Close-Up December 19

Blind Spot: Close-Up

A few months ago while watching F for Fake, another Blind Spot selection, for the first time, I found myself intoxicated by the way Orson Welles playfully blurred the lines between fiction and reality. Welles used the notion of truth, and the film’s apparent reliance on it, as a ruse to manipulate the viewer’s notions […]

The Interview December 18

Sony’s Decision Bigger than ‘The Interview’

The events surrounding Sony’s decision to cancel the release of the latest Seth Rogen/James Franco buddy comedy, The Interview, have been rather disturbing to watch unfold. First, hackers unleashed several of Sony’s upcoming films online. Then the second warning shot came with the leaking of internal emails and confidential documents. The emails in particular were […]

The Landing December 17

Shorts Spotlight: The Landing

There are certain films that catch you completely off-guard, but you are grateful that they did. Josh Tanner‘s The Landing is one of those film. It arrived in my inbox with a simple note stating that the short told the story of a mysterious UFO in Midwestern America in the 1960s. To be honest, I […]

Still Alice 2 December 16

Still Alice

There is a moment in Still Alice where directors Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland plant the camera over Alice’s (Julianne Moore) shoulder as she sits in a chair. In the background are blurred images of her husband and children in conversation at the dinner table. They talk frankly about Alice as if she is not […]

Mr. Turner December 15

Mr. Turner

J. M. W. Turner’s (Timothy Spall) world is one where beauty and contradictions are intertwined. One of the greatest painters of the 19th Century, Turner had a visionary eye when it came to capturing landscapes and natural light on his canvases. However, he was also a man who was frustratingly complex. Turner was a boorish […]

interview with a time travler December 13

Shorts Spotlight: Interview with a Time Traveler

Time travel has a long-standing history with science fiction drama. Considering how easy it is to get bogged down in the elaborate nature of jumping around time, it is always nice to see a director buck the trend and take a more minimalist approach. Instead of focusing heavily on the science, director James Cooper creates […]

ThisIsIt December 12

Shorts Spotlight: This Is It

The college/university experience is only a brief facet in a person’s life, but it is an important step in transitioning into adulthood. In This Is It, director Alexander Engel captures the highs, lows, and awkward moments in between that come with college life. The premise involves two friends who move into their first apartment and […]

Nightcrawler December 11

Nightcrawler

Louis “Lou” Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a man who knows what he wants out of life and is determined to get it. He is assertive, a quick learner, and truly believes that “good things come to those who work their asses off.” If nothing else, Bloom is a man who knows that branding oneself is […]

sonno-profondo 2 December 10

Sonno Profondo (Deep Sleep)

Does your life suffer from a recent lack of sleazy erotica, black-gloved killers holding straight-razors, and stage blood the color of Heinz ketchup? If so, maybe you’ve missed out on the recent resurgence of interest in giallo, the classic Italian subgenre of lurid mystery-thriller. The trend of making new works in the giallo style has resulted in several intriguing films of late, […]

felix and meira December 09

Félix and Meira

Meira (Hadas Yaron) is a young Hasidic Jewish mother in Montreal slowly drowning in plain sight. Living within an Orthodox community, and feeling suffocated by the strict rules of her faith, Meira’s daily life is one of sadness. She no longer finds joy in traditional religious tunes sung at the dinner table and has no […]

The Gambler 1 December 08

The Gambler

Jim Bennett (Mark Wahlberg), an associate literature professor at a local University, is an all or nothing type of guy who firmly believes if you can’t excel at a task you should just give it up. He brings this attitude to his job as well. When not confronting his students with highly personal questions, Bennett […]

Soderbergh - Magic Mike December 07

The Auteurs: Steven Soderbergh (Part 2)

After a period of successes and failures, that culminated with winning an Oscar for Traffic in 2000, the next phase of Steven Soderbergh’s career was a mixture of commercially-viable pictures and experimental works. He challenged himself creatively and took a more hands on approach in regards to cinematography and editing. Becoming a major player in […]

Soderbergh - erin-brockovich December 06

The Auteurs: Steven Soderbergh (Part 1)

One of the key figures in launching a new wave of American independent cinema in the 1990s, Steven Soderbergh is a filmmaker whose diverse array of films is unmatched. His films often focus on people who struggle with the realities of their situations. Whether it’s in polished studio releases or offbeat/experimental pieces, Soderbergh always keeps […]

The Door2 December 05

Shorts Spotlight: The Door

As we saw last year with Wes Anderson’s short for Prada, Castello Cavalcanti, the union between fashion and short films is getting stronger with each passing year. It makes sense when you think about it. The designers get to subtly flaunt their clothing while the filmmakers get the creative freedom that is not often offered […]

sceneitdec201411 December 04

I Have Scene It Before

It is time to test your film knowledge with the December edition of I Have Scene It Before. Last month only 14 of the 21 films were identified. The films that proved challenging were: Clint Eastwood’s Letters from Iwo Jima (#3), 2014’s Batman: Assault on Arkham (#9), 1978 Best Picture nominee Midnight Express (#10), Ryan […]

Wild 1 December 02

Wild

Cheryl Strayed (Reese Witherspoon) is at her breaking point when the film opens. She’s having issues with everything from her feet to her backpack, and is not pleased that she has committed herself to a 1,100 mile walk along the Pacific Crest Trail. Through a series of flashbacks it becomes clear why Cheryl is out […]

Cimino-deer_hunter December 01

Talking 1978 Oscars on The Dew Over

At the 1978 Academy Awards war was on the minds of many as The Deer Hunter and Coming Home both received Best Picture nominations. On this week’s episode of The Dew Over podcast I join the panel to discuss war, football, Turkish prisons, and single women in the city. While Warren Beatty’s Heaven Can Wait […]

Ejecta November 30

BITS 2014: Ejecta

The promo material for Ejecta intrigued me. It describes the film as “The story of one night on earth that changed everything we know about the universe”; a blurb from the directors goes on to call it “the story of two men who witness an unexplainable event in the atmosphere on the eve of a […]

Queen of Blood 1 November 29

BITS 2014: Queen of Blood

I could apply any number of adjectives to Queen of Blood, the latest effort from filmmaker (and Fangoria editor-in-chief) Chris Alexander. Among those adjectives are “haunting,” “visionary,” “singular” and “challenging.” Shauna Henry plays the titular Queen, a vampire who emerges from a river and proceeds to leave a trail of victims across the American Frontier. […]

BITS-Woods November 28

BITS 2014: Short Film Showcase

Part of the pleasure that comes with taking in the Blood in the Snow Film Festival is the numerous short films that screen before the features. The festival also highlights the creativity of the medium in their Short Film Showcase programme. The showcase offers another venue for filmmakers to show off their talents. Here are […]

Black Mountain Side November 27

BITS 2014: Black Mountain Side

A scientific outpost isolated in the frozen waste…an ancient artifact, unearthed and exposed to the light of day for the first time in millennia…a powerful force, free and wild and beyond good and evil, manipulating the neuroses and insanities of the humans around it for its own end. Sound familiar? Yet Nick Szostakiwskyj’s Black Mountain […]

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