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Archive for 'Profiles'

Coming home: An interview with Zhang Yimou (Published: Georgia Straight)

TORONTO – Besides being one of the leading lights in China’s so-called Fifth Generation of filmmakers, Zhang Yimou is also, for moviegoers of a certain vintage, one of his country’s best-loved historical storytellers. His period films often contemplate pivotal moments in China’s past, told from conflicting points of view, offering ways of remembering a past […]

The Grand Tour – On Tour with Arcade Fire in Europe (Published: enRoute)

By the time I’m at the foot of Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, I haven’t slept in five days and I’m running on bocadillos and adrenalin. The circadian rhythms of touring like a musician are new to me; when you’re travelling on this kind of schedule, your experience of time and space becomes intensified, amplified, […]

Sexual Healing in The Sessions: An interview with John Hawkes (Published: Georgia Straight)

TORONTO—WHEN IT COMES to movies about sex, The Sessions comes closer than most to approximating the actual experience. It’s emotionally as well as physically explicit about what happens when coitus happens. So it’s sexy, yes, but be forewarned: you might also feel other, more complicated things. The Sessions (opening Friday [November 2]) is neither a disease-of-the-month movie nor an […]

Reality Bites: On the Road in Mexico with Chuck Hughes (in enRoute, August 2012)

Running my hands over the smooth and
 nubbly turrets of green nopales, the cactus pads that Chuck Hughes is trying to de-needle on camera like an habitué, I follow along as he picks up the items on his grocery list: yerba santa, an aromatic that tastes like nutmeg and mint, and huitlacoche, bulbous black mushrooms that cling […]

The Art of Living According to Joe Beef (Rover Arts, July 2012)

In September, I went to a friend’s farm in Aquitaine, France, and the first thing I saw when I entered the converted pigeonnier, on the big French farmhouse table, was an advance copy of The Art of Living According to Joe Beef: A Cookbook of Sorts. Then, in October in San Francisco, a cookbook store […]

This is how they do it: Inside Moment Factory (in the Montreal Gazette, October 2011))

When you walk into Moment Factory, let the door slam behind you – the banging noise makes the giant circular projected LED clock in the entry way jump back two hours.If you keep your eye on it, though, it soon snaps back to the present. The purpose of this, apparently, is to show us that […]

The Cave Men: Montreal chefs’ basement secrets (in enRoute, November 2011)

The first time I went downstairs to find the facilities at Le Comptoir charcuteries et vins, chef Ségué Lepage’s wine bar in Montreal’s Mile End neighbourhood, I opened the wrong door and ran straight into that week’s pig. He was hanging out (or rather hanging up) in a cold room. Across the hall – still not […]

Wim Wenders on Pina: work for work’s sake (in Rover Arts, October 2011)

“Audiences want truth as opposed to reality” – Wim Wenders on life, work and the meaning of both. Wim Wenders’ Pina is as simple, artful and perfect as a dance movie can be – and watching it with 3D glasses on the big screen, it’s tempting to think that this is exactly why Stereoscopic 3D was invented. Wenders […]

DNA Artisan: Hanadi Sleiman, Nanotech researcher (in Canadian Chemical News, May 2011)

Hanadi Sleiman’s tastefully decorated office at McGill University’s Department of Chemistry is dominated by a large picture window revealing the spires and rooftops of the 190-year-old Montreal insti- tution. Displayed on the windowsill are several DNA knick-knacks: Francis Crick and James Watson bobble head dolls and a model of the iconic double helix. “This model […]

Vancouver Island’s Ultimate Oyster (

Eating an oyster from the waters around Vancouver Island is a way to taste the mysteries of the Pacific Ocean in a single bite. Oysters owe much of their particular qualities – flavor, size, colour, shell shape – to the salinity level and depth of the water in which they are raised. Interestingly, though each […]