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Ellen Page makes her directorial debut with »There's Something in the Water« at TIFF 2019

TIFF 2019Six weeks after her memorable appearance on the "Late Show with Stephen Colbert," Ellen Page and two of her closest friends, Ian Daniel and Julia Anderson, with whom she made the television series »Gaycation« for VICELAND, were on a plane headed for Nova Scotia to document cases of environmental racism. The result is a documentary called »There's Something in the Water«, which will have its world debut at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 8. In addition, the 73 minute long feature will also be screened in the communities that it profiles and as part of the Atlantic International Film Festival in Halifax on September 14. It's based on the 2018 book of the same name by Dalhousie University professor Ingrid Waldron and brings attention to Indigenous and African Nova Scotian women fighting against environmental degradation in their communities.

There's something in the water

In an article on Halifax Examiner, Joan Baxter, the author of "The Mill – Fifty Years of Pulp and Protest" recently revealed that "the strangest road" led to the film, once that began in late 2018, when Ellen's good friend Lil MacPherson, co-owner of the Wooden Monkey Restaurant and now Green Party candidate for Dartmouth – Cole Harbour, gave her a copy of the book. Page just devoured it and was horrified to learn of the environmental racism that the people of Pictou Landing First Nation (PLFN) have endured since the pulp mill on Abercrombie Point first opened in 1967, and began to spew its effluent into Boat Harbour, once a precious tidal estuary they knew as "A’se’K" — "the other room." The effluent immediately poisoned the water and killed all the fish, creating a toxic lagoon adjacent to PLFN. The Canadian actress then set out to learn as much as she could about environmental racism in Nova Scotia. Her quest for information eventually led her to Waldron's book, which documented several egregious examples. In this way, she figured environmental racism is "essentially the disproportionate amount of landfills and industrial pollution sites next to Indigenous and Black communities," a pattern that is very clear, not just in Nova Scotia but in Canada as a whole.

From her home in New York, Page next spoke to the grassroots Mi’kmaw grandmothers who have been trying to protect the water of the Shubenacadie River from the Alton Gas project, which aims to hollow out massive salt caverns about a kilometre underground for storing natural gas near the community of Stewiacke. After the conversation Ellen realized the plan looked like another case of environmental racism in the making and thus passed Waldron's book to her friend Ian Daniel. This, in turn, eventually led to the spontaneous filming in Nova Scotia as she recalls: "We talked about perhaps just coming up with cameras. We had no idea what this was really going to end up being, [whether] we were just going to make these little pieces and put them out online, or what. It just felt like these voices need to be amplified and as fast as possible. And that was that. We put the shoot together in about two weeks and then flew to Nova Scotia and hit the ground running. It was just myself, Ian, and Julia Anderson, who's a producer on the project."

There's something in the water

Apart from the aforementioned situation in Stewiacke, the footage also profiles two further cases of environmental racism in Nova Scotia, with one taking place in Shelburne County, where Page's family comes from. For decades, people in the predominantly black community were exposed to pollution from a garbage dump that was put in their backyard in the 1940s. Although it has now been closed, it has left an extraordinary amount of toxins in the water and there have been tremendous consequences. Page and her crew also went to Pictou Landing First Nation, on the province's north shore, for a first-hand look at the notorious Boat Harbour lagoon. For 52 years, the local community has suffered from the stench of the Northern Pulp mill's emissions that the prevailing winds blow over the reserve, and from its effluent that has destroyed a once-beautiful beach on the Northumberland Strait, as well as Boat Harbour, rendering both no-go zones. Page herself described the area as "post-apocalyptic" and added that she gagged because it was one of the worst things she has ever smelled.

There's something in the water

The team decided to submit the film to TIFF after they began the editing and realized that they had a feature-length film. Ellen remembers "it was an insane rush, but obviously [TIFF is] the dream place to premiere [the film]. It did feel like a long shot, but [the Toronto International Film Festival] is one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world, and more importantly than that, I just wanted that audience." Besides, Page believes the film will take Canadians on a journey that will "shock them" and feels fortunate that the festival's committee seemed to be moved by the film and invited them to screen it there.

There's something in the water

When asked about what she hopes to accomplish with the documentary during the telephone interview with Joan Baxter, Ellen replied: "I want these women to have justice. I want these women to be listened to. I want them to be celebrated … the fact that the degradation of our environment or the police presence outside of the Alton Gas gates is all normalized is so devastating. And the fact that these women, like the three grandmothers that were arrested, that they're being criminalized! So really to me, this film is … it's them. And in terms of how people respond, I hope they feel inspired by these women to go, “Shit, I have power, man. I can, and I'm going to use it. I'm going to use my privilege.” But mostly I just, I really want these women to receive the support or the respect that they deserve."

TIFF 2019 - »There's Something in the Water« - Screening Dates
Date/TimeLocation/TheatreTickets
Sunday, September 8 - 05:45 PMElgin Theatre»»»
Saturday, September 14 - 4:15 PMWinter Garden Theatre»»»
Sunday, September 15 - 3:30 PMScotiabank Theatre»»»


Date: 08/14/2019 - 22:34:30 Posted by dominik
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Quantic Dream releases playable demo and final trailer for the PC version of »Beyond: Two Souls«

Quantic Dream has released the final trailer as well as a playable demo for the upcoming PC version of »Beyond: Two Souls«. The interactive drama and action-adventure starring Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe was originally exclusively developed for Sony's Playstation 3 in 2013 and received a remaster refresh with improved graphics and a new option to play the scenes in chronological order on the PS4 around two years later.
This year, the staff from the French game development studio has once again revised the game engine to enhance the screen resolution from 1080p with 30fps to 2160p (4K) with 60fps and add better textures and animations. Especially the character's faces are lot more detailed and prominent, and the surface of furnitures and objects appears to be sharper now.

Epic Stores - Detroit Become Human - Beyond Two Souls - Heavy Rain

At the same time it was revealed the copy protection Denuvo will be a component of the PC version. While the industry praises the technology for working very efficiently and reliably, it has a rather bad reputation among gamers because it's known for slowing down the performance of the entire PC system. Initial tests with the demo version performed by the website DSOGaming, however, showed that a system matching the corresponding hardware requirements is able to accomplish 60 frames per second with a 4K screen resolution all the time and there were no negative impacts at all.



The aforementioned demo of »Beyond: Two Souls« comes with the first two chapters, "The Experiment" as well as "Hunted", and a total playing time of up to 60 minutes. It's available at the Epic Games Store where the full game can be purchased for around 20 USD starting July 22, 2019.


Date: 06/29/2019 - 21:37:53 Posted by Dominik
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Netflix drops first »Tales of the City« teaser trailer and official release date

Netflix has dropped the first teaser trailer and poster, some new stills and, most importantly, a release date for their upcoming »Tales of the City« reboot. The 10-episode series is based on the books by Armistead Maupin and will arrive on June 7th.

Tales of the City

Aside from the main cast mentioned in the penultimate news update, the recurring cast members are Jen Richards playing a young "Anna Madrigal," Daniela Vega as "Ysela," a trans woman who plays a pivotal role in Anna's life; Michelle Buteau as "Wren," Brian's no-nonsense best friend; Ashley Park and Christopher Larkin as twins "Ani" and "Raven," two new residents of Barbary Lane; Caldwell Tidicue as "Ida Best," the manager of a burlesque club where Shawna and Margot work; Matthew Risch as Mouse's ex-boyfriend "Harrison"; Michael Park as Mary Ann's husband "Robert"; Dickie Hearts as "Mateo," DeDe's housekeeper; Benjamin Thys and Samantha Soule as queer polyamorous married couple "Eli" and "Inka"; and Juan Castano as Ben's co-worker "Flaco Ramirez."



Tales of the City - Series StillsTales of the City - Series Stills

Inspired by the books of Armistead Maupin, the new Netflix Limited Series Tales of the City begins a new chapter in the beloved story. Mary Ann (Laura Linney) returns to present-day San Francisco and is reunited with her daughter Shawna (Ellen Page) and ex-husband Brian (Paul Gross), twenty years after leaving them behind to pursue her career. Fleeing the midlife crisis that her picture-perfect Connecticut life created, Mary Ann is quickly drawn back into the orbit of Anna Madrigal (Olympia Dukakis), her chosen family and a new generation of queer young residents living at 28 Barbary Lane.

Tales of the City - Series StillsTales of the City - Series Stills

Tales of the City


Date: 04/09/2019 - 19:15:09 Posted by Dominik
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Quantic Dream's »Beyond: Two Souls« comes to PC / »The Umbrella Academy« will be back for a second season

During this year's Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Quantic Dream surprisingly announced that they are working on bringing the originally PlayStation-exclusive titles »Beyond: Two Souls« as well as "Heavy Rain" and "Detroit: Become Human" to the PC. Although there are no specific release dates yet, they are aiming to have all three games available for purchase via the Epic Games Store in the course of the year. While the move comes not long after Chinese internet giant NetEase invested in the French studio with the goal of reaching a larger global audience in January, both announcements represent a dramatic shift.

"David Cage and I have planned the next evolution of Quantic Dream very carefully," Guillaume de Fondaumière, the studio's co-CEO and head of publishing, told The Verge. "The move to PC constitutes our studio's first effort to develop non PlayStation exclusive games in over 13 years, but also an opportunity to gradually engage the team on multiple projects at the same time. The most important evolution for Quantic Dream, however, is that we are no longer a developer working with a publisher. Starting with the PC versions of Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls and Detroit: Become Human, we will be self-publishing all our titles."

Epic Stores - Detroit Become Human - Beyond Two Souls - Heavy Rain

Considering the technical specifications of the PlayStation 3, which include a single-core CPU with 3.2 GHz clocking and a nVidia RSX graphic processor featuring 550 MHz and 256 MB memory (approximately as fast as a Geforce 7800 that was available from 2005 to 2006), the currently given hardware requirements seem a little bit exaggerated and create the impression of a rather bad conversion. Also noteworthy is the lack of information about the necessary space on the hard drive, so we should expect the requirements to be updated before the launch. Here's hoping that the data isn't final and there will be enough time for fine tuning and optimizations in the upcoming months.

Minimum hardware requirements:
  • OS: Windows 7 or higher (64-bit)
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-2400 3.4 GHz or better
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 or better (2GB VRAM)
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Other: API Vulkan (Detroit: Become Human) / DirectX 11 (Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls)
Recommended hardware requirements:
  • OS: Windows 7 or higher (64-bit)
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-2700K or better
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 or better (8 GB VRAM)
  • RAM: 12 GB
  • Other: API Vulkan (Detroit: Become Human) / DirectX 11 (Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls)

The Umbrella Academy - Season 2

While earlier reports on the subject were apparently based on rumors and pure speculations, Screen Rant finally confirmed this past saturday that Netflix has renewed »The Umbrella Academy« for a second season. Production is said to begin sometime in May and will go on until September. That should have it ready for a 2020 premiere around the time it did in February this year. Outside of that, no other details such as casting news, new characters or storylines have been revealed. Since the series has already headed in a totally different direction to the original comics and has mined those of almost all their major plot points, the next season is likely to blaze its own trail, and even comic book readers and longtime fans won't be able to predict where the show is going. Hopefully set photos and set reports will shine a light upon some of these enigmas as time goes by.


Date: 04/02/2019 - 21:50:27 Posted by dominik
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First look at Netflix's upcoming »Tales of the City« reboot / New release dates for »My Days of Mercy«

Armistead Maupin's classic novel »Tales of the City« is making a return on Netflix and will debut on the streaming platform this summer. The original show starred Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis and after 26 years on the pair will be returning to the iconic steps of the fictional Barbary Lane (actually Macondray Lane in San Francisco). There were nine novels published between 1978 and 2014. The first book was the basis for the 1993 PBS miniseries "Tales of the City," with two additional instalments, "More Tales of the City" and "Further Tales of the City," followed on Showtime in 1998 and 2001. Lauren Morelli, the show-runner of the popular LGBTQ dramedy "Orange Is the New Black," gave audiences a first look at the anticipated series in a recent interview with Vanity Fair and pointed out that all writers on the project are LGBTQ: "If we were going to do this, it needed to usher in a new generation of characters and then, hopefully, a younger audience. We know how starved the younger, queer community is for authentic representation. You want to create a world that looks like our world."

Tales of the City - Series StillsTales of the City - Series Stills

The story picks up in the present day, as Mary Ann Singleton (Linney) returns home to San Francisco for the first time in 23 years on the occasion of Anna Madrigal's (Dukakis) 90th birthday. In this way she reconnects with her adult daughter Shawna Hawkins (Ellen Page) and her gay neighbor Michael "Mouse" Tolliver (Murray Bartlett) as she falls back into the lives of her chosen family. While actress Barbara Garrick returns as DeDe Halcyon Day and Paul Gross will reprise his role of Mary Ann's ex-husband and original housemate Brian Hawkins, we also know there will be a couple of other fresh new faces joining the cast including Zosia Mamet as filmmaker Claire Duncan, Charlie Barnett as Michael's much younger boyfriend Ben Marshall, Garcia as Anna's caregiver and young trans man Jake Rodriguez, whose transition puts a strain on his loving relationship with Margot Park played by May Hong, and Molly Ringwald.

Tales of the City - Series StillsTales of the City - Series Stills

The series will premiere its first episode on the opening night of the San Francisco International Film Festival (SFIFF) on April 10. There will be a Q&A afterward on the stage of the Castro Theater with showrunner, writer, and executive producer Lauren Morelli, director and executive producer Alan Poul, author and executive producer Armistead Maupin, and star and executive producer Laura Linney. Tickets for the event are "at rush," meaning there may be some tickets at the box office day-of.

My Days Of Mercy - StillsMy Days Of Mercy - Stills

After some back and forth, Lionsgate finally stuck to the original release date for »My Days of Mercy« on April 5. Tali Shalom-Ezer's drama is also scheduled to be released straight to Video-On-Demand by Signature Entertainment in the United Kingdom on May 17, and will hit German theaters on July 4 thanks to Kinostar Filmverleih.

My Days Of Mercy - StillsMy Days Of Mercy - Stills


Date: 03/27/2019 - 22:04:18 Posted by Dominik
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