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In the Land of the Head Hunters (1914)

IntheLandoftheHeadHunters_1914“O that we might go, beloved, walking hand in hand along the misty path of copper.”

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Sometimes I take things for granted. I forget what’s important.

We have toiled away for many (many) years on this site. Late last month in fact, we quietly slipped past the five-year anniversary of During our half decade of doing this, a great deal has changed in our lives.

The site has been the one thing that has consistently endured. Sometimes we wander off (and by we I mean me) but we always return to it.

It matters.

Receiving a copy of In the Land of the Head Hunters in the mail the other day reminded me what we do all of this for. Getting access to this film was more than a little like receiving a crumbling scrap of the Magna Carta or a map to an ancient treasure in a bubble wrap envelope.

This film is an actual treasure. As Canadian film fanatics, how could we not jump at the chance to get our grubby mitts on the oldest surviving feature film made in Canada?

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1981 (2009)

1981 (2009)

“The damn truth only works if everybody’s telling it. If it’s only you, it’s useless.”

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Once again I’m confounded by my inadequacy. I feel I’m utterly inappropriate to review this video, not because I can’t express my reactions to it, but because it hits so close to home.

With 1981, writer/director Ricardo Trogi has crafted (and narrated) a work based on his own life. The details may vary slightly — I’m not a particular fan of hockey or the Seventies rock band KISS — and in other aspects very greatly, but the end result moved me to tears at the vivid mirror it held up to my past.

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Five Years, Five Highlights

Hacker RendersOur page “about Geek vs Goth” is more spirited than serious, but it is, in fact, all true.

There’s more to the story, though. And on this, our five-year anniversary, why not expound?

It began even earlier, in 2006, when I lost my mother to cancer. As a father myself, the loss affected me in an unexpected way. I realized there was nothing more to be shared, no stories, no opinions, no thoughts on what my mother had loved, nor why…

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R.I.P. Leonard Nimoy (1931 – 2015)

Leonard Nimoy

“I would not remind you of that which you know so well.” (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)


Today a living legend became simply legend.

In the days to come thousands, maybe millions, will celebrate the late Leonard Nimoy, who has passed away at the age of 83. They will ruminate on his faith, his photography and, of course, whether he was or was not Spock.

I know too little of the man himself to add much to those conversations. I have only my memories, associations, and an odd kind of ruefulness.

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Police Academy (1984)

Police Academy (1984)“You will have live ammunition but there will be no call to use it.”

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I suppose I always knew Police Academy was shot (and possibly set) in Toronto. The Bank of Montreal building is there in the opening scene of the movie. And although I was too young when I first saw it to know the city well, in retrospect even more landmarks are frequent and familiar.

It wasn’t until just recently, reading World Film Locations: Toronto, that I was reminded of the runaway success I’d neglected to consider.

Plus I couldn’t get Robert Folk’s theme song out of my head.

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Suck (2009)

Suck (2009)


“I’m from a much older breed. What you kids call ‘old school’.”

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Suck is not the film I expected it to be. And that’s okay, because it truly rocks.

First, here are some things that it is not. It is not Blood Ties, a supernatural procedural set in night-time Toronto. It is also not a gothic Nancy Baker tale of life on Queen Street West. And it features little dark home-grown music, say The Viletones, National Velvet, An April March, or Front Line Assembly.

In fact, you would be ill-advised to expect any Cure or Siouxsie here. Instead, expect references to The Beatles, The Doors, Bruce Springsteen, and Van Halen. Expect borderline-country, folk, Flamenco, pop, and singer-songwriting. Expect a cameo by a prog rocker from Rush.

Still here? Fine, because you’re going to have a lot of fun anyway.

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Enemy (2013)

Enemy (2013)

Local film . . . keep it in mind.

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Enemy is a film so rich — so complex, layered, and smooth — I feel utterly incapable of doing it justice. I’d rather just watch it again.

One of the only things which struck me as “off” about the experience was the city of Toronto rendered in a golden sepia. Residents might imagine it to be more colourful, and detractors would probably call it a dirty grey. And yet it works for that sepia tone is the colour of memory, ephemera, ideals, of reality eaten away.

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