Faculty Details

Faculty (Alphabetical) --- Faculty (by Research Interest)


Dr. George Toles

Film Chair
Distinguished Professor
Office: 358 University College
Phone: (204) 474-9161
Email: George.Toles@umanitoba.ca

Education:
PhD (University of Virginia), MA (University of Virginia), BA summa cum laude (University of Buffalo)

     

Recent Courses:

  • Director’s Cinema (Nick Ray and Robert Altman)
  • Special Topics : Amnesia and Other Mental Mysteries
  • Graduate seminar: Opulent Destitution: Robert Bresson, Max Ophuls, and Austrian and French Fiction Between the World Wars.
  • Directors’ Cinema (Wyler and Bresson)
  • Film Production: Advanced Screenwriting and Camera Acting
  • 20th Century American Women Writers
  • Ghosts of Romanticism: Advanced Film and Literature

Areas of Specialization:

American and European Film; 19th and 20th century American literature; European Literature in Translation; screenwriting; theatre


Other Interests / Recent Undertakings:

  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada
  • Recent essays, published or soon to be published: on Flannery O’Connor’s The Violent Bear It Away; Nicolas Ray's Don’t Look Now; Murnau’s Sunrise; Martin Arnold’s Deanimated; Lubitsch’s Shop Around the Corner; Fragments; Cinephilia; Writing on Film Performance; Acting Personae in Film; Amnesia and John Brahm’s The Locket.
Publications:
  • Forthcoming
    • Paul Thomas Anderson. Book. University of Illinois Press Contemporary Directors Series, 2016.
    • An essay on screenwriter Joseph Minion (After Hours, Vampire's Kiss) in Lost Souls of Horror and the Gothic, edited by Elizabeth McCarthy and Bernice M. Murphy, McFarland, 2016.
    • "Prospero Unbound: John Barrymore's Theatrical Transformations of Cinema Reality" in Hamlet Goes to Hollywood, a collection of essays on Barrymore's film work, edited by Steve Rybin and Murray Pomerance, Edinburgh University Press, 2016.
    • "Montgomery Clift's Magnetic Passivity in George Stevens's A Place in the Sun" in Great Performances in American Cinema, Edinburgh University Press, 2017
    • "Shades of Green Mourning in John M. Stahl's Leave Her to Heaven", International Journal of Film and Television, editor Kyle Stevens. Special issue on Film Color, 2017
    • "Intoxicating Stagecraft: Billy Wilder's The Lost Weekend and the Mysteries of Theatre in Film", Movie journal, 2017.
    • "Miscast for Death: The Inconsequential End of Gene Lockhart in Red Light", under consideration.
  • Books
    • A House Made of Light: Essays on the Art of Film. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2001. 350 pages. Hardcover and paperback.
  • Books about Guy Maddin (with discussions of my screenplays for his films)
    • William Beard, Into the Past: The Cinema of Guy Maddin. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2010.
    • Darren Wershler, My Winnipeg. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2010.
    • D.K. Holm, Guy Maddin Interviews. University Press of Mississippi, 2010.
    • Guy Maddin's My Winnipeg. Toronto: Coach House Press, 2009. Including full screenplay, as well as the deleted scenes that I wrote and extensive commentary by the director, interviewer Michael Ondaatje, and other writers.
    • Kuba Mikurda and Michal Oleszczyk, Kino Wykolejone Rozmowy Z Guyem Maddinem, a monograph by two Polish film scholars on Guy Maddin's complete career. Krakow: Korporacja Ha! Art, 2009.
    • David Church, editor. Playing With Memories: Essays on Guy Maddin. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2009. 280 pages. My essay on collaborating with Guy is REPRINTED in this volume.
    • Caelum Vatnsdal, Kino Delirium: The Films of Guy Maddin. Winnipeg: Arbeiter Ring Publishing, 2000.
  • Commissioned Essays and Creative Work
    • 2015
      • "Joseph Minion Talks With his Characters," in Lost Souls, edited by Elizabeth McCarthy and Bernice Murphy, Dublin: Pleasure Dome, 2016.
    • 2014
      • "Status Updates," George Toles & Cliff Eyland, Prairie Fire (Autumn 2014), Volume 35, Number 3, pp. 31-52
    • 2013
      • "Dipping into Omniscience With Willa Cather: Authorial Knowledge as Love," in Understanding Love in Philosophy, Fiction, and Film, edited by Susan Wolf and Christopher Grau. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013, 315-43.
      • "Writing about Performance: The Film Critic as Actor" in The Language and Style of Film Criticism, edited by Alex Clayton and Andrew Klevan, New York: Routledge, 2011, pp. 87-106
      • "Trying to Remember Clementine" in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,: Philosophers on Film. Edited by Christopher Grau. Routledge, New York: Routledge, 2009, pp. 111-157.
      • "Double Minds and Double Binds in Stanley Kubrick's Fairy Tale" in Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, New Essays, edited by Robert Kolker, New York: Oxford University Press, 2006, pp. 147-176.
  • Refereed Essays, Reviews and Interviews
    • 2016
      • Commissioned essays on John Barrymore and Montgomery Clift's performance in A Place in the Sun, due summer 2016. Two edited collections.
    • 2013
      • "Luxury and Largesse in Film." in Movie: A Journal of Film Criticism, edited by V.F. Perkins, Issue 4, 2013, pp. 7-19.
      • "Time's Timing and the Threat of Laughter in Nicolas Roeg's Don't Look Now", in The Last Laugh: Strange Humors of Cinema, edited by Murray Pomerance. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2013, pp. 109-126.
      • "Don Draper and the Promises of Life," in Television: Aesthetics and Style, edited by Jason Jacobs and Steven Peacock. New York: Bloomsbury, 2013, pp. 147-73.
      • "A Gash in the Portrait: Martin Arnold's Deanimated" in the Oxford Handbook of Sound and Images in Digital Media, edited by Carol Vernallis, Amy Herzog, and John Richardson. In both print and online versions. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013, pp. 214-235.
      • REPRINT. "Silent Cinema—An Aesthetic Call to Arms" in The New Brick Reader, edited by Tara Quinn, Toronto: Anansi, 2013, pp. 200-207.
      • A Companion to Alfred Hitchcock, containing my "Occasions of Sin" essay on Strangers on a Train has just been reissued by Wiley-Blackwell in a paperback edition, 2013
    • Pre-2013 essays
      • "Adding Up the Gestures: What We See of Harry Lime." In Focus series in Cinema Journal, Volume 51, No. 3, Spring 2012, pp.142-149.
      • "Cocoon of Fire: Awakening to Love in Murnau's Sunrise", Film International, Vol. 9, No. 6, Special issue on Silent Film Drama, pp. 8-29.
      • "Rescuing Fragments: A New Task for Cinephilia," part of the In Focus: Cinephilia Forum, edited by Mark Betz. Cinema Journal, Vol. 49, No. 2, Winter 2010, pp.159-166.
      • "Drowning Children with Flannery O'Connor", Raritan, Volume XXXI, No. 3, Winter 2012, pp. 148-163.
      • ""'Brando Sings!': The Invincible Star Persona", in Theorizing Film Acting, edited by Aaron Taylor, New York: Routledge, 2012, pp.76-89.
      • "Acting Ordinary in Ernst Lubitsch's The Shop Around the Corner". Movie, an on-line refereed journal, reviving the distinguished british film journal, Movie. Edited by V.F. Perkins and Andrew Klevan. University of Reading, Issue 1, 2010, pp. 1-15.
      • "The Gift of Amnesia in John Brahm's The Locket", Film International's special issue on Film and the Romantic, Vol. 7, No. 6, 2009, pp.32-55.
      • "Occasions of Sin: The Forgotten Cigarette Lighter and Other Moral Accidents in Hitchcock", in A Companion to Alfred Hitchcock, edited by Leland Poague and Thomas Leitch, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011, pp. 529-552.
      • Foreword, "Fragments", to a collection entitled Fragments by Birna Bjarnadottir with artwork by Cliff Eyland, Haraldur Jonsson, and Guy Maddin. Winnipeg: Kind Publishers, 2010, pp. xi-xix.
      • Afterword to a Dalkey Archives re-print of Henry Green's novel, Back. Champaign: 2009, pp. 209-18.
      • "The Forgotten Lighter and Other Moral Accidents in Strangers on a Train", Raritan, Volume XXVIII, No. 4, Spring 2009, pp. 111-137.
      • RE-PRINT. Harold Bloom reprinted my Raritan essay on A Streetcar Named Desire, in a new collection of essays devoted to reconsiderations of Williams's play, 2009. Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations, Infobase Publishing, pp. 61-83.
      • Interview with Jeff Crouse on Film Criticism, Aesthetics, and Screenwriting. "Remystifying movies", Film International, Vol. 6, No. 3, 2008. pp. 10-25.
      • RE-PRINT. Expanded version of "Silent Cinema—An Aesthetic Call to Arms" published in Brick, No. 80, Winter 2007. pp. 44-52.
      • "Silent Film—An Aesthetic Call to Arms" and "Notes on Four Silent Films", published in the Fall, 2006 programme of the Canadian Film Institute. I curated a silent film series for the CFI in 2006.
      • "Eloquent Objects, Mesmerizing Commodities in William Wyler's The Heiress", in the special Stanley Cavell issue of Film International, edited by Jeff Crouse. Issue 22, Vol. 4, No. 4, 2006, pp. 48-67.
      • "A Few Moments of Arousal in a Film by Martin Arnold", Exile Cinema: Filmmakers at Work Beyond Hollywood, edited by Michael Atkinson, SUNY Horizons series, 2008, pp. 101-111. This essay was also published concurrently in Cinematic Folds: The Furling and Unfurling of Images, edited by Firoza Elavia. Toronto: Pleasure Dome, 2008, pp.145-155.
      • RE-PRINT. Judith Thompson's plays—"'Cause You're the Only One I Want': The Anatomy of Love in the Plays of Judith Thompson"—in Judith Thompson, edited by Ric Knowles, Critical Perspectives on Canadian Theatre in English, Vol. 3, Toronto: Playwrights Canada Press, 2005, pp. 1-19.
      • "Auditioning Betty in Mulholland Drive", Film Quarterly, Vol. 58, No. 1, Fall 2004, pp. 2-13.
      • "Animals Drunk and Sober, Famished and Dead in Jean Stafford's Fiction," Arizona Quarterly, Vol. 60, No. 4, Winter 2004, pp. 99-138.
      • RE-PRINT. Third re-print of my essay on Psycho, published in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho: A Casebook, edited by Robert Kolker, New York: Oxford University Press, 2004, pp. 119-145.
      • "The Witchery of Ease", Raritan, Vol. XXIII, No. 4, Spring 2004, pp. 128-159.
      • "Believing in Gary Cooper," Criticism, Vol. 45, No.1, Winter 2003, pp. 31-52.
      • RE-PRINT. "Sighs Too Deep For Words: Mysteries of Need in Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping", included in a new book on contemporary literary criticism, issued by Gale Publishing in November, 2003.
      • "The Music Men: Guy Maddin and George Toles on The Saddest Music in the World." Cinemascope, Issue 16, Fall 2003, pp. 5-12. [Cover Story]
      • "Drowning for Love: Jean-Claude Lauzon's Leolo" in Canada's Best Features: Critical Essays on 15 Canadian Films, edited by Eugene Walz. Rodopi Press, 2002, pp. 273-301.
      • "On a Train to the Kingdom of Earth: Watching De Sica's Children" in Vittorio De Sica: Contemporary Perspectives, edited by Steve Snyder and Howard Curle. University of Toronto Press, 2000, pp. 101-125.
      • RE-PRINT of "'If Thine Eye Offends Thee..': Psycho and the Art of Infection" in Hitchcock: Centenary Essays, edited by Richard Allen, New York University Press, 1999. In 2004 this essay was again reprinted in a collection of essays devoted to Psycho, edited by Robert Kolker for Oxford University Press.
      • "Adapting Melville for TV", Prairie Fire, Winter 2000, pp. 36-38.
      • "Obvious Mysteries in Fargo." Michigan Quarterly Review, Vol. XXXVIII, No. 4, Autumn 1999, pp. 627-664.
      • "The Toy Madness of Jane Bowles", Arizona Quarterly, Vol. 54, No. 4, Winter 1998, pp. 83-110.
      • "From Archangel to Mandragora in Your Own Backyard: Collaborating with Guy Maddin", Postscript, Vol. 18, No. 2, Winter/Spring 1999, pp. 52-63.
      • "Dikemaster's Daughter", Border Crossings, Vol. 16, No. 4, November 1997, pp.34-41.
      • "This May Hurt a Little: The Art of Humiliation in Film.", Film Quarterly, Vol. 48, No. 4, Summer 1995, pp. 2-14.
      • "Blanche DuBois and the Kindness of Endings." Raritan, Vol. XIV, No. 4, Spring 1995, pp. 115-43.
      • "Being Well-Lost in Film", Raritan, Vol. XIII, No. 2, Fall 1993, pp. 85-110
      • "Thinking About Movie Sentiment: Toward a Reading of Random Harvest", Arizona Quarterly, Vol. 49, No. 2, Summer 1993, pp. 75-111.
      • "Practically an American Home: James Agee's Family Solitudes", The Southern Literary Journal, Vol. XXV, No. 2, Spring 1993, pp. 39-56.
      • "The Mystery of Crinkle's Nose", Raritan, Vol. XI, No. 3, Winter 1992, pp. 80-97.
      • "'Sighs too Deep for Words': Mysteries of Need in Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping". Arizona Quarterly, Vol. 47. No. 4, Winter 1991, pp. 137-56.
      • Review of three Canadian Playwrights' plays. (Margaret Hollingsworth's Endangered Species, Dennis Foon's Skin & Liars, and Peter Anderson's Rattle in the Dash). Canadian Literature, No. 127, Winter 1990, pp. 162-64.
      • "The Metaphysics of Style in Tender is the Night", American Literature, Vol. 62, No. 3, September 1990, pp. 423-444.
      • "Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window as Critical Allegory" boundary 2, Volume XVI, No. 2, Winter/Spring 1989, pp. 225-245.
      • "'Cause you're the only one I want': The Anatomy of Love in the Plays of Judith Thompson". Canadian Literature, No. 118, Autumn, 1988, pp. 116-135.
      • "'No Bigger than Zuzu's Petals': Dream Messages, Epiphanies, and the Undoing of Conventions in Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life", North Dakota Quarterly, Vol. 52, No. 3, Summer 1984, pp. 43-66.
      • "'If Thine Eye Offends Thee...': Psycho and the Art of Infection", New Literary History, Vol. XV, No. 3, Spring 1984, pp. 631-651.
      • Guest Editor, Special Issue of Mosaic on "Film/Literature", Vol. XVI No. 1-2, 1983. Published as book.
      • "Mark Twain and Pudd'nhead Wilson: A House Divided." Novel, Vol. 16, No. 1, Fall 1982, pp. 55-75.
      • "Charting the Hidden Landscape: Edgar Huntly," Early American Literature, Vol. XVI, No. 2, Fall 1981, pp. 133-153.
      • Review of Robert Frost and New England: The Poet as Regionalist, New England Quarterly, Vol. LIII, No. 2, 1980, pp. 252-254.
      • "The Space Between: A Study of Faulkner's Sanctuary", Texas Studies in Literature and Language, Vol. 22, No. 1, Spring 1980, pp. 22-47.
      • A substantial section of the above-mentioned essay has been reprinted in Twentieth Century Interpretations of Sanctuary. Edited by I. Douglas Canfield, Prentice Hall, Inc., 1982, pp. 120-128.
      • "Frank Capra: The Art of the Moralist." The Canadian Review of American Studies, Vol. IX, No. 4, Fall 1978, pp. 249-260.
Academic Awards and Distinctions:
  • 2015 Best Magazine Fiction, for "Status Updates" in Prairie Fire, Autumn 2014. Association of Manitoba Journals.
  • 2011 Guy Maddin's Keyhole, for which I wrote the original story and co-wrote the screenplay,was voted Best Canadian Feature Film at the Whistler Film Festival.
  • 2010 Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada
  • 2009 Edison and Leo—for which I wrote the original story and co-wrote the screenplay—received an award for Best Animated Feature Film at the Bangkok International Animation Festival
  • 2008 Edison and Leo [with a final budget of $10 million] premieres at the Toronto and Vancouver Film Festival. Guy Maddin's My Winnipeg, for which I wrote the dialogue, received the award for Best Canadian Feature Film at the Toronto Film Festival.
  • 2007 Named Distinguished Professor of English, University of Manitoba
  • 2006 Telefilm Canada approves funding for a film based on my original story and feature-length screenplay, Edison and Leo. This will be the first stop-motion animated feature produced in Canada. Manitoba Blizzard Award nominationfor the screenplay of The Saddest Music of the World
  • 2004 Faculty of Arts Professor of the Year
  • 2003 U of M Merit Award for Research, Scholarship, and creative Writing (awarded in 2005)
  • 2002-2003 Rhombus Films' final payments for screenplay for The Saddest Music in the World. Perfect Circle Productions pay option and re-write fees for my original screenplay, Edison and Neemo, and my new Hugo adaptation, Gwynplaine in Nightmare Alley.
  • 2001 Rhombus Films contracted with Guy Maddin and myself for a screen adaptation of Kasuro Ishiguro's The Saddest Music in the World. First draft fee: $18,000
  • 2000 UTS Undergraduate Teaching Award
  • 1997 Telefilm Canada has awarded $17,000.00 in development money for a feature-length film script, Edison and Neemo
  • 1997 Manitoba Arts Council awarded a $20,000.00 grant to Guy Maddin to film my short film script The Cock Crew
  • 1992 Community Outreach Award, University of Manitoba
  • 1990 Canada Council Grant & Manitoba Arts Council Grant forscreenplay of Careful
  • 1974 Virginia Raven Society
  • 1971-74 NDEA Fellowship
  • 1970-71 DuPont Fellowship
  • 1970 Phi Beta Kappa
Selected Theatre and Film Productions
  • 2016
    • Director. Inaugurated U of M Conklin Theatre with a production of Will Eno's Middletown. Black Hole Theatre Company.
  • 2015
    • Director. Annie Baker, Circle, Mirror, Transformation. Winnipeg Fringe Festival.
  • 2014
    • Director. Tom Noonan's Wang Dang. Winnipeg Film Festival.
  • 2013
    • Producer and director. Independent professional production of Kenneth Lonergan's Lobby Hero.
  • 2012
    • Director. University of Manitoba production of John Guare's The House of Blue Leaves.
  • 2011
    • Adapted and directed James M. Barrie's Mary Rose for the Winnipeg Fringe Festival.
  • 2010
    • Wrote screenplay and co-wrote original story for Guy Maddin's Keyhole.
  • 2009
    • Edison and Leo released on DVD in Canada.
    • Story editor for Guy Maddin's new short film, Night Mayoran NFB Fantasia. Premiered at Toronto Film Festival.
    • Brand Upon the Brain! released as a Criterion DVD;
    • Careful given a new DVD release. I supplied video and audio commentary on both films.
    • I adapted Halldor Laxness's novel, Under the Glacier, for the Winnipeg Fringe Festival. I also directed the production.
  • 2008
    • Writer. Edison and Leo. Premiered at Toronto International Film Festival and Vancouver Film Festival.
  • 2008
    • My Winnipeg. Conceived and Directed by Guy Maddin. Dialogue by George Toles.
  • 2008
    • Brand Upon the Brain!, for which I was co-screenwriter, was shown as part of the New Music Festival in Winnipeg. The film was accompanied by a live performance of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. Isabella Rossellini provided live narration. I also participated in an interview for the Criterion DVD release of Brand Upon the Brain [released 2008] and wrote the screenplay for a new short film included on the disc. The film had its premiere in Toronto at the International Film Festival in 2006. It has subsequently played with live orchestra, sound effects, and guest star narration in over forty cities in North America, Europe, Asia, and South America. (Among them: New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro, Los Angeles, San Francisco.)
  • 2007
    • Director. Tom Noonan, What Happened Was. Winnipeg Fringe Festival.
    • Director of the world-premiere production of Carolyn Gray's play, The Elmwood Visitation for Theatre Projects (a professional theatre company). The text of the play was recently published by Sirocco Press.
  • 2006
    • Adapted for the stage and directed Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor. Winnipeg Fringe Festival
  • 2005
    • Director of staged reading of Carolyn Gray's full-length play, The Other St. Valentine's Day Massacre at the PTE Carol Shields Festival.
    • Director. Paul Zindel, The Effect of Gamma-Rays-on-Man-in the-Moon Marigolds. Winnipeg Fringe Festival.
  • 2004
    • Director. John Guare, Marco Polo Sings a Solo. Winnipeg Fringe Festival.
  • 2003
    • The Saddest Music in the World is completed and premieres at a number of film festivalsamong them Venice, Toronto, Vancouver, Rotterdam, London, Seoul, Sundance and Sao Paulo, and a special sold-out screening at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
  • 2002
    • I co-adapted (with Ross McMillan) Dostoevsky's Notes from the Underground for the stage, and directed a first production of it for the 2002 Winnipeg Fringe Festival.
  • 2001
    • Director. John Guare, Bosoms and Neglect. Persona Theatre.
    • Story Editor and Script Consultant for John Kozak's project, SnakeDance.
  • 2000
    • Original screenplay for Shelagh Carter, entitled Our Lady of the Goats.
  • 1999
    • I adapted a 1955 film script, Shack Out on 101, for the stage. I also directed my adaptation at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival.
  • 1998
    • Directed the first production of Ross McMillan’s play, Toby’s Made-up Mind for the Kit Kat Production Company at the Gas Station Theatre.
  • 1997
    • My script The Cock Crew was filmed by Guy Maddin.
  • 1996
    • Twilight of the Ice Nymphs. An original screenplay for Guy Maddin’s feature length film.
  • 1995
    • Director. Ross McMillan, Washing Spider Out. Prairie Theatre Exchange.
  • 1994
    • Screen adaptation of Victor Hugo’s novel The Man Who Laughs, for Guy Maddin.
    • Co-authored with Guy Maddin for an adaptation of Isak Dinesen’s The Monkey and an original treatment for another feature length project, The Bride of Glommsdal (also with Guy Maddin)
    • Director. Manitoba Association of Playwrights workshop of Ross McMillan’s The Missing Person.
  • 1993
    • Original story and co-screenplay for The Dikemaster’s Daughter for director Guy Maddin
  • 1991
    • Co-screenwriter of Guy Maddin’s feature length film, Careful, based on a 1990 original story that I wrote.
  • 1990
    • Co-screenwriter of Guy Maddin’s feature length film, Archangel. Completed in March 1990.
    • Collaborated on original story for Stephanie Kostiuk’s full-length screenplay, The Houseguest.
  • 1987
    • Script editor and story collaborator for Guy Maddin’s feature film, Tales from the Gimli Hospital.
  • 1986
    • Story consultant and script editor for John Paizs’s feature film, Crime Wave.
  • 1985
    • Story consultant and script editor for Guy Maddin’s film, The Dead Father.
  • 1979
    • Dead Air. Original teleplay by George Toles and Robert Nixon. I directed and performed in a television production of this work. Aired in Winnipeg in the summer of 1979.
  • 1977
    • Produced a one-hour narrative film, Screwy Louie. Distributed by the Winnipeg Film Group.