Vancouver - ARTS & CULTURE
September 11th, 2013
When the red carpet is rolled up and the last of the paparazzi have flown back to LA, all that's left of TIFF is the standout films. TIFF may be non-competitive but there's a few films pick up a lot of heat. Keep track of the must-haves by pre-ordering on iTunes (and take a walk down memory lane with its selection from previous years).
Idris Elba is a star (even if everyone doesn't know it yet). Mandela is a career-defining role that will rocket him to superstardom - and probably the Kodak Theatre come February. A festival favourite, the fans serenaded him with Happy Birthday on the red carpet (awww) and he spent Saturday night showing off his other skill set - DJing.
Ron Howard's first independent film since the beginning of his career, Rush follows the 1976 rivalry of two race car rivals. Chris Hemsworth, one of the Aussie brothers that have taken Hollywood by storm, stars. Hemsworth brothers Luke and Liam (sans Miley) made their way to Toronto to support their bro.
Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts: They should just start handing out the gold statues now. Dealing with death, family drama and crisis, Streep and Roberts deliver powerhouse performances rounded out by a stellar cast including Benedict Cumberbatch (the darling of the fest, with 3 films playing), Ewan McGregor, Chris Cooper, Dermot Mulroney and Juliette Lewis. The fans and media were slightly disappointed that Meryl was unable to attend due to illness, but Julia, in red Dolce & Gabbana, worked the carpet like the pro she is.
We spent the weekend at TIFF - see our dispatch from the front lines, today on our Editors' Diary.
August 28th, 2013
Searching for a new read? Herewith, 8 of our favourite page turners for long weekend downtime.
Sarah Bancroft, Editor-in-chief
The Rules of Civility by Amor Towles.
What's not to love about 1930s Manhattan with its Jazz Clubs, grande dame hotels, cigarettes and cocktails. That's why they call it the good old days. First time novelist Towles draws a compelling and entertaining portrait of youth, hi jinx and serendipity surrounding his witty heroine Katey who lands a dream job at Condé Nast. For a period piece, the themes are utterly modern. Love, lust, social climbing and ultimately, fate. $13.99 at Amazon.ca
Alexandra Suhner Isenberg, Fashion Editor
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
I usually read books on my Kindle but I bought this at the last minute in an airport, because the cover looked pretty. Luckily, the story was good too, spanning decades and featuring a remote island, a mysteriously ill actress, an Italian inn-keeper, and Richard Burton. $14.43 at Amazon.ca
Sara Samson, Calgary Editor
The Lost Girls by Jennifer Baggett, Holly Corbett and Amanda Pressner
This memoir by a trio of 20-something New Yorkers chronicles their decision to quit their demanding jobs and travel the world (think Eat, Pray, Love, but from a younger perspective). A must-read for travelers and those looking to develop a serious case of wanderlust. $12.99 at Amazon.ca
Maria Tallarico, Managing Editor
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
Life After Life explores the life (or rather, lives) of Ursula, who is born over and over again - each time her circumstances are altered, with far-reaching consequences. The quietest and most convincing heroine we've come across in ages, be prepared for some very late nights with the reading light on. $14.97 at Amazon.ca
Kat Tancock, Toronto Contributor
MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood
This long weekend I'm curling up with the long-awaited MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood, the third in the trilogy that started with Oryx & Crake. Atwood's dystopias are chilling because they come so close to reality, but that's what makes them all the more important to read. $16.47 at Amazon.ca
Julie Whelan, Toronto Contributor
Just Kids (Audio) by Patti Smith
At just under ten hours, listening to Patti Smith read her memoir is no small commitment but there is something amazing about hearing her voice as she describes coming to New York, embracing music and meeting and loving the artist Robert Mapplethorpe. The wild cast of characters includes Andy Warhol, Janis Joplin, Edie Sedgewick, Sam Shepard and the Hotel Chelsea of course. At www.audible.com
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The film version of of Adichie's last novel, Half of a Yellow Sun, is set to screen at TIFF but this weekend I'll be picking up her latest novel, Americanah, an epic love story that follows its characters from Nigeria to the UK and the States. $18.77 Amazon.ca
Marianne Wisenthal, Toronto Contributor
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl is a rare blend of whodunnit suspense, relatable characters and snappy writing. Warning: Best not read after a fight with your husband! $14.97 at Amazon.ca
August 21st, 2013
Prediction: trips to Italy are about to get booked post haste.
If you ever went to Europe in your youth (or fell in love fast and hard in your early 20s - or both) you will love the gorgeous and romantic new Kate Bosworth vehicle And While We Were Here, set on the Amalfi Coast. With all that stunning warm light, blue water, dramatic cliffs and cobblestones that you'll remember from The Talented Mr. Ripley, it's reminiscent of the Italian neo-realists in style but utterly modern in story. In this film, Bosworth (a magazine writer working on a WWII memoir) accompanies her anal, viola-playing husband on a business trip only to get seduced by a younger American man (payed to excellent effect by newcomer Jamie Blackley) who is volunteering with an environmental project on a nearby island. Many cliff jumping, Vespa riding, and clothes-removing scenes ensue, but the film manages to be a profound essay on marriage, trust, grief and love.
Oh and Kate's granny-chic wardrobe is awesome, too. —Sarah Bancroft
Watch the trailer here.
Available now on iTunes. Theatrical release September 13, 2013.
August 6th, 2013
The strip of West Pender between Richards and Homer has become somewhat of a book lover’s paradise, with the newly-opened Paper Hound joining the ranks of McLeod's Books and Albion Books as a must-go/can’t-miss spot.
You may recognize Paper Hound's proprietors from various other bookstores in town. They’ve been doing this for years, and they’ve got good taste to boot. Among its cool, custom-designed shelving, you’ll find vintage treasures like the adorable The Raft Book ($65) by Harold Gatty, something that could easily belong in a Wes Anderson production. There is a small but well-curated selection of new publications from small publishers, like The Riot Grrrl Collection ($41.50), which will surely serve as a time capsule to those who grew up in the early ‘90s.
As Franka Zappa once said, “So many books, so little time.” —Anya Georgijevic
344 West Pender St, Vancouver, 604-428-1344, http://paperhound.tumblr.com
May 16th, 2013
Room service, fresh sheets and a lobby bar - what's not to love about hotels?
And while we use them for travel and the occasional watering hole, hotels are about much more than thread count. Grand Hotel: Redesigning Modern Life, the expansive new exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery, explores the value and impact of hotels in culture, tourism, architecture and art.
The show is a mix of mediums and full of fascinating pop-culture stories (Katherine Hepburn being tossed out of the Claridge's lobby for wearing pants) and curious historical facts (like Pan-Am Airlines founding InterContinental Hotels to expand influence in South America). The hotel as a creative hub is explored in depth, with photos and works of writers, poets, musicians and filmmakers who've made spots like the Chelsea in New York City and the Chateau Marmont in LA infamous to this day.
Also inside the exhibit is a stellar Ace Hotel pop-up shop. Part exhibit, part boutique, many of the custom items with Grand Hotel/Ace branding are for sale, including post cards (People Come and Go / Nothing Ever Happens, a line from the exhibit's inspiration, 1932 film Grand Hotel, $1.50), Tees and leather hold-alls.
Time to check in.
Grand Hotel: Redesigning Modern Life on now at the Vancouver Art Gallery, www.vanartgallery.bc.ca
See more photos from the exhibit on our Editors' Diary.
(Photo by Rachel Topham for Vancouver Art Gallery)
April 26th, 2013
They made waves at Coachella: these artists’ new releases will be our summer playlist.
Kurt Vile, Wakin on a Pretty Daze
Compared to the likes of Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen, this longhaired rocker brings rock and roll back to its basics: just a man and his guitar. It turns out that’s all we really need.
James Blake, Overgrown
With his angelic voice, James Blake seduced Coachella goers into a late afternoon trance. This dub-step wunderkind’s second album features surprising cameos by RZA, proving once more that hip hip goes with just about anything.
Daft Punk, Random Access Memories
The 2-minute trailer shown at Coachella for the new single “Get Lucky,” featuring Pharrell Williams, created more cheers and buzz than any of the festival performers, spawning rumours of the French duo’s surprise appearance. It didn’t happen - sigh - but until the album’s May 21 release, it’s “Get Lucky” on repeat.
Major Lazer, Free the Universe
Released in between two Coachella weekends, Major Lazer’s sophomore album, Free the Universe, which features, oh, everybody (Tyga, Flux Pavilion, Bruno Mars, Wyclef Jean, to name a few), is bound to make nightclubbing rounds this season.
Janelle Monáe, The Electric Lady
The newest Cover Girl gave a performance of a lifetime at Coachella, and just released the single “Q.U.E.E.N." with the incomparable Erykah Badu. Her long anticipated album, The Electric Lady, is slated for a summer release, and sure to make her a household name.
For more Coachella acts, check out a playlist by Kelsey Dundon, click here.
April 18th, 2013
We pride ourselves on dishing out the latest and greatest to our awesome readers 5 days a week (and even on the weekends, for those in the ankle-biter set).
But now we want to know all about you! Where you shop, where you live, and most important, which Canadian Ryan you prefer, Gosling or Reynolds.
So come on, give us all the news that's fit to print - and then some!
Take the survey (it's quick and fun, we promise) here.
April 4th, 2013
Jurassic 5 will be bring the nostalgia, Phoenix will bring their new album, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers will bring, one can only hope, socks. What will you bring to Coachella? A playlist made up of these five favourites.
Theirs is the kind of 1980’s-influenced music Sofia Coppola would put on a soundtrack. And speaking of stars, their video for Paradise features Michelle Williams. www.myspace.com/wildnothing
For something even more laid-back, this British singer-songwriter’s guitar-heavy sound is perfect for backyard BBQs. www.benhowardmusic.co.uk
This Canadian duo is beloved by critics. And for good reason. They’re like a more relaxed, more listenable Crystal Castles. http://purityringsongs.com
The Vancouver native’s album topped many “best of” lists last year. If you haven’t yet been playing pop-y synth-y Visions on repeat, now’s the perfect time to start.
PS: Our Vancouver editor Anya Georgijevic will be blogging, tweeting and instagramming her way through the first weekend of the festival. Watch this space for all the denim cut-offs you can handle.
March 22nd, 2013
Reason #8,356 we're addicted to our latest gadget: library downloads.
Since we discovered Vancouver Public Library's huge eBook selection, available with the download of an app, we've been hooked on this free and convenient service. You'll need your library card number and PIN (hint: try the last four digits of your phone number) to log in, and you can browse hundreds of eBooks, audiobooks, plus download samples and place holds (you'll be notified by email when your title is available). And no walking around with overdue books: when the lending period is up, the title is pulled from your virtual bookshelf.
All that's missing is a librarian to shush us, just for old times' sake.
For instructions visit http://guides.vpl.ca/ebooks_audiobooks
February 20th, 2013
Whether you're planning to watch in your pjs or rolling out the red carpet for friends, here's 5 ways to make your Oscar viewing an A-list experience.
1. See the movies
Gone are the days of long lags between theatrical and video release - iTunes has a section dedicated to the nominees, including all 9 Best Picture contenders, which makes deciding who to root for much easier.
2. Gossip Watch
We'll keep on eye on the red carpet with eTalk, and then follow up on the backstage scoop at LaineyGossip.com, where the post-Oscars coverage gives us the details we really want to know (like who snuck out for a smoke and which couples were putting it on for the cameras).
3. Swag Bag
Along with the traditional ballot, you'll need door prizes for the winners: snack-of-the-stars Popchips, the Hollywood issue of Vanity Fair and a cheeky selection of celeb-endorsed products like Chanel No. 5 samples (Brad Pitt) and Smartwater (Jennifer Aniston).
4. Dish it Out
While the celebs will be preparing for the red carpet with an all-air diet, you can serve guests something much more substantial. Our husband-in-residence Murray Bancroft (who runs his test kitchen out of the VitaminDaily.com Vancouver office) has simple and impressive recipes, all available via Western Living: adult lollipops, paprika spiced almonds and - don't forget the drinks! - raspberry infused vodka.
5. Social Media
Pop culture expert and managing editor Maria Tallarico will be live tweeting the red carpet and the ceremony: follow along @vanvitamindaily.
The 85th Annual Academy Awards, Sunday, February 24, watch the live stream at http://www.ctv.ca/Oscars.aspx