People 68 results

The Ex-Press shares face-time with the movers, shakers and bakers of pop culture.

Interview: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon found new life in death

The director of the Sundance standout Me and Earl and the Dying Girl says he made his first 'personal movie' and it changed him as a filmmaker, and as a man, writes Katherine Monk By Katherine Monk “When you suffer a deep loss, you can dive into it and hide – and I had suffered a deep loss,” says Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, the director of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, opening in theatres this weekend but already one of the most buzzed-about movies of the year thanks to its double-barreled win at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Gomez-Rejon says he needed to process the loss of his father, but he couldn’t do it head-on. He needed to get some distance, and he found it in the 2013 young adult novel written by Jesse Andrews dealing with two teens who befriend a classmate diagnosed with cancer. “I’d rather not talk about the personal side too much. But the film is dedicated to my father. It’s a private thing that I made public and I don’t regret it because we are ...

Interview: Lindsay Mackay takes rash action with Wet Bum

The first-time feature director from small town Ontario dives into the deep end with a coming-of-age story focused on a young woman with body image angst and her quest to stay under the surface without drowning By Katherine Monk From the time she was seven years old, Lindsay Mackay told her parents she wanted to be a doctor. A self-confessed “science and math nerd,” she excelled at solving equations and found comfort in the predictability of the ‘right answer’ being found in the back pages of an appendix. But something strange happened in Grade 11 – and though it didn’t directly involve a new bra size, a dramatic deflowering or mutant superhero ability – it did recalibrate her inner sense of destiny. “I had this great English teacher who taught me to believe in my own voice,” says Mackay, who just celebrated her 30th birthday. “Through her, I discovered storytelling, and it changed my life.” From a stubborn dedication to empirical problem solving, ...

Interview: Ethan Hawke and director Andrew Niccol zero in on Good Kill

Reunited for the first time since Gattaca, the actor and the filmmaker are raising questions -- and their fair share of hell -- with a new movie that takes the viewer inside the new theatre of war: climate-controlled trailers parked on U.S. soil By Katherine Monk TORONTO – As the Obama Administration faces mounting pressure to disclose the grisly details of drone strikes on civilians across the Middle East this week, a new movie threatens to blow the whole unmanned aerial vehicle program sky high. It’s called Good Kill, and unlike the handful of documentaries that have already taken the drone strategy to task for its arm’s length summary executions of suspected terrorists, it’s a dramatic film starring solid Hollywood stars Ethan Hawke, January Jones and Canada’s own Bruce Greenwood. Writer-director Andrew Niccol (Gattaca, S1mOne, Lord of War, The Host) says he wasn’t looking for controversy when he started researching the subject and speaking to former drone ...

Sonja Bennett’s big trip to Preggoland

Interview: The Vancouver-based actress says she turned to writing to kickstart her acting career, but found a whole new passion for putting words on the page when she started to explore society's 'bizarre' worship of breeding   By Katherine Monk VANCOUVER – “I was turning into the actress cliché,” says BC actor Sonja Bennett, offering up a full confession of her life before Preggoland, the new movie from Jacob Tierney that she not only wrote, but also stars in alongside James Caan and Danny Trejo. “I could feel myself becoming very ungrounded. I was spinning and was feeling all these things that I never felt before – like jealousy towards my peers, and I thought: Oh god. I can’t be that person. Yet I am turning into that person.” Before she was overwhelmed by self-loathing, Bennett did something drastic: She stopped. Putting a halt to the career she’d spent the last decade building since her breakout performance in 2002’s Punch, written and directed ...

Brett Morgen on Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck

Interview: The outspoken director spent eight years sifting through a 'cold empty storage unit hidden from the world' to find relics of Cobain that 'were still breathing' By Katherine Monk PARK CITY, UTAH -- A homemade cassette featuring a cover of a Beatles love song, the story of how he lost his virginity, and countless hours of home video created with Courtney Love: For 20 years, these relics salvaged from the wreckage of Kurt Cobain’s life remained unseen, and unheard, until now. Compiled and delicately edited into a vibrantly creative portrait of the late artist by filmmaker Brett Morgen, these once-hidden fragments of a shattered soul make Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck more than just another documentary about another dead rock star. Sifting through the contents with the careful hand and brush of a paleontologist uncovering an unknown bone, Morgen’s film shows us a different version of the now-mythical figure who's been condensed into a souvenir of grunge, plaid and ...

Michael Douglas talks Beyond the Reach

Veteran actor and producer Michael Douglas teams up with rising British star Jeremy Irvine in what feels like a live-action version of Road Runner, Beyond the Reach   By Katherine Monk TORONTO – It manifested instantly, a dust devil rising from the feet of Michael Douglas’s Italian loafers and swirling through Jeremy Irvine’s feathery mop of sandy blond hair: A howling acknowledgement of Hollywood’s discriminatory practices when it comes to weight and overall body image.   “A lot of actors are told they need to lose weight, or change their body. I was talking to Channing Tatum just recently and asked him why he was just drinking water, and he said it was because he had to go to the gym in two hours,” says Irvine, the young British actor who hit the radar in Steven Spielberg’s War Horse and now stars opposite Douglas in the new film, Beyond the Reach, currently playing in select theatres and available on-demand.   A cat-and-mouse thriller ...

PROFILE: Garth Drabinsky

GARTH DRABINSKY Born 1948, Toronto Few Canadians have simultaneously inspired as much awe, admiration, skepticism, sycophancy and disgust as Garth Drabinsky -- the high-flying entrepreneur behind the joystick of such dazzling, daredevil crashes as Cineplex and Livent. Love him or hate him, you have to hand it to the man for not only building an empire from the ground up, but doing it twice -- if not more (surely, the man will make another return to the limelight he loves so much) -- and flying the Maple Leaf in the face of star-spangled suits at every turn. On paper, Drabinsky created the two the largest entertainment companies this country has ever seen, only to lose them both to American interests. Determined to play the same game of self-creation cemented into American consciousness via Hollywood’s marketing of the “American Dream” -- to the point where he even took it upon himself to produce the American classic, E.L. Doctorow’s Ragtime, on Broadway-- Drabinsky ...

ROBERT LEPAGE BIOGRAPHY

Biography: Robert Lepage Born: 1957, Quebec City A Renaissance man with a modernist’s flair for re-inventing media, Robert Lepage is one of the most exciting visual narrators in Canadian cinema -- a talent that may be explained by his entrance to film via theatre. Born into a working class family which had already adopted two English-Canadian children, Lepage was always interested in performance, a passion that eventually led him to Quebec City’s Conservatoire d’art dramatique. He was an engaged student, and when he graduated in 1977, he could write, direct, act and execute elaborate stage designs -- but had no particular area of expertise. After a three-week workshop with Alain Knapp in Paris, he returned to Quebec and formed Theatre Hummm with Richard Fréchette. The two produced award-winning work and from there, Lepage hooked up with Théâtre Repère, an established troupe, where he would stage works such as Tectonic Plates, En attendant and The Dragon’s Trilogy ...