31 Days of Horror: The Devil-Doll

The Devil Doll (1936) is one of Tod Browning's (Dracula, Freaks) lesser known movies. It's a twisted little film that at times has to be seen to be believed.

Set in France - Lionel Barrymore is a banker who was wrongly convicted of robbing his own bank and killing a security guard. After seventeen years on Devil's Island - he escapes with a scientist (Henry B. Walthall). Walthall had invented a shrinking ray which he had planned to use to help the world's growing shortage of resources. Barrymore has other plans. Walthall dies and his widow Rafaela Ottiano agrees to help Barrymore with his revenge.

Disguised as an old woman Barrymore opens up a shop that sells dolls. Some of these dolls happen to be people that Barrymore and Ottiano have shrunk that respond to Barrymore's will. And these dolls are sold to Barrymore's enemies - the ones who framed him.

I have always found Browning's movies to be a bit static. They lack the beautiful cinematography of Karl Freund's work or even the unique style of director Rouben Mamoulian (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde). Other directors of the same era like Lewis Milestone,Michael Curtiz,John Ford and Cecil B. DeMille all seemed to be able to create "motion" pictures while Browning's films all seem to be very set bound. But Browning's off-beat plots make up for it and this film is as off-beat as you can get. There's nothing like some good old fashioned cross-dressing, the miniaturization of people and of course some good old fashioned murder.

Candidate Profiles: Who's Running for Council?

Yesterday, we ran through the candidates for the mayor's office. Today, we're looking at the 22 people who've stepped forward to run for spots on city council.

Curious to know who's guiltily reading a Dan Brown novel or how many candidates say they are reading a book by Barack Obama? Wondering how many Captain Kirks we could wind up with on council? (Which leads one to wonder if council can handle that much Shatner?) The answers to these questions and many more are below....

Ward 1
ANDY ASHERBRANNER says he's running for council because he's tired of the people we elect not listening to the people who elect them. Read Andy's complete profile.
LOUIS BROWNE says he's running for re-election to council because he feels indebted to Regina and Ward 1 for all they have given him. Read Louis' complete profile.
SHAWN KUSTER says he's running for council because it's an opportunity to be involved with and serve his community. Read Shawn's complete profile.

Ward 2
JOCELYN HUTCHINSON, who is running for re-election in Ward2, was unfortunately not able to respond to our candidate questionnaire just yet. When she does, we'll be sure to post it to the blog.
HEATHER MCINTYRE says she is running for council because she believes she wants to ensure Regina's growth is managed responsibly. Read Heather's complete profile.

Ward 3
FRED CLIPSHAM says he is running for re-election to council because he wants to follow through on the plans set in motion by the current council. Read Fred's complete profile.
JOHN CONWAY says he is running for council because the current council is dominated by business interests and he want to force significant policy debate. Read John's complete profile.
SHIRLEY DIXON says she is running for council because she wants to move issues forward that are important to Regina's citizens. Read Shirley's complete profile.
DON YOUNG says he is running for council because he can make competent, conscientious decisions which will make a beneficial contribution to the city. Read Don's complete profile.

Ward 4
MICHAEL FOUGERE is the winner by acclamation in Ward 4. This will be his fifth term on council. Read Michael's complete profile.

Ward 5
JOHN FINDURA says he is running for council because he knows the issues that are important to Reginans and he wants to ensure they are raised. Read John's complete profile.
BILL GRAY says he is running for re-election because he believes in Regina's future there are decisions that should be made based on fairness and experience. Read Bill's complete profile.

Ward 6
BRENDA MERCER says she is running for council because she is committed to affordable housing, safer neighbourhoods and stronger communities. Read Brenda's complete profile.
WADE MURRAY says he is running for re-election in Ward 6 because he wants to ensure taxes are carefully and prudently invested in the community. Read Wade's complete profile.

Ward 7
DANNY BEREHULA says he is running for council because he believes Ward 7 has not received its fair share of infrastructure and services. Read Danny's complete profile.
SHARRON BRYCE says she is running for re-election because she listens to the issues residents bring forward and sees that those issues are resolved. Read Sharron's complete profile.

Ward 8
MICHAEL O'DONNELL says he is running for re-election because he wants to see recommendations made in the many reviews the city has undertaken are implemented in a reasonable and realistic manner. Read Michael's complete profile.
DONNA STANDINGREADY says she is running for council because she believes there is a disconnect between the city and its residents and she wants to engage people in decision making. Read Donna's complete profile.

Ward 9
TERRY HINCKS hasn't had a chance to respond to our questionnaire yet.

Ward 10
MICHAEL CASSANO says he is running for council because he wants to ensure people are kept in the loop and have their input included into the city's strategies for growth. Read Michael's complete profile.
JERRY FLEGEL says he is running for re-election because he is passionate about representing the interests of Ward 10 and finds it exhilarating to help citizens resolve the concerns they bring forward. Read Jerry's complete profile.
CHRIS SZARKA has been sent a few messages but still hasn't gotten back to us.

Pick of the Day: Mind the Gap!

We've all heard the jokes I'm sure. My favourite is "the only culture in Saskatchewan is agriculture". Like any stereotype, I suppose, there's a grain (pun intended) of truth in the characterization of our province as a cultural wasteland. Lord knows, we struggle constantly at prairie dog to champion worthwhile cultural endeavours in Regina that reflect a true 21st century urban vibe rather than just pander to heavily romanticized notions of life in Saskatchewan. And believe me, it's not always easy. Just check our Facebook page. We have more "friends" outside Regina than we do here.

Maybe it's our fault. Maybe we need to do a better job of networking in the city. Or maybe Reginans need to think seriously about what it means to be a modern, cosmopolitan, sustainable city.

Regardless, Saskatchewan is not devoid of cultural excellence. In this ambitious show, Dunlop Art Gallery curators Amanda Cachia and Jeff Nye have assembled work by 30 emerging artists from 14 different cities and towns to counter the widely held perception of our province as a gap in Canada's cultural fabric where nothing much happens. It's common slang, by the way, in places like Alberta and Manitoba, to call people from Saskatchewan "gappers".

There was an opening reception for Mind the Gap! last night. This afternoon at 2 p.m. at the Central Gallery Wally Dion, Randal Fedje, Erin Gee and Tim Moore will speak on their work. Then on Nov. 14 at 2 p.m. at the Sherwood Village Gallery Kyle Herranen, Rob Jerome and Stacia Verigin will present talks on their art.

Pictured above is a print by Amalie Atkins called Dress and Apple on a Tree (2008) that is in the show. Mind the Gap! runs at both galleries until Jan. 3.