MCN Columnists
Kim Voynar

Voynar By Kim

Review: You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger

Woody Allen‘s latest effort, You Will Find a Tall Dark Stranger, finds the director returning to Europe — the fertile ground which, in recent years, has served as the setting for the excellent Match Point and Vicky Cristina Barcelona and the fair-to-middling Cassandra’s Dream and Scoop. This time around he’s back in London with a…

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Arthouse Redux: Themes of Forgiveness

This past Sunday, the sermon at our Unitarian church was about the Jewish High Holy Days Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the bookends of the “Days of Awe” on the Jewish calendar. Yom Kippur is, of course, about atonement and repentance, and all the talk in the sermon about Yom Kippur got me thinking about…

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TIFF 2010: It’s a Wrap

Another year of TIFF has officially wrapped, the awards have been announced, and everyone’s gone home. It was a really great fest this year with a solid slate, although I can’t say I disagree with those who feel the fest would benefit from cutting their slate a bit to be a little more discriminating. I…

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TIFF Review: Three

One thing about Tom Tykwer: He always makes exactly the kind of film he wants to make, down to the smallest detail. His latest film, Three, explores ideas around relationships, love, sex and sexuality through a tale of a long-time couple, Simon (Sebastian Schipper) and Hanna (Sophie Rois), who have fit together comfortably for so…

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TIFF Review: A Night for Dying Tigers

Tolstoy would have loved the Yates family in Terry Miles‘ A Night for Dying Tigers. Every unhappy family may be unhappy in its own way, but the Yates, more-or-less normal though they may seem on the surface, are just about as messed up a family as you can hope to find in an indie film….

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TIFF Review: Cool It

Pssst. Have you heard about global warming? Sure you have. We’ve all heard about that, right? Especially since Al Gore told us a few years ago the inconvenient truth that the world as we know it is going to come to its catastrophic end if we don’t do something about it right now. The trouble…

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TIFF Review: Dirty Girl

I put Abe Sylvia‘s Dirty Girl on my maybe list primarily because it’s set in late ’80s Norman, Oklahoma, and I am an Oklahoma Girl. I put it on my definite list when the Weinsteins bought it the other day, because love the Weinsteins or hate them, they tend to have good taste in their…

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And Now, a Brief Break for Something Only Vaguely TIFF-related

Okay, this is interesting (at least to me). I’ve been tracking this Bradley Rust Gray lesbian-werewolf project, Jack and Diane, since way back in 2008, when Ellen Page was attached to the project with Juno co-star Olivia Thirlby, then suddenly not attached post-Juno’s success. So as I was poking around on IMDb to learn a…

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TIFF Dispatch Day Six: Catching Up

Time to lighten things up a bit, after that last dispatch, eh? As we near the homestretch, this has been a really good fest for me. In a lot of ways I feel like this fest represents a bit of a coming full circle for me from last year’s devastating fest-spent-in-a-hospital bed, which was all…

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TIFF Review: Another Year

Mike Leigh is one of those rare directors you can almost always count on to deliver something good, interesting and completely original. His latest film, Another Year, is tonally very different from the last film he had at Toronto, Happy-Go-Lucky, (actually, to be more precise, I’d say it’s tonally different from much of his previous…

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TIFF Review: Passione

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect of John Turturro‘s Passione, which is screening at TIFF in the Special Presentations category, but I couldn’t have been more pleasantly surprised by this engaging, colorful, music-drenched journey into the musical culture of Naples. The documentary is about as non-traditional structurally as one could imagine (and I mean…

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TIFF Review: I Saw the Devil

I was on my way to the Susanne Bier film today when a couple of friends talked me into going to see I Saw the Devil instead. I asked one of them to quickly pitch me on why I would want to see it, and he pitched it thusly: Did you like The Good, The…

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TIFF Dispatch Day Five: It’s Kind of a Funny Film Festival Story …

So tonight I want to talk a little bit about something interesting that’s happening at the fest around the film It’s Kind of a Funny Story, directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck. I was catching up with indieWIRE’s Day Four Hot Topic, where film critics drop in the Film Lounge to chat about What’s…

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TIFF Review: Made in Dagenham

The film with the strongest “female empowerment” vibe at TIFF may just be Made in Dagenham, a film about the feminist movement taking over an unlikely corner of working class England in 1968, when female factory workers who sewed seat covers for the Ford Motors plant went on strike. For once, we have a film…

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TIFF Dispatch Day Four: Mixed Bag

I ran into a friend today who mentioned that he was enjoying these dispatches and wanted me to keep writing them. So here you go, this one’s for you. Today was a real mixed bag for me, screening-wise. I logged about four hours sleep last night and woke up with my head aching and stuffed…

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TIFF Dispatch Day Three: The Best Laid Plans

I’ve finally gotten myself to the point of feeling more or less fully immersed in my Toronto routine (read: catching my sleep in four hour power sessions, fueling on coffee and Balance bars all day when there’s no time to eat between back-to-back screenings and Starbucks runs out of paninis, spending so much time in…

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TIFF Review: The Illusionist

The Illusionist, Sylvain Chomet‘s animated adaptation of an unproduced script by French comedic legend Jacques Tati, is a sad, soulful, touching tale about a vaudeville magician past his prime and his friendship with a young girl. Chomet, who previously made the excellent The Triplets of Bellville (which referenced Tati’s Jour de Fête), uses his uniquely…

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TIFF Review: Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen

Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen, revisits an iconic character originally played by Bruce Lee (in Fists of Fury) and Jet Li (in Fist of Legend). Here, Donnie Yen reprises the role of Chen Yen from a 20-episode 1995 television series version of Fists of Fury. This time around, Chen Zhen returns…

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TIFF Review: Biutiful

When a great director has teamed repeatedly with a brilliant writer over the course of a career, one has to ponder how much the unique chemistry of two artistic minds working on a common canvas shapes the quality of the end result. Alejandro González Iñárritu‘s films Amores Perres, 21 Grams, and multiple-Oscar nominee Babel (which…

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TIFF Dispatch Day One: Ups and Downs

I’m starting to feel settled and in the groove now that I’m getting acclimated to being back in Toronto. It was just about a year ago that I attended my first day of the fest going full force and then wound up being taken by ambulance to the hospital on Day Two, where I spent…

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Quote Unquotesee all »

It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon