The Hand­maid’s Tale se­quel on way

Mar­garet At­wood talks about her mo­ti­va­tion and the need for ac­tivism in sup­port of women


Alessia Cara shares Grow­ing Pains in song

NEW YORK—One day Alessia Cara got a re­quest from a friend: write a song about my breakup.

“He was like, ‘Lis­ten, I’m not a song­writer, I’m not good at writ­ing. Could you maybe one day … write a song about some­body fall­ing out of love with you?’ ”

The con­cept had been in the back of Cara’s mind and she took a stab at her friend’s wish at the stu­dio. In 10 min­utes, she birthed “Out of Love,” an airy, slow and per­son­ally deep song.

“I played it for my friend and he got very emo­tional and he was like, ‘Thank you!’ And he ac­tu­ally got back to­gether with the girl af­ter that song. It’s a magic song.”

Cara said it was the first song she’s writ­ten from some­one else’s per­spec­tive. But she said it was easy to pull from her own ex­pe­ri­ences — and pain — to re­late.

You’ll be able to hear about that on her new al­bum, from her own breakup to learn­ing how to be alone to — sim­ply Alessia Cara had “a lot of dif­fer­ent feel­ings … a lot of which had to do with some sort of pain.” She opens up in her new al­bum Grow­ing Pains. VAN­COU­VER—Shel­ley Thomp­son, known for play­ing Bar­bara La­hey in the Cana­dian com­edy se­ries Trailer Park Boys, plans to shoot her de­but fea­ture film af­ter win­ning an award from Women In the Di­rec­tor’s Chair.

On Fri­day, the men­tor­ship pro­gram an­nounced the ac­tress put — grow­ing up.

“I was 18 when I first started in the in­dus­try; it’s hard enough to fig­ure your­self out at that age, but then to fig­ure your­self out in front of many peo­ple with so many eyes on you and ears on you is very chal­leng­ing,” the 22-year-old said. “That was caus­ing a lot of strange dis­so­nance.” and short film­maker has won its 2018 WIDC Fea­ture Film Award, which is de­signed to en­cour­age more fea­ture films di­rected by women.

The prize, pre­sented at the Whistler Film Fes­ti­val, comes with sup­port for the film’s pro­duc­tion and post-pro­duc­tion val­ued at up to $200,000.

WIDC says Thomp­son will use the award to make the drama Dawn, Her Dad & the Trac­tor, about a young trans­gen­der woman who re­con­nects with her es­tranged fa­ther on the fam­ily farm af­ter LOS AN­GE­LES—It was the news that book lovers had been an­tic­i­pat­ing for a very long time: the mother’s death.

Terry Green­law of Pic­ture Plant will pro­duce the film, which will be set and shot in Nova Sco­tia.

Thomp­son, who is based in Dart­mouth, N.S., says the story is “an ex­tremely per­sonal one” to her and her fam­ily.

“As the par­ent of a young trans man, I’ve learned so much about the chal­lenges trans peo­ple face as they strug­gle for ac­cep­tance and in­clu­sion, es­pe­cially in a po­lit­i­cal cli­mate that can seek to de­value or erase them,” the Gemini Award win­ner said in Mar­garet At­wood is writ­ing a se­quel to The Hand­maid’s Tale.

Ex­pected in September 2019, The Tes­ta­ments is set 15 years af­ter the pro­tag­o­nist’s fi­nal scene in the orig­i­nal book and is nar­rated by three fe­male char­ac­ters.

An in­formed ex­pert on dystopian, pa­tri­ar­chal so­ci­eties, a state­ment.

“With the in­cred­i­ble sup­port of the WIDC and the award spon­sors, my hope is that this story will en­cour­age what I’ve been privy to in my fam­ily: the com­ing to­gether of fam­ily and com­mu­nity to value, ad­vo­cate for and cel­e­brate trans in­di­vid­u­als as they jour­ney to their most au­then­tic selves.”

Thomp­son has a slew of act­ing cred­its, in­clud­ing the 2017 film The Child Re­mains and the 1990s TV se­ries Mike & An­gelo, and has di­rected three shorts. the pro­lific Cana­dian author of Alias Grace and the Mad­dAd­dam tril­ogy will be hon­oured on Mon­day by lead­ing women’s rights or­ga­ni­za­tion Equal­ity Now. At­wood, 79, talks about the se­quel and writ­ing work that in­spires read­ers to take ac­tion. The in­ter­view has been con­densed.

Congratulations on be­ing hon­oured by Equal­ity Now.

Yes, I’m be­ing hon­oured but re­ally, I’m help­ing them to raise money. They fight for women’s rights and that’s the kind of fem­i­nist I am. They’re based on the Univer­sal Dec­la­ra­tion of Hu­man Rights, which ev­ery­one should go back and read be­cause they’ve for­got­ten about it. They are real ac­tivists, that’s what they do every day. I’m not a real ac­tivist. The dif­fer­ence be­tween them and me is that I’m just a per­son who doesn’t have a job, so peo­ple like me have the priv­i­lege of get­ting to mouth off be­cause no­body can fire them.

The Hand­maid’s Tale has en­joyed a resur­gence in pop­u­lar­ity. Why write a se­quel?

That’s easy to an­swer. No. 1, it’s fun. But that’s a very friv­o­lous an­swer. No. 2, I’ve been asked these ques­tions by read­ers for 35 years. “Oh, come on, Mar­garet!”

So it’s time to ad­dress some of the re­quests. It’s not a con­tin­u­a­tion that starts five min­utes af­ter the book ends and then I tell you what hap­pens next. It takes place 15 years af­ter the book ends. I’ve had the idea over the past five years or so. I’m al­most fin­ished with it.

You said it’s in­spired by “the world we’ve been liv­ing in.” What did you mean?

The news has be­come so much more ex­treme. What about these peo­ple in Ohio that are say­ing moth­er­hood should be manda­tory? They haven’t done it yet, they’re talk­ing about it. But when peo­ple talk about things like that, be­ing the age I am, I’m re­mem­ber­ing that Hitler said it all in Mein Kampf and then he did it. If they had the power, they would do it. These ideas have been tried be­fore. What I’m fix­ated on now, of course, like all Cana­di­ans, is we’ve got our faces jammed up against the plate-glass win­dow, look­ing into your coun­try.

Trailer Park Boys ac­tress to di­rect her first fea­ture film


Author Mar­garet At­wood will be hon­oured on Mon­day by lead­ing women’s rights or­ga­ni­za­tion Equal­ity Now. Shel­ley Thomp­son, who played Bar­bara La­hey in Trailer Park Boys, will shoot her de­but fea­ture with award money from Women In the Di­rec­tor’s Chair.


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