Author Archives: Courtney Small

February 24

Tom of Finland

After a lengthy run on the festival circuit, Dome Karukoski’s film Tom of Finland is getting a limited run in Toronto. The film explores the life and work of artist Touko Laaksonen, better known as Tom of Finland, whose homoerotic work was a source of inspiration for the gay community. Over at In the Seats, […]

February 23

Loveless

Staying together for the kid is never a good idea. It is equally problematic when you are in the process of a divorce and have no clue what to do with the kid. This is the situation that Boris (Aleksey Rozin) and Zhenya (Maryana Spivak) find themselves in. Their marriage has dissolved to a level […]

February 20

Talking In Between on Frameline

On the latest episode of Frameline, host Barbara Goslawski and I dive into Maysaloun Hamoud’s wonderful feature debut In Between. We also spend a few moment mentioning the shoe shining documentary Shiners and highlighting some of the films playing at the TIFF Next Wave festival. If you missed the episode when it aired live, you […]

February 20

Changing Reels S2 E3 – Antwone Fisher

We celebrate Black History Month with the 2002 film Antwone Fisher. Directed by Denzel Washington the film tells the true story of a young naval officer who, through the help of a determined psychiatrist, comes to terms with his painful past. For our short film spotlight, we discuss Speak It!: From the Heart of Black […]

February 18

Black Panther

To call Black Panther a remarkable piece of filmmaking would be an understatement. It is unlike any other blockbuster, superhero or otherwise, to ever hit the big screen. Ryan Coogler’s film is filled with memorable action set pieces, steeped in African culture, and is unflinching in its commentary about the devastating reverberations of colonialism on […]

February 16

In Between

The three Palestinian women in Maysaloun Hamoud’s feature debut In Between share a small apartment in Tel Aviv, but what confines them is the world at large. They are vastly different personalities who each find themselves burdened by the societal expectations placed on them. Laila (Mouna Hawa) is the most outspoken of the trio. A […]

February 14

TBFF 2018: Boost

Darren Curtis’ solo directorial debut Boost is a thrilling piece of cinema from beginning to end. Crackling with energy and tension, the film weaves a stunning and intricate tableau of friendship, youth and crime. Underneath bubbles a subtle, but thoroughly effective, commentary on the immigrant experience in Canada. Hakeem (Nabil Rajo) and his best friend […]

February 13

Win The Deuce: The Complete First Season on Blu-ray!

The complete first season of The Deuce arrives on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital today and the fine folks at HBO Home Entertainment have provided us with a Blu-ray copy of the acclaimed season to giveaway to one lucky reader! Set during the early 1970s in New York City’s Times Square, The Deuce, starring James Franco […]

February 13

New on Blu-ray: The Deuce: The Complete First Season

The latest series from creator David Simon (The Wire, Treme, Homicide: Life of the Street) is a sprawling look at the sex trade in Time Square, New York City during the early 1970s. The Deuce, whose first season arrives on Blu-ray this week courtesy of HBO Home Entertainment, examines the ways in which pornography, prostitution, […]

February 12

Talking Toronto Black Film Festival & Boost on Frameline

On the latest episode of Frameline we highlight a few of the films playing at this year’s Toronto Black Film Festival (TBFF). Running from February 14th to 19th, the festival showcases unique voices in cinema that promote the reality of the black experience across the globe. One of the films playing the festival is Darren […]

February 09

Entanglement

Entanglement walks a fine line on several fronts. On one hand the film is a romantic comedy that plays into the well-worn manic pixie girl tropes. On the other hand, it is a film that also wants to take a serious look at the nature of mental illness. Ben (Thomas Middleditch) has been in a […]

February 06

The Cloverfield Paradox

The legacy of Julius Onah’s latest film The Cloverfield Paradox, for better or worse, will forever be tied to its unconventional release. After having its release date bounce around like a ball in a tennis match, Paramount decide to sell the hotly anticipate addition to the Cloverfield franchise to Netflix. The streaming platform then surprised […]

February 02

Phantom Thread

Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis) is a man whose pristine taste and eye for detail has made him one of the most revered couture designers. He is an artist in every sense of the word, a visionary who passion for creation is only matched by his need for structure. The latter is something his sister, and […]

February 01

Changing Reels S2 E2 – Straight Outta Compton

This week we revisit F. Gary Gray’s 2015 film Straight Outta Compton. The film recounts the rise of the group N.W.A. whose music revolutionized Hip Hop culture and inspired a generation in the process. For our short film spotlight, we discuss Melville by James M. Johnston and Missy Elliott’s Work It by Dave Meyers. Changing […]

January 29

Lady Bird

There is a wonderful moment in Lady Bird when, in a heated mother/daughter exchange, Marion McPherson (Laurie Metcalf), reveals how her daughter, Lady Bird (Saoirse Ronan), has been hurting her father (Tracy Letts) with the simple act of not wanting to be dropped off in front of school. While a common teenage action, it carries […]

January 27

Frameline Talks to Birdland’s Peter Lynch

This week on Frameline, host Barbara Goslawski was under the weather, so I sat down with director Peter Lynch to chat about his latest film Birdland. Touching on everything from the film’s noir structure to the actors willingness to be challenged, Lynch provided plenty of great insight. If you missed the episode when it aired […]

January 26

Birdland

Suspecting that her husband Tom (David Alpay) might be having an affair, ex-police officer Sheila Hood (Kathleen Munroe) uses her surveillance expertise to place hidden cameras around their home. Confirming that her beloved Tom, an ornithologist, has been secretly seeing Merle (Melanie Scrofano), Sheila’s world is immediately turned upside down. Rather than confront her unfaithful […]

January 24

The Insult

Ziad Doueiri’s captivating film The Insult, which was recently nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Foreign Language Film category, is steeped in the politics of its Lebanon setting, but its themes are universal. One summer afternoon in Beirut, Tony (Adel Karam) gets into an altercation with Yasser (Kamel El Basha) over a broken […]

January 23

New on Blu-ray: The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Reuniting after their 2015 brilliant absurdist dark comedy The Lobster, the latest collaboration for Colin Farrell and director Yorgos Lanthimos is a psychological horror about decisions and consequences. In The Killing of a Sacred Deer, which arrives on Blu-ray and Digital Copy today courtesy of Elevation Pictures, Farrell plays Dr. Steven Murphy, a cardiothoracic surgeon […]

January 19

Sundance 2018: Hedgehog’s Home, Manivald

There are several great Canadian short films playing Sundance, take For Nonna Anna and I Like Girls for example, that we recommend you seek out see if you happen to be attending the festival. Along with I Like Girls, The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) has two other delightful short films screening at Sundance […]