Memoirs that look behind the music

Categories: Books, Celebrities

This year a slew of musical stars put down their guitars and picked up a pen, among them Neil Young, who wrote the idiosyncratic Waging Heavy Peace and Pete Townshend, who bares all in Who I Am. Some rockers trusted someone else to do it -- the definitive Mick Jagger bio comes from Philip Norman and there is more on Joni Mitchell from Katherine Monk. CBC's Laura Thompson looks at the top memoirs of the year.

5 key developments in books in 2012

Categories: Books

All those e-readers Canadians bought appear to have had a major impact on the publishing industry. Excitement over e-books seemed to help drive the hunger for so-called "Mommy porn," but hoped-for blockbusters, like J.K. Rowling's first adult novel, didn't have the same impact. Meanwhile, the anxiety about e-books emerged again as the industry endured major changes. Susan Noakes looks at a few key developments from the book world this past year.

Top movies of 2012

Categories: Movies

From time travellers to pre-teen love, when it comes time to look back on the year in movies, our reviewer Eli Glasner had trouble keeping the list to just 10. Here's a ranking of the best that cinema had to offer, from the provocative to guilty pleasures.

5 films to watch before the world ends

Categories: Movies

Even if you believe the Mayan calendar predicts the end of the world on Friday, you still have time to squeeze in a movie marathon to end all movie marathons. If you are planning to witness the end from the comfort of your home -- or from the safety of your bunker, as the case may be -- here are five movies to rock your world, courtesy of CBC arts reporter and film critic Eli Glasner.

Hidden cinematic gems of 2012

Categories: Movies

From a rebooted Bond to naughty teddy bears to Batman taking his final bow, it's been a year of the fast, the filthy and the familiar at the movies. As we pause to catch our breath during the holiday season, however, it's a great time to discover some hidden gems of 2012. Eli Glasner shares his picks.

5 top viral videos of 2012

Categories: Social Media

It was the year of Kony 2012 and Gangnam Style, of the cinnamon challenge and Lil Bub. There were bursts of sheer exuberance, such as actor Isaac Lumb's lip-dub proposal and small slices of life such as the crying toddler who could take no more election talk. Susan Noakes picks out five videos with impact from 2012.

FILM REVIEW: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Categories: Movies

A new High Frame Rate technology that looks like harsh, unforgiving video is just the start of the problems with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Director Peter Jackson appears to be so devoted to J.R.R. Tolkien's original, he's forgotten he needs to tell a story rather than just fit all those dwarfs on the screen. Bilbo, who should be the centre of the action, is an enigma until he finally meets Gollum, far along in the epic-sized adventure.

Artists, human rights and an evening for Amnesty

There is something about artists advocating for human rights that just rings true. Often artists are the first victims of political systems that erode human rights, as in Nazi Germany and the former Soviet Union. So when Amnesty International held an event, hosted by CBC's Deana Sumanac, to celebrate International Human Rights Day, Canadian artists stepped up.

Getting hands on with TSO's interactive symphony app

Categories: Live Performance, Music, Social Media

Remixing a symphony for the TSO to perform? There's an app for that (sort of). Innovative composer Tod Machover is creating a brand new classical composition inspired by Toronto that incorporates actual sounds from the city and submissions by its residents.

Jem Cohen's We Have an Anchor

Categories: Live Performance, Movies

Jem Cohen doesn't call We Have an Anchor a film, but it's certainly an intriguing cinematic experience. A multi-screen film project accompanied by a live rock band, Anchor is an epic tone poem -- an ode to Cape Breton and Nova Scotia by an American filmmaker who fell in love with the place. Eli Glasner gets swept away.