December 11

Black Star: Rude

In a previous piece on TIFF Cinematheque’s Black Star series I had mentioned that Clement Virgo’s Rude had a profound impact on me when I was younger. It changed the way I looked at Canadian cinema, especially in terms of whose stories could be told. A captivating debut feature whose creativity and passion still resonates […]

December 08

A Look at Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival

This week TIFF unveiled its selection of films that will screen at their annual Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival in January. The festival is designed to celebrate the best in Canadian cinema. Over at In the Seats, I examine this year’s selections and what they say about Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival overall. You can […]

December 06

Black Star: Six Degrees of Separation

Fred Schepisi’s Six Degrees of Separation, the adaptation of John Guare’s play of the same name, is a film that puts me in a happy place. I have lost count of how many times I have watched the film, and yet it still makes even the gloomiest of days slightly brighter. To this day I […]

December 04

Last Flag Flying

The latest work by Richard Linklater is one of those films where it is not so much the journey itself that matters, but rather the people who are on it. Thirty years after serving in the Vietnam war together, Larry “Doc” Shepherd (Steve Carell), a Navy corpsman, seeks out his old Marine pals Sal Nealon […]

December 01

Coco

When I was much younger, there were times when I would wonder what people might say at my funeral. Now I am at a stage in my life where I occasionally ponder who will be the ones that will remember me in the years after my death? The importance of keeping the memory of our […]

November 28

New on Blu-ray: Misery

“I’m your number one fan!” To this day that line still gives me chills. I guess that is one of the enduring charms of Misery, it is a thriller that manages to make you uneasy despite its lack of gore. The premise is grounded in just enough reality to be identifiable. Frankly the film feels […]

November 27

Interview with directors Aram Collier and Moze Mossanen on Frameline

In all the festival coverage, and attending to family related matters, I forgot to share two interviews we did on Frameline recently. Host Barbara Goslawski and I concluded our coverage of both the Reel Asian Film Festival and the Regent Film Festival by speaking with two directors whose films played the festivals respectively. First, we […]

November 25

BITS 2017: Darken

Audrey Cummings’much anticipated follow-up to her stirring Berkshire County is a high concept science fiction story set in a strange world not too far off from our own. Darken is the type of film that one could easily see as a trilogy or a 13-part series on one of the numerous streaming services. Hopefully Cummings […]

November 24

BITS 2017: Paint the Town Red, Itch, Crux: Black Sol Empire

Paint the Town Red Scoring tickets to an ultra upscale night club, Josephine (Ariel Hansen, who co-directs the film with Christopher Andrew Graham) and Andie (Allison Klause who is delightful in the role) are excited to have a girls’ night out on the town. Unlike her oblivious party eager friend, Andie cannot help but notice […]

November 24

BITS 2017: Fake Blood

Low-budget horror filmmakers Rob Grant (director/co-writer) and Mike Kovacs (co-writer) turn the camera on themselves and blur the line between reality in fiction in their latest effort, Fake Blood. When Grant and Kovacs receive a video nitpicking one of the more gruesome scenes in their previous film Mon Ami, they find themselves considering the connection […]

November 23

BITS 2017: Kill Order

James Mark’s Kill Order plays like a throwback to the type of action films that were prevalent in the 90’s. The foot to face martial arts films that helped to make individuals such as Billy Blanks, Cynthia Rothrock and Jalal Merhi international stars. If there is any justice, then Chris Mark will follow suit. An […]

November 23

Expect the Unexpected: The Heroic Trio

Johnnie To’s The Heroic Trio breaks every rule I thought applied to film. From the opening credits it warns me not to take it seriously, with the surprisingly catchy theme song taking me on a trip backwards through time to the 1980’s-ish land that apparently was 1990’s Hong Kong. The introductory scenes quickly establish that […]

November 22

BITS 2017: Red Spring

It is tempting to call Jeff Sinasac’s Red Spring a vampire film for The Walking Dead generation. The film features a group of survivors thrown together in a land ravaged by vampires with only each other to rely on. However, such a simplistic comparison does a disservice to all the things that makes Sinasac’s tale […]

November 21

BITS 2017: Buckout Road

Buckout Road is real, a stretch of road near the New York suburb of White Plains, and over the years a number of urban legends have grown around it. In colonial times, they say, women were burned at the stake as witches there. Others claim that the early nineteenth century, the Buckhout family held albino […]

November 20

EUFF 2017: My Name Is Emily

Mental stability and genius are two edges of a thin piece of wire. Robert (Michael Smiley) is bubbling under the wrong side of the ledger until his daughter Emily (Evanna Lynch) is born. Emily inspires Robert to fully blossoms as a person. He becomes a teacher and is moved to write a book turns into […]

November 20

Changing Reels Ep. 32 – Hush

We are joined once again by film critic Kristen Lopez to discuss the representation of disability in cinema. This time we dive into the horror genre with Mike Flanagan’s 2016 thriller Hush. The film focuses on a writer who is deaf whose solitary life in the woods is disrupted by a masked killer. We also […]

November 19

EUFF 2017: The Citizen

Wilson (Dr. Cake-Baly Marcelo) has been trying to pass the citizenship test for years. He is a political refugee in Hungary having lost his wife, and two daughters who are still missing, in a conflict in his native land Guinea-Bissau. He works as a security guard in a supermarket and lives in an apartment complex […]

November 18

25 Years Later Malcolm X Still Resonates

25 years ago today Spike Lee’s Malcolm X was released in theatres. The fact that it even made it to theatres is remarkable. Unlike Martin Luther King, who has benefitted from revisionist history, Malcolm X was a figure not looked upon with the same rose coloured glasses. X’s use of his platform to bring awareness […]

November 15

New on Blu-ray: In this Corner of the World

It is common for films recounting the turbulent nature of World War II, especially the bombing of Hiroshima, to focus on the devastation. The horrors of war is something that audiences still find disturbing and fascinating with equal measure. This is why Sunao Katabuchi’s In this Corner of the World is such an intriguing work. […]

November 14

Reel Asian Interview with Alice Kim on Frameline

On the most recent episode of Frameline, Barbara Goslawski and I continue our Reel Asian Film Festival coverage by speaking with director Alice Kim about her short film Don’t Cry. We also reviewed Evan Wu’s The Boss and Chien-Hung LIEN’s 100th Birthday Wish, we also discussed some of the events and special programs that are […]