Archive for the ‘Stage & Screen’ Category

Toad of Toad Hall - Review

December 8th, 2009 by Wil Knoll

Towards the end of the performance of Toad of Toad Hall, children’s eyes in the first row were wide, fixed, and bright. Why? Because Toad of Toad hall is bright, vivid, and packed with movement.  It’s also packed with fun.

There were times when I was worried that the language was a bit too dense. But none of the children’s faces looked lost and I had to remember how smart kids really are. There were times when I thought it was a bit flamboyant.  But every child had a smile on their face after the joke. ToTH really was a bit of an education for me. I had forgotten how open and intelligent kids are.


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November 19th, 2009 by Wil Knoll

Did they just end that move with a pee joke?

Well, it’s a very pretty movie.

2012 has everything a good disaster movie requires. Amazingly huge CGI action sequences, fathers saying goodbye to sons, mothers holding daughters, tense moments and a smattering of laughs are heavily represented. Multiple stories following intertwined characters, shiny cars, crazy technology, and an insane explanation for why the disaster is happening is also checked off the list. It’s got it all. It’s a fun watch. But it’s too much. It’s about an hour too much. It’s got way too much everything.

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Kawasaki Exit sampling preview

November 13th, 2009 by Wil Knoll

No, I’m the Japanese Robert Deniro

One Yellow Rabbit’s High Performance Rodeo is just months away. This is a good thing. This means that it’s closer than it was yesterday. The High Performance Rodeo can be the burning highlight of a sun deprived winter for a theatre patron with stamina. Three whole weeks of good times…

The Rodeo also serves as a premiere for new work that the ensemble puts together. And last weekend, OYR gave us a sampling of Kawasaki Exit, a new work written and directed by Blake Brooker.

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Under The Bright Sun Review

November 9th, 2009 by Wil Knoll

Nothing new under this sun

But that is in no way a bad thing.

Simply put, Under The Bright Sun is enjoyable, with a generous amount of laughs warmly served up and smartly staged. Having said that, there may not have been any jaw dropping moments of realizations pulled out of the audience. There are no sharp inhales of surprised thrills, or deep nuanced discussions of morals, ethics, perceptions and realities.

Well, there is a little bit of a chat about that last part.


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Fairy Tales’ Shorts for all Sorts Preview

November 6th, 2009 by Wil Knoll

Seriously, I’ll be selling drink tickets.

Next Tuesday the Fairy Tales Diversity Film Festival is going against the cooling trend in weather and busting out the shorts for one last go round. The Shorts for All Sorts: Queer Film Quickies screening will be at The Uptown, starting at 7:30 pm.

The Fairy Tales Film Festival has been running for a bit over six years now, and is still the only annual gay and lesbian film festival in Alberta. This year they have decided to split the year in half and put a short film festival at the halfway lead in to the event in May. (more…)

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Paper Heart

November 3rd, 2009 by Nathan Atnikov

Critics are having a tough time with Paper Heart. Some have complained that they can’t tell which parts of the movie are scripted and which are legitimate documentary footage. It’s a truly unfair complaint. The goal of the movie is to make you think about love – any way it can get you to do that is fair game.


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Under The Bright Sun

October 30th, 2009 by Wil Knoll

Because the strangers on the bus make me question my existence and purpose sometimes…

Currently running at Lunchbox Theatre is the world premiere of Norm Foster’s Under The Bright Sun. Amnesia of some form confounds four people waiting at a bus stop, leading them to question their lives and love. Running until November 16th, you can check out this lunchtime comedy which seems to have a basis in an all too familiar sensation for some of us.

Or at least for me. I’ve often spent time at the bus questioning my motives for everything, wondering if the person standing beside me is happy with their life, or if I was happy with mine… I asked the cast members of Under The Bright Sun to commiserate about public transit based moments with me. This is what they had to say. (more…)

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Doc Soup: Big River Man

October 28th, 2009 by Lisa Murphy-Lamb

I’m on a bit of a swimming streak lately so it seems. Three times a week I take my son to his swim meet work outs, then earlier this week I checked out Chrisophe Jivraj’s The Swimmers video art installation at The New Gallery. Next in line is a swim-theme documentary, Big River Man. This film is the kick-off documentary for the screening series, Doc Soup, a monthly film series showcasing the latest Canadian and international documentaries. I had never heard of Doc Soup until last week when I bid and won a subscription for the 2009-2010 year at a silent auction.


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I, Claudia

October 27th, 2009 by Wil Knoll

The largest complement that I can give to I, Claudia is how natural the language and stories come out. Kristen Thomson has, as most playwrights should, a wonderful ear for how people speak. She must be a fantastic listener. In this show, more than others, that is also the role that the audience is cast in, the trusted confidant, the friend. It is the honest act of the audience listening that encourages Thomson’s characters to say more than they meant to, to pour out their insides when they did not intend to, to say the thing we did not ask them to say but needed to come out.


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It Might Get Loud: A Movie About Three Guys Who Love Music

October 26th, 2009 by Fiona Wren

There’s something really captivating about rockumentaries if you’re a music fan. Take the inevitable guitar porn, for instance – slow pans over the face of a Stratocaster, close-ups of masters plucking out rock anthems with nimble fingers. Concert footage of shows you wish you’d seen live (or maybe have seen live).

I’m not what you’d call an audiophile, but I do live in close quarters with one, and I’ve developed an appreciation for the rock documentary. Which is why, when I heard It Might Get Loud was playing in Calgary, I rushed out to get tickets. We saw the late-night show at the Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF), convinced the “limited run” promised on the film’s Web site would mean it was our only chance to watch The Edge, Jimmy Page, and Jack White jam together and talk music. (more…)

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