It’s been over a year since modern silent film The Artist took home the Oscar for best picture, and with it came a renewed surge of interest in the genre. Which brings us to the Toronto Silent Film Festival, back for its fourth year. The theme of this year’s lineup is the individual versus society, and classic films from around the world have been gathered for the occasion, including The Passion of Joan of Arc and Tokyo Chorus.
For the past eight years the Feminist Porn Awards have been promoting and celebrating erotica at its most primal, and also its most artistic, all through the lens of feminism. The FPAs proudly state that they are “the longest running celebration of erotica focused on women and marginalized people.” Over the years, the awards have expanded from a gala event that includes a screening of the nominees and the awards ceremony itself—where highly coveted trophies come in the shape of glittery butt plugs—to a multi-day series of events celebrating art and sexuality, including a full day conference.
Book lovers! A baseball-themed book launch is coming your way. At the Coach House Spring 2013 Launch, you’ll be treated to readings from plenty of Toronto authors, including Tamara Faith Berger, Nicolas Billon, David Seymour, and Andrew Kaufman.
If you haven’t had a chance to check out DanceWorks’ strong lineup this season, now’s your chance. Episodes | andscapes is a new series of dance performances that explore the “terrains of our human condition.” The series is made up of two duets by Tracey Norman and a solo by Jesse Dell (with a soundscape by composer Jordan O’Connor).
The Feminist Porn Awards are just around the corner, so why not take this opportunity to celebrate some of the genre’s best. Public.Provocative.Porn: The Year’s Best in Feminist Film features selected (and very NSFW) works by filmmakers Nica Noelle and Julie Simone, producing team Clark Matthews and Mia Gimp, and performer Jiz Lee. In addition to the screening, there will be a q-and-a session with the directors. Adults only, of course.
When’s the last time you attempted to reconceptualize the dimensions of space? If it’s been a while, you might consider checking out a new exhibition called I Thought There Were Limits, which aims to do just that. This particular exhibit is unique in that the artwork forms a relationship with the site itself (in this case, the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery). The work on display is brought to you by curator Julia Abraham (as part of the MVS degree in Curatorial Studies at the University of Toronto). The artists include Karen Henderson, Yam Lau, Gordon Lebredt, Kika Thorne, and Josh Thorpe.
Legoland (not to be confused with Legoland) tells the story of the “Gruesome Twosome,” Canada’s youngest drug dealers. Feeling out of place at their boarding school, siblings Penny and Ezra decide to break free and track down Penny’s pop idol, a journey they fund by selling their prescription drugs. This contemporary Vaudeville routine is told through puppetry, ukelele music, and gangster rap.
The Whipping Man is a 2011 John Gassner New Play Award–winning play that’s set during Passover in 1865. The show tells the tale of a confederate officer who has returned home after the Civil War to find his family missing, but two former slaves remaining. While waiting for the family’s return, the concepts of master and slave, and those of slavery and war, are explored. Directed by Philip Akin and starring Sterling Jarvis, Brett Donahue, and Thomas Olajide.
If there’s one thing that’s particularly impressive about Second City’s new mainstage show, The Meme-ing of Life, it’s how well balanced it is.
As the title implies, Meme-ing is nominally a show about the internet, and certainly there is a fair bit of internet-centric humour. (One sketch, about a boy who falls into a YouTube-induced coma that can only be cured by reading, is particularly on point.) That said, it isn’t just a series of jokes about cat videos. Instead, it’s a well-thought-out show that manages to offer something for pretty much everyone, without stretching itself too thin.
While the Toronto International Film Festival may have shifted into a more relaxed mode, it’s still offering plenty of opportunities to gawk at movie stars—they’re just a little more spread out. Midweek, fans could catch the premieres of Good Kill (Ethan Hawke as a drone pilot), Maps to the Stars (David Cronenberg’s new bit of oddness), The Imitation Game (Benedict Cumberbatch as World War II cryptographer Alan Turing), Jauja (Viggo Mortensen, and we don’t know much else really), Laggies (Sam Rockwell and Keira Knightley in a comedy about people taking their sweet time to grow up), October Gale (Patricia Clarkson and Scott Speedman in a thriller/drama set in a remote cabin), Pawn Sacrifice (about the chess duels between Boris Spassky and Bobby Fischer), The Cobbler (Adam Sandler’s latest) and Escobar (Benicio Del Toro is the famous drug kingpin).
The Toronto Comedy Brawl is in the middle of a growth spurt. Despite humble beginnings, Ian Atlas’ amateur competition has grown from 64 participants to, this year, a few hundred.