Randall King, Winnipeg Free Press

Randall King

Winnipeg Free Press

Canada

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Recent articles by Randall:

Kids in the Hall back to push the envelope

It has been nearly 27 years since the five-man Canadian comedy troupe Kids in the Hall challenged comedy norms with their landmark sketch comedy series, which ran on CBC and HBO from 1989 to 1995. → Read More

Hilary Swank shooting inspirational drama in Winnipeg

Two-time Academy Award winner Hilary Swank will be coming to Winnipeg to shoot the drama Ordinary Angels from late March to early May. Set in Kentucky in 1994, the film is based on a true story. → Read More

Topical, timely comedy addresses uncomfortable questions of race, privilege and class

After originally announcing it in 2020, Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre was to have unveiled the comedy Calpurnia on its mainstage exactly this time last year, before the pandemic laid waste to the theatre’s best-laid plans. The play surely would have been appreciated in 2021, given its examination of topical racial issues, albeit set in the cushy environs of Toronto’s Forest Hill. → Read More

Actress foiled by famously frigid Winnipeg intersection

On last Wednesday’s broadcast of The Late Late Show with James Corden, actress Edi Patterson (a writer and star on the cable series The Righteous Gemstones) told a startling story of travelling to frigid Winnipeg to shoot a movie. → Read More

Animated film follows girl’s quest to reunite with her mother

Veterans of the Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival may remember an early iteration of the play Places We Go from the 2017 edition of that much-missed fest. Co-writer Hazel Venzon performed the half-hour show largely in silhouette, backlit by the projected illustrations of her artist husband — and co-writer — David Oro. → Read More

Festival sheds light on evolution of Black horror films

In the documentary Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror, now playing on the genre specialty streaming service Shudder, director Xavier Burgin makes the provocative case that the horror genre, for good and ill, reflected the Black experience like no other in the past century. In the words of writer-educator Tananarive Due, an executive producer of the film, “Black history is Black horror. → Read More

Series deftly balances melodrama with meaty issues

Shot last year in and around Winnipeg, the CBC TV series The Porter is, first and foremost, breathtaking in its scope and ambition. The largest Black-led production in the history of Canadian broadcasting, this is a panoramic portrait of Black Canadian life in the 1920s, centred on a pair of railway porters intent on improving the circumstances of themselves and their families. → Read More

Full steam ahead

The story told in the eight episodes of the new CBC series The Porter is one of overcoming adversity to triumph against impossible odds. As it happens, that is also the story of the making of the series itself, which was shot in and around Winnipeg over about 75 days from early June to mid-September of last year. → Read More

Chinese director embraces Winnipeg’s winter weather

Even after they wrapped the Manitoba component of production on Feb. 4, the producers and the director of the Chinese-American co-production Unspoken were unaware that Winnipeg can lay claim to a little piece of Chinese cinema history. → Read More

The only psycho in silly Winnipeg-filmed thriller is the screenwriter

While it was being cobbled together in Winnipeg in the chilly winter of 2017, the movie now known as Night Hunter was shot under the working title Nomis. Night Hunter feels a little more like a generic serial killer thriller. → Read More

Bard’s wife crafts sandbox world that demands leaning in

“I long for the sea,” announces Anne Hathaway at the start of this 92-minute, one-hander drama by Winnipeg-born, Alberta-based playwright Vern Thiessen. Considering some of the circumstances of her life to be revealed, it will prove to be a shocking statement. → Read More

Winnipeg writer’s narrative leads him to Netflix

It’s not that Burke Scurfield was necessarily destined for a life in the entertainment industry. But he allows being put in a headlock at the age of four by professional wrestler Bret “The Hitman” Hart may have had something to do with starting him on a path that would ultimately lead him to a writing gig on Netflix’s first in-house adult animated series, Inside Job. → Read More

Daniel Craig's overlong final outing as suave secret agent doesn't reach an all-time high

The world of James Bond is stirred, shaken and positively blown up in this fifth and final chapter of what you might call 007: The Daniel Craig Years. Craig, as most people know, will not be returning to the role of the suave superspy. → Read More

Trans playwright's new work rooted in his belief destiny is at work in the world

In early 2019, Samson Bonkeabantu Brown was actually preparing to launch his play 11:11, detailing among other things his personal journey through gender transition, as part of the Riser Project at Toronto’s Theatre Centre. In the middle of that prep, he took on a different assignment that would give him unexpected fame beyond the stage. → Read More

City bursts back into the film business

Trailers for movie productions are once again parked all over the city. The Exchange District has undergone a time warp of buildings dressed to look like businesses from a half century ago, for the David Slade-directed period thriller Dark Harvest. → Read More

Glib Suicide Squad serves up plenty of comic-book gore

Prior to making The Suicide Squad, filmmaker James Gunn was best known for injecting a lot of cheek into the Marvel universe by writing and directing both chapters of The Guardians of the Galaxy. → Read More

Animation studio suddenly closes; 100 local artists lose jobs

Tangent Animation, an animation studio with offices in Winnipeg and Toronto, made the surprise announcement to its staff of animators Tuesday morning that it is shuttering its operation.One non-artist employee of the company, who asked not to be named, said she had been informed on Wednesday morning. → Read More

Winnipeg TV journalist living her New York City dream

Alison Hall was about 19 years old when she went to New York City and found love. Now 29, Hall was a journalism student at Ryerson University in Toronto when she took an overnight Greyhound bus to New York for an interview with ABC News for a temporary internship position. → Read More

Problematic Shakespeare production blends tragedy, comedy, French and English

This production of The Winter’s Tale, often deemed one of William Shakespeare’s “problem plays,” allows for the virtual pleasure of a visit to the Trappist Monastery Provincial Heritage Park to enjoy the work of 10 different Winnipeg actors. Even so, the filmed production, true to its categorization, is… problematic. → Read More

Dave Barber fondly remembered as fosterer of filmmakers, champion of local and Canadian cinema

Belying his gentle demeanour and a scruffy, unmade-bed personal style, Dave Barber was nothing less than a knight in shining armour to Manitoba and Canada film talent. His death Monday night at the age of 67 from complications of an ulcer at the St. Boniface Hospital sent a shockwave through the Canadian film community. → Read More