It Takes a Thief. Movies Reviewed: Mona Lisa is Missing, The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne, The Rover

A grizzled, angry man (Guy Pearce) sits in his dusty car by the side of the road. It's the Australian outback – mining country: vast deserts punctuated by ramshackle aluminum huts. (Not a kangaroo in sight, just menacing birds of prey.) He goes into a roadside shop to wash up. At the same time, a jeep is powering down the highway, with three men inside having it out. They’re fighting. One of them, Henry, wants to turn back to save his brother. They left him dying on the road after a shootout. The others say no. And in the scuffle, the jeep plows through a pile of roadside junk. It's stuck. So they steal a nearby car – the one left by grizzled, angry man – and off they go. Out comes the first guy -- he wants his car back. He climbs into the stalled jeep and gets it moving again. And so begins a violent, 90-minute road movie/chase scene/shoot out. On the way, he passes your typical outback attractions: gambling dens, gun runners, an all-male brothel, a crucified man… Wait. What?! ...read more.


Intensity. Films reviewed: River of Fundament, Why Don't You Play in Hell?, All Cheerleaders Die

In a house, floating down the Hudson river is a wake for the late author Norman Mailer, attended by various literati. Also attending are a series of people – seemingly invisible to the crowd – dripping with human feces. They are the reincarnation of various ancient Egyptian gods who come back to life after swimming across the river of excrement. Simultaneously, a marching band in LA is sanctifying a holy Chrysler car dealership. And in Detroit, a golden Trans-Am (with a phoenix tattooed across its hood) is destroyed with a man inside, dressed in a golden straitjacket. And a CSI-team riding motorboats examines the wreckage. And an army of spectators descends into an empty reservoir for the showdown between two Egyptian deities, as two women caress their pregnant bellies. Death, destruction, reincarnation and rebirth; gold leaf and brown feces; opulent banquets crawling with worms and maggots, all existing together as the rivers flow slowly downstream...read more.


Daniel Garber talks with Ingrid Veninger about her new film The Animal Project

A new movie asks: what happens to an actor if her face and body are completely hidden in an animal costume? Does it cover up her skills? Or does it allow hidden emotions to surface? It’s a comedy/drama called The Animal Project and it opens today in Toronto. It’s directed by Toronto filmmaker Ingrid Veninger, known for her experimental but totally accessible films made on shoestring budgets. These are movies that straddle the line between fiction and documentary. I spoke with Ingrid at the Spoke Club about The Animal Project, actors, dreams, the importance of costumes, trading lines, colour-blind casting, meta-stories, amateurs vs professionals, spontaneity, impromptu scenes… and what she would do with an unlimited budget...read more.


Likes. Movies reviewed: Chef, Being Ginger PLUS Luminato

Scott is an American college student in Edinburgh who wants to meet a pretty girl. The problem is, he can’t seem to find a girl to date. Why? He thinks it’s because he’s a ginger, a guy with red hair. And women -- especially in the UK -- don’t like gingers. But if he interviews strangers with a camera, he thinks he has a chance to meet one. As long as she's blonde or brunette. “Gingers don’t date gingers”, he says...read more.


Daniel Garber talks with Eric San (Kid Koala) about Nufonia Must Fall premiering at Luminato in June

When you’re shaped like a tin can with headphones I see possible troubles. And if you’re in love with a girl who doesn’t have time for silly love songs what’s a cartoon robot to do? The answers lie in a new performance that combines comics, projected film images, puppets and music — both live and recorded. It’s called Nufonia Must Fall, based on the graphic novel of the same name. It was created by Canadian DJ, musician and cartoonist Kid Koala. It’s having its world premier at Toronto’s Luminato festival in June. I spoke to Kid Koala, a.k.a. Erik San, by telephone in Banff Alberta, about Nufonia (its music, design, genesis, inspiration, and technique), nostalgia, K.K. Barrett, found art, Mellotrons, robots, vinyl, “live movies”, imperfection, high tech vs low-tech...read more.


Art House Dramas. Films Reviewed: We are the Best, Things the Way They Are, Eastern Boys

We Are The Best! takes place in Stockholm, Sweden in 1982. Bobo and Klara (Mira Barkhammar, Mira Grosin) are two young girls who are mad at the world. Grown-ups are idiots without a clue. Other kids are into aerobics and spandex, or long hair, metal, and prog-rock. So they chop off their hair, make it into spikes or a Mohawk and declare themselves punk. Punk not dead! They embrace punk ideology, clothes and politics, not just the music – everything from questioning authority to garbage picking. Then the two of them start a band, but without any music skill. It’s Bobo on drums and Klara on bass. They’re awful. At the fall talent show, they see Hedvig (Liv LeMoyne), the school pariah and a fundamentalist Christian. Because she plays classical guitar and dresses conservatively, she gets booed off the stage. But Bobo and Klara can see she really knows music. So they make her a deal...read more.


An Interview With Derek Hayes, Author of the New Book “The Maladjusted”

I've read all of your stories many times, but now I'd like to hear you talk a bit about them. There's a tone of black humour in this book, Derek, but would you say most of the short stories in your new collection, The Maladjusted (October, 2011, Thistledown Press) are comedies or tragedies... and why?

Derek Hayes: I think they are tragic for some of the characters, but not in any way that matters to anyone but themselves. And for this reason I hope readers will find the stories funny. I'm interested in characters that for their own personal, deeply-rooted reasons... (read more)



PODCASTS:   

It Takes a Thief. Movies Reviewed: Mona Lisa is Missing, The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne, The Rover

Intensity. Films reviewed: River of Fundament, Why Don't You Play in Hell?, All Cheerleaders Die

Daniel Garber talks with Ingrid Veninger about her new film The Animal Project

Likes. Movies reviewed: Chef, Being Ginger PLUS Luminato

Daniel Garber talks with Eric San (Kid Koala) about Nufonia Must Fall premiering at Luminato in June

Art House Dramas. Films Reviewed: We are the Best, Things the Way They Are, Eastern Boys

Daniel Garber talks with James Carman about his documentary The Hidden Hand: Alien Contact and the Government Cover-Up

Queer parents, straight kids. Movies Reviewed: 52 Tuesdays, My Straight Son, Open Up To Me PLUS Inside Out LGBT Film Festival

Movie Experiences. Films Reviewed: Foxfire, Young and Beautiful PLUS Game of Thrones Exhibit at TIFF

Daniel Garber talks with Kitty Green about her new documentary Ukraine is Not a Brothel

Women in Movies for Mothers' Day. Films Reviewed: Under the Skin, Ida, The German Doctor PLUS TJFF

Daniel Garber talks with Sam Cullman and Jennifer Grausman about their new documentary ART AND CRAFT

Sticking Your Neck Out. Hot Docs Movies Reviewed: An Honest Liar, Point and Shoot, Demonstration

Motown Movies. Films reviewed: Brick Mansions, Super Duper Alice Cooper, Only Lovers Left Alive PLUS Hot Docs

Daniel Garber talks with TIFF Kids jury members Reid and Grant

Not Forgotten. Movies Reviewed: The Face of Love, Advanced Style, The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz PLUS Hot Docs

Daniel Garber talks to stars Mark Rendall and Nicholas Campbell about their new film ALGONQUIN

Movies with Kids vs Kids' Movies. Films Reviewed: Oculus, Loubia Hamra (Bloody Beans), Anina

Where have I seen this? Movies reviewed: Angelique, Bethlehem

A French Connection? Movies Reviewed: Finding Vivian Maier, L'autre vie de Richard Kemp, Triptyque

Daniel Garber talks with Kelly McCormack and Alec Toller about their new movie PLAY: THE FILM

Mind Twisters. Movies reviewed: A Field in England, Divergent, Nymph()maniac (Parts 1 and 2)

Pier Paolo Pasolini: the Poet of Contamination. Movies Reviewed: The Canterbury Tales, The Decameron, The Arabian Nights

Daniel Garber interviews Kore-eda Hirokazu about his new film Like Father, Like Son

Pop Culture Icons. Movies reviewed: Need For Speed, Bettie Page Reveals All, Alan Partridge

Oscar Time! Movies reviewed: Omar, The Great Beauty

Daniel Garber interviews director JIM BRUCE about his new film Money for Nothing: Inside the Federal Reserve

Movie Movies. Films Reviewed: Pompeii, 3 Days to Kill PLUS AKP Job 27

Daniel Garber talks with Adam and Andrew Gray about their new documentary FLY COLT FLY

Rom Not Com. Films Reviewed: Gloria, Tim's Vermeer, For No Eyes Only

Daniel Garber talks with writer/director Jeremy Lalonde about his new comedy Sex After Kids

Kids above and beyond. Movies Reviewed: 7 Boxes, Igor and the Cranes' Journey PLUS TIFF NEXT Wave Film Fest

Flesh + Blood. The Dutch films of Paul Verhoeven: Turkish Delight, Soldier of Fortune, Spetters, The Fourth Man

Low Budget. Movies reviewed: Mourning Has Broken, 12 0Clock Boys. PLUS the Great Digital and Super 8 Film Fests

Daniel Garber talks with AHARON KESHALES about his new movie BIG BAD WOLVES

Sex vs Love. Movies Reviewed: The Past, The Stranger by the Lake, C*cksucker Blues

Everything. Films Reviewed: 12 Years a Slave, The Motherload, Starred up.

Back to the Future? Films Reviewed: The Visitor, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

60s, 70s and 80s. Movies Reviewed: Inside Llewyn Davis, American Hustle, Good Vibrations

Daniel Garber talks with Cody Callahan about his new film ANTISOCIAL

Movies within Movies. Films reviewed: The Pervert's Guide to Ideology, The Wagner Files, Saving Mr Banks

Philadelphia Freedom. Movies reviewed: Jingle Bell Rocks, Let the Fire Burn

Older Women. Movies Reviewed: Philomena and If I Were You

Daniel Garber talks with Swedish director Gabriela Pichler about her new film EAT SLEEP DIE (Äta Sova Dö)

Bette Davis, The Hard Way. Movies reviewed: Jezebel, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane, All About Eve

Daniel Garber talks to Destin Cretton about his new film Short Term 12