The Spectacular World of Fellini

As a self-proclaimed volunteer addict, it’s perhaps no surprise that I’ll be helping the marketing department at the Toronto International Film Festival this year! But before I begin distributing brochures and setting up barricades at the launch of TIFF’11, I scored exclusive access to the feature exhibition at TIFF Bell Lightbox, Fellini: Spectacular Obsessions

Widely revered as one of the most influential filmmakers of the 20th century, Federico Fellini is the ideal prelude to a film festival dedicated to excellence and glamour… And this exhibit delivers.

Spectacular Obsessions captures the unique combination of memory, dreams, fantasy and desire that is definitive of Fellini films such as Satyricon, , and my personal favourite, La Dolce Vita. We are given a chronological record, visual representation and interactive display of the life and times of Fellini, highlighting his upbringing in Rimini and ending with the final works before his death. However, as the showcase explores Fellini’s spirituality and obsessions with women – i.e iconic themes like Jesus flying over Rome in a helicopter, Anita Ekberg, etc–  it also maintains Fellini’s mystique and allure without overgeneralizing  his visions of society or reducing his artistic expression to film! Spectacular Obsessions fosters an idiosyncratic perception of Felliniesque cinema whereby the audience discovers fantastic imagery beyond Italian Neorealism; leaving the ingenuity and inspiration of Fellini up for interpretation… And making the exhibition totally worthwhile.

If you’re spectacularly obsessed with Fellini, like me, I highly recommend you check out this beautiful work… But hurry! Curtains close on Sunday, September 18th!

– Lina


Flicks in the Park

Ahhhhh… You can always count on summer to catch up with your favourite leisure-time activities. Personally, I’m usually traveling this time of year, planning vacations with friends or visiting my family abroad:

Mission Dolores Park - San Francisco

This summer, I’ve also committed to a great deal of reading. You can actually say I’m on e-book overload as I’ve been furiously devouring works ranging from Business and Investing to Mystery and Thrillers. But aside from such dense selections as The Satanic Verses and Ulysses, I’ve also been participating in less antisocial-forms of activities 😛

Recently, TIFF and the Toronto Entertainment District BIA have announced that every Wednesday at sunset beginning in July, they will present FREE outdoor screenings of classic screen musicals at David Pecaut Square (formerly Metro Square, next to Roy Thomson Hall). TIFF in the park is a fantastic program held at a perfect venue. It takes advantage of the amazing weather we’ve been having while adding a touch of art and culture to urban life in Toronto. Coming up this week is The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, “a french comedy which just happens to be sung”. To plan ahead for future screenings, you can conveniently check the complete movie schedule and attend the feature of your choice!

This is certainly a ticket to summer fun in TO… Hope to see some of you there!

Food, Inc.[linations]

Food Inc.  lifts “the veil of the American food industry”, exposing not only the social identity and cultural habits of consumers, but also the politics that influence our production and consumption of food. This documentary explains how our food supply is controlled by a select few corporations that put profit before consumer health, the autonomy of farmers, the safety of workers and our natural environment.  It reveals the sad reality of what we eat, how it’s produced and who we have become as a society. However informative, Food Inc. doesn’t argue against animal cruelty or explain the benefits of vegetarianism – although these topics are embedded within the overall message. Rather, it’s a critical review of the issues associated with our food system, concluding with advice on how to keep us and our planet healthy:

1. Buy From a Farmer’s Market: Sustainable foods produced and consumed in local communities are not just cheaper than most organic brands from commercial supermarkets, but significantly healthier. Shopping at farmer’s markets means you’re purchasing food products that are in season, choosing more natural food selections that ultimately contribute to a healthier lifestyle.

2. Grow Locally: Grow a domestic garden no matter how small, like the culinary herbs that I just planted! (see below)

I highly recommend the film’s official website if you’re interested in food health and safety.

But now to exercise another social right – voting in Canada’s Federal Election 😉

– Lina

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