There were lots of amazing movies this award season that had lots of female driven roles and storylines. I just loved hearing Brie Larson, Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett and more talk about their acting process, their work and experiences in their careers. Here are some of my favorites so far:
This is the first time I will be in Toronto for the holidays. I remember last year and having going back home to Vancouver and being jealous of not being in Toronto as I knew there was so much I could be doing in Toronto during the holidays. Now that I am in that position, it is slightly difficult to figure out what I want to do. Most of my friends here are going home for the holidays or won’t be in the downtown core then. It is also very different to spend my first Christmas holidays without relatives and close friends. Here is a list of events and shows I am hoping to see and take advantage of this December.
the list will be updated once I figure out more events and shows I am interested in seeing
One of A Kind Show (November 26 – December 6)
Toronto Christmas Market (November 20 – December 20)
Brazil Film Fest (December 4 – December 6)
Soulpepper: Family Festival
(ex. Parfumerie, Alligator Pie, A Very Soulpepper Christmas)
Mirvish Productions: Cinderella (December 1 – January 10)
TIFF40: Your Favorite Films (October 6 – December 8) * FREE SCREENINGS
Mirvish Productions: The Phantom Of The Opera (December 8 – January 23)
National Ballet of Canada: The Nutcracker (December 12 – January 3)
Adele announced that her upcoming album, 25, wil be released November 20. The sneak peek teaser of her new song, Hello was released last week. Her song and music video was also released on Friday. I have been a big fan of Adele since her last album. I am super excited for her upcoming album. What made me more excited for Adele’s announcement was that her music video was directed by Xavier Dolan and of course, filmed in Montreal. Xavier has been my favorite Canadian filmmaker. Having only seen a couple of his films and his Canadian Screen Award winning film (recently won Director’s Guild Award on Sunday for Best Feature Film), Mommy, Xavier has always shown talent. You can see it in the music video and lots of similarities to his previous films. Ever since the music video was released, I have watched and listened to the song several times already. It is no surprised that Hello broke Taylor Swift’s Vevo record of most watched music video in a day and I wouldn’t be surprised if it breaks the next record which is Miley Cyrus’ 100 million views in a week. Hello currently has over 80 million views.
Earlier this month, I went to Taylor Swift’s first concert in Toronto for 1989 world tour. I have always been a Taylor Swift fan but I was never out in the open about it. Since Taylor dropped her new album, 1989, I had her album on repeat and even more of my friends who weren’t fans on Taylor before were fans because of this album. Since she announced her tour dates, I was undecided on whether or not I should go. The more videos being released from her tour of her special guests and. I knew I had to go from the production worthy sets to just experience being in a room filled with over 50, 000 Taylor Swift fans. I had nothing to hide. Honestly, her concert was amazing and even more than I expected from all the different sets, routines, costume changes and more. It was definitely worth the money you spent and I actually never been to a concert before where you can tell that the artist put this much work into the concert experience for their fans. Taylor is just like one of us! She makes you part of her shows as much as possible. You could tell from how she presented her songs and how the concert’s theme was being presented. What the concert left me wondering was how long were rehearsals, choreography, costomes, stages etc. The behind the scenes of putting on 1989. I wouldn’t be surprised if there ends up being a documentary/film in the works if Taylor decides to do one for 1989. A couple of weeks ago, I came across XFINITY’s behind the scenes of 1989 tour which had some of the answers I was looking for. Check them out below:
With some of the Toronto’s biggest events TIFF, JFL42 and Nuit Blanche have now passed, one may think there is not much happening now that fall/winter is approaching. However, there are lot of more exciting events coming up. Here’s a list of events you should definitely check out. Some of which I have attended before and some in which I hope to attend.
(UPDATED: October 22 with more events)
Yesterday, Blue Jays won against Texas Rangers and moving ahead to ALCS against Kansas Royals. I am not much of a sports fan but since moving to Toronto, I started following Blue Jays a bit and going to some of their games. I watched Game 4 online with my friend on Thanksgiving. I wish I could have watched the game yesterday but no TV and cannot watch online. Yes, I could have gone to the Bird’s Nest or went to a pub to watch but I chose not to. So, I followed like I usually do on social media. Honestly, I wish I could be there at the game or with any of the Blue Jays crowd. I knew I wouldn’t make the show I was seeing at 8pm on time if I was with a crowd. The adrenaline and excitement from the fans and the energy! Even after the game yesterday and watching the highlights from the game, I am still rewatching Jose Bautista’s 3-run homer. I also ended up watching videos of fans celebrating. You can still feel the energy around the city. WOOT! Go Blue Jays Go!
It will soon been two weeks now since TIFF has ended. There are still a bunch of upcoming 2015 films I am looking forward to. Here’s a list of upcoming films out this year that I have been looking forward to since the initial casting and since they premiered (Sundance, NYFF, Cannes and also at TIFF). The list does not include the films I have seen at TIFF. I will have a recap of the top films I saw during TIFF coming up soon.
(Will be updated if Canadian release date changes)
TIFF 2015 begins tomorrow! Time for another amazing festival. When festival schedule was announced a couple weeks ago, I was busy planning my schedules from ideal schedule to several back ups. My problem this year was most of the films I wanted to see conflicted with each other or I wouldn’t be able to see them due to my work or volunteer schedules. In the end, I think I manage to have a decent schedule with some of my must see films from Brooklyn, The Danish Girl, Freeheld, The Dressmaker, The Final Girls and more! At the moment, I am confirmed for 14 films but that will change as the festival progresses. I know I will definitely be seeing a lot more than that. You can check out my current schedule at my TIFFR page. I must say this year I had no problems with redeeming my package and getting tickets on public sale. I managed to get all my screenings and didn’t even need to wait long on public sale too! I will going to try my best to try to write up some recaps each day. Otherwise, follow me @jasjwang and whats happening with me during #TIFF15.
The last couple of weeks TIFF has announced even more programming announcements. I delayed writing about the films and TV shows/web series as I was trying to also figure out what I wanted to see. I have decided to break down by category. Not sure how I am going to see in the end but here is some of them I may consider:
Last Tuesday, TIFF announced their first programming announcement for 40th Toronto International Film Festival. I have been waiting excitedly for the first films hoping that one of the films I’m hoping to see at the festival gets announced. Gala and Special Presentation films were announced which included two films I was hoping would screen at the festival, Brooklyn (starring Saoirse Ronan) and The Danish Girl (starring Eddie Redmayne). Brooklyn received rave reviews during Sundance Film Festival and I have always been a fan of Saoirse. So very excited to get to see this film at the festival. Also, ever since Eddie got cast in The Danish Girl, I was excited for the film and knew it would definitely be screened at TIFF if they finish the film in time for the festival. I bought a TIFF Flex 10 Pack this yet. So, those films . I had a feeling that TIFF would program something ‘Canadian’ to open the 40th TIFF. So, Jean-Marc Vallée’s film, Demolition, just seemed perfect. I am hoping to see this film, Ridley Scott’s The Martian (starring Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain) and possibly Atom Egoyan’s Remember (starring Christopher Plummer), Spotlight (starring Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo), Freeheld (starring Julianne Moore, Ellen Page) and Room (starring Brie Larson). Of course, I cannot use all my Flex Pack on these films as I am hoping other films will be at the festival too. Check out the trailers for some of the films I have mentioned below: