Rogue warrior gets new lease on life
YThe Winnipeg Public Library is hosting a celebration of free expression that will get you thinking about some of the many ways people have struggled to speak freely or been deprived of the ability to express themselves. Writers, scholars and filmmakers will look at the subject from a variety of perspectives starting at 2 p.m. March 1 at the Millennium Library. The afternoon’s talks include Meira Cook, this year’s WPL writer-in-residence, on the Soweto Rebellion against apartheid, and comedian Al Rae on the right to crack a joke. Also on tap is a marathon of volunteers to read from works that have been challenged or banned. To volunteer for a place in the reading lineup, call the library at 204-986-6779. Winnipeg poet (and monthly Free Press poetry columnist) Jonathan Ball hopes his new book on an independent Winnipeg film from 1985 helps focus some attention on a work he considers an awe-inspiring but almost unseen landmark in Canada’s film history. Ball discovered the John Paizs film Crime Wave in the early 2000s when he borrowed a VHS copy from the Winnipeg Film Group. He was blown away by what he calls a faster, funnier and more experimental precursor to the big-budget, mainstream postmodernism of later films such as Charlie Kaufman’s Adaptation. In Crime Wave, Paizs plays a blocked screenwriter who can write beginnings and endings but not the stuff in between. The film parodies the style of earlier 1940s and ’50s B movies, educational films and sitcoms. Ball launches John Paizs’s Crime Wave Feb. 28 at Cinematheque, which will offer a rare free screening of Paizs’s film. OU can’t keep a good rogue warrior down. Jen Blaylock, the ex-special forces avenger in three novels by University of Manitoba English prof and thriller writer David Annandale, is getting a new lease on life in recently released ebook editions by Annandale’s publisher, Ravenstone, an imprint of Winnipeg’s Turnstone Press. Blaylock battles American corporate evildoers and the CIA in Annandale’s novels Crown Fire, Kornukopia and The Valedictorians, which have just been digitized, along with A Criminal to Remember, by the late Michael van Rooy. “It’s a chance to introduce Jen Blaylock to a new audience,” says Annandale. “I am very fond of the character.” A Canadian botanist, author and selfdescribed “rogue scientist” uses ideas she learned in the world’s forests and from her Irish grandparents to advise readers on living a healthier, happier and simpler life. Diana Beresford-Kroeger, whose previous book, The Global Forest, was an international bestseller, will meet Winnipeg audiences and talk about the ideas in her new book, The Sweetness of a Simpler Life. The new book combines science and storytelling with ideas on food, staying healthy and living simply. She speaks at McNally Robinson Booksellers Feb. 24 starting at 7 p.m. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Michael Moss will be in Winnipeg as part of the Growing Local Conference to discuss his book Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us. Moss will be appearing Thursday, Feb. 27 at 7:30 p.m. at the Masonic Centre at 420 Corydon Ave. The event is being co-presented by the Winnipeg Foundation and Food Matters Manitoba. Tickets are $30, or $15 for conference attendees — visit the Winnipeg Foundation’s website to purchase tickets.