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Writer & Historian

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Posts Tagged ‘ film ’

Labour History Moments – Remembering Salt

1
May 7, 2015
Labour History Moments – Remembering Salt

Sixty years ago in December 1954, a movie called Salt of the Earth found its way into Canada, thanks to the International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers (now Steel). The film was blacklisted across the United States as the Cold War unleashed a widespread paranoia that became known as McCarthyism. But fear of...
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Banned film brings tears, laughter, solidarity

1
November 24, 2014
Banned film brings tears, laughter, solidarity

Blue skies brightened the crisp Sunday afternoon in mid-November 2014 when I arrived at the old Castle Theatre in Castlegar, British Columbia, carrying a copy of the banned 1950s film Salt of the Earth. It was the day after a local election and I expected post-election hangovers would probably keep all but ardent churchgoers...
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“Joe Hill” visits the Big Apple

0
April 24, 2014
“Joe Hill” visits the Big Apple

My short video documentary, “Joe Hill’s Secret Canadian Hideout” has been accepted at the Workers’ Unite Film Festival in New York City next month. It is on the program with Sasha Reuther’s excellent feature documentary “Brothers on the Line.” http://www.workersunitefilmfestival.org/Official Select WUff 2014 WUFF program – Joe Hill
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Positive Reviews for Joe Hill Video

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January 15, 2014

Several friends and colleagues now have seen Joe Hill’s Secret Canadian Hideout and they’ve been encouragingly complimentary. Here’s what some of them say: “Lively, respectful, quirky in a good way, serious but not heavy, upbeat but not light: I love it!” Mark Leier, educator, labour historian, author of Rebel Life: The Life and Times...
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The passing of a Mouseketeer

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April 9, 2013
The passing of a Mouseketeer

Annette Funicello died on April 8, the same day as Margaret Thatcher. Both women left their mark on us; Thatcher for the worst and Funicello for “Blame it on the Bossa Nova.” Remember these lyrics? Blame it on the bossa nova with its magic spell Blame it on the bossa nova that he did...
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Mr. Movies – A Profile

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April 8, 2013
Mr. Movies – A Profile

For many SFU alumni, this year’s Oscar season might have triggered some warm memories of Ian Caddell, the irrepressible film critic who died of cancer last November at 64. After completing a BA (History ’76) at SFU Caddell wrote for the Georgia Straight, edited the film industry magazine Reel West and tirelessly promoted the...
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Why Argo won

3
February 26, 2013
Why Argo won

I went into apoplectic mode when Michelle Obama opened the envelope last Sunday night, Oscar night, and drew out the paper that said Argo. The flawed account of the Canadian rescue of six American embassy staff members during the 1979-1981 hostage incident in Iran had won for best picture. How could this be? I...
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Harper’s blasts Spielberg’s Lincoln

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January 11, 2013
Harper’s blasts Spielberg’s Lincoln

Anyone who has seen Lincoln, nominated for 12 Oscars and likely to win quite a few on February 24, may want to read Harper’s (February 2013) for a second opinion. Thomas Frank, who describes Steven Spielberg as “that Michelangelo of the trite,” speaks for me with the following statement about the filmmaker’s regular forays...
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Thatcher without Thatcherism – A Film Review

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January 21, 2012
Thatcher without Thatcherism – A Film Review

It seems an appropriate time to release The Iron Lady, a film that promises to review the life and times of Britain’s first female prime minister, the redoubtable Margaret Thatcher. That’s Baroness Thatcher, if you please.  Regrettably filmmaker Phyllida Lloyd (Mamma Mia!) gives us a watered-down version of Thatcher. Instead of providing a no-holds-barred...
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America Needs Eastwood – A Film Review

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November 22, 2011
America Needs Eastwood – A Film Review

I wonder if Clint Eastwood is thinking about running for president. Maybe he should. With his latest success, J. Edgar, he has once again put his finger on the pulse of what is wrong in American society. President? Not another Hollywood transplant to DC? Could he be worse than the last actor-president? I doubt...
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