I miss Westerns

Once a staple of American cinema, the Western has seemingly gone the way of the dodo.

I know that there have been revivals with films like Django Unchained and the remake of True Grit, but the genre itself has been dormant since the 1970s.

I originally hated Westerns, as they seemed to be just slow paced crime films full of cowboy lingo, but that all changed when I watched The Searchers, then the Dollars Trilogy.

I think what I like so much about Western’s is just how invested they are in the protagonist. The plot sets up moments that challenge the character and the central theme is generally based around the protagonist himself. If good and evil is the theme, it is the protagonist’s morality that is the focus. If racism is a central theme, it’s the protagist’s racism that is the focus. If poverty…yada yada yada. You get it. These films are personal and character based in a way I see so little in modern films.

So, put your shitty comic book film collection aside and watch Once Upon a Time in the West. Those who know me can thank me later.





Festival du Voyageur Photo Essay: Beard Growing Contest

The following photo essay took place on Friday, February 19 at Festival du Voyageur’s 34th Beard Growing Contest at the Centre Culturel Franco-Manitobain. The event was a fun evening that featured food, live music, and of course, massive amounts of face fur.

Diverse beards were on display as contestants faced off against one another in five beard growing categories- Festival Beard, Voyageur Beard, Novelty, and Open. In these competitions, contestants discussed how they grew, groomed, and even created the fuzz on their faces.

While the beards on display were serious, the competition was anything but. Affable MC, Gabriel Gosselin ensured the night was fun for all as he joked with the crowd and the contestants, and Celtic punk/folk band, Dust Rhinos had the building rocking, making the Beard Growing Contest the party of the night.

MC Gabriel Gosselin discusses beard growing techniques with Shawn Rico./BRENT IVISON
Gabriel Gosselin describes the Festival Beard contest, in which contestants only had 2 months to grow their beards./BRENT IVISON



Gabriel Gosselin had everyone smiling as he joked with the contestants./BRENT IVISON
Anthony Domienik scopes out the competition as a contestant in the Novelty category./BRENT IVISON
Dust Rhinos bring Celtic flair to Festival with a couple of blistering sets during the Beard Growing Contest./BRENT IVISON

Twin Peaks

With the hype that the return of the X-Files has brought, I hope it doesn’the distract fans of supernatural TV series from perhaps the greatest short-lived show of all time, Twin Peaks

Returning for a single season in 2017, Twin Peaks is the kind of show that makes you go “What the fuck” in the best way possible. The show is hard to categorize and contains just about the weirdest elements of all genres.

It’s cheesy like a shitty soap opera but instead of being shitty it’s funny as shit. Contrasting with it’s comedic elements is its extremely creepy portrayal of seemingly good and folksy Washington small towners.

Here is a clip that shows the quirky humor that makes this show worthy of a return.

White Oscars

As I promised last week, I am continuing my argument that the Academy Awards is not obligated to diversify its nominees.

The most obvious reason for my argument is that nominations should be given to those who are the best at their jobs. There should be no awards given to people based on the colour of their skin. This would make the Oscars a pity award show, where people filled with white guilt give awards and nominations to black people in the film industry because they feel bad for them.

Secondly, the people who are complaining about the lack of representation from “people of colour” are being disingenuous. They don’t mean people of colour, they mean black people. Will Smith, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Anthony Anderson, and just about everyone who isn’t a white Hollywood liberal who argued for the cause is black. No mentions are given to the completely underrepresented Hispanic and Asian populations, whose actors continue to play 7 11 clerks, California gangbangers and other stereotypes. These people go completely unnoticed as complaints of racism argue against black stereotypes and underrepresentation in films.

Thirdly, do people actually think Hollywood is racist. Hollywood is symbolic of many vices, such as excessive lifestyles, self serving charity work, yada yada. But racism?

Please. This is southern California, not Mobile, Alabama.