Archive for August, 2006

And how they suffer!

Tuesday, August 1st, 2006

(Canscene) – It was with a shock that, as I gazed at one of the thousands of television and newspaper images from Lebanon and Israel of homes reduced to rubble the thought “I have been here before” hit me like a brick.

More than 60 years ago working my way northward through Italy I saw the same ruins stark and jagged against an azure Mediterranean backdrop, the same frightened children, the same dazed adults. But above all, it was the sight of the children that that got to me. (more…)

Award winning Canadan doc. premieres on TVO

Tuesday, August 1st, 2006

(Canscene) — Mark your calendars! Move Your World is having its world television broadcast premiere on TVOntario on August 13, 2006 at 7:00 p.m. EST! The showing coincides with the opening of the AIDS conference in Toronto.

This award-winning documentary was voted the audience favourite at the 2006 Sprockets International Film Festival for Children, garnering the coveted Audience Choice Award for Features.

The film directed by Lalita Krishna of In Sync Productions, travels with three young Canadians to Tanzania where they observe at first hand efforts to cope with the AIDS epidemic. (See article They’re Moving our World archived in Canscene, March 06 issue)

Travellers to Tanzania

Three travellers to Tanzania seen with new friends

If, after seeing this documentary, you agree that this kind of programming is important, then we need your help. (more…)

Canadian programming at TIFF promises great variety

Tuesday, August 1st, 2006

(Canscene) — In September, watch for an eagerly awaited second production from the team that brought us Atanarjuat — the Fast Runner, an opportunity to see the first feature directed by multitalented actress Sarah Polley, a new documentary from Alan King marking his 50th year as a film maker. and another offbeat original from the ever-surprising Guy Maddin.

These are among the Canadian productions awaiting audiences at the 31st Toronto International Film Festival. A total of 81 of them scheduled to date were announced at a media conference on July 18 with more Canadian films and films from other sources to be announced at later dates.

As previously announced, expectations for the Kunuk-Cohn The Journals of Knud Rasmussen are high considering the standard these two collaborators set with Atanarjuat — the Fast Runner. The production which will be shown at TIFF’s opening night gala has also been snapped up for showing at Toronto’s imagiNATIVE Aboriginal festival of the arts in October.

Sarah Polley, now an international star, has come a long way from her early successes as a Canadian child performer, and her appearances in features filmed in both Canada and the USA and directing of number of short films is now complimented with her first feature as a director. Away From Her starring Gordon Pinsent and Julie Christie is described as a moving study of separation between two elderly married people as the wife subsides into total memory loss.

Sarah Polley
Sarah Polley breaks new ground with her first full-length feature


Terror in the name of God: pot calls kettle black

Tuesday, August 1st, 2006

(Canscene) — Long being out of the religion loop by preference, but insisting on the right of anyone to worship in their chosen faith, I realize I must tread warily in what I’m about to say, but say it I must. (more…)

When ideas collide: fight or run?

Tuesday, August 1st, 2006

Canscene) — Superscientist Stephen Hawking’s warning that eventually, humanity may be saved only by colonizing outer space reminded me of a popular sci-fi novel of the 30s, When Worlds Collide, the filmed version of which was released in 1951. (more…)

Is an aggressive military mindset good for Canada?

Tuesday, August 1st, 2006

(Canscene) — Although Canadian forces had been committed to the anti-Taliban offensive in Afghanistan before Stephen Harper’s government took office, the increasing Tory commitment to military spending has its highly disturbing elements.

Item: A former defence industry lobbyist becomes defence minister, responsible for Canada gaining membership in the military-industrial complex club that already dominates the USA. (more…)

Writers: express your concern for Darfur

Tuesday, August 1st, 2006

(Canscene) — While the Middle East erupts in violence the continuing tragedy in Darfur unfolds relentlessly. The following appeal came to us via our friends at Pen Canada:

Dear editors, writers and artists,

The survivors and victims of Darfur genocide need your help. About half- million are already dead, and millions displaced and homeless. When a catastrophe of this proportion takes place, creative people like you always come forward, raise voices and create literary and artistic backlash against the brutality. How feeble they may be, their voices ultimately document human suffering and struggle in literature, music, and painting and in every other form of art. (more…)

Disturbing signs

Tuesday, August 1st, 2006

(Canscene ) — Police forces and politicians shooting off their mouths immediately after the arrest of 17 men and youths on charges of planning acts of terrorism touched off a volley of media coverage. Not all of it was routine reporting: some media acted with all the grace of sleazy supermarket tabloids, blaming the “homegrown” terrorism on everything from Canada’s immigration policy to the Multiculturalism Act. (more…)

Military discipline can brutalize

Tuesday, August 1st, 2006

(Canscene) — In recent history men under arms have been known to display extraordinary acts of courage and regard for humanity. Others, who soldier on without distinction seem content meekly to obey orders. And yet others have been known to commit acts of brutality both toward strangers and their comrades at arms.

I can testify from experience to the tendency of military discipline to dehumanize service personnel. The task of creating an effective fighting force demands obedience on the part of those under command, but the methods employed frequently lack psychological insight. (more…)

Musical explores new territory

Tuesday, August 1st, 2006

The four players and their problem
(Canscene) — After The Vagina Monologues and that show about the male appendage, one might expect Menopause Out Loud, which hit Toronto recently, also to approach the edge where taste is concerned.

Instead we get a fast-paced musical romp, expertly performed and directed that has the audience laughing along with it, and occasionally joining in the songs. At the finale, they’re up on stage.

The musical is at the Capitol Event Theatre for an indefinite run and though largely ignored by major critics is likely to enjoy success via word-of-mouth. (more…)