Category Archives: Modern Times

Stereoscopic Cinema and the Origins of 3-D Film 1838 -1952

Sometimes I watch terrible movies so you don’t have to, and occasionally I even read boring books so you don’t have to. See how good I am to you?

But seriously, Stereoscopic Cinema and the Origins of 3-D Film 1838-1952 is probably going to be more interesting to silent film fans than anyone else, including 3-D film fans or stereographers. The never ending parade of patent numbers remind be of the “he begat then he begat who begat blah blah blah” section of the Good Book – you know the set up before the action and character development. But still, you can skim the patents and just read the cool parts, of which there are many.

Check out my review over at Toronto Film Scene:

Stereoscopic Cinema and the Origins of 3-D Film 1838 -1952

3-D film is all the rage these days, not least because the Hollywood superstructure decided to invest heavily in the production and distribution of this technology. “This is it!” they say, “3-D is here to stay this time!” “You’re gonna love it!” But as Ray Zone thoroughly demonstrates in Stereoscopic Cinema and the Origins of 3-D Film 1838-1952 inventors, technologists, filmmakers, and production studios have been chasing that stereoscopic dragon for a long, long time. CLICK ON TO READ THE REST


Anthony Hopkins as Alfred Hitchcock

Yesterday the world got it’s first peek at Sir Anthony Hopkins as Alfred Hitchcock. Can you tell which is the real Hitch?




(The answer is the second one.)

I rather like the idea of a movie about the making of Psycho. I dig the idea of Helen Mirren as Alma, and Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh – no brainer! Hitch himself, though, that’s a tough one to cast. Sir Anthony Hopkins is certainly a very meticulous actor, and I’m hard pressed the think of an actor more likely to pull it off. But that photo of Anthony Hopkins as Alfred Hitchcock looks like, well, a photo of Anthony Hopkins as Alfred Hitchcock. The pose that Hopkins is striking up there is a familiar one to Hitch fans, but that imperious attitude was a role that Hitchcock played, not actual imperiousness. I think.

Therein lies the challenge of the role of Hitch. He directed a lot of fine actors, but he was also a pretty good actor himself. If you don’t believe me, just watch his bits from Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Genius, in their own way. Who exactly will Hopkins be playing? Actor Hitch, Director Hitch, comically fat man Hitch, or actual guy Hitch? Do we know much about actual Hitch, really? It’s all very confusing.

I suppose pawing at Scar-Jo will go a long way to getting in character.

Losing our national arts treasures? Budget cuts prompt closing of NFB Mediatheque


Granted, at times, I feel uncomfortable discussing Canadian politics. Who am I, transplanted New Yorker that I am, to say, right? But I intend to stay, so there… One of the things that I find fascinating about Canada and Canadians is the on-going and very earnest discussion about what it means to be Canadian, and the importance that cultural product gets in the discussion. So yeah, it seems kind of tragic to see deep budget cuts that go right to heart of the production and distribution of distinctly Canadian content.

I’ll just set aside the time-tested foundation of Keynesian economics that the best way to claw out of a recession is to spend out of it, saving cutbacks and belt tightening for flusher economic times. The NFB is a national treasure right? Right?

Losing our national arts treasures? Budget cuts prompt closing of NFB Mediatheque

If you happened to stick your head out of your window on the morning of April 4, 2012 in Toronto, you might have heard a faint groaning sound rolling across the city. That would be the sound of Toronto’s significant filmmaking and passionate film-going communities reacting to the National Film Board’s budget cut announcement. It’s one thing to know theoretically that the NFB was mandated to cut 10% of its operating budget, a real number of $6.68 million over 3 years. It’s another thing entirely to learn that Toronto loses 33 full and part-time jobs and the NFB Mediatheque as a result of those cuts. CLICK TO READ THE REST.

Avi Federgreen Launches Edmonton Based Film Production Company River Valley Films

Avi Federgreen, acclaimed Canadian film producer and founder of Federgreen Entertainment and IndieCan Entertainment, announced today the launch of River Valley Films, a new film production company based in Edmonton, Alberta. With River Valley Films, Federgreen both salutes his hometown of Edmonton and aims to provide Edmonton filmmakers with the tools and the means to contribute to Canadian independent cinema. Read the rest of this entry

It’s coming! The Toronto Silent Film Festival Launches on March 29!

I am so excited I could spit! The Toronto Silent Film Festival launches on March 29. Check out my news piece at Toronto Film Scene.

Film festivals are generally all about the new and the next, presenting specific challenges to the critics charged with previewing them. Not so with The Toronto Silent Film Festival, returning for its third year on March 29, 2012. Apart from the modern silent short, The Force that Through the Green Fire Fuels the Flower,  and some of the animation winners from the 2011 Toronto Urban Film Festival, the youngest film on offer turns 81 this year. CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST


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