Issue: May 2014 - Disability on Film

The revolution is my boyfriend: Bruce LaBruce at TIFF

Bruce LaBruce is a badass. When I saw the premiere of his splatter-punk porno epic L.A. Zombie at TIFF in 2010, he introduced the film by mentioning the zero star review it had just received by the Torontoist. He enthusiastically exclaimed that for a gay porn trash director, zero stars is four stars. It’s true – a lot of people revile the work of Toronto’s queercore master, particularly here in his home country, which is why he hasn’t made a film here in two decades. Frankly, this is ridiculous. He’s just as unique and important an export as a...

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How Ethan Hawke became one of the coolest movie stars in Hollywood

On the latest segment of Jimmy Kimmel’s ingenious “Celebrities Read Mean Tweets” in which various celebrities read mean tweets about themselves to the camera, Ethan Hawke recited @julianaxelrod’s putdown of him: “Ethan Hawke seems like a guy who wasn’t supposed to be a movie star, but he slipped through the cracks and everyone was just like ‘Ok.’” Mr. Axelrod’s tweet is pretty hilarious and also pretty bang-on, and not even in an insulting way or anything. Hawke has had some amazing longevity in Hollywood, consistently appearing in leading roles on the big screen for nearly 30 years now. Yet...

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Spreading the virus: An interview with Kaare Andrews, director of Cabin Fever: Patient Zero

For horror fans, very few films delivered the kind of gory, over the top action that Cabin Fever had. Twelve years later, director Kaare Andrews is bringing the gruesome mayhem back, unleashing the flesh-eating virus of the series in the prequel film, Cabin Fever: Patient Zero. An established comic book artist and writer, Andrews has been moving into the world of film, creating a number of short films, as well as his first feature, Altitude, in 2010. Toronto Film Scene had a chance to speak with him about his latest film, his love for practical effects, and how his...

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Q&A with Ben Shirinian, director of Josef & Aimée

Josef & Aimée, a short film directed by Ben Shirinian, is the story of a friendship that is ravaged by World War II, but perseveres through the power of everlasting imagination and hope. Josef & Aimée are two Jewish children, however their story is representative of the longing and survival that was perhaps felt by many children during the Holocaust. Shirinian’s moving short film recently screened during Cannes as part of the Not Short on Talent programme. The Canadian director talked with TFS about his film. Why did you tell this story? We chose to tell this story because both...

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A Q&A with Mark Critch, star of The Grand Seduction

TFS had the pleasure of sitting down with Mark Critch (22 Minutes, Republic of Doyle) to discuss his role as Henry Tilley in The Grand Seduction, a Canadian film about a small fishing village that must obtain a doctor in order to secure a business contract. We also chatted about his thoughts on Canadian cinema and how he really feels about cricket. The movie genuinely made me smile and is very funny, silly and heartfelt but never over-the-top. Was this intentional on your part, to hone in your character? Of course. It’s easy to get very goofy and hokey...

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The TFS List: actors who have triumphed disability

Disabilities come in all forms, from physical to mental, visible and invisible. They affect individuals in all walks of life, and it’s not unusual to hear tales of Hollywood celebrities living with some of these conditions. We most commonly hear of depression and addiction, which are nothing to be make light of, but with formidable talent, these are types of disabilities that can be masked and hidden on screen. In this month’s TFS List, we are looking at those who have triumphed over physical and mental disabilities that cannot be hidden away. These are just some talents who have...

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Connecting the dots between comedy and mental health

There’s a scene in Zach Galifianakis’s stand-up hour/documentary Live at the Purple Onion that I keep thinking about. After rushing out of a cramped elevator, Galifianakis tells his friend and videographer Joe Wagner that small spaces make him really anxious. Wagner then points out to him that mental illness seems to be a theme in his work. Galifianakis agrees. “The human psyche is so fragile a lot of times,” he says. “Can you really trust your mind?” Galifianakis is known for an absurd brand of humour. Regardless of the kind of a person he is off screen, what intrigues...

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