Reel Toronto: Diamond Tongues
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Reel Toronto: Diamond Tongues

Toronto’s extensive work on the silver screen reveals that, while we have the chameleonic ability to look like anywhere from New York City to Moscow, the disguise doesn’t always hold up to scrutiny. Reel Toronto revels in digging up and displaying the films that attempt to mask, hide, or—in rare cases—proudly display our city.

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Movies that actually take place in Toronto are exceptions to the rule here at Reel Toronto. It’s always an uphill battle for local productions to get noticed with all those Hollywood blockbusters throwing their weight around but Diamond Tongues is one such hidden gem (pun more or less intended).

Directed by Pavan Moondi and Brian Robertson, the film garnered strong reviews when it played at the Slamdance festival earlier this year. Furthering its Toronto indie cred, it stars July Talk lead singer Leah Fay and her bandmate Peter Dreimanis was the cinematographer. And the music is by Broken Social Scene’s Brendan Canning.

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Fay (AKA, Leah Goldstein) plays an aspiring actress, Edith, and most of the action takes place out in the west end. We find her, at the start, outside Pinewood Studios, on Commissioner’s Street.

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Here she is putting up a poster across town, at King and Portland.

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She also visits many an eatery and many a drinkery. Both early on and later…

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…she spends some time at the now-closed Parkdale joint, Geraldine.

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Edith also enjoys the beverages at Black Dice

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Get Well

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…and, with more of a daytime vibe, Little Nicky’s Coffee.

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She meets a potential date here, at Cherry Cola’s

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…and twice visits Unlovable.

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Towards the end of the movie she catches a show at The Garrison

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…and goes outside too.

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But the shots of the band (Islands!) on stage, were actually done down at the Horseshoe Tavern.

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She has a frustrating audition at The Great Hall‘s upstairs space (also used as an aprtment in The F Word)…

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…but when she spars with her ex-boyfriend outside afterwards…

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…we’re back out on King Street West.

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Soon after, she commiserates with her friend at Balfour Books.

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In a desperate effort to salvage the failed audition, she goes to a callback at the actual offices of Serendipity Point Films

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…and looks into joining an acting class…

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…shot at 401 Richmond.

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Unlucky in love, lonely Edith strolls past this drug store, at Queen and Ossington (with a nice, if inadvertent shout out to Orphan Black)…

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…and buys dinner for two at the Kitchen Table located in the Atrium on Bay.

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She strolls solo down Yonge Street across from the Eaton Centre…

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…and gets on the subway at Queen.

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In one amusing bit, she fantasizes she’s achieved what apparently every aspiring Canadian actor desires: an interview with Strombo!

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During an extended sequence, she and her friend, Nick, get high and make their way around town. We get some stand-up at the Comedy Bar…

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…and make their way down to Markham Street, after which they visit a fortune teller inside at Southern Accent.

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There’s a nicely shot montage of Edith riding down escalators, mostly at the Eaton Centre…

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…venturing into the Queen subway station…

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…and across the street at Sheraton Centre.

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This ill-advised phone call was shot over at Sunnyside Beach…

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…and this one at the photogenic Puente de Luz bridge…

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….and this one, in a cinema, at Camera Bar.

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Also theatre related, she takes in a friend’s play at the Black Box Theatre, back at The Great Hall.

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Towards the end, Edith screens a movie she’s been working on…

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…at the Cooper Cole Gallery’s previous location, on Dundas Street West.

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Then it’s all Dundas all the time as we see the street outside at night

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…and then in the daytime rain.

Like many a Canadian film, Diamond Tongues hardly screened locally, though it did have a short run at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. But it’s now out there on iTunes so have a gander.

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