Explore and ponder the above question with the panelists. Through discussing films of the past, can they predict where cinema will lead us? Listen as they come to their own conclusions on cinema as a tool for social change.
BRAD SIMKULET: Brad Simkulet has been writing professionally for journals, stage and screen for nearly two decades. He's always working on some novel or play or screenplay. Brad's a big fan of cut-offs, easy listening music and Arsenal FC.
RANDALL KING: In a way, Randall King was born into the entertainment beat.
He was steeped in an arts-and-entertainment environment from birth. His dad was Winnipeg musician Jimmy King, a one-time columnist for the Winnipeg Free Press. One of his older brothers, David, is a playwright-singer-songwriter. Another, Bob, is a singer-songwriter whose songs have been covered by the likes of Al Simmons, Fred Penner and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. (Bob sung his Olsen twins hit Brother for Sale at Randall’s wedding reception.)
He spent some of his youth wandering the halls of the old CJAY TV station at Polo Park, where Jimmy auditioned contestants for The Amateur Show (and Randall developed a lifelong aversion to hearing the song Spanish Eyes played on the accordion).
He also haunted Winnipeg movie theatres, from horror double-bills at the drive-in to Ingmar Bergman retrospectives at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. His fondest childhood memories include watching Chiller movies on TV on Saturday nights and making fun of them, innocently unaware this could be the basis for a viable career down the road.
He moved to Toronto as a young man, seduced in part by the sheer number of excellent repertory cinemas in that town. He eventually studied English and film at York University, supporting himself by working part-time at a video wholesaler.
Returning to Winnipeg, Randall has been content to cover the entertainment beat in one capacity or another since 1990.
On the film beat at the Free Press, the job has placed him in the same room as diverse talents, from Martin Scorsese to Martin Short, from Julie Christie to Julia Roberts. He has met three James Bonds (four if you count Woody Allen.)
In a phone interview, director Russ Meyer once told him: “I like your style.”
Randall really likes his job.
LAURA FRIESEN: Manager, Communications & Alumni Relations at NSI
As manager of communications and alumni relations, Laura is responsible for writing and distributing press releases, writing and editing website content and managing publicity strategies at NSI.
She comes to NSI from a communications position at the Manitoba Children’s Museum and an educational background in English and women’s & gender studies from the University of Winnipeg.
Laura is an avid music fan and has travelled widely to see her favourite bands. She very occasionally DJs and writes about music, contributing an essay to the 2017 book Under My Thumb: Songs That Hate Women and the Women Who Love Them.