Jan 21

TAKE A DEEP BREATH…

There’s been a lot of press, social media about the males dominating females in the workplace or elsewhere. It started with how producer Harvey Weinstein’s brouhaha began and blossomed.

Some males’ predilection for coming onto women are downright vulgar. Then came the rise of #MeToo and our rush to cell phones, Ipads, TV to find out who was the latest guy, guilty or not, to be thrown under the bus.

What the hell happened to innocent until found guilty? Too late for that. Up pops your name, even photo, on social media with someone, they could be anonymous, accusing you of assault, rape, standing too close. Too late to defend yourself. You’re the son of a bitch who…

Surely not every woman supports what is going on. Yet where are those level-headed enough to say, hey wait a moment, there are two sides to any disagreement.

I discovered two, almost in my own backyard. Author Margaret Atwood is one, writing under Am I a bad feminist? Something she says she’s been accused of since 1972.

Check her Globe and Mail piece in the Opinion section, January 13th. I’ll quote: “The #MeToo moment is a symptom of a broken legal system. All too frequently women, and other sexual-abused complainants, couldn’t get a fair hearing through the legal institution so they used a new tool: the internet.”

“Stars fell from the sky,” she went on. “But what next? If the legal system is bypassed, because it is seen as ineffectual, who will take its place? It won’t be the bad feminists like me. We are acceptable to neither the right side nor the left. In times of extremes, extremists win.”

Add to Ms. Atwood”s comments, the prolific columnist/sports writer, Rosie DiManno’s headline #MeTOO turns into a free-for-all pile-on. Writing in the Toronto Star, she puts it: “Puritanical mob-rule is the last thing women need to carve out a safe and respectful work environment.”

“It took a group of ballsy French dames,” she goes on, “to call out where this mutating #MeToo phenomenon is heading. A hundred female public figures, including the incandescent Catherine Deneuve, signed their names to an open letter published by Le Monde.”

She quotes a signatory, writer Anne-Elisabeth Moutet, in a BBC interview. “We are French. We believe in a grey area. America is a different country. They do things in black and white. They make good computers. We don’t think human relationships should be treated like that.”

Author’s comment: I stood up and cheered when reading what else Ms. Moutet mentioned in the interview. “We are talking here about destroying all the ambiguity and the charm of relationships between men and women.” Good stuff.

Posted on January 21st, 2018 by Clarke
Jan 14

SEEING IS BELIEVING.

You’ll have seen nothing like it until you’re standing outside Roncesvalles’ REVUE CINEMA in Toronto. Staring up at the plain white illuminated sign with big black letters. Below  is its old-fashioned box office which only opens 30 minutes before a film begins.

We’ve come to see THE FLORIDA PROJECT which has just left the multiplex screens.

The young woman selling tickets – $12 general admission – from the cramped little booth is a local volunteer. So too the woman behind the refreshment counter. We bought buttered popcorn and two cokes. She   hands us back $10 plus coins from a twenty we’d given her.

It was like stepping back into the past visiting the Roncesvalles area: further back for me than Rosanne. This includes its narrow street lined with small stores; streetcars running  down the middle so narrow there’s no room to drive past it, with legally parked vehicles in the way.

The theater itself is unique. Dubbed a not-for-profit community cinema, it is truly run by volunteers. Both ticket taker and the young woman at the food concession were cleaning up the main area when we were leaving.

The seats were comfy, padded. Surprisingly enough, should anyone come along your row, there was room enough without you having to stand up to let them by.

The screen itself stretched across the width of the theater. When the lights came on, we noticed two large leather chairs placed in a comfortable setting below the screen, one could only guess, for occasions when guests were there to be interviewed.

The management encourages private parties; parents with small kids screenings are held twice a month. On the schedule are silent movies – right now THE GOLDEN CROWN, Denmark 1929 – is playing on Sunday, 28 January. One of several pianists will provide for free, live, tie-in music.

Those in the Roncesvalles community are encouraged to volunteer on such cinema projects as marketing, fund-raising and programming. Local businesses willingly help to support the cinema.

Author’s comment: It was a totally surprising time visiting the REVUE. It was all but full for the late afternoon performance of THE FLORIDA PROJECT.  Other films this month include LADY BIRD; CALL ME BY MY NAME, films that are not outdated. These are mixed in with many reflecting the past.

Posted on January 14th, 2018 by Clarke