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Showing posts from 2008

I've Loved You So Long/ Il y a longtemps que je t`aime: A Must See!


Frequent guest, Kirk Cooper, has been telling me to see this film since seeing it earlier this year. Well, I finally saw it and LOVED it! No bells and whistles, just a story that engages you with its simplicity and complexity. Simple, in the fact that it is the reunion of two sisters: Lea (Elsa Zylberstein) and Juliette (Kristen Scott Thomas). Complex, in the fact that Juliette has been in prison for 15 years. The wonderful script by Philippe Claudel (who also directs) begins with Lea picking up Juliette for an indefinite stay with her and her family (her husband, his father and their two Vietnamese daughters).

The trailer is very dramatic, but the film is not overwrought by emotions, has funny moments throughout, and the script is never cliched in any respect. As the story unfolds, we are allowed to fill in pieces of the puzzle that is the lives of these two separated sisters. Why was Juliette in prison? What has Lea's life been like growing up with a sist…

TMTM Dec. 13th Show: For Your Information

As promised here is the information about upcoming performances by my guests, Sistah Lois and Brainerd Blyden-Taylor:

SISTAH LOIS and Gifts of Life Celebration:
The first "Gifts of Life Celebrations"(GLC) musical and cultural event is Friday, December 19th at the Savannah Room, 294 College Street. This is the first of 5 events by the Kaloko Farmer's Adventures in support of Zambian farm women who are raising their HIV-positive grandchildren. Musical performers include SistahNuVizhan, John Tee Davis, Jack and JoAnn, Empress Lyrics, Zoé and freestyle dj Kalmplex. The event also includes a silent auction. Doors open at 7pm. Cover charge: Pay-What-You-Can with a suggested donation of $5.00.

For more information:
Contact: Mshimpi (mmm-shim-pee)
Phone: 416-588-7315

If you are a senior or know one who is interested in lectures, check out Sistah's Tuesday Lecture series at Learning Unlimited Etobicoke:
Tuesdays, January 6 to March 10, 2009, 10:00 …

Seen Any Good Films Lately? YES!

David Lean's HOBSON'S CHOICE, part of Cinematheque Ontario's Encounter David Lean series that has kept me out late at night.

It seems that since TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) I have been going from one film festival to another or attending Doc Soup screenings. With Toronto being a film city, I'm sure many of you have attended the same screenings. Did you see what I saw?

I didn’t cover this festival, but a friend had a couple of tickets so I managed to see the hilarious office vampire tale, Netherbeast Incorporated (Darrel Hammond and Judd Nelson) and the visually stunning, but poorly written, Mutant Chronicles (Thomas Jane, Ron Perlman). The highlight of attending that night was seeing Steven Kostanski's short film, Laser Ghosts 2: Return to Laser Cove, which effectively parodies common sci-fi horror plots. I can do horror comedies, and action horrors, but I can't go gory. I loved the trailer for Tokyo Gore Police, but had to pass on the ticket be…

Congratulations Jannett Scott aka Lady Luscious!

At the end of the show on Saturday, November 8th we decided to honour one lucky winner by drawing for one of the prizes. CONGRATULATIONS to Jannett Scott aka Lady Luscious on winning the Mooredale Concerts tickets.

Janett has won A PAIR OF TICKETS to Mooredale Concerts featuring Germany’s Kolja Lessing on violin and Anton Kuerti (recipient 2008 Governor General's Performing Arts Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award) on piano. Tickets courtesy of Mooredale Concerts.

CONGRATULATIONS also to Zabrina Chevannes, who won a $50.00 gift certificate courtesy of Harlem Restaurant. The gift certificate was a surprise donation brought to the station by publicist Kirk Cooper who was assisting me with the fundraising show. Thank you Kirk and thank you Harlem Restaurant for this wonderful surprise.

One lucky winner will be selected at 1:00 pm on Saturday, November 15th for the remaining prizes in the exclusive show prize package.

Pledge and WIN! SUPPORT The More the Merrier DURING CIUT's FRIENDS of 89.5 FM FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN. CALL 416-946-7800 or 1-888-204-8976

DONATE to The More the Merrier on NOVEMBER 8th and YOU COULD WIN ALL OF THIS:

A PAIR OF TICKETS to the Cinematheque Ontario screening of David Lean's classic epic, LAWRENCE OF ARABIA. Tickets courtesy of Cinematheque Ontario, a division of The Toronto International Film Festival Group.

A PAIR OF TICKETS to "Lost Action", choreographed by the internationally renowned, Crystal Pite. "Lost Action" is part of Harbourfront Centre's World Stage programme celebrating dance, theatre and multi-disciplinary performances by artists from Canada and around the world. Tickets courtesy of Harbourfront Centre.

A PAIR OF TICKETS to Ballet Creole's "The Messiah", a Soulful Celebration. Tickets Courtesy of Ballet Creole.

FAMILY THEATRE PACKAGE: 1 pair of tickets to "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" PLUS 1 pair of tickets to "Bird Brain". Tickets courtesy of the Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People.

A PAIR OF TICKETS to "The Order of …

Different Voices: Irish and Latino

Literature was the focus of the show on Saturday, October 25th, with interviews with Irish writer, Dermot Bolger, Halli Villegas, publisher of Tightrope Books and poet, Monica Rosas. Bolger is a participant in Harbourfront Centre’s International Festival of Authors (IFOA), which for the first time, is spotlighting authors from a particular country: Ireland. Bolger’s thick accent and rapid-fire delivery was a pleasure to listen to as we talked about the wealth of writers in Ireland due, in part, to the introduction of free secondary schools and tax breaks for writers, and also to the Irish imagination. Where other countries had a tradition of opera and performing arts, Bolger says it’s writing that has always been a popular method of artistic expression in Ireland. Bolger’s first novel, Night Shift, was written while working in a factory. He used his co-workers as characters since he didn’t think it would really get published. Lucky for him, everyone was okay with the obvious ch…

Coming Soon! Coverage of the12th Annual Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival Nov. 12-16th

Long Story Short by award-winning director, Christine Choy features actress Jodi Long (Margaret Cho's mom on the short-lived sitcom, All American Girl) and delves into her family's multi-generational attempts to make it big in show business. Just one of many films I'm looking forward to at this year's Reel Asian International Film Festival.

Arts for Everyone

The Federal election may be over, but I hope you haven't forgotten the round table discussion I had a few weeks back about cuts to the Arts. My guests for that October 4th show were Claire Hopkinson (Executive Director of the Toronto Arts Council), Kelsey Matheson (Eastern Regional Director of First Weekend Club), Bobby Del Rio (actor/producer and founder of INCLUDE, Canada's largest multicultural entertainment industry network), and Kirk Cooper (publicist and founder of Film Market Access). All pointed out the economic benefits of the Arts & Culture sector from providing employment to millions of Canadians to the trickle down effect of businesses (hotels, restaurants, shops) who benefit from people attending events such as film festivals, stage shows, concerts etc.

That the Arts are for everyone, something Canadian conductor, Kerry Stratton and I agree upon wholeheartedly. Stratton will be conducting the Orchestra Internazionale d'Italia at Roy Thomson Hall on Nove…

Intimate and Interactive with Musicians in Ordinary and Comedian, Zabrina Chevannes

Last Saturday's show turned out to be more intimate than expected. Lutenist (but this time on baroque guitar), John Edwards and soprano, Hallie Fishel and I huddled around 1 microphone on Saturday due to a technical difficulty in our interview studio. Both Hallie and John were great sports as they talked about their upcoming concert Guard My Cows, which showcases music from 17th century Spain and Mexico. The last time John was at CIUT we talked about lutenists being hanged as spies during the Elizabethan era. This time round he and Hallie talked about the dirty songs of the 17th century that were banned! And you thought music from the past was boring. I hope you enjoyed the interview as well as some of the selections they performed.
Musicians in Ordinary
Sat. Oct 25th, 8:00 pm
Heliconian Hall, 35 Hazelton Ave. (near Bay Subway) at 8PM, Single tickets $20 / $15 students & seniors. For information call us at 416 535 9956 or click here

Zabrina Chevannes, Tim Sims Encouragement…

This Weekend

Staying home? Check out Black Books.

Black Books - video powered by Metacafe

Going Out?

I still recommend the French thriller, Tell No One.

I missed it at TIFF 08, but a few friends have recommended I see Blindness. It's a Canadian film, and you know how I love our films.

If you've got kids, check out Harbourfront Centre's celebration of Geeks.

Things To Do This Weekend

ON SCREEN: Tell No One (Ne le dis à personne)

Tell No One (Ne le dis à personne) is a gripping French thriller about a man who receives an email from his wife. The catch? A serial killer murdered her 8 years ago. Is she his wife? Is someone playing a cruel joke on him? What is going on? Travel through this gripping cinematic labyrinth with Alexandre Beck (François Cluzet) as he tries to figure out exactly what is the truth? This movie has starts out as a romantic drama and escalates into a fantastic thriller with one of the best street chases I have seen in a very long time. British actress Kristen Scott Thomas has a wonderful supporting role as Beck's ally. I haven't seen Nathalie Baye on screen in a while, so it was great to see her, even if her screen time is limited.

ON SCREEN: "Religulous"

Comedian Bill Mahr challenges believers of various religions. Mahr was raised Catholic and didn't find out his mother was Jewish until he was thirteen years old. From his per…

Vote for the Arts: Tune in on Saturday, October 4th from 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Tune in to The More the Merrier on Saturday, October 4th from 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm for a discussion about the Arts and the Federal Election. Guests: actor/playwright Bobby Del Rio; Claire Hopkinson, Executive Director of the Toronto Arts Council; Kelsey Matheson, Eastern Regional Director of the First Weekend Club; Kirk Cooper of Film Market Access Publicity.

The More the Merrier (TMTM)
Arts Outreach and Education
Saturdays 1:00 - 2:00pm
Listen Live on CIUT 89.5 FM,
Rogers Digital Channel 946 or Star Choice Satellite Channel 826

I hope you will be listening!
donna g

Your Faves at TIFF 08

Yes, my guest from a couple of weeks ago Nick Ashdon of El Greco, did like Slumdog Millionaire. I forgive him because he loves Toronto. Kirk Cooper and I had a wonderful discussion with both Nick and Theo Alexander (also in El Greco) about films and how great Toronto audiences are.

Mark Van de Ven, director of the short film Us Chickens loved the editing in Hunger. I enjoyed what Mark had to say in his own film, and both he and I thought very highly of Denis Villeneuve's award-winning short film, The Next Floor.

As for Kirk Cooper, his favourite film from TIFF is the Turkish film Three Monkeys (Üç maymun). I hope it gets released so that I can have a chance to see what he is talking about. We sometimes, after all, do agree on some films.

Festival-goer and blogger, Heidy M, enjoyed the Korean Western,The Good, the Bad,the Weired (Joheun-nom, Nabbeun-nom, Isanghan-nom). An avid Midnight Madness fan, Heidy also thought Sexykiller kicked butt.

Patrick Age 1.5 was a big hit with The Mo…

donna g’s TIFF 08 Film List and Top Ten Faves

So how did I chose my Top Ten? Emotional response. There are just some films where seeing the title triggers an emotional response and instant images from the film flicker in your head. It was still hard to narrow it down to ten, and I included the short film, Jesus and the Giant in the list because it was such a great pairing with its screening buddy, Medicine for Melancholy, so I guess you could call this my Top Ten and a Half list. The only easy choice was my Number 1 pick, Ramin Bahrani's Good Bye Solo. I love understated films with brilliant performances.

My Number 1 Pick: Good Bye Solo

Souléymane Sy Savané as Solo

1. A Film With Me In It
2. Acné
3. Aide-toi le ciel t'aidera (With a Little Help From Myself)
4. Appaloosa
5. Apron Strings
6. At the Edge of the World
7. Borderline
8. Brabat
9. Brothers Bloom, The
10. Chocolate
11. Control Alt Delete
12. Country Wedding
13. Detroit Metal City
14. El Greco
15. Good Bye Solo**
16. Happy Go Lucky
17. Horn of Plenty (Cuerno de la abundancia)
18. It…

donna g's TIFF 08 Coverage: What I'm Seeing on Day 10 (Saturday, Sept. 13th)

donna g's TIFF 08 Coverage: Canadian, Eh?

I go to TIFF to see films from around the world, but I love Canadian films and always always make a point of seeing what our talented filmmakers have to offer. Besides, Borderline and Control Alt Delete, I had to see C'est pas moi, je le jure! (It's not me, I swear!) by filmmaker Philippe Falardeau. I've been a fan of Falardeau since seeing his films, La Moitié gauche du frigo (TIFF 02) and Congorama (TIFF 06). He doesn't disappoint in his new film about a ten year old boy dealing with his parents rocky marriage and eventual separation. I have never laughed so much while watching a heartbreaking film.

Falardeau does a fine job of bringing us into little Léon's 1960's suburban world. It's polyester and smoking, nosey neighbour ladies and the Catholic Church, but it's also a world seen through the eyes of a precocious boy with a penchant for breaking and entering and suicide attempts. I love the sound of this movie--not just the innocently funny dialogue,…

donna g's TIFF 08 Coverage: Day 9 a.k.a Two for Saturday + Sorry, Brothers Bloom

Canadian or Spanish? The choice is yours tomorrow morning.


First time director, Lyne Charlebois, shows confidence in this tale of a young woman dealing with her sexual addiction and turning 30. Isabelle Blais is outstanding in the role of Kiki Labrèche. I especially love the shots of Kiki at various ages walking side by side with herself or passing herself on the street. This film is one of those instances where nudity and sexuality are an integral part of the script and not simply for titilating purposes. I've had a crush on Jean-Huges Anglade since Nikita, and it was a welcome treat for me to see him on screen.

Final Screening:
Saturday September 13 12:00PM VARSITY 1

RETURN TO HANSALA (RETORNO A HANSALA This is one of my favourite shots in this film.

In 2002, director Chus Gutierez explored the issue of illegal Moroccans working in Andalusia in her film, Poniente. In this year's Return to Hansala, we get the story of an Andalusian traveling with a young woman to h…