Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Supreme Being Unit's Mindbender & Conspiracy

Meet twin brothers Addi and Khari (38). Their alter-egos, Mindbender and Conspiracy, make up the cosmic hip hop band Supreme Being Unit

Addi AKA Mindbender (right): Our music is everything in the universe. Everyone who is touched by it is part of the Supreme Being Unit — whether you love it or hate it. We’re all one entity. It’s the core of Bob Marley’s One Love idea. Without hate, there is no love. As Conspiracy and Mindbender, we’re two of the most dynamic MCs in all of hip hop history — I would humbly suggest to say. We rap about everything in the universe: science, religion, women, art, sex, sports, comedy and cartoons. There’s no subject that will not appear in a Supreme Being Unit song. Both of our minds together pretty much span the entire universe. It’s a wild statement, but if you listen to our music, I think you would agree. 

Khari AKA Conspiracy (left): Personally, I like Mindbender’s fashion. He’s got the GQ style. He’s a gentleman and has that grown up style with a little bit of a vintage and exotic flair. I’m more the original B-Boy. I wear a lot of athletic wear like hockey jerseys. I love wearing black. I was the first born, but Addi is a bit more wiser and mature than me. We’re opposites that are the same.

Addi: I want to redefine sexual culture. Not only within hip hop, but within Canadian society by being the example of living-breathing positive sexuality that I am, and by being shameless; which is why I never hide my sexuality. When I feel sexy, I let it out. I don’t hide it. I’m not breaking any laws by walking down the street with my chest out. I don’t repress myself or my fashion or my flair for being masculine one day or feminine another. I have some asexual clothing. I feel very much a man wearing vaguely effeminate clothing like really tight shirts or a male bustier. I really don’t give a f@%k. Not every man has the balls to wear what I wear. If it’s me and my spirit, then I’m cool with it. It’s not about everybody fitting into one thing.

Khari: I support Mindbender’s pro-feminine and masculine viewpoints. I think human sexuality needs to be developed and explored to divine and cosmic levels. Negativity between the two sexes and against the gay community needs to stop. It’s all about positivity. We want peace for everybody.

Follow Minderbender on Instagram and Twitter
Follow Conspiracy on Twitter.

Friday, October 9, 2015


Heather has recently written a book entitled Of Being Underground and Moving Backwards -- a collection of dark and gritty short stories dealing with addiction and loss. She shared why she wrote such an intense piece of work: "In 2011, I experienced a significant loss. My sister passed away and it really affected me. I couldn't write about my feelings directly so I started writing about them in fiction to work through the pain."

Click here to purchase Heather's book, but hurry! There are less than 50 copies for sale!

We've featured Heather's elegant vintage street style before.

You can also check our her Tumblr to read her poems and find out about her upcoming poetry-reading shows.

Thursday, October 8, 2015


We previously captured Angela's street style earlier this summer.

Angela Argentina is an artist, designer and Holistic Health Coach. Check out her website Kindred Spirits and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Meet Mr. Kassius

This summer, I had the pleasure of meeting Kassius Denizen (34), the founder of Meet Mr. Kaizen, an image consulting company that enhances the lifestyles of professional men. 

I really enjoyed our conversation, which refreshingly veered off fashion to an unexpected but intriguing place.

Kassius Denizen: I call my style James Bond modern and simply because it’s classic, tailored and timeless, but at the same time, very timely.

TorontoVerve: Which Bond appeals to you the most?

KD: Roger Moore is the best Bond there ever was. He was just smooth and suave. A different kind of smooth than Connery. Connery would slap the taste out of your mouth. Moore would charm you and avoid fighting you altogether, and I like that; however, if he needed to, Moore too could slap the taste out of your mouth. Style-wise, I like Daniel Craig’s Bond. When he puts on a leather jacket and slacks or a full tuxedo, he looks just right. Moore couldn’t pull off a leather jacket the same way that Craig can, but Craig doesn’t have Moore’s suaveness either.

TV: What are your thoughts about Idris Alba being Bond? He appears to be a fan favourite now.

KD: I think it would be glorious. People keep asking, “Why does everything have to change?” The simple answer is: “The world has to change.” Why not a Black Bond? Sure, when Ian Fleming wrote his books, he didn’t have a Black guy in mind, but we live in a different world now. Maybe later there’ll be an Asian Bond.

TV: Fleming would roll over in his grave.

KD: [Laughs] Yes, they say he was very racist, which is even more reason why that should take place. We have to eliminate all these limitations based on race. If the guy is smooth, athletic, handsome, and has all the qualities that Bond possesses, his race should be irrelevant.

TV: So you’re a lifestyle consultant at your founded company Meet Mr. Kaizen. Can you explain what that is exactly?

KD: I’m a certified life coach, stylist and image consultant. I help gentlemen develop the best aspirational version of themselves. My tagline is: “I help you elevate your style of life. Not just your lifestyle.” I advise men on their physical fitness, what they put into their bodies and how to act. That’s what Meet Mr. Kaizen is. Kaizen is a Japanese word, and it means good improvements in small increments. Nothing happens overnight. It’s not about being the perfect man. It’s being better than you were yesterday and if you keep at it, you’ll be better than you were ten years ago.

TV: What kind of men seek your mentorship?

KD: It’s definitely guys who have a disposable income. It may be a newly divorced guy. A guy in a new sales job who wants to better compete with his more seasoned colleagues. I help give men the edge that they couldn’t develop on their own. I tell men where to shop, what to wear, how to be fit and where to be seen to attract clientele. Our business gives men a shortcut to be the best version of themselves.

TV: What kind of response are you getting?

KD: It’s been good. I have clients calling saying, “I have a brother-in-law who needs help.” A lot of people think I’m like Hitch (Will Smith’s “date doctor” movie). “He needs to find a wife.” That’s not my main objective; however, if you’re a better man, you are going to attract women, but I don’t coach by saying, “This is how you pick up a lady.” My whole focus is on making a better man and that’s in terms of respecting everyone around you and respecting yourself. Tom Ford said, “Dressing well is a form of good manners,” and I live by that. How you look is a bold statement. It’s a statement that no one can take away from you, and people make assumptions on who you are based on your appearance.

TV: Ok, so let’s say if you were…Stephen Harper’s image consultant. What would you recommend? 

KD: [Laughs] Everything. I’d say, “Get some friends of colour,” and I don’t mean hire them. Hang out and get to know them. Actually go to their houses for a barbecue.

TV: How do you know he doesn’t?

KD: I know he doesn’t because his circle is his circle. No disrespect to him, it’s how he was brought up -- so he gravitates to people who are like him and thinks like him. If there is a Black person around him, it’s only temporary. That’s the difference between Harper and Justin Trudeau. Different generations and mentality. To me, Trudeau is like Clinton because he’s a forward thinker and gets that the human race is not just the White race. I don’t think Harper gets that. Most Canadians don't get that.

TV: And Harper’s style?

KD: Oh, don’t get me started [laughs].

TV: You mentioned that people constantly ask you why you’re always dressed up. 

KD: They do and my response is, “Why are you not? Why are you in jeans and a T-shirt everyday?” It’s so uninspiring and boring. I’m more comfortable in a suit than I am in jeans. I think shorts should only be worn when you’re working-out or at the beach. That’s just me. I’m tired of seeing guys wearing sneakers when they go out on a Saturday night. I don’t care who made the sneakers, they’re still sneakers. Guys should put an effort in what they wear. When I'm at an event, I decide on who I talk to based on their appearance. Some people say it’s shallow. I call it: visual stimulation. I don’t want to talk to someone who didn’t put an effort in being there.

TV: So let me ask: do your principles about outward appearance have anything to do with being Black and avoiding societal stereotypes? 

KD: Being Black absolutely has something to do with it. In my household, you couldn’t leave the house without looking a certain way. Again, the philosophy is: you’re making a statement to the world and you’re not going to make the statement that they expect of you; which is to look thug-like. So that helped shape what I believe today. More than that, from the 1940’s to present day, a suit makes a man look more respectable. It’s no different from the car he drives or the house he lives in. Everything is about making a statement. That’s just life. It’s not complicated.

* * *

Follow Kassius on Instagram and Twitter.

Kassius' pocket square is designed by Baffi Collection and his lapel pin is by Ellis Esq.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015


Layla: "Sometimes I feel like dressing like a tomboy and sometimes I feel like dressing like the girls in the magazines. It all depends on how I feel in the morning. R&B singer Aaliyah inspires me. My mom always played her music and I watched her videos all the time. I relate to her. She's not Rihanna or the Kardashians."

TorontoVerve: "What's the best advice you've received and from whom?"

Layla: "My boyfriend told me don't tell people your business. It's better to keep it to yourself."

Monday, September 28, 2015

TorontoVerve in Montreal: Isabella

While in Montreal, we met with model and make-up artist Isabella Forget for a little photo-shoot and chat.

"I am not the same person I was three years ago and I won’t be the same person I am three years from now. Three years ago, I was searching for myself. It’s hard knowing who you are and who you want to be in your twenties. I don’t take life for granted anymore. My mother recently passed away from a heart attack. The biggest mistake of my life was thinking that she was invincible. Her death made me think how precious life is. I don’t take it for granted anymore. I always try to live life to the fullest now."

"Fashion tells people who you are. Like every woman, I want to be sexy and provocative, but not too much. I like attention. Everybody does. I get attention with my curves and style. My style is sparkly and fun, but I’m also sparkly and fun on the inside. I’m trying to be the best person. Maybe I’m not the best person for some people, but I’m trying the best that I can."

Follow Isabella on Instagram and Facebook.

Friday, September 25, 2015


"On the very last day of school, my ninth grade teacher told me, 'Never stop being exactly who you are.'  She said that not really in any context. I was kind of an odd duck in school. She was always special to me."

Follow Ren on Instagram.

Thursday, September 24, 2015


If you're guessing I captured Madge's street style because it recalls Jodie Foster in Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver, you guessed right.

"My style is easy, breezy summertime. When I was 12 years old, I wore this big sun hat and denim jacket and my mom said, 'you're doing a Taxi Driver thing today.' I didn't know what she meant. I wasn't allowed to watch the movie because I was too young, but when I eventually saw it, I totally understood what she meant. Fashion and music had the most freedom in the late 60's to mid-70's. Back then, Gays, Blacks, Whites and Latinos came together and partied. I would love to wake up tomorrow and find myself in 1973. People were more accepting of each other then."

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Talking with Former Mayoral Candidate Morgan Baskin

Last year, Morgan Baskin made headlines when she campaigned for mayor just fresh out of high school. We interviewed her then and this summer, we caught up with her for an interesting conversation about city politics, women sexuality, male misogyny and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

TorontoVerve: How have things been for you since the election?

Morgan Baskin: Things have been great. It’s been nice not being “Morgan Baskin - Mayor Candidate” all the time. There are some things I miss, but for the most part, it’s been really nice to do other stuff and engage in other parts of my life with the same kind of passion that I had in the election.

TV: What was the biggest thing you’ve learned about yourself after running for mayor?

MB: The biggest thing I’ve learned about myself is probably that I can do things. When you run for mayor, you don’t necessarily believe that it’s something you can do, but to have other people believe in you and rally around you and give you their time and money, it's really humbling in a lot of ways. It also showed me that I can do what I set my mind out to do, and it’s possible to change the world and people’s mind if you’re willing to step up.

TV: How do you think Mayor John Tory is doing?

MB: If you asked me that question two months ago, I would have said, “Just fine.” No politician is perfect, but he did some impressive stuff — especially around homelessness. Regarding the cold snap we had and the homeless people dying, he really responded in a way that the people were calling for, but two months later, he made anti-fact decisions on both carding and the Gardiner. You want to spend 500 million dollars that we don’t have on 5000 people? That’s not taking care of a city. You want to continue to support a policy that’s racist and classist, and that’s targeting some of the most vulnerable populations in our city — even though there’s no indication that it actually works as an investigative tool? That's not a great decision — especially for a 65 year old White dude to make (coincidentally, on the same day as this interview, John Tory called for the end of carding).

Diversity in the movies

TV: In terms of diversity, Warner Bros made impressive moves. For their Justice League universe, they hired an openly gay actor (Ezra Miller) to be Flash, a Hawaiian (Jason Momoa) to be Aquaman and they were the first to announce a female superhero movie (Wonder Woman) and their intentions to hire a female director.

MB: Yeah, Marvel’s treatment of Black Widow in the recent Avengers movie was lacklustre to say the least. Aside from that scene where she said she was infertile, what I found most galling was that her new power was basically being able to calm a man. So [the Hulk] has rage issues and our single female character will be able to sing a lullaby to calm him down. It’s not impressive.

TV: At least with a female director, Wonder Woman won't be shot with the male gaze. The same way that George Miller shot Charlize Theron as Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road. He never debased her character by making her sexy. I looked at her the same way I looked at Max.

MB: Which is impressive for a director to do. To make you see her as a full human being and not a sex object.

Young women and sexuality

MB: I think if a young woman wants to portray her body in a sexual light, what’s wrong with that? There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s wrong when young men or men take her image and use it without her permission. That’s the problem. The problem is not that she took a picture of her naked body, but we don’t talk about it that way. The blame is always on the young woman who took the picture. Young women are sexual. We sexualize them all over in society so we shouldn’t find it shocking that young women can experience sexual feelings and want to take pictures of their bodies. We sexualize their nudity regardless of whether it’s sexual or not, and then we shame her for taking the photo. It’s like what happened to those celebrities whose nude photos were hacked on the Cloud. What we talked about was that Jennifer Lawrence took nude photos. The over arching narrative was not how wrong it was for her photos to be stolen, but that they existed. That's really problematic.

TV: Aren’t there laws in Canada against posting someone’s nude photos without their consent?

MB: I don’t know what the laws are regarding that in Canada. I think in Windsor, they’re charging teenagers using child porn laws, which I think is really wrong. When a female minor takes nude pictures of her own body and shares them, she could be charged with making and distributing child porn. That’s so incredibly wrong. We need to change the child porn laws to reflect the new reality of a young woman taking photos of her nude body. It makes sense to charge [adults] for taking nude photos of minors, but not when a minor takes her own photos. And the young men who distribute her photos without her permission shouldn’t be charged with child pornography either. They should be charged with something, but not child porn. It’s not the correct punishment and sends the wrong message. We need to be educating young men about consent and a woman's boundaries.

School dress codes

MB: Dress codes are so often framed around policing young women’s bodies in order to make young men more comfortable. That’s not right. You should be able to wear what you want to wear. Maybe we ban profanity on t-shirts. I could understand that, but I can't understand how a woman’s midriff can be that distracting to young men. Maybe those young men should figure out a way to pay more attention in class. I think it’s important to recognize that young women are exploring how they want to look and what they want to do with their bodies. Also, our conversations about dress codes have not acknowledged race and class. Dress codes are enforced more strictly with students who go to school in poorer neighbourhoods, and we so sexualize young Black women’s bodies in a way that we don’t do with White women. It comes back to that innocence thing. We see White children as more innocent than Black children. The language is so coded too. You’re not allowed to wear gang symbols or have unkept hair. That stuff happens and it’s not ok.

Street harassment 

MB: I’ve been hit on by guys who are 35 years of age and over since I was literally 12 years old. I remember when much older men would constantly sit close to me on a streetcar — even when there’s empty seats everywhere. They won't sit too close for you to call them out on it, but it’s close enough. Or when you’re standing on a crowded streetcar and someone rubs against you just a little bit. Not enough to call them out on it, but just enough to make you feel like an object. That’s uncomfortable and it happens all the time. If you’re a woman in this city, men will whistle at you, slap your ass, grab you and make sexually explicit comments about you. That's the reality for a lot of young women. You just want to go about your day. It’s a problem when men think they’re entitled to a woman’s time and attention because they’re not. “Look at that face. You’d be so pretty if you smiled.” Leave me alone. I just want to buy my groceries. The words are innocuous, but if someone has a 100 pounds on you and it’s eight o’clock at night and you're alone…I mean, there’s so many layered power dynamics that are not just about the words being said, but about physical presence and power. It's not ok.

TV: Aside from graduating university, what are your future goals right now? 

MB: I don’t know. I don’t have goals right now. I’ve been really goal-oriented for the last year and a half of my life. I’m just really excited to be 20 and take things as they come. I have goals like getting good grades, being happy and helping to make the world a better place. I’m really interested in urban studies and the anthropology and sociology side of how we build our communities, but in the next few years I want to actively do things that I thought I would never do. That’s what made me run [for mayor]. It wasn’t a calculated decision. I want to be able to do that again. Think less about every step and just walk through life.

TV: Will you run for mayor again? 

MB: We’ll see. I suspect that I will run for public office of some sort. When, how and why? I don’t know yet. It’s important to engage in elections in a capacity that you feel is the best for you. If an election arrives where I feel that I would be the best person for the job and I feel very passionate and fired up again, that’s when I’ll run. I really feel that we should frame politics around passion and ability because we’re not doing that right now. I would never want to run just to run. I’m happy to be a politician, but I want to be so many other things too.

Follow Morgan Baskin on Twitter and Facebook.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


"Although my mom is fabulous, I try not to have role models. I try to be me. I don't try to be anyone else. Find out who you are and be the most that you can be. That's what I do."

Follow Kristina on Instagram.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

TIFF Talk 2015: Emma, "The Witch"

Name: Emma, Toronto

The Film: The Witch (USA/Canada)

What's it about?

The Witch takes place in the 17th Century New England era. [It begins when a family is banished from their plantation by their community and resettles in the dark woods, unknowingly inhabited by witches]. A lot of children die.

Did you like it?

I was underwhelmed. I came in with high expectations because of all the great reviews the film received at Sundance, but that's entirely my fault. I've watched many cult films so my sensor has kind of dulled. I'm terrified of scary movies, but The Witch was more of a suspense film to me. I didn't like the movie's first shock, which included infanticide. It's sort of a cliche tool to scare audiences. To me, killing elders is more provocative, but no one does that because elders are closer to death.  I just think killing babies is too easy to shock audiences. There was plenty of foreshadowing so the film wasn't entirely mysterious to me. I knew what was going to happen at the end. An audience member asked the director, Robert Eggers, what he left out of the film that was too shocking and after hearing his response, I wish he would have incorporated it in the film. It would have made for a more disturbing climax.

The Witch will be released in 2016.

Watch The Witch trailer

Saturday, September 19, 2015

TIFF Talk 2015: Lani, "I Smile Back"

Name: Lani, Toronto

The Film: I Smile Back (USA)

What's it about?

The film is a character study of one woman's (Sarah Silverman) struggle with mental illness and addiction.

Did you like it?

It was really good. It's very heavy and hard to watch, but I think it's an important film to see. It definitely resonated with me because I had some family members go through similar things. It helped me understand what they might have endured. Sarah Silverman was amazing. She really embodied the character. This was a different role for her. She usually does comedy. Audiences will be surprised by her dramatic performance. I didn't think the film was going to be as gripping as it was.

Next screening:

Saturday, September 19th at 6:45pm, The Bloor Hot Doc Cinema

Follow Lani on Instagram.

Watch the I Smile Back trailer

TIFF Talk 2015: Matthew, "The Dressmaker"

Name: Matthew, Toronto

The Film: The Dressmaker (Australia)

What's it about?

The Dressmaker is set in Australia around 1950, which is basically like America in 1850 so it's a western, but it's a western that's completely female. Kate Winslet plays this exiled character who returns to town to get her revenge, but she doesn't use guns. Her weapon is self-esteem. She comes back because she can make couture dresses, and her way of avenging herself is transforming all the women in the town -- taking them out of the dark ages and giving them power.

Did you like it?

I loved it. It's like the best John Ford westerns in that it sets the plot up in the first five minutes and then it's about an hour of broadly comedic character performances that you get to enjoy. Judy Davis plays Winslet's mom and she's tremendous. Every character in this film is really well drawn and funny. It's lovely and so beautifully directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse. It's the kind of movie that you can take your parents to and they would totally enjoy it, but you would totally enjoy it too.

Opens in theatres on October 29th.

Matthew Price is a film reviewer and co-hosts the MAMO podcast with Matt Brown. Check out Matthew's other film podcast, Let's Scare Matthew Price to Death, and follow him on Twitter.

Watch The Dressmaker Trailer

Friday, September 18, 2015

TIFF Talk 2015: Sam, "Equals"

Name: Sam, Toronto

The Film: Equals (USA)

What's it about?

Equals takes place in a dystopian future where emotions are removed at birth and people function as their best selves. They don't have human emotions to hinder their everyday lives. When a pandemic breaks out, it causes some people's emotions to return and, if detected by authorities, will be punishable. The lead characters played by Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult develop these forbidden feelings and must go into hiding.

Did you like it?

I thought it was great -- especially the visuals. I was pleasantly surprised that the score and the screenplay were on par, if not better, than the visuals. The score was a long drawn out tug at my emotions. I thought Kristen Stewart's performance was excellent. Her personality fit the lead role well. Nicholas Hoult did phenomenal as well. I enjoyed it thoroughly. I liked director Drake Doremus' previous film, Like Crazy, and he delivered again with Equals.

Next screening:

Saturday, September 19th at 3pm, Ryerson Theatre

Follow Sam on Instagram.

Watch a clip from Equals

TIFF Talk 2015: Fanen, "Len and Company"

Name: Fanen, Toronto

The Film: Len and Company (USA)

What's it about?

A legendary, reclusive music producer (Rhys Ifans) has his shut-in routine disturbed by the unexpected arrival of his aspiring musician son (Jack Kilmer) and a troubled bubblegum-pop superstar (Juno Temple) - written by Jane Schoettle, TIFF programmer

Did you like it?

It's a very funny movie by a first time director from Montreal, Tim Godsall. He had such a command for the tone. It's a very tricky tone to get. It's sort of observing the difference between Britain and North America. The performances were amazing as well. Intelligent audiences will love it. I highly recommend it. There's so much talent in the Canadian film industry and I see it getting better -- whether it's from the performing or filmmaking side.

Next screening:

Friday, September 18th at 4:30pm, Elgin Wintergreen Theatre

Fanen is the editor of Canadian Cinematographer. Check out their website to learn more about the art and craft of cinematography.

Watch the Hollywood Reporter interview with the stars of Len and Company.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

TIFF Talk 2015: Matt, "The Martian"

Name: Matt, Toronto

The Film: The Martian

What's it about?

Matt Damon gets left behind on Mars and has to science his way back home.

Did you like it?

I thought it was really good. It's very entertaining. It's surprisingly optimistic where it's a kind look at humanity and what we can do if we all work together. It's just fun. There's a lot of humour in it; which, you wouldn't expect -- given the dire circumstances in which Mr. Damon finds himself. I think that director Ridley Scott is getting more playful as he gets older. There's some stuff in the film that I would argue he wouldn't have tried 15 years ago. I think he's 80? It's great that this 80 year old man is this spry and willing to take chances.

Next screening:

Friday, September 18th at 6pm, Bell TIFF Lightbox 2, opens wide on October 2nd.

Matt Brown is a film reviewer. Check out his podcasts MAMO and Super Zero, and follow him on Twitter.

The Martian Trailer

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

TIFF 2015: Karl Glusman, Star of Gaspar Noe's "Love"

It isn't a Gaspar Noé film (Irreversible, Enter the Void) if there aren't massive walks-outs, but last night's screening of his 3D sexual opus, Love, might have finally broken that trend. Much of the TIFF audience kept their seats to vigorously applaud the unconventional director for his unabashed erotic odyssey that boldly tests the bounds of a couple's (Karl Glusman and Aomi Muyock) love for each other. 

Noé's 17-year career of directing features has always been surrounded by controversy and public ire, and the director seems gleefully content with that. Love opens with the Palme d'Or insignia saying, "not in competition" and gives one last warning to sensitive audience members, who might already have one foot in the aisle for a quick getaway. Who knew Noé had a sense of humour?

Karl Glusman, the film's male lead, was also in attendance. "I hope you have as much fun with this film as we had making it," he mischievously said before the screening. Glusman, who's also at the festival for Stonewall, was all smiles last night after getting much love from the TIFF crowd.

TorontoVerve had a moment to speak with the up and coming (pun not intended, really) actor.

Karl Glusman: When I first read the outline for Love, Gaspar said on the first page how much he wanted to change cinema. It felt like we were going to try to change history or something. It felt important. My friend, [director] Roland Emmerich, said that he always wanted to make a movie like this. Gaspar said that Kubrick always wanted to make a movie like this, and I guess he came close with Eyes Wide Shut. Hopefully other filmmakers will feel the freedom to be bold like this.

TorontoVerve: Are you worried that your performance might be overshadowed by all the attention that the film's getting for its daring sexuality?

KG: It'll definitely be a focus. Whenever you put a c*ck in a movie, people tend to put a focus on it. Unfortunately.

Next screening:

Thursday, September 17th at 6pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox 1

In addition to Emmerich's  Stonewall, Glusman will next appear in Nicolas Winding Refn's Neon Demon and begins shooting Tom Ford's Nocturnal Animals with Jake Gyllenhaal next month.

TIFF Talk 2015: Diliana, "Love"

Name: Diliana, Miami

The film: Gaspar Noé's Love (France)

What's it about?

Love doesn't have a plot. It's more the feeling of being in love with all the trials, sexapades and challenges that come with it.

Did you like it?

I think Noé did a beautiful job with it. It reminds you of all your personal experiences, and it was great to see love and sex portrayed in a beautiful manner -- instead of just being a transaction or plot point. I don't think it's pornographic. I've seen porn and this is not what it is. It's religious, transcendent and honest. It's about life. Why should loving and having sex with someone be shameful -- or pornographic for that matter? Why should it be hidden -- especially in a puritanical culture like North America. I think we should get over it.

Next screening:

Thursday, September 17th at 6pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox 1

Diliana is the director of an interactive film festival based in Miami called Filmgate. "All the installations and screenings are immersive and interactive so the audience can get involved."

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

TIFF Talk 2015: Onyeka, "Girls Lost"

Name: Onyeka, Toronto

The Film: Girls Lost (Sweden)

What's it about?

Three girls, who are bullied by boys, find a magical seed and plant it. After they drink the plant's nectar, they transform into boys. It's a coming of age story.

Did you like it?

I found it very emotional. I definitely think Girls Lost is geared towards a younger audience. I also felt that the film handled the different themes of gender-identity, sexuality and self-discovery very well. I'm queer and I have a lot of queer friends and [I always appreciate when a film genuinely explores that intense and emotional journey]. It truly resonated with me.

Next Screening:

Sunday, September 20th at 11:45am, Scotiabank Theatre 4

Follow Onyeka on Instagram.

Girls Lost Trailer

TIFF Talk 2015: Robyn, "The Girl in the Photographs"

Name: Robyn, Toronto

The Film: The Girl in the Photographs (USA)

What's it about?

[A serial killer combines his obsession with photography and murder in this offbeat thriller]. It's all about fear, humour, gore and sexy kind of thrills.

Did you like it?

I thought it was good. I really hate scary movies so I was the weirdo with her hands on her face, but I was able to enjoy it because it wasn't over the top with scares.

Next screenings:

Wednesday, September 16th at 5pm, Scotiabank Theatre 1
Friday, September 18th at 9:15pm, Scotiabank Theatre 3

Follow Robyn on Instagram and check out her rug designs and graphic art on her website.

TIFF Talk 2015: Kwame, "The Man Who Knew Infinity"

Name: Kwame, Toronto

The Film: The Man Who Knew Infinity (UK)

What's it about?

A man from India finds his way to Cambridge where he works with a professor to publish material. It goes into all of the challenges like racism and World War II. He grinds himself to the bone to get published and make it back to his wife in India.

Did you like it?

I thought it was an extremely moving, touching and exciting movie. I like the universal story about race and class. People who like stories about human growth and love and loss will definitely enjoy it. It's a bit of a tear-jerker too.

Next screenings:

Thursday, September 17th at 6:30pm, Roy Thompson Hall
Friday, September 18th at 11am, Elgin Wintergarden
Saturday, September 19th at 9:30am, The Bloor Hot docs Cinema

Follow Kwame on Twitter and check out the Ryerson website where Kwame and others "explore the future of storytelling."

The Man Who Knew Infinity Clip

Monday, September 14, 2015

TIFF Talk 2015: Jordan, "Baskin"

Name: Jordan, Miami

The Film: Baskin (Turkey)

What's it about?

Four Turkish cops stumble across a black mass and go to hell.

Did you like it?

It was alright. Baskin is what you would expect from Midnight Madness. I felt it was going for that whole Martyrs vibe -- that's a French horror movie that was also at Midnight Madness several years ago. I didn't think Baskin quite succeeded the way Martyrs did. I heard that it was adapted from a short film. I think it works better as a short film. The feature dragged quite a bit, but you go to Midnight Madness for the blood and guts and it has a lot of that.

Next screening:

Thursday, September 17th at 6pm, Scotiabank Theatre 4

Baskin Trailer

TIFF Talk 2015: Kassandra, "The Devil's Candy"

Name: Kassandra, Toronto

The Film: The Devil's Candy (USA)

What's it about?

It's a modern demonic, haunted house story with a strong metal feel.

Did you like it?

I wasn't sure what I was walking into, but it was better than I expected. I really like the risks that the director, Sean Byrne (The Loved Ones), took to disturb people. The direction and music were very similar to Rob Zombie's Lords of Salem. I think that horror and metal fans are really going to like this movie.

Next screenings: 

Tuesday, September 15th at 6:45pm, Scotiabank Theatre 9
Saturday, September 19th at 1:15pm, Scotiabank Theatre 14

Follow Kassandra on Instagram.

TIFF Talk 2015: Cheuk, "Dheepan"

Name: Cheuk, Toronto

Film: Deepan (France)

What's it about? 

It's an immigrant story -- except that the lead is a special type of immigrant: he's a Tamil Tiger, struggling to fit in French society that's overrun with thugs and drugs. He has a complicated relationship with [the Tamil woman and girl who are posing as his wife and daughter]. It's a different take on your standard immigrant movie.

Did you like it?

I really liked it. I know in Cannes, there was question about whether it deserved winning the Palme d'Or. Sure, it's not as cinematic as past Palme d'Or winners, but I feel that it tells a very universal story. I'm an immigrant so I really connected with the film. I believe it was deserving of the Palme d'Or.

Cheuk is a filmmaker who has made a 15-part documentary about Chinese immigrants around the world. "It's about identity and assimilation -- all told through the perspective of an owner of a Chinese restaurant, and of course, I talk about food. It's part Discovery Channel, part History Channel and part Food Channel." For more info about Cheuk's documentary, check out ChineseRestaurants.tv.

Dheepan Trailer

Sunday, September 13, 2015

TIFF Talk 2015: Euphemie, "Ninth Floor"

Last night, director Mina Shum was brought to tears when the audience praised her with a long and enthusiastic standing ovation for her gripping documentary Ninth Floor. The film masterfully examines a little known incident in Canadian history: the Sir George Williams University riot of February 1969

When discussions about racial bias with university officials breakdown, a small group of students take their protest to the computer room and begin a 14-day occupation that inevitably escalates into a race riot on the streets of Montreal.  In Ninth Floor, Shum gives the former students an opportunity to finally share their incredible story, which to this day still haunts them.

After the screening, I was one of many who approached Shum to give thanks for bringing the story to light, and just before I had my chance, I couldn't help but be intrigued by what an emotional woman had to say to her. Euphemie McIntyre is the sister of the late Roosevelt "Rosie" Douglas, one of the protesters featured in the film. She had heard stories from Rosie about his ordeal as a student and never quite grasped their impact until tonight's premiere.

Euphemie McIntyre: The film brought back the pain that Rosie went through. I remember telling Rosie that I was considering moving to Canada after the hurricane in Dominica and he begged me not to come. He said, "you don't know what the pain is when you are up there." Just watching the movie and hearing what the other students had to say matched with everything he told me -- how discrimination tears at your heart. He didn't want me to go through what he went through.

TorontoVerve: After seeing the film, what thoughts come to mind about Rosie?

EM: In Dominica, Rosie was always thought of as a hero (Douglas became Prime Minister of Dominica shortly before he passed away in 2010). It's not easy to stand up to injustice and they were proud of Rosie for being brave and always standing up. It caused a lot of pain in my family -- especially for my mom. She was always praying and saying, "I hope they don't kill my child."

TV: Do you have any bad feelings for Canada after how Rosie and the students were treated?

EM: No, it's not a Canada thing, it's a world thing. There's [racial bias] in everybody's mind and I feel sorry for them. I'm really proud of Rosie for standing up with those students because he could have easily turned his back and come back to Dominica.

TV: Where do you live now?

EM: I live in Toronto.

TV: You live here?

EM: Yeah, I live in Canada. After the hurricane destroyed Dominica in 1980, I told Rosie that I was going to move here and if I didn't like it, I was going to move back.

TV: Did he change his views about Canada after hearing your positive experience?

EM: He was very happy for me. It wasn't that he didn't like Canada. He loved Canada. He just didn't like how some of the Black students were being treated. He never had any anti-Canada feelings. He was just afraid that I would be treated the same way. We were very close until the end.

Next screening: Monday, September 14th at 2pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox Cinema 4

A theatrical release is planned to coincide with Martin Luther King's birthday.

Ninth Floor Trailer