Category: Spotlight

2 Nights Till Morning – film review

2 Nights Till Morning – film review

2 NIGHTS TILL MORNING     director:  Mikko Kuparinen (Finland)     Bright Nights: The 6th Baltic-Nordic Film Festival (CFI)     Friday, February 19, 2016, 7:00 pm     River Building Theatre, Carleton University)     Oh hey, the perfect one night stand: a couple of buff travellers from far away lands (Finland, France) on a brief Vilnius stopover, conveniently […]

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ERROAR – Roar – film review

ERROAR – Roar – film review

ROAR     director: Noel Marshall     opens January 29th     Mayfair Theatre, 1074 Bank street     Remember the early days of colour tv, when Sunday afternoons were filled with cheapo Disney vignettes starring rascally vermin getting into all kinds of home alone mischief?  Pesky raccoons in the kitchen? Sly foxes in the den? Silly monkeys in the […]

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NOT FUNNY: I Smile Back – film review

NOT FUNNY: I Smile Back – film review

I SMILE BACK     director: Adam Salky     opens December 11     The Mayfair Theatre, 1074 Bank Street, Ottawa     Hoping for a rib-tickling hijinx escapade with razor sharp witticisms from Sarah Silverman? Not happening. Instead, “I Smile Back” slaps audience faces awake with a desperate housemom coke binge scene. Its realism is disconcerting, and quite shocking. […]

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Wild Life – film review

Wild Life – film review

WILD LIFE (VIE SAUVAGE) director: Cedric Kahn Tuesday, December 8th, 7pm Bytowne Cinema, 325 Rideau Street, Ottawa Living off the grid sure sounds romantic, but unfortunately in real life, living off the land, romance is not top priority. “Wild Life” traces a drastic family separation when the mother decides to escape a communal hippie culture she no longer believes in. […]

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EXCRUTIATING: Entertainment – film review

EXCRUTIATING: Entertainment – film review

ENTERTAINMENT    director: Rick Alverson opens December 5th    Mayfair Theatre, 1074 Bank Street, Ottawa This, without a doubt, will be the toughest watch of 2015. Terrible stand up comedians have their place, and can offer entertainment value in some form or another. Enter Greg Turkington, who as his alter ego Neil Hamburger has been mastering the craft of truly unremarkable, offensive, […]

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SNAPPING JAMES: Life – film review

SNAPPING JAMES: Life – film review

LIFE    director: Anton Corbijn    opens December 4th    Troubled photographer. Moody, genius actor. LIFE magazine. Sounds like cinema bonanza. Almost. Dennis Stock’s iconic still of a sopping wet James Dean wading through Manhattan is a grand piece of art, and former NME photog Anton Corbijn attempts to translate that magic on to a moving screen. Corbijn has tread similar waters […]

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Bonnie and X – Baby(a)lone – film review

Bonnie and X – Baby(a)lone – film review

BABY(A)LONE    director: Donato Rotunno    Luxembourg, 2015, 90 minutes    Friday, November 20, 7pm    ByTowne Cinema, 325 Rideau Street    30th European Union Film Festival    The kids are not alright. “Baby(a)lone” is an unsettling primer about disenfranchised youth dealing (poorly) with contemporary first world problems. It is also a very good looking piece of cinema. Like a kiddie version of Bonnie […]

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FOOD FIGHT! – Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of National Lampoon – film review

FOOD FIGHT! – Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of National Lampoon – film review

DRUNK STONED BRILLIANT DEAD: THE STORY OF NATIONAL LAMPOON     director: Douglas Tirola    premieres October 17th    The Mayfair Theatre, 1074 Bank Street, Ottawa    Animal House, the Vacation movies, Saturday Night Live … all the glory resides on screens big and small, yet the germ of subversive, frat boy comedy under the National Lampoon banner belongs in […]

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REDRUM REDRUM – Goodnight Mommy – film review

REDRUM REDRUM – Goodnight Mommy – film review

GOODNIGHT MOMMY    directors: Severin Fiala, Veronica Franz    screens October 14th    The Mayfair Theatre, 1074 Bank Street   Close your eyes. No really, close ’em. “Goodnight Mommy”, or the better translated title “I See I See” is one scary cinematic ride. Hop on board if you wish, but the warning stands. In the grand tradition of successful horror, this […]

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MOLLY ON THE BEACH: Fort Tilden – film review

MOLLY ON THE BEACH: Fort Tilden – film review

FORT TILDEN    directors: Sarah-Violet Bliss, Charles Rogers  opens October 10th    The Mayfair Theatre, 1074 Bank Street    “When you come to a fork in the road, take it”, Yogi Bera.    What seems like an inoccuos day trip to the beach for a couple of truly unlikeable, priveleged millenials, turns into a distraction-filled anti-adventure slog. Why this makes for fascinating cinema is […]

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CH-CH-CHANGES: This Changes Everything – a film review

CH-CH-CHANGES: This Changes Everything – a film review

THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING    director: Avi Lewis    special screening October 4th, with the filmmakers in attendance    regular run starts october 9th    The Mayfair Theatre, 1074 Bank Street    “This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs The Climate” is the full title of Noami Klein’s tome, and frankly, the documentary needs that crucial extension, else it becomes a bit of a guessing […]

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THE BAR SCENE – The Stanford Prison Experiment – film review

THE BAR SCENE – The Stanford Prison Experiment – film review

THE STANFORD PRISON EXPERIMENT    director: Kyle Patrick Alvarez    opens October 2nd, Bytowne Cinema, 325 Rideau St.,   School as prison? What a novel concept. A Psyche 101 classic, The Stanford Prison Experiment is fictionalized (barely) for the big screen. Two dozen students were split into prisoner and guard factions, and on a $15 daily carrot (a significant chunk ‘o’ […]

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THERE GOES THE NEIGHBOURHOOD: welcome to Leith – a film review

THERE GOES THE NEIGHBOURHOOD: welcome to Leith – a film review

WELCOME TO LEITH   directors: Michael Beach Nichols, Christopher K. Walker   opens September 26th,   Mayfair Theatre   1074 Bank Street       Forget cat leash and garage door colour bylaws; there are neighbourhood issues and then are neighbourhood issues. This is the rather engrossing story of a little North Dakotan intersection called Leith (population 24), which is […]

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A scene from Jon Watts' COP CAR, playing at the 58th San Francisco International Film Festival, April 23 - May 7 2015.

BACON STASH: COP CAR movie review

COP CAR director: Jon Watts The Mayfair Theatre, 1074 Bank Street starts September 11th In the fine tradition of a truly Grimm fairy tale, “Cop Car” tells the tall story of what can happen when little tykes cross that magical line of make believe. What pre-teen hasn’t dreamt of finding an abandoned cop car? With keys? With a radio? With a siren? […]

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Weekend Showcase – July 3rd Edition

Weekend Showcase – July 3rd Edition

It’s Fourth of July weekend, and every gathering, barbecue, or picnic requires music. Lucky for you, we have your soundtrack for the long weekend. There are plenty of American artists plus some from Canada, Australia, and Europe on this week’s Weekend Showcase. So grill some meat and vegetables, open some beverages, share stories with friends and families, and spin the […]

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Agnostic Front – “The American Dream Died”

Agnostic Front – “The American Dream Died”

Few hardcore bands have been around as long as Agnostic Front, and one listen to this will prove that these guys only improve with age. They are louder, tougher, and possibly even more pissed off than they were when they got together 30 years ago. The music is tough as nails, and vocalist Roger Miret can still shout as well […]

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Encore – Learn (Episode 3)

Encore – Learn (Episode 3)

For our third episode, we’re going with the theme of Learn. Like most of our themes, this could be wide open to interpretation, but today we’re focusing on learning life lessons, and sometimes it ain’t pretty. You’ll hear a track from Sloan’s 2014 album, Commonwealth, called “You Don’t Need Excuses to be Good“. This is a great rock song with […]

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50 Favourite Albums of 2014 – The Full List In Revue

50 Favourite Albums of 2014 – The Full List In Revue

In case you missed or just wanted a summary or was waiting for this final list instead of reading each of the 10 pieces, here is a run down of our 50 Favourite Albums of 2014. Our list, as always, is in alphabetical order, as to rank them is nearly an impossible exercise with the thousands of albums that were […]

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Building guitars with Canadian folk award winner John MacDonald

Building guitars with Canadian folk award winner John MacDonald

John MacDonald doesn’t let many people enter his guitar workshop. It’s small and messy, but it’s also everything you’d expect from a room where guitars are built – filled with all types of wood and tools. Since assembling his first guitar about twelve years ago, he’s provided some of Ottawa’s finest musicians with a unique look and sound. But apart from constantly searching for ways to improve his […]

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STRONG, JACK STRONG

STRONG, JACK STRONG

  Jack Strong (Poland) Directed by Władysław Pasikowski Saturday, November 22, 7pm, 395 Wellington, National Archives 29th European Union Film Festival Despite the flashy poster, dashing leading man, and promise of super secret espionage thrills, this is not a James Bond movie. You have been warned. Instead, Jack Strong is a methodical retelling of a complicated cat and mouse tale […]

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