George Clooney and Margaret Atwood on Jay Stone’s TIFF List
The Toronto International Film Festival hits middle-age with an entourage of famous faces and a long history of cinematic conquests that seems destined to continue with a slate of intriguing titles from the world's best filmmakers
By Jay Stone
TORONTO — The Toronto film festival turns 42 this year, which is a dangerous age: if it was a man, it would probably buy a fancy red sports car that was entirely unsuitable to Canada’s roads or its climate and leave its perfectly serviceable wife for a doctoral student — studying something impractical, one imagines, having to do with postmodern cultural analysis — young enough to be its daughter.
The festival hasn’t exactly done that, although one notes that it has lost some of its older friends — 81-year-old auteur Woody Allen, for instance, is taking his new film Wonder Wheel to the New York festival, bypassing Toronto — in favour of younger, more with-it voices. And while festival director Piers Handling ...
Atomic Blonde Blasts the Past
Movie Review: Atomic Blonde
Charlize Theron kicks plenty of ass as a Cold War-era spy born from a nostalgic graphic novel, but David Leitch sacrifices coherence on the altar of non-stop action -- which turns out to be a fitting salute to the era.
Despicable Me 3 Loses Its Despicability
Movie Review: Despicable Me 3
The latest episode in the animated family films adds a former child star, a twin brother, and a trip to Fredonia. Thank heavens the Minions are still around to create chaos
Iconic Flotation Devices on Film
Top Ten: PFDs
Baywatch may have made the red lifeguard torpedo float a familiar sight to TV watchers, but it's not the only object that bobs up to the top of the pop culture imagination when it comes to PFDs
By The Ex-Press
(May 30, 2017) Baywatch’s red torpedo may be the most famous, but as summer approaches and boating season begins in earnest, The Ex-Press felt it was time to celebrate the personal flotation device and its other star turns, from Titanic’s grand finale to Benjamin Braddock’s extended backyard float.
The formal history of what we now call the “PFD” dates back to 1854, when a British naval inspector by the name of Ward created a cork vest to be worn by lifeboat crews. Yet, there are images of Assyrian sailors using inflated animal skins as early as 860, as well as the creation of a formal anti-drowning society that dates back to 1767. Humans and water have a love-hate relationship: We're drawn to the water's edge, but according to the scant ...
Election Prediction 2016: Ted Baxter trumps Sue Ann
Politics: Mary Tyler Moore show predicts U.S. election winner
In a contest that would pit Ted Baxter against Sue Ann Nivens, it's a case of the narcissistic clown versus the scheming cougar who knows how to use a knife
By The Ex-Press.com
(Updated 4:44 pm. Nov. 8, 2016) We all know that ever since Richard Nixon and Jack Kennedy went tete-a-tete on the tube before 100 million viewers back in 1960, politics has been a television sport. Candidates have been forced to find a telegenic face to show the public, a personality that we'd welcome on our sofa, and a few good lines that define their character in a memorable way.
In essence, they become TV characters. Every campaign becomes a sit-com or a serial drama, a mini-series or a soap. The 2016 Presidential campaign was definitely an ensemble piece. At times, it felt more cable than network, but if you overlook the gratuitous vulgarity and a potentially tragic ending, the Clinton vs. Trump contest was all sit-com: Each character ...
Movie review: The Dressmaker just doesn’t fit
This eccentric comedy/drama features Kate Winslet as a fashion designer who returns to her Australian home town to learn about her past — only to find the charms of Liam Hemsworth
Bob Dylan don’t need Nobel, or stinking badge
Comment: On Bob Dylan, Nobel laureate
Looking back on a close encounter of the Dylan kind reveals a slightly rumpled honouree who has a hard time accepting praise, let alone the Nobel Prize
*Caution: This article contains a top-100 list of Bob Dylan songs.
By Rod Mickleburgh
In the winter of 1990, I waited with a handful of reporters and photographers in a grand salon of the Palais-Royal in Paris for Bob Dylan. More than 25 years ahead of the Nobel Prize people, the French had decided that Dylan’s lyrical prowess was worthy of the country’s highest cultural honour, Commandeur dans l’ Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. T.S. Eliot was one of the first to receive the award in 1960. Borges followed in 1962. And now, following in the footsteps of Sean Connery (1987), it was Bob’s turn.
Finally, the gilded, ceiling-high white doors opened, and there he was, ambling into the opulent room, followed by France’s flamboyant minister of culture at the time, Jack Lang. He was ...
The Lioness doesn’t sleep tonight
The Daddy Diary: Part Six
A first-time father faces the surreal and sometimes lonely experience of looking in from the outside with a tender heart full of slumber-inducing song
By Chris Lackner
"In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight."
Good for him. In my "jungle" — AKA house — there isn't much sleeping going on (especially for mom). Such is the life of newbie parents. Our little lioness has a mighty roar — mightiest after the sun goes down.
Our girl’s hunger — and gas-fueled bellow — is only satiated by two things: breast milk and songs (with musical numbers finishing a distant, distant second).
Our baby instinctively knows how to lay in wait and then pounce on her parental prey when we are at our most vulnerable. Is dad trying to watch the ninth-inning drama of a playoff race? Yup. Cue the crying. Are mom and dad trying for the 15th time that night to stream more than three minutes in a row of one TV episode? Yup. Cue our mighty ...
Ed Gass-Donnelly hides a message up his sleeve
#VIFF16: Interview with Ed Gass-Donnelly
The Toronto-based director takes a pry bar to the basement door of family secrets in Lavender, a psychological thriller starring Abbie Cornish, Dermot Mulroney and Justin Long
By Katherine Monk
VANCOUVER – The man who made The Last Exorcism Part II is marked. Ed Gass-Donnelly rolls up his right sleeve in the firelight, and reveals two words written in deep indigo capital letters: “Find Beauty.”
“I’m not doing this to pay the bills,” says the Toronto-born director of Lavender, a psychological thriller unspooling at the Vancouver International Film Festival this week as part of the Altered States program.
“I have to remind myself of that… after making [The Last Exorcism Part II] I think I found new perspective,” he says, sitting back in a leather couch at the Sutton Place lounge.
“I appreciated the experience of coming out on 3000 screens. It was like ‘WOW!’ – 3000 screens at once is what you ...