Still mostly on radio-silence here because The Beguiling and The Toronto Comic Arts Festival are taking up almost every single bit of my time at the moment, but I did want to let folks in Toronto know about all of the great stuff happening this week (and next) in the T-dot. I admit I’m bragging a little but here too, but only a little. Toronto is awesome. :)

‘Stripmalling’ Book Launch Tonight

Launch party for ‘Stripmalling’
Presented by ECW Press and This Is Not A Reading Series
Monday, March 2nd, 7:30pm
The Gladstone Hotel Ballroom, 1214 Queen St. West
$5 Cover (Free with book purchase)
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=44003449363

Toronto author Jon Paul Fiorentino brought our good friend Evan Mundy on board to do extensive illustrations and comics sequences for his new novel, ‘Stripmalling!’ Then they made a short movie about how the book was made, “The Way of the Smock: The Making of Stripmalling”. Catch the trailer here:

This Monday, they’re launching the book, showing the film, doing a reading, an interview, and more. ‘Stripmalling’ looks great and Evan is a wonderful guy. See you at the Gladstone tonight!

2. Seminar: Anime and Contemporary Japanese Society

Anime and Contemporary Japanese Society
Wednesday, March 4, 2009, 6pm-8:30pm (doors at 5:45)
Ryerson University, 245 Church Street
George Vari Engineering & Computing Centre, ENG 103

Admission FREE – Reservation recommended for guaranteed seating RSVP at www.jftor.org/whatson/rsvp OR anime@jftor.org OR 416.966.1600 x600

Digital Value Lap Ryerson University, The Japan Foundation, and Consulate General of Japan in Toronto present two important lectures that will be of interest to Beguiling customers and friends, on Anime and Contemporary Japanese Society.

POSTCRITICAL ANIME: OBSERVATIONS ON ITS ‘IDENTITY’ WITHIN CONTEMPORARY JAPAN
While anime is being watched on a global scale, there are significant differences in its contemporary reception. The gap between regular consumers and critical spectators, sometimes appearing in the form of Japanese audiences vs. foreign Japanologists, deserves special attention since it raises a number of questions, such as what sort of animated film is identified as ‘anime’; who relates anime to politics, history and society; what kind of meaning is at play in anime’s performative images, and to what extent one can read ‘Japanese society’, or even ‘culture’, out of anime. Comparing Kurosawa’s “Seven Samurai” (1954) and Gonzo’s “Samurai 7” (2004) as well as touching upon anime’s history, this lecture focuses on aesthetic and cultural identities ascribed to anime in modern Japan and their contemporary relevance.
Jaqueline Berndt is Associate Professor of Art and Media Studies, Yokohama National University. She specializes in aesthetics/art theory, anime, visual cultural and Japanese studies, aesthetics of comics, art in modern Japan and animation.

OTAKU CULTURE: PERSONALITY, SPACE & CITY OF ANIME FANS IN JAPAN
Optimism about an ever-progressing technological future ran out in the 1970′s. It was in the mid-1980′s that the term otaku was coined to signify a new personality that had emerged as a reaction to the loss of ’future’.The term evokes a stereotyped image of a geeky computer nerd, long past adolescence but still obsessed with games and anime. The presentation shall explore how this otaku personality became a geographical phenomenon in a district called Akihabara, together with its role in the development of Japanese anime.
Kaichiro Morikawa is Associate Professor of Contemporary Culture in the School of Global Japanese Studies at Meiji University. His research interests include design and architectural theory. Prof. Morikawa served as commissioner of the Japanese pavilion at the Venice Biennale 9th International Architecture Exhibition in 2004.

This sounds pretty amazing, and although this will be a VERY busy week, this will be one lecture series worth attending…!

3. MARCH 6-12: FEAR(S) OF THE DARK – Film featuring Charles Burns

FEAR(S) OF THE DARK
March 6th-12th
at the Royal Cinema, 608 College Street
Directors Blutch, Charles Burns, Marie Caillou, Pierre Di Sciullo, Lorenzo Mattotti, Richard McGuire; France, 2008

If you’ve been following The Comics Journal or Comic Art Magazine, you’re probably familiar with this striking new animated French film which features some of the most talented comics talents in the world. We’re really fortunate to get an extended screening of this in Toronto, and I hope everyone reading this gets a chance to check it out. Here’s the description:

“A wildly inventive and visually dazzling collection of fearful tales by six of the world’s most renowned comic and graphic artists – Blutch, Charles Burns, Marie Caillou, Pierre Di Sciullo, Lorenzo Mattotti, and Richard McGuire. From a besotted student whose girlfriend is weirdly ardent in her affections, to a Japanese schoolgirl menaced by a long-dead samurai, and a pack of hounds on a bloodthirsty rampage, FEAR(S) has a story strand to trouble every sleep – not to mention a stunning range of animation styles. Shot in shimmering black and white, the six intertwined tales create an unprecedented epic where phobias and nightmares come to life and reveal Fear at its most naked and intense.”

Trailer: http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/1809947440/trailer

4. The (Edgar) Wright Stuff at the Bloor Cinema! Starts February 28th!

The lovely and talented Edgar Wright (SHAUN OF THE DEAD, HOT FUZZ) is in town to direct the big-screen adaptation of SCOTT PILGRIM, and we couldn’t be happier. Espescially because he’s going to be programming a full slate of his favourite films at The Bloor Cinema for the month of March! The first two screenings were this weekend, and they were great fun. The next few will no doubt be awesome as well… Check this out:

SUNDAY, MARCH 8
7:00 The Wanderers (Philip Kaufman, 1979)
9:30 The Warriors (Walter Hill, 1979)

SATURDAY, MARCH 14
9:45 Head (Bob Rafelson, 1968)

SUNDAY, MARCH 15
7:00 Dames (Ray Enright & Busby Berkeley, 1934)
9:00 Phantom of the Paradise (Brian De Palma, 1974)

SUNDAY, MARCH 22
5:00 Spaced Marathon (Edgar Wright, 1999-2001)

SUNDAY, APRIL 5
7:00 Kung Fu film TBA
9:30: Drunken Master 2 (Chia-Liang Liu, 1994)

SUNDAY, APRIL 12
7:00 The Brood (David Cronenberg, 1979)
9:00 Last Night (Don McKellar, 1998)

Single movie tickets are $8 for Bloor Cinema members and $11 for non-members. Double bills are $14 for members and $17 for non-members. (Non-member prices include a six-month Bloor membership.) A pass for all screenings is $90, or $75 if not including Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. Complete Bloor Cinema info and schedule at its website: http://www.bloorcinema.com/

- Chris @ The Beguiling


3 Comments on “Things To Do In Toronto This Week”

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  1. dave merrill says:

    Holy crap I am so there for PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE!!

    And I will go see HEAD, even though that’s not even Mike Nesmith’s real hat!

  2. Events Calendar says:

    I really like what’s on schedule at the Bloor Cinema and thoroughly enjoyed watching The Making of Stripmalling.

  3. Jon Cormier says:

    Wow, The Wanderers and The Warriors! What a great night of gangs in New York. So much fun in such different ways.

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