The Force at work / La Force en action

The Force at work / La Force en action
Read the whole story now being read around the world! / Lisez toute l'histoire maintenant lue autour du monde!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Just For Laughs goes to AFRICA!

From left to right: Gilles Morin, Bruce Hills, Moyikwa Sisulu, Gilbert Rozon & Rabin Harduth.
Photo © Lena Ghio, 2017
A glimpse of Durban
On this gorgeous morning in Montreal I had breakfast at the Just For Laughs conference that revealed the international brand is taking root in the glorious city of Durban with the collaboration of a South-African based conglomerate.

This will be a great opportunity to develop local talents, bring international talents to Durban and create more media content. Gilles Morin Director Europe JFL, Bruce Hills COO JFL & Gilbert Rozon the Founder of JFL, were all in accord expressing their love of Africa. The video they showed us of the coastal city of Durban was spectacular! Moyikwa Sisulu, director for Just For Laughs Africa said: “The opportunity to bring the experience of the Just For Laughs team to developing African comedy was one we just couldn’t turn down.” Rabin Harduth, producer and actor, is also a director for JFL Africa who is set to open in July 2018!
Here is a sample of South African Humor.

Details of the Just For Laughs Africa launch event will be released as they become 
available – keep an eye on for news or follow 

@JFLAfrica on Instagram and Twitter.

Denys Arcand & Le Triomphe de l'Argent

Parmi les comédiens du nouveau film de Denys Arcand Triomphe de l'argent: Alexandre Landry, Pierre Curzi, Rémy Girard, Louis Morissette, Patrick AbellardEddy King et Maripier Morin de l'émission Hockey Wives qui y fera ses débuts cinématographiques. Photo © Lena Ghio, 2017

Lors des rencontres de presse avec Denys Arcand et son équipe, l'humour est toujours à la portée. Cette fois-ci, nous sommes réunis pour rencontrer la distribution de son nouveau projet qui venait de lire le scénario ensemble pour la première fois. Tous étaient très heureux de faire partie de l'aventure de création que sera cette étude de moeurs qui découle des réflexions récentes de Denys Arcand tant qu'aux valeurs contemporaines. Selon ses observations, l'argent est devenue la seule valeur globale de l'humanité. Il ne veut pas pontifier mais plutôt s'en servir comme leitmotiv pour ses personnages.

De la façon dont les blagues voltigeaient d'une répartie de Benoît Brière à une maladresse comique de Rémy Girard, on peut deviner que non seulement ils auront un film très drôle à nous offrir en 2018 mais ils auront aussi un plaisir fou à le réaliser.

C'est l'histoire d'un homme qui, quoiqu'il possède un doctorat en philosophie, gagne sa vie comme livreur. C'est en livrant un colis qu'il se retrouve au mauvais endroit au mauvais moment! Il récupère deux sacs remplis de billets de banque et succombe à la tentation de les emporter sans se soucier des conséquences de son choix.

J'ai bien hâte de voir ça!


Sunday, July 23, 2017


Robert Pattinson in Good Time
There are still places available for the July 27th presentation of Good Time where Robert Pattinson will be in the house! If you have always loved this actor, now is a great chance to see him up close. This movie focuses on the lives of two brothers whose lives unravel when one of them lands in jail. Directors Ben and Josh Safdie will also be present to address the crowd.


Saturday, July 22, 2017

FANTASIA FESTIVAL • Most Beautiful Island

Writer, director & star Ana Asensio 
I just came back from a brief but enlightening interview with writer, director & star of the movie Most Beautiful Island Ana Asensio with Larry Fessenden, who also wears many hats for this production including playing Rudy the doorman, and Jenn Wexler also a producer. I had just seen a screener of the movie that will open later today, SOLD OUT, and will have a showing on the 24th at 3:15 PM.
We must tiptoe around the elements of the plot so as to not rob you of the many surprising turns in the intrigue.

The story is inspired by true events, so I was curious to know more.

Ana Asensio / Luciana - " The character in the story is in a vulnerable situation because she is undocumented and there was a time in my life that I was in that situation. I also met many women like me. So the kinds of things that happen to the main character during the story were very similar situations, some of them were exactly the same, as what happened to me. So that was a source of inspiration. And the main event that happens in the last part of the film, in which Luciana ends up going somewhere that she is not expecting to go and how she makes the decisions to gather what she needs to get there and so on, that is also something that happened to me. There was a person who told me about a job. She lied to me. I ended up going somewhere else and being in a strange place. And the place was an illegal place and the fear, the illegality of what was going to happen to me, that was the core of the inspiration of the story."

me -" It seems to me that the story line exploits phobias.  Can you elaborate on the phobia element of the movie?"

Larry Fessenden / Rudy -" When you are in such a vulnerable situation you are just open to all the possibilities of what can go wrong. When she looses the child she is babysitting that of course reminds her of the central loss of the film that happens off camera, before the movie begins, where she lost her own child. I think she is in a very vulnerable place. So she has no safety net, no papers, she is not legitimately here and of course in our current situation in America, this is how the politics have placed a number of people in this vulnerable situation. It wasn't needed. I think that is one of the reasons the movie resonates with things that change in the real world. To be in that position is very scary."

Jenn Wexler - " In New York city you can be surrounded by millions of people and be completely all alone."

me - " The thing that creates the revulsion factor in the movie is quite surprising and most women cannot even stand the sight of it. How were you inspired to use that thing?"

Ana Asensio - " Many men have expressed more disgust than women in the theatre!" We all laugh.
" There is not just one fear inspiration for me. I knew that I wanted to do something extremely scary, that I haven't seen before in any other films, or even heard of. I just wanted the film to combine something that was going to be terrifying for almost anybody but with some beauty. I did not want to use weapons, or any blood and gore."

me - " It is very ingenious. That was the word that came to my mind. The movie is subtle and ingenious. "

Ana Asensio - " I guess in a way, thinking about it afterwards, I was reminded of the ancient Roman practice of feeding the Christians to the lions as a spectacle for the crowds. It was the excitement and the rush of the confrontation between the beast and the human. In my country (Spain) we have the bullfights where the public is far away so they will not get splashed with blood. It is that kind of idea where we get excited by the possibility of seeing someone get hurt."

It is a movie that is very close to reality. Jenn Wexler explained: "It is important to note that it was shot with Super-16mm-lenses and inspired by the look of European action movies of the 70s." Added Asensio: "I feel closer to the New York 70s movies where the city feels dangerous and the extras looked like real people, real New Yorkers. We go to these dangerous locations."

The movie kept me on my toes me all the way. The locations are indeed ominous and dreadful. I enjoyed the final denouement for the character Luciana.
The movie won a Grand Jury Award in the narrative competition at SXSW this year.

 4 LENAs for ingenuity!
-LENA GHIO                                                          

Thursday, July 20, 2017

FANTASIA Update / Nouvelles

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets /  Valérian et la Cité des mille planètes
Cara Delevingne, Laureline, & Dane DeHaan, Valerian 

The screen opens with  Major Tom by David Bowie and actual footage from the beginning of space travel in the 60s. From there,  the hand shaking between mission commanders of different nations grows to include beings from outer space. My heart chakra was vibrating as I remembered that these were the dreams we had for mankind, that we could greet each other with openness joined by a similar quest for knowledge and evolution. We are then transported to Mül, a gorgeous planet where we see pearl divers beginning their day. The 3D is sublime and I could have stayed in Mül for hours but...

I have never seen anything so beautiful and so well executed! The two lead actors, Cara Delevingne as Laureline and Dane DeHaan as Valerian are light, modern and vibrant. A slew of cinema's great actors appear throughout: Rutger Hauer, Clive Owen, John Goodman, Ethan Hawke; music stars: Rihanna, Herbie Hancock,  and Canadian dancer Emilie Livingston to name but a few. then we are knocked off our seats by the stunning augmented performance by Rihanna. The script is a straightforward chase and action plot, but the visual style and the soundtrack pleased me immensely. Luc Besson, the writer, director and producer of this jewel, even received high praises from Director and Producer Peter Jackson of Lord of the Rings fame! Even more fun news, he has already written the sequel! I cannot wait!

 L'écran ouvre avec  Major Tom de David Bowie et des vraies séquences des débuts de l'exploration spatiale par les humains dans les années 60. De là,  les serrements des mains entre les commandants de mission de nations différentes grandissent pour inclure des êtres de l'espace. Mon chakra du coeur vibrait quand je me suis rappelée que ces scènes étaient les rêves que nous avions pour l'humanité, que nous pourrions nous saluer avec ouverture, units par une recherche semblable de la connaissance et l'évolution. Nous sommes alors transportés à Mül, une planète magnifique où nous voyons des pêcheurs de perles commencer leur journée. Le 3D est sublime et j'aurais pu rester dans Mül pendant des heures, mais...

Je n'ai jamais vu rien de si beau et de si bien exécuté! Les deux acteurs principaux, Cara Delevingne comme Laureline et Dane DeHaan comme Valériane, sont légers, modernes et vibrants. Une quantité des grands acteurs de cinéma apparaît:  Rutger HauerClive OwenJohn GoodmanEthan Hawke; des vedettes musicales: RihannaHerbie Hancock,  ainsi que la danseuse canadienne Emilie Livingston pour n'en nommer que quelques-uns. Ensuite nous sommes frappés hors de nos sièges par la performance augmentée stupéfiante par Rihanna. Le scénario est un cas direct de complot d'action et de combat, mais le style visuel et la piste sonore m'ont plu immensément. Luc Besson, l'auteur, le directeur et le producteur de ce bijou, a même reçu de hauts éloges du directeur et producteur Peter Jackson du succès phénoménal Le Seigneur des Anneaux! Encore plus de nouvelles amusantes, il a déjà écrit la suite! Je ne peux pas attendre!

This is a 5 LENA! / Ceci est un 5 LENA!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

NOUVELLES • NEWS 14.07.2017

Campus MIL, 6700 Avenue Durocher, Outremont




Un nouveau lieu de rassemblement ouvert au public


                                        •    A New Gathering Place Open to the Public

Campus MIL, 6700 Avenue Durocher, Outremont

17 h 30 : performance participative “Faire résonner la montagne”

5:30 pm: Participative Performance “Sounding the Mountain”

18 h 30 – 21 h : pique-nique collectif et BBQ:
Apportez votre pique-nique et vos grillades. Le Mont Réel vous attend avec une belle vue pour accompagner votre repas!

6:30 – 9 PM: Collective Picnic and BBQ:
Bring your own picnic dinner or food to barbecue: Either way, Mont Réel awaits you with nice summit views to go with your meal!

Activités en continu de 17 h à 21 h / • Ongoing Activities between 5 – 9 PM
 Et + / & More!

Get ready to be blown away by Florence Pugh in a devilish and sexy performance as LADY MACBETH. Her illicit lover played by Cosmo Jarvis is just as delicious. Sex & Murder have never been so intriguing. Directed by William Oldroyd. Opening in Montreal July 15 2017.

UNDRESS ME is a short film by Amelia Moses you can catch this week-end @Fantasia Festival. A young girl must deal with strange symptoms after a short fling at a frat party.



Wednesday, July 12, 2017

@FantasiaFest A GHOST STORY

Trailer Soundtrack Dark Room performing I get Overwhelmed  for all info on soundtrack
A Ghost Story is a complex story of time, love and life presented in stark simplicity. It is written and directed by David Lowery and stars Casey Affleck (C) and Rooney Mara (M). We are drawn into the intimacy of an ordinary couple in a country cottage. The story moves at the pace of many contemporary art video installations where the object is to assimilate a different level of information than the verbal or gestural narrative. In the first twenty minutes this irritated me but I stuck with the artistic message and it reached my core. In our ordinary daily life it appears like we have forever as we take care of our homes, work, laugh, love, but, in reality, we are all going to be snuffed out in one swift instant. To make this point, the filmmaker shakes us out of the apparent episodes of slow progress with a bang.

This is a visual art and musical film where the atmospheres transpierce our hearts with memories and feelings for all those we have loved and lost. The fact that the ghost is presented in the white sheet archetype adds a delicious mystery to the character, he no longer has what we in life call an identity. He has become like a cloud floating slowly from scene to scene, back and forth in time. He is clinging to his life and his girl but of course both are swept away.

This Friday at Fantasia Festival 7:15 PM INFO & TICKETS

I give this film 4 LENAs