those cookies contain nuts!) I’m also making this stollen, a recipe that comes from Leslie Snidal, my friend in Nova Scotia who makes it every Christmas, as her mother did. It is baked earlier in December, wrapped up well ...

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 ...