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Showing posts from April, 2011

Hot Doc Reviews: Beats, Love and Oil

Beats, Rhymes & Life, The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest
Sat, Apr 30 6:30 PM, TIFF Bell Lightbox 1

This film has one screening only and it has already gone RUSH, and while it's always worth a try to get into a rush screening, no need to fear if you don't as this film will have its theatrical release shortly. I'll do my full review then.

Love Arranged
Sat, Apr 30 6:44 PM, Cumberland 3
Mon, May 2 1:30 PM, TIFF Bell Lightbox 2

Divya and Neha are modern Indian women who, with 30 closing in on them, have decided to add the arranged marriage route as another option to finding a husband. (Being 30 in India means that only divorced and widowed men will be available to them.) Party girl, Divya, is educated, fun, and loves her job as a wedding planner, but she can hardly hook up with someone at any of the weddings she is planning, and her outspoken, live-life-to-the-fullest attitude is attractive to men her age, but not to their families. The curvy, pet-loving Neha lives in an India …

Hot Docs Reviews: Rhythm Nation

Boy Cheerleaders
Fri, Apr 29
9:00 PM, Cumberland 2
Sun, May 1 4:30 PM, TIFF Bell Lightbox 3
Sun, May 8 6:45 PM, Isabel Bader Theatre

I didn't expect this film to be one of my favourites among those films I had screened for Hot Docs. I prejudged this little film, thinking it would be a cute, feel-good piece about a brave little troop of cheerleading boys trying to make it in a girls' world. Well, Boy Cheerleaders is that, but it's also about boys trying to make sense of fathers leaving, and mother's who have made their own mistakes in life and are trying to do better for their boys while living in a cash-poor part of Leeds, England. Little Harvey (pictured left) is the "Billy Elliot" of the film, and I can't tell you how hard it was for me to watch him holding his blue ice cream cone and dreaming that like the Dad in Billy Elliot, his estranged father will some day see him dance and be proud of him. As adults we know this will never happen for Harvey, and we …

Did You Say Hot Dogs? LOL! No, "Hot Docs" :-)

I love introducing Hot Docs to people. Festival goers are well-familiar with the event, but to many outside the festival world, it may seem like I am saying "hot dogs" instead of "hot docs". I always smile, because I understand how the aural confusion can happen, and because I get to rave about the Canadian International Documentary Festival. Hot Docs is a great place to get your feel wet in the festival circuit because the tickets are relatively affordable and there really is something for everyone. Here are my thought on some of the films I have had a chance to screen:

Mighty Jerome
Fri, Apr 29 9:30 PM, TIFF Bell Lightbox 3
Sat, Apr 30 11:00 AM, Isabel Bader Theatre
Sun, May 8 4:30 PM, The Revue

I had heard of the Canadian World Champion and Olympic sprinter, but I didn't really know much about him besides his medals and the fact that there is an award named after him. I even knew that Fil Fraser had written a book about him, but I didn't dig any deeper. …

Love Your Radio! Win a Trip to London, England!

Please share your love of radio and the arts by making a donation to in support of The More the Merrier (TmTm) during CIUT 89.5 FM's Spring Fundraising Campaign (April 11-17). Donate now via credit card or PayPal at or call 416-946-7800, toll free 1-888-946-7800. If you choose the PayPal method, the station will send you an email asking you what show you want to support. Please tell them The More the Merrier. Thank you for continuing the legacy of listener-supported radio!
My love of the arts inspired me to create a show where no one would feel intimidated or left out listening to discussions about various aspects of the arts; hence the name, The More the Merrier. TmTm has a heavy film slant because you, the listener, told me that you loved hearing me talk about film (and the many film festivals Toronto hosts) with my guests. As a past drama student, I have to include theatre coverage on TmTm. I like to mix it up with performances on the small stages as well as the mor…

Keep Toronto Reading Festival: Readers Respond

On Saturday, I hosted a call in show where listeners shared their favourite book titles and what they were reading. The show was inspired by the Toronto Public Library's Keep Toronto Reading Festival (April 1-30). I'm reading Olivia Goes to Venice, one is a series of books by Ian Falconer. Here is what they had to say:

Kirk likes: She's Come Undone and is reading I Know This Much is True both by Wally Lamb (photo courtesy of TPL)

Gord is reading: Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray and likes the mysteries by Jo Nesbo (The Redbreast, Nemesis) and Tales of the City books by Armistead Maupin (photo courtesy of TPL)

Renée is reading: The Bad Girl by Mario Vargas Llosa (photo from TPL)

Cristian's favourite is: The Elephant Man by Tim Vicary (photo from TPL) By calling in, Cristian won a pair of tickets to see Afrobeat legend, Tony Allen at the Phoenix Concert Theatre.

Marek is reading: American Project: The Rise of and Fall of an American Ghetto by Sudhir Alladi Venk…

Call-In Show, Sat. April 9th. What Are You Reading?

The Toronto Public Library's Keep Toronto Reading Festivalis a month-long celebration. Since I LOVE the TPL and reading, I am hosting a special Call-In show on Saturday, April 9th, 1-2pm on CIUT 89.5 FM. The question of the hour is: What are you reading?If you would like to be sure your voice is heard, send me an email at If you want to just chance it, call 416-946-7000 starting at 1pm. YOU could win a pair of tickets to see Tony Allen, featuring Amp Fiddler at the Phoenix Concert Theatre on Friday, April 15th! Part of the Small World Music. Good luck! Can't wait to hear from you!
Keep Toronto Reading

Cinéfranco: The Final Week-end

Clémentine (Aïsaa Maïga) and Sébastien (Jocelyn Quivrin) are busy! The have two school-aged children, she is stressed out about her stagnant journalism career, and he is even more stressed out from studying for tests to advance in his career in post-Recession France. Nice son that he is, and even nicer wife that she is, Sébastien and Clémentine welcome his mother, Marie-France (Nathalie Baye) into their small apartment, after the whole family discovers (in a memorable scene) that his father, Henri (Pierre Arditi), has a pregnant mistress. Throw a ravenous puppy into the mix and this couple's relationship is tossed into a cauldron of domestic chaos! Sébastian's sister (who has secrets of her own) tries to lend emotional support via web chat, but she doesn't have to deal directly with a mother who has reverted to her adolescent, hippy period and a father who has discovered the marvels of being a father for the second time in the 21st century.

Quivrin and Maïga are a believb…