Suntan @calgaryfilm #CIFF2016

Saturday, 24 September, 2016

Suntan trailer

Suntan info via CIFF: //On the small Greek island of Antiparos, new town doctor Kostis (Makis Papadimitriou, CHEVALIER) leads a solitary life – until he treats an injured tourist named Anna (Elli Tringou). Middle-aged and awkward, Kostis becomes immediately enamoured by the much younger woman and her easy charm. But when he tries to tag along with Anna and her partying friends, Kostis’ attempts to woo her become increasingly uncomfortable. As Anna’s friends grow tired of Kostis and the summer vacation draws to an end, the doctor’s efforts to relive his youth and win Anna’s love threaten his entire career.

The latest in Greek New Wave, SUNTAN is a deadpan comedy/thriller that offers uncomfortable truths about how we see each other.//

‘Suntan’: Rotterdam Review | Hollywood Reporter

‘Suntan’ Review: Searing Drama Puts Flesh on Display | Variety


How To Prepare For Prison @calgaryfilm #CIFF2016

Friday, 23 September, 2016

How To Prepare For Prison trailer

How To Prepare For Prison info from CIFF: //Director Matt Gallagher and producer Cornelia Principe in attendance at both screenings! (K Note: Will be very cool to meet the director and producer.)

HOW TO PREPARE FOR PRISON examines the lives of three very different convicts as they navigate the legal system from conviction through sentencing. The cases aren’t considered in terms of guilt or innocence, but rather pragmatically in terms of each convict’s unique life and emotional landscape.

Director Matt Gallagher (IN HER FOOTSTEPS, GRINDERS) follows Joe, Courtney and Demario (respectively charged with marijuana trafficking, fraud and felony assault) over a period of three years as they work with lawyers and prison consultants to anticipate the needs of their families and emotionally prepare for the physical rigours and threats of incarceration. Gallagher also interviews Lee (sentenced to 40 years for armed robbery) whose open and frank discussion of his experience begs the viewer to consider the difference between the humiliation of punishment and constructive rehabilitation.//

Digital Journal: “Review: ‘How to Prepare For Prison’ is an intense tearjerker


Hooligan Sparrow (with extra) @calgaryfilm #CIFF2016

Friday, 23 September, 2016

Hooligan Sparrow (流氓燕) Trailer

Hooligan Sparrow (流氓燕) info from CIFF: //Chinese activist Ye Haiyan already had a reputation as an agitator when six schoolgirls went missing in her province in 2013. A prominent women’s rights activist, she had made a name for herself protesting for the rights of sex workers while blogging under the name of “Hooligan Sparrow.” So when two school officials are investigated for kidnapping and sexually abusing six schoolchildren, Ye’s fierce protests quickly go viral.

Documentarian Nanfu Wang chronicles the resulting harassment, eviction and violence that Ye endures while also investigating corrupt public servants, plain-clothed policemen that suddenly turn their intimidation efforts towards her. A harrowing whistleblower story shot mostly on a hidden camera and smuggled out of the country, HOOLIGAN SPARROW is a testament to the bravery of both the subject and the filmmaker.//

HOOLIGAN SPARROW – Uncovering China’s Child Sex Abuse Scandal with Director Nanfu Wang (excellent and in depth interview at Sundance)

Hooligan Sparrow Gets Enthusiastic Response at Sundance Premiere

Hooligan Sparrow Movie Review (2016) | Roger Ebert site review

Nanfu Wang’s Remarkable Documentary Debut Hooligan Sparrow – IndieWire Sundance Review

From Ai Weiwei 2010年08月26日对叶海燕(流氓燕 Hooligan Sparrow)的采访 – August 26, 2010, Interview with Ye Hai Yan – 草场地 (35 minutes, Mandarin only, no English subtitles)

蘋果日報 – 2011-04-21 – 「我和艾未未的故事」《一虎八奶圖》女角:願以命撐 (Cantonese news of Hooligan Sparrow with Ai Weiwei with Chinese subtitles, no English)

P.S. 7 minutes video from Guardian.Wang Yu was the most high profile of the lawyers arrested in July 2015 in a crackdown on rights campaigners in China. She was held on suspicion of inciting subversion after one of her last cases, a sexual assault involving six underage girls and their school headteacher in Wanning City. Despite pressure on the girls’ parents to stay quiet, Wang Yu took up their case, risking her safety to inform the public about their rights, and fighting for the incident to be classified as rape.


It’s Only The End of The World (with extra) @calgaryfilm #CIFF2016

Friday, 23 September, 2016

It’s Only the End of the World Trailer | Festival 2016


It’s Only The End of The World CIFF2016 info: //IT’S ONLY THE END OF THE WORLD tells the heartbreaking story of Louis, a writer who must confront his past near the end of his life. Twelve years after leaving his hometown, Louis receives an invitation from his family to return home for a meal – but he brings with him news of his terminal diagnosis and impending death.

Directed by Canadian festival darling Xavier Dolan, IT’S ONLY THE END OF THE WORLD features a star-studded cast of French acting talent like Marion Cottiard (LA VIE EN ROSE), Vincent Cassel (LE HAINE), Léa Seydoux (SPECTRE), Nathalie Baye, and Gaspard Ulliel. The film was named the Grand Prize of the Jury winner at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival while Dolan received a Palme d’Or nomination.//

JUSTE LA FIN DU MONDE – Press Conference – EV – Cannes 2016 (51:35 with English translation)

Reuters report: //27-year-old Canadian director Xavier Dolan returns to Cannes with family drama ‘Juste la fin du monde’ (It’s Only the End of the World). Rough cut (no reporter narration).//

Guardian review: “It’s Only the End of the World review: Xavier Dolan’s nightmarish homecoming is a dream


Burn Your Maps (with extra) @calgaryfilm #CIFF2016

Friday, 23 September, 2016

Burn Your Maps info from CIFF 2016: //Director Jordan Roberts in attendance at the screening on September 23! (K Note: I very much looking forward to watch the film and the CIFF2016 Q&A.)

Eight-year-old Wes (Jacob Tremblay, ROOM) has always felt a little bit out of place. After a family tragedy, Wes comes to realize that he’s not truly a young American boy – he’s supposed to be a Mongolian goat herder, and was born in the wrong place. Enlisting the help of an Indian filmmaker and a crowdfunding campaign, they set off to the steppes of Asia with Wes’ family in tow. Against all odds, trekking across the other side of the world might be just what they need in order to be close together again.

Co-written and directed by Jordan Roberts (BIG HERO 6) and starring Vera Farmiga (BATES MOTEL, SOURCE CODE) and Martin Csokas (NOAH), BURN YOUR MAPS is an comedy-drama filmed in Alberta that highlights the indomitable spirit of humanity, hope and finding your place in a big, crazy world.//

TIFF 2016 Burn Your Maps Intro and Q&A

BURN YOUR MAPS Press Conference | TIFF 2016

(warning: very funny!) VERA FARMIGA & JACOB TREMBLAY Casting for Star Wars | TIFF 2016


2013 CIFF interviews short film directors of “Computer Potato” and “The Hunt”

Wednesday, 18 September, 2013

Here are two of my 2013 CIFF interviews with Alberta Spirit award nominated short film directors of “Computer Potato” and “The Hunt”.

“Computer Potato” director Todd Kipp interview

“The Hunt” director Spencer Estabrooks interview


Interview with CIFF documentary Bending Steel director Dave Carroll

Saturday, 7 September, 2013

The 2013 Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF), running September 19-29, just announced the moving documentary Bending Steel is having its Alberta premiere on Sept 20th & 21st (CIFF info & tickets purchase), a film that world-premiered at Tribeca, selected by Hotdocs and has received praises from The Hollywood Reporter, Indiewire, and Toronto Standard. Bending Steel‘s trailer is quite moving . It is a documentary “about an introverted man who decides he wants to become an old-time strongman.” Director Dave Carroll said, “The conflict in the film is when he tries to get out and perform in front of people, he is really up against some of his greatest fears, interactions with people and judgement, and it becomes quite a problem, something he has to overcome.

Bending Steel is Carroll’s documentary directorial debut funded out of his and award-winning producing partner Ryan Scafuro‘s own pockets with friends’ help and money from a $25,000 Kickstarter project. Carroll first met the documentary introverted subject Chris “Wonder” Schoeck when he and his dog heard a noise while doing laundry in the basement of the building he and Schoeck lived in and  that “startling” chance encounter lead to an idea for a short documentary which turned into a feature-length documentary project that spanned 2.5 years and generated 200+ hours of footage.

Have a watch of my interview with Bending Steel director Dave Carroll, which has made me want to watch Bending Steel even more. Carroll told me that Schoeck and producer Scafuro plan to attend CIFF so you may get to meet them.

I love the spirit contains this excerpt from Schoeck‘s “Why Bend?” blog entry (with emphasis added), “Always remember constant progress. Grab a tougher bar and push with everything you got. The bar may not go at first, but remember if it flexes it can be bent. Through time you will bend it. The struggle forces you to reach deep into your mind. Remember its all about the journey. Soon you pity those that have early success. They miss out on that journey.” Have a watch of Schoeck doing some cool steel scrolling! Love it!

Here is Bending Steel‘s short synopsis via CIFF,

“Introverted, middle-aged Chris Schoeck has lived in the New York City borough of Queens his entire life. He feels no sense of home or belonging—until he starts bending steel, transforming himself into an old-time strongman. Suddenly, his life changes.

Bending Steel follows Chris as he prepares for a major performance at Coney Island. As he trains Read the rest of this entry »


Councillor Brian Pincott interview re Calgary 100th Stampede and Peace Bridge

Saturday, 7 July, 2012

Councillor Brian Pincott interview re 100th Stampede & Peace Bridge

I can’t believe this year is already the 100th anniversary of Calgary Stampede. To join in the fun, we went out to one of the many free Stampede breakfasts this morning. And I ran into Calgary city councillor Brian Pincott. I jumped on the chance to interview Brian for a few minutes to talk about Calgary 100th Stampede and the $25 million Calgary Peace Bridge. Yes, before & during last city election, I wasn’t too convinced of the $25 million price tag for a foot bridge even I was and still is a fan of renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. You see, I got hooked on Calatrava when I watched a documentary about his Turning Torso project years ago at Calgary International Film Festival. I will let you watchBrian‘s explanation of how pedestrian foot traffic has exceeded the council’s original expectation and there was an even unexpected added benefit of the bridge.

Councillor Brian Pincott interview re Calgary 100th Stampede & Peace Bridge


My Favourite Dramas of Calgary International Film Festival 2011

Monday, 3 October, 2011

The following are trailers and interviews of some of my favourite dramas at Calgary International Film Festival 2011.

Take This Waltz (trailer, Q&A at TIFF, red carpet)

Late Bloomers (trailer)


Guide to Final Day of Calgary International Film Festival 2011

Sunday, 2 October, 2011

Sun, Oct 2nd

12:00pm Becoming Santa (Eau Claire) Watch my video interview with ”Becoming Santa”‘s Santa/producer Jack Sanderson & director/producer Jeff Myers

2:30pm, Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey

4:30pm Almanya – Welcome to Germany (Eau Claire)

7:00pm The Salt of Life (Eau Claire)


CIFF 2011 Friday Sep 30 – El Bulli: Cooking in Progress, Karen Cries on a Bus

Friday, 30 September, 2011

CIFF 2011 Friday Sep 30

El Bulli: Cooking in Progress

Karen Cries on a Bus (Karen llora en un bus)


Late Bloomers

Thursday, 29 September, 2011

Had lots of fun watching Late Bloomers (with William Hurt and Isabella Rossellini) at Calgary International Film Festival 2011 last night. It is playing again on Sunday, Oct 2nd, 12:15pm at Globe.


Sun, Sept 25 2011 Calgary International Film Festival

Sunday, 25 September, 2011

Sun, Sept 25

07:00pm Globe

ALBERTA SPIRIT COMPETITION AND AFTER-PARTY (Alberta Spirit Competition)

07:00pm Starbuck (Eau Claire)

http://www.calgaryfilm.com/2011/schedule/film/1929/

09:00pm Restless (Eau Claire)

http://www.calgaryfilm.com/2011/schedule/film/1910/


Eric Bricker Q&A and interview at 2011 CIFF – Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman

Sunday, 25 September, 2011

Eric Bricker, Director/Producer Visual Acoustics, and me

“Case Study House #22 – Two Girls” by Julius Shulman (1960)“Case Study House #22” by Julius Shulman (1960)

I had a Skype video interview with Eric Bricker, director/producer of Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman before I got a chance to watch the film and I thought I would love it. After my skype video, I signed out four books by or about Julis Shulman from the library! So after watching Visual Acoustics yesterday on big screen, I can now positively say I LOVE the film and highly recommend it. Check out Visual Acoustics’ trailer if you haven’t seen it. If you can’t see the film in a theatre on a big screen, Visual Acoustics is available in DVD and also in HD via Netflix.

Here is my interview with Eric at 2011 CIFF.

Here is some of Eric’s Q&A at 2011 CIFF. (note: I edited out some questions as some are already covered in my one-on-one interviews with Eric).

Eric Bricker - Visual Acoustics - Q&A

“Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum” by Julius Shulman (1964)

“Chemosphere House” by Julius Shulman (1960)

“Kaufman House” by Julius Shulman (1947)

“Julius Shulman and Richard Neutra” (1950)

Julius Shulman, from VISUAL ACOUSTICS

Julius Shulman, from VISUAL ACOUSTICS


David York, Director of Wiebo’s War interview and Q&A at Calgary International Film Festival 2011

Sunday, 25 September, 2011

David York - Wiebo's War

Wiebo’s War is one of the best documentaries I have seen this year at 2011 CIFF, I highly recommend it as it tells a great story. The film is especially relevant to Albertans as we thought we know a lot about Wiebo Ludwig from TV news but David York’s Wiebo’s War, with intimate access to Wiebo and his family over two years, will show you a lot more.

If you miss the CIFF screening, the film is opening in theatres on Oct 21st, 2011 in Calgary (The Plaza) and Edmonton (Metro). I hope you find the Q&A and my interview insightful to watch.

David York, Director of Wiebo’s War interview at Calgary International Film Festival

Q&A at 2011 Calgary International Film Festival

Here is Wiebo’s War (NFB synopsis and trailer),

This feature documentary focuses on Wiebo Ludwig, a suspect in a recent string of pipeline bombings. The bombings echo a campaign of sabotage he waged against the oil and gas industry in the 90s – barricading roads and blowing up wells. And when a 16-year-old girl was fatally shot on the family farm in 1999, Wiebo’s fight with the industry was thrust further into the media spotlight.

The Ludwig family are part of a Christian community that lives in close adherence to their religious values. The community is comprised of 5 married couples, 7 unmarried adult children and 38 grandchildren. They are self-sufficient in food and energy, but live in isolation and believe that those that don’t share their religious beliefs, like filmmaker David York, are living in terrible darkness.

David York - Wiebo's War - Q&A

 


Below Zero – World Premiere @ 2011 Calgary International Film Festival

Saturday, 24 September, 2011

Michael Berryman being interviewed

Below Zero world premiered at 2011 Calgary International Film Festival last night. Here are photo slideshow and a video.

Signe Olynyk (R) and Sadie MaduKristin Booth & Michael Berryman

Michael Berryman (L) & meMichael Berryman with fans

Sadie MaduKristin Booth & Michael Berryman


2011 Calgary International Film Festival recommended films

Friday, 23 September, 2011

2011 Calgary International Film Festival

My 2011 Calgary International Film Festival starts tonight. Here is a list of my recommendation. Have a great festival. As I said on FM94.7 this morning, CIFF is a great way to check out new films from around the world. Enjoy and have fun.

Friday, Sept 23rd

07:00pm Below Zero  (World Premiere with filmmakers in attendance, Plaza, also on Sat  Sept 24, 2pm)

http://www.calgaryfilm.com/2011/schedule/film/1933/

(NOTE: Watch my video interview with Signe Olynyk, Writer/Producer of Below Zero)

09:15pm Happy Happy

http://www.calgaryfilm.com/2011/schedule/film/1937/

Sat, Sept 24th

11:45am, Piano in a Factory

http://www.calgaryfilm.com/2011/schedule/film/1923/

12:15pm Wiebo’s War (filmmaker in attendance)

http://www.calgaryfilm.com/2011/schedule/film/1657/

2:15pm, Flowers of Evil

http://www.calgaryfilm.com/2011/schedule/film/1943/

4:15pm, Visual Acoustics (with filmmaker in attendance)

http://www.calgaryfilm.com/2011/schedule/film/1938/

(NOTE: Watch my video interview with Eric Bricker, director/producer of Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman)

Sun, Sept 25

07:00pm Starbuck (Eau Claire)

http://www.calgaryfilm.com/2011/schedule/film/1929/

09:00pm Restless (Eau Claire)

http://www.calgaryfilm.com/2011/schedule/film/1910/

Mon, Sept 26

07:15pm A Legend of Whitey (The Plaza)

http://www.calgaryfilm.com/2011/schedule/film/1884/

09:30pm Old Goats (The Plaza)

http://www.calgaryfilm.com/2011/schedule/film/1945/

Wed, Sept 28

07:00pm Late Bloomers (Eau Claire)

http://www.calgaryfilm.com/2011/schedule/film/1895/

10:00pm Sleeping Beauty  (Eau Claire)

http://www.calgaryfilm.com/2011/schedule/film/1949/

Thu, Sept 29

5:15pm The Chocolate Farmer (with filmmaker in attendance)

http://www.calgaryfilm.com/2011/schedule/film/1659/

Fri, Sept 30

7:00pm El Bulli: Cooking in Progress

http://www.calgaryfilm.com/2011/schedule/film/1957/

09:45pm Karen Cries on a Bus (Karen llora en un bus) (Globe Downstairs)

http://www.calgaryfilm.com/2011/schedule/film/1922/

Sat, Oct 1

4:30pm King of Devil’s Island (Kongen av Bastøy) (Globe)

http://www.calgaryfilm.com/2011/schedule/film/1924/

7:00pm Take This Waltz

http://www.calgaryfilm.com/2011/schedule/film/1901/

9:15pm Moon Point (Globe Downstairs)

http://www.calgaryfilm.com/2011/schedule/film/1596/

Sun, Oct 2nd

12:00pm Becoming Santa (Eau Claire) (with filmmaker in attendance)

http://www.calgaryfilm.com/2011/schedule/film/1791/

(NOTE: Watch my video interview with “Becoming Santa”‘s Santa/producer Jack Sanderson & director/producer Jeff Myers)

2:30pm, Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey

http://www.calgaryfilm.com/2011/schedule/film/1909/

4:30pm Almanya – Welcome to Germany (Eau Claire)

http://www.calgaryfilm.com/2011/schedule/film/1904/

7:00pm The Salt of Life (Eau Claire)

http://www.calgaryfilm.com/2011/schedule/film/1960/


Becoming Santa – Jack Sanderson & Jeff Myers interview

Thursday, 22 September, 2011

Jack Sanderson in "Becoming Santa"

Have you wondered how does one become Santa in a shopping mall? Well, you will in the case of Jack Sanderson how did he “Becoming Santa” at the Calgary International film festival screening at Plaza Thu Sept 29, 7pm & Eau Claire Sun Oct 2, 12noon.

Director Jeff Meyers follows Jack Sanderson, an aspiring Santa trying to recapture the Christmas spirit after his parents’ passing. As Sanderson goes through his journey to becoming a mall Santa for a season, from bleaching his beard and hair to shopping for a custom suit, attending Santa school, and learning the tricks of the trade …

Here is my “Becoming Santa” interview with Jack Sanderson & Jeff Myers. I am very much looking forward to watching the film and meeting Jack Sanderson with reindeer and other Santas in the Calgary screening!

Becoming Santa full film synopsis from CIFF,

Jack Sanderson in Attendance!

It’s not quite the Red Mile, but you may just see a different type of red jersey scattered throughout the theatre for BECOMING SANTA. Winner of the audience award at this year’s SXSW film festival, this Yuletide doc will get everyone in the holiday spirit a little early this year.

Director Jeff Meyers follows Jack Sanderson, an aspiring Santa trying to recapture the Christmas spirit after his parents’ passing. As Sanderson goes through his journey to becoming a mall Santa for a season, from bleaching his beard and hair to shopping for a custom suit, attending Santa school, and learning the tricks of the trade, Meyers discovers that the task is harder than anyone would expect, and involves a personal, physical and emotional transformation that few of us are aware of. BECOMING SANTA features a number of interviews with professional Santas and Santa aficionados (including Calgary’s very own instructor and Santa agent Jennifer Andrews from the Victor Nevada Santa School), along with historians who provide a fascinating history of Santa Claus in America.

Warning: This documentary may contain some unwelcome surprises for young children.


Eric Bricker interview – Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman

Thursday, 22 September, 2011

“Case Study House #22 – Two Girls” by Julius Shulman (1960)“Case Study House #22” by Julius Shulman (1960)

I had a wonderful and insightful 30 minutes Skype video interview with Eric Bricker, director of Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman (CIFF info: screening at Globe Sat, Sep 24, 4:15pm and Sun, Sept 25, 12:15pm). The following is my edited interview with Eric. Enjoy.

Eric Bricker (pre-screening) Skype interview – Visual Acoustics, The Modernism of Julius Shulman

update: Eric Bricker (post-screening) CIFF in-person interview

update: CIFF screening Q&A

Check out Visual Acoustics’ trailer if you haven’t seen it. If you can’t see the film in a theatre on a big screen, Visual Acoustics is available in DVD and also in HD via Netflix.

Here are some stunning photos by Julius and film stills.

“Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum” by Julius Shulman (1964)

“Chemosphere House” by Julius Shulman (1960)

“Kaufman House” by Julius Shulman (1947)

“Julius Shulman and Richard Neutra” (1950)

Julius Shulman, from VISUAL ACOUSTICS

Julius Shulman, from VISUAL ACOUSTICS

Here is the film synopsis from CIFF,

“Narrated by Dustin Hoffman, Eric Bricker’s multiple award-winning VISUAL ACOUSTICS celebrates the life and career of Julius Shulman. Long considered to be the world’s greatest architectural photographer, Schulman’s iconic, instantly recognizable images brought modern architecture to the American mainstream.

Shulman captured the work of nearly every modern and progressive architect since the 1930s, including Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Neutra, John Lautner and Frank Gehry. His images epitomized the singular beauty of Southern California’s Modernist movement, bringing its iconic structures to the attention of the general public. This unique film is both a testament to the evolution of modern architecture and a joyful portrait of the magnetic, whip-smart gentleman who chronicled it with his unforgettable images.

Shulman developed a close association with the modernist architects, principally those active in Southern California, and his images played a major role in crafting the image of the Southern California lifestyle to the rest of the world during the 1950s and 1960s. A prolific author, consultant, lecturer, exhibitor and editor of his own vast archive, Shulman remained active up until his passing in July of 2009.”


El Bulli: Cooking in Progress (2011) at CIFF

Monday, 29 August, 2011

Looking forward to El Bulli: Cooking in Progress (2011) at CIFF. More info on elBulli.

Aug 31st, 2011 Update: Here is someone’s hour long chat about the food (45 courses) he had at El Bulli in May 2011.


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