Month: August 2012

tiffr: Schedule your Festival

Overwhelmed by all of the choices and film schedules for TIFF?

tiffr is a handy dandy web application that allows you to favourite (by adding a button to your favourites bar) your top films, and then it shows you all of your time options for just the selected films. You can then add your chosen screening to your schedule. Very easy, and way less of a headache then using the website.

My TIFF Picks 2012

The Toronto International Film Festival is around the corner, (September 8th- September 16) and with a mindblowing selection of films, it’s hard to figure out what to see. I’ve picked my favourites below. Note: I have kind of quirky taste, and I like foreign films. Enjoy!

The Brass Teapot
An impoverished young couple (Juno Temple and Michael Angarano) stumble upon an antique teapot that magically dispenses cash whenever either of them feels pain, inspiring them to ever-greater extremes, as they ascend the ranks of the nouveau riche. Director Ramaa Mosley eschews violence for a more whimsical, Tim Burton–esque treatment in this offbeat, darkly funny satire.

English Vinglish
Legendary Indian actress Sridevi returns to the screen after a fifteen-year absence in this funny and touching story about an Indian woman who struggles to learn the English language in order to overcome her insecurities.

In Another Country
South Korean master Hong Sang-soo teams with French superstar Isabelle Huppert for this formally inventive and wonderfully witty three-part film, in which three different but strikingly similar women — all named Anne, and all played by Huppert — meet and interact with the same group of people in a seaside Korean town, with each encounter producing a set of intriguing new outcomes and new possibilities.

Life Doesn’t Frighten Me

Are we tired of super cutesty awkward indie films yet? Of course not. We hardly need dialog to sell the film!
In this coming of age comedy life for Esther Weary includes her well-intentioned grandpa, friends that suck, and a deeply depressing birthday. Gordon Pinsent and Jade Aspros star in this modern story of teenage angst.

Like Someone In Love
An elderly man becomes infatuated with a young Tokyo call girl in this entrancingly elliptical anti-love story from Iranian master Abbas Kiarostami.

My Awkward Sexual Adventure
A hyper-repressed and schlubby accountant (Jonas Chernick) strikes a deal with a worldly but disorganized stripper (Emily Hampshire): he’ll help her with her crushing debt if she helps him become a better lover. Sharp direction by the versatile Sean Garrity and a very funny script by Chernick ensure for an uproarious — and surprisingly educational — sex comedy.

Much Ado about nothing

Shakespeare’s classic comedy gets contemporary spin in Joss Whedon’s stylized adaptation. Shot in just twelve days using the original text, the story of sparring lovers Beatrice (Amy Acker) and Benedick (Alexis Denisof) offers a dark, sexy and occasionally absurd view of the intricate game that is love.

Midnight’s Children
Spanning decades and generations, celebrated Canadian filmmaker Deepa Mehta’s highly anticipated adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s Booker Prize®–winning novel is an engrossing allegorical fantasy in which children born on the cusp of India’s independence from Britain are endowed with strange, magical abilities.

A Royal Affair

(By the screenwriter of the original dragon tattoo!! Which was amazing. Way better than the american version!
) This sumptuous historical drama from writer-director Nikolaj Arcel (screenwriter of the original version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) chronicles the scandalous love triangle between a queen (Alicia Vikander), her German doctor (Mads Mikkelsen), and the mad King of Denmark (Mikkel Følsgaard).

Shit Girls Say
Everyone’s favourite viral Toronto video comes to the big screen. Yeah it’s a little weird. And a little awesome. A new episode will premiere during the festival.

Rust and Bone

Marion Cotillard (La Vie en rose) and Matthias Schoenaerts (Bullhead) star in this gritty, moving and emotionally raw love story from Cannes Grand Prix winner Jacques Audiard (Un prophète).

Tai Chi 0

Whats this? not much. Just STEAM PUNK Kung Fu.
Martial arts meets steampunk in Hong Kong actor-director Stephen Fung’s (Gen-X Cops) slick, stylish pop-art take on the life of Yang-lu Chan (played by new martial-arts sensation Yuan Xiaochao), founder of the Yang school of tai chi.


Blurring the line between documentary and fiction, Nostradamos takes place on the eve of the end of the world. As hordes of people flock to the city of Amos, Quebec after it is identified as the safest bet for survival in the face of the coming apocalypse, a number of local residents conspire to profit from the sudden influx of tourists.

Thermae Romae

An architect from ancient Rome is propelled into a modern-day Tokyo bath house in this kooky time-travelling comedy based on Mari Yamazaki’s award-winning manga series.

Picture Day

One of the most charming and vibrant debut features by a Canadian filmmaker in recent memory, Kate Melville’s Picture Day features rising star Tatiana Maslany as Claire Paxton, a teenage girl who has all the freedoms of adulthood but none of the responsibilities. Forced to repeat her last year of high school due to bad grades and absenteeism, Claire still prefers to cut class whenever feasible and spends her nights clubbing, living on the fringes of the adult world she’s almost part of.

Dangerous Liaisons

Zhang Ziyi (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) stars in director Hur Jin-ho’s lushly sensual adaptation of the classic French novel, which updates Choderlos de Laclos’ devilish tale of sex, seduction and scheming to 1930s Shanghai.

Krups & All-Clad: Night of Delight

The other day I was invited  to a Night of Delight at one of my favourite venues, MoRoCo Chocolat. The menu was inventive:  make your own s’mores stations and strawberry marshmallows to dip in your choice of chocolate fondue- yummy! The evening was to celebrate the launch of All-Clad‘s new fall cookware and to introduce the new Krups Espresseria Full Automatic Espresso Machine.

This baby can make espresso, cappuccino, coffee and tea. It has a sharp LCD display, transparent bean container and it self cleans!

All of the tasty chocolate fondues made me look forward to fall. The Stainless Steel Fondue Pot ($215.00)  would be perfect for a fall get together, no? It has colour coded fondue forks and you can pop it into the dishwasher when you’re done.

Check out the photos below from the great event that 1Milk2Sugars put together!

Sazerac Gastro Lounge

Sazerac Gastro lounge is the perfect place for an evening of drinks and snacks. It’s also a beautiful space to host an event. It’s located on an unexpected part of King West, a bit past Bathurst.

I was invited to try the 6 course chef tasting menu. This was definitely one of the most interesting restaurants I’ve ever been to in terms of presentation and cooking style. Sazerac Gastro lounge’s new chef (Chef Jesse Chingcuangco) specializes in molecular gastronomy, which mixes science with cooking! He also uses fresh, local ingredients.

We were welcomed by this fantastic cocktail, the French 75 (brut gin, lemon, sugar) it tasted like a tart lemonade.

The first dish was the corn bread. It was moist and consisted of peaches and cream corn and Jalapeno. The aged cheddar and yam butter was fantastic.

The Ice Fish was next (Hamachi, Horseradish snow, red currants), and I was told it was quite good and refreshing. (I don’t eat raw fish).

My favourite feature of the salad was the herb rocks. I’d love to know how they made them.

This Kolapore Springs Trout was my favourite part of the meal. It was tender and full of flavour.

The cucumber, watermelon and dragon fruit sorbet was very refreshing and tasted overpoweringly of watermelon, but in a good way.

The Chantecler Rouge Chicken was certainly an interesting dish. The skin was wonderfully crispy, but I found the chicken too fatty and chewy.

I would describe the final dish, the rhubarb and walnut tartin, as a deconstructed tartin.
It was served in a bold way- the entire dessert was pushed to the edge of the plate. The dish consisted of walnut crumble, raspberry pebbles, rhubarb compete, banana ice cream and strawberry wafer. The strawberry wafer was pretty interesting- dried strawberries dried and sliced into a thin wafer.

I had a very enjoyable evening. I found that the menu didn’t really connect with the Creole side of things (except for the cornbread, and the use of sorrel in the dishes). This is a great place to go if you want to try unique dishes with bold flavours and new presentations. It’s also a fantastic place to grab a cocktail. The mixologist does his job well….all the cocktails were well executed!

Sazerac Gastro Lounge
is on 782 King Street West.