Author Archives: Courtney Small

June 22

The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography

It is rather fitting that Errol Morris’ most gentle film to date focuses on a photographer who has no interest in taking unhappy photos. His latest work The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography is a loving tribute to his good friend Elsa Dorfman, a self-proclaimed nice Jewish girl from Massachusetts who found her calling in […]

June 16

Changing Reels Ep. 21 – Wonder Woman

Breaking records at the box office, and sparking tons of thought-provoking articles in the process, Wonder Woman has become the must-see movie of the summer. In this special episode we are joined by freelance film critic Kristen Lopez to discuss the representation of women in the film, the role of minorities, how the acceptance of […]

June 08

CSFF 2017: The Surrounding Game

Despite being played by over 40 million players worldwide, the board game Go has yet to reach the same level of obsession in the West as in the East where it originated. Created in ancient China, and currently the oldest board game to be played in its original form, Go is known for its meditative […]

June 08

CSFF 2017: Olympic Pride, American Prejudice

The 1936 Olympics in Berlin will always be remembered for Jesse Owens’ four gold medal performance which was viewed as a triumphant defiance to Hitler and his ideology on race. Though he captured much of the media’s attention, Owen was not the only African-American to make waves at the games. In her latest documentary Olympic […]

June 06

CSFF 2017: The Boy Who Learned to Fly

Usain Bolt’s athletic ability and undeniable charm has made him one of the most popular Olympic athletes in recent years. While he exudes confidence on the track, Limbert Fabian and Jake Wyatt’s animated short The Boy Who Learned to Fly shows that this was not always the case. Commissioned by Gatorade, working in conjunction with […]

June 05

Wonder Woman

One of the most stunning things about Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman is not its thrilling action, but its overall ambition. Rarely has a summer blockbuster been so in tune with the foibles of mankind while still being a thoroughly entertaining ride from start to finish. It is not everyday you come across a film that […]

June 04

Changing Reels Ep. 20 – Magic Mike XXL

What do male strippers and diversity in cinema have in common? It turns out a whole lot. This week we kick off the summer by taking a joyous road trip with the boys from Magic Mike XXL. In diving into Gregory Jacobs’ film, we touch on topics such as female empowerment, racial and gender depictions, […]

June 03

Murphy’s Law

Life can be summed up as a series of journeys. Each experience takes us down a new road that helps to shape who we are. However, sometimes we can get lost on once familiar paths and loose sight of ourselves in the process. This was the case for Megan Murphy who, after a recent breakup, […]

June 02

Graduation

Part of parenting involves doing everything in your power to give your child the tools to succeed in life. This includes instilling a core set of values that that will help them to make the right choices when confronting tough moral decisions. As we see in Cristian Mungiu’s latest film, Graduation, just because one teaches […]

May 31

Talking Inside Out Film Festival on Frameline

A few days ago, I had the pleasure of appearing on the radio program Frameline to talk about a few of the titles playing the Inside Out Film Festival. Hosted by Barbara Goslawski, Frameline airs on Regent Radio, a local station in Toronto, most Thursday evenings from 6 PM to 7 PM. Below you can […]

May 28

Inside Out 2017: Picture This

Andrew Gurza and Stella Palikarova may be in wheelchairs, but they refuse to be confined. The brains behind Deliciously Disabled, a company designed to breakdown the traditional stereotypes of disability in pop culture, the pair gained international attention when they decided to throw the world’s first sex-positive party for people with disabilities. Though their intent […]

May 28

Inside Out 2017: I Like Girls

Diane Obomsawin’s delightful short film I Like Girls finds four women sharing their experiences around when they first discovered that, as the title suggests, they liked girls. Ranging from funny to sad to whimsical, and conveyed through colourful animation, the tales offer an intimate portrait of key moments in each woman’s life. Whether it is […]

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 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 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 […]