Issue: August 2013 - Comic Book Movies

Film lineup for TIFF’s 2013 Cinematheque programme so exciting it gives us shivers

With the unveiling of seven new restored classics from around the world, the Toronto International Film Festival’s Cinematheque programme, now in its 23rd year, is sure to pique the interest of film connoisseurs this September. Most relevant to Canadians is a new digital restoration of David Cronenberg’s controversial 1975 feature film, Shivers, which will make its world premiere at the Festival. Commissioned by TIFF, the restoration will be featured in a film exhibition celebrating the works of Cronenberg, titled David Cronenberg: Evolution, coming to TIFF Bell Lightbox on November 1. Brad Deane, Manager of Film Programmes, believes TIFF audiences...

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Q&A with Toronto Urban Film Festival director Sharon Switzer

During the first two weeks of September, you might find some commuters acting a little out of sorts on TTC subway platforms: you might see them purposely missing their trains — but for good reason. From September 6 to 16, the display screens on all TTC subway platforms will be playing a selection of 1-minute short films, films that make up the Toronto Urban Film Festival (TUFF). Now in its seventh and strongest year, TUFF 2013 will screen a total of 76 films divided into a number of programmes, including three films that will make up this year’s Too...

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That was based on a comic book? 5 movies you didn’t know were comic adaptations

When you think of movies based on comics, what comes to mind? Superheroes, sci-fi, fantasy, some horror maybe; it’s usually pretty obvious if a film has its roots in some form of comic. But with the establishment of graphic novels as a legitimate art form and comics from all over the world gaining attention in North America, filmmakers have started turning to these for inspiration for all kinds of different works, genre based or otherwise. Some films, like the following ones, you might be surprised were even based on comics at all. So move over fan boys and girls,...

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Essential Canadian Cinema: Defendor

In a month focusing on comic book movies, there probably isn’t a more obvious film for this month’s Essential Canadian Cinema column than, Canadian actor-turned-director, Peter Stebbings’ debut feature Defendor (2009). The film focuses on a, somewhat mentally challenged, man named Arthur Poppington (Woody Harrelson), who works during the day at a construction site for his friend Paul (Michael Kelly). However, by night Arthur traverses the streets of  Hamilton as the “superhero” Defendor. With the help of a crack-addicted prostitute named Katerina (Kat Dennings), Defendor hopes to find the evil mastermind “Captain Industry,” who is supposedly working with a corrupt cop named Dooney...

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Media Impact: supergirls of graphic novels minus the super powers

We can discuss the role of women in comics to no end, simply because they have a vital role in the genre. Young kids look up to superheroes like Wonder Woman because they are a symbol of strength and empowerment. However, those same kids grow up in a world where strength is secondary to the exterior. Not only this, but the desire to be more like these fictional heroes conflicts with the impossibility of looking like Catwoman, which is apparently more important in this society. A quick Google search of “female comic book characters,” and the top results are...

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Interview with Rasha Salti, programmer of Rebel Yell: A New Generation of Turkish Women Filmmakers

In the last couple of decades, Turkey has started to make some impressive headway on the world cinema stage. The industry within Turkey has taken off and directors like Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Fatih Akin and several others have received worldwide acclaim for their work. What is not often talked about or immediately apparent to foreign audiences, however, is how much of a male-dominated industry it really is. Where women filmmakers have struggled to gain respect in all corners of the world, Turkey seems especially behind due to the conservative patriarchy and gender roles that are only slowly overturning. Over...

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Anti-heroes and indie comic adaptations

Though the North American/Hollywood market is saturated with caped crusaders flying across IMAX screens, there are more than just big budget Marvel/DC adaptations in contemporary cinema. The Comics Code of the 1950s suppressed many alternative genres of comics in North America, most notably those of the crime and sci-fi genres which were thriving until the Code all but wiped them out. Internationally the comic arts medium was unhindered and thrived across all genres of storytelling, they are not merely targeted towards children; mature storylines and complex plots draw readers of all ages. Even within the U.S. the 1960s saw...

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