Showing posts from February, 2012

Global Visions Film Fest, 2012

The 30th annual GVFF will screen some of the year's most socially relevant documentaries from around the world, over four days


CANADA'S longest-running documentary film festival, Global Visions, is celebrating its 30th year! Not too shabby for a small-time event that started up 29 years ago at the Edmonton Learners Centre, as the Third World Film Festival, "dedicated to presenting socially relevant films from around the world exploring issues of social, economic, and environmental development.

"Our mandate is to promote film and video as catalysts for reflection, discussion, and responsible action," claims the GVFF, which runs this year from March 1-4 at various venues throughout the city. "We operate from the understanding that the world is getting smaller, and that all people are diverse, interconnected, interdependent citizens of the global village."

The 4-day event will showcase feature and short documentaries from across Canada and…

@themovies/ 'Safe House'

Hollywood finds a (used) vehicle for Washington and Reynolds, but nobody said it was going to be any good


GUN shots, government conspiracies, corporate betrayal, car chases. Repeat. If you've seen one, you've seen 'em all-type shit here. The only difference here is it's now fresh-faced Ryan Reynolds who at one point actually mutters the words, "Who do you work for?" at the guy he's pinned to the ground at gunpoint, right after I said in my head, "please don't don't tell me he's going to say, 'Who do you work for'." Come on!

Safe House was the first American venture for Swedish filmmaker Daniel Espinosa (Easy Money), who probably grew up glued to the TV set watching movies that starred Bruce Willis, Jean-Claude Van Damme, or even Steven Seagal. But '80s Bruce Willis, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and Steven Seagal. That would explain a lot.

Of course, Tobin Frost (better-than-this Denzel Washington) is a former CIA…

Local Film Wins Big Overseas

At it again, Edmonton's Trevor Anderson is basking in the glory of winning an international honour for his short film


LAST weekend a local filmmaker took home the coveted DAAD Short Film Prize at The Berlinale 2012, in Berlin. Fresh off the success of his 2010 short The High Level Bridge(see below), Edmonton's own Trevor Anderson was in prime company at the 11-day, 62nd annual Berlinale--also known as the Berlin International Film Festival--where his 25-minute musical documentary, The Man That Got Away, received rave reviews.

"A musical. A life. My family almost forgot to tell me about my great-uncle Jimmy," Anderson describes his eccentric film. "True story, or so I'm told. Jimmy grew up on a farm, on the Canadian prairies, in the Rosebud Valley, during the Great Depression. His older brothers were teenage mechanics, or outfielders on the local baseball team. But not Jimmy. At ten years old, Jimmy was Georgie Kempt's star pupil in tap da…

Edmonton Film Prize, 2012

The Edmonton Arts Council has just announced an inaugural cash prize for an eligible local filmmaker, worth $10,000!


ARE you from Edmonton? Do you like to make movies? (Not those kinds of movies, you perv!). Could you use $10,000? If you answered "hell yeah" to all three of those questions, then listen up, because the EAC (Edmonton Arts Council) is looking to acknowledge a local filmmaker in the form of the inaugural Edmonton Film Prize, and will be accepting submissions until Friday, March 30.

"Awards for excellence are an important part of investment in arts and artists," said John Mahon, the EAC's Executive Director. "'The Art of Living,' Edmonton's 10-year cultural plan for the City, identifies civic awards in the arts as a strategic move." Mahon says that there will be an independent jury of film peers who will sort through the submissions to determine a winner, which will be announced sometime in the fall.

"This …

Burgerthon, Episode 3/ The Rink

The ultimate hungry man's burger looks like something out've a meat lover's fairytale, but does 'The Goon' actually stack up?


MY brother and I finished a full game of pool before he had to walk into the kitchen to fetch our waitress, or anybody for that matter. We were the only ones in Randy Ferbey's The Rink Sports Bar & Grill (367 St. Albert Trail. 780-569-5050), in nearby St. Albert, other than the elusive waitress--who happened to be washing dishes in the back--and some guy sitting at a desk in the far back room, behind the bar. The cook, maybe?

She barely apologized and then finally took our orders, which allowed me to tend to kicking my brother's ass at another game on their one pool table. She let us play for a flat fee ($5), as oppose to the hourly rate ($10), which I assume was her way of making up for the so-far sub-standard service. It got much better from there, however.

Originally I took the safe route, asking for their main…

Shit Edmontonians Say

You might be an Edmontonian if...


IT was only weeks ago that my buddy Adam posted a YouTube video on my Facebook feed, called "Shit Nobody Says." It's been viewed something like 7 million times in the last month, which doesn't come as a surprise if you've seen it. And that's why there's about 83 trillion copycat clips that have popped up since it went viral, although itself was inspired by the even more popular "Shit Girls Say."

Dozens of niche videos have clogged up YouTube since, including shit "Asian Girls Say," "Gay Guys Say," "People Say on Facebook," or Gay Asian Girls Say on Facebook." Okay, so I made up that last one. And now, there's "Shit Edmontonians Say," a soon-to-be-on-your-Facebook-feed mockathon penned by Colin Priestner, and featuring special appearances by Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Gene Principe, Dan Tencer, and other locals.

Colin Priestner's "S…


Some of the latest happenings in and around Edmonton (Family Day, Silver Skate, Winefest...)


FAMILY Day is just around the corner (Monday, in case you didn't know), and so the EPL (Edmonton Public Library) is hosting its "Free Family Day Fun" event at every location in Edmonton (excluding the U of A locale). From 1-5PM the EPL will offer puppet shows by Kaybridge Productions, storytelling by TALES, digital photo & video demonstrations (bring your USB stick to store images), Aboriginal dancing by Edmonton's own Adrian LaChance, and the "Shrek-cellent" Family Day Movie Event. All for free! The latter event will take place at the Stanley A. Milner Library Theatre (downtown) at 2PM.

Today (Feb. 17) is the kick-off of the 22nd annual Silver Skate Festival & Winter Celebration in Hawrelak Park, which'll run up until Monday the 20th. Edmonton's longest-running winter festival is "rooted in the Dutch tradition of a love of the o…

@themovies/ 'Chronicle'

Think Stephen King's 'Carrie,' but with more rage. Less pigs blood


WE all imagine what it would be like to have super human powers, right?! Gifts that would permit us to fly, to read minds, to walk through walls, or pick up a pick-up and toss it across a parking lot like it was a Frisbee. We've all seen these types of divine depictions in movies, but on most occasions these empowered freaks of nature are clad in colourful tights and capes. But not in Josh Trank's sci-fi "found footage" feature Chronicle, which was made for far less than those other super human blockbusters ($15 million, actually).

Newcomer Dane DeHaan (True Blood) plays Andrew, a beleaguered teen chronicling his high school & at-home strain with his video camera. He captures his personal chaos, in his dying mother, his alcoholic & abusive father, and the fellow students who tease & taunt him daily.

Andrew's only refuge is the time spent with his cousin Matt…

Burgerthon, Episode 2/ Rodeo Burger

Homemade relish, low prices, friendly could you go wrong?! By grilling a burger that's only a'ight, that's how!


I'VE lived in Edmonton ALL my life, 32 years total, so it always amazes me when I still, steadily stumble upon places in town that I've never been to before. Places I've never even heard of, actually. Case in point, Rodeo Burger, just across the street from the University Hospital (8525B-112 St./ 780-435-6733). Apparently, it's been there for about two years, but it's certainly brand new to me.

Despite it's big red sign, and being street front on a road that has taken me to or from Whyte Avenue many a time...oh, and specializing in burgers(!)...I had yet to make my acquaintance with this place, which I'm sure is frequented by the on-a-budget U of A students on their lunch, coffee, or pot breaks. Good on Rodeo for taking up residence before the fused Tim Horton's/ Wendy's just steps away, and nestle…

New Works Festival, 2012

Alberta's future leading playwrights and thespians are tapping their in-training talents in an annual Fringe-esque fest


IT'S almost like the Fringe's little brother, a theatrical occasion thrown together every February by the University of Alberta's Department of Drama. It's called the New Works Festival, and it's now in its 12th year hosting live theatre that'll help develop young actors, directors, designers, and dramaturges.

A half-dozen productions will make up the 2012 season, including Ben Dextraze's A Fire in Their Eyes, Lisa Lorentz's Sitter, Priscilla Yakielashek's Felix and Max (all part of 'Night A'), Evan Tsitsias' Murmuration of Starlings, Sydney Gross' Laundry Cycle, and Bevin Dooley's The Playmates (all part of 'Night B').

"For the past 12 years, the New Works Festival has been committed to helping emerging playwrights develop and stage their work, all of which at varying stages in …

Trio of Edmontonians Up for Junos

Canada's Grammys, essentially, recognize a few homegrown talents for the 2012 Juno Awards!


THEY aren't exactly the Grammys, no, but the Junos are at least its Canadian equivalent, in case you were outta the loop. Since 1970 the Juno Awards have been presented annually (excluding 1988) to acknowledge the best in Canadian music, as determined (mostly) by members of the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences. This year sees several Edmontonians up for some national hardware, which were announced yesterday (Feb. 7) in Toronto. 41 categories in all.

Going up against Mother Mother, Hey Rosetta!, Braids, and The Sheepdogs for New Group of the Year is the Rural Alberta Advantage, fronted by Edmonton's own Nils Edenloff, who is now based outta Toronto. Of course. The band's had a great year, launching their Departing album and gaining south-of-the-border buzz with a "Breaking Out" featurette in SPIN magazine. The RAA are also in the running …

Edmonton Gets Its Read On!

Despite the endless stream of free music, movies, articles, and stories online, Edmonton continues to keep librarians on their toes


I SWEAR that every time I go to my local library (the Lois Hole branch, FYI) I struggle to find a parking stall. I either have to pounce on an idling vehicle who may or may not be about to forfeit his spot, or I circle the lot until someone clears a stall. I might even have to park in the adjacent lot for the YMCA, or even in the area earmarked for staff. Once, I even dared nestling in the supplied 'car pool' spot (which I think is a bullshit stall btw)! I know, right?!

It's just so damn busy there, and it doesn't matter the time of the day, or the day of the week. As it turns out, Edmonton likes to get its read on! Good for you, though. Especially because reading can almost be like pulling teeth for myself (I'm there exclusively for their extensive CD stock, in case you were wondering), even though I rely on just that …

Burgerthon, Episode 1/ The Burger Joint

Customize the ultimate burger to "fit your personality" at what'll very likely become one of your favourite burger joints in town


IF you're a vegetarian, I kind've feel sorry for you. At times, I just don't get you. I love meat! & now that you've retrieved your minds from the gutter, I'm clearly referring to the likes of juicy sirloin steak, buckets of fried chicken, mountains of crisp bacon, and of course, the classic cheeseburger!


So you can imagine my surging delight when I heard about The Burger Joint, a magical, whimsical place where you create the ultimate burger of your wildest fantasies. Okay, so maybe I'm being melodramatic, but we are talking about burgers, right?! Endless configurations of meats, toppings, and sauces (oh my!) at one's disposal, and all for no more than what you could easily pay for a KFC combo or a Quiznos sub. That's The Burger Joint in a nutshell.

Located just short of the South Edmo…

Music Clip of the Month/ 02-12

Colleen Brown's "Baby Blue Eyes" (2011)


"THE idea for the song was planted while I was working the beer tub at the Atlantic Trap & Gill," admitted local singer-songwriter Colleen Brown, referring to "Baby Blues Eyes," from her third full-length album Dirt (2011). "I was watching a mass of people around the dance floor to the song "Brown Eyed Girl" and thought, 'Geez! I'd love for people to get that excited about one of my songs.'

"I was thinking about what it was that was so powerful about the song," she continued. "Maybe how universal it is. Around the same time I was wrestling with an on/off relationship that seemed perhaps better left to a strictly dancing state. A blue-eyed boy...."

Last October Brown launched Dirt at St. Albert's Arden Theatre, alongside a 10-piece band and CBC cameras. The 13-song folk-pop set inspired enthusiastic reviews coast to coast, garnering her nation…

Edmonton Music Awards Nominees, 2012

The nominations for the 2012 EMAs have been announced! If you don't recognize at least one of the acts, your bad!


"THE vision of the Edmonton Music Awards is to acknowledge, celebrate and promote Edmonton music and musicians in all forms," reads the mission statement for the 2012, second annual Edmonton Music Awards, which will take place Saturday, April 28th at the Royal Alberta Museum. "Awards such as the Junos and Breakout West recognize artists on a national level, but we strongly believe there are artists locally that deserve recognition for their work and the success they have achieved on both the local and national level.

"The Edmonton Music Awards is dedicated to the goal of annually celebrating, honouring and rewarding creativity and diversity in the Edmonton music community." Nice, and we agree 100%! Edmonton has so many amazing, yet relatively unknown acts who are making great music in every genre imaginable. Why not celebrate t…