Urban Planner: February 3, 2014



Urban Planner: February 3, 2014

In today's Urban Planner: the founder of mumblecore, a Star reporter's Rob Ford tell-all, and a play that some claim is Shakespearean.

Photo from Computer Chess press kit

Photo from Computer Chess press kit.

  • Film: When young Boston director Andrew Bujalski made a perceptive, low-key comedy called Funny Ha Ha in 2002 on a shoestring budget with a 16mm camera and a group of friends who had little experience, he could have no idea of the ripple effect it would create. Filmmakers started to make movies with whatever meagre resources they had at their disposal and collaborated with each other, and the resulting wave of lo-fi cinema became known as “mumblecore.” Although mumblecore is now considered to include such mainstream successes as Lena Dunham and the Duplass brothers, Bujalski is viewed by many as having led the move to embrace financial limitations and focus on capturing authentic interactions between characters. Bujalski will be on hand for screenings of Funny Ha Ha and his second feature, Mutual Appreciation, on February 3 and 4 respectively. Innis Town Hall (2 Sussex Avenue), $21in advance/both films. Details
  • Books: Possibly the most anticipated non-fiction book in recent years in Toronto, Crazy Town: The Rob Ford Story is Toronto Star reporter Robyn Doolittle’s comprehensive detailing of her investigation into the mayor’s criminal behaviour and substance abuse problems. Doolittle, who shared Torontoist‘s Superhero of 2013 win with her co-workers, will discuss the book and her work with Kristine Stewart, CEO of Twitter Canada. Bloor Hot Docs Cinema (506 Bloor Street West), 7 p.m., $40 (Includes book). Details
  • Theatre: Some people believe William Shakespeare wrote plays other than those contained in the “First Folio” collection of his works. Whether you believe that or not, getting a chance to see one of these plays performed and judge for yourself is rare indeed. The Ale House Theatre Company will make a case for the historical drama Edmund Ironside, and present a staged reading featuring sixteen actors, including veterans Richard Beaune and Peter Wylde. (Wylde, who performed at the Stratford Festival in the 1950s when it was still in a tent, may very well be able to claim six degrees of separation from the Bard himself.) Woodlot (293 Palmerston Avenue), 7 p.m., FREE. Details


  • Art: Virginia Woolf once remarked that “on or about December 1910, human character changed.” Whether it actually did is debatable, but the curators of “The Great Upheaval: Masterpieces from the Guggenheim Collection 1910–1918” use that year to start their exhibition of works from a tumultuous decade of innovation in European fine art. Art Gallery of Ontario (317 Dundas Street West), all day, $16.50–$25 (includes general admission). Details
  • Film: Jean-Luc Godard’s effort to haul the cinema out of its infancy and into a kind of artistic maturity is the subject of TIFF Cinematheque’s newest and fullest retrospective in some time, a two-season programme entitled Godard Forever, which is intended to span the length of the filmmaker’s remarkable, varied career—from the jazz-infused improvisation of Breathless to the Marxist montage of recent work like Film Socialisme. The first half of that retrospective, a fifteen-film programme dedicated to what most consider Godard’s golden age—the period from 1960’s Breathless to 1967’s apocalyptic, decade-capping Weekend—runs this season, highlighting the period in which Godard famously moulded existing genres like Hollywood gangster pictures and musicals into his own unique creations. TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King Street West). Details
  • Food: Time once again for the City of Toronto’s annual cold-weather enticement to get people out to fine dining establishments, the Winterlicious Festival. Over 200 restaurants have signed up to offer lunch and dinner prix-fixe menus over the official two-week period (many of them continue the pricing for longer), and the City’s also arranged for a number of different culinary events as well. For a full listing of the restaurants participating, visit the City’s website. $15–$45. Details
  • Fashion: Ichimaru—once one of Japan’s most famous geishas—left the profession in the 1930s to pursue a career in entertainment. Never really leaving her past life, she became known for adorning herself in the traditional geisha garb when performing in concert or on television. “From Geisha to Diva: The Kimonos of Ichimaru” exhibits several decades’ worth of outfits and personal effects, shedding light on the woman behind the makeup. Textile Museum of Canada (55 Centre Avenue), 11 a.m., $6-$15. Details
  • Film: Film critic Shlomo Schwartzberg is spending his Mondays for the next several months on a lecture series about the career of one of America’s greatest commercial filmmakers. Defining Greatness: Director Steven Spielberg launched on January 20 with a examination (and clips) of some of Spielberg’s greatest hits (E.T. the Extraterrestrial, Lincoln). On January 27, the series looks at early films like Duel and Jaws, before moving weekly through the rest of Spielberg’s body of work. There’s a flat fee of $90 for the whole series, or drop-in prices for single lectures. Miles Nadal JCC (750 Spadina Avenue), 7 p.m., $6-$11.25. Details

Happening soon:

Urban Planner is Torontoist‘s guide to what’s on in Toronto, published every weekday morning, and in a weekend edition Friday afternoons. If you have an event you’d like considered, email us with all the details (including images, if you’ve got any), ideally at least a week in advance.