Issue: March 2014 - Sports

Media Impact: Disney sports films and gender issues

One of the songs in High School Musical, “Stick to the Status Quo,” involves a number of students who are inspired by Troy Bolton’s newly-revealed interest in theatre. These students sing about their own secret, unexpected hobbies that apparently go against the grain of the social identities that they have built up at school. While the song, and the movie as a whole, ultimately suggests that exploring different areas of interest is alright, there are underlying gender issues which remain unexplored. Namely, many Disney channel films seem to perpetuate gender stereotypes in relation to sports. There seems to be...

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The art of the sports movie monologue

Any film in the sports genre is incomplete, or simply not as inspiring, without a rousing third-act speech to rally the team into champions. These monologues, usually delivered by a coach or adult figurehead, can be an actor or screenwriter’s dream. The objective is clear and the emotions are high, as our players get ready for a showdown that will be impossible to forget. With the characters’ heads hug low and the tension high, they need one last push to ensure their game performance is all it can be. Now that the locker room speech is now a staple...

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An interview with Helen Shaver and Gabrielle Miller on Down River

Down River is a story of a women Pearl, played magnificently by icon Helen Shaver and the friendship that she shares with three women who are all at the creative crossroads of their respective artistic development, while at the same time dealing with her own health struggles. Toronto Film Scene had the opportunity recently to sit down and speak with Helen Shaver and Gabrielle Miller to discuss their moving new film Down River about friendship, learning about letting go and ultimately appreciating the gift of loving yourself. Gabrielle Miller, known widely to most Canadian as Lacey Burrows on the...

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An interview with Nicola Spunt and Liane Balaban, creators of In Bloom: A Celebration of Teen Spirit and the Arts

Over the past 20 years, Kurt Cobain has become a central figure in the discussion about mental health. When the Nirvana front man committed suicide in 1994, reactions differed: out of disbelief, anger, and sadness, many took to the theory that he was murdered. But most were shocked that such a talented and successful figure of the 90s took his own life at the young age of 27. What Cobain gave to the world lives on in his art — and his impact has made its way to Toronto. In celebration of his life and artistic legacy 20 years...

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Essential Canadian Cinema: Goon

For the sports issue, we decided on Goon for the monthly discussion on Essential Canadian Cinema. It broke Canadian box office records upon its release in 2011, and took home top honours at the first annual Canadian Screen Awards. It is directed by Michael Dowse, and co-written by Jay Baruchel and Evan Goldberg. It stars some big name talent, too: Seann William Scott, Liev Shreiber, Jay Baruchel, Eugene Levy, and Allison Pill. Goon follows a well-meaning, too nice guy as he goes from bouncer to enforcer for a minor league hockey team. TFS writers Ada Wong and Danita Steinberg discuss whether or not Goon belongs...

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The truth behind “based on a true story” sports films

When a film begins with the phrase “based on true events”, audiences tend to take it with a grain of salt. Personally, when I see those words pop up on screen, I take to the Internet post-screening to see just how close to the truth the film was.I’m sure many of you do the same. I get it. In the film business, it’s making money first, telling a story second, but when it comes to sports film, I feel that type of mentality can’t be employed. Sports films have an overarching theme of a rag tag person or group...

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Bruce McDonald and Maxwell McCabe-Lokos on The Husband

The Husband is the latest film from prolific Canadian filmmaker Bruce McDonald. Paired with lead actor and co-writer Maxwell McCabe-Lokos, a film about a man jilted by his wife’s infidelity becomes not only a tensely black comedy, but a true cinematic gem. Toronto Film Scene had the chance to sit down with McDonald and McCabe-Lokos to discuss this fascinating film. My first question is for Maxwell. How did this script come about? Maxwell: You kind of just pick a subject – Bruce: You had sex with your teacher, right, in high school? Didn’t you? Grade, nine I think it...

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