This video of United States House Committee on Financial Services chairman Barney Frank farting has, even in this time of economic crisis, provoked some serious debate of its own:

Did Frank knowingly fart and carry on like nothing happened? Was he so focused on the topic at hand that he didn’t notice the gas escaping from his butthole? Or did he merely shift in his (presumably) leather chair, evoking a similar yet less offensive squeaking sound? It’s the Zapruder Film of farting, and the arguments are in.


- We all know what a fart sounds like

- Frank is a large man presumably carrying a fair amount of gas weight

- The sudden shift leftward suggests a lifting of the cheeks 


- Frank doesn’t loose his train of thought, which happens to me every time I fart

- Frank would have presumably continued talking to further drown out the fart, but instead he breaks his sentence into two halves, pre-fart and post-fart

- Low volume makes the issue unsolvable


No pressure? He's appeared in one game in Toronto and the marketing minds behind the Blue Jays are already talking about changing the uniform to add Canada's signature red.

Brett Lawrie, the Toronto Blue Jays' first home-grown prospect, made his home debut before a surprisingly large weeknight crowd of 20,000-plus at Rogers Centre yesterday. Ten minutes before game time, police had their hands full outside the stadium, "trying to control  the lines of walk-up ticket buyers."

Lawrie had hits in three straight games (5-for-11) heading into last night's series-opening game against the Oakland A's. On Twitter, fans proclaimed "the #brettlawrie era begins!" when the highly touted 21-year-old rookie from Langley, B.C., made his major-league debut last weekend in Baltimore. Lawrie lived up to the hype going 2-for-4 in Sunday's 7-2 victory over the Orioles.

But last night, it was another B.C. native, Oakland pitcher Rich Harden, who stole the spotlight, tossing seven impressive innings in a 4-1 Athletics' win.

Lawrie, meanwhile, was hitless, striking out on three pitches in his first at-bat against the veteran Harden. Still, he was buoyed by the fan support.

"It was pretty cool," he told media after the game. "It kind of pumped me up a little. A lot of reassurance, a lot of people behind me kind of calmed me down a little bit."

Will a whole nation get behind Lawrie and his teammates?

"We've put a team in Vancouver and we're also trying to get as much TV exposure in Canada as we can," Jays president Paul Beeston told The Star. "But still, we have to perform on the field, that's our best marketing tool."

That's a lot to fall on a rookie's shoulders.


565895darius_miles_large.jpgDarius Miles, a 29-year-old former NBA player, may have remembered to pack his liquids and gels in his checked luggage, but silly guy forgot to stow away his loaded gun, reports USA Today.

Apparently, the ballsy one-time pro-athlete was taken into custody after security discovered the firearm in an X-Ray screening.

Unsurprisingly, this inane shenanigan is not the first time Miles has been in trouble with the law. The St. Louis native was arrested in 2009 for possession of marijuana and driving on a suspended license. He also had to sit out ten games in 2008-09 for violating the NBA's substance abuse policy.

The kind of heat Miles was packing has yet to be revealed. And, whether or not the gun was properly sealed in a ziploc bag will perhaps forever remain a mystery.

Blog TIFF 11

[html] TIFFFAUST.jpg

Faust (dir. Alexander Sokurov, Films Boutique, 134 minutes) 

Alexander Sokurov’s Faust took top prize at this year’s Venice Film Festival, beating major contenders The Ides of March, A Dangerous Method and Tinker, Tailor Soldier, Spy among others. That probably says more about the Venice Film Festival than it does about Faust, which creates a world of its own away from contemporary concerns like festivals and awards. It does not engage with its audience, and is perfectly fine with being impenetrable. Even its visual sense is stubborn: the frame does not fit the rectangular ratio of a movie screen.

But for all its delusions of greatness, there’s still a lot to enjoy in Faust. Behind unrelenting gusts of poetic dialogue (translation from the original German must have been a bitch), Sokurov fills the frame with incredible set design and a strong cast of characters. His vision of the demon Mephistopheles is particularly striking; as played by Anton Adasinsky he is a deformed and frail but full of maniacal energy, matching wits with our learned Doctor Faustus and is, in one of many shifts from the original story, almost his equal.

Our screening of Faust was packed with viewers intrigued by the Venice buzz and jury president Darren Aronofsky declaring it was strong enough to “change your life.” However easily his life gets changed is his business, but as far as I can tell Faust was not made with Aronofsky, myself or any other hypothetical audience first in mind. 3/5


The Tall Man (dir. Tony Krawitz, Blackfella Films, 79 minutes)

The Tall Man finds an incredible story, tells it simply and efficiently, but leaves us in a state of discomforting confusion. It is full of so much anger., yet it insists on being as moral and even-handed as possible; we know what the filmmakers believe though they do not insist that we completely agree. They organize a strong case and let us hear it. 

One evening in 2004, Palm Island, Australia resident Cameron Doomadgee wandered drunkenly across the path of Sgt. Chris Hurley. An insult was hurled and less than an hour later Doomadgee lay dead on the floor of a police station processing room. The largely aboriginal population of the island exploded in rage, then quickly focused their emotions on finding actual, tangible justice.

Based on testimony from coroners and one witness — a local alcoholic The Tall Man admits could be severely mistaken — Hurley is investigated several times for his alleged assault on Doomadgee, though ultimately cleared. Director Tony Krawitz does not dwell on the obvious institutional racism that let Hurley off the hook, but instead shows us how that racism effects the living. Doomadgee’s family gets as much coverage as the victim himself, bringing hope and empathy to this unfortunate case.

The Tall Man is not a flashy documentary, but the simplicity of style only enhances its emotional impact. An under-the-radar festival highlight. 4.5/5


Carré blanc (dir. Jean-Baptiste Léonetti, SOLAIR Films, 80 minutes)

It’s helpful to know how far along a filmmaker is in their career at any point; take Carré blanc, a science-fiction/psychodrama with a few big problems among many good ideas. Knowing this is the debut of Jean-Baptiste Léonetti should make it easier for viewers to ignore the former and focus on the latter. 

Above all else, Léonetti has an incredible eye. His setting, a dystopian yet clean and quiet city, is fully realized and very creepy, even if what goes on inside it never makes a whole lot of sense. In some distant future the human population answers to an unnamed, omnipresent corporate body represented by a logo of interlocking white squares (title translation: “White square.”) That’s pretty much all we know about it, that and it employs Phillipe (Sami Bouajila) whose mother buckled under the pressure of the system and took her own life years ago. And they just might be repurposing civilians as deli meat. One of Léonetti’s most effective choices is to scrub his sets of human clutter; aside from a few apartments and offices most of the city appears to be completely empty of activity.

Its human story suffers, plodding toward an emotional showdown between Phillipe and his wife Marie (Julie Gayet), who despises what the company has turned him into.  As characters they fail to raise the stakes of this slow-burning story. Carré blanc features, in the words of my colleague Thom Ernst, “A lot of staring,” and that’s an understatement. Marie and Phillipe never emerge as compelling heroes and are depicted so remotely that Carré blanc threatens to become as cold and lifeless as the tragic future it depicts. Maybe that was the point, but that’s kind of a redundant point. 3/5


[html] Copyright infringement is a common theme in this week’s TORO Playlist, including lifts from Charles Manson and Jane’s Addiction (Death Grips), Hollywood classics and Loony Tunes (Lana Del Rey) and Elton John (TV Girl). Enjoy.

Death Grips - “Beware” (From the Ex Military mixtape, download here) 

Ane Brun - “Do You Remember” (From It All Starts With One, available in September)

Future Islands - “Before the Bridge” (From On the Water, available October 11) 

Humans - “Avec Mes Mec” (From Avec Mes Mec, available now)

Lana Del Rey - “Kinda Outta Luck” (Single)

TV Girl - “Benny and the Jetts” (From EP of the same name)

Blog TIFF 11

Are you ready? The countdown is on for the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival, which runs from September 8-18 at various locales throughout the city.

Davis Guggenheim's U2 doc, From the Sky Down, is set to kicks things off, following in the footsteps of the success of the Bruce Springsteen documentary, The Promise, last year.

Among other highlights of the first films announced at a media conference with festival directors Piers Handing and Cameron Bailey at the Bell Lightbox today is George Clooney's The Ides of March, Madonna's W.E. and David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method.

Sarah Polley makes her return to TIFF as a director with Take This Waltz. Polley's Away From Her was a previous festival favourite in 2006. Also coming are Bennett Miller's Moneyball with Brad Pitt, Alexander Payne's The Descendants, Cameron Crowe's Pearl Jam documentary Pearl Jam Twenty and Francis Ford Coppola's Twixt.

World premieres include Fernando Mereilles's 360, Michael Winterbottom's Trishna, Luc Besson's The Lady and Hugh Jong-ho's Countdown.

More announcements about films, programs and special guests will follow in the coming weeks to build more excitement.

Here's a quick rundown of today's announcement. Check out TIFF11 for the full film list.

Opening Night:
From the Sky Down
, Davis Guggenheim

Albert Nobbs, Rodrigo Garcia
Butter, Jim Field Smith
A Dangerous Method, David Cronenberg
A Happy Event, Remi Bezancon
The Ides of March, George Clooney
The Lady, Luc Besson
Moneyball, Bennett Miller
Peace, Love and Understanding, Bruce Beresford
Take This Waltz, Sarah Polley
W.E., Madonna
Americano, Mathieu Demy
, Roland Emmerich
A Better Life, Chris Weitz
Countdown, Huh Jong-ho
The Descendants, Alexander Payne
Drive, Nicolas Winding Refn [pictured above, starring Ryan Gosling]
50/50, Jonathan Levine
Friends with Kids, Jennifer Westfeldt
Machine Gun Preacher, Mark Forster
360, Fernando Mereilles
Trishna, Michael Winterbottom
Twenty, Cameron Crowe
Twixt, Francis Ford Coppola


The deal is done ... mostly. While the nation's leaders are still squabbling over the U.S. debt ceiling crisis, NFL owners and players managed to make some compromises in order to save the upcoming pro football season.

Thirty-two player reps voted unanimously to recommend approval of a new collective bargaining agreement yesterday — with some details still yet to be settled (drug testing, personal-conduct policies among them) before the NFL's 1,900 players officially ratify the deal. If that does happen by Aug. 4, we will have 10 more years of labour peace after a five-month lockout — the longest work stoppage in league history.

With that little stumbling block aside, the real scramble begins as teams try to fill gaping holes in their rosters. Beginning Tuesday, 400 free agents can begin negotiations, trading will resume and rookies can finally ink their contracts.

Until then, general managers and salary cap gurus will be briefed on the rules, which include a $120-million team payroll max and new rookie caps. Rosters at training camp can have 10 more players. Training-camp schedules will have to be adjusted to account for new limits to full-contact practices.

It's going to be an interesting start to the year. Eight teams have new head coaches and still others have new offensive and defensive coordinators, many of whom haven't met with their players. Good luck learning the new playbooks, guys.

And, of course, it wouldn't be a new season without the usual speculation. Are the Eagles really looking at Brett Favre?


Oh the intrigue! Cyclist Tyler Hamilton's attorney has reportedly contacted the feds and is alleging witness tampering after Lance Armstrong had a run-in with his former U.S. Postal Service teammate at a swanky Aspen eatery on the weekend.

Hamilton testified before a grand jury about his doping and added his observations that American golden boy Armstrong used performance enhancing drugs too. Hamilton then gave full disclosure during an interview with 60 Minutes that aired last month.

According to reports, Hamilton was stiff-armed as he made his way past the bar at Cache Cache by none other than Armstrong. Hamilton's lawyer Chris Manderson speculated that someone alerted Armstrong to the fact that Hamilton, in town for some kind of event or other, was in the resto.

According to a New York Daily News article, Manderson said that Armstrong "was extremely confrontational, demanding to know how much CBS had paid for the interview." And that Armstrong told Hamilton that his lawyers would "tear him apart on the stand" if the investigation leads to an indictment.

Armstrong's legal camp fired back, saying Hamilton and friends camped outside Armstrong's Aspen home, revealing a deeper obsession with the Tour de France legend.
So much drama in the cycling world! Who knew?

After four years, 2.5 million units sold, five Juno awards, and a host of other triumphs and accolades, Leslie “Feist” Feist will finally release her follow-up to The Reminder (2007). According to Pitchfork, it will be called Metals and will drop October 4. Hooray!

While you wait patiently by your computer screens, make the time go faster by checking out some spooktacular video previews on Feist’s official website. New vids will be unlocked gradually as the days go by, because like any good artist Feist knows how to fiddle with your anticipation.


wholefoods21.jpgApparently not every business that comes to Canada via the U.S. becomes less evil by virtue of it being run in a country far less blindly corporate than America. Take Whole Foods for instance — a massive company that somehow puts itself to market as "alternative."

Truth be told, the only way in which I've found the falsely organic giant "different" is that it has its employees on such a tight leash that they actually catch customers mixing dried strawberries into the "trail mix," oddly priced in the range of four million dollars a scoop.

Today, Gawker printed a resignation letter from an unnamed employee of the Toronto store, who worked at the location for over five years. The clearly bitter ex-employee covers topics ranging from food waste and recycling shams to employee abuse and portion shrinkage. Although the curmudgeonly worker may be a less reliable narrator than any of Nabokov's anecdotists, the letter is still worth a read.

Here it is, via Gawker, in full.


Amy Winehouse joins the tragic ranks of Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain today, Saturday, July 23, as she was found dead in her Camden Square home in north London at the age of 27.

Last month the erratic Winehouse cancelled her European comeback tour after she swayed and slurred her way through near mockeries of her songs in her first show in Belgrade, Serbia. Winehouse was booed off the stage.

In her last and most recent public performance, Winehouse is seen giddily dancing, while her goddaughter Dionne Bromfield performs on stage in London. In these final public moments, Ms. Winehouse has a gamine charm that hints toward happiness, and yet the artist is clearly not altogether there.  

Unfortunately, all we can now say with certainty is that the truly talented woman, who got caught up in the abysmal labyrinth that fame often offers, is altogether gone.

R.I.P Amy Winehouse.


It was a relationship that outlasted many a high-profile pairing. Today Tiger Woods announced that he and caddie Steve Williams "will not be working together in the future."

"I want to express my deepest gratitude to Stevie for all his help, but I think it's time for a change," Woods said via his website. "Stevie is an outstanding caddie and a friend and has been instrumental in many of my accomplishments. I wish him great success in the future."

Tiger and Stevie began working together back in 1999 and served him through 13 of 14 major championships. Along with carrying the bag, he fended off spectators and media alike, once wresting a camera away from a fan and tossing a photographer's camera in the water on another occasion.

No replacement has been named. Woods is resting and rehabbing his left leg and no timeline has been announced for any return to the PGA Tour.

Williams has been caddying for other players on the tour while Woods has been sidelined, including Adam Scott at the recent Open Championship.



Well, not necessarily amazing. Let’s say interesting. The headline wouldn’t have worked that way, and I get paid based on my quality headline output.

I wasn’t a fan of the original Spider-Man trilogy, but this looks pretty strong! Martin Sheen! Sally Field! Andrew Garfield could out-act Toby Maguire in some kind of acting contest! Not a fan of Emma Stone’s blonde ‘do, which makes her look like a chalky ghost-person, but I’ll let it slide. This thing swings into theatres (har har) July 3, 2012.


Aretha Franklin had it right: "If you want a do-right-all-day woman, you've gotta be a do-right-all-night man."

In a recent Kinsey Institute at Indiana University study on sexual satisfaction in long-term relationships, women reported that it was the sex itself — particularly satisfying sex — that kept them happy.

Men, on the other hand, reported that cuddling, kissing and touching gave them greater satisfaction.

The study, published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, examined more than 1,000 same-sex couples from the U.S., Germany, Japan, Brazil and Spain. Participants were 40- to 70-year-old men and their female partners, either married or living together for at least a year.

Another discovery of note? Relationship satisfaction was greater for men who reported that it was "important to him that his partner experienced orgasm."

Who knew?


You can sometimes meet a celebrity and be so charmed by them him/her you risk compromising your opinion of the work. 

You hope to be polite and yet you don't want to gush over their films if in fact you don't particularly like them. Insincerity is a disease as easy to spot as it is to catch.

With Morgan Spurlock that's not an issue.

Perhaps he was suffering from early morning jitters, a lack of coffee, or he simply wasn't aware of the quaint Canadian custom of not walking away from someone in the middle of an introduction.  

And to be fair, maybe he just didn't wish to be bothered while at the Meet the Filmmakers Breakfast. I clearly misinterpreted the invite to be an opportunity to meet the filmmakers.  

But happily there was more to the event than simply being snubbed. It was the chance to hear about a new documentary project: Focus Forward.

Focus Forward produces 30 three-minute documentaries by established documentarians.

Also there were directors Nick Broomfield, Joe Berlinger, and Jessica Yu.

As for movie choices for this afternoon, most come from the Midnight Madness program which means today's body count is higher than usual.

The Day, Livid and You're Next are, respectfully, routine, surreal and just bloody good fun.

Worst Ways to Die in the Movies Part 3:

Double blade hatchet
Jaws ripped apart
Beaten by pipes
Gutted in a bathtub
An Electric Blender


TORO's Tony Felgueiras was back at Fan Expo to see the sights on Saturday. He got up close and personal with celebrity guests like Eliza Dushku, Lee Majors, Martin Landau, Hayden Panettiere and more for these exclusive pics.

Above: Eliza Dushku best known for her roles in Dollhouse and Buffy the Vampire Slayer


Hayden Panettiere of Heroes


Katee Sackhoff best known as "Starbuck" on the popular series Battlestar Galactica


Malcolm McDowell


Lee Majors - Steve Austin - The Six Million Dollar Man


Academy Award-winning actor Martin Landau


Eliza Dushku take a moment to smile for TORO's camera at her busy signing booth


Toronto native actress Lexa Doig known for roles in sci-fi shows including Andromeda, Stargate SG-1 and more


Brigitte Kingsley of the popular Dark Rising films
Related: Check out pics of Brigitte as TORO Woman


The Dark Rising cast and team including actress Cory Lee
Related: Behind the scenes video of Cory Lee's TORO Woman shoot


Lance Henrikson at his signing booth promoting his new book Not Bad For A Human


John Astin known as Gomez Addams in the '60s TV series The Adams Family


Jason Mewes best known for his role as Jay in Jay and Silent Bob


Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, The Queen of Halloween


Doug Bradley best known for scaring audiences as Pinhead in the Hellraiser films


Gary Kurtz, producer for the iconic original Star Wars films, A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back

Can't get enough Fan Expo?  Check out more celebs and fan costumes in our previous coverage!


From Hip to HEAVY, expect some loud music in Toronto's Downsview Park this coming weekend.

With the success of HEAVY MTL, Toronto is amped to launch the inaugural HEAVY T.O music experience. Rock and metal fans in the GTA will be treated to two full days of hardcore music, head banging and, of course, lots of booze.

Notable performances include Megadeth, Motorhead, Melissa Auf der Maur, Anvil, Slayer and Rob Zombie. Click here for the full schedule lineup.

HEAVY T.O doors open at 11.30 a.m. with performances beginning at 1 p.m. Performances wrap at 11 p.m.

Can't make it? Don't worry, we'll be there. Stay tuned next week for our HEAVY highlights In Pictures.



There’s a new movie coming this September called Warrior, in which Englishman Tom Hardy (Inception) and Australian Joel Edgerton (Animal Kingdom) play American brothers battling to see who has the least-implausible accent. And there might be some mixed martial arts in there too, time permitting.

With a stellar cast that also includes Nick Nolte and Jennifer Morrison (House), Warrior should bring a lot of dramatic legitimacy to the sport. We are psyched. Check out an exclusive still in the lead above, and here’s another one because we like you all that much:



[html]This week on the TORO Playlist: Cold Specks introduces herself to the world, Rammstein have a beach party, and Jamuel Saxon fall asleep in the planetarium.

Cold Specks - “Lay Me Down” (Live On Later with Jules Holland)

Jamuel Saxon - “Planetarium” (From Pre-Madonna, out TBA)

Rammstein - “Mein Land” (From Made in Germany, out December 6)

First Aid Kit - “The Lion’s Roar” (From The Lion’s Roar, out January 23)

King Krule - “The Noose of Jah City” (From the King Krule EP, out now)

Dog Day - “Part Girl” (From Deformer, out now)

Little Boots - “Shake” (Single, out now)




Back up. There’s a new Judge Dredd movie? How is it going to live up to the original, which I have a vague approximate memory of not wanting to see? I do remember the trailer featured Sylvester Stallone shouting about being da law, or something.

There we go. So even though everybody hated that movie and it didn’t make very much money, Dredd (as it's being called) is actually happening, albeit in England, where the comic strip originated. Karl Urban (Star Trek) will star alongside Olivia Thirlby (my dreams).


She is the law. Anyway, here's that picture you asked for:


That is some shitty (literally shit-like) facial hair, right there.