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Terrence Malick’s recent film The Tree of Life does not appear to be a dangerous movie. It’s essentially a long, lyrical evocation of Malick’s nineteen-fifties boyhood in an upper-middle-class enclave of Waco, with an idealized mother (Jessica Chastain) and a stern, distant father (Brad Pitt)—and what could possibly be mood-altering or soul-shaking about that?

Whither the Wheat

A  humdrum-looking 150-gram package of penne pasta recently arrived at my door in a padded mailing envelope. These random food drops generally inject a pleasantly absurd respite into my computer-bound days. A two-four of canned cream of broccoli soup here, a raw baking potato there. Such is the glamour of being a food writer.

Arcade Fire portrait by Anton Corbijn

North Star

The talk this summer about the 2011 Polaris Prize can be summed up by the fact that, for the first time, it bent to popular opinion. Since its inception in 2006, this annual award for best Canadian record has been administered with exuberant contrariness by juries of music bloggers, journalists and DJs, each with an […]

The Days and Nights of London

Craig Taylor is the author of two books, Return to Akenfield and One Million Tiny Plays About Britain, and he is the editor of the literary magazine, Five Dials. For years, he has been cataloguing the habits and behaviours of Londoners in his notebooks, and interviewing as many of them as possible. These notes are […]

What We Leave Behind

Steven Dixon’s work in this series documents the decay of industry, in this case the coal mine surface buildings around Nordegg, and the Crowsnest Pass in southern Alberta. The archaeological record of how man influences his environment reveals a legacy of abandoned industrial structures such as mines, mills and factories, and their related town sites.


Gotta Watch ’Em All!

In February, the video-streaming website Hulu, once best known as a place to waste time catching up on old episodes of Heroes, made a major announcement: they had struck an exclusive deal with the Criterion DVD label to eventually make more than 800 titles from their back catalogue available online, free of commercial interruptions, through […]

The Dark Side of Pink

In 2002, when I started working in the breast cancer screening department of what was then the Alberta Cancer Board, one of the recurring agenda items in staff meetings was what to do with the world’s longest pink ribbon. Stapled with intense resolve by Calgary staff and volunteers, many of the 24,000 ribbons inscribed with […]

Colin and Scott on stage
photo by Ryan Girard

Stages of Intimacy

Intimacy and connection are at the heart of musical performance, no matter how large or small the act or venue. Some big names, such as The White Stripes, who announced their breakup this past February, knew how to get at it or were at least willing to try. In 2007, the band staged an ambitious […]

CP Images

Unrequited Dub

To break up is to drown, slowly, like a pelican in crude. Deepwater-sized break-ups comprise many of today’s rap themes, and songs of regret for what’s gone and won’t come back have made a comeback in electronica as well. But isn’t a master beatmaker always looking for the next perfect break? If love can feel […]