In the first episode of Hogtown Talks‘ new podcast on movies, we meet filmmaker Bronson Allen, a Toronto mensch and one of Barry’s best friends. Barry and Bronson talk about bonding over Goodfellas, Scarborough douchebags, and the problem with TIFF. They also talk about Cumberland Cinema (R.I.P.), Toronto’s most cinematic location, and Sarah Polley’s journey into Young Adult filmmaking.
John Semley is a freelance writer living in West Queen West. The former city editor of the A.V. Club Toronto, his writing has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, and The Walrus. John and Barry also share the same barber. John spoke with us about why he hates self-identifying as a writer, reading for pain and pleasure, and The Onion‘s failure in Hogtown. He also talked about the fine line between being an asshole and a contrarian, NOW Magazine’s knack for survival, and why you don’t have to leave Toronto to be successful.
Brittany Allen is an actress, singer, and entertainer. She’s starred in All My Children, and appeared in numerous films and TV shows. And she graduated from Barry’s favourite circus, the Etobicoke School of the Arts. Brittany spoke with us about growing up in Scarborough, acting as therapy, and how Mirvish Productions can break hearts. She also talked about winning an Emmy, the ordeal of auditions, and the joy of rediscovering her hometown.
Scott Worsley is the co-owner of The Film Buff, one of Toronto’s premiere movie stores, and gem on the Roncesvalles strip. When Barry heard that The Film Buff East at Queen and Greenwood was shutting down, he had to speak with Scott and pay tribute to an institution that had given so much joy to Hogtown cinephiles. Scott spoke with us about opening his small business all those years ago, curating Toronto’s best film collection, and the virtues of art house entertainment. He also talked about championing a more personal retail experience, whether Toronto deserves to call itself a movie town, and why we need a Toronto-Montreal film summit.
Hello Hogtonians. Nice to see ya.
I started Hogtown Talks, because  I like talking to cool people about cool shit,  I love listening to interviews, and, as I see it,  there are no good, uncensored, Toronto-centric podcasts. I’m filling a hole, people.
If you love Toronto and have the attention span for long form, I think you’ll like this podcast. I know this, because I am tragically obsessed with this city, and being able to chat with and learn from my amazing guests this past year has been unreal.
On deck: Chef Anthony Rose, ROM mammalogist Burton Lim, TCHC executive Sheila Penny, art historian Sara Angel, City of Toronto health inspector Owen Chong, writer and poet Michael Lista, and film critic Thom Ernst. Many more will be announced in the coming weeks.
I’m a lucky shmuck to have spoken with these people, and I thank them so much for their time and candour.
Other people worthy of praise: Shannon Jager for designing this site and making my inept ass look professional; Chris MacDonald for illustrating our perfect pig logo; Bronson Allen for directing a special soon-to-be-released video; Sam White for being my muscle; my little brother for letting me steal his mic; my parents for not putting me up for adoption.
Creating Hogtown Talks has been, as Woody would say, a “sincere sensation.” If one person outside of my friends, family, and GoDaddy enjoy this podcast, I’ll be thrilled.