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The Canadian Progressive: Inside Vancouver’s Sanctuary City Movement (VIDEO)

In Vancouver, human rights groups and immigration advocates are fighting to make the city a “sanctuary city” for undocumented immigrants.

The post Inside Vancouver’s Sanctuary City Movement (VIDEO) appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Art Threat: Hot Docs 2014 preview: politically punchy program, diversity festival gap still needs work

It’s springtime in Toronto and that means Canada’s premiere documentary showcase is back for another jam-packed ten day event that will deliver the world of doc to eager local audiences and international festivalgoers.

This is Hot Docs‘s first year with new Executive Director Brett Hendrie steering the ship (Chris McDonald is now overseeing the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema) and it looks like Hendrie has continued his predecessor’s legacy of putting on huge, popular and energized festivals.

In particular, the Hot Docs talks this year look fantastic, with discussions around environmental activism, Sesame Street, gay marriage, and free speech and (Read more…)

Art Threat: Contest: Win swag from Rhymes for Young Ghouls!

Rhymes for Young Ghouls, the debut feature film by Canadian director Jeff Barnaby that garnered well-deserved praise on the film festival circuit this year, including a top ten film nod from TIFF, is opening this month at theatres in Canada’s three largest cities.

The movie is currently screening in Toronto at Cineplex (Younge & Dundas) and Vancouver’s Vancity Theatre, and kicks off in Montreal on February 28 at the Cineplex Forum and Ex-Centris.

Rhymes for Young Ghouls tells the grim story of an Aboriginal teenager who plots revenge against a sadistic Indian Agent, all the while guided by (Read more…)

Art Threat: Pinko cyclists rejoice: Rob Ford film on the way

It was inevitable: a Rob Ford movie is coming soon to a theatre near you.

Just one week after the book release of Crazy Town: The Rob Ford Story, by Toronto Star journalist Robyn Doolittle, Canadian production company Blue Ice Pictures have snapped up the film and television rights to the story.

“If you tried to make this story up, people would think it was over the top,” Doolittle said in a statement. “The Rob Ford investigation is something I’ve been working on for more than two years. It’s something I’m obviously very invested in. It’s so much more (Read more…)

Art Threat: Gender Mender: XXY is a cinematic exploration of intersexuality

From a purely organizational standpoint, there are plenty of reasons for the gender binary. The system delineates male and female characteristics as separate and static, ostensibly facilitating a natural and sustainable social order. It readily assigns roles and packages gender identity. It is convenient – when it works.

The problem with the system is that it bifurcates an institution with numerous variants. What should resemble a scale becomes more of a lineup. How many will be, are, wrongly condemned by this system each and every day?

For those who still feel that sex and gender are a scrambled egg, Lucía (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Focus on Sustainability Film Festival

York University in Toronto will be hosting their third annual film festival all about sustainability. This year they are running films about oil. If you’re in Toronto next weekend or nearby you should check out what’s playing and take the bus to the festival.

Planet in Focus with York University Present: Focus on Sustainability Film Festival – the annual event with this years theme on oil! This entertaining and educating experience features domestic and foreign documentaries, a panel discussion with filmmakers and academics, an interactive film display, prizes, sustainably sourced food and beverages, and an e-waste disposal program. Please join (Read more…)

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: The 2013 Great Gatsby

Watched the 2013 film of The Great Gatsby last night. The first half was spectacular, grandiose and captivating, if somewhat over the top. Like Busby Berkeley meets The Fifth Element. Extravaganza, spectacle and excess. The film doesn’t feel like it’s set in New York of the Jazz Age. It’s too shiny, too polished, too mechanical, […]

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: The Wild Women of Wongo

Who can resist a film with a title like that? Or Zontar, the Thing From Venus? Robot Monster? Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet? The Atomic Brain? Clearly, I can’t. I love this stuff. B-films, especially scifi B-films. But I am a tad disappointed with this Mill Creek package.* I recently received the set of SciFi […]

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Makes you feel happy, like an old time movie

There’s something touching about a classic film, something magical about a B&W movie, about a film shot between the wars in that period of recovery and optimism; a film that was new when my parents were young, full of life and hope. A movie from the days before CGI, before green screens and 3D. Before slasher […]

Art Threat: Remembering documentary film legend Peter Wintonick

You want to bring them back. Would they, if they could, return, after such a heavy crossing? You try, until the wish, almost disattached, gnawing, growling, finally bursts loose to call them.

It’s difficult to write about our dear friend Peter Wintonick, who passed away less than one week ago at the young age of 60, on November 18th. Since his passing we’ve been absorbing the wonderful outpouring of stories about Peter, and the global reach of his kindness and creativity has been rendered in so many tributes and laments that one wonders what more to say.

Peter wouldn’t want (Read more…)

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Coriolanus on Film

Coriolanus is a tough play, full of politics and angry people and shouting mobs. It has no comic relief, no jesters, no romance and no real heroes. No great soliloquies, unsympathetic characters, uncomfortable double dealing, treachery and plotting. No powerful subplot as a counterpoint. Pride, arrogance, and power dominate. Coriolanus himself is empty, driven, bereft […]

PostArctica: FAMADIHANA

Conceived and created by Devin McDermott and Ethan Folk. Movement created and performed by Devin McDermott. Filmed and edited by Ethan Folk.

Score: Rolled Together – The Antlers

Many, many thanks to Ryan Law, Jessica Robinson, Sarah Jo Ward, Alice Gosti, and Darcey Zoller.

Famadihana is a funerary tradition of the Malagasy people in Madagascar. Known as the turning of the bones, people bring forth the bodies of their ancestors from the family crypts and rewrap them in fresh cloth, then dance with the corpses around the tomb to live music.

Here is some other stuff from Ethan Folk.

The Canadian Progressive: WikiLeaks Leaks Transcript of Hollywood Doc on Julian Assange, Online Activism

WikiLeaks leaks transcript of “We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks”, the Hollywood doc on Julian Assange and online activism a day before the $2 million vindictive and biased film is publicly released.

The post WikiLeaks Leaks Transcript of Hollywood Doc on Julian Assange, Online Activism appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Chadwick's Blog & Commentary: Appreciating B-Movies

It drives Susan to distraction that I love B-flicks. She squirms and fidgets if I put one into the DVD player and can seldom sit through an entire movie. They get cut off mid-film, and saved for me some time … Continue reading →

Art Threat: Gay South Korean film director causes stir in Seoul with wedding announcement

Openly gay South Korean film director Kim Jho Gwang-soo announced he will symbolically marry his partner in a ceremony designed to both celebrate their love and make a statement on LGBTQ rights in the conservative country.

“We wanted to convey the message that all sexual minorities should be given rights equally in a beautiful way,” Kim told a news conference in Seoul.

Very few Korean celebrities are openly gay. Actor Hong Seok-cheon was the first to come out in 2000, and found that his work quickly dried up.

Another actor, Kim Ji-hoo, announced he was gay in 2008 on (Read more…)

Art Threat: Disney abandons efforts to trademark Day of the Dead

Thanks to a wave of online backlash, Disney is withdrawing its application to trademark the term Dia de los Muertos — otherwise known as the traditional Mexican Day of the Dead holiday.

The trademark filing was done in advance of an upcoming animated film release by Disney-owned Pixar based on the cultural celebration in which people gather to remember and honour their ancestors. Dia de los Muertos is a national holiday in Mexico and is also observed in other parts of Latin America and by Mexican communities around the world.

Disney apparently sought ownership over the phrase for merchandising purposes. (Read more…)

Chadwick's Blog & Commentary: Snow White and the Huntsman reviewed

Take one part Brothers Grimm and one part Malory’s Morte d’Artur, add a dash of Tolkein, a pinch of Joan of Arc, a sprinkling of Robin Hood and a sprig of English folklore; mix it in a bowl with copious … Continue reading →

Art Threat: Return to Gummo

Harmony Korine has been making headlines for his new pop-culture romp, Spring Breakers, with the usual fanfare and some reviewers decidedly giddy with the possibility of maybe “getting it” or maybe not. The film is apparently non-stop debauch and at least one critic has pointed out the work’s contribution to rape culture in the US, on the heels of the Steubenville, Ohio rape case.

Love him, leave him or hate him, Korine has sparked controversy and inspired debate in film and culture circles (and of course with audiences) since he wrote the racy script for Kids (directed by (Read more…)

Walking Turcot Yards: CoastalTarSands.ca Launching Today

Today is WORLD WATER DAY and I’m honouring it by launching my next media campaign

http://coastaltarsands.ca

There’s very little time left before the Harper government plans to approve the Enbridge Corporation’s Northern Gateway Pipeline Project in early 2014. This plan includes hundreds of supertankers navigating through the inside passage along the central coast of British Columbia, loaded with millions of barrels of Alberta Tarsands Bitumen for export to China.

This is one of the most pressing environmental issue of our time. These coastal waters are intense, the shorelines extremely rugged, and the environment extremely diverse. Before deciding its future

. . . → Read More: Walking Turcot Yards: CoastalTarSands.ca Launching Today

Chadwick's Blog & Commentary: Shaolin: the film

I like Chinese films, particularly the epic wuxia films. They are often a refreshing change from the effects-driven/CGI monstrosities pumped out by Hollywood. Subtitles don’t bother me (better them than dubbed). They remind me of the westerns of the 1950s, … Continue reading →

Walking Turcot Yards: Jack Kerouac’s On The Road In Film

National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; © 1953, 2012 Allen Ginsberg LLC. All rights reserved.William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac, photographed by Allen Ginsberg in his East Village living room, 1953; from ‘Beat Memories: The Photographs of Allen Ginsberg,’ an exhibition organized by the National Gallery of Art and on view at NYU’s Grey Art Gallery until April 6, 2013. The catalog includes an essay by Sarah Greenough and is published by the National Gallery and DelMonico Books/Prestel.

On The Road influenced my life like no other book when I first read it in the early 70′s.

. . . → Read More: Walking Turcot Yards: Jack Kerouac’s On The Road In Film

Politics and Entertainment: Why a completely unremarkable film called Argo won the Oscar

How ironically fitting that Michelle Obama announced the Oscar for the winning picture. Argo is a putative “true” story from the not too distant U.S. past – a past to which American viewers can easily relate – a feel good story of American perseverance, ingenuity, courage, an inspiring version of U. S. exceptionalism resulting in a bloodless American victory with only, according to the script but not Ken Taylor, a smidgen of help from Canadians. Such an uplifting image was far more appealing to mean-age 63 Academy voters.   Does Argo deserve the Oscar? Depends on what “deserves” means.  For (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Politics and Entertainment: Why a completely unremarkable film called Argo won the Oscar

Politics and Entertainment: Zero Dark Thirty Leaves Plenty of Space for Viewer’s Moral Judgment

Spoiler alert: The U.S. Navy SEALS murder Osama Bin Laden and several others in his Pakistani compound without mercy and with vengeful malice. Most of the controversy swirling round the film revolves around whether the filmmaker, Kathryn Bigelow – positioned as auteur by most commentators –  endorses torture or  whether the film’s narrative raises the moral issue of torture for contemplation. There is, in my reading,  no overt moral position offered by the film on torture or even the morality of CIA procedures in general.  Many commentators have unwittingly bemoaned this absence or taken it as a tacit moral endorsement of torture (Read more…)

Art Threat: Athena Film Festival passes the Bechdel test

Occasionally films come out in the mainstream that give a glimpse of hope that perhaps the world of film is changing and becoming more adept at telling stories that don’t rely on sexist stereotypes – last summer the Hunger Games gave a promise of a heroine who could fend for herself, or Brave, which managed to not only establish that women can be self sufficient, but also built on a storyline of mother-daughter relationships and avoiding romance all together (bravo!) . But there’s more than a long way to go, particularly if you submit most films to the Bechdel test.

(Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Fractured Land: A Dene warrior battles Big Oil and neo-colonialism

by Obert Madondo | The Canadian Progressive, Feb 1, 2013: This is the trailer of Fractured Land a film that tells the story of Caleb Behn, a young Dene warrior from northeastern British Columbia, “taking on Big Oil and Gas to protect his ancestral land and people from the ravages of neocolonialism.” I met Behn late last year when he READ MORE