October 30, 2014

From Express to Lunch x Market by Jean-Georges x Shangri-La

Express lunch tasting at Market by Jean-Georges restaurant inside the Shangri-La Hotel in the financial district on October 29, 2014.

Market by Jean-Georges Restaurant | Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver

Market by Jean-Georges is looking to bring the dining experience back to lunch and downtown's busy workers. Their new "express" lunch service aims to give diners a satisfying meal in a reasonable amount of time (they say within thirty minutes) with their 3-course set menu (2-course if you want to skip dessert), so you can get back to the office.

October 27, 2014

Cinemist: The Unexpected Pretension of 'Birdman'

"Popularity is the slutty little cousin of prestige."
Alejandro González Iñárritu Michael Keaton | Birdman

Mexican filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu (21 Grams, Babel) has until now told very serious, usually interlocking, stories about grief and the cyclical nature of humanity without much joy or humour. In his latest film, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), a departure for the director, Iñárritu partly sheds his past filmography's style while taking on the explicit criticism of it head on with an assertive attempt at satirical humour.

October 23, 2014

Cinemist: Dan Stevens Overstays His Welcome – 'The Guest'

Dan Stevens | The Guest

Downton Abbey actor Dan Stevens really transforms himself to play the titular role in this  throwback to the heyday of action flicks celebrating the genre of stylish violence and moody acting. The Guest uses a bevy of cinematic tricks to slickly get across a basic tale of small-scale yet transfixing mayhem executed with delightful flair on the screen. You're Next director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett use the Drive mold of filmmaking to make a contemporary, all-American thriller with all the hallmarks of a recent era past.

October 22, 2014

VIFF 2014: 'Listen Up Philip' – A Real Piece of Work

Jason Schwartzman | Listen Up Philip

Listen Up Philip is in many ways the ultimate film for writers, particularly entitled, academically minded asshole ones with a healthy dose of literary arrogance. Filmmaker Alex Ross Perry crafts Jason Schwartzman as the perfect portrait of a narcissistic novelist, incapable of change, who uses people and feeds on destructive relationships. Perry's distinctive voice is so confident and authoritative with a vintage sheen, shot on 16mm film with handheld cameras and devoid of any modern technology, in its timeless poeticism.

October 21, 2014

TEDxVancouver 2014 x Tilt x Queen Elizabeth Theatre

2014 TEDxVancouver: Tilt conference at Queen Elizabeth Theatre on October 18, 2014.

TEDxVancouver 2014: Tilt | Queen Elizabeth Theatre

After taking last year off and the arrival of the official TED2014 conference in town, the independently organized TEDxVancouver returned, bringing along its 2,500 attendees (mostly newcomers and first-timers) for a full day of stories and inspiration. This was my fourth straight TEDxVancouver and it was both familiar and new in its high ambition and broad appeal (despite being a little all over the place at times), hoping to "Tilt" themes and shift thinking about human innovation.

October 20, 2014

From Hip to Coffee x Gene Cafe x Mount Pleasant

Coffee break at Gene Cafe on Main Street in Mount Pleasant on October 14, 2014.

Gene Cafe | Mount Pleasant, Vancouver

I love coffee shops. There's something about the lounging about vibe, hanging out, and caffeine in the air that appeals to me. Fortunately for me, Vancouver has many cafes of different varieties from chains to independents to pass the time in.

October 16, 2014

Cinemist: Brad Pitt Brings the 'Fury'

"Ideals are peaceful. History is violent."
Brad Pitt David Ayer | Fury

Writer (Training Day) turned director David Ayer (End of Watch) represents some of the best and worst tendencies in contemporary American filmmaking. He often tells messy, ultra-masculine crime stories involving corrupt authority figures and blurry morals as he trades in L.A. cop dramas for a fictional story about an American army troupe in 1945 Germany during the dying days of World War II in Fury. Brad Pitt dials back his inner Aldo Raine as "Wardaddy", once again leading a band of misfits fighting Germans in the titular named tank.