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CBC Radio One Calgary Eyeopener

with Allan Boss

Any cheesemaker, biologist, or baker will tell you what a culture is.  It's a place where something grows.

Whether it's film reviews, dvd recommendations, or thoughts on trends and patterns or history contextualized, Connecting Culture is commentary about events and ideas that concern Albertans.

The series features CBC Arts and Entertainment Producer Allan Boss sharing thoughts on all things cultural.

May 29: Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian Review.

  • The first film in this series featured Ben Stiller as a night watchman who discovered that museum exhibits come to life at night.  Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian sees the same thing happen, but in a new museum.  Is it worth checking out?  Allan Boss has seen the film and lets you know his thoughts.  (Listen)
May 15: Angels & Demons Review
  • Publishers Weekly's description of the Dan Brown novel Angels & Demons begins this way: "Pitting scientific terrorists against the cardinals of Vatican City, this well-plotted if over-the-top thriller is crammed with Vatican intrigue and high-tech drama."  Sounds intriguing, doesn't it?  But the question is: does Ron Howard's film adaptation stand up?  Allan Boss has seen the film that opens today.  Here's what he thought. (Listen)

April 30: Google Books discussion
  • What file sharing is to the music industry, Google could soon be to the world of book publishing. Google Book Search has authors worried about being paid for their intellectual property. It has publishers and booksellers concerned about the distribution of books. And it's got us thinking just what the world of digital books will look like.  Does this mean the end of the paper page? Last Friday Wildrose host Donna McElligott chatted with John King, President of the Book Publishers Association of Alberta and Steve Bundarchuk co-owner of Audrey's Books in Edmonton about Google Books.  Then she opened the phone lines for listener comments. (Listen)

April 30: The Soloist Review
  • It SOUNDS like an Oscar contender. The Soloist has big names, meaty roles and a "heartwarming" plot.  But does it succeed?  Our Culture guy Allan Boss had a chance to check it out.  Here's what he thought. (Listen)

April 17: JCVD Review
  • Jean-Claude van Damme is a well known 1980s action star.  He was in the limelight for a decade or thereabouts, but then fell out of fashion.  Or at least that's what one might say.  Hold on to your armchair.  He's back.  Allan Boss recently saw his new film JCVD.  Here are his thoughts. (Listen)

April 4: Genies Rundown
  • Daybreak host Russell Bowers sat down with Allan Boss to chat about the 29th annual Genie Awards.  Listen on the Daybreak site, or here:  (Listen)

March 27: Film Review
  • What was once a small, sleepy town in rural Ontario, is now a big, scary psychological thriller by Bruce Mcdonald. Allan Boss gives us his thoughts on Pontypool.  Here are they are.  (Listen)

March 13: Film Review
  • Today Allan Boss looks at the film Rachel Getting Married and relates it to a Danish film manifesto.  Here's what he had to say. (Listen)

March 6: Film Review
  • Last Wednesday our culture columnist fought his way through the preview-crowds to attend the much anticipated Watchmen.  Was the battle worth it?  Check out his review to find out. (Listen)

Feb. 20: Oscar Predictions
  • Culture columnist Allan Boss makes some Oscar Predictions.  (Listen)

Feb. 20: "Milk" & Slumdog Millionaire" Reviews
  • Allan Boss reviews two more of the Oscar nominated best pictures.  (Listen)

Feb. 18: "Frost/Nixon" Film Review
  • Today Wildrose culture columnist Allan Boss reviews another of the Academy Award Best picture nominated films.  This time, "Frost/Nixon." (Listen)

Feb. 17: "The Reader" and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" Film Reviews

Feb. 6/09: The Grammy's
  • Our culture columnist Allan Boss doesn't like the Grammy Awards.  Here's why: (Listen)

Jan.30/09: Private/Public Cell Phone Use
  • Many of us have overheard a conversation we probably shouldn't have been privy to. Recently that happened to our culture columnist Allan Boss.  And that got him thinking about cell phones and the culture of privacy in today's digital world. (Listen)

Jan. 23/09: Oscar Nods
  • Allan Boss gives us some of his thoughts on the 2009 Oscar nominations. (Listen)

Jan. 19/09: ATP Changes Artistic Direction

Jan. 12/09: World's Best Commercials
  • Allan Boss sits down with Donna McElligott to talk about the worlds best commercials film and he introduces us to some great ones from the radio world. (Listen)

Dec 5: Film Review
  • Our culture connection Allan Boss reviews the soon-to-be released Ron Howard film Frost/Nixon which dramatizes the post-Watergate television interviews between British talk-show host David Frost and former U-S president Richard Nixon.  Have a listen to what he thought. (Listen)

Nov 28: Standing Ovations Rant
  • If you've gone to a stage play over the last few years you'll have noticed a trend: the majority of plays receive a standing ovation.  Check out what Culture Connection Allan Boss thinks. (Listen)

Nov 21: David Peat Interview
  • Most of us want to build a better world, right?  And when we build something it typically requires change.  Change can be good or ... bad.  But it's often very hard. But does it have to be?  Physicist slash philosopher David Peat doesn't think so.  He's written a book that suggests change should come through Gentle Action.  Our cultural connection Allan Boss sat down with to chat about this notion. (Listen)

Nov 14: War Films
  • This past week was Rememberance Day.  On Tuesday, we remembered our soldiers and the cost taken by war.  So our cultural connection, Allan Boss has put those two things together -- war and remembrance.  And he's dropped by to talk about some war films you may want to see, no matter what time of year it is. (Listen)

Oct 31: Horror films
  • It's the "scariest" day of the year so what better to do?  Curl up in a darkened room with a bowl of popcorn and the creaks in your attic to watch a scary movie.  But what to watch?  Here are few suggestions from Allan Boss ... and I'll bet some will surprise you. (Listen)

Oct 24: Aging on film
  • Fine wine, great cheese, classic films.  All of them tend to get better with age.  But how does that principle apply to one of the things mass audiences enjoy (often with popcorn) most of all: action films? Today, Allan Boss talks about aging action stars.  (Listen)

October 17: Discussion of A History of Violence
  • On Saturday night Professor Bart Beaty from the University of Calgary's Communication and Culture Department will be at Edmonton's Zeidler Hall (9:00 PM) for a special screening of David Cronenberg's A History of Violence.  This will be followed by a discussion.  Allan Boss sits down with Beaty to chat about the film and Beaty's new book. (Listen)

October 10: DVD Suggestions
  • On Tuesday night Canadians vote in a Federal Election.  Let's say voting takes you and hour or so .... What are you going to do until the results are released?  Why not watch an election film?  Here are a few of Allan Boss's suggestions.  (Listen)

October 3: Film Review
  • Bill Maher is a well known and often controversial comedian and talk show host turned filmmaker.  His new comic documentary is about that "last taboo" subject, religion.  Today Allan Boss tells us what he thought of the film titled Religulous.  (Listen)

September 26: Interview with Bruce McDonald & Stephen McHattie.

September 19: Film Review
  • How would people react if everyone suddenly lost their sight?  That's the question the new film Blindness asks.  Have a listen to Allan Boss's thoughts about the film. (Listen)

September 12: Book & DVD Review
  • Many novels and films use the road trip as a framing device for their narratives.  In this week's Connecting Culture column Allan Boss reviews Miriam Toews new novel The Flying Troutman's and this leads him to think about other trip inspired stories.  (Listen)

September 5: DVD Review
  • Short on cash?  Considering robbing a bank?  Bad idea.  Instead try renting some DVD heist films.  Today Allan Boss suggests three (or more) bank robbery films: The Bank Job , Inside Man and The Pink Panther .... and he mentions a bundle of others.... (Listen)

August 29: Film Review

August 14:  The Culture of Masochism
  • Whether it's physical, mental or financial ... Canadians have embraced the self-improvement business to the tune of millions of dollars.  Our Arts and Culture Columnist has embraced it ... literally.  CBC Producer Allan Boss takes a look at just how much we are willing to suffer to get some "improvements". (Listen)

August 8: Film Review
  • In 1956 Albert Lamorisse released a thirty-four minute short film called The Red Balloon.  The film followed the adventures of a young boy who finds and befriends a red balloon. It won numerous awards, including an Oscar for best screenplay. Well it has come back in a sense.  Our Film and Culture Critic Allan Boss recently saw the new film The Flight of the Red Balloon, which pays homage to Lamorisse's classic.  Here's what he thought. (Listen)

August 5: Film Review
  • We've all heard about target marketing -- when corporation s aim a product at a specific group.  Well, in the case of the sequel film Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants II that group is teenage girls.  While our Film and Culture columnist Allan Boss is neither a teenager nor a girl, he and his wife did happen to join a whole whack of the target sisterhood to see the preview of the film. (Listen)

July 25: The Culture of Tipping
  • Nice Canadians who go abroad often worry about causing an international incident by not following the right protocol on tipping.  Well our Culture and Film Columnist says it's time to rethink the culture of tipping here at home.  Allan Boss walked away from a dining incident recently ... but he came home with a few things on his mind.  Here is his view on the Culture of Tipping. (Listen)

July 18: Film Review
  • This Thursday Cineplex Entertainment issued a press release saying, "Advance ticket sales for the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight have broken all previous records." Our film and culture columnist Allan Boss reviews The Dark Knight and lets us know if the hype is worth the hoopla. (Listen.)

July 11: Film Review
  • You can call it a fantasy film; you can call it an action movie; you can even call it a comedy.  But will you want to see it?  Allan Boss tells us his thoughts on the film Hellboy II: The Golden Army. (Listen)

July 4: Supersizing Culture
  • In the 2004 movie Super Size Me, Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock took a burger-in-mouth look at the legal, financial and physical costs of America's hunger for fast food.  Spurlock lived on nothing but McDonald's for an entire month and gained 40 pounds.  This film was essentially about one man's declining health due to life choices -- death by big mac. But below the surface, Super Size Me points out that society is in a bad way because of it's tendency toward cultural gluttony.  Our culture columnist Allan Boss considers this concept by examining supersizing. (Listen)

June 27:  Film Review

June 20:  Alberta's Cultural Heritage
  • The recent boom in Alberta has seen a new push for the arts and culture, reviving hope for a province wide rennaissance.  We have a new cultural policy called the Spirit of Alberta and this summer Premier Stelmach is setting up a council to boost the arts and promote our cultural heritage.  Our Arts & Entertainment producer Allan Boss has been contemplating our cultural heritage and has some thoughts the committee may want to consider. (Listen.)

June 13:  Film Review
  • War, Inc. -- "The reviews are generally out on this film, and overall they're not great.  The majority of critics think the film is over the top and that it misses the mark.  It's not that I completely disagree, but I think many are a bit off with their harsh judgment.  War Inc. is a valid statement in this day and age...."  (Listen to full review.)
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