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Archive for the ‘Video of the Week’ Category

Anja Rubik and Sasha Knezevic (not actual wedding photo)

Love is in the air!

This past weekend Polish bombshell/supermodel Anja Rubik married her model fiancé Sasha Knezevic.

Anja Rubik and Sasha Knezevic in Majorca PHOTO: Modelinia Blog

From the looks of it, it was a model wedding (too easy 🙂 ). The couple tied the knot on the Spanish island of Majorca.

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Sasha (a former professional basketball player for club Varese in Italy, was born in Serbia but raised in Vienna) and Anja (recently named the most in-demand model) fashion god Karl Lagerfeld’s go-to-girl, got engaged after seeing the opera Dance of the Vampires directed by Roman Polanski (I am guessing that they are big fans of True Blood).  

An emerging fashion power couple of sorts, the two are the creative brains behind the Austrian fashion and lifestyle mag 25 Magazine

Check out the two love birds in action on Polish morning show Dzien Dobry TVN ( Good Morning TVN. )

And here’s Sasha at a Quebec based fashion shoot for Canadian fashion house RW&CO. ft

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“No human community can exist without culture.”

This is the wisdom shared by Vaclav Havel.

Vaclav, a former playwright and elected first president of the Czech Republic, shared this bit of insight as part of the Wisdom project.

Wisdom is the work of 34 year old New York based photographer Andrew Zuckerman who completed the project in 2008.

Inspired by the idea that one of the greatest gifts a generation can give to the next is wisdom gained from experience, the project consists of a collection of 50 photographs/interviews that capture the wisdom of legendary leaders and visionaries, over the age of sixty-five, from the worlds of politics, science, sports and the arts.

Wisdom exists in the form of a book of portraits, a film and a travelling exhibition.

The latter (the exhibition’s Canadian premiere) is on display at Toronto’s elegant Brookfield Place (formerly BCE Place) until August 5th, 2011.

Each copy of the book comes with a download code for a 60-minute film comprised of interviews from the project.

Among the global personalities featured are people such as Actor/Director (and all around Dirty Harry) Clint Eastwood, Diplomat and Nobel Peace Prize winner Henry Kissinger, first woman to become United States Secretary of State Madeline Albright and Actor Robert Redford.

There are also two notable characters as far as Poland and Canada are concerned. The first is Zbigniew Brzezinski, Warsaw born, McGill University educated, former United States National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter.

The second, is world renowned architect Frank Gehry who was born in Toronto and hails from Polish Jewish ancestry.

Wisdom is an inspiring and rewarding exhibition. If you’re in need of a gust of in your sails make sure to check it out. Best of all, it’s free!

And if you’re looking to combine the show with a nice dinner – we recommend either Ki  (Modern Japanese) or the eclectic Marché which are just steps away.

Enjoy your dose of wisdom!

But before you dig in, check out this trailer for the film…

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On July 1, Poland will assume the six-month presidency of the Council of the European Union.  

This is a VERY big deal for Poland which has come a long way since the gloomy days of life behind the iron curtain. It’s also a great testament to the ambitious nature of the Polish people.

To commemorate the occasion the country commissioned celebrated filmmaker Tomasz Bagiński and the Platige Image company to create a short animated film titled Europe in Dance.

The film which took nine months to complete is based on a waltz metaphor and the transformations to which Poland is inviting Europe. You can view the film here.

But perhaps a more vivid showcase of Poland’s aspirations exist in a video which was shot last week.

On June 21st, the residents of Poznan, released 8,000 Chinese lanterns into the sky to mark Midsummer Night. The event was accompanied by the soundtrack Chariots of Fire by Vangelis. The effort set a national record and organizers are already planning to beat the World Guinness Record next year.

Poland’s future seems to be a bright one. And a sky filled with flickering lanterns seems like the perfect metaphor.

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Photo: Jensen Gifford

There is popular music and unforgettable music. O&AL belong in the latter category.

An acronym for Olenka and the Autumn Lovers, O&AL is a London, Ontario band fronted by singer/songwriter Olenka Krakus and members Sara Froese, Evan Brodie, Christian Hegele, Simon Larochette,  Jeff Moon and Kelly Wallraff.

Influenced by her Polish roots and Canadian upbringing, Olenka delivers songs that resonate with passion. The songs don’t just play for you, they speak to you. And many of them relate specifically to her Polish heritage, especially her memories of Communist Poland and the country’s folklore.

Olenka Krakus Photo: Rob Nelson

Supported by a mix of instruments such as the cello, violin, accordion, trumpet, saxophone, lap steel, mandolin and glockenspiel the music resonates with an eclectic mix of traditional Eastern European ballads and North American country and folk tunes.

It’s a sound reminiscent of Arcade Fire, Cat Power, Tom Waits and Gogol Bordello but which manages to exist entirely on its own.

When Olenka and her band recently played at Toronto’s Gladstone hotel (as part of the NXNE festival) the crowd gave them a rousing ovation. And rightfully so.

Here is a taste…

It’s the sort of music that you can listen to over and over again and with every listen it creates a deeper impression.

The band’s newest album And Now We Sing is packed with memorable songs. It’s really worth checking out.

"And Now We Sing" album cover by Patrick Schmidt

"Motel Blues" lyrics

The band is also set to play a string of shows later this summer and fall so, if you get an opportunity, make sure to go. The truly great thing about small concert gigs is that they are so intimate and the bands always give it all they’ve got.

In the meantime you can listen to some of the tunes online on the CBC Radio 3 website.

And have a look at this interview that we conducted with Olenka during her NXNE show.

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In Toronto, it seems that when one film festival ends another one begins. Then again, it is the city with the most film festivals in the world, so it’s natural.

Hard on the heels of the world-renowned Hot Docs documentary festival (in which Polish film At the Edge of Russia managed to snag the coveted HBO Documentary Films Emerging Artist Award for its director Michal Marczak) comes the CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival (WSFF).

With the motto “shorter is better” this festival showcases the greatest short films from around the globe.

Image from Robert Proch's short film The Gallery (Galeria)

Last year, the festival spotlighted Poland and had a special presentation of films from Warsaw animation powerhouse Platige Image.

This time around, there are four Polish films. They include:

Invisible Border (Niewidzialna Granica)

A Plain Landscape with a Cradle (Krajobraz Nizinny z Kolyska)

The Gallery (Galeria)

Three Mothers

Three Mothers directed by local filmmaker Rafal Sokolowski stars Canada’s rising star Kristin Booth (The Kennedys, Young People Fucking).

Rafal Sokolowski on the set of "Three Mothers"

The film, which plays at the Varsity Cinema on Wednesday June 1 at 1pm and Friday June 3 at 6:15 pm, has been programmed alongside Spike Jonze’s highly anticipated Scenes From the Suburbs.

Spike Jonze is the cinematic genius behind films such as Being John Malkovich and Where the Wild Things Are and has created some of the best music videos of all time – including the Beastie Boys Sabotage video and Fat Boy Slim’s Praise You.

Director Spike Jonze

In Scenes From the Suburbs, Spike collaborates with Canada’s Grammy Award winners Arcade Fire on a story about a slice of suburban life in wartime. Check out the trailer below.

Playing with Spike Jonze is a big score for Rafal as both screenings are sure to be well attended.

We’ll be running a contest for passes to each of the films so make sure to visit our Facebook page for more details.

Hope to see you at the movies!

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By Anna Piszczkiewicz

Justyna Baraniecki is the owner of the online clothing store chicshop.ca and the style blogger at chichichic!, the shop’s blog. Justyna is also a young professional who has been featured on this blog and has even written a post or two. She is also incredibly charming.

I interviewed Justyna this winter via Skype. Since then, I visit her blog for daily fashion inspiration and to secretly feed my desire for a personal shopping outing with the gifted stylist.

As you will see from the segment below, Justyna’s a style trooper. She decked herself out in fancy and lightweight pieces in the dead of winter. In Ottawa. Talk about chutzpah!

But that was then. Justyna just released her latest lookbook, Carnivale (violet wig and ridiculously awesome platforms included), which makes me feel like summer isn’t that far away. Finally!

I invite you to take a tour of Justyna’s closet…

Na Luzie airs Saturdays on OMNI1 at 7pm and repeats Fridays at 2pm.

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We’ve got our passes and our program guide and we’re ready to doc!

Hot Docs (the Canadian International Documentary Festival) kicks off tonight with POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold . This is the much talked about new film by director Morgan Spurlock (famous for his Oscar nominated Super Size Me doc in which he ate nothing but McDonald’s for 30 days)

There are nearly 200 documentaries from across the globe with topics as varied as Toronto’s diverse population.

It can be a little overwhelming trying to decide what to check out but that is also the fun part.

What makes festivals such as Hot Docs so great is that they are extremely social events. As you wait in line to pick up a program guide or to purchase tickets or grab a coffee, you naturally end up getting into a conversation about what’s on people’s “must see” radar.

Of course everyone has their opinions.

To make it a bit easier we’re including links to the TOP PICKS as selected by Toronto film writers:

Toronto Life Magazine

Now Magazine

EYE Weekly

and the Toronto Star

Among the Hot Docs selection are 4 Polish films (2 features and 2 shorts) and we’re thrilled to say that both feature films have made the Toronto Star’s TOP 10 Festival picks. They are:

Polish Poster for "At the Edge of Russia"

At the Edge of Russia (Dir. Michal Marczak)

Synopsis: Hundreds of miles from the nearest town or tree, a smooth-faced young recruit arrives at his Arctic post. Here, etched somewhere into the endless white, is a border. The boy, Aleksey, joins five men, together charged with the absurd task of patrolling the invisible border for invisible enemies.

Through a crisp and unblinking lens, we watch as the gruff old soldiers, each a refugee from civilization in his own way, initiate the boy into their rigorous daily life. It’s a cold, hard routine, the discipline broken only by the occasional vodka and sad song.

Polish director Michal Marczak has assembled a formidable cast of characters in this breathtaking debut, both delicate and bold. At the Edge of Russia is a metaphorical portrait of a crumbled empire whose diligent men still busy themselves tracing meaning in the infinite white. Hot Docs

SCREENINGS:
Sat, April 30 – 6:30pm, Cumberland 2
Tue, May 3 – 1:15 pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox 2
Fri, May 6 – 7pm, Cumberland 2

Phnom Penh Lullaby (Dir. Pawel Kloc)

Synopsis: Among the many films that will spark discussion and debate in this year’s Festival is this intimate portrayal of the dysfunctional, sometimes disturbing, relationship between an alcoholic woman and her Israeli partner living in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

She wants to get married and go to Israel, but he wants a new life, love and acceptance. Living on the margins, earning money by telling tourists’ fortunes, this fraught couple is also raising two young daughters. Drugs, crime and prostitution form the backdrop of their daily existence.

With his first feature, Polish director Pawel Kloc has chosen risky material and a potentially problematic approach. Yet the result is a gripping, formidable character drama with a climax as compelling and heartbreaking as any film this year, non-fiction or not. Hot Docs

SCREENINGS:
Mon, May 2 – 9:45pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox 3
Wed, May 4 – 4pm, Cumberland 2
Sun, May 8 – 5:45pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox 4

We’ll be running a contest for Hot Docs tickets so tune back for details.

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