Sometimes, on Torontoist’s laziest days, it will drag itself out of bed just long enough to flick on the BBC’s 6 music internet radio service, the BBC’s gift to the world’s fans of British indie music, to listen to the 6 music breakfast show, which for ages was almost always preceded by a Don Letts introduction, (if it wasn’t someone doing a bad impression of David Bowie doing the intro.) Which, to be honest, is probably the most exposure Torontoist has had to Don Letts.
Despite this, Torontoist loves Don Letts.
Filmmaker and original punk, Letts’ work is on show in a marathon at the Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay W.), tomorrow, starting at 2pm with Dancehall Queen, Lett’s patois flavoured feature following a street vendor from the bottom to the top of the Dancehall world, followed by Sun Ra: Brother from Another Planet, and saving the best for last, with Punk: Attitude at 6pm, his documentary featuring an astounding range of punk heroes, from the Ramones to the Damned, discussing the power of punk and seen in archival footage.
The Harbourfront, indeed, is having a good weekend, with the Letts retrospective followed by a documentary on Trinidad and Tobago’s punk rock – Calypso at Dirty Jim’s on the 5th at 2pm. All showings are free.
Cinematheque Ontario screenings continue, almost completely sold out, so if you’re wanting to see A Simple Curve, the B.C. set big screen remake of the Red Green show (not really) you’ll be glad to know it’s currently being shown at the Canada Square (2190 Yonge St.) daily, staring today. Of course, if you’re merely desperate to get yourself some more Toronto Film Festival lovin’, This Saturday the Sprockets Globetrotter monthly screening series presents Israeli Shorts, at the Cineplex Odeon Sheppard Centre (4861 Yonge) which may or may not be a good idea if you want to get any little ones geared up for this April’s Sprockets film fest.
Doc Soup returns after the astounding success of A State of Mind, which I am told they had to turn hundreds of people away at the door for, so if you wish to see Czech Dream (Febuary 8th, the Bloor Cinema, 506 Bloor W.) you’ll probably want to turn up early. The film concerns a couple of film students fool the people of Prague into thinking there’s a new Carrefour-esque hypermarket that turns out to be a banner in a meadow. It’s exactly as stupid an idea as you could expect, but that sounds like half of the fun!
What of the wider releases, you might ask? Well, there’s Imagine Me and You, the UK set girl meets girl when she should be marrying bloke film, but Torontoist’s tastes lean closer to British radio than British films, to be honest. Now’s Glenn Sumi considers it ‘a bit of fresh air to the flailing rom-com genre’, though. While Eye’s Jason Anderson comments upon it, Now’s John Harkness seems utterly obsessed with the fact that the imagery in Lajos Koltai’s Holocaust film Fateless is stunning – ‘The Holocaust shouldn’t look lovely’ the article proclaims, and he continues, ‘In a film set largely in a concentration camp, “exquisitely lit” should not be the first adjectival phrase to spring to mind’.
It does look lovely. But when films like Triumph of the Will (Showing, interestingly, this Sunday at the Cineforum) exploited beauty to further the Nazi cause, it does seem fair enough if a director wishes to use beauty to explore the results.
Also out this week are Heading South, which sounds fantastic if you want to watch a film about insufferable middle aged women on holiday. “The film is constantly undone by it’s ungainly English-Language dialogue and misbegotten stabs at Melodrama”, states Eye’s Jason Anderson, and When a Stranger Calls, which is just about the dumbest title ever (it is a remake, though.)
But Torontoist is slightly gutted that it has other plans tonight rather than to go and see Alejandro Jodorowsky’s El Topo at Reg Hartt’s Cineforum (463 Bathurst) – Jodorowsky is as mad as a hatter and infamously killed 300 rabbits with his own bare hands during the making of the film. And was originally attached to make Dune – with Salvador Dali as the Emperor. What could have been!