Didn’t do it Justice

Unless you’ve been living in a hole the last few months, you already knew that Ed Banger’s flagship electro duo, Justice, made a sold-out stop at the newly opened Circa nightclub this past Friday. What you probably didn’t know is that if you have their album Cross and a Craigslist account, you could have heard “the show” and been $60 richer.

The set itself strayed little from the album, which really makes one wonder what the live show is for. That said, Cross is an excellent album. If you’ve never heard it, you should buy it immediately.

Known for their heavy rock influence and flashing white cross jammed among an excessive stack of unused electronics, the aesthetic for a crazy dance party was well represented. Unfortunately, the extremely overcrowded mosh pit could only squirm as kids attempted to “D.A.N.C.E.” while couch-surfing VIPs apathetically looked on from an aquarium invasively perched beside the stage. In fact, it may have been in this very aquarium that the duo sat for the unannounced hour-and-a-half delay following Aussie openers Midnight Juggernauts.

Bringing their recent album Dystopia to their first-ever Canadian appearance, Midnight Juggernauts played an energetic, dance-inflected rock set fitting for the Halloween season. Slowly but surely, the unexpectedly sparse crowd warmed up to their set, and by the time the “Juggerz” jammed out their final tune, Circa was certainly rammed to capacity.

The show was originally booked at the neighbouring Republik nightclub but was moved to Circa in a failed attempt to comfortably accommodate the overwhelming demand for tickets. In the giant building formerly known as Lucid, Circa is international club mastermind Peter Gatien’s recent contribution to the Toronto scene. But set deep in dirty clubland, groping ran rampant, and I witnessed least one fight before leaving the area.

Ultimately, all the necessary tools were present to create an excellent show, but enduring the long, sobering delay amongst the high-density clubber crowd caused even the true Justice fans to resort to having one more cigarette and then watching the show from the back.

Eat Your Greens

Students in the Medical Sciences building took a welcome break from midterm pressures to mingle at a farmer’s market conveniently held in the building’s lobby on Tuesday afternoon.

And that wasn’t just a quaint name, as Jaco Lokker, St. George campus’s director of food services, was quick to point out.

“These are the actual farmers,” he said, introducing students to local food-growers and the Local Food Plus program.

Lokker talked energetically about local food programs on campus while doling out bowls of hot pumpkin soup with tea biscuits—a $1 lunch that curious, underfed students quickly demolished.

LFP, a non-profit partly funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, certifies food that meets growing and processing standards meant to promote sustainable agriculture and encourage Ontarians to buy locally grown food.

How far had the veggies traveled from countryside to campus?

“The average farmer drove about two hours to get here,” said Lokker. Not quite a hundred-mile diet. “That might work okay in California,” Lokker allowed. “Ontario is a big place.”

Christina Miniota, who drove down from Kerr Farms in Chatham, spoke while busily paper-bagging tiny orangeand- green peppers.

“LFP actually came from a teacher at U of T,” she said.

Lori Stahlbrand, the founder and current president of the LFP group, has taught for U of T’s equity studies department. In 2006, the university became the first to partner with LFP. U of T’s contract with current food services provider Aramark stipulates that 10 per cent of campus food be LFP-sourced.

In addition to Christina’s peppers, fresh produce on sale ranged from Norfolk’s crisp apples to potatoes sweet and white from Dashwood—all storable foods students could stock up on, Lokker explained.

Reel Dark

The second annual After Dark Film Festival wraps up today after delighting Toronto audiences with its strong line up of horror and sci-fi flicks. Running out of the Bloor Cinema and U of T’s Innis Town, hall After Dark featured 50 feature and short films and even incorporated a full-out zombie walk into the festivities. Here are The Varsity’s highlights from After Dark.

Audience of One (Dir. Mike Jacobs)

Ten years after he sees his first movie, The Lion King, at the age of 40, San Francisco Pentecostal pastor Richard Gazowsky receives a message from God to become a filmmaker. He then begins work on his first feature, Gravity: The Shadow of Joseph, a biblical sci-fi epic. This film—like a Christian Lost in La Mancha—is the cataclysmic outcome of this project, which was supposed to be something like Jesus Camp meets Star Wars. A series of disastrous events, and no backup plan, has the pious crew putting more and more of their faith in God to “provide a solution.” Although at times it seems only the documentary’s music is what’s leading you to believe you’re witnessing failure, a quick one-liner shot of Gazowsky at work will immediately clarify any doubts of impending disaster. One can’t help but feel sorry for laughing at Gazowsky’s deep and utter naïveté, hoping for a quick and painless end to his delusions of grandeur. However, Gazowsky’s outrageous proposals for the future of his church leave you no choice but to affirm his insanity.—ANDREW NELSON

Rating: VVVV

Aachi & Ssipak (dir. Jo Beom-Jin)

Action-packed is an understatement. In the not-too-distant future, fecal matter is the fossil fuel of choice. Rewarding citizens with an addictive treat for every “contribution” to the energy shortage results in an underground trade of these goodies, in turn leading to all-out gang warfare. The absolutely ridiculous intensity of this fast-paced animated feature leaves you little time to consider how the “good guys” are going to “get out of this one.” Although the action scenes dominate the ninety minutes, an outrageous but logical plot follows close behind, sporting a filthy sense of humour. Holding nothing back when it comes to toilet talk and gore, Aachi & Ssipak is an animated Tarantino- style gangster flick driven by Matrix-esque action scenes, and is entertaining to say the least.—AN Rating: VVVVV

Glitch (dir. Peter Ricq)

Screened prior to Aachi & Ssipak, Glitch is a well-directed and captivating animated short, just long and quiet enough to convey a haunting perspective of reality. A random glitch in a virtual world leaves the protagonist in an unbelievable, mainly mechanical reality in which penguin-like blobs threaten his existence.—AN

Rating: VVVVV

Blood Car (Dir Alex Orr)

Imagine this near future: gas prices are ridiculously high and no one, not even the rich, can afford to drive. Enter Archie, a vegan kindergarten teacher desperate to find an alternative fuel to impress the slutty girl at the meat booth in town. An accident leads Archie to discover that blood, especially human blood, springs his car to life. Thus launches a dark, humourous, and disgustingly gory storyline. The comedic timing is spot on, and the acting captures the mood perfectly. However, the plot lags a bit and the ending, though funny, lacks direction. Blood Car aims to comment on society’s over-reliance on fossil fuels, and our increasing laziness through a good old-fashioned blood bath. This flick is worthwhile see for horror fans who like their guts served with a side of humour and political criticism.—Erin DeCoste

Rating: VVVv

Terror on 3918 (dir. Mathieu Fontaine)

Screened prior to Audience of One, this creative little short demonstrates a talented filmmaker’s ability to create a story of intergalactic proportions with a budget smaller than a student’s bank account. So inventive and well put-together, one can’t help but think of kids at play in adult bodies.—AN

Rating: VVVVV

Woody rises again

A four-hour meeting of the Woodsworth College Student Association on Tuesday concluded with a motion asking for up to $200 to fund a meeting that would see the revival of the once-great Woodsworth College publication, the Woody. The motion was put forward by Travis Cosgrave, a fourthyear Woodsworth student and the publication’s former layout editor.

WCSA unexpectedly dissolved the College’s 12-year-old student publication the Woody in July, deciding instead to launch a new publication, first called the Howl now known as the Ginger.

Daniella Marinucci, a second-year student and the Services and Initiatives Assistant for WCSA echoed the sentiments of Cosgrave and many others in saying, “I don’t even know what happened to the Woody.” Cosgrave said the meeting would aim to be a forum for students with regards to the Woody.

Alice Wu, the Ginger’s current co-editor- in-chief and former assistant editor of the Woody, spoke her mind about the latter at the Tuesday board meeting, saying that in terms of content “what was [in the Woody] was rather poor.”

Though the Ginger is currently funded by WCSA, a motion at the September board sought to fund the magazine with a $3 per semester levy. The Woody would breaking all ties with WCSA, becoming an independent publication. Fuelling the levy vote were unexpectedly high costs of the first Ginger issue—$ 3,300 for 2,000 copies.

“I don’t think that’s a reliable way to keep a student paper going, especially when that paper is in its first year of existence,” said Cosgrave. “There is no way I would feel comfortable asking for such a levy, even for the Woody.”

WCSA slashed funding for the Woody last year to $12,000. The board has now agreed that neither publications will be the college’s “official” publication.

“The way that we would attain funding would be still through WCSA, although hope that it would be a more independent and dedicated fund,” said Cosgrave.

Despite hesitancy from some board members, including VP administration Jonathan Lall, to vote on the unexpected motion, board agreed to fund Cosgrave’s meeting. The Woody revival meeting will take place Nov. 5 in the William Waters Lounge at the base of the Woodsworth College residence, and will gauge students’ interest in restarting the monthly magazine. Nearly 500 flyers have already appeared along St. George St., and Cosgrave expects to put up thousands more.

“If there’s a Woodsworth student who doesn’t know about this meeting, I haven’t done my job,” he said with cocky self-assurance.

Reviving a remake

Leave it to a TIFF audience member to make the connection between cinematic past and present, quipping, “What’s it all about?” in a post-screening Q&A session for the recent update of Anthony Shaffer’s play, Sleuth. It’s a reference to Alfie, in which Sleuth stars Michael Caine and Jude Law had each played the titular character.

“Me and Michael (Caine) had never noticed that,” admitted Jude Law at a recent festival interview. Director Kenneth Branagh and Michael Caine also pleading ignorance.

Additionally, ask any of the three Brit thespians about the relevance of Sleuth’s revisions penned by the iconic playwright Harold Pinter, and they would likely reply: “I don’t know.”

“Because Harold never gives us any answers,” Law explained, “I never pushed for any. I rather enjoy saying ‘I don’t know.’ That kind of ambiguity is very Pinter.” Harold Pinter (the notable force behind such classics as The Dumb Waiter, No Man’s Land and The Caretaker) is known for his mesmerizing ambiguities, re-wrote Sleuth in its entirety (the original was made in 1972) to avoid churning out yet another banal remake.

The story, however, remains the same—in order to cope with his wife’s affair with a young playboy Milo Tindle (Law), millionaire crime novelist Andrew Wyke (Caine) invites his rival over to his mansion for a dignified tête-à-tête. What unfolds is a ruthless game of dominance and wits, with Caine taking over exactly where he left off (he originally played the role of Tindle).

Law, who moonlights on Sleuth as producer, insists that he recruited Harold Pinter in order to break new ground.

“When Harold agreed,” Law recalled, “he made it clear that it wasn’t going to be an adaptation. He was going to take it somewhere absolutely new. So when I started, I really felt like I was creating a new character.”

That certainly seems to be the case, as Caine asserted that Sleuth is definitely no remake. “There’s no sense of remaking anything,” defended Caine. “If Law had brought me the script by Tony Schaffer and said we were going to remake this, I wouldn’t be in it. What brought me into it was the script by Pinter.”

Though none of the collaborators wished to speak for Pinter’s intentions, Law understood why Sleuth today would be relevant for modern audiences. “I think what interested me as a producer was just this notion of two men fighting, why men fight, why we return to this animal atavistic primal urge. We almost forget the thing we’re fighting over… (and yet) men still fight.”

Caine, on the other hand, would rather not dwell when preparing to play a role. “The character wouldn’t be thinking about that. If your wife is being unfaithful, you wouldn’t be thinking about current affairs. You’d be thinking about her affair.”

Part of Caine’s willful oblivion when reading further into the script likely stems from his absolute regard for Pinter, who happens to be a longtime friend. “You don’t ad-lib with Pinter,” Caine warned. “He sends out hit men.”

Sleuth opens in Toronto October 26

Controversial new taxes approved

Toronto city council recently voted in favour of two new controversial and much debated taxes. Originally, council was set to vote on these taxes this past July, but narrowly voted to wait until after the Ontario provincial elections that took place on Oct. 10.

The first is a vehicle registration tax. People with a car registered in the city of Toronto will now have to pay an annual tax of $60 and motorcycle owners, $30. Toronto mayor David Miller has announced he expects the tax will provide the city with an additional $56 million per year. To put this tax into perspective, if a student purchases a car and keeps it for five years, then that will cost them a total of $300. No other city in Ontario currently has such a tax in place.

The second, a land transfer tax on any sale of land, including houses, is more controversial than the first. First time home owners are exempt from paying the tax on the first $400,000 of their new home.

The mayor’s office caused a furor earlier this year by announcing sweeping cuts to city services, including libraries and community centres, if the taxes weren’t approved. In the wake of these cuts, the TTC announced a hike in the cost of its metropass to $109. TTC authorities have not said whether they will cancel the fare hike now that city council has passes the new taxes.

Freshly pressed: New CD Reviews

Tin Bangs – My Wife is so Bored (Independent)

On their new EP, My Wife is so Bored, Tin Bangs encapsulates all its Brit pop and ’70s punk influences into a brief ten minutes. For a local band, Tin Bangs has left a considerable impression on the indie music scene internationally, opening for bands like Art Brut, the Killers, and Editors. My Wife is so Bored consists of three songs, all with repetitive guitar riffs and fast drums. “Shit Disco” provides an energetic start with dominating guitar chords from the first second to the last. “Animal Mother” has a catchier chorus, and incorporates even heavier guitar riffs. “Nervous Now” ends the short EP with three minutes of pent-up energy and the Marco Polo shouting of “Are you nervous now?” Even the most unconscious listener is forced to anticipate what’s ahead, but the song ends abruptly. What just happened? With the popularity of Arctic Monkeys, Art Brut, and Tokyo Police Club, it’s not surprising that Tin Bangs has quickly emerged onto the alternative music scene. Listeners will like this EP for its high energy, but probably won’t put it on if its influences are within reach. —JACQUELINE CHAN

Rating: VVV

Keren Ann – Keren Ann (Blue Note)

After having spent seven years perfecting her art in locations around the world, Keren Ann returns with her fi fth solo album, the self-titled Keren Ann. With a rawness analogous to Cat Power, and electronic mixes comparable to those on Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Keren Ann’s latest is an emotional journey through heartache, anger, and understanding. The album begins with calculated movements, precise and accurate, as Keren Ann conceals her desperation. As the album progresses, she diverges into emotional heartache in “Lay your head down” and “The Harder Ships of the World.” The journey advances into resentment nicely represented with heavy drumming in “It Ain’t No Crime.” The second half mixes static sound and feedback, with piano and echoed vocals. “Caspia” concludes the album and is the only up-tempo instrumental. Wrap up the tears, ’cause it’s time to go.—JC

Rating: VVVV

‘United’ front sweeps UTSC council

UTSC’s recent college council election was a clear win for the group dubbed “United Together Scarborough Campus,” which won 15 of the 16 council seats available to students during the fall by-election.

The highest governing body at UTSC, college council has been described by some as the “rubber stamper” for the campus, taking advice from a wide range of working committees and making key administrative decisions.

College council consists of 46 undergraduate students, faculty, staff representatives, administrators like the deans, UTSC’s principal, alumni representatives, and graduate representatives. While student representatives make up a very small minority at college council, the low actual attendance of non-student representatives at such meetings would, in many cases, accord the 16 students a large majority at any given meeting.

At college council, undergraduate student are elected to two-year terms. Usually elections are held in June, when college council sessions officially start, but by-elections take place to help fill in any empty spots.

Zuhair Syed, Alexandru Rascanu, Hamza Khan, Huzaifa Dohadwala, Sasha Ebrahimi, Amir Balkhi, Reza Hajivandi, Tina Wang, Ateet Kapadia, Masoud Hotaki, Shahenur Ali, Janene Singh, Chia Barsen, Haipeng Tian, and Sean Kanjilal were all elected to the position of undergraduate student representatives as part of the “UTSC” slate, each having received a minimum of 100 votes. Samad Bakhtbolland was the only member of the group not elected.

Jemcy Joy, the current vice-chair of the Scarborough Campus Students’ Union, was also elected in the by-election, running as an independent candidate. However, Joy received the fewest votes of any of the successful candidates, tied for last place with “UTSC” slate member Kanjilal.

The slate’s most prominent member, Alexandru Rascanu, has a long history in student politics. Last year, the former SCSU VP operations was disqualified after winning the presidential seat on SCSU, due to multiple election infractions. He is currently a student governor on U of T’s Governing Council. Candidates learned the results of the by-election by email on Oct. 19.

With files from Gillian Reiss