First Place Finnish
Travel: Celebrating Finland's 100th anniversary
Rod Mickleburgh returns to the land of his ancestors to discover an almost genetic propensity to fight for social justice and a rather bizarre predilection for odd sports
By Rod Mickleburgh
You may have missed it, but the land of my ancestors recently celebrated it’s centennial. On Dec. 6, 1917, small but mighty Finland officially severed itself from Russia, becoming an independent country for the first time. Russia’s new Bolshevik rulers did not protest. I remember leafing through one of my great aunt’s photo albums and seeing a grainy picture of the raising of the Finnish flag in their small community for the first time. A bit more than two and a half years after independence, my mother was born in the fishing/farming village of Sideby. When I first visited “the relatives” in the winter of 1971, I was given the very room where her birth took place. Under the mountain of blankets my two great aunts supplied, I remember ...
Wonder Wheel A Troubled Retread of 20th Century Trailblazers
Movie review: Wonder Wheel
Woody Allen's direction is just plain wooden as he hands the dramatic tray to Kate Winslet, forcing her to serve up a bland meatloaf formed from F. Scott Fitzgerald scraps and Tennessee Williams's vulnerable female gristle
The Disaster Artist
Jay Stone goes from cornflakes to a promising Canadian movie, stopping along the way to check in with Tommy Wiseau and Margaret Atwood
NFB offers early gifts
Brief: Canadian Film
The National Film Board of Canada wants you to unwrap your present of Canadian presence, offering 20 award-winning movies on-line for free, starting today
By Katherine Monk
(December 7, 2017) -- Naughty? Nice? No matter. The National Film Board is giving everyone a gift by posting 20 award-winning movies on-line — for free. Starting today, Canadian film fans can take in an assortment of documentaries and animated films, including Sarah Polley’s The Stories We Tell, a timeless portrait of her own family and its secrets, as well as Mina Shum’s Ninth Floor, a documentary about racial tensions at Concordia and the scars that linger decades later.
Perhaps best suited to the Christmas season is Payback, Jennifer Baichwal’s big screen take on Margaret Atwood’s Massey Lecture outlining the unspoken balance sheet that exists between humans.
“We all have these scales of acknowledged or unacknowledged balances in our heads. Some are family things. ...
Canada’s Sundance 2018 Delegation: Sexy and Animated
News Brief: Canadian Film
Three NFB shorts and four Canadian world premieres selected for the prestigious independent film festival founded by Robert Redford
By The Ex-Press
VANCOUVER — A sexy wolf washing repairman, epic girl crushes and a Croatian co-production about a hedgehog’s quest for home will be heading to Park City as part of the National Film Board’s Sundance Film Festival delegation.
Accepted into this year’s short film competition are Diane Obomsawin’s LGBTQ-themed I Like Girls, Chintis Lundgren’s Manivald — a howling take on the Maytag man, and Eva Cvijanovic’s Hedgehog’s Home, a stop-motion story of hedgehog domesticity.
According to the news release issued Monday, the three films have already pulled in more than 40 international awards before heading to Utah in the New Year.
In addition to the three NFB shorts, the following Canadian projects will also be taking part in the recently announced feature program with several world premieres, ...
The Orillia Packet & Times: A Love Story
Newspaper Obituary: The Orillia Packet & Times
They're closing the newspaper where I made my start, and where I learned about journalism. I guess I'm still learning.
By Jay Stone
(Ottawa, ON -- Nov. 27, 2017) I’ve been in love with several newspapers in my life — journalism tends to be a promiscuous passion — but none more deeply than I was in my first affair with the Orillia Packet & Times. It was the place where I started in the business, and now they’re going to close it down, another victim of Google or smart phones or whatever it is that has driven the wayward press to the fringes of our attention.
I went there in 1968 from Toronto, where I was a 22-year-old university dropout driving a cab for a living while I plotted how to become a writer. My father, who brooked no such nonsense, sent me a note — I was living in a hippie house on St. Joseph Street, near Bloor and Yonge, with my longhaired hoodlum friends — saying that he had heard there was an ...
Bjarke Ingels talks BIG in new documentary
Movie review: Big Time
The man behind the architectural powerhouse, BIG, gets a medium close-up in Kaspar Astrup Schröder's globe-trotting portrait that takes us to the heights of Manhattan's skyline to the depths of a Danish maritime museum
The Man Who Invented Christmas Presents Panicky Dickens
Movie Review: The Man Who Invented Christmas
Dan Stevens brings comic swagger and emotional complexity to the role of the famed writer on a losing streak, but Christopher Plummer is the Christmas pudding in this feast of holiday messages
After the Boys of Summer Have Gone, the Iceman Cometh
Looking back at the year of ball that was, Rod Mickleburgh finds the big league diamonds were rough, but the minor games at the likes of Nat Bailey Stadium were small gem experiences in a priceless setting.
By Rod Mickleburgh
And so baseball winter has begun, made even harsher by the tragic death of Roy Halladay. The hopeful breezes of spring, the lazy hazy crazy days of summer and the beautifully slanted light of fall have all departed from the diamond, leaving us to bundle up and shiver through the bleak wintry months of no baseball. In that sweet, far-off time when I was a kid, the Series was always over by the second week of October, in time for the players to do their fall hunting. Now, with so many wildcard and playoff games piled on, the Series stretches into November, as ridiculous a month as ever was for the summer game. In November, you don’t think baseball, you think winter.
There was hardly a “wow” ending. The highly-anticipated seventh game ...
Fellipe Barbosa Follows Dead Friend’s Footsteps on the Mountain
Interview: Fellipe Barbosa
Gabriel and the Mountain tells the story of Gabriel Buchmann, a 28-year-old Fulbright scholar who perished on Mulanje Mountain in Malawi in 2009. Former classmate and Brazilian filmmaker Fellipe Barbosa says he didn't want to make an ode to his old friend, but an honest account of his beautiful contradictions.
By Katherine Monk
VANCOUVER, BC — Fellipe Barbosa’s first memory of Gabriel Buchmann was as a seven-year-old, studying at an all-boys Catholic school in Rio de Janeiro. “He was looking at me from a distance. He was very observant. He would study emotions. He was more shy, then.” Barbosa hesitates. “Eventually… I went to the U.S. to study film at the age of 19, and we lost touch.”
They would never have the chance to reconnect in the flesh. Buchmann died of exposure climbing Mulanje Mountain in Malawi in 2009. His tragic death became a headline that captured the hearts and minds of Brazilians: A Fulbright Scholar heads to Africa in ...