• stevejobs01

    REVIEW: Steve Jobs [2015]

    “Computers aren’t paintings” Despite being an Apple guy from way back playing with LOGO the turtle in grade school before eventually swapping out MacBook Pros every five years or so from college on, I never really cared who Steve Jobs was beyond the kindly looking genius in a black turtleneck. To me the appeal was […]

  • lookofsilence01

    REVIEW: The Look of Silence [2015]

    “If we didn’t drink human blood, we’d go crazy” Just when you thought a documentary couldn’t get more harrowing than Joshua Oppenheimer‘s look at murderers in The Act of Killing, the director gives editorial power to their victims in The Look of Silence. The descriptive label “companion piece” is apt because they both exist in […]

  • brooklyn01

    REVIEW: Brooklyn [2015]

    “I’m not sure I have a home anymore” I believe a very crucial distinction should be made before going into director John Crowley and writer Nick Hornby‘s adaptation of Colm Tóibín‘s Brooklyn for those unfamiliar with the book. When I watched the trailer it appeared very much like an Oscar-bait romance with a firecracker love […]

  • jameswhite01

    REVIEW: James White [2015]

    “It’s okay to be sad” It begins and ends with a face of pain—the titular James White‘s (Christopher Abbott). We see that something is eating away at him, trapping him inside himself so imbibing drugs, alcohol, and sex is his only reprieve. We also know he’ll eventually recover even before family friend Ben (Ron Livingston) […]

  • dope01

    REVIEW: Dope [2015]

    “Congratulations. You have found your iPhone.” Malcolm Adekanbi (Shameik Moore) is a geek. You don’t even need the opening line of Rick Famuyiwa‘s Inglewood-set high school adventure Dope to state as much once we meet him. A self-proclaimed “oreo” with straight-As, constant beat-downs by Bloods-member Bug (Keith Stanfield), and Harvard aspirations his guidance counselor (Bruce […]

film reviews


TIFF15 REVIEW: Sonámbulo [The Sleepwalker] [2015]

“Green, how I want you green.” Animator Theodore Ushev embraces yet another visual style to treat us with at the Toronto International Film Festival. From conté crayon images rotoscoped atop Jafar Panahi in 2012’s Joda to the Cubist/Constructivist homage of 2013’s Gloria Victoria, his latest Sonámbulo [The Sleepwalker] delves into Abstract Expressionism bearing to mind […]


TIFF15 REVIEW: Semele [2015]

“Out of the way, kid” As children we crave time with our parents—especially when quality family outings prove few and far between. The titular Semele (Vasiliki Kokkoliadi) in Myrsini Aristidou‘s short film will do anything to force some face-to-face, even going so far as hitch-hiking her way to the carpentry plant where her father works […]


TIFF15 REVIEW: Pojkarna [Girls Lost] [2015]

“Can’t you see it’s me?” Writer/director Alexandra-Therese Keining‘s adaptation of Jessica Schiefuer’s 2011 August Prize-winning (Sweden) young adult novel Pojkarna (translated as The Boys but changed to Girls Lost for international release) is deliciously dark and profoundly vital. It definitely lends itself to the genre with overt metaphors between three female classmates finding themselves budding […]


TIFF15 REVIEW: Under Rymdskeppet [Beneath the Spaceship] [2015]

“Don’t change a winning recipe” What’s the age cut-off for friendship? It’s an interesting notion to consider because at a certain point a noticeable difference becomes intrinsically pedophilic in the eyes of society. Where a neighbor can befriend someone young as a babysitter, alternate parental figure, etc., as soon as the child hits puberty the […]


TIFF15 REVIEW: Bunny [2015]

“Friends of your springtime / they are all vanishing / fleeing to fables” Some films end with me desperately trying to find a way to love them to no avail. Megha Ramaswamy‘s Bunny is just such a piece. It is beautifully shot with a Wes Anderson sense of whimsical artifice that’s devoid of dialogue besides […]


REVIEW: Meru [2015]

“The best alpinists are the ones with the worst memory” You have to be a little bit crazy to mountain climb. If I didn’t know from experience, Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi‘s documentary Meru definitely explains why. I draw the line at hiking, so while I’ve summited Mt. Algonquin and Mt. Adams, I’ll never […]


TIFF15 REVIEW: Peripheria [2015]

A post-apocalyptic wasteland born from an abandoned council estate of mammoth cement structures covered in graffiti and devoid of life—human life— David Coquard-Dassault‘s Peripheria showcases an aftermath of the unusable imprint we’ve made on Earth. Without our species to use these homes for dwelling or canvases, they merely stand reflecting the sun as large shadow […]


TIFF15 REVIEW: The Sky Trembles and the Earth Is Afraid and the Two Eyes Are Not Brothers [2016]

“It made him think that Satan was nearby” Writer/director Ben Rivers‘ The Sky Trembles and the Earth Is Afraid and the Two Eyes Are Not Brothers is a lot more than merely a movie. It is quite literally a work of art—and to say that doesn’t presuppose other movies aren’t. This film is the culmination […]


TIFF15 REVIEW: People Are Becoming Clouds [2015]

“What was the question I had asked?” There’s a cute conceit at the heart of Marc Katz‘s People Are Becoming Clouds. John (David Ross) and Eleanor (Libby Woodbridge) have recently been married and ever since moving into a new apartment together have found she tends to transform into a cloud. Sometimes the type is in […]


TIFF15 REVIEW: Spear [2016]

“I lost myself. A foot in each world.” Interpretative dance is not something to be lightly taken. You either have the propensity to let it wash over you in its loose gyrations of emotional expression or you roll your eyes at what look to be seizures on stage. I’m probably in the middle of the […]


TIFF15 REVIEW: Yaldey Mafteah [Latchkey Kids] [2015]

“Don’t ruin this for me” Love takes many forms and sometimes they can be confusing when you’ve never experienced a divide. For Gur (Yoav Rotman) and Daniel (Gaia Shalita Katz), growing up with absentee parents and for all intents and purposes raising each other has cultivated a deeply rooted bond. They’ve promised to never leave […]


TIFF15 REVIEW: Ninth Floor [2016]

“The individuals were all part of a mosaic” The 1969 Sir George Williams Affair seems like something we should all know about. It occurred only a year after Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination and proves a defining moment in race relations throughout Canada, yet it’s taken over four decades for someone to document what happened […]


TIFF15 REVIEW: Laila Acharon [One Last Night] [2015]

“I wish we could stay like this forever” Despite many aging punk rockers going strong—or maybe they’re the punk poppers—the punk-rock game is for the young. It’s easy to be anti-establishment and anarchist when life has yet to drag you into its tractor beam of responsibility. To party all night and not worry about the […]


TIFF15 REVIEW: Wolkaan [2015]

“Do you remember the rest of the poem?” Writer/director Bahar Noorizadeh had this to say about her latest experimental short Wolkaan on its Kickstarter page: “As an immigrant from Iran, I am facing the slow and painful loss of language and culture from my intimate life on a daily basis. I feel a connection in […]


TIFF15 REVIEW: Quelques secondes [A Few Seconds] [2015]

“I don’t want him to have his face” It starts with sex—violent sex. Out of context you don’t quite know the exact circumstances, but everything makes sense once you hear Zenib’s (Charlotte Bartocci) voice against starkly quiet images of the Parisian hosting center where she resides. Raped and left with a child she’s begun to […]