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Tim Williams

Based in Calgary, Tim Williams is a veteran blues musician. Last January, he turned a few heads by capturing top place in the solo/duo category at a huge blues blowout in Memphis, Tenn., that drew over 250 acts from 16 countries. You can read more about that triumph in this CBC report.

Tonight Williams is in town to play a show at the SCES Club that’s being presented by Grassroots Regina. The back-up band is the local group The Stillhouse Poets. Doors are at 8 p.m., and tickets are $15. To give you a sense of what to expect here’s video from earlier this year of Williams performing the blues standard “Walking Blues”:

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REVIEW: 1,000 Times Good Night Continues Binoche’s Streak

Juliette Binoche in A Thousand Times Good Night

A common complaint among actresses of certain age is the lack of interesting roles. More often than not, 40-and-older thespians are pigeonholed into roles like district attorney, mom of the flavor of the month or weirdly hot grandma (looking at you, Susan Sarandon).

It seems like Juliette Binoche didn’t get the memo.

The perennial French beauty continues to kill it on regular bases. In fact, some of her most interesting roles are fairly recent (Certified Copy, Clouds of Sils Maria, Camille Claudel 1915). I can’t be the only one to believe Godzilla could have been a lot better with her and Bryan Cranston as the leads, as opposed to the bored-looking Aaron Taylor-Johnson.

The ambitious -if flawed- drama 1,000 Times Good Night puts her to good use. Binoche is Rebecca, a skilled war photographer who gets too close to a suicide bombing and ends up wounded. Instead of dealing with post-traumatic stress, Rebecca must account for her actions to her family. Her husband (Nicolaj Coster-Waldau, Game of Thrones) is considering divorce, not because he doesn’t love her, but the stress of her job is proving too taxing on their daughters. Continue Reading →

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31 Days Of B-Movie Horrors: Lifeforce

LifeforceTobe Hooper had changed horror with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre in 1974 but he struggled to recapture that glory after. He did have success working with Steve Spielberg on Poltergeist and he tried following it up with 1985’s Lifeforce.

Lifeforce
starts with a group of astronauts investigating the tail of Hailey’s Comet. Hidden in the tail is an alien spaceship. All on board are dead and they look like weird bat-like creatures except three people, two men and a woman but they are unconscious and they look like us. The astronauts bring all three on board and return home. Earth loses contact with the ship and when it lands all the crew is dead and there was a fire on board the ship. The three aliens are fine though. they are brought to an army base in the U.K.
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Law Foundation Of Saskatchewan Lecture

mariana_valverde_newAs a professor of criminology at the University of Toronto Mariana Valverde (pictured at left) has a long history of exploring legal questions tied to sexuality. The first book she published as an academic, in fact, was Sex, Power, And Pleasure in 1985. In the early 1990s, she published another book tracing the development of moral regulation in Canada in The Age of Light, Soap and Water: Moral Reform in English Canada, 1880s-1920s. Valverde has also done academic work on the subject of alcohol, addiction, health, morality and the legal system.

Tonight Valverde will be in town to give a lecture at the University of Regina. Her talk is titled “Beyond the Criminal Law: What Local & Provincial Authorities Can Do to Regulate Sexually-Oriented Business”. Right now, of course, the federal government is in the process of recriminalizing prostitution via Bill C-38 after the Supreme Court struck down aspects of the previous law last December because of the danger posed to sex trade workers. But as Valverde will doubtlessly demonstrate, criminal law isn’t the only tool available to provide a measure of control over the sex trade.

The lecture goes tonight at Luther Auditorium on the University of Regina campus at 5 p.m. For more information call 306-585-4226 or visit the university website.

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31 Days Of B-Movie Horrors: The Undying Monster

Undying Monster“When stars are bright on a frosty night. Beware thy bane on the rocky lane.”

The Hammond family has been cursed for centuries. The legend goes that an old ancestor sold his soul to the devil and is confined to the old estate, emerging only to take a human life to prolong his. The last of the Hammonds are living at the estate, just brother Oliver (John Howard) and sister Helga (Heather Angel).

Oliver is on his way home from a doctor friend (Bramwell Fletcher) one night and he, along his the doctor’s nurse is attacked by a creature. Oliver is injured but fine. The nurse is badly hurt and has fallen into a coma. Helga gets Scotland Yard to investigate. They send Bob Curtis (James Ellison) and his assistant Christy (Heather Thatcher). The nurse dies and now it’s a case of murder.
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1914: A Turning Point in History And Culture

If you’re in the mood for some lecture action tonight the University of Regina is presenting another talk in its series commemorating the 100th anniversary of the start of World War One.

Speaking tonight are Nicholas Carleton, who will discuss “Traumatic Changes in Human Psyche: A Brief History”; and Stuart Wilson, whose talk is titled “On the Economic Impact of the Great War on Canada”.

The lectures go at the JohnArcher Library at the university at 7 p.m., and more information can be obtained by calling 306-585-4213.

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31 Days Of B-Movie Horrors: Alligator

AlligatorA baby alligator that was brought home by a young girl from a vacation in Florida is flushed into the sewers by her dad. 12 years later an evil pharmaceutical corporation has been experimenting on animals with a growth serum and they’ve dumped the test subjects into the sewers. The alligator has fed on the carcasses and is now a giant ravenous 36 foot long alligator and is roaming the sewers looking for food.

Soon body parts of sewer workers start showing up. World weary police detective Robert Forster, who has Dirty Harry’s habit of getting his partners killed, is assigned to the case. While checking the sewers Forster and a young cop run into the big gator and the cop gets eaten. Nobody believes Forster’s story until a reporter takes some pictures while getting killed. Forster then teams up with a reptile expert (Robin Riker), who was the little girl who brought the alligator to the city.
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Carnival At The End Of The World

SylviaZiemannCarnival1Above is a studio shot from an MFA exhibition by Sylvia Ziemann that’s on at the MacKenzie Art Gallery until Oct. 27. Despite her student status, Ziemann has already had some pretty significant exhibitions including Home (In)Security at Truck Gallery in Calgary in 2011 and Possible Worlds at the Dunlop’s Sherwood Village Gallery in 2010.

If you click on the above link you’ll see that I reviewed Possible Worlds for Prairie Dog. I also did a brochure essay for the Calgary show. Both of those exhibitions had an apocalyptic/survivalist vibe to them.

As you can probably tell from the above photo, Carnival At the End of the World has an equally unsettling theme. In this instance, the scenario that Ziemann’s imagining is one where mutant humanoids have taken over and are attempting to uphold our old rituals and traditions (like carnivals) — but being mutants, they put their own twist on things.

In building her installations, Ziemann pays close attention to detail. So careful viewing of her work always yields delightful surprises. She also enjoys crafting narratives through small screen video loops visible (and audible) through open doors and windows that link different elements of the exhibition together — enriching the viewing experience even more.

Again, the exhibition runs until Oct. 27.

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31Days Of B-Movie Horrors: Invaders From Mars

Invaders From MarsAs I mentioned in The Maze, director William Cameron Menzies made a couple of movies in 1953. The first was The Maze, a weird gothic horror mystery with an out of left field twist. The second was more successful, Invaders from Mars.

A young boy named David MacLean (Jimmy Hunt) is woken up during a thunderstorm. He gets up and looks out the window where he sees a large UFO land off in the distance. He tells his parents and his scientist dad takes off to check out the boy’s claim. When good ole dad returns, he’s acting quite differently. He’s cold, distant and hostile. He’s also sporting a red mark on the back of his neck. Soon most of the town is acting weird and nobody believes the boy’s story. The police place him in the care of Dr. Pat Blake (Helena Carter).
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Chicken & Wine

Chicken & WineAfter a hiatus of a year or two this informal lecture series is back for another run. The venue is the Artful Dodger (1631 11th Ave.), and the first Chicken & Wine of the 2014-15 season goes Tuesday Oct. 21 at 8 p.m. Admission is free.

Here’s the three speakers, and the topics they’ll be discussing:

Jenelle Jacobsen I Have Made You a Mix Tape. A personal journey through the Canadian indie music renaissance.

Aidan Morgan A Cultural, Chemical and Personal History of the Ampersand.

Ken Wilson El Camino de Santiago.

If you’d like to speak on a topic of interest to you at a future gathering, you can contact the organizers via the Chicken & Wine Facebook page or e-mail [email protected]

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Gala Art Auction

Perreault_Paintings_-North_East_LightsFor several years now the MacKenzie Art Gallery has hosted an annual fall fundraiser to help support various exhibition and education programming that goes on at the gallery during the rest of the year. Above, for instance, is an image from the Wilf Perreault exhibition In The Alley that is on at the gallery until Jan. 4.

Last year, the MacKenzie co-hosted the gala with the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame. This year, the gallery is going it alone, but you can expect the same great food (gourmet canapes, to be specific), liquid refreshments and live entertainment. In addition, there are live and silent auctions featuring work by some of Saskatchewan’s finest artists.

The gala will be held at the MacKenzie on Oct. 24 beginning at 6:30 p.m. Dress is formal, and tickets are $90 for gallery members and $100 for non-members. You can find out more information here.

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31Days Of B-Movie Horrors: Spider Baby

Spider BabyJack Hill directed a lot B movie exploitation flicks in the late ’60s and 1970’s but one of his earliest was the demented 1967 movie Spider Baby or, the Maddest Story Ever Told.

Lon Chaney Jr., in one of his last roles, plays a caretaker of a super-messed up family. There’s three grown children in Merrye family. They all live in a decrepit mansion and the three Merrye kids all suffer what’s referred to as Merrye Syndrome. They are socially and mentally regressed and incredibly violent. There’s two sisters (Beverly Washburn, Jill Banner), the youngest likes to play “spider” and the oldest is a brother (Sid Haig) who lives in a dumb waiter and doesn’t saying anything. Chaney constantly tries to cover up their crimes. A couple of unscrupulous distant relatives, their lawyer and the lawyer’s assistant have come to take control of the estate and the siblings which leads to their secret being revealed.
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Riders Vs. Edmonton Eskimos

Edmonton vs Riders Sept 27As poorly as the Riders have played since Darian Durant went down (a 1W-4L record, while being outscored 92-12 in three road games) they still have a shot at second in the CFL West which would entitle them to host the West semi-final on Nov. 16.

To do that they have to win today, then beat Edmonton again when the two teams close out the season at Mosaic Stadium on Nov. 8. That would give them the season series against Edmonton, and enough points to finish second regardless of how the Riders and Esks do in their other remaining game (the Riders are in Calgary Oct. 24, while Edmonton hosts B.C. Nov. 1.)

Currently rehabbing his elbow injury, Durant is expected to come off the six-game injury list in time for the Calgary game. I wouldn’t expect him to play in that tilt (let’s face it, there’s only one game left to be played in Calgary this year that matters, and that’s the West final Nov. 23). But after that game, the Riders have a bye (much needed, as they haven’t had a break since mid-July) which would give the Rider QB an extra week to get ready for the season finale against Edmonton.

For that game to have any meaning in the race for second, though, the Riders have to win today. If Edmonton wins, they will pretty much sew up second and host the West-semi-final. That would be bad news for the Riders, as outside of the odd game (the 1989 West final, cough, the 1997 West final, cough) Commonwealth Stadium has been Death Valley for the Riders come playoff time.

Mind you, that’s assuming the Riders finish third. Right now, B.C.’s only two points behind the Green & White. Should the teams finished tied, the Lions hold the tie-breaker, and they do have a game in Winnipeg against the slumping Bombers on Oct. 25 that could pull them into a tie if the Riders don’t manage a win in their final three games.

If that were to happen, the Riders would finish fourth and crossover to play in the East semi-final against whoever finishes second between Hamilton, Toronto and Montreal. Then if they were to win that game, they’d play the first-place finisher in the East final with a Grey Cup berth at stake.

Since the crossover was instituted in 1997, no West team has swept the two games and represented the East in the Grey Cup so it’s obviously not easy to do. First off, you have to deal with the travel and early start times. As well, despite the generally weaker quality of play in the East, there’s usually at least one team each year that qualifies as a legit CFL power. This year, though, for a variety of reasons — injuries, stadium issues, young QB prospects still gaining experience — that’s not necessarily the case. So out of all the seasons the crossover’s been around, this might be the one year when a West victory is possible.

For the Riders, the preferred playoff route, I’m sure, would see them host (and win) the West semi-final, then travel to Calgary to play a beat-up Stampeder team in the West final. But crossing over to the East isn’t a bad second choice, and likely preferable to a semi-final date in Edmonton against the Esks.

Regardless of what scenario unfolds, the Riders obviously need a healthy Durant to have a shot. As to whether the team has a shot today, Kerry Joseph is apparently starting at QB. In past games, when Tino Sunseri has come off the bench he’s shown more than he has as a starter, so it might be a case where Joseph will do what he can to establish some rhythm on offence and then perhaps Sunseri will sub in against a tough Edmonton defence. In their previous meeting on Sept. 26 (a 24-0 Eskimo victory, game photo above), Edmonton rushed for over 300 yards. Hopefully, the Rider defence will perform better today, although without stronger play out of the offence it’s tough to win the field position and time of possession battle and the defence inevitably gets worn down as the game progresses.

Game time is 2 p.m. TSN has the broadcast, and you can find out more on the Riderville website.

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31 Days Of B-Movie Horrors: Carnival Of Souls

Carnival of soulsA young woman (Candace Hilligoss) is riding in a car with a couple of other women. Their vehicle is drag racing another car on a bridge when their car goes out of control and crashes off the bridge. The woman emerges dazed and confused.

She later starts driving to her new job as an organ player at a church in another town but a mysterious man (writer/director Herk Harvey) seems to be stalking her. Once she reaches the town, the man keeps appearing and things start getting more and more nightmarish. She’s drawn to an abandoned amusement park. At times it’s like nobody notices that she’s around, she always uneasy and a eerie melody plays on her car radio.
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Nabucco

Based on Biblical stories in the Books of Jeremiah and Daniel, this opera by Giuseppe Verdi was first performed at La Scala in Milan in 1842. The titular character is the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzer II, and the opera opens in Jerusalem in 583 B.C.E. The Babylonian army is advancing, and the Jewish population living in the city faces the prospect of persecution and exile from their homeland. There’s some general sacking of Jerusalem, romance, imprisonment, prophecies, mass execution, divine retribution, and at the end one repentant and mentally unhinged Babylonian monarch.

Today and Sunday at the RPL Theatre a production of Nabucco by London’s Royal Opera will be broadcast. Curtain both days is 2 p.m., and tickets are $15 Adults, $12 Seniors, Students $10. To give you a sense of what to expect, here’s an excerpt from an uncredited (on YouTube anyway) production featuring a famous scene with a chorus of Hebrew slaves:

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Daily Aggregation – Epic 8-Bit Music Edition

daily-aggregation-21. PLANS FOR SASK DEMOCRACY MUSEUM The NDP is criticizing the Saskatchewan government for spending money on a museum of politics over other priorities like health care or education. NDP leader Cam Broten argues other museums could cover the same area, but don’t have the funding.

2. WOMEN SPEAK OUT ABOUT DANGERS OF LITERARY INDUSTRY Like many industries, the literary world isn’t free from problems of sexism and abuse either. Poet Emma Healy shares her story.

3. RUDDY SPEAKS ABOUT BARBERSHOP EXPERIENCE Speaking about sexism and abuse, Evie Ruddy spoke at the YWCA and Big Sisters’s Power of Being a Girl conference on Thursday. She talked about the attacks and threats she suffered from criticizing Ragged Ass Barbers for refusing service, due to her being a woman and despite wanting a man’s haircut style.

4. MARS MAY KILL POTENTIAL COLONISTS QUICKLY A feasibility study shows the first human will die of suffocation in 68 days without some way to produce nitrogen – of course, such a machine would be too heavy to land onto the planet’s surface. Couldn’t it be dropped in pieces? Or would the colonists suffocate before they could build it? The 26 month delay on supplies probably doesn’t help either.

5. THE COSTS OF POVERTY Though poverty levels are down in Saskatchewan, those in poverty are faring worse than before, according to a recent report.

6. ZOMBIES OF THE BUREAUCRATIC KIND Prime Minister Stephen Harper is decrying attempts to ressurect the long-gun registry by “bureaucratic” means.

7. WORLD WAR E The author of World War Z explains why people don’t have to worry about the ebola outbreak escalating in the same way.

8. THE CONNECTION BETWEEN NIXON AND MR. BURNS Voice actor for The Simpsons and Spinal Tap bassist Harry Shearer is impersonating Richard Nixon for a Youtube series, while using the former president’s actual secret audio recordings. Yes, that’s happening. Here’s why.

Mainly because a good portion of my brain is old video games – for my portion of the daily aggregation, I’m now going to show off a piece of sweet video game music every week. We’re starting off with a classic, heroic piece that’ll get you fired up for anything: saving the world, heading to work or maybe just changing a really rank diaper. Here’s from Dr. Wily Stage 1 from Mega Man 2 on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES):

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31 Days Of B-Movie Horrors: Mr. Sardonicus

mr sardonicusWilliam Castle loved his gimmicks to sell his movies. The Tingler featured select movie theatre seats that sent a shock to audience members in order to provoke everyone into screaming. Macabre came with life insurance in case you died of fright and 13 Ghosts featured Illusion-O, a pair of coloured glasses that allowed viewers to see the ghosts which you could take off if you were too scared to see the ghosts.

Today’s picture is the 1961 horror Mr. Sardonicus. It’s the late 1800’s and Doctor Robert Cargrave (Ronald Lewis) is summoned by Baron Sardonicus (Guy Rolfe) via the Baron’s wife Maude(Audrey Dalton). Cargrave knew Maude a while back and goes to see the Baron. The Baron has a bad reputation, people are afraid of him and his servants have been mistreated and scarred by him. Cargrave has been summoned because Baron Sardonicus is horribly disfigured and he hopes that the good doctor can cure him.
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Barbara Sapergia

Blood_and_SaltstorelgIn mid-August 100 plaques were unveiled at various locations across Canada to commemorate the 100th anniversary of a large-scale internment that occurred shortly after the start of World War One. Recent Canadian immigrants with possible ties to the Austro-Hungarian empire in eastern Europe were removed from their homes and sent to one of 24 camps on the grounds that they were possibly enemy aliens who posed a threat to the safety and security of their new homeland.

That historical event, especially as it impacted on Ukrainian-Canadians, was the subject of Barbara Sapergia’s 2012 novel Blood and Salt.

On Monday, Oct. 20 Sapergia will read from her book at Central Library. The reading will be at 7 p.m., and is being held to celebrate Saskatchewan Library Week which runs Oct. 19-26. More information can be found at the RPL website.

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31 Days Of B-Movie Horrors: Donovan’s Brain

Donovans brainCurt Siodmak wrote a ton of horror movies for Universal Studios and RKO in the 1940’s. The Wolf Man, Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, I Walked With a Zombie and Son of Dracula just to name a few. Siodmak also wrote a few novels, one of them was Donovan’s Brain.

Donovan’s Brain was first made into a movie in 1944 with the film The Lady and the Monster. It’s not bad but the 1953 movie Donovan’s Brain is better. The good Dr. Cory (Lew Ayres) has discovered a process where he can keep the brain alive after the body dies. Prophetically W.H. Donovan, a crooked multimillionaire is flying near by and crashes. Dr. Cory tries to save Donovan but is only able to save his brain.
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Talkies

In the 1960s Italian filmmakers had some success doing knock-off versions of old-school Hollywood Westerns. Spaghetti westerns is what those films were called, and with the likes of Sergio Leone, Clint Eastwood and Eli Wallach involved, some of the flicks are considered classics of the western genre.

That’s not the direction Jayden Pfeifer is pursuing with the next installment of his popular Talkies series which goes Tuesday, Oct. 21 at the RPL Theatre at 9 p.m. Instead, he’s screening the 1979 Italian flick Starcrash which is in the vein of a spaghetti science-fiction movie since it derives a lot of its “creative inspiration” from Star Trek/Star Wars/2001: A Space Odyssey and other SF classics.

Similar to the spaghetti westerns, Starcrash features some mid-range English-speaking actors including Marjoe Gortner, Caroline Munro, Christopher Plummer and the immortal David Hasselhoff — and is of dubious merit, which should make it ripe for Pfeifer’s satiric venom.

Tuesday’s screening is free with a donation to the Regina Food Bank, and to get everyone ready for blast-off here’s the trailer (pathetic special effects and all):

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