Author Archives: Courtney Small

by-blood-film February 20

Politics, Love, and Music at TBFF17

In its fifth year, the Toronto Black Film Festival (TBFF) has established a stable foundation for future generations to build on. Smartly taking place during Black History month, the festival not only strives to showcase stories and filmmakers that highlight the black experience in cinema, but also helps to facilitate professional growth for those looking […]

blindvaysha_04 February 19

NFB Streams Oscar-nominated Blind Vaysha Free of Charge

As the Academy Awards approach, Canadians will be able to watch Theodore Ushev’s Oscar-nominated National Film Board of Canada (NFB) animated short Blind Vaysha free of charge at NFB.ca―starting February 19 right up to the Academy Awards on February 26―and then tune in to see if Canada takes home the Oscar. It’s the first Academy […]

2-fists-up February 18

TIFF Next Wave: 2 Fists Up

“They were trying to police how we fight for liberation” states Ayanna Poole, a University of Missouri student and founding member of the school’s Concerned Student 1950 activism group, recounting one particular protest that was designed to get a face-to-face meeting with university president Tim Wolfe. Despite being told to move their protest to the […]

arrival-amyadams February 14

New to Blu-ray: Arrival

Just in time for your Academy Awards catch up, Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival arrives on 4k Ultra HD and Blu-ray combo packs today courtesy of Paramount Home Media Distribution. A science fiction tale that explores language and time, Villenueve’s Academy Award nominated film questions whether one would make the same choices in life if the outcome […]

john-wick-2 February 13

John Wick: Chapter 2

Retirement is supposed to be a period of relaxation, a time where one can enjoy life without being beholden to anyone else. For John Wick (Keanu Reeves) the quest for a peaceful retirement is quickly becoming a job in itself. Expanding on the ground work he laid in the original film, Chad Stahelski’s John Wick: […]

newton-w-text February 12

Changing Reels EP. 12 – A Huey P. Newton Story

Spike Lee has been one of the most prolific directors ever since he burst onto the scene with 1986 She’s Gotta Have It. Effortlessly moving from features to shorts to documentaries to television, there is little he cannot do. However, many still question whether or not Lee deserves to be on the top ten list […]

fireatsea_01 February 11

Oscars: A Documentary Race for the Ages

Will La La Land dance its way to the Best Picture win? Does Moonlight or Manchester by the Sea have enough momentum to sway voters? Can Hidden Figures or Fences pull a Super Bowl level come from behind upset? As film lovers and pundits engage in debates comparing the merits of the various Academy Award […]

window-horses February 08

Window Horses and Moonlight Top Canadian Association of Online Film Critics Awards

In a year wrought with political and social turmoil, the Canadian Association of Online Film Critics (CAOFC) announced that its members have celebrated diversity in their picks for Best Picture and Best International Picture in the Association’s first annual awards. For Best Picture members selected the NFB animated feature film Window Horses: The Poetic Persian […]

shepherds-and-butchers February 03

Shepherds and Butchers

Oliver Schmitz’s latest work Shepherds and Butchers is a courtroom drama where the verdict is not as important as what led to the crime. From its opening frames, on a rainy night in South Africa in the late eighties, we witness Leon Labuschagne (Garion Dowds), in what initially seems like a momentary fit of rage, […]

carmenjones January 31

Blind Spot: Carmen Jones

Finally taking Carmen Jones off our Blind Spot list.

the-red-turtle January 28

Changing Reels Ep. 11 – The Red Turtle

Studio Ghibli is revered all over the world for their films that feature lush animation and inventive stories with universal themes. As the studio’s latest film, The Red Turtle, hits theaters, we decided to take a closer look at the companies’ first international production. Directed by Michaël Dudok de Wit (highly recommend you read our interview […]

toni-erdmann January 26

Toni Erdmann

At this point what more can be said about Maren Ade’s sensational comedy Toni Erdmann? Ever since it debuted at Cannes, the film has been a hit on the festival circuit and it is easy to see why. Few films capture the awkwardness of family in such a hilarious, and at times absurd, way like […]

La La Land January 24

The 89th Academy Awards Nominees

The 89th Academy Awards nominations were announced this morning! What are your thoughts on the nominees? Which ones surprised you? How many of the nominated films have you seen? Most pleasant surprise for me was seeing the wonderful Blind Vaysha get nominated in the animated short category. You can find the full list of nominees […]

hidden-figures January 22

The End of #OscarsSoWhite? Not So Fast.

On Tuesday the Academy Awards will be announcing this year’s nominees vying for the iconic golden statues in various categories. In the past, the lead up to the announcement was a time of speculation and excitement for cinephiles worldwide. This year, however, feels different. The escapist fanfare that the Oscar nominations once provided has been […]

blade-runner-2049 January 19

Talking Most Anticipated Movies of 2017 on the LAMBcast

On the latest episode of the LAMBcast podcast, I joined the panel to discuss five films that we are each looking forward to in 2017. Shockingly, the conversation was not dominated by sequels or franchises, though several do make an appearance. Needless to say we barely cracked the surface of all the cinematic treats that […]

divines January 18

TIFF Next Wave Announces 2017 Lineup

Your first love. Your first loss. The first time you broke the rules and felt the thrill. Some of the most magical moments in life are your firsts — many of them happening in your youth. Take a trip back in time and relive your firsts at the sixth annual TIFF Next Wave Film Festival™. […]

jack-reacher-never-go-back January 17

New on Blu-ray: Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

Jack Reacher does not go looking for trouble, but trouble always seems to find him. If you have ever read one of Lee Child’s novels starring his iconic Jack Reacher character, then it is easy to understand why Tom Cruise would want to portray the character onscreen. A former military officer turned drifter, Reacher leads […]

window-horses January 16

Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival: Window Horses (The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming)

If we wait long enough everything will change. Our perception of self, love and family will all have greater meaning. Of course, one needs to be open to the notion that life is rarely what it appears to be. It is this inner journey towards understanding that marks the visual splendor of Ann Marie Fleming’s […]

sita-sings-the-blues-with-text January 14

Changing Reels Ep. 10 – Sita Sing the Blues

  It is often said that nothing in life comes for free. Well in the case of artist Nina Paley, that is not entirely true. Paley decided to give her animated film Sita Sings the Blues to the masses free of charge. Using the epic Hindu poem as a catalyst for exploring the crumbling nature […]

maliglutitsearchers_04 January 13

Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival: Maliglutit (Searchers)

The latest film by Inuk filmmaker Zacharias Kunuk (Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner) is another intriguing look at the people and landscapes of the North. While inspired by John Ford’s 1956 western classic The Searchers, it feels wrong to call Maliglutit, which he co-directs with Natar Ungalaaq, a remake. It is much more than that. Kunuk […]