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Highlights from Week One of the New York Film Festival



This year’s New York Film Festival (which begins Thursday and runs through October 11th) is taking place by way of online screenings and drive-in presentations. The 2020 festival calendar has been thrown into disarray because of the pandemic—and because of ongoing closings of movie theatres and doubt over whether theatrical releases will be commercially viable when theatres reopen. (Films that earn acclaim at the N.Y.F.F. often open in theatres soon after; this year, with most films, it’s unclear when or how they’ll be available after the festival ends.) The social side of the festival is, of course, absent; in a normal year, its public screenings and press screenings alike are meeting places, like an annual cinephiles’ convention. The festival’s very festivity is among the double-edged swords of cinematic experience: although at times an enormous celebration is whipped up around an artistic nonentity (it happens every year), there’s also at times the joyful yet solemn sense of grand occasion when a new masterwork is unveiled—an occasion that renders the social side double-edged, too, when, greeting friends long-unseen, there’s still a great impatience to get out into the night and walk alone to exult in the experience of the film, to keep it under pressure, to let it take root and grow. This year’s festival, which will be watched mainly at home, will be different—though the differences will be distinct and unforeseeable for each film. (I’ll be doing a short roundup for each of the festival’s three weeks.)

Two of the festival’s main offerings work intricately with time and do so to greater emotional effect, worldly insight, and artistic imagination than anything I’ve seen by Christopher Nolan. (I haven’t seen “Tenet”—theatres aren’t open in New York, and I wouldn’t be inclined to go to one yet.) One of these highlights is simply called “Time”; it’s a documentary, by Garrett Bradley, about a couple, Sibil Fox Richardson and Robert Richardson, who, in 1997, when the clothing store they owned, in Shreveport, Louisiana, was in danger of closing, took part in a bank robbery. She was imprisoned for three and a half years; he was sentenced to sixty years without parole. The Richardsons are Black, and Sibil took clear and furious note of the cruelly excessive sentence that Robert received—and of the racist basis for it. After her release, she devoted herself to raising their six sons, to restarting her professional life (she became a successful auto dealer), and to working for the release of Robert—all the while video-recording her family life as if preserving it for Robert to experience should he get home. Bradley and her crew draw on this footage and are present to record later stages of Sibil’s efforts, as Robert was coming up on twenty years in prison. “Time” goes into the intricacies of the family’s bureaucratically nightmarish and financially ruinous confrontation with the judicial system, of the normalized horrors of incarceration and the destruction of family life that it entails, and of Sibil’s activism on behalf of the abolition of a system that she—and not she alone—calls a new form of slavery. It also details Sibil’s devoted work of atonement, her unsparing candor about the crime that wrenched the family apart, and her exertions to restore and sustain the family in Robert’s absence—and the love that sustains the couple despite his absence. In the process, the movie opens vast political vistas on the deep-rooted and unchallenged forms of white supremacy at work throughout American society (whether involving legal or economic inequality) and displays the enormous depths of emotional strength, the daily heroism, that endurance demands. The movie, in black-and-white, blends its mournful tones and its dramatic energies with a romantic ardor and a historic grandeur.

The black-and-white movie “Time” blends its mournful tones and its dramatic energies with a romantic ardor and a historic grandeur.Photograph courtesy Amazon Studios

The prolific young Argentinian director Matías Piñeiro is Shakespeare-obsessed, which is to say that he’s also performance-obsessed and theatre-obsessed, and his new film, “Isabella”—centered on a planned production of “Measure for Measure”—leapfrogs through time, and through performances and productions, with a whimsically graceful yet intimately passionate cinematic imagination. Mariel (María Villar), a thirty-eight-year-old actress in Buenos Aires who’s seven months pregnant, auditions for the lead role of Isabella in a production of the play. It’s a strange audition, for which she needs to deliver a personal monologue, which she builds around an incident that had occurred a while ago, in Córdoba, with her brother (Pablo Sigal), and his so-called lover (Agustina Muñoz), an actress who’s also auditioning for the role. Meanwhile, Mariel has written a play that’s about to be staged—a personal one, endowed with ingenious stagecraft (its striking imagery figures in the movie throughout), centered on the problem of doubt and action, and regarding which she herself faces an ongoing doubt, as to whether she’ll act in it or ever act again. Shattering Shakespeare into shards of personal experience, rhythmically repeating sequences and actions in a sort of cinematic music, and catching actors in highly inflected and extended closeups, Piñeiro fuses performance and daily life into a quietly mighty architecture of psychological complexity. Working with an extraordinary cast of many regulars in his films, he sustains a tensely balanced tone that, as in films by Éric Rohmer, reveals the piercingly intimate and passionate element of intellectual pursuits.

The festival includes eight programs of short films; the eighth of those programs, “New York Stories,” features “Object Lessons, or: What Happened Whitsunday,” Ricky D’Ambrose’s historically resonant work of documentary drama—drama rooted in fictitious documents. It’s the story of a young woman who is murdered at a nature preserve in New Paltz, New York—on a site that was about to become an art complex showing the holdings of one late collector. The killing became politicized, through the actions and claims of a right-wing anti-immigration activist planning to run for office. (The story is loosely based on the killing of Kathryn Steinle, in 2015, and its place in Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.) D’Ambrose tells the story with documents made for the film—faux newspaper articles, a death certificate, maps, and architectural plans, as well as film footage of the rustic site and other relevant venues. With its allusions to rallies, Internet harassment, and the abuse of religious occasions, it’s a clear and subtly furious unfolding of the prime political pathology of the times.

“Object Lessons, or: What Happened Whitsunday” is a historically resonant work of documentary drama—drama rooted in fictitious documents.Photograph courtesy Ricky D’Ambrose

Restorations and revivals are also a major part of the festival, and one of the best is in the first week. Joyce Chopra’s 1985 drama “Smooth Talk,” based on a story by Joyce Carol Oates, stars a teen-age Laura Dern as Connie, who lives with her parents (Mary Kay Place and Levon Helm) and older sister (Elizabeth Berridge) in a rustic home in Northern California, far from town. Connie, who’s in the summer between her freshman and sophomore years of high school, is sneaking around with her friends, claiming to be going to movies when they’re actually trying to meet boys (and she’s trying a little harder). Tensions with her family are rising over their efforts to control her actions and supervise her time; her encounters with young men grow increasingly tense and risky, and reach a crisis when she’s stalked and pursued to her home by a man (Treat Williams) whose smooth talk she rightly perceives as a threat of violence. Chopra strikes an astoundingly tactile, intimate vision of Connie’s terror together with the burdens of self-doubt and silence that she endures—and that predators foster. The film’s power is enormous throughout; spare means (long-held closeups, a four-minute take of sisterly confessions) evoke a drama that seems to have been filmed holding its breath.


What Makes a Good Online Casino?




A quick search for an online casino will reveal hundreds of results. However, these casinos are not created equally. Some are better than others in many ways. That’s why you cannot settle for the first option that catches your eye. You need to do thorough research to ensure you settle for a casino that will give you a better experience – and some good money in the process.

So, what makes a good online casino?

The truth is that there are many reputable casinos online – and new ones keep popping up with each passing day. But the few bad ones spoil the name for the others. These casinos scam people. They are eager to make deposits but not keen to give players their money back, pay their affiliates, or even stick to their terms and conditions. These casinos – scam or rogue casinos – are exactly the types you want to avoid.

Unfortunately, most of these rogue casinos disguise as good ones. You might have a hard time telling them apart, especially if you are just getting started. To help you make an informed decision, here are some qualities that make a good online casino.

It does not feature in the blacklist

One of the easiest ways to tell a good casino from the bad ones is by looking at different online casino blacklists. Different reputable platforms always release yearly blacklists to protect casino players from gambling scams online. They put bad casinos on a list for everyone to see and ensure no one signs up to any of those casinos in the future. Since these sites differ, chances are you won’t find the same casinos on every blacklist. But the fact that a casino makes the list means they have one or more of these problems:

  • Change terms
  • Predatory terms
  • Slow pay
  • Unfair games
  • Nonpayment
  • Marketing spam
  • Licensing and regulation

Choice of games

As a player, you’ll appreciate the choice of picking whichever game pleases you. That’s why you need a casino that offers more games. Browse around to find the casino games that the provider offers to see if it’s a good fit.

It’s fair, secure, and serious

As you may have noticed from above, many casinos end up on the blacklist for many reasons, including unfairness and security issues. Good online casinos use random number generator that determines the chances of winning. On top of that, they work with third parties to check the fairness of games. What’s more, these casinos display various certificates on their platforms, giving you further assurance that things are conducted fairly.

Has good customer service

You can tell a good casino by how their customer support team treats you when you send a request or inquire about something. They will be willing and happy to serve you. they will also have adequate knowledge to address your concerns and be available 24/7.

Accept your payment methods

A good casino accepts a wide range of payment options, ranging from online payment options to instant bank transfers and even credit card solutions. This allows you to use your preferred payment method and not feel locked out. Stay away from sites that provide limited payment options. Some of them fail to get approved by payment platforms, which by itself is a red flag.

Has a bonus offer

It’s easy to assume bonus offers and other incentives, especially if you are new to the game. However, you should work with a casino that provides a consistent bonus offer and not just a good welcome offer. You’ll need these bonuses even as an existing client. Moreover, the site should provide promotions without deposit, reload offers, and many free spins. Don’t feel limited. Many casino sites offer these bonuses, and if the one in question doesn’t, you might as well keep looking.

Free games and easy registration

As a newbie, the last thing you want is to sign up with a casino that doesn’t provide free games. You need to practice without having to deposit money or fear that you’ll lose money. Free games allow you to practice and be good before playing real money. Additionally, the casino should have a simple registration and easy account opening process. If it’s too complicated, then maybe it’s not the right casino for you.

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How Las Vegas became the world’s casino capital





These days, it’s impossible to think of Las Vegas without the image of the lights on the strip and glamorous casinos coming to mind. But the Vegas we know of 2020 wasn’t always that way; and it took a long, long time to get its reputation for being the world’s casino capital. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and get to the root of how Las Vegas became the city that never sleeps.

A historical journey

It’s hard to believe these days, but the Las Vegas region was once an abundant marshland stock full of rich vegetation. That is, until the marsh receded, and the waters disappeared, transforming the landscape into a desert, with the trapped water underground sprouting life and forming an oasis.

It was during the 19th century that the explorer Antonio Armijo from Mexico foraged the way from New Mexico to California on the first commercial caravan. It was a member of the group, Rafael Rivera who rode west to find water and venture through the desert, setting his eyes upon Las Vegas Springs. Las Vegas was therefore named ‘the meadows’ after the grasses found growing there.

Years went on and both Mormon and Mexican settlers began to filter through. In 1890 it was decided by railroad developers that Las Vegas would serve as a spot along the San Pedro, Salt Lake City and Los Angeles railroad route as well as connecting to major cities along the Pacific Coast. From there on, Vegas boomed with stores, boarding houses and saloons popping up around the area. This was the beginning of the Las Vegas as we know it — with railroad workers and ranchers enjoying the gambling and drinking through illegal speakeasies and bootleg casinos operating despite the ban on gambling in Nevada in 1910.

In 1931 gambling once again became legal in the state, with new casinos and showgirl venues opening up along Fremont Street to entertain the thousands of workers who flocked the city during the construction of the Hoover Dam. The first hotel, El Rancho Vegas, opened up in 1941 along Highway 91. Its success inspired others to open up their own hotels along the highway which would one day become the strip. Tourists began to flock to the city over the next few decades to enjoy the casino scene and see incredible artists like Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra perform.

The birth of the mega resort

It was in 1966 the businessman Howard Hughes purchased the Desert Inn hotel; this was followed by over a dozen more hotel purchases, pushing out the mobster-owned hotels that had previously dominated Las Vegas. The concept of the mega hotel came about in 1989 when Steve Wynn opened the Mirage as the first hotel resort in the city. By 1994, Las Vegas was the home of more than 86,000 hotel and motel rooms with 13 of the 20 largest mega resort hotels in the world. It was during this era that the Strip became populated with more hotels and casinos, with developments inspired by the iconic cities and countries of the globe including Egypt, Paris, New York and Rome.

Las Vegas in the 21st century

The Las Vegas of today is well and truly established as a home for entertainment and casinos — which remain the biggest source of income for the city. However, there’s no doubt that Vegas faces more competition than ever before from the virtual world, with more people than ever before opting to play at an online casino, rather than play in the old fashioned way, but Vegas will always have the advantage. For many, it’s a once in a lifetime trip that an online casino can’t replicate, but do the online equivalents help to increase interest in Vegas?

The bright lights of Vegas is attracting billions of dollars in investment as many try and get a slice of the revenue that the sector has to offer. During 2019 over 42.52 million people came to visit Las Vegas from all around the world. Domestically, it was shown to be the second most popular destination for U.S. traveller’s dream spots after New York.

These days, Las Vegas continues to thrive and be a source of entertainment for millions of visitors from around the world looking to experience what the city has to offer. With new generations becoming interested in casino games — and some incredible musical residencies continuing to be announced — Las Vegas surely will continue to be one best places to go for a unforgettable dream destination for many.

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Land-Based Casinos




What can people find at some of the biggest land-based casinos in Canada? From Niagara Falls to Toronto, there is something for everyone at casinos in Canada, including table games, slots, roulette, blackjack, and other games. There are also many poker and blackjack tournaments held throughout the year and it is easy to find jackpots or slots with free spins at the casinos. Many casinos also have hotels, bars, and numerous restaurants which are perfect for players seeking some comfort. A relaxing casino experience for all ages can be found in many different places in Canada. Choose one from below.

Choosing a casino depends on your tastes and location within Canada. Do you want to experience the grandeur and splendour of nature while placing a bet? Then head to Niagara Falls. Do you want to see a show? Choose a casino with a show that will be perfect for you. If you are looking for pure relaxation, then check out some of the casinos with spas and world-class dining. Entertainment is also a large part of the casino experience in Canada. Musicians, bands, comedians, and other types of entertainment continue to be found at all of the biggest casinos.

Some Big Casinos Near Nature

Casino Niagara is located in one of the most beautiful places in Canada and the world. People from all around the globe come to experience the best of both worlds at Casino Niagara. Players have access to beauty and scenery while spending time at one of the biggest casinos in Canada. The casino has two floors with over 1200 slot machines, poker, and other table games. There are also many different restaurants and even a comedy club. The sports bar and casino was refurbished back in 2017, meaning that it has not lost any of its charm and shine.

ST Eugene Golf Resort: Casino of the Rockies is a golf and nature lovers’ paradise. The location could not be any more splendid. People can find the casino between the Rockies and Purcell Mountains. Furthermore, the casino has an interesting history after it was converted from an Indian Residential School. It was then opened in the early 2000s. St Eugene has table games, electronic roulette, baccarat, and blackjack. There is also a golf course, restaurant, bar, spa, and hotel that is highly rated in Canada. Overall games are limited so most people come for golfing and betting fun.

Caesars Windsor is famously located on the riverbank in Windsor, Ontario. Visitors from both Canada and the States frequent the casino and hotel. Players can see the Detroit and Michigan skyline from the area. There are two floors of slots, table games, and plenty of poker tables. Blackjack, baccarat, and roulette are also available at the casino. It has beautiful restaurants, a gym, bars, slots, and live sports. Check out the Titan 360™, a 10-foot tall slot machine with 5800 pounds of wins at the click of a button. It’s the largest slot machine in the world and great fun.

  • Enjoy the size of Casino de Montreal and Hard Rock Casino
  • Enjoy the big and beautiful Casino Niagara or ST Eugene Golf Resort
  • Enjoy High Culture at Elements Casino Brantford

River Rock Casino Resort – In Transit

Are you passing through Vancouver Airport and have a long transit? Hire a cab and spend some time enjoying slot machines at River Rock Casino Resort. There are slots galore and the different themes make it an enjoyable visit for all. There is even a Dungeons and Dragons slot for gamers. A fourteen-table game room can be found at the casino and international poker tournaments are held regularly. Other features include a VIP area, spa, live music, 24-hour food and drink, as well as other entertainment. Richmond is also worth a quick visit, especially for some delicious seafood.

Casino de Montreal – The Big Gun

Casino de Montreal is 526,488 square feet of casino excitement. The casino has around 20 thousand visitors each day and is one of the biggest casinos on the globe. If you are still unconvinced about the size of the place, then imagine five floors of slots and table games. 3,000 machines and 111 table games make the casino seem even more mammoth. Casino de Montreal games can be played in a smoke-free environment and many players comment on the user-friendly games and helpful staff. Complimentary drinks and top-rated gourmet food is all part of the experience at Casino de Montreal.

Hard Rock Casino – Another Big One

Hard Rock Casino is another large casino located in Vancouver, British Columbia. The casino is over 80,000 square feet, making it a big one in Canada. Hard Rock has gaming tables, slots, baccarat and a poker room. The casino includes 70 casino tables and 1,000 slots. Private rooms and high roller areas are also available. However, the Hard Rock name is known for excellent food and this is what people love about this casino. Many players comment on the quality of the food here. It even has a 1,000 seat theatre, making it great for dining and a show.

Elements Casino Brantford – Enjoy High Culture

Elements Casino Brantford is a historical gem for culture in Ontario. It is a charity casino that was established last century. It includes the Sanderson Centre for the Performing Arts, which is a high society entertainment venue in Ontario. The centre is well known to performing arts enthusiasts in Ontario and Canada. Players come to see a show, enjoy some gourmet food and a game. The casino also has plenty of slots, table games, blackjack, baccarat, sic bo, three card poker, roulette, and other games. There is also a 14-table Texas Hold ‘Em poker room. Enjoy all the excitement.

River Cree Resort and Casino – Sports Lovers

River Cree Resort and Casino is a sport and gaming venue located in Edmonton that should not be overlooked. It has 39 tables of various money limits and over 1,000 slots. There are also a few different places to dine while enjoying a bet and other things to experience. There is a fitness centre, spa and a 200 room resort. However, the most interesting feature of this casino is the two hockey rinks, which are often used by the Edmonton Oilers for practice. It is possible to watch the team practice and go for a meal and some gaming fun.

For the ones who fancy playing online we recomend visiting!

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