Issue: October 2014

Action with soul: Keanu Reeves talks John Wick

Who is the enigma that is Keanu Reeves? This question rattled around in my head as I made my way over to the luxury Trump Hotel for an interview with the man himself. Well, my major thought was more like, ‘Oh my god, I’m about to talk to KEANU F—KING REEVES. In person. What the hell am doing?’ But pushing up against that was the whole enigma question. Despite being one of the most recognizable A-list Hollywood celebrities of our time, Reeves has carefully built an aura of mystery around himself. He may be simultaneously revered and sometimes unfairly...

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Women in Film: Andrea Subissati and Alexandra West on women in horror

It is an unfortunate reality that there are a number of misogynistic conventions which exist within the genre of horror.­­­ While a few voices have emerged over the years, there is still a significant gender gap in the film industry as a whole. Horror in particular is interesting to analyze in the context of this gender gap because it is a genre which often makes use of a number of sexist tropes. Andrea Subissati is a co-founder of The Black Museum, an organization which puts on a series of horror-related lectures and screenings. Along with journalist and playwright Alexandra...

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Media Impact: is Xavier Dolan Canada’s next great director?

It is hard for a twenty-something film buff not to envy Québécois director Xavier Dolan. His first five films all debuted at either the Cannes or Venice film festival, with each picking up at least one award. He has inspired comparison to filmmakers as varied as Wong Kar-Wai and Stanley Kubrick. Telefilm Canada also selected his newest film, Mommy (now playing in theatres), to represent the country in the foreign language film category at the 2014 Oscars. He is also a triple threat – writing, directing and acting – in three of his five films. Any filmmaker with that résumé would...

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New Toronto New Wave: the meta-narratives of Daniel Cockburn

Daniel Cockburn can be difficult to pin down. Not physically – he’s actually pretty easy to find around town, a frequent attendee at festivals like TIFF and Images, a regular at Lightbox and a charming presence on the film-and-art scene. It is his work that’s hard to pin down. As a filmmaker, video artist, essayist, lecturer, writer and performer, his output doesn’t fit neatly into any one category – by design, no doubt. When I first became aware of Daniel as an artist, it was because of his video work. He was that odd-but-very-smart guy with the wild hair and constantly observing eyes. Quiet...

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A face transformed: a look behind CMU College of Makeup Art and Design

When David Scott was a young boy, he and his brother got a Super 8 movie camera. They wanted to make sci-fi and monster movies and had to figure out how they were going to make the creatures from their films look realistic. Now one of Canada’s premiere makeup artists, Scott says there was no professional school to train and hone his skills. “It was the school of hard knocks in my parents’ basement, messing with stuff from the art store and anything I could get my hands on,” he tells Toronto Film Scene. The few makeup books he...

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Essential Canadian Cinema: The Changeling

Following the tragic death of his wife and daughter, composer John Russell (George C. Scott) moves to Seattle and rents an old Victorian mansion. Following a number of strange occurrences, Russell discovers that the house is haunted by the ghost of a murdered young boy. As he investigates the haunting, Russell uncovers a mystery that is linked to a powerful local family and the wealthy senator, who’s the heir of it. A product of the tax shelter era, The Changeling (1980) is considered to be one of the greatest (and scariest) cinematic ghost stories. The film is also notable for winning...

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Balancing act: an interview with Amy Jo Johnson, director of The Space Between

Some fans may instantly recognize the name Amy Jo Johnson. With a lengthy career in acting, including roles in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Felicity, and most recently Flashpoint, her fan base has followed her over the years. She has continued to be busy in front of the camera, but things are about to change. With two short films, Bent and Lines, along with a third short coming soon, Johnson is spending more time directing the action, rather than being a part of it. This transition is just another aspect of a woman who manages to perfectly balance her work and personal...

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