Issue: June 2013 - The Music Issue

TFS Questions: James Stewart, Director of 3D animated short FOXED!

3D as a cinematic artform is definitely here to stay and no one knows that better than James Stewart, head of Toronto-based Geneva Film Co., 3D technician on Werner Herzog’s acclaimed Cave of Forgotten Dreams , and Director of the new 3D stop motion animated short Foxed! which begins its run at TIFF Bell Lightbox on June 28. The film, which will screen in front of the documentary Storm Surfers 3D , focuses on a little girl named Emily who’s fighting against evil forces in the form of a group of foxes. Foxed! also recently won the Best Animated...

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Essential Canadian Cinema: Trigger

Since it’s music month here at TFS, we thought we’d turn to a film by a Director who’s proven especially apt at infusing his films with music. Bruce McDonald’s 2009 film Trigger centres on Kat (Molly Parker) and Vic (Tracy Wright in her theatrical swan song before succumbing to pancreatic cancer in 2010), ex-bandmates who are reuniting for a tribute show years after they broke up very publicly amidst issues with drugs, sex and general self-loathing. The two are a study in opposites: Vic is low-key where Kat is high-strung. Vic wants to stay under the radar while Kat...

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A lighter side of the French New Wave with TIFF’s Jacques Demy retrospective

Growing up and discovering the French New Wave in my late teens, I became preoccupied with the usual suspects: Godard, Truffaut, Resnais, Rohmer. Yet Jacques Demy never crossed my radar and then went unmentioned in university lectures I attended. Demy, who passed away in 1990, may not have been experimenting as radically with the form of cinema as his contemporaries were, but he was still making revolutionary work. Embracing his influences from French and American movies, he created a new cinematic dream world, combining lush fantasy and breezy naturalism that he would play around in for the entirety of...

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TFS Explains: directors who have a distinct sound

I can close my eyes and hear Ice Dance by Danny Elfman. Every time I think of this song, warm tears roll down my face as though it was the first time I heard it. All it takes is those few opening strings to bring back the nostalgia of every moment spent watching Tim Burton films. There’s a special relationship between Elfman and Burton. It dates back to 1985 when the duo first joined forces to make Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, a bizarre and beloved cinematic piece. Now, the two have built a relationship so iconic and recognizable, an enchanting...

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Interview with Greta Gerwig, co-writer and star of Frances Ha

Greta Gerwig is a name and face becoming more and more recognizable by the day. She wrote and starred in 2007’s indie hit  Hannah Takes the Stairs,  and since then she has worked with directors like Whit Stillman and Woody Allen. Her second film with Noah Baumbach,  Frances Ha  is the perfect film to add to her ever growing body of work, as writer and actress. Frances Ha  is as real as it gets. It leaves you wondering just how autobiographical it is. Gerwig clears this up, once and for all. “I gave everything I had to it creatively,...

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The TFS List: movies about musicians

There are plenty of movies about musicians (a.k.a biopics) that depict the glamorous sex, drugs, and rock and roll life-style of musicians. They enact the struggle and the sacrifice of the artist while telling a personal story that aims to delve deeper than the music itself. The following are a few films that dramatize the lives of famous musicians and blur the line between fact and fiction.  8 Mile (2002) Loosely based on Eminem’s rise to super-stardom, 8 Mile ties in elements of the rapper’s home life and family situation that fans could easily recognize from his explicit and...

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Interview with Noah Baumbach, director of Frances Ha

Noah Baumbach is essential New York City. From the Berkman family in  The Squid and the Whale  to Roger in  Greenberg,   Baumbach embodies the essence of New Yorkers. In his latest film,  Frances Ha,  title character Frances is no different. Baumbach co-wrote the film with lead star Greta Gerwig, and directed it in beautiful black and white, creating an instant New York classic. Unlike some of his other films,  Frances Ha  takes a more optimistic look into coming of age and adulthood. Baumbach explains this transition in tone, “It came from the character, and the story. As we...

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