Fascism, Feminism and the big buzz movies at TIFF19
The Toronto International Film Festival is the equivalent of Christmas morning to a movie critic, and oftentimes, the most appreciated gifts are the ones in humble packages, writes critic Katherine Monk
By Katherine Monk
TORONTO — For film critics, the Toronto International Film Festival feels like waking up on Christmas morning. Pretty, promising packages bathed in sparkling light and and a tangle of reflected tinsel have arrived at the foot of the Bell Lightbox, just waiting to be torn open. They will either be loved and cherished, or completely forgotten, disposed of with the next day’s trash.
There’s no way to predict the reception, but after a few decades of scrolling through schedules, pondering publicists’ press releases, and reading between the glowing lines penned by festival programmers, you start sifting, and making lists.
The first list is always the buzz sheet: What movies are coming to the festival with some advance hype — either from ...
Tracy Edwards Still Breaking the Waves
Interview: Tracy Edwards on the documentary Maiden
Of course she’d rather be sailing, but the woman who charted a winning course in world class yachting says the real victory has been watching a new generation of women ride the winds of change without fear. Tracy Edwards chats with Katherine Monk about lingering anxieties, navigating the shoals of sexism, and Alex Holmes’s new documentary, Maiden, chronicling Edwards and her all-female crew as they surfed over the ambient obstacles, and made history in the Whitbread Round the World Race in 1989.
Reclaiming the ‘wife beater’ as feminist symbol of empowerment
Fashion: Unzipping the history of female undergarments
Though typically seen as a sign of muscular machismo thanks to Marlon Brando’s Streetcar and Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, the working-class white tank top was the product of the female emancipation movement and a quest for less restricted movement.
Melissa McCarthy and Maya Rudolph May Be the Best Boobs in the Business
Movie Review: Life of the Party
Taking on the part of a middle-aged mom who goes back to school, McCarthy revisits college comedy tropes with a seductive brand of physical comedy and an empathetic edge. Not all the comic concoctions work, but the female perspective makes room for affirmation amid humiliation.
Lauren Lee Smith Finds Power in Female Dick
Interview with Lauren Lee Smith
Frankie Drake is a female crime-solver working in 1920s Toronto, but for Vancouver actor Lauren Lee Smith, the new CBC heroine played a pivotal role as personal emancipator
By Katherine Monk
She never thought she’d be a dick. Little girls aren’t conditioned to be assertive, let alone take control — which is exactly why Lauren Lee Smith had to say yes to Frankie Drake. A female detective working in 1920s Toronto, Frankie Drake makes her debut on the national broadcaster tonight, but Smith says the journey to bring the character of Frankie to televised fruition is a feminist odyssey.
“The whole idea of a female detective working in 1921 is pretty rad,” says Smith over the phone from Toronto. “But she’s part of a larger history. She worked as a messenger during the First World War, was recruited to be a part of British Intelligence, but when someone blew her cover, she went back to Canada… and opened the first female detective ...
Irene Howard, History Is Her Story
People: Plaque unveiled for Helena Guttridge
Mayor's tribute to Vancouver's first female councillor strikes a personal note for Rod Mickleburgh, who in turn honours a chronicler he calls 'Auntie Irene'
By Rod Mickleburgh
(May 19, 2017) - At the age of 70, my beloved Auntie Irene, under her scholastic name of Irene Howard, published her definitive biography of Helena Gutteridge, Vancouver’s first woman “alderman”. Ten years later, when she was 80, she completed her remarkable book Gold Dust On His Shirt, a moving saga of her family’s working class life in the gold mines of British Columbia, feathered with impeccable research of the times. At 90 she published a very fine poem, which is reproduced below.
And one morning last month, at the age of 94 and a half, Auntie Irene sat in the front row of chairs arrayed in a room off the main lobby at city hall, looking as elegant and vivacious as anyone who pre-dated Vancouver’s Art Deco municipal masterpiece by 14 years ...
Remembering a massacre: A tough pill to swallow
The Sick Days: Part 18
Covering the events of December 6 at L'École Polytechnique was a formative experience, and one a seasoned reporter now thinks she got all wrong.
By Shelley Page
(Published Dec. 2, 2015) The moment my editor told me to get to the airport, my stomach fell as though I was on the down slope of a rollercoaster. I stood in the middle of the newsroom, as a few deskers and reporters stared at me expectantly, wondering if I could possibly decline. I think reporters often dread the unknown of a story and the difficulties that lay ahead to nail it down, but I feared I just wasn’t up to the task.
I’d been feeling tired, lupus tired, for days and I was walking like an elderly woman whose joints lacked lubricant.
But the killing in Montreal had begun around 5 p.m., and within 20 minutes, 27 people were shot or stabbed. All the dead were young women; fourteen of them.
How could I not go?
In the Beaches areas apartment I shared with my absentee boyfrie...
Penetrating Helen Gurley Brown
Books: Not Pretty Enough - The Unlikely Triumph of Helen Gurley Brown
New biography of the woman who recreated Cosmopolitan as a vehicle of sexual empowerment reveals lifelong insecurities and a penchant for moisturizing with baking lard