peat o’neil

Travel * Think * Create

Posts Tagged ‘documentary film

Toronto for TIFF and Fashion

leave a comment »

 

Toronto at Night

Toronto at Night

 

 

 

The last time I enjoyed the  brisk bright nightlife district in Toronto, I was writing a story for Washington Flyer, an airport customer magazine.

 

 

 

On this recent trip,  my visit overlapped the opening week of TIFF  — Toronto International Film Festival — a bit like Cannes without the huff and Hollywood.

TIFF logoWe join the ecelictic mix of late night party mammals at the top of  Mr. Trump‘s hotel where the cocktail napkins are emblazoned with a large $ symbol.     The barman was studying for an exam, we guessed, since he was slow to loosen up and was consulting a book.

 

In the elevator going down, the vapid girl-star from the vampire flicks was nosing her thumbs into a crack berry while an assistant in a too-tight denim jacket worked media appointments on her mobile.  The big ‘ole body guard was Russian, Serb or Tra-jikastan.

Over at Four Seasons bar, the vibe was easier, but we didn’t like seeing the drink maker fish olives from the jar with his fingers.  Please!

In front of TIFF headquarters, people with and without tickets milled around in amoebic clumps, seeing and being the scene. On another day I went to Queen St. East (way East) to Jac Flash to buy  poppy strewn skinny jeans. tiff sked

At KitKat/Club Lucky  the mood is casual and off-hand chic.  Downstairs is a familiar bar; upstairs explosed brick walls, red check table cloths, cigars and single malt.  A tuxedo-wearing tenor from the London cast of Phantom might serenade the birthday girl at his table to exhuberant applause from the whole room gets into the act.  The scene for cigars and single malt.

The Old  Front St. neighborhood of downtown Toronto centers on St. Lawrence Market.  The two buildings — one 19th century, one modern — are crammed with food vendors, purveyors of gourmet bottled goods and the foodie crowd angling in for a free taste. Back in the day the market was a lot more earthy and real with Italian sons of butchers hollering out to visitors, ‘buy our sausage, not from the next guy’.

Approach the Cathedral Church of St. James, 106 King St. E. from the south through the Market Square courtyard and sculpture garden for a memorable prospect of the 306 foot tower and spire, the tallest in North America after St. Patrick’s in New York City.  2954699 city-photos.org

End the day at the ornate, opulent and sensually engaging Winter Garden. It’s all that a theatre should be.  Colored lights hang from the ceiling, real and artificial branches suspended on high create the effect of stepping into a midsummer’s night dream extending from the stage to the back of the house. I saw the interior of this theatre with a CBC radio reporter back in the day when dedicated preservation groups worked to save it from the developer’s wrecking ball. So glad it was saved.

Written by patwa

06/09/2013 at 1:40 am

The Eye Has to Travel

leave a comment »

At Silver Docs a few days ago, during the Documentary Film Festival at AFI in Silver Spring, I swooned over this film DV:The Eye Has to Travel about Diana Vreeland.  She was the editrix-empress of Vogue, long before the Devil Wears Prada.  The director of the documentary answered questions after the screening and revealed she is married to one of Vreeland’s grandchildren the access to contacts and family archives was fluid.  Said the film project grew out of a book she was already working on.  The images are fab — wry, witty commentary on the 1960s and 70s.

Written by patwa

29/06/2012 at 10:35 pm

Passione in Napoli

with one comment

Passione, a film by John Turturro, explores Naples and its dynamic musical heritage.  I viewed the documentary at a screening sponsored by the InterAmerican Development Bank in Washington, DC, part of “Italy @ 150” celebrating the 150th anniversary year of Italian unification.  The year long program was organized by the Smithsonian Institution. The multi-venue cultural celebration started on March 17, 2011, the 150th anniversary of Il Risorgimento.

Released in 2010, Passione was praised by critics, but is unlikely to appear in the local cineplex. The scenes can be gritty and emotionally charged, which can unnerve the bourgeoisie.  Too bad — we could all use a dose of the resilience, chaos and and life embracing realism of Naples.   “Singing is emotional transportation,” says John Tutturro, during this documentary that strings together the many cultural influences on Neapolitan song and performance style.  

Tutturro’s film captures the Baroque facades of Neapolitan churches, the splashes of graffiti and faces etched by smiles and worries.  The director encourages folks on the street to sing songs that typify the culture, then cuts to longer versions by professional singers rendering the same material.  Clips of U.S. soldiers who arrived during World War II as an occupying army that stayed for decades explains some of the multi-ethnic gene pool of Napoli and its music.  Greeks, Arabs, Berbers, Slavs, Visigoths, Spaniards, Celtic-Scandinavian  Normans, French, African-Americans are some of the musical ancestors.  The people’s music of Napoli characterizes a world city, a delicious mix of cultures and sensuality.

Written by patwa

06/11/2011 at 3:56 pm

Andrew McDowell

An Author of Many Parts

RED ROAD PRESS

On the Red Road in South Puna, Hawai'i

m.lever

life. as i see it.

Interning in Milan

62 Days....counting slow

Mail Artists Index

Biographies, works and links of representative Mail Artists. - Biografien, Arbeiten und Links zu typischen Mail Art Künstlern.

Nellie Bly in the Sky

Celebrating the 125th anniversary of Nellie Bly's historic voyage around the world in 72 days.

The Fox Trails

Exploring Nature and Society

Iconic Photos

Famous, Infamous and Iconic Photos

Travel * Think * Create

No White Food

Add Life::Eat Color

Travel * Think * Create