Category: Movies

Goethe Film Series: Stronger Than Blood at TIFF Bell Lightbox

Stronger Than Blood, October 10 at 6:30pm @ Tiff Bell Lightbox

Where: TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King Street W
When: Dealer, October 3 at 6:30pm, Chiko, October 8 at 6:30pm, and Stronger Than Blood, October 10 at 6:30pm. Presented with English subtitles.
Cost: $10 at TIFF Bell Lightbox in person or by phone (day of sales only) or online (as of 10 days prior to screening). NOTE: All Goethe Films are open to audiences 18+.

Details: The Goethe-Institut Toronto proudly presents its powerful and thrilling October film series, Stronger Than Blood, featuring three outstanding and complex German gangster films over the last two decades. Dealer (1999) by Thomas Arslan, Chiko (2008) by Ozgur Yildirim, and Stronger Than Blood (2009) by Oliver Kienle.

ver the last 20 years, a thriller sub-genre of gangster films has carved out a popular and critically acclaimed niche in German cinema. ​Some films tell hard-hitting street crime stories, some are tender explorations of inner-city life and love. All introduce us to fresh, complex characters that appeal to audiences well beyond their own worlds as they navigate conscience, honour, and responsibility for their actions.

In this exhilarating new Goethe Film Series, the three genre-based films featured are multi-award winning and contain some of Germany’s top artists before they were stars. These films tell heartbreaking stories through the eyes of immigrants, from a male perspective.

Dealer, written and directed by Thomas Arslan and winner of the Fipresci Prize, is based on an intimate portrait of a young Turkish man and his rising career in crime and features some of Germany’s top film actors, Tamer Ygit, Idil Üner (Short Sharp Shock), and Birol Ünel (Head-On). Chiko, Özgur Yildirim’s debut film, is critically acclaimed, multi-award winning, and set in four Arab blocks of Berlin. It tells the story of a man who must choose between a life of crime and a life of friendship and loyalty. Stronger Than Blood, the final film in the series, is a multi-award winning and entertaining film about a young man’s journey in the drug trade and features an all-star cast of Jacob Matschenz (Never Look Away), Burak Yiğit (Victoria), Aylin Tezel (7500) and Liv Lisa Fries (lead in Babylon Berlin).

Curated by programmer Jutta Brendemühl, Goethe-Institut Toronto actively promotes an ongoing dialogue and exchange between Canadian and German artists and critics. Goethe-Institut Toronto brings the best in contemporary German culture to Canada, seen through a global lens and across the genres.

anging from features to docs, shorts to animation, drama to comedy, and the experimental to international, the Goethe Film Series offers film lovers the opportunity to see a top selection of German contemporary arthouse film in Toronto’s premier cinema.

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Studio 54 Documentary opens in Toronto and Montreal


Liza Minelli, Bianca Jagger, Andy Warhol and Halston at Studio 54. Photograph by Adam Schull.

Where: Ted Rogers Hot Docs Cinema, 506 Bloor Street West; Toronto & Cineplex Odeon Forum Cinemas, Montreal
When: Opens October 12, 2018
Cost: General Admission is $11.50 at Ted Rogers Hot Docs Cinema and can be purchased at

Details: Glamour, greed and thumping tunes put Studio 54 at the epicenter of 70s hedonism – a place that not only redefined the nightclub, but also came to symbolize an entire era. Its co-owners, Ian Schrager and Steve Rubell, two friends from Brooklyn, seemed to come out of nowhere to suddenly preside over a new kind of New York society. Now, 39 years after the velvet rope was first slung across the club’s hallowed threshold, director Matt Tyrnauer’s (Valentino the Last Emperor, Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood, Citizen Jane) feature documentary Studio 54 tells the real story behind the greatest club of all time.

For 33 months, from 1977 to 1980, Studio 54 was the place to be seen in Manhattan. A haven of hedonism, tolerance, inclusion and acceptance as well as glitz and glamour.  Attracting a steady stream of celebrities including regulars like Andy Warhol, Mick Jagger, Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Jones and more the club was very hard to gain entrance to and impossible to ignore, with news of who was there filling the gossip columns daily. Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager, two college friends from Brooklyn, succeeded in creating the ultimate escapist fantasy in the heart of the theater district. Rubell was the outgoing bon vivant who wanted to be everybody’s friend and was photographed with every celebrity du jour who entered the club and Schrager was the behind-the-scenes creative mastermind who shunned the limelight. Studio 54 was an instant success and a cash cow, but the drug-and-sex-fueled dream soon imploded in financial scandal and the club’s demise.

With unprecedented access to Schrager, who tells the whole unvarnished story for the first time, and a treasure-trove of rare footage, director Matt Tyrnauer’s Studio 54 constructs a vivid, glorious Disco Noir portrait of a phenomenon, and tells the story of two friends who stuck together through it all.

**Running time:  98 minutes**

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Celebrate 40th Birthday of The Cabbagetown Festival 2016!

Where: Parliament Street from Wellesley south to Gerrard, and Carlton Street from Berkeley to Parliament
When: September 10-11, 2016
Cost: Free Admission

Details: The Cabbagetown Festival returns once again, this year celebrating its historic 40th Birthday showcasing the very best of what the community has to offer. Pedestrians will enjoy delicious food from local restaurants, one-of-a-kind artisan vendors, a Children’s Fun Zone, a free morning of Pancakes, Classic Car Show and more! Festivities begin Saturday at 11am and continue until 10pm. The fun returns Sunday at 11am, winding down at 7pm.

Opening Ceremonies begin on Sept 10 at 11:30am at the corner of Carlton and Parliament. Hear the music, share the excitement and taste a special macaron presented by Daniel et Daniel with Fair Trade Jewellery. One lucky macaron holds the key to a limited edition 40th anniversary cabbage pendant from Fair Trade Jewellery.

Live music will continue over the two days with an eclectic group of bands playing up and down Parliament. Acts include the St. Jamestown Youth Steel Orchestra, Vincent Soars, Zed Head with Neil Chapman, Project Phoenix, Jim Heinemann Trio, Turbo Street Funk and more. TDot Batu will be closing the festival – they are a tightly knit Afro-Brazilian percussion batucada inspired by the power and dedicated to the study of the rich rhythmic tradition born out of the fusion of samba and reggae from Salvador, Bahia.

The Kids Zone is located at a new  location this year – on Carlton, between Parliament and Berkeley. The Bouncy Castle, reptile show, arts and crafts table, balloon sculptor, face painting, a climbing wall and hopscotch will keep them active. Free popcorn will be provided both days of the festival.

More Info:  @Cabbagetown_BIA

The NFB Heads to TIFF 2014

Me and My Moulton, (14 minutes), September 10, 11 and 12 @ Scotiabank Theatre, Short Cuts Canada Programme 6

It’s that time of year again when film stars descend upon the city for The Toronto International Film Festival (September 4-14, 2014). This year, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) will be showing seven films at TIFF: two features, three shorts, and two restored 3D classics.

The most recent documentary from Canada’s First Nations filmmaker, Alanis Obomsawin, is Trick or Treaty?  The first aboriginal filmmaker to be selected in TIFF’s Masters programme, her film examines the current-day discussion around a controversial 1905 land rights agreement, set against the backdrop of the recent Idle No More movement. Veteran documentarian Paul Cowan teams up with Palestinian animator Amer Shomali to co-direct the Intuitive Pictures/NFB co-production The Wanted 18. Screening in the TIFF Docs Programme, this animated-live action hybrid doc is about a group of residents in Palestinian who smuggled 18 cows to their homeland in 1987.

The Short Cuts Canada Programme features three new titles. Oscar winner Torill Kove (The Danish Poet) is back with the autobiographical short Me and My Moulton, about a seven-year-old girl’s desire to fit in. Co-directed by Quebec husband-and-wife team Denis Poulin and Martine Époque, CODA is a technologically enhanced dance film set to Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring.” The film draws on advanced digital technologies to offer a new vision of dance in cinema utilizing motion capture (MoCap) and particle processing. Toronto’s Randall Okita makes his first foray into full-on animation filmmaking with The Weatherman and the Shadowboxer, a visually haunting short film about two brothers who share the scars, though not the memories, of an untold history that has driven them to existential extremes.

And to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of groundbreaking animator Norman McLaren (founder of the NFB’s animation studio in 1941), two landmark films from the NFB vault have been restored. Early experiments in stereoscopic filmmaking, Around Is Around (1951) and O Canada (1952), will screen in eye-popping 3D.

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Prisoners – Movie Review

Directed by Denis Villeneuve
Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Hugh Jackman, Marie Bello, Terrence Howard, Paul Dano
153 minutes
Opens September 20, 2013

**** stars out of five

Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) is facing every parent’s worse nightmare. His six-year-old daughter, Anna (Erin Gerasimovich) is missing … along with her friend, Joy (Kyla Drew Simmons). As minutes turn into hours panic sets into the rural New England community. The only good lead turns out to be a mentally challenged young man, Alex Jones (Paul Dano). Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) arrests the prime suspect but has to release him due to a lack of evidence. It is then that Keller decides to take the law into his own hands.

Why See It?
With its star cast of exceptional actors, along with an edgy storyline, this mystery crime thriller grips the audience from beginning to end. Action packed with a few disturbing twists and turns – the 2 1/2 hour movie doesn’t let go. There is already a lot of media buzz about the central theme of Prisoners. It makes you ask the question, “How far would you go to protect your family?” Also, as the plot unfolds you realize that most of the central characters are a prisoner of some type of crippling circumstance. A true blockbuster jaw dropper.

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