Monday Mixtape: Polaris Shortlist Edition

Tonight marks the sixth time that the Polaris Music Prize will crown the country’s most artistically successful album, decided through a long and arcane process that essentially boils down to: Asking a bunch of people what they think Asking them again, in the hopes that their taste has improved Gathering an elite group of cultural … Continue reading

TIFF, Days 7 and 8: Your Sister’s Sister, The Lady, Chicken With Plums, Dark Horse, Twixt

There’s a good amount of movies to catch up on here, so apologies for the excessive brevity. Today’s the last day of industry screenings, so barring any attempts at rushing public screenings (a bit of an ordeal, but usually worth it for the crowd’s energy), this is the last batch of reviews. YOUR SISTER’S SISTER … Continue reading

TIFF 2011, Day 6: Generation P, Death of a Superhero, Into The Abyss, Trishna, Urbanized

GENERATION P I have a few friends who may take this as more of a recommendation than is really intended, but Generation P is basically what you would get if you took Grant Morrison’s The Invisibles, moved it to Russia, and swapped the super-heroes for advertising creative types. In other words, it’s a bit of … Continue reading

TIFF 2011, Day 5: The Day, Killer Joe, Hysteria

THE DAY For as little attention as The Day gives to its backstory, it might well be set in the same universe as The Road. Like that film, there’s not much left in the way of plant or animal life, though it’s never explained why, and the few survivors have either banded up into roving … Continue reading

TIFF 2011 Day 4: Damsels in Distress

DAMSELS IN DISTRESS An unexpected delight. Odds are I wouldn’t have seen this one had its screening time not been swapped with something I was more interested in — watching the petty problems of the beautiful and privileged isn’t something I actively seek out. The film’s introduction does little to dispel this concern, as three … Continue reading

TIFF 2011 Day 3: The Odds; Jeff, Who Lives At Home; Keyhole

THE ODDS A Canadian analogue of Rian Johnson’s Brick, The Odds similarly cross-breeds film noir and high school drama, this time focusing on high-stakes gambling instead of drug dealing. And while it doesn’t make the same impact as Johnson’s film — writer/director Simon Davidson doesn’t have quite the same ear for slang or eye for … Continue reading

TIFF 2011 Day 2 – Killer Elite, Drive, The Kid With A Bike

KILLER ELITE I’m really not sure what strategy Robert Deniro is using to pick his roles these days, but if Killer Elite is any indication, he’s putting a premium on cliches. Not that he’s the central attraction — most of the film has him relegated to the sidelines, leaving Jason Statham to do the heavy … Continue reading

Stuff I like: Relic Radio

Admittedly, this one won’t be for all tastes. There’s a cheesiness to vintage radio plays that will either come across as comforting and well-worn, or impossibly distancing. The scripts pull liberally from the hoariest pulp cliches, but their reliance on family-friendly advertising money means they can’t embrace grit and gallows humour with the gusto of … Continue reading