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Tulipani: Love, Honour and a Bicycle’s love story travels countries and decades

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Tulipani: Love, Honour and a Bicycle, from Quebec-based writer Peter Van Wijk, released in theatres across Canada on Sept. 7. Photo courtesy A71 Entertainment Inc.

Tulipani: Love, Honour and a Bicycle opens with a focus on the Great Flood of 1953 and a Dutch farmer named Gauke (Gijs Naber), who loses everything in the wake of the flooding. From there, Gauke travels to Italy, settling on the outskirts of a small village in Puglia, where, against the odds, he starts what will become a flourishing tulip trade.

Though Gauke’s journey doesn’t exactly trace that of Quebec-based screenwriter Peter Van Wijk, elements of Tulipani are certainly autobiographical.

“My story is basically based on the fact that when I was living in Amsterdam and as long as I lived in Europe, I went to Italy as much as I could. I always hoped to meet a beautiful Italian woman,” Van Wijk said. “But I met a beautiful Québécois woman and I went to live here. But I couldn’t travel to Italy anymore, so I decided if I cannot travel there physically I will travel in my head. That’s where I started this story.”

While living in Holland, Van Wijk would frequently see tulips while outside, to the point of thinking that they were “the most boring flowers you could think of.” But after moving to Montreal, he realized he missed their presence, leading to their incorporation in the plot of Tulipani.

“At a certain point I needed work, and I worked at a tulip festival in Ottawa,” Van Wijk said. “When you immigrate, you start to appreciate things from where you came from and I started to like tulips again.”

Tulipani: Love, Honour and a Bicycle stars Ksenia Solo, Gijs Naber and Giancarlo Giannini. Photo courtesy A71 Entertainment.

Tulipani: Love, Honour and a Bicycle stars Ksenia Solo, Gijs Naber and Giancarlo Giannini. Photo courtesy A71 Entertainment.

Tulipani’s story traverses countries and decades, beginning in the Netherlands and Italy but shifting around 25 years later to follow Gauke’s daughter, Anna (Ksenia Solo), who promises her mother she will bring her back to Italy from Montreal.

“One of the things is that people in North America know what it is to immigrate from other countries, what it feels like. I think that’s a very important part (about the film),” Van Wijk said. “It’s also about love and betrayal. A lot of the basic (reasons) why a lot of people go to the cinema.”

Getting Tulipani completed was a lengthy process. Though Van Wijk wrote the script over a period of a year and a half, it took approximately 12 or 13 years to find the proper producer – though once he did, he was able to secure the direction of Oscar-winning filmmaker Mike Van Diem (Character).

“To me, the (finished film) is a crazy story, and you can laugh and you can cry,” Van Wijk said. “It’s cinema – I would say it’s cinema with a capital C.”

Tulipani: Love, Honour and a Bicycle is playing now in theatres across Canada. For more information, click here.

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Schitt’s Creek to conclude after next season

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The popular CBC sitcom Schitt’s Creek will conclude with its sixth and final season, star and co-creator Dan Levy announced in a statement today. Photo courtesy CBC.
The popular CBC sitcom Schitt’s Creek will conclude with its sixth and final season, star and co-creator Dan Levy announced in a statement today. Photo courtesy CBC.

The popular CBC sitcom Schitt’s Creek will end at the conclusion of its sixth season, series co-creator and star Dan Levy announced March 21.

“We are so grateful to have been given the time and creative freedom to tell this story in its totality, concluding with a final chapter that we had envisioned from the very beginning,” Levy said in a statement. “It’s not lost on us what a rare privilege it is in this industry to get to decide when your show should take its final bow.”

Schitt’s Creek premiered on CBC in 2015, becoming one of the network’s most successful half-hour comedies ever. The show follows the fish-out-of-water Rose family, forced to assimilate into a small town after they lose their family fortune.

Though the show’s first season received mixed reviews, it grew in regard with both fans and critics over subsequent iterations. Schitt’s Creek’s fifth season, which premiered on January 8, 2019, scored a 100 per cent “Fresh” ranking on the review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes.

The show is also among select company among Canadian sitcoms, drawing strong viewership in the United States and elsewhere thanks to distribution on Netflix and the American Pop network. Critics have reacted favourably to recent episodes, with TV Guide’s Megan Vick writing that each season of Schitt’s Creek has “gotten better and better.”

Read Levy’s full statement below.

New episodes of Schitt’s Creek air Tuesday nights at 9/9:30 NT on CBC.

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Watch the Oscar-nominated Canadian short “Animal Behaviour”

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The National Film Board of Canada is offering Canadians the opportunity to watch the Oscar-nominated Canadian short film "Animal Behaviour" until the end of today. Photo courtesy NFB
The National Film Board of Canada is offering Canadians the opportunity to watch the Oscar-nominated Canadian short film "Animal Behaviour" until the end of today. Photo courtesy NFB

To get prepped for the 91st Academy Awards, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is offering Canadians the chance to check out Animal Behaviour, nominated tonight in the Best Animated Short Film category.

Animal Behaviour is a new short from Alison Snowden and David Fine, who previously won an Oscar in 1994 for Bob’s Birthday. The short is the 75th Oscar nomination for the NFB, and the first short film for Snowden and Fine since Bob’s Birthday. The 91st Oscars air tonight at 8 Eastern on ABC and CTV.

Watch Animal Behaviour below (expires tonight).

Next up on The Mutt: Wynonna Earp future in doubt as Season 4 delayed

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Wynonna Earp future in doubt as Season 4 delayed

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Wynonna Earp Season 3 Episode 11/12 - "Daddy Lessons/War Paint". Photo courtesy Bell Media
Wynonna Earp Season 4 is in jeopardy, according to the The Hollywood Reporter, due to financial difficulties. Photo courtesy Space

All of a sudden, Wynonna Earp is in Purgatory.

Earpers were stunned Thursday night when executive producer and showrunner Emily Andras posted (and subsequently deleted) a tweet suggesting that fans of the show may soon have to fight for it. Another tweet, posted shortly later, took a decidedly more straight-forward approach.

Andras appeared to be responding to the news that funding for the fourth season of Wynonna Earp appeared to be on shaky ground, according to a report from The Hollywood Reporter. According to THR, financial challenges faced by IDW Entertainment have stalled production on Season 4, despite the company being contractually obligated to deliver the show to Syfy.

In response to the news, Earpers took to Twitter with the hashtag #FightForWynonna, which at the time of publication was one of the top Twitter trends in Canada. Though Season 4 has yet to be officially cancelled, IDW has yet to commit to a start date for the new season.

“IDW is committed to continuing to tell the Wynonna Earp story,” the company said in a statement posted to Twitter. “Much like the fans, we are passionate about not only the series, but the comics, the characters and the overall message that the Wynonna Earp franchise carries. We are in the process of working out the details for how the Wynonna story will continue and will share new details very soon.”

Our resident Earper, Ghezal Amiri, was a big fan of Season 3, writing that the show’s season finale, entitled “War Paint”, was a “wildly emotional conclusion.” Read her recap here.

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