Author Archives: Matt

September 15

TIFF 2017: Cardinals

Grayson Moore and Aidan Shipley’s debut feature, Cardinals opens on the scene of a fatal accident. This is where we meet Valerie Walker (Sheila McCarthy), pouring herself another drink as she waits for the police to arrive. We immediately pick up the story years later when Valerie is released from prison and being greeted by […]

September 10

TIFF 2017: Latched

A recently single choreographer heads up to the cottage with her hungry toddler in tow and you can tell right from the opening shots, and the unnerving score, that they’re headed for trouble. Directors Justin Harding and Rob Brunner have only 17 minutes with which to tell their tale so I’d rather spoil as little […]

September 09

TIFF 2017: High Fantasy

Lexi is a white South African millennial who has recently inherited a ridiculous amount of farmland in the middle of nowhere. She is fully aware that her family stole this land from some black people and she gets a little touchy whenever the subject comes up. Which it often does when she brings her three […]

September 09

TIFF 2017: Pre-Drink

We first meet Alexe, a trans woman, as she is admiring her new body in the mirror. She looks good and she knows it, but is also seeming a little nervous about her first post-op outing with her friends. Carl, her gay best friend, comes over for moral support and a few pre-drink drinks. Marc-Antoine […]

April 27

Hot Docs 2017: The Road Forward

There’s been a great deal of discussion in recent years about the past and ongoing injustices suffered by the indigenous community. As there should be. From suicide epidemics to systemic racism to the alarming number of missing and murdered Aboriginal women to the over-representation of Aboriginal men in Canadian prisons, the challenges of the First […]

March 21

The Settlers

Canadian-Israeli filmmaker and NYU Professor of Political Cinema Shimon Dotan brings us a powerful, and occasionally disconcerting, documentary chronicling the daily lives of those living in Jewish settlements along the West Bank. If you don’t know much about the history of the region other than simply “It’s pretty tense over there, isn’t it?”, don’t worry. […]

February 26

My Scientology Movie

My Scientology Movie is infuriating, terrifying, and bizarre and I’m still coming down from it. This is nowhere near the first documentary on the subject of Scientology, but somehow it’s the first I’ve seen. Director John Dower and presenter Louis Theroux seem realize that they’d better come up with a new spin on the Scientology […]

January 15

Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival: Angry Inuk

An Inuit community in Canada’s northern territories faces an interesting challenge. How can a culture, that prides itself on a patient and understated expression of anger, make themselves heard when their opponents are famous for a more aggressive approach? Canadian seal hunting has gotten a lot of media attention since the late 1970s thanks to […]

December 11

The Academy of Muses

Trying to review The Academy of Muses feels a lot like faking my way through an essay question on an exam for which I’ve barely studied. A professor of philology, which apparently is a thing, teaches an advanced course in Barcelona for which we get a front row seat. Professor Pinto’s class seems to offer […]

December 10

Right Now, Wrong Then

Right Now, Wrong Then is the kind of movie that bores you to tears and then makes you feel like a dummy for it. I hate to write off moves as “boring” or “slow”. I pride myself on my sophisticated tastes and patience with deliberating pacing. The latest feature from Hong Sang-Soo is the kind […]

November 09

Reel Asian 2016: Apocalypse Child

Apocalypse Child is a wonderful film. Ford (Sid Lucero), like his beachside town of Baler, Philippines, loves to surf. The surfing craze in Baler apparently started after the crew filming part of Apocalypse Now left a surf board behind. Although Ford embraces his local pastime to the point where he wins almost every surfing competition […]

October 29

Cinéfranco 2016: The Scent of Mandarin (L’Odeur de la Mandarine)

As the first World War rages on, a young widow named Angèle (Georgia Scalliet) takes a job as a homecare nurse for a former cavalry officer Charles (Olivier Gourmet) who has lost a leg in the war. Even though she is initially warned that her new patient is prone to some very bad moods, Angèle’s […]

October 22

ImagineNATIVE 2016: The Sun at Midnight

My first impression of The Sun at Midnight was a lot like Lia’s (Devery Jacobs) initial reaction to Ft. McPherson. The film opens on a strained conversation between father and sulking daughter about “Why do I have to go stay with Grandma anyway?” As first scenes go, this one is a lot like how Lia […]

October 18

ImagineNATIVE 2016: 7 Minutes

Marie’s walk home from her campus library is almost exactly 7 minutes. After being aggressively harassed one night, she can no longer help noticing just how vulnerable a young Native woman in Saskatoon can be. Her experience of reporting the incident, to the seemingly uninterested local police, only makes her feel less safe. 7 Minutes, […]

October 17

ImagineNATIVE 2016: Angry Inuk

An Inuit community in Canada’s northern territories faces an interesting challenge. How can a culture, that prides itself on a patient and understated expression of anger, make themselves heard when their opponents are famous for a more aggressive approach? Canadian seal hunting has gotten a lot of media attention since the late 1970s thanks to […]

September 10

TIFF 2016: Le Ciel Flamand

When Eline (Esra Vandenbussche) grows up, she wants to be just like her mother. After all, helping people who need hugs can sound like a pretty good job when you just turned six. What Sylvie (Sara Vertongen) isn’t telling her daughter is that she runs a brothel and is doing all she can to shield […]

July 04

The Debt

When I was tasked with reviewing film about an international financial deal set in Peru, I was worried that I might not be the man for the job. I’ll admit, movies about big business, banks, and financial stuff often go right over my head. Worse still, and I’m not proud of this, I know very […]

June 03

Inside Out 2016: Girls Lost

After drinking from a mysterious (and apparently magical) plant, three bullied adolescent girls are transformed into boys. First let me address my-and possibly your-initial concern. Writer-director Alexandra-Therese Keining thankfully has no interest in broad comedy and doesn’t waste even a moment of precious screen time with it. No dick jokes or double entendres here. Keining […]

May 30

Inside Out 2016: The Slippers

I love this movie! I love this movie! I love this movie! How many words is that? Damn. Okay, I’ll elaborate. For anyone who really loves movies- American movies in particular- it’s easy to be almost immediately won over by this documentary about Hollywood nostalgia. Specifically, the legacy of Victor Fleming’s Wizard of Oz and- […]

May 27

Inside Out 2016: The Nest (O Ninho)

Bruno (Nicolas Vargas), still wearing his military uniform when checking in at a Porto Alegre inn, comes across as a typically polite soldier at first. We soon see that the seemingly disciplined and obedient young man is preoccupied though; and that his mission in this city in the south of Brazil is personal. While searching […]