Issue: January 2014 - Comedy

Q&A with Jeff Barnaby, director of Rhymes for Young Ghouls

Jeff Barnaby is the latest in a long line of Caandian filmmakers to make the leap from shorts to feature films. Barnaby, however, isn’t just like everyone else, and neither are his films. Rhymes for Young Ghouls, his first feature, won the Tribeca 2012 Creative Promise Award for Narrative, was produced in association with the Canadian Film Centre, and premiered at TIFF 2013. The film tells the story of Aila, a girl living without parents on a reservation in the late ’60s. Her life consists of making enough money to pay an Indian Agent a truancy tax so she...

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The Master of Horror: Stephen King at TIFF

It’s safe to say at this point that Stephen King isn’t just one of the best horror writers around; he’s legitimately one of the best authors of all time. Throughout the insane amount of books that he’s written and still continues to write, King has proved himself a master at developing fully formed characters and bringing naturalism and intelligence to the horror novel. Because his stories are so rich and creative, Hollywood came knocking immediately and never stopped. In the nearly 40 years since the first film adaptation of “Carrie” hit the screens, his work has been attached to...

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Comedy gold rush: award worthy performances in comedies

It’s a sad truth that every year when awards season rolls around, comedies are often overlooked. Everyone loves to laugh, but apparently no one thinks laughter is important enough to reward with gold statues. The 40 Year Old Virgin should have been a contender for best picture back in 2005, and who could argue the merits of Ghostbusters or Monty Python and the Holy Grail? Yet these films and countless other comedy classics are shunned every winter when the Academy rolls out its slew of nominees. This year we can look forward to seeing films like The Wolf of...

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TFS Essentials: the rise (and demise) of parody films

When asked for a few examples of spoofs or parody films, people are quick to offer up Scary Movie and its increasingly inane counterparts and spin-offs (I don’t care if it’s for the sake journalistic integrity, I refuse to watch Vampires Suck, Twilight itself sucked enough!) Some harkened back to ’80s gems such as Spaceballs and Airplane or commented on the crossover from TV such as Saturday Night Live or The Simpsons. In truth, with every blockbuster or successful film, there has been someone there to spoof it. Here’s where we look at the rise and demise of parody...

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What is ‘Canadian’ comedy?

Canada has proven itself to be the breeding ground for some of the world’s greatest comedic actors. Jim Carrey, Mike Myers, John Candy, Catherine O’Hara, Leslie Nielsen and Dan Aykroyd are only a handful of these actors. What ends up happening, however, is that Canadian actors do not achieve mainstream success until they appear in film and television produced south of the border, making such productions non-Canadian. The big question is what exactly constitutes a Canadian film? Is it its cast, financing, filming location or all of the above? The following four successful comedies help answer this important question...

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Starting a revolution: the golden age of Godard at TIFF

Oh, Jean-Luc; how you inspire such mixed feelings within me. There is no doubt that the man revolutionized cinema, arguably more than any other filmmaker in the history of the medium. As one of the leaders of the French New Wave, he played with style, structure, and content in ways that few others had dreamt about. I will always immensely appreciate what he has done for the art of cinema and I’m not sure if many of the filmmakers I love today would be doing what they’re doing if it wasn’t for him. Let’s get real, though: Jean-Luc Godard...

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Essential Canadian Cinema: Fubar

It’s comedy month here at TFS, so we decided to take on the 2002 mockumentary Fubar in our Essential Canadian Cinema column. For those of you who haven’t seen it, it’s sort of like Christopher Guest meets Wayne’s World. It follows two lifelong best friends, Dean and Terry, who love heavy metal, sporting mullets, and beer – lots and lots of beer. Fubar is directed by Michael Dowse, who is also responsible for popular Canadian films like Goon, It’s All Gone Pete Tong and the TIFF 2013 hit The F Word, being released later this year. Writers Dayna Brubaker and Danita Steinberg watched the film...

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