Atomic Blonde Hallowe’en

DIY, style

I’ve always loved dressing up and Hallowe’en is my favourite holiday. This year was an ode to Charlize Theron in Atomic Blonde. Badass. Stylish. Cool. Strong. Smart.

What is your fave costume, past or present?


Sintra in the Mist, Lisbon and Experimental Film – Portugal day 12


It started with croissants and coffee, then an Uber ride to Sintra with a driver who knows the small town, Itumbiara, where I used to live in Brazil, and a ride into the fog-dipped town of Sintra. It was drizzling when we got there and amazing to see what a difference an hour could make, as the fog lifted. Parts of the town had art spaces, deliberately, while others were a little magical all on their own. 

Sunshine and amazing views. 

We took a tuk tuk up to the summit to see Pena Palace and saw a lookout point where all three of Sintra’s castles are visible at once. 

Lots of great, derelict buildings infuse Sintra with a spooky quality. Our guide, Rita, told us she doesn’t go up the mountain at night; Sintra has more than a few ghost stories and legends. 

Taking a break at Lawrence’s Hotel. We also made sure we tried Sintra’s famed pastries, queijadas and travesseiros. Back in Lisbon, after a short train ride we had fig and prosciutto pizza before catching some local art and film.

Cats Amore. Stop Motion by Martha Colburn. At Cais de Sodre. A play on word and reference to the sexy and sordid past of the neighbourhood. A sexual confessional was set up on site. And while ‘Perils of War’ played, people had seven minutes to unburden themselves. Martha introduced some of her lighter films… Which also had trauma and dismemberment, couched in environmental commentary. ‘Fear the vampire’ and ‘my secret shame’ rounded out the program. (Experimental films by Martha Colburn at Cais de Sodre.)

Flying pigs and a world of canned fish. Art in progress at Wozen Studio Gallery. 

Our second last night ended at Tosca Taverna for olives and wine.

Ghost Busting 


In Monday, I had the pleasure of seeing a preview of the new Ghostbusters film. People (read: sexist people) need to shut up about this remake ‘ruining’ the original. This film was so much fun. The cast is superb and it was funny, crass and tongue in cheek. I was really entertained and that is what a good film should do. Go see it!  

 For reference, about forty people showed up with proton packs and full GB suits.    
Keep your peepers peeled for cameos by the original cast. When you have their blessing, plus some great unsexy acting by Chris Hemsworth, you know you will  enjoy yourself.    Fantastic ensemble and some truly weird moments. 

Hurricane Bianca world premiere 

Art, Indulge

What’s better than queens, queers and some outstanding cameos from Margaret Cho, Alan Cumming, RuPaul and Rachel Dratch? Not a damn thing. Seeing the premiere of Hurricane Bianca, a campy, colourful revenge comedy was second only to rubbing elbows with the star herself, and some gorgeously glam local folks and celebrity imports. Larger than life, Bianca Del Rio, travelling with her entourage, swept in like a veritable force of nature and she was on. Megawatt. Just an arm’s length away. Above, my wife poses on the carpet with Bianca.

While part of me was thrilled and awed just to see her (and to learn that she is just as witty and biting as she is on tv), the other part remained relieved that I flew under her radar, because one highlight of the film was the scathing shade she throws. And man, does she have an arm.
The premise: Del Rio goes undercover as a high school science teacher, schooling the hicks and homophobes, all while navigating the world of romance and friendship. I discretely reveled in the vicarious joy of her scathing one-liners, leveraged against some very very mean girls. Have I secretly wished I could say similar things to bigots and twerps? My lips are sealed.

An unexpected highlight for me: seeing Xanthippe from The Unbreakable Kimmi Schmidt! She is in Toronto, doing the circuit, for her film, First Girl I Loved, which played in the festival. Make it your mission to check out next year’s festival!   

Sun daze 


Gorgeous weather and a day full of plans. Although I’m exhausted from yesterday’s 2 pm- 10:30 pm dance rehearsal, you can’t just stop moving. I tend to do best when I’m busy. 

  • Get ready 
  • Mark some essays 
  • Head to the Inside Out film featival’s Filmmakers’ Brunch
  • Go to a coffee shop to mark
  • Screening of The Same Difference (intros by my lovely wife) 
  • Then costume try on and full run through of my dance company’s show 
  • Sleep?   
  • Ready.     
  • Film fest. Got to meet Nneka, the talented director of today’s film ‘The Same Difference’.    
  • Then it’s off to the studio  
  • Time to dance it out. And the weather, just like yesterday is sweltering. 
  • And who doesn’t like to end the night with tequila at Reposado? With Nneka who is my wife’s new friend – thick as thieves – after an afternoon and evening of fun in the six.   
  • We are so friendly, in fact, that our friends’ pic was used to promote the festival memberships  


Art, Open Letters

Every coming out story is set in a small town. Whether urban, suburban or remotely rural … When you are dealing with family, the stories we tell, the people who have known us our whole lives and who make up our world, changing how others tell the story of your life, and questions like ‘what will everyone think?’- it doesn’t matter what locality or geography surrounds that experience as much as it matters that it can feel like your whole world is shattering. Your piece of it, big or small, will never feel the same again. I just watched a film and although I will never know what it’s like to live in Oklahoma … I have lived moments of heartbreak like that film.

Inside Out Launch Party


 This is what a crew of diverse LGBTQ folks and their allies looks like. Boy, do we have a gay old time. A good time. A blast. At the launch party for Toronto’s Inside Out Film Festival, 2016, the night started with a panel discussion with the jury and key players of the festival. My wife got to sit in the fancy chairs and charmingly answer questions. Hosted at St. James Cathedral, it was a stylish affair.

  Looking lovely, as ever, Allia voted for The Same Difference as her ‘must watch’ film. The trailer is available online and this film is pretty powerful; charting the strict gender roles within urban black lesbian culture, it was such an eye-opening film. I was excited, hearing all of their top picks, to flag the films I will be checking out throughout the festival.
 After the panel discussion, the drinks flowed freely and people mingled, taking advantage of the passed hors d’oeuvres, great company and photo booths. As the evening unfolded, we were treated to vogue-ing, a selection of djs and dancing late into the night.

Check out the silliness of our photo booth pics (by Monocle Booth); can you guess which are from early in the festivities and which ones are from later?

And what does one wear? A mix of cheap and cheerful separates that blur masculine and feminine. It’s almost laughable how cheap this outfit was.

 All in all, it was a blast and I cannot wait to see the full line-up of LGBTQ films!



Toronto Film Festival 2015


Every fall, in Toronto, the stars flock to our friendly, clean, politely eager city for the Toronto International Film Festival. They start to tag themselves on Instagram and their social media feeds are flooded with cool images of celebs themselves and beaming snaps of locals beside (or at arms’ length from) these rare birds, who have come to rest here for another year of TIFF.

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Page poses and announces her arrival in Toronto.

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Festival Parties in full swing.

Ellen Page, Sir Patrick Stewart, Rachel McAdams, Dame Helen Mirren, Matt Damon, Drew Barrymore… all the on camera talent you’d expect at a ‘world class’ festival, but also the behind-the-scenes darlings who bring you the best cinema of the world. The magazines all print their ‘Where to spot celeb’ recommendations, for hangouts and star gazing during the festival, and more often than not you end up hearing from someone who happened upon a hole in the wall where Drew Barrymore was drinking with friends (in past years that was at Sweaty Betty’s).

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Shout outs between celebs.

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Toronto’s own Teri Hart with Ms.Dame? Mirren

And while the big wigs of media are interviewing the most recognizable film stars, my wife is catching up with some of the lesser known, but no less talented directors, writers, producers and emerging talent; sharing the E-Talk Lounge, she is covering films in foreign languages and welcoming a slew of talent who will be featured on the Movie Network, for E-Talk Movie Moments. I, lucky me, am joining her for the day to get an inside look and true to Canadian form, I’m being treated like gold by everyone we encounter, because you never know who the person next to you might be, or what film they’re here with – and Canadians really are just that nice.


We started our day at the Intercontinental, where she had interviews for the films Endorphine and London Road.


I was comfy cool in a pair of chunky heeled Frye boots, a black Zara carry all, bracelets from White Feather Designs, a black leather tee from H&M, tweed topper and black Second Denim Yoga jeans.


Ready for the day at the Intercontinental.


There were lots of freebies so a shoulder bag kept me hands-free.


Drizzling weather outdoors called for a hat and a cheap and cheerful H&M version kept my head dry and hair at bay.


Wifey is ready to go in the Sephora hospitality suite.


Press and publicists and planning, oh, my!


E-talk welcomes you!


Inside the interview suite.


The day’s first interview with the director of Endorphine.


Playing celebrity, I get a moment in the hot seat. The room designed by Elte was monochromatic cool in black and white.


Sitting pretty in the Sephora-sponsored interview suite. They have cleverly transformed the hotel room into a chic space for a tete-a-tete.


We chat while lights and levels are set.


Black and white, black and white, black and white.


This shot sorta makes me wish I had thousands of dollars worth of lighting to follow me around in real life.


Interview number two, with the stars of Endorphine.


E-talk: cameras rolling in the interview suite.


Ready for our close-up. Killing time together between interviews. The crew in the room was super friendly.


Out on the street things are starting to get rolling (the street was strategically filled with inflated balls).


Andy Warhol photo booths are drawing a line-up.


Within minutes of starting our stroll I had won a $50 gift card to Express – the retailer had set up a silver Airstream Trailer full of prize offers, merch and tote bags.

Caffeinated and ready to head back to the hotel.

Caffeinated and ready to head back to the hotel.


No big deal; a swag bag for Matt Damon is casually chilling beside me.


The walls are lined with cool freebies for the talent who pop by to visit: David’s Tea, face masks, water, Lara Bars, bath and beauty products, hats from The Drake General Store, Equinox Fitness memberships.

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George Clooney’s Tequila was a featured item. Double yummm.

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We were offered yummy teas and gourmet cookies, but my eyes were really drawn to the Sephora swag, with makeup palettes, lashes, Marc Jacobs lip products and nail polishes galore!

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The creative lead from Sephora filled me in on a new eye shadow set based on the Instagram Filters and we traded tips about favourite products. What a lovely surprise!

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Shuttling to and fro, from the Much Music Headquarters to the Intercontinental.

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Highlight moment… Allia makes a celeb sandwich with Geoffrey Rush and her sister, Yan. Allia brought Yan as a surprise for Geoffrey Rush – who she had the pleasure of interviewing again. Yanique and Mr. Rush go way back to a few years ago when they bonded at a past TIFF.


Back at the studio I take MY work onto the set, so I’ll be able to show my students that their homework was 15-seconds-of-famous.

That's right, your work was on set.

That’s right, your work was on set.


The iconic CP24 news vehicle crashing out of the wall at Queen and John.

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Meeting up with some friends for a well-deserved happy hour drink.

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Enjoying a Fruli at the Town Crier, jokingly brought with two straws and some cherries. The dessert to our more grown up beers.

Whether you saw it filtered through layers of media and devices, or up close and personal, the film fest is always a great way to start fall. Get out and support film and the folks who make it all happen. Happy TIFF 2015!