It Came from the Library: In a Lonely Place

For a connoisseur of pop-cultural flotsam (and a cheap bastard), there are few better sources than the Calgary Public Library. Movies, TV series, comics, records, even books — the potential for finding hidden gems is nearly limitless, and It Came from the Library will chronicle my excavation. The find: In a Lonely Place (1950), starring … Continue reading

Jack Lemmon Collection review

With his easygoing persona and mildly frazzled charm, Jack Lemmon helped set the template for the romantic comedy lead in the golden days of Hollywood. Those same traits also made him an easy favourite for directors like Billy Wilder, who cast him in such classics as Irma La Douce, Some Like It Hot and The … Continue reading

Akron/Family set ’em free of cynicism (interview)

“To turn your back on something that’s sincere — I mean, it might not be for you, and that’s fine — but to turn on it because it is sincere is a real shame,” says Akron/Family drummer Dana Janssen. “What the hell are you doing if you’re not being honest with yourself, or if you’re … Continue reading

Hazardous territory – Interview with the Decemberists

A swooning maiden; a murderous rake; a magical shape-shifter — the cast of characters in The Hazards of Love is about as removed from rock convention as it gets. The fifth full-length album from Portland, Oregon’s The Decemberists, who will be headlining the Calgary Folk Music Festival on Friday night, Hazards is the band’s most … Continue reading

Can Public Enemies really be that bad?

“Critical consensus,” that vague sense of agreement measured by aggregator sites like Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes, isn’t exactly a reliable indicator of quality. Still, the one thing it is good for is providing a ballpark of what to expect from a film — so it can be off-putting, especially as a critic, to find yourself … Continue reading

Moon review

There are two kinds of science fiction films: those that use the trappings of the genre for escapism, and those that use it more philosophically. There have been plenty of examples of the former lately. Some have been good (Star Trek). Many could politely be called an acquired taste (think Death Race, Jumper or Meet … Continue reading

God Help the Girl

You could fill an entire review with what God Help the Girl might be. The album shares a title with an as-yet-unshot film by Belle & Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch. The booklet contains the beginning of a short story and the album itself is billed not as a soundtrack or concept album, but a “musical narrative.” … Continue reading

Wilco (The Album) review

Wilco (The Album) by Wilco (the band) opens with “Wilco (The Song),” a tongue-in-cheek ode to the ability of music to save lives. “Are times getting tough?” frontman Jeff Tweedy asks, before offering “a sonic shoulder for you to cry on,” and reassuring that “Wilco will love you, baby.” For an artist who has never … Continue reading

Sin Nombre review

It’s not a shock that Adriano Goldman picked up the Excellence in Cinematography Award at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival for his work on Sin Nombre. The film, which tells the intertwining tales of a Mexican gangster and a Honduran family looking to emigrate to the U.S. by whatever means it can, is stunningly shot. … Continue reading

Oscars expand playing field

On June 24, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced a major change to the best picture category at the annual Oscar ceremonies. For the first time since 1935, the category will expand beyond the usual five nominees — it’ll spotlight 10 movies, all vying for the illustrious best picture nom. There has … Continue reading