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My Own Private TIFF

Ironically, my own TIFF experience this year was just about over just at the Toronto International Film Festival actually got under way, what with six advance screenings in the week and a half or so prior. I could've seen more, would've loved to of, but I am a one mere mortal with a schedule that already included working on a magazine article, editing a book manuscript under contract and a fairly tight deadline, getting four college level online creative writing courses ready for the fall semester that began September 11, a couple of modeling gigs, oh, and getting my lines ready for a play that began rehearsals on the 13th. And I have to admit I'm totally out of shape for the movie watching gig, my back was in agony by the end of it. I couldn't take much more!

Two odd themes that kept coming up in my random selection of films:
  • the general shittiness, and often cruel and brutal nature, of the human race (sigh.. it's why my at home movie collection consists of uplifting stories like Beetlejuice, Spiderman, Hellboy, Blade and such.. to hell with reality!).
  • groovy old British actors - Michael Caine in Harry Brown, Christopher Lee in Triage, and Christopher Plummer in The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus.

On that last note and by the by, the Toronto born Christopher Plummer is set to play Julius Caesar in a production of Caesar and Cleopatra at the Stratford Festival in the 2010 season - should be an incredible production.

One of the really nice things about writing on the web is the great people from all over the place that it brings you in touch with. I know Triage, the Colin Farrell film, brought a lot of traffic from Irish film fans, Colin Farrell fans in Europe, and Jeffrey Wells of In fact, Jeffrey was kind enough to invite me to his annual welcome to Toronto soirée at Bar Mercurio in Yorkville. Too busy for much socializing, I did make it to the Suck after party at the Phoenix (pictured dimly below!) There's a lot of buzz about this flick, so let's hope it translates into some ticket sales for Canadian film, similar to the success enjoyed by Young People Fucking, TIFF 2007's breakout hit.

The other aspect I really enjoy is meeting and interviewing artists from all over, like Dorothée Van Den Berghe and Matthias Schoenaerts (of My Queen Karo,) and Athena Karkanis (George Romero's Survival of the Dead) - both pieces just below this. It's always interesting to hear about how people approach their work.

Ah.. the mayhem in Yorkville's genteel streets, the preponderance of media types, the crowds where you begin to see every person with geez, he looks familiar, isn't that..? (mind you, in Yorkville even the baristas at Starbucks look like they're in film- and they probably are!) It was fun, but there's too much art and culture out there to discover to slow down my pace any in the weeks to come - c u l8tr tiff till next year.


What Else Is Hot This Week?

Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company Spring 2013 Toronto Performances

From a media release:

The new season brings
Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company
to new heights and new audiences

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
April 25-28, 2013 - Annual Toronto Season - World Premiere of Portales

TORONTO : Following on the heels of Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company's (EESDC) 30th anniversary year where its production Aguas/Waters was named one of the top five dance shows of 2012 by NOW Magazine, the early months of 2013 are full of excitement and possibility for Esmeralda and the company, which brings the finest flamenco and Spanish Classical Dance to Toronto stages.

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
Company dancers Esmeralda Enrique and Paloma Cortés perform Spanish Classical dance with the celebrated Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir for A Night in Madrid featuring the Iberian flavoured music of composer Luigi Boccherini who made his home in Spain. His work is infused with the sounds of Spanish and gypsy folk music.

March 20-24 …

Polina Semionova to Appear as Guest Artist with American Ballet Theatre

From a media release:


New York - Polina Semionova, a principal dancer with Berlin State Opera Ballet, will debut as a Guest Artist with American Ballet Theatre for the 2011 Metropolitan Opera House season, it was announced January 14, 2011 by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie. With ABT, Semionova will perform Kitri in Don Quixote at the matinee on Saturday, May 21, opposite David Hallberg as Basilio, and the dual role of Odette/Odile in Swan Lake on Saturday evening, July 2, opposite Hallberg as Prince Siegfried.

Born in Moscow, Semionova studied at the Bolshoi Ballet School before joining the Berlin State Opera Ballet as the company’s youngest principal dancer. Her repertoire with Berlin State Opera Ballet includes Odette-Odile in Swan Lake, Nikiya in La Bayadère, Marie in The Nutcracker, Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Swanilda in Coppélia, Kitri in Don Quixo…

Harlem Stage Digital Event: A Drop Of Midnight October 13 & 15 2020

From a release:Harlem Stage Digital Event:
A Drop Of Midnight
October 13 & 15 2020A two-part conversation with Jason ‘Timbuktu’ Diakité and his creative team around the developmental process of creating his autobiographical theater project, A Drop of Midnight. In this conversation Jason will take us on his journey to becoming one of Sweden’s chart-topping hip-hop artists and a best-selling author. He’ll also share the story of how a mixtape from Brooklyn traveled across the waters to the tiny village of Lund, Sweden and altered the course of his life forever. We will examine the impact of hip hop music and culture on the globe. How has hip-hop united communities of color globally?  How do you translate a personal story into a universal truth? How do you build a creative team? How has the current climate of social justice informed your artistic practice? Jason will read excerpts from the play and share some of the music. October 13—Part IIn this conversation A Drop of Midnight author…

So You Can't Go: Six Ways To Travel Virtually

So You Can't Go:
Six Ways To Travel VirtuallyTravel is limited for most of us in the world these days. For Canadians, it depends on the province you live in, but with the border to the US still closed, and other options limited at best, virtual travel from the couch can provide at least a view with a difference at a time when you may well need it most. Google Cardboard – VR On A BudgetYou don't need a lot of cash to get into travel via virtual reality. Google Cardboard is a line of VR viewers that are, well, made of cardboard, and are priced starting at $12CAD.If you check out this link, you'll find out how to download the software to your smartphone.At this link, you can get yourself an actual Google Cardboard for a hands-free VR experience. Google Cardboard apps offer a variety of ways to experience our beautiful planet, including Google Earth itself, which can take you anywhere, along with apps to view museums and cultural artifacts, and more.Ascape VRAscape has a huge l…

Fall for Dance North Debuts 2020 Festival: Live + Digital Experiences Sept 29–Oct 18 2020

From a media release:Fall for Dance North Debuts 2020 Festival
Captivating Live + Digital Experiences on Newly Enhanced Digital PlatformToronto’s premier international dance festival launches curated collection of original content and proprietary programs on new custom-built websiteTORONTO, ON — Fall for Dance North (FFDN) proudly presents the 6th edition of its esteemed international dance festival, The Flip Side, from Sept. 29–Oct. 18, 2020
Featuring a new, Netflix-style digital platform, an enhanced line-up of free programming, and a ticketed signature livestream presentation featuring six world premieres by Canadian dancemakers, FFDN has reimagined the festival experience to offer audiences an intimate connection to the art form of dance during these extraordinary times.Starting on Sept. 29, free programs will be released at daily, including an original podcast, a quirky interview series in a bathtub, a poetry + music album, a new dance film featuring 46 Ryerson Schoo…