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GiveLife.ca

    
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PRINT EDITION
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Globe Columnists
Sunday, September 24




  Johanna Schneller
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The Moviegoer



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Ben's status space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, September 22, 2017 – Page R1
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-- Some actors make so much eye contact during interviews, it's almost unnerving. And then there's Ben Stiller. In our 13 minutes together at the just-concluded Toronto International Film Festival - shaved from 15 minutes; everyone was shaving interviews this year - I think he looked directly at me three times.  FULL STORY arrow
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The best, worst and most awkward moments of TIFF 2017 space
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By KATE TAYLOR, BRAD WHEELER, JOHANNA SCHNELLER, JOHN SEMLEY, JULIA COOPER, NATHALIE ATKINSON, NOLAN BRYANT, ANNE T. DONAHUE,
Friday, September 15, 2017 – Page R5
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-- Although there are still plenty of TIFF screenings this weekend, most of the international press and high-wattage celebrities have left town and King Street is back to its usual tourist-trap self.  FULL STORY arrow
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Daniel Craig, the accidental hero of TIFF space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Wednesday, September 13, 2017 – Page L1
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-- Here's a TIFF story for you: I'm in a glass office on the seventh floor of a Toronto media company, waiting to interview Daniel Craig about his movie Kings, which premieres on Sept.  FULL STORY arrow
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Choose wisely space
At the Toronto International Film Festival, how do you ensure that the people have actually spoken?
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, September 8, 2017 – Page R1
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-- Everybody knows what winning the Grolsch People's Choice Award (GPCA) at the Toronto International Film Festival can do for a film - at best, Oscar glory; at worst, a hell of a lot of free publicity, plus $15,000 and a custom trophy. But when it comes to tabulating the votes, there's math, and then there's magic.  FULL STORY arrow
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SARAH POLLEY'S LIFELONG ALIAS space
The filmmaker has spent years trying to adapt Margaret Atwood's landmark novel, Alias Grace. Now, as Johanna Schneller reports, her once-impossible dream is set to steal the spotlight at TIFF
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Saturday, September 2, 2017 – Page R1
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-- Sarah Polley has spent more than half her life thinking about Alias Grace - from the age of 17, when she first read Margaret Atwood's award-winning novel, to now, at 38, as the sixhour miniseries she adapted from it is poised to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, followed by runs on CBC and Netflix.  FULL STORY arrow
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MINI-REVIEWS OF RECENT RELEASES, RATED FROM 0 TO 4 STARS space
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By BARRY HERTZ, KATE TAYLOR, JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Saturday, July 22, 2017 – Page R4
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-- War for the Planet of the Apes 4The supposed capper in Fox's new Apes trilogy is directed by Matt Reeves, who took over for Rupert Wyatt with 2014's Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and has brought a peculiar sensibility to the modern studio tent-pole.  FULL STORY arrow
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G MINI-REVIEWS OF RECENT RELEASES, RATED FROM 0 TO 4 STARS space
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By BARRY HERTZ, KATE TAYLOR, JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, July 14, 2017 – Page R5
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-- Baby Driver 3  FULL STORY arrow
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'I'd just as soon die on a movie set' space
Sam Elliott knows the Hollywood road is a long and tough one, but he's here to walk it all the same
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, June 23, 2017 – Page R3
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-- Everyone on the set of the new film The Hero knew the scene was a good one: Sam Elliott was playing Lee Hayden, a washed-up cowboy actor who somehow landed an audition for a plum role - a patriarch estranged from his daughter - in a big-budget scifi franchise. He really wants the part. He needs it.  FULL STORY arrow
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, June 23, 2017 – Page R3
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-- The Hero 21/2 I thought the romance would be the worst thing about this drama. Sam Elliott plays Lee, a worn out cowboy actor with an angry ex (Katharine Ross, Elliott's real wife), an estranged daughter (Krysten Ritter) and a cancer diagnosis. No one is more startled than he when he tumbles into an affair with Charlotte (Laura Prepon), a stand-up comedian. Now, Elliott is hale as hell for 72, but Prepon is 37. So I was pleasantly surprised that their palpable chemistry turns out to be the second-best thing in the film.  FULL STORY arrow
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ROOM TO BRO space
Rough Night is being marketed as the female-friendly equivalent of The Hangover, Very Bad Things and countless other raunchy dude yukfests. But if its filmmakers want to be truly funny, Johanna Schneller writes, they're going to have to stop looking to the good ol' boys for approval
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, June 16, 2017 – Page R1
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-- Rough Night Directed by Lucia Aniello Written by Lucia Aniello and Paul Downs Starring Scarlett Johansson, Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell, Ilana Glazer and Zoe Kravitz Classification 14A; 101 minutes 21/2  FULL STORY arrow
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Let slip, gently, the dogs of war space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, June 9, 2017 – Page R4
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-- The behind-the-scenes footage that bedevilled the film A Dog's Purpose upon its release this past January is brief but painful: An obviously distressed German shepherd, Hercules, does not want to jump into a water tank, which eight outboard motors are churning to resemble a rushing river. His trainer nudges; he resists. Then we see Hercules in the tank, swimming for the wall and getting submerged for a frightening four seconds.  FULL STORY arrow
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, June 9, 2017 – Page R4
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-- Megan Leavey 21/2The real Megan Leavey won a Purple Heart for nearly being blown to smithereens with Rex, her bomb-sniffing German shepherd, during their second tour in Iraq and fought to adopt him when he could no longer serve. The movie version works best when it shows us what putting the words ''woman'' and ''marine'' together really looks like.  FULL STORY arrow
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SINGULAR SENSATION space
As the clone-happy series Orphan Black wraps up, Johanna Schneller reports on how its success blew open the doors for well-written, genre-mashing Canadian co-productions - the dawn of a 'Maple Golden Age'
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, June 9, 2017 – Page L1
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-- On a Toronto soundstage in February, the hit sci-fi drama Orphan Black is humming, shooting the eighth episode of its fifth and final season. Cosima (one of many clones played by Emmy-winner Tatiana Maslany) and Delphine (Evelyne Brochu) are huddled around a computer in Cosima's underground laboratory, which includes a mini grow-op. ''For medicinal use only,'' whispers John Fawcett, an affable dude with floppy blond hair, who cocreated the show with Graeme Manson.  FULL STORY arrow
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REVIEWS OF RECENT RELEASES, RATED ON A SYSTEM OF 0 TO 4 STARS space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER, KATE TAYLOR, JULIA COOPER, BARRY HERTZ
Saturday, May 27, 2017 – Page R13
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-- Paris Can Wait 2File this one under: films I wish I liked. Anne (Diane Lane) needs to get from Cannes to Paris. She accepts a ride with a French business associate, Jacques (Arnaud Viard), and what should be a seven-hour dash turns into a days-long road trip through La Belle France, complete with vistas, vin and vats of fromage. I love that writer/director Eleanor Coppola (wife of Francis Ford) is making her feature film debut at 80. I applaud her for speaking to an underserved slice of filmgoers: women over 50. Anne spent her life nurturing others; now, confronted with a waning business, an empty nest and a distracted husband (Alec Baldwin), she has to think about what nurtures her.  FULL STORY arrow
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A Coppola gets mixed up in the family business space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, May 26, 2017 – Page R2
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FAME GAME -- Eleanor Coppola met Diane Lane when Lane was starring in The Outsiders, directed by Eleanor's husband, Francis Ford Coppola. Lane was just 17; the Coppolas' daughter, Sofia, played her little sister. Francis did his postproduction work at his family home in California's Napa Valley. Lane remembers Eleanor in the kitchen cooking away, her energy ''warm, patient and encouraging,'' Lane recalls in a phone interview.  FULL STORY arrow
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REVIEW space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, May 26, 2017 – Page R2
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-- Paris Can Wait 2File this one under: Films I wish I liked. Anne (Diane Lane) needs to get from Cannes to Paris. She accepts a ride with a French business associate, Jacques (Arnaud Viard), and what should be a seven-hour dash turns into a days-long road trip through La Belle France, complete with vistas, vin and vats of fromage. I love that writer/director Eleanor Coppola (yes, wife of Francis Ford) is making her feature-film debut at age 80 (she's made several documentaries, including Hearts of Darkness). I applaud her for speaking to an underserved slice of filmgoers, women over 50. Anne spent her life nurturing others; now, confronted with a waning business, an empty nest and a distracted husband (Alec Baldwin), she has to think about what nurtures her. The scenery is delicious, the food looks ravishing, Anne's wardrobe is spot-on.  FULL STORY arrow
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REVIEWS OF RECENT RELEASES, RATED ON A SYSTEM OF 0 TO 4 STARS space
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By BARRY HERTZ, JULIA COOPER, JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Saturday, May 20, 2017 – Page R8
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-- Alien: Covenant 2Ridley Scott's new film is intended to act as several things, none of them particularly admirable.It is a sequel to the underperforming and largely confusing Prometheus; it is a prequel to Scott's own 1979 classic, Alien; and, depending on how it does at the box office, it is the second plank of a new xenomorph-centric trilogy, or perhaps quadrilogy, in which humans boldly seek out new worlds and new ways to die. Mostly, it's a staid act of studio commerce - a familiar franchise that trades storytelling for intellectual property, originality for nostalgia.  FULL STORY arrow
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Rebuking the Debra Winger myth space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, May 19, 2017 – Page R1
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-- When Debra Winger was in her 30s and people called her ''outspoken'' or ''difficult'' - meaning, ''She has opinions'' and, ''She says them out loud'' - she didn't care. She was plucking plum roles and earning Oscar nominations (three, including for Terms of Endearment). When haters whispered, ''It must be her time of the month,'' if she took extra minutes in her trailer to prepare a scene, she shrugged it off.  FULL STORY arrow
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, May 19, 2017 – Page R4
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-- The Lovers 21/2Mary and Michael (Debra Winger and Tracy Letts) are tired of being married to each other. Each has a lover. Each is plotting divorce, although neither can quite pull the trigger.  FULL STORY arrow
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BUSTER'S MAL HEART space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, May 12, 2017 – Page R3
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A drama worthy of Harvey Weinstein space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, May 5, 2017 – Page R1
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-- It was classic Harvey Weinstein.The co-head of The Weinstein Company (TWC), and the last of the charismatic, bombastic film moguls, was a few weeks ago throwing down another challenge to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), which rates movies based on age-appropriateness. In the past, he'd objected to ratings he'd deemed restrictive - and won - for his films Bully (a doc about bullying), The King's Speech (for scattered F-bombs) and Philomena (detailing abuse in the Catholic church).  FULL STORY arrow
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NOW PLAYING space
REVIEWS OF RECENT RELEASES, RATED ON A SYSTEM OF 0 TO 4 STARS
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By ANDREW PARKER, ALEX BOZIKOVIC, BARRY HERTZ, JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Saturday, April 29, 2017 – Page R11
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-- Born in China 21/2The latest in the series of yearly Disney nature documentaries travels to the mountains of China to spend time with the likes of cranes, golden snub-nosed monkeys, chiru, snow leopards and, of course, pandas. Clocking in at barely 75 minutes (including credits that are worth sticking around for), Born in China doesn't reinvent or improve on the nature documentary form in any way. It's a dedicated delivering of educational basics geared toward a younger audience, wrapped in made-up stories about real animal families, replete with corny narration warmly delivered by John Krasinski. There's a little bit of peril and mayhem, but mostly of the variety that won't give kiddies nightmares. As always with these Disney docs, the cinematography is patient and resplendent, and for once there's even a bit of tragedy that's well-handled. (G)  FULL STORY arrow
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In a male-dominated industry, all eyes on the female gaze space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, April 28, 2017 – Page R1
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-- Is there such a thing as a female gaze in movies and television? That was the hot topic at last weekend's Toronto Screenwriting Conference. On Saturday, I sat down with five female writers who'd just discussed it in an hourlong panel: Tracey Deer (Mohawk Girls); Jennifer Holness (Shoot the Messenger); Robby Hoffman (Odd  FULL STORY arrow
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Christian Bale, the grand inquisitor space
The star of the new film The Promise says actors should have a level of commitment to a project in which they question everything
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, April 21, 2017 – Page R4
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-- Charlotte Le Bon, the Montrealborn actress, was nervous.She'd been cast in the new drama The Promise as Ana, an artist in 1915 Istanbul who falls in love with two dashing men: Mikael, an Armenian medical student played by Oscar Isaac; and Chris, an American journalist played by Christian Bale. Le Bon sent an e-mail to each, admitting she was eager to meet them, but intimidated.  FULL STORY arrow
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, April 21, 2017 – Page R4
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-- The Promise 21/2Sweeping historical romance epics. Who doesn't love them?  FULL STORY arrow
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Ted Kotcheff talks about his life in film space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Tuesday, April 18, 2017 – Page L5
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-- Ted Kotcheff, the most famous Toronto-born film and television director you may not have heard of, loves telling stories.Stories about a Montreal hustler (The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz). A Vietnam vet not welcome back in America (First Blood). Dudes on a tear with a corpse in tow (Weekend at Bernie's). Victims of violent crime (Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, which he executive-produced for 12 years). He also loves telling stories about making those stories, so it was a logical leap for him to write a memoir, Director's Cut: My Life in Film, and to come to Toronto late last month to chat about it.  FULL STORY arrow
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REVIEWS OF RECENT RELEASES, RATED ON A SYSTEM OF 0 TO 4 STARS space
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By BRAD WHEELER, JOHANNA SCHNELLER, ANDREW PARKER, KATE TAYLOR
Saturday, April 15, 2017 – Page R9
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-- Gifted 11/2  FULL STORY arrow
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No longer a Bond, Brosnan follows Hollywood's latest path space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, April 7, 2017 – Page R3
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-- Pierce Brosnan's agent was playing it cool. He knew the creative team behind the new AMC drama series The Son was up against a deadline. He knew they'd lost their star, Sam Neill, to unforeseen circumstances. So on his side of the conference table, he was radiating agent blase hardball: ''If Pierce chooses to do this ...'' Meanwhile, across the table, Brosnan was saying things like, ''I think this is the beard my character should have, I've already started growing it,'' and, ''My dialect coach and I are working on my south Texas accent,'' and, ''I want to get to set two weeks early and bone up on my shooting.''  FULL STORY arrow
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ALSO OPENING space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER, ANDREW PARKER, KATE TAYLOR, BRAD WHEELER, BARRY HERTZ
Friday, April 7, 2017 – Page R2
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-- Going in Style2In the original version of Going in Style, George Burns, Art Carney and Lee Strasberg robbed a bank because they were bored. By the end, two had died and one was in prison. And I remember more from it, which I saw when it came out in 1979, than I do from this remake, which I saw last month. Director Zach Braff (Garden State) and screenwriter Theodore Melfi (Hidden Figures) are determined to award their bandits - Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin - a happy ending. So they justify the robbery (the trio's pensions have evaporated) and give them a ridiculously easy path to success.  FULL STORY arrow
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GOING IN STYLE space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, April 7, 2017 – Page L2
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-- 2  FULL STORY arrow
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The many complex women of Jessica Chastain space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, March 31, 2017 – Page R4
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-- The last time I saw Jessica Chastain, she was in a deep squat at the edge of a Toronto stage. She had just finished a QandA about her political film, Miss Sloane, and was talking to a group of young women who gazed up at her in eager adoration. The impressive thing isn't only how long she talked to them (a while) - it's also that she did so while holding a full squat in a fitted, floor-length crimson sheath and six-inch heels. That's not easy. But Chastain doesn't need no stinkin' easy. She needs to work.  FULL STORY arrow
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Woody Harrelson's pursuit of happiness space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, March 24, 2017 – Page R3
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-- A lot of people are trying to get Woody Harrelson on the phone with me. There's one team in New York and another in Toronto. We're scheduled for Monday at 1:15 p.m. Then 1:45.  FULL STORY arrow
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, March 24, 2017 – Page R3
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-- Wilson2  FULL STORY arrow
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Anne of Albuquerque space
How Moira Walley-Beckett went from Breaking Bad's drug-infested New Mexico to rebooting Canada's most beloved orphan
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Saturday, March 18, 2017 – Page R1
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-- Moira Walley-Beckett wrote what's widely considered the best single hour of television ever, the 14th episode of Season 5 of Breaking Bad, titled ''Ozymandias,'' after the Shelley poem about ruined greatness. In it, Hank was killed, Walt betrayed Jesse and pretty much every major character collapsed to his or her knees. She won an Emmy for it, as did Anna Gunn and Bryan Cranston. Now WalleyBeckett has a new subject: Anne of Green Gables.  FULL STORY arrow
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The future of Canadian film is ... Canadian television space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, March 10, 2017 – Page R1
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-- Sarah Polley, the Oscar-nominated, Canadian writer/director/actress, spent 20 years thinking about how to adapt Margaret Atwood's sprawling novel Alias Grace for the screen.She spent her own money to buy the rights when they came available. Then, she spent nearly two years writing, often in snatched hours during her children's naps.  FULL STORY arrow
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'Watching a movie is a dangerous thing to do' space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, March 3, 2017 – Page R3
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-- Can going to a movie be an act of protest, a form of activism? The United State of Cinema hopes so: The group has rallied 90 art houses in 34 U.S. states - plus the Royal Cinema in Toronto, and the Rio and VIFF Vancity in Vancouver - to screen 1984 on April 4, to protest Donald Trump's anticipated cuts to arts funding. (April 4 is the day Winston Smith, played by the late John Hurt in Michael Radford's film, begins to rebel against Big Brother by keeping a diary.) Some proceeds will go to local organizations or to underwrite future community-related programming.  FULL STORY arrow
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A UNITED KINGDOM space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, February 24, 2017 – Page L2
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-- 3The storytelling is straightforward, even a bit square. But the story is fascinating - and true. In 1948 England, Seretse Khama (David Oyelowo), a prince of Bechuanaland (now Botswana), marries a white office worker, Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike). Her racist family rejects her. His relatives scorn her. But the main villain here is the British government, personified by Alistair Canning (Jack Davenport), England's representative in Southern Africa.  FULL STORY arrow
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David Oyelowo's case of political déjà vu space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, February 24, 2017 – Page R4
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-- As David Oyelowo and I spoke by phone recently, a protest against Donald Trump's immigration ban was raging outside his New York hotel. It seemed fitting, because his new film, A United Kingdom, centres on a family kept apart by governmental prejudice.  FULL STORY arrow
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, February 24, 2017 – Page R4
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-- A United Kingdom3  FULL STORY arrow
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#NoNetflix=#NoSenseofHumour space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, February 17, 2017 – Page R1
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-- Dear People of Colour, I'm sorry. I apologize. I'm mortified that over the past week, many of my fellow white people watched a 25-second teaser trailer for an upcoming Netflix series, and then called for a boycott of Netflix itself, just because the series is called Dear White People.  FULL STORY arrow
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Why we can't afford another #OscarsSoMale space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, February 10, 2017 – Page R1
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-- At a luncheon Monday at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, 163 of 2017's 172 Academy Award nominees gathered for the annual ''class photo,'' six rows of people arrayed in a semi-circle around an oversized gold Oscar. What is the main thing you see in the photo? Suits. Mostly grey or blue. Men's. Once again, the question arises: Where are the women?  FULL STORY arrow
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Hollywood and the myth of the unified liberal elite space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, February 3, 2017 – Page R3
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-- Should awards shows be pulpits from which celebrities espouse their political views?Winners and hosts at this past Saturday's Producers Guild of America Awards and Sunday's Screen Actors Guild Awards certainly thought so. Maybe they were taking their cues from Meryl Streep's rousing speech at the Golden Globes a few weeks earlier, when she urged people to donate to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). Maybe they would have done it anyway, after Donald Trump enacted his antiimmigration policy. But their celebrations became a cri de coeur from the liberal elite.  FULL STORY arrow
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No defence against Michael Fassbender's charm offensive space
The actor is naturally drawn to troubled characters who do inexplicable things, making him a natural fit in Trespass Against Us
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, January 27, 2017 – Page R4
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-- Someone nudges Michael Fassbender into my hotel interview suite. It's September; the Toronto International Film Festival is raging. Fassbender's being manhandled at 10-minute intervals to talk about his new drama, Trespass Against Us, a father-son drama set in the Irish Traveller community in rural England. (Brendan Gleeson plays his father.) It's only noon, and he's trying to be present. But he looks exhausted, pale in his black clothes, rubbing his eyes.  FULL STORY arrow
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MOTHER OF INVENTION space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Saturday, January 21, 2017 – Page R1
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-- Daughter of an iconic filmmaker and sister of a minted auteur, Catherine Reitman is ready to make her mark, one subversive breast-milk joke at a time, Johanna Schneller writes F or a terrible moment, Catherine Reitman thought her ambition had killed her unborn baby.  FULL STORY arrow
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20th Century Women director filters real life through the lens space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, January 13, 2017 – Page R1
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-- Writer/director Mike Mills didn't set out to fictionalize his mother in his new film 20th Century Women, which opens Friday. He tried to cram in as much of the real her, in all her contradictions and complications, as he could. She was a draftsperson who dreamed of being an aviator, a Humphrey Bogart-loving, Depression-era baby who ended up the single mother of a punky skateboarder in 1979 Santa Barbara, Calif. ''My friends' mothers looked like Farrah Fawcett,'' Mills says in a phone interview. ''Mine looked like Amelia Earhart.''  FULL STORY arrow
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After Fisher's death, the path for Star Wars travels close to the Dark Side space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Saturday, January 7, 2017 – Page R1
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-- The world now knows that Disney had a $50-million (U.S.) insurance policy from Lloyd's of London on Carrie Fisher, who died Dec. 27 in the midst of a three-film contract for the insanely lucrative Star Wars franchise. (Episode VII: The Force Awakens, which came out in 2015, raked in more than $2-billion worldwide, and Fisher's work on Episode VIII, to come out this December, was already completed.) According to Insurance Insider, which first reported the news, it is the largest single personal-accident insurance claim ever.  FULL STORY arrow
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Gosling's La La Land dream comes true space
'It's the best job in the world,' the Canadian says of his acting career - and coming home to Eva Mendes can't be too shabby either
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, December 23, 2016 – Page R4
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-- Ryan Gosling's Hollywood dream began with a Bedazzler. In one of his earliest memories, he comes home to find his uncle in his living room stamping jewels onto a white jumpsuit. Cut to 30 years later, and Gosling is a king of Hollywood, palling around with Clooneys, living with a screen goddess (Eva Mendes, his co-star from The Place Beyond the Pines), and plucking from teetering piles any script he fancies.  FULL STORY arrow
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And ... scene space
The 10 best moments from spending a year in the dark
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, December 16, 2016 – Page R5
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-- Sure, I remember whole movies. But when I think back over a year's worth, certain scenes - moments - stand out more than entire films. Here are 10 from 2016 that I now carry with me.  FULL STORY arrow
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All quirk and no play, that's the Cancon way space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, December 9, 2016 – Page R5
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-- Sadie's Last Days on Earth Written and directed by Michael Seater Starring Morgan Taylor Campbell, Helene Joy and Munro Chambers Classification PG; 90 minutes2Let me be clear: This one little movie is not to blame for everything that irks me about it. It's well-intentioned. It has some nice moments. Its backstory is encouraging: Its writer/director, Michael Seater, is a homegrown graduate of Canadian TV; he played the title character on Life with Derek (2005-09).  FULL STORY arrow
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What women want, and what Hollywood thinks they deserve space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, December 2, 2016 – Page R1
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-- The minute I saw Jessica Chastain apply her red lipstick - danger-red, the red of police sirens in the rain or fresh, wet blood - my heart sank. I knew she was girding for battle, and I know what that means: yet another woman who will pay a price for her ambition.  FULL STORY arrow
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Warren Beatty's rules of engagement space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Saturday, November 26, 2016 – Page R1
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-- Dear Warren Beatty, Please explain something. When you were in Toronto last month to promote your new film Rules Don't Apply - the first one you've directed in 18 years, which you also wrote and star in - we had an off-therecord conversation about politics and you were completely charming: relaxed, funny, engaged, genuinely curious.  FULL STORY arrow
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RULES DON'T APPLY space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Wednesday, November 23, 2016 – Page L2
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-- 2 If you call your movie this, you're kinda asking for it. Some rules should apply.  FULL STORY arrow
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Ethiopian-Irish actress Ruth Negga's quiet, unforgettable performance is set to seize the spotlight space
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Friday, November 11, 2016 – Page R1
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-- At age four, newly arrived in Limerick, Ireland, from Addis Ababa, Ruth Negga watched Kate Bush do her remixed version of Wuthering Heights on Top of the Pops and thought: ''That just looks like a fabulous job.'' Not the singing bit, but the emoting.  FULL STORY arrow
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The alluring mystery of Rachel McAdams space
The Doctor Strange co-star will answer any question you may have - except ones about herself
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, November 4, 2016 – Page R4
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-- Rachel McAdams knows how to hide in plain sight. More on that in a minute.She knew she wanted to be an actor from the day, age 12, that she stepped on stage at a children's theatre camp in her hometown, St. Thomas, Ont., playing a fairy in A Midsummer Night's Dream. All her senses were firing.  FULL STORY arrow
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By JOHN SEMLEY, JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, November 4, 2016 – Page R5
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-- Michael Moore in TrumpLand1Against the current political climate of late night yuk-pundits ''annihilating'' American conservative ideology for simpering audiences who already agree with them, there's a certain daring in Michael Moore's decision to preach to the unconverted.  FULL STORY arrow
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'I wanted the film to feel like Roth's writing' space
Ewan McGregor and his American Pastoral cast try to untangle Hollywood's book-to-screen 'Roth Problem'
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, October 21, 2016 – Page R2
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-- Call it the Roth Problem: Brainy writers and directors fall in love with Philip Roth's novels - their boxes-within-boxes structure, their dense thickets of ideas, their soaring wordiness.  FULL STORY arrow
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Real-life horror, live at six o'clock space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, October 14, 2016 – Page R1
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-- Before Rebecca Hall even opened her script for the new drama Christine, its synopsis freaked her out. It's the true story of Christine Chubbuck, a Sarasota, Fla., newscaster who, to protest the ''if it bleeds, it leads'' mentality that was taking over news coverage, went live on the air on July 15, 1974, and shot herself in the head.  FULL STORY arrow
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, October 14, 2016 – Page R5
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-- Christine3What could possibly have been going on in the mind of Christine Chubbuck, a 29-year-old newscaster at a television station in Sarasota, Fla., in July of 1974, when, to protest the sensationalizing of the news, she took a gun to her anchor desk and shot herself on air? (Many posit that she was Paddy Chayefsky's inspiration for the 1976 film Network.) How does her story resonate in today's even more overheated media climate? Those are the questions posed by Christine, written by Craig Shilowich and directed by Antonio Campos.  FULL STORY arrow
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Nothing but the truth space
The filmmaking team behind Denial dissect the dangers of pushing revisionary history, both past and present
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, October 7, 2016 – Page R3
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-- A middle-aged white man tells lies: a huge lie, surrounded by many supporting lies. He writes books containing these lies. He goes on television and, like a robot, repeats-repeatsrepeats his lies. He amasses rabid followers, who disseminate his lies. When they are confronted with facts that prove they're lying, they ''choose not to believe'' them. In ''their opinion,'' the facts aren't facts. If they repeat an opinion often enough, they are convinced it becomes fact.  FULL STORY arrow
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Rami Malek, the man in the machine space
Star of Mr. Robot and new film Buster's Mal Heart lets his guard down and opens up about the meaning of life
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, September 30, 2016 – Page R4
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-- By the middle of the Toronto International Film Festival, the last thing you expect is an unguarded interview. You've encountered too much professional blandness; you've heard too many answers with their edges polished off. And then you meet Rami Malek.  FULL STORY arrow
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Long may she reign space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, September 23, 2016 – Page R3
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-- Queen of Katwe Directed by Mira Nair Written by William Wheeler Starring Madina Nalwanga, David Oyelowo and Lupita Nyong'o Classification PG; 124 minutes 31/2Consider the chess movie. As a film subject, chess is clearly not as popular as boxing (Box Office Mojo lists 50 boxing films), baseball (there are 47 of those), football (44) or even golf (10). The chess movie is the nerd of sports films.  FULL STORY arrow
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Africa's untold story space
Queen of Katwe is a transcendent, joyful story, and looks to be Disney's best chance for a live-action Oscar
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Saturday, September 10, 2016 – Page R3
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-- When the actor David Oyelowo (Selma) read the script for his latest film, Queen of Katwe, which will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on Saturday night, he wasn't nervous that it was being made by Disney - ''I was shocked,'' he said in a phone interview prior to his arrival in Toronto.  FULL STORY arrow
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Tales from Stephen Woolley, the festival veteran space
British director sticks with projects he believes in - even if they take more than a dozen years
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, September 9, 2016 – Page R4
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-- If the Toronto International Film Festival is about marinating in films, then no one is more thoroughly steeped than the British producer Stephen Woolley.He came to TIFF with the first film he produced, The Company of Wolves, in 1984. In 1992, he brought The Crying Game. This weekend, his 26th and 27th TIFF films will have their world premieres: The Limehouse Golem, a Victorian penny dreadful with a modern twist, on Saturday night; and Their Finest, a comedic drama about London filmmakers who make a morale booster during the Blitz, on Sunday afternoon.  FULL STORY arrow
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THE NIGHT BELONGS TO RIZ AHMED space
After HBO's The Night Of, the actor prepares to take over TIFF with two hotly anticipated films. Johanna Schneller reports on how the son of a working-class British-Pakistani family navigates a world he once thought was off-limits
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Thursday, September 8, 2016 – Page L1
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-- At this moment, it's our most important story - the international diaspora, the massive ripple effects of humanity on the move - and Riz Ahmed is at the centre of it.  FULL STORY arrow
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Gone baby gone space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, September 2, 2016 – Page R2
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-- The Light Between Oceans Directed by Derek Cianfrance Written by Derek Cianfrance (based on the novel by M. L. Stedman) Starring Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander and Rachel Weisz Classification PG; 142 minutes 21/2  FULL STORY arrow
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MISS SHARON JONES space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, August 19, 2016 – Page R2
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-- 2  FULL STORY arrow
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ALSO OPENING space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER, BRAD WHEELER, ELLEN BRAIT
Friday, August 19, 2016 – Page R3
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-- Mini reviews of recent releases, rated on a system of 0 to 4 stars.Edge of Winter 11/2  FULL STORY arrow
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How do you get to Carnegie Hall? space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, August 12, 2016 – Page R2
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-- Florence Foster Jenkins Directed by Stephen Frears Written by Nicholas Martin Starring Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant and Simon Helberg Classification PG; 110 minutes 3There are three set pieces in Florence Foster Jenkins, a comic love story set in 1944 New York. In the first, heiress and music patroness Florence (Meryl Streep) takes her initial singing lesson with her new pianist, Cosme McMoon (Simon Helberg).  FULL STORY arrow
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ALSO OPENING space
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By BRAD WHEELER, JOHANNA SCHNELLER, KATE TAYLOR
Friday, August 12, 2016 – Page R3
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-- Mini reviews of new releases, rated on a system of 0 to 4 stars.Gleason 3There's a scene in Gleason, the moving documentary about a former NFL player who is stricken with ALS, in which Steve Gleason struggles to complete a short swimming race. Seeing her once robust husband diminished physically - and this is just the beginning; he will get much, much worse - his wife cries, although she tries not to have him notice. It's a heartbreaker, one of many in a tearjerker about an ex-athlete's will to live as fully as possible while suffering from a devastating neuromuscular disease, and his efforts to help fellow sufferers do the same. We meet Gleason, a folk hero to fans of the New Orleans Saints, as he films a video journal to his unborn son.  FULL STORY arrow
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Inside the drama of love and money space
Ira Sachs's latest film examines class, love and money through the eyes of youth
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, August 5, 2016 – Page R2
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-- Inside the writer-director Ira Sachs's head, movies are always playing. In a recent 20minute interview in a Toronto pub, he referenced - vividly - Saturday Night Fever, West Side Story and The World of Henry Orient, along with two films by Yasujiro Ozu, Good Morning and I Was Born, But... - all inspirations for his new film, Little Men, which opens in select cities on Friday.  FULL STORY arrow
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Friday, August 5, 2016 – Page R2
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-- Little Men 31/2An Ira Sachs film is all about tone and character details. He gathers twigs here, feathers there, adds some shiny detail.The result isn't a towering skyscraper - it's a bird's nest, a perfect little miracle of nature.  FULL STORY arrow
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NOW PLAYING space
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By JULIA COOPER, JOHANNA SCHNELLER, BARRY HERTZ, KATE TAYLOR, BRAD WHEELER
Friday, August 5, 2016 – Page R5
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-- Mini-reviews of recent releases, rated on a system of 0 to 4 stars.Bad Moms 3I wish I could say I was a few years off from finding the premise of two groups of moms battling over the title of next PTA president funny. But it turns out that I want all the kale jokes, the Zumba one-liners, the ''mom bra'' bangers. Like Bad Mom's star Mila Kunis, it seems I have aged into a new demographic. As a harried would-be supermom here, Kunis is sweet without dripping in sweetness and her character's nemesis - the uptight and scheming president of the PTA, played by Christina Applegate - creates good tension without letting the film fall into the overplayed story of female cattiness. The film is not without its flaws, but then again, that's its very own message: Nobody is perfect. (14A)  FULL STORY arrow
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By JULIA COOPER, JOHANNA SCHNELLER, BARRY HERTZ, BRAD WHEELER
Saturday, July 30, 2016 – Page R11
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-- Mini-reviews of recent releases, rated on a system of 0 to 4 stars.Bad Moms 3I wish I could say I was a few years off from finding the premise of two groups of moms battling over the title of next PTA president funny. But it turns out that I want all the kale jokes, the Zumba one-liners, the ''mom bra'' bangers. Like Bad Mom's star Mila Kunis, it seems I have aged into a new demographic.  FULL STORY arrow
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NOW PLAYING space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER, BARRY HERTZ, BRAD WHEELER, ELLEN BRAIT
Saturday, July 23, 2016 – Page R10
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-- Mini-reviews of recent releases, rated on a system of 0 to 4 stars.Captain Fantastic 21/2  FULL STORY arrow
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The mortifying wit of Eric Rohmer space
A new TIFF series reveals how the French director became the go-to influence for modern filmmakers
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, July 22, 2016 – Page R4
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-- I have a confession: I don't always love French New Wave films. They're often too cool for me, too: ''I have, at long last, fallen in love with you. Obviously, I can never see you again.''  FULL STORY arrow
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NOW PLAYING space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER, BARRY HERTZ, ELLEN BRAIT, KATE TAYLOR
Saturday, July 16, 2016 – Page R11
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-- Mini-reviews of recent releases, rated on a system of 0 to 4 stars.Captain Fantastic 21/2In a short review, there's a temptation to be snappy - ''Captain Fantastic isn't!'' But this movie deserves more thoughtful consideration. Ben (Viggo Mortensen) and his absent wife (we soon learn why) are conducting a radical experiment, raising their six children off the grid in the Pacific Northwest forest. For a while, it feels like utopia: The kids, brilliant thinkers with mad survival skills, seem to be thriving in mind, body and spirit.  FULL STORY arrow
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Viggo Mortensen's history of elusiveness space
Just like his Captain Fantastic paterfamilias, the actor has been known to check out of modern life
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, July 15, 2016 – Page R2
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-- The actor Viggo Mortensen doesn't live off the grid like Ben, his title character in the new drama Captain Fantastic. Instead, he's made a grid of his own, a concatenation of, among other things, David Cronenberg and Spanish-language films; painting, poetry and music; fatherhood (to Henry, now 28); and Argentine soccer fandom. He's the kind of guy who bought the two horses he rode during the three-film Lord of the Rings shoot (he played Aragorn, the one hunk to lead them all), and the kind of success to have a place to run them (he owns houses in Los Angeles and northern Idaho). He also invested a chunk of his LOTR dough in one of the more romantic follies of the 21st century: a boutique book publishing company, Perceval Press. Naturally, he prefers the more arcane spelling of the Round Table knight's name.  FULL STORY arrow
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, July 15, 2016 – Page R2
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-- Captain Fantastic21/2  FULL STORY arrow
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NOW PLAYING space
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By BRAD WHEELER, JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, July 8, 2016 – Page R5
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-- The Debt 2  FULL STORY arrow
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Aubrey and Anna need better agents space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, July 8, 2016 – Page R2
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-- Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Directed by Jake Szymanski Written by Andrew Jay Cohen and Brendan O'Brien Starring Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza and two guys of little importance Classification 14A; 98 minutes 1  FULL STORY arrow
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The men who knew too much space
TIFF's new series, Hitchcock/Truffaut, focuses on two masters of cinema working at the height of their powers
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, July 1, 2016 – Page R4
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-- Directing is like sex, the old saying goes - you never get to see how the other guy does it. But in 1962, Francois Truffaut spent a week in a room at Universal Studios interviewing Alfred Hitchcock.  FULL STORY arrow
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'Not everyone knows this feeling of being loved' space
Hollywood legend Leslie Caron reflects on a career of highs and missteps in new documentary, The Reluctant Star
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, June 24, 2016 – Page R4
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-- Leslie Caron is as old Hollywood as you can get. She danced with Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Rudolf Nureyev. She made films with Cary Grant, Henry Fonda, Jerry Lewis and Orson Welles. She starred in classic MGM musicals including Gigi and Daddy Long Legs, and was nominated for two Academy Awards. She had an affair with Warren Beatty. She wrote an autobiography, Thank Heaven, which came out in 2009.  FULL STORY arrow
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, June 24, 2016 – Page R4
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-- Leslie Caron: The Reluctant Star 3  FULL STORY arrow
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NO STRANGER THAN LOVE space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, June 17, 2016 – Page R2
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How to save your documentary space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, June 17, 2016 – Page R5
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-- The Witness Directed by James D. Solomon Classification PG; 99 minutes 3Tempest Storm Directed by Nimisha Mukerji Classification PG; 82 minutes 2Every documentary filmmaker has nightmares about these two scenarios: In the first, you can't uncover the story you set out to uncover; in the second, you get all the access you need, but your subject has no insight into herself. In both nightmares, you've invested time and money and you've probed all you can.  FULL STORY arrow
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Rebecca Miller's war on the romcom space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, June 10, 2016 – Page R3
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-- Waiting for financing can be a good thing. Because it took a year to pull together the funds to shoot her new comedy, Maggie's Plan, the writer-director Rebecca Miller was challenged by her cast to sharpen and deepen their characters: Greta Gerwig as Maggie, who's planning to get pregnant on her own, but falls in love with John (Ethan Hawke), who's married to Georgette (Julianne Moore).  FULL STORY arrow
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, June 10, 2016 – Page R3
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-- Maggie's Plan 31/2Writer-director Rebecca Miller, expanding on the source novel by Karen Rinaldi, has delivered something as rare as a unicorn: a sophisticated, beautifully written romantic comedy for adults. Shakespeare would have loved the conceit: Maggie (Greta Gerwig), a university administrator in New York, falls in love with John (Ethan Hawke), a married writer - until she realizes she's made a mistake, and contrives to give him back to his ex-wife Georgette (Julianne Moore), a chilly academic. It works, because the dialogue is so bright and the performances so grounded. Moore, rocking a Danish accent and a wardrobe of leather, flies closest to the sun.  FULL STORY arrow
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By JULIA COOPER, JOHANNA SCHNELLER, ANNE T. DONAHUE, BRAD WHEELER, BARRY HERTZ
Friday, June 10, 2016 – Page R5
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-- Mini-reviews of recent releases, rated on a system of 0 to 4 stars.Me Before You 1  FULL STORY arrow
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THE GREAT OUTDOORS space
Ellen Page's intimate apocalypse
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, June 3, 2016 – Page R1
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-- You're at home, in a wellequipped but isolated house on a forest road in the Pacific Northwest. The power goes out.And stays out. Your generator works for a while - until the gasoline goes. Your transistor radio spouts rumours: It's terrorism.  FULL STORY arrow
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OPENING TODAY space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, May 27, 2016 – Page R3
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-- The Boy and the Beast 21/2 ''Do you know why beasts and humans live in separate worlds?'' wise Iozen, a warthog-man, asks in this anime fantasy from award-winning Japanese writerdirector Mamoru Hosoda.  FULL STORY arrow
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Canada and the world vs. Hollywood space
Why did a Canadian producer help finance the new Norwegian thriller Hevn? The answer might reveal the future of Cancon
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, May 27, 2016 – Page R5
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-- A screen at the beginning of Hevn (Revenge) reads, ''Med Stotte fra Norsk Filminstitutt, Vestnorsk Filmsenter, and Ontario Media Development Corporation.'' So what is an Ontario funding agency doing in this Norwegian psychological thriller, shot on this breathtaking fjord, peopled with all these stunning Scandinavians?  FULL STORY arrow
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By BARRY HERTZ, MARSHA LEDERMAN, JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, May 27, 2016 – Page R5
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-- Mini-reviews of recent releases, rated on a system of 0 to 4 stars.Captain America: Civil War 31/2It might be unfair to compare this, Marvel Studio's 13th superhero film, to something such as Batman v Superman, Warner's second, but in nearly every way Civil War represents the dizzying heights of the genre. Where Zack Snyder's clash of the titans was dark, malicious and crassly designed to wring maximum profit by promising more than it could deliver, Joe and Anthony Russo's Civil War is a shiny, immensely attractive work of pop art that acknowledges the obligations of the genre without wallowing in cynicism or cashgrab stunts. (PG)  FULL STORY arrow
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Higher education space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, May 20, 2016 – Page R3
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-- Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising Directed by Nicholas Stoller Written by Andrew J. Cohen, Brendan O'Brien, Nicholas Stoller, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg Starring Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne and Zac Efron Classification 14A; 92 minutes 3  FULL STORY arrow
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A gentle toast to the days ahead space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, May 20, 2016 – Page R2
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-- À la vie Directed by Jean-Jacques Zilbermann Written by Jean-Jacques Zilbermann and Daniele D'Antoni Starring Julie Depardieu and Suzanne Clement Classification 14A; 104 minutes 3It takes about half an hour for the French drama À la vie to warm up. First, we meet three young women - Helene (Julie Depardieu, daughter of French icon Gerard), Lili (Johanna ter Steege) and Rose (Quebec star Suzanne Clement) - barely alive at Auschwitz at the end of the Second World War. Then we follow Helene home to Paris, and watch her try to settle back into normal life. But stick with it, because once the sun hits the three as they reunite in 1962 on the beach in Berck-sur-Mer, France, they begin to open up and let each other - and us - in.  FULL STORY arrow
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THE PRIVATE LIVES OF JODIE FOSTER space
After a brief disappearance, the Oscar-winning actress returns to the director's chair with Money Monster. Johanna Schneller reports on what happens when a spotlight-averse star finds herself back in the conversation
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, May 13, 2016 – Page R1
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-- Jodie Foster still takes it all personally. Her work, that is. She has to.''I don't know how to do my job unless I'm moved,'' the actress and director says in a phone interview. ''I'm never going to be that director who says, ''Scuba diving! That sounds like something I'd like to make a movie about!' I'm always going to have to download my personal fears and questions into my work.''  FULL STORY arrow
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How to succeed in screenwriting by trying so, so hard space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, May 6, 2016 – Page R5
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-- You are at the Toronto Screenwriting Conference on a Saturday afternoon, in a vast, windowless meeting room, trying not to freak. You and 300 others are in a session called Writing a TV Pilot That Sells, listening to the (alarming) stats of a polished, positive woman named Jen Grisanti. A former creative executive for Aaron Spelling and CBS, she has become a successful author and screenwriting coach, charging a minimum of $725 (U.S.) to read a pilot and deliver notes to a steady stream of clients. She encourages the audience to shout out ideas; to each one, she responds, ''I love it!''  FULL STORY arrow
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Peak Stream, and the illusion of choice space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, April 29, 2016 – Page R5
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-- jschneller@globeandmail.comIt has been a big week for streaming services. On Thursday, Otter Media (a joint venture between ATandT and Hollywood executive Peter Chernin) launched Fullscreen, an ad-free, subscription video-on-demand service directed at teens and young adults (available here on Yahoo Finance Canada).  FULL STORY arrow
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Young, scrappy and hungry space
Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, the young rookie actor behind the musical drama Sing Street, is not throwing away his shot
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, April 22, 2016 – Page R4
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-- It's an irresistible story: Writer/ director John Carney (Once) decides to hold open auditions for his new film, Sing Street. In cities across Ireland, lines of hopefuls snake around the block. A discovery is made. A star is minted. Next thing he knows, he's at the premiere, sitting next to Sting.  FULL STORY arrow
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What they really want to do is direct ... TV space
In a bid to escape the increasingly crowded and complex movie market, filmmakers are setting their sights on the small screen
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, April 15, 2016 – Page R3
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-- jschneller@globeandmail.comWhen director Steven Soderbergh defected to television in 2013, it felt like big news. The film business was no longer set up to make the kind of original, adult fare that interested him, he said that April in a speech at the San Francisco International Film Festival.  FULL STORY arrow
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NO ONE'S POSTER BOY space
On the surface, Sleeping Giant director Andrew Cividino is a shining example of how the CanCon industry rewards young filmmakers. But as Johanna Schneller reports, the system only works if you work the system
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Friday, April 8, 2016 – Page R1
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-- Is the writer-director Andrew Cividino a cheerleader for the Canadian way of doing things: Be patient, work the funding steps, and rewards will come? Not exactly.  FULL STORY arrow
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