May 26

Inside Out 2017: Behind the Curtain: Todrick Hall

James Brown once carried the moniker of being the hardest working man in show business, however Katherine Fairfax Wright’s Behind the Curtain: Todrick Hall makes a convincing case for Todrick Hall being the heir to that mantle. Driven by his passion to express himself creatively, and unafraid to tackle serious issues, Hall has become a […]

May 26

Inside Out 207: Hold Me Like Before (Abrazame Como Antes)

Verónica (Jimena Franco) and Greta (Natalia Porras) are transgendered sex workers and roommates living in Costa Rica. Spending their evenings working on street corners and hanging out in clubs, their peaceful existence is disturbed by the presence of Tato (Camilo Regueyra). Tato is a homeless teenager who they literally run into, when the car they […]

May 25

Inside Out 2017: The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin

Listening to Armistead Maupin recount prominent moments in his life, it quickly becomes clear that he is a natural storyteller. Achieving fame for his celebrated column Tales of the City in the San Francisco Chronicle, Maupin has been a key documentarian of life in San Francisco and the changing face of America’s political climate for […]

May 25

Inside Out 2017: A Date for Mad Mary

Darren Thornton’s A Date for Mad Mary is a charming coming-of-age romance featuring incredible performances, unpredictable plot turns, and immense directorial skill. Thornton co-wrote the film with his brother Colin, based off of a play written by Yamine Akram that Darren also directed. A Date for Mad Mary appears to be your standard young adult […]

May 24

Inside Out 2017: Bad Girl

Amy (Sara West) is a teenager, a “bad girl” who’s just returned home after some shadowy shenanigans to her adoptive parents who are willing to give her “one last chance.” They’re pretty sure she’s going to hate the new home they’ve bought in rural Australia and they’re right; she’s out the door and doing a […]

May 24

Inside Out 2017: Signature Move

Zaynab is a Pakistani-American immigration lawyer who is: a) learning wrestling moves from a former pro wrestler who went by the name Jolt; and b) keeping a new relationship with Alma secret from her conservative Muslim mother who doesn’t know she’s gay. “Mothers and daughters aren’t friends in our culture,” Zaynab tells Alma. “That’s a […]

May 24

Inside Out 2017: Mansfield 66/67

The documentary Mansfield 66/67 trades in the same camp as its iconic subject: “Blonde Bombshell” Jayne Mansfield. The film focuses on the last two years of the starlet’s life, reveling in the rumors that swirled and the legends that the papers saw fit to print. The film is built from celebrity interviews, discussions with cultural […]

May 23

Inside Out 2017: Free Cece

On one horrific night in June 2011, Cece McDonald was violently attacked while walking with her friends. Attempting to defend herself, Cece, a transgendered woman, accidentally stabbed one of her attackers. Her incarceration sparked an international outcry as it once again highlighted the injustice that the transgender community endure when it comes to the criminal […]

May 23

Inside Out 2017: Sebastian

James Fanizza writes, directs and stars in Sebastian but does not in fact play him. He plays Alex, the guy who meets Sebastian (Alex House) and initiates a fling – this despite that he has a boyfriend, a boyfriend who just happens to be Sebastian’s cousin. They both agree to feel bad about what they’re […]

May 23

Inside Out 2017: Handsome Devil

Writer-director John Butler’s Handsome Devil favorably compares to other boarding school coming-of-age dramas like School Ties and Dead Poet’s Society. Butler’s film packs more irreverence than those films, and has a kind of tongue-in-cheek sensibility, but a lot of the elements are the same. Much of the drama is focuses on a pair of roommates, […]

May 22

Alien: Covenant

The original 1979 Ridley Scott directed Alien is among my favourite films of all time. It was unlike anything I had seen before. The film reached new heights for terror, tension, suspense and gore; and gave birth of the notion that the last man standing could be a woman. Skip ahead to the series reboot […]

May 21

Changing Reels Ep. 19 – Paris is Burning

As the 2017 Inside Out Film Festival draws nearer, we continue our celebration of LGBT cinema with Jennie Livingston’s Paris is Burning. Currently streaming on Netflix, Livingston’s critically acclaimed 1990 documentary focuses on the end of the “Golden Age” of New York City’s drag balls. Touching on themes of racism, poverty, body image and family, […]

May 19

Chuck

Former heavyweight boxer Chuck Wepner is not a name that may ring bells for many people. Chances are good though that you have heard about at least one of the two achievements he takes great pride in. The first of which was the fact that he lasted 15 rounds against boxing legend Muhammad Ali, even […]

May 17

TJFF 2017: Mandala Beats, Harmonia

After another successful year, the 25th Toronto Jewish Film Festival wrapped up this past weekend. Over at In the Seats, I took a look at two films that played the festival: Harmonia and Mandala Beats . I have included the TJFF synopsis of both films and links to my reviews below: Mandala Beats TJFF synopsis: […]

May 13

Violet

Bas Devos’ gorgeous and sparse film Violet opens with a shot of four CCTVs as they capture Jesse and best friend Jonas hanging out in the mall. The scene seems insignificant at first, as even the security guard monitoring the footage leaves his post at one point. However, the cameras silently observe Jesse and Jonas […]

May 12

Hounds of Love

Being in a relationship is constant work, but when abuse and evil take over the dynamics of power within that relationship, it becomes another animal all together. Ben Young’s directorial debut Hounds of Love shows us the brutality of a distorted love fashioned to devour the innocent in an all too realistic and frightening way. […]

May 07

Changing Reels Ep. 18 – Pariah

How does a teenager come to terms with her sexual identity in an environment that refuses to acknowledge who she really is? This is the predicament that 17-year-old Alike finds herself in as she tries to navigate an overbearing mother, a father in denial and her own quest to find a relationship. We celebrate LGBT […]

May 06

Hot Docs 2017: The Force

Over at In the Seats, I reviewed the mesmerizing film The Force which plays Hot Docs one last time tomorrow. I have included the film’s Hot Docs synopsis and a link to my review below: The Force Hot Docs synopsis: ”A stunningly intimate fly-on-the-wall account of the beleaguered Oakland Police Department as it battles to […]

May 05

Hot Docs 2017: Island Soldier

A woman clings to a casket draped in the American flag as tears roll down her face. It is a scene that has sadly played out in many states, however, this is not America. This is the Federated States of Micronesia, a remote group of islands that have been supplying the U.S. military with soldiers […]

May 05

Hot Docs 2017: Recruiting for Jihad

Ubaydullah Hussain is an Islamist missionary who is also a recruiter, though he often denies the latter. Despite the philosophical rhetoric he spouts, when it comes to defining what a recruiter is, Hussain dedicates a large chunk of his time to helping young radicalized Norwegian men make their way to battle in Syria. Like a […]