Toronto Film Festival 2015 – Redhead’s Top Picks

It’s that time of the year again. Actually my favorite time of year in Toronto and one of the biggest perks of living in this city – TIFF time. Toronto Film Festival is celebrating its (believe it or not) 40th birthday this year. Yes the city will be overflowing with celebrities but what I’m most looking forward to are movies, movies, movies. And though the festival selection keeps growing each year so does it popularity so it’s harder and harder to score tickets in time. Especially to bigger (more mainstream) movies. Plus it is so easy to get lost trying to browse hundreds of films at once. So here is my little list of recommendations. For the most part I’ve tried to include the films that you might have a chance of scoring the tickets to (and if you’re not in Toronto feel free to add them to your “TO WATCH” movie list – or maybe it’s just me with pathological list making)…In case you need a refresher on how to best handle the festival here is my list of tips from last year: Redhead’s Top Picks 2014.



I was lucky enough to have already seen this latest film directed by the marvelous Canadian-Indian director Deepa Mehta. I will let the official TIFF page do most of the talking:  Continue reading

MY SUMMER READS: Lucy Clarke’s The Blue


After a considerable hiatus (cause by my endless enthusiasm for a new job I absolutely love) I am finally back at it – unable to resist the need to share my thoughts and impressions about the books I read. And despite the obvious absence of my posts on here I have definitely been reading…

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to get away from your everyday life for a while? Just pick up your bags and sail away into the arms of unexpected adventures? Continue reading

What’s so amazing about John Wick?

It seems cold/flu season is upon as. As evidenced by my recent (writing) absence. You know you’re sick when even watching TV feels like a difficult task. Recovery period though made me dedicate more time to reading and movie watching, so I shouldn’t really complain.

It’s no secret I have a soft spot for Keanu Reeves. Not in a creepy “celebrity adoring” way. I guess I have My Own Private Idaho to blame, even as an adult I love that movie as much as I did when I was 14. Over the years I’ve grown to respect Keanu’s un-celebrity ways and his presence in the media primarily through his movie (or movie promoting) work. And though I do not claim that he is Hollywood’s best or most talented actor, he is definitely one of those actors whose involvement in a project will make me more inclined to see that film. I think that is enough of an explanation as to why I was so excited so to see his latest film John Wick. (and yes, I admit I experienced a child-like level of joy when I got a chance to see the film before its official release date – which happens to be tomorrow) I am thrilled to report that the film not only met my expectations but actually managed to exceed them.

John_Wick_1048x440 Continue reading

Girls, Food, Body Image and The Appetites of Girls by Pamela Moses

When I first picked up The Appetites of Girls by Pamela Moses, I was expecting something along the lines of chick lit. Basically I thought I would be mindlessly entertained for a few hours of reading and that would be it. (just so we’re clear I love chick lit, especially in between reading a two “heavier” books) Instead this book made me think of the complicated body image issues most girls have, the prevalence of eating disorders, as well as the fact that we women tend to be the harshest judges of other women. Continue reading

My “I Love These Songs and Cannot Stop Listening To Them” Ultimate Winter Playlist

So after much winter induced procrastination….I am back. It’s not that I haven’t felt the need to write….or had anything to write about….but anyone who has ever survived a Canadian winter knows how easy it is to fall into hibernation mode. And while I HAVE been daydreaming about exotic beaches and moving to Australia, I have also managed to consume quite a bit in terms of films, books and (especially) music. Before I bombard you with all the lit and cinema talk I figured I’d first share some of the contents of my media player.

If you happen to enjoy my impromptu (“it’s-winter-I-have-to-save-my-sanity”) DJing, feel free to join my Facebook music page and contribute some of the tunes you love here.

Ain’t No Love – Summa

Of course the first song I chose has to do with summer (“summa”)….this homegrown (Toronto/Montreal) talent will have you completely immersed in their sounds or if you are anything like me, randomly performing embarrassing dance moves even in public…. Continue reading

Film corner: On the wings of Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)


In my case it was love at first (viewing of the) trailer. Before even realizing that the film was directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu (and to say I adore his work is putting it mildly), I knew I wanted to watch Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance). And in case you’re wondering, Mexican director Iñárritu is the man behind Amores Perros, 21 grams, Babel and Buitiful. Now he brings us a beautiful piece of cinematography, a wonderful reminder why film is (can be) considered an art form. Let me tell you first what this film is NOT. It’s not a mainstream movie made solely for the purpose of tuning out of your real life for a bit without requiring any mental effort on your part throughout. It’s not a narrative in which every moment of the story is painstakingly obvious. And it is not a film for everyone’s taste. Scared you off yet? Good. I think it’s important for people to know what they’re getting themselves into. If you haven’t watched any of Iñárritu’s earlier workers I recommend you watch the trailer first. It will give you a good idea not only what this movie is about but also about its tone and style. Then, if you survive that step, read on and I’ll give you all the reasons why you should watch this film. Continue reading

Book Corner: Monica McInerney’s Hello from the Gillespies


So I’m back in the writing saddle. And to think I (overambitiously) planned to write every single day in November. It’s most definitely not for the lack of things to write about. I blame reading. I kept picking up books that seduced me to such degree that I kept dedicating all of my free time to them. I am proud to say I fulfilled my reading goal for this year – I’ve read more than 80 books so far (with the plan to pass the 100 mark by December 31st). Same goes for my film goal – I’m already way past 100 for this year. And all of it was such “hard” work obviously. So what have I been reading? Well it seems my subconscious has been in Christmas mode for weeks now because I keep choosing books that are Christmas related. My last such treat was Monica McInerney’s Hello from the Gillespies. I have to thank the publisher for providing me with a copy of it, in exchange for (what else but) an honest review. I get especially giddy when one of my review books beats my expectations and then some. Continue reading

Sleepy Hollow Children of the Revolution (TV show tie-in)

It is love that wasn’t supposed to happen. When Sleepy Hollow first aired last fall, against all odds I was hooked after the first episode. I am not a history buff. Majority of my ‘essential’ education happened while I was living in Europe so my knowledge of American history is rudimentary at best. As is my knowledge of the Bible. (and in case you’re wondering there ARE a few subjects I do know a thing or three about) In any case I am pretty sure that the only reason I gave the show a chance is the fact that I enjoyed Tim Burton’s cinematic version so much. The TV show was such a pleasant surprise that I’ll go even so far as to say that I feel Tom Mison is a better Ichabod Cane (:gasp: Johnny Depp can do no wrong…but facts are facts…if you’ve been watching the show you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about).

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My countdown to Lykke Li (and Mapei)

Tonight’s the night. Ever since I got the tickets to Lykke Li’s show in Toronto, I’ve been in a kind of haze, not really believing that the stars aligned and that I’ll get to hear her live on my home-turf. Her latest album I never learn has been on replay the entire summer. And yes, I already have a few favorites. So instead of my usual verbose post, I figured I’d go the music route this time around.

I also kind of forgot (until today) that Mapei is the opening act, so now I’m excited about that as well.

A little taste of Mapei: Continue reading

Back to books: Frédérique Molay’s Paris Homocide series




Though I have been to France a number of times over the years and know quite a bit about French culture, I admit to not knowing almost anything about their judicial and police system (come to think of it, I am kind of grateful for not having any first hand experience with the french police). Even though this is my favorite genre and I am frequently drawn to works of the authors from non-English speaking countries, again it dawned on me that I have not read much in terms of French crime/murder mystery novels. These are just some of the reasons I still feel the thrill of discovering this series by Frédérique Molay.
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