Starting today at the TIFF Bell Lightbox and running through the rest of the summer is the new series based on the resurgence of the raunchy American comedy that was launched back in the 70’s by the now classic National Lampoon’s Animal House, ‘TOGA! The Reinvention of American Comedy’. Filled with special guests and screenings, the series promises to be one of the most hilarious set of films the Lightbox has managed to group together.
TOGA! The Reinvention of American Comedy
Running July 17th – Aug 29th 2013 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox
In 1978 a film was launched into theaters that combined the growing movement of improv comedy, the likes of Saturday Night Live and comedy troupes like the Groundlings, emerging director John Landis and the National Lampoon humor magazine entitled National Lampoon’s Animal House. The film went on to shatter box-office records and drag R-rated comedy from its b-movie drive in origins into the mainstream. The film also made “Toga! Toga!” into a generational rallying cry and served as inspiration for many a college drinking night. This film series will screen 27 rude, crude and brilliant movies that changed the face of modern American comedy, all of which owe at least in part a huge debt to Landis’ ground-breaking comedy.
Starting this weekend, and running through Aug 11th, the TIFF Bell Lightbox will be overrun by some of the greatest films and film luminaries that Chinese film has to offer. Dubbed ‘A Century ofChinese Cinema’, the extensive program features classic films and special events all focused around the history of Chinese film and its impact globally.
The Century of Chinese Cinema Series
The Golden Age program focuses on the films from 1930’s Shanghai and features TIFF Curator Noah Cowan hosting a night with the classic “Spring in a Small Town” and other classic films like “Crossroads” and “The Big Road”. A New China covers the period from the very late 40’s to the early 60’s and is highlighted by “The Love Eterne” and “The Winter”.
This Family Day weekend, Feb 15-17, theTIFF Bell Lightbox launches its 2nd edition of the Next Wave Film Festival. The festival serves to empower youth and deepen their appreciation of film by empowering them to program their own festival through representatives from their own peer group. The festival kicks off with the “Battle of the Scores”, a unique battle of the bands style competition where high school indie bands perform live scores to youth made film trailers in front of a live audience. Of course this is a film festival so there is also a full schedule of movies to check out on Sat Feb 16 and Sun Feb 17.
TIFF’s Next Wave Film Festival Preview
The film schedule is highlighted by 3 special premium selections, some premieres, a work in progress and a marathon of films (more…)
Starting Feb 1, 2013 select Cineplex theaters across Canada will participate in the fourth annual ‘Great Digital Film Festival’. The festival runs from Feb 1 through Feb7 and is dedicated to bringing classic films back to the big screen, and often in digital format for the first time. This year the festival is also serving as the nationwide debut for last year’s Toronto After Dark Film Festival Favorite Cockneys vs Zombies.
All films are only $6 per screening with discount pricing for purchasing multiple tickets with extra Scene points for members of Cineplex’s Scene loyalty program. In the GTA the theaters participating will be the Scotiabank Theaters downtown (more…)
Starting Jan 19, as part of the city wide Toronto ‘Spotlight Japan’ celebration, theTIFF Bell Lightbox begins a 3 month celebration of Japanese cinema also entitled ‘Spotlight Japan’. The collection includes 3 series and some other individual titles that spotlight classic and contemporary Japanese cinema. Running through April 17, TIFF will show individuals screenings of classic Japanese cinema broken into three series:
Tokyo Drifters: 100 Years of Nikkatsu
Celebrating the history of the legendary (more…)
November 6-11 Toronto
November 16-17th Richmond Hill, Ontario
Toronto’s largest and oldest all Asian film festival, Reel Asian, will play out on screens across Toronto and Richmond Hill over the next week and a half. One of Toronto’s bigger and most recognizable festivals, the 16th edition of Reel Asian brings us over 60 films, feature length and short form, from over 13 countries. Without delving too extensively into the myriad of options available, we will simply highlight the five most intriguing reasons to attend based on what we have seen on the schedule.
I must start with the fact that I have been very torn about writing this article. With the news now out that the Toronto Underground Cinema will be closing its doors for good on Sunday Sept 16th, my prediction from when the Cumberland went away in May has unfortunately come true: another member of Toronto’s immensely populated Repertory Cinema scene has fallen, and this time it’s personal. The main reason as to why I have struggled with what to say is that the Underground is not merely a cool little place in the heart of the city with tons of history and an awesome vibe – it’s also populated and run by friends.
Opened in 1977 under the tent pole of the Golden Harvest film production company, the Golden Classics cinema as it was then known, highlighted the best in classic Golden Harvest Kung Fu films in a very crowded…
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Fan Expo 2012
So another Fan Expo is in the books and it’s time to do some reflecting. This year was my first time with a media pass for the fest and thus I attended two of the four days, Thursday night and Sunday afternoon. Thursday became my walkabout day as the main hall was pleasantly less crowded and easy to maneuver, while Sunday was a work day as I attended some panels and conducted some interviews. The interviews will be along very shortly but for now we’ll start by focusing on Day 1.
My first stop after attaining my pass was to go directly to visit my great friends at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival and find out what their first 10 films announced for the 2012 festival would be. The announcement should be live online at the link above by the time you read this, but at…
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Shinsedai Cinema Festival 2012
Shinsedai’s fourth year came with a change in venue from the Japan Canadian Cultural Center (JCCC for short) up in the north part of the city down to the heart of Toronto’s west end at the Revue Cinema (just off the Bloor/Danforth subway line at Dundas West station). The move provided record attendance for the fest and a flexibility to program films that previously had been unavailable for Chris Magee and Jasper Sharp, such as the Pink double-bill.
This year’s line-up proved to be strong in diversity, showcasing many different elements of independent Japanese cinema. Opening night gave us the engaging Ringing in their Ears, while the second night brought a couple of bizarre entries in Ghost Cat and the Mysterious Shamisen, and Zero Man vs The Half Virgin. On day three I caught most of the Yubari Fanta shorts with the fascinating Student…
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The first ever Toronto Korean Film Festival wrapped on July 1st after a nine-day run in its first year. The highlights of the festival were the films of course, closing with the latter two entries of the famed Vengeance Trilogy from Park Chan-wook, Oldboy and Symapthy for Lady Vengeance on 35mm film prints, highlighting some of the best that Korean Cinema has to offer. Of course there were ups and downs, as with any fest going through its first iterations, growing pains if you will, and the TKFF is no exception.
First off, while I was not present for the opening gala which I did hear run late, there seemed to be some disorganization with lineups and showtimes as for the first weekend not one film started at its designated start time. Now while this is not a rarity in film festival land, the fact that we…
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Shinsedai Film Festival July 12-15th 2012 (Toronto)
The Revue Cinema – 400 Roncesvalles Ave (Just south of Dundas West TTC station)
In Japanese the phrase Shinsedai stands for “new generation” and it is this declaration that festival creators/programmers Chris Magee and Jasper Sharp live by when setting this festival in motion. Dedicated to bringing the newest in independent Japanese films to Toronto film fans, Shinsedai’s 4th year of programming starts this Thursday bringing an eclectic mix of titles for fans to discover. Like my TKFF preview I will give you my 5 reasons for making sure not to miss this year’s fest.
5. Location, Location, Location
After toiling its wares out in Richmond Hill at the JCCC for the last 3 years, Shinsedai will finally make its debut in the west end of Toronto at the Revue Cinema. The Revue’s location, a mere minute…
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5 Reasons you need to check out the TKFF
This month brings the launch of a new film festival for us residents of “Festival City” aka Toronto. The Toronto Korean Film Festival runs from June 22nd until July 1st over 9 days and aims to introduce those not familiar to some of the best of Korean film. For its inaugural event the staff of TKFF have decided to feature a best of Korean Cinema lineup, rather than just new undiscovered cinema, as an introduction for the non-indoctrinated and to offer a rare chance to see these films on a theater screen to those who have seen them before at home. That said, I will now tell you the 5 reasons why I will be in attendance.
5 – Korean Culture. The festival organizers are just as motivated to introduce people to Korean culture…
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An Article i wrote a month ago that caused quite the reaction!
With the news a short time ago that Rogers has decided to pull out of the video rental marketplace Canada has found itself somewhere it has not been in decades, without a nation-wide video rental chain. This is a turn of events that most in the industry have seen coming for a while, but the question is whether it’s actually a step forward or a step backward for the industry. I must confess, being a former Blockbuster Canada employee, my opinion on this issue will be informed but also biased. That said, I am going to try to explore this issue from an open mind.
I can remember a 12 year-old version of myself excitedly making the long trek to the video store with money from my parents; finally able to pick out exactly what I wanted. The aisles of VHS tapes lining the store with covers that hinted at…
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Fright Nights at the Projection Booth
Viscera Short Film Festival, May 15th 2012
For Kelly Stewart’s May presentation of Fright Nights at the Projection Booth in Toronto he decided to do something different. Hooking up with Curio Media and Director/Producer Karen Lam, Kelly was able to bring the Viscera Film Festival to Canada for the first time ever! Viscera is a traveling festival of short genre based films directed by women that was created to inspire and forward the amount of women involved in genre filmmaking. To top it off, Kelly managed to pull together a three-woman panel of directors for a Q&A/panel discussion after the film as well. This panel included Lam herself, whose short Doll Parts was showing, Dara Jade Moats whose short Adventure Girls 3 was also showing, and Jovanka Vuckovic, a local filmmaker who is in the midst of directing her first feature. A…
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Little Terrors 9 – Altered Reality
May 12th 2012, Projection Booth, Toronto
For the ninth edition of Justin McConnell’s Little Terrors series, Justin had a much harder time getting the night of genre shorts to the screen. Justin had some issues with clearance and ratings from the Film Board that needed to be sorted out before they could continue along. Once all the issues had been settled and the announcements made I very happily made the familiar jaunt down to the Projection Booth for the programme, on a rare Saturday night this time out, but I was still able to meet up with and converse with all the regulars. Also, fellow blogger over at The Horror Section, Jay Clarke, was going to debut his short ‘Orange’ this evening as well. Supporting another blogger’s project was a another great reason to attend.
Justin managed to put together another…
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Rue Morgue Cinemacabre at the Toronto Underground Cinema
Starring Xavier Samuel, Robin Mcleavy, Victoria Thane, Richard Wilson, Jessica MacNamee and John Brumpton
Written and Directed by Sean Byrne
Yes, it’s that time of the month once again, as the guys from Rue Morgue take over the confines of the Toronto Underground Cinema. As usual, all the familiar faces are there to greet me as we all prepare for the cinematic treat that is The Loved Ones. Unlike last month’s Rue Morgue presentation, I had seen The Loved Ones years before at the Midnight Madness showing as part of TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival for those who aren’t familiar). I’ve been singing its praises for years and a chance to see it once again projected on 35MM was a chance I could not pass up. After catching up with the Underground guys and Rue…
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