Canadian director, Oscar nominee, and sexual liberator Atom Egoyan turns 51 today.

A graduate of the University of Toronto's film program, Egoyan is one of Canada's most celebrated filmmakers of all-time. Most famous for his works Exotica and The Sweet Hereafter, Egoyan has helped legitimize Canadian film on the world stage. His distirbution company Mongrel Media has for years been showing the best in both Canadian and international cinema to audiences who might not otherwise have had the chance. And in his most recent film Chloe, Egoyan showed the world what it's like to get a handjob from Amanda Seyfried in Toronto's Allan Gardens!

To celebrate Egoyan's birth, we present a retrospective of the director's work.


TORO favourite Fred Willard was recently arrested for lewd conduct after undercover Los Angeles police allegedly discovered the comedian masturbating in an adult movie theatre. Willard was released an hour after the arrest.

The sting went down at the Tiki Theater on Santa Monica Boulevard, an L.A. institution known for providing the finest in whack-off material. The theatre was showing the films Follow Me 2, Step Dad No. 2, and The Client List on the evening of the arrest, but it is not known which film Willard was enjoying.

We at TORO are a little confused. Aren't audience members expected to masturbate in adult movie theatres? That's how it used to go down, at least. And at 72 years of age, we should be celebrating that Willard can still get it up, not chastising him for it.

Here's hoping Willard pulls through his mess, we mean, this mess, and continues to make us laugh with his amazing comedic talents.


The 2012 Emmy nominations have arrived with few surprises. Once again, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and Boardwalk Empire dominate the dramatic categories, while 30 Rock and Modern Family follow suit on the lighter side of things.

Newcomers Downtown Abbey and Girls have faired well, though. Both series have been nominated for the highest award in their respective genres.

The Emmys showcase some great talent, no doubt, and it’s important to acknowledge television as a legitimate art form, not merely cinema’s low-budget little brother. But as far as L.A. circle jerks go, the Emmys are probably the worst.

The Emmys are a bloated, corny, three-hour hedonist circus supplemented by awards that no one cares about. Outside the heavyweight titles, the celebrated categories are so bizarre and arcane (Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series; Outstanding Children’s Nonfiction, Reality or Reality-Competition Program) that you have to wonder why they even exist. It’s hard to enjoy an award show about television that is itself bad television.

Anyway, below are the nominees for categories that viewers actually care about. You can see who’s nominated for Outstanding Hairstyling For A Multi-Camera Series or Special here.

Outstanding Drama Series
Boardwalk Empire

Breaking Bad

Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
Mad Men

Outstanding Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Modern Family
30 Rock

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Lena Dunham, Girls
Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly
Zooey Deschanel, New Girl
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm
Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Louis C.K., Louie
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory
Kathryn Joosten, Desperate Housewives
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Merritt Wever, Nurse Jackie
Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Ed O'Neill, Modern Family
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family
Max Greenfield, New Girl
Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Kathy Bates, Harry’s Law
Glenn Close, Damages
Claire Danes, Homeland
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Damian Lewis, Homeland
Michael C. Hall, Dexter

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey
Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
Giancarlo Esposito, Breaking Bad
Brendan Coyle, Downton Abbey
Jim Carter, Downton Abbey
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Jared Harris, Mad Men

Outstanding Miniseries
Game Change
American Horror Story
Hatfield and McCoys
Hemingway and Gellhorn

Outstanding Animated Program
American Dad

Bob’s Burgers


The Penguins of Madagascar: The Return of the Revenge of Dr. Blowhole

The Simpsons

Outstanding Variety Series
The Colbert Report 

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart

Jimmy Kimmel Live

Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

Real Time With Bill Maher 

Saturday Night Live


Usually nerds don’t have to worry about getting beat up after they finish high school. Not so for famous Canadian scientist Steve Mann.

This week, at a Paris McDonald’s, three restaurant employees allegedly assaulted Mann while he was eating a delicious “Ranch Wrap” with his young family. The Hamburglars were after Mann’s “digital computer vision system” eyeglass, an invention he has worn bolted to his head for the better part of 34 years. “The eyeglass is permanently attached and does not come off my skull without special tools,” said Mann. When the employees’ thievery proved unsuccessful, they manhandled our hero out of the restaurant and onto the street.

Luckily, Mann was able to record the scuffle on his eyeglass, which ironically would never have happened had the McDonald’s employees not damaged the equipment. You can catch the intimate play-by-play on Mann’s blog.

Mann, a tenured University of Toronto professor, has dedicated his life to bettering human sight. His theory of “Augmediated Reality” was conceived with the ultimate goal of helping blind and partially blind people to see again.

And now, Mann needs your help! He claims to have neither the time nor resources to take on Raoul McDonald, but justice like Mann’s Ranch Wrap must be served! We at TORO have witnessed McDonald's shenanigans before. If you are a lawyer, have valuable McDonald's insight, or just have a shit-tonne of money to give to Mann, please contact him via the information below.

Dr. Steve Mann, PhD (MIT '97), PEng (Ontario),
330 Dundas Street West
Toronto, Ontario,
Canada, M5T 1G5.


[html]Today UK quad (i.e. rectangular) posters have been released for two very similar-looking movies, Lawless and Gangster Squad. But which one reigns supreme? Will it be the flawless Lawless, or quad Squad?  

First up ...


Not bad. A bit of incongruity with actors’ expressions; Mia Wasikowska, dressed like some kind of Dickensian newsboy, the lovely Jessica Chastain and Gary Oldman are giving us the stare-down, while the remaining dudes glance at something to their right. WHAT COULD IT BE? Also. No. More. One. Word. At. A. Time. Taglines. Please.



More of a comic book-style design here, with the actors divided into their own panels, while also appearing in the background of others? A little weird. With its bolder colours and smoother cast images, this one will definitely pop out more in public spaces. That said, the movie looks like an overcooked turd, so maybe that’s a bad thing.


Even Saskatoon deserves a little fun. Today, Saskatoon City Council votes on a zoning bylaw that determines where adult services — escort agencies, massage parlours, sex shops, Wild Wings, etc. — are allowed to exist.

Critics and overzealous puritans claim that the Saskatoon bylaw promotes the creation of a red light district, but councilors aren’t buying it. Remember, we’re talking about prom date surrogates and dildo merchants, not prostitution.

The bylaw merely proposes that adult businesses be relegated to light and heavy industrial districts. An adult business would not be permitted within 160 metres of a residential area, school, park, or recreational facility (because we all know that children can’t walk 100 metres without taking a nap). A similar bylaw was passed in Calgary, and according to the Weather Network, the Four Horsemen have yet to rain down on Cowtown. 

Still, prudes will howl and priests who fought against sexual liberation in the 1960’s will keep fighting the "Good" fight.

The controversy surrounding Saskatoon’s bylaw comes only four months after the Ontario Superior Court ruled that brothels be legalized in an to effort protect women from violence, exploitation, and disease. Parliament — no doubt upset that they have to decide on anything — has until March 2013 to draft new legislation that reflects Ontario’s verdict.

Let’s be honest, prostitution already exists in Saskatoon and everywhere else in Canada. There’s no necessary correlation between sex shops and prostitution, let alone the civically sanctioned creation of a red light district.

We suggest that the anti-sex hotheads fuming in Saskatoon take advantage of the potential new adult districts with a nice, calming rub and tu — we mean massage.


[html]Have you been watched AV Club’s “Stand Down” series, in which popular comedians recount their most humiliating experience while animation fills in the blanks? You should. For stand up nerds, it’s pretty fascinating stuff.

This week Maria Bamford recalls a particularly awkward guest appearance on a morning radio show. Her jokes, as is the case once in a while, are ill-received. Enjoy!

Related: TORO interviews Maria Bamford


Experimental / hip hop / electronic producer Flying Lotus has announced his official follow-up to Cosmogramma (2010), an album I definitely slept on: Until the Quiet Comes will drop October 2 via Warp Records, featuring guest appearances from Thom Yorke, Erykah Badu, and more.

Until the Quiet Comes:

01. All In
02. Getting There (feat. Niki Randa)
03. Until the Colours Come
04. Heave(n)  
05. Tiny Tortures
06. All the Secrets   
07. Sultan's Request    
08. Putty Boy Strut   
09. See Thru to U (feat. Erykah Badu)
10. Until the Quiet Comes
11. DMT Song (feat. Thundercat)
12. The Nightcaller
13. Only if You Wanna
14. Electric Candyman (feat. Thom Yorke)
15. Hunger (feat. Niki Randa)  
16. Phantasm (feat. Laura Darlington)
17. me Yesterday//Corded
18. Dream to Me

FlyLo has set a string of tour dates to support the album, with Canadian stops in Toronto and Vancouver:

Sept. 23 - Los Angeles (Hollywood Bowl, w/ Animal Collective)
Oct. 7 - NYC (Terminal 5)
      15 - Toronto (The Hoxton)
      16 - Chicago (Metro)
      18 - Denver (Ogden)
      19 - Salt Lake City (Urban Lounge)
      22 - Vancouver (Fortune)
      23 - Seattle (Neptune)
      25 - Oakland (Fox Theatre)
Nov. 3 - Brixton Academy, London (Brixton Academy, all-nighter w/ 2 performances)
       4 - Paradiso, Amsterdam (Paradiso)
       5 - Leipzig, Germany (Conne Island)
       6 - Paris (La Machine du Moulin Rouge)
       7 - Fribourg, Switzerland (Fri-Son)
       8 - Berlin (Gretchen)
       9 - Manchester, UK (Manchester Warehouse Project)

"MmmHmm" (From Cosmogramma):


[html]As previously reported Dan Deacon’s latest album America will hit an iTunes store near you August 27. Now the electronic artist has released a video for America’s first single “True Thrush.” It’s a game of visual telephone; intro text helpfully explains the concept:  

Related: TORO interviews Dan Deacon


A no-brainer biopic of Playboy founder and still-active publisher Hugh Hefner has been in development for some time now, having jumped from Imagine Entertainment to Warner Bros., but now seems to have found momentum. Screenwriter Peter Morgan (The Queen, Frost/Nixon, the upcoming 360) has been tapped to write the film, having met with Hefner face-to-face this past Tuesday.

Hefner tweeted “I had a good meeting with screenwriter Peter Morgan discussing a film about my life.” He followed that with “I won tonight's Uno game tonight with Crystal Harris, Trisha Frick, Chelsea Ryan, Cristal Camden & Caya Ukkas,” so the dude has his priorities. [Via The Hollywood Reporter]

Related: TORO interviews Hugh Hefner


Considering how poorly the “new stories” model has worked out for Pixar, it’s no surprise the troubled studio has been forced to fall back on its scant successes. After Monsters University, Cars 3 and Toy Stories 4 through 8 Pixar will develop Finding Nemo 2 under the watch of original director Andrew Stanton. That fucking fish just won’t stay found!

Stanton is coming off John Carter, one of the biggest commercial flops in the history of parent studio Disney. It’s a little like going back to college to advance your career, if your career involves the spawning of 800 million dollar franchises from your once-fertile imagination.  

In all fairness Pixar also has three original projects in development, one about a world in which dinosaurs never became extinct (but they probably learned to talk and drive cars, or something), one about “the inside of a girl’s mind,” and one set during the Mexican Day of the Dead.


The Canadian music publicity circle jerk that is the Polaris Prize has announced its short list for the 2012 award, and it’s a colourful roster:

Cadence Weapon - Hope in Dirt City
Cold Specks - I Predict a Graceful Expulsion
Drake - Take Care
Kathleen Edwards - Voyageur
Feist - Metals
Fucked Up - David Comes to Life
Grimes - Visions
Handsome Furs - Sound Kapital
Japandroids - Celebration Rock
Yamantaka // Sonic Titan - YT//ST

The winner will receive a $30,000 prize (upped $10,000 last year) joining alumni Final Fantasy, Patrick Watson, Caribou, Fucked Up, Karkwa, and eternally unlucky Arcade Fire. The Polaris is judged on “artistic merit” alone, a caveat that has somehow not excluded the dominance of commercially successful and / or Pitchfork Media pre-approved artists.

Hey, here’s a thought: why not exclude any artists who make more than $30,000 a year on their own? Step back from the steep cliff of redundancy, maybe? Winner will be announced September 24.


At Beijing’s Guolizhuang restaurant, they want you to eat a dick.

Considered the world’s first “penis” restaurant, Guolizhuang serves over 30 varieties of animal cock, made to order, in a variety of cooking techniques and sizes. There’s horse, dog, seal — a selection with more members than the Republican National Convention.

Some Chinese gourmets believe that various penises hold “specially concentrated nutritional benefits.” Snake penis (served whole as part of a fish soup) is said to be good for your kidneys. Deer penis (served carpaccio-style with wasabi dipping sauce) allegedly enhances the male sex drive.

Most of the penises are chewy, like beef tendon, and neutral in flavour, like arsenic.

Just in case you ever feel like eating at Guolizhuang, below is a list of witty one-liners with which you can entertain your friends.

“That was a tough one to swallow!"

“I would never belong to a club that would have someone like me eat a member!”

“Are we paying by the pound?”

“I guess size does matter!”

“Does it come in white?”

“Eating that was very hard!”

“I knew this was coming!”

"I can’t believe you kept that one down!”

And our personal favourite:

“I like shoving animal penises in my face.”


Leading man and professional eccentric Johnny Depp will star in Wes Anderson's new film, The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Details concerning the film’s plot have not been released, but Anderson recently told Slashfilm that the new film will "not be family friendly," breaking in continuity with his last two films, Moonrise Kingdom and Fantastic Mr. Fox.

For fans of Anderson, the announcement comes as a surprise — the director is a notorious perfectionist, and usually works for years in between projects. But in the wake of Moonrise Kingdom’s surprising financial success, perhaps both Anderson and his financiers were jonesing for a new movie.

We at TORO are excited. Depp’s oddball acting would marry well with Anderson’s quirky sensibilities. And as much as we’ve been taken by his recent turn to the adorable, it's refreshing to see the grand auteur return to darker subject matter.


[html]Venerated ska-pop band No Doubt took the last decade or so off while frontwoman Gwen Stefani conquered the pop charts and hair colour industry.

Now the California group have dropped their first new single since “It’s My Life” (2003). It’s called “Settle Down,” and you can here it below.

No Doubt’s sixth album Push and Shove will drop September 25. They’ve still got it! The official video for "Settle Down" will be released tonight, followed by a performance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon July 26.


Life is just up and down sometimes, isn’t it? Today Passion Pit shared their latest album Gossamer in full via NPR, then promptly cancelled a string of tour dates in support of it. Frontman / songwriter Michael Angelakos issued the following statement via the band’s official website:

Hello all,

On behalf of the band and myself, I would like to greatly apologize for the show cancelations. In order for me to ensure that there will be no further disruptions, I am going to take the time to work on improving my mental health. For now, I'd like to thank all of our fans for their understanding. I hope to see all of you very soon in a much different light.

The tour page on our website currently reflects all upcoming tour dates.

With love,

Damn. Angelakos is a nice guy, hopefully he can get his shit together. Gossamer officially drops next Tuesday, July 24.

Related: TORO interviews Passion Pit


[html]How excited are you for The Dark Knight Rises? I’m guessing somewhere between pretty excited and very excited! But get ready to have your anticipation CRUSHED AND THROWN OUT WITH THE GARBAGE: after review embargoes were dropped this morning a couple dozen positive notices flooded the web, along with the first official thumbs down from somebody named Marshall Fine. Mr. Fine runs “Hollywood and Fine,” a website that bills itself as “Movies for Smart People” though technically that should read “Movie Reviews for Smart People.” Very smart byline.


Mr. Fine’s bubble-bursting, fun-hating review can be read in full here. Expectedly, the review has already received over 335 reviews of its own via Rotten Tomatoes.

Of course Mr. Fine is entitled to his opinion. At the same time, there is certainly exposure and attention to be gained from being the first guy in the world, essentially, to trash what will likely be the biggest movie of the year. I’m not saying that might have influenced this guy at all but, eh, probably.


What do you do when you sign a three-year, $9.5 million deal with the New York Knicks? If you're Jason Kidd, you go on a bender, wrap your SUV around a utility pole and get booked.

Kidd was arrested for suspicion of drunk driving near his Southampton summer home early Sunday. Police found him sitting in his crashed Escalade. He was helped from his car and according to the arrest report: "did not know what had happened."

He did have the presence of mind to refuse a breathalyzer and chemical tests, however. He was arraigned and released.

Prior to the crash, Kidd — inked by the Knicks to bring veteran leadership to the squad (uh huh) — was reportedly partying at an East Hampton nightclub.

The par-tay followed a benefit for Ne-Yo's Compound Foundation, a charity for kids in foster care and group homes.

Oh yeah, we ballin'.


[html]M. Night Shyamalan’s After Earth, starring Will and Jaden Smith as a father-son team starting human life on a “new planet” (OR IS IT?) now has a trailer / teaser thing for you to look at, essentially a summation of the film’s backstory.

This is the second Shyamalan feature written by someone else, probably a good thing. Above we can see he and Smith attempting to offer direction simultaneously, or something. That should lead to a very coherent final product.

After Earth hits theaters June of next year. The twist is we should have stayed home the whole time.


It’s the kind of cultural sensitivity and delicate appropriation of symbolism we’ve come to expect from Madonna; the pop singer is in steaming hot water for displaying an image of French National Front leader Marine Le Pen with a superimposed swastika (see above) during a concert in Paris on Saturday night.

The Front national party is known for their far-right beliefs, including criticism of immigration and a particularly tough stance on crime. Le Pen, who took over leadership from her father Jean-Marie Le Pen in 2011, has attempted to temper more extreme policies, including historical revisionism, but that hasn’t been enough to buffer the wrath of a retirement-age American pop singer.

The party has issued a statement condemning the association, and threatened legal action if the image reappears at subsequent concerts in France; "The images that were projected draw a terrible link between the party and an ideology that we reject," said party Vice President Florian Philippot. Rest assured this will be the last time anyone uses a knee-jerk Hitler analogy in lieu of an actual point. [Via CNN]