Category: Movies

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.

For more info visit

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.

Remembering Freddie Mercury

I sat motionless and in awe throughout a premiere screening of the North American digitally restored and remixed 1986 documentary film, Hungarian Rhapsody – Queen Live in Budapest, the final glimpse of and cinematic proof that Freddie Mercury was, is and always will be a giant in the pantheon of rock ‘n’ roll.

Prowling the stage like a caged panther, turning loose his manic energy and unforgettable piercing falsetto, Freddie enthralled an audience of over 80,000 loyally delirious fans and seduced them with a larger than life magnetism that most performers can only beg for.  These fans must be boasting to their children and grandchildren that God chose them to be in the same crowded room with Freddie in Hungary, for Queen’s final concert during the 1986 “Magic” tour.

The film begins with a 25 minute prologue in which we get to know Queen’s other founding members (Brian May, Roger Taylor, John Deacon) and delight in the mischievous nature, transparent complexity and humble soul that was Freddie. He was not without a sense of irony. When replying to a reporter’s rather idiotic question, he shot back, with just the perfect mix of sarcasm and tragic foreshadowing, “Who wants to live forever?”

It is heartbreaking that in surrendering to AIDS in 1991, Freddie’s life and career was extinguished at its height, yet comforting that his outstanding musical contribution and legacy will forever burn on.

“We are the champions, my friends ……” for witnessing greatness and cherishing the memory of a rising star who bared his soul with every performance and in every song.

The CD, DVD and Blu-Ray of this historic concert are to be released in November, 2012 through Eagle Rock Entertainment. Will also be available at HMV, Best Buy and Wal-Mart.

Vladimir Bondarenko

Here Comes Your 19th Rendezvous With Madness Festival

Intervention Canada

Matthew Hogue, Program Manager of the Rendezvous With Madness Film Festival, which closes this Saturday, November 12, shoots from the hip when asked why he took the leap four years ago into working for the Festival and the dark subject matter surrounding the human condition that it explores. “A family member has experienced a form of mental illness and as a film maker, that personal relationship and connection has driven me to make films on mental health issues and become associated with Rendezvous With Madness.

Matt’s private admission has confirmed the widely held belief, especially in the mental health and social service communities, and so courageously told in author Henri J.M. Nouwen’s book, The Wounded Healer, that those who have been touched or affected by a debilitating human condition, will more than often pursue careers or professions that assist in healing both themselves and those in need of such.

In its 19th anniversary year, Rendezvous With Madness showcases films and television programs that address and tell the stories of universal mental health and addiction problems.

Do they cover all the bases? “We attempt a wide depiction of mental illness, primarily through character-driven stories, with an emphasis on Canadian films and film makers. On a world-wide level, we are all susceptible to mental illness, sadly affecting an estimated 25% of Canadians. What our festival and film makers strive for is giving hope and the ability, in time, to slowly recover.”

Matt admits that selling the festival to the general public has been, thus far, a successful challenge. “We try to offer a wide spectrum of programming on mental health issues by starting out artistically, through the creative medium of film, the most universally popular and accessible of all the arts, which I feel breaks through all walls and barriers.”

My advice: Get with these programs! How can you resist a film festival with the humorous, catchy slogan: “Films You Will Lose Your Mind Over”. Let’s face it, we are all a few misfired neurons away from mental illness and living on the street, so let’s be grateful, attend and celebrate a most insightful and worthy festival that helps us understand the nature of mental illness, in both its devastating effects and the human capacity to progressively heal both ourselves and our loved ones.

Matt’s advice: Intervention Canada, tonight, Thursday, November 10, 6:30pm at TIFF (King and John Streets), which profiles people whose addictions have brought them to a point of crisis or estranged them from their friends or loved ones. Carnivale of the Mind, Saturday, November 12, 8 pm, at the Workman Arts, 651 Dufferin Street, “A multi-media and totally weird, mysterious journey of the mind.”

For more info to

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