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5 Top Picks for the Calgary International Film Festival


The Grand Seduction kicks off CIFF Thursday, Sep 19. Photo: Marlne GŽlineau Payette  /  Max Films, courtesy CIFF

The Grand Seduction kicks off CIFF. Photo: Marlne GŽlineau Payette / Max Films, courtesy CIFF

The Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF) kicks off with a gala screening of The Grand Seduction (September 19, 7 pm at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium) directed by Canadian indie film icon Don McKellar. The film tells the story of a disgraced big city doctor, played by Taylor Kitsch, who ends up in a tiny Newfoundland town where the locals are determined to make him to stay. CIFF executive director Steve Schroeder calls it “one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen.” (more…)

Know Your Secret Agent: TIFF Debuts Designing 007: 50 Years of Bond Style

When you’ve been saving the world for five decades, you’re bound to get noticed. Just so with Bond, James Bond. The character created by Ian Fleming and portrayed by the likes of Sean Connery, Roger Moore and Daniel Craig has become much more than a simple action hero. He’s also a cultural icon, having influenced everything from fashion to cars to cocktails, while continuing to have a major impact on the way blockbuster movies are made.

Designing 007: 50 Years of Bond Style delves deep into some of the most notable aspects of the British spy’s cinematic legacy. Opening October 26 (and on display through January 20) at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, the sprawling exhibition assembles a vast quantity of artifacts, imagery and ephemera from the 22 existing Bond films in six themed sections: the display opens in MI6 Headquarters, where 007 receives his marching orders from M, his boss and father/mother figure, while a later section on Foreign Territories depicts the far-off lands where the secret agent inevitably ends up; a gold-obsessed vignette pays homage to Goldfinger, arguably the most popular Bond film, as well as The Man with the Golden Gun; technophiles will get a thrill walking through gadget-laden Q Branch; haute couture is the focus in the exhibit’s casino-oriented room; and the series’ most famous evildoers, henchmen and femmes fatale step into the spotlight in the rogues gallery of Villains and Enigmas.

Check out our photo gallery, below, for a glimpse of what to expect from the “shaken not stirred” show.

Of course, you wouldn’t expect a celebration of the 20th century’s most successful super-spy without a retrospective of his on-screen exploits. During Designing 007’s nearly three-month stint in Toronto, TIFF also presents the full slate of Bond films, beginning with 1962’s Dr. No and running up to 2008’s Quantum of Solace (the 23rd Bond movie, Skyfall, opens in major theatres on November 9). Cinephiles can also look forward to an appearance by John Glen, director of all five Bond films from the 1980s. He sits down with TIFF’s head of film programmes, Jesse Wente, on December 10.

Designing 007: 50 Years of Bond Style runs from October 26 through January 20 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Timed-entry admission is $15.

All photos by Craig Moy except where noted.

Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for July 22 to 24

Elaborate costumes are part of the fun at Odyssey Theatre.

Friday, July 22
Odyssey Theatre‘s annual Theatre Under the Stars production celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Players take to the stage of an open-air theatre to present The Fan by Carlo Goldoni – a comedy about misconceptions, gossip, meddling, and intrigue. The real joy, though, comes form the fantastical costumes worn by the actors, the bizarre masks, and the stunning set.

Classic flicks, recent blockbusters, and family films are all on offer at the Centretown Movies Outdoor Film Festival, which kicks off this weekend and runs until Aug. 13. Give date night a lift by grabbing snacks and laying out a blanket on the grass of Dundonald Park. Every Friday and Saturday night the festival will screen a movie at 9pm, starting with Eat, Pray, Love and Despicable Me.

Saturday, July 23
People from all communities are invited to Festival Haïti en Fête, a celebration of the beauty and uniqueness of Haiti. Highlights include a Caribbean band and other local and international performers, children’s activities, Caribbean food, a barbecue, a soccer tournament, and more. The event begins on Friday night with a dance party, followed by entertainment and sports for the family on Saturday (and another dance party Saturday night!), plus cultural sports and activities on Sunday.

The Urban Art Show is a juried event showcasing the original offerings of local artists and artisans. This year’s show puts emphasis on the “urban” element, with photography, new media, graphic design, live graffiti art, a DJ, an interactive art tent in conjunction with the Ottawa Art Gallery, and more. (more…)

Frugal Faves: Danier Leather Sale and the National Film Board

There’s so much to see and do in this city, but after a while, admission fees, restaurant bills and shopping sprees start to add up. Where Toronto‘s weekly tips on discounted tickets, exclusive sales, free events and more help you get the most out of your trip without burning a hole in your pocket.

Watch Canadian films at the NFB'S Mediatheque (photo by Desiree Butler).

View some CanCon at the NFB'S Mediatheque (photo by Desiree Butler).

National Film Board Flicks at Your Fingertips
Enjoy more than 5,000 Canadian films for less than a price of a cup of coffee at the National Film Board’s Mediatheque. Its cozy, state-of-the-art digital viewing stations offer an intimate cinematic experience—use the touch-screen monitor to browse through the NFB’s extensive catalogue and select from a collection of thought-provoking documentaries, innovative animated shorts, and Canadian screen classics. And for those on the go, the institution offers over 500 docs and animated movies through its new—and free!—iPhone application. With new titles added weekly, there’s always something new to watch.

Day passes to the NFB Mediatheque are $2 per person. Call 416-973-3012 or visit here for more details.
Pick up a sale-priced leather jacket from Danier.

Pick up a sale-priced leather jacket from Danier.

Danier’s Hot for Winter Sale
Cooling weather means hot deals on winter-lined jackets at Canadian clothier Danier Leather. Find discounts of up to 50 per cent on a variety of high-fashion leather coats for men and women. Be it a classic black bomber jacket or a sleek slim-fit coat in charcoal, the store has many styles to suit your silhouette and colours to complement your complexion. All sale jackets are lined with a detachable Thinsulate insulation layer that’s sure to keep you toasty and warm in the chilly conditions.

The Hot for Winter sale is on now to Nov. 11 at Danier locations across the Greater Toronto Area.