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We criticize the athletes' outfits, the colour of their hair, their body art and especially their performance. "Oh, he planted his foot too early on that hurdle!" or "She needs to get a better start so she doesn't fade in the last 20 metres!" and so on. What gives us the right to criticize them? Why do we assume that we "know better"? And more importantly, why do we do this at work, too?
If we want people to take Canadian film and TV seriously -- then we need critics to take them seriously. I think it was Socrates who said: "The unexamined sitcom isn't worth laughing at." (I might be paraphrasing).
Everybody's a critique. Paul Cézanne, the Post-Impressionist painter, was mercilessly ridiculed by critics when he exhibited with the Impressionists. Claude Monet's paintings were called "formless, unfinished and ugly." Aside from the art of perseverance, what can the greatest artists of all time teach us? Here are my top 10 takeaways.
2013 marks the 30th anniversary of Norm Foster's career as a playwright. I had the good fortune to interview Foster just before he headed to Ireland and Scotland from here in London, Ontario. Here's my Q&A.
The motion-picture adaptation of the beloved global stage sensation Les Misérables has been seen by more than 60-million people in 42 countries and in 21 languages around the globe and is still breaking box-office records everywhere in its 27th year. Yet, mere minutes in, I went oh, oh, something is off. This is overproduced to hell and back.
Terrance Malick's To The Wonder has just played the Venice Film Festival and is headed our way for the Toronto International Film Festival. It's not that I want to influence people not to see To The Wonder. It's just that time is precious. I watched Malick's The Tree of Life, and that's 140 minutes I'll never get back.
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Criticism is very subjective. My first editor told me, "I don't care for your writing style. Too personal." A decade later that personal style landed me a publisher's contract for my autobiography, Father's Touch. My advice when seeking out critical opinion is not to sell yourself short -- aim high, not low.
We were tasting a flight of Barbarescos, the northern Italian wine from Piedmont. The guy behind the booth waxed poetic about the wine's nuanced flavours, marveling at its rustic leather notes mixing with dark fruit, tea leaves and rose petal. "I get none of that," I thought to myself.