Author Archives: Sean

September 11

TIFF 2017: Black Kite

Afghanistan is the last place I’d expect to find a kid flying a kite. After watching Black Kite and seeing kites be such a prominent part of life, bringing a tiny bit of joy to those who are trapped in this war-torn land, it seems strange that I ever had a presumption on kites one […]

September 08

TIFF 2017: The Drop In

I enjoy short films because they are their own genre with their own rules. Unlike feature-length film, there’s no standard runtime, only an upper limit of 40 minutes (including credits) in order to qualify for Oscar consideration. The fact that shorts usually jump right into the action makes the genre feel freer and less predictable […]

May 01

Hot Docs 2017: Living the Game

The biggest change between grade 8 and grade 9 was that once I started high school I was allowed to leave school property on lunch. And leave I did. Every weekday from noon to 1, my friends and I walked to the nearest arcade. When I had quarters, I spent them, and when I was […]

February 19

League of Exotique Dancers

The Burlesque Hall of Fame celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015. Located on Fremont Street, the Burlesque Hall of Fame is in the heart of old Las Vegas, which is fitting as many of its inductees likely performed on Fremont Street a half-century ago. The fact that the Hall of Fame marked its past by […]

November 11

Reel Asian 2016: The Bacchus Lady

Bacchus ladies are elderly Korean prostitutes, a fact of which The Bacchus Lady kindly informs the viewer. We are introduced to So-young (Yeo-jeong Yoon), the titular bacchus lady, as she enters her doctor’s office and learns she has gonorrhea, which obviously is bad for her business. As she leaves the clinic, she happens on a […]

October 27

Cinéfranco 2016: Saint Amour

Gérard Depardieu and Benoît Poelvoorde play a father and son, respectively, attending a livestock show. Luckily for Poelvoorde, the fair also features a wine exhibition and he makes it his mission to sample everything. Since there are a few days before the main event (the cattle competition), Depardieu suggests they widen the scope of the […]

October 20

ImagineNATIVE 2016: Mannahatta (Manhattan)

Films like Mannahatta are always tough to watch as a white male. They serve as a reminder that what’s mine has come at someone else’s expense. Manhattan is the classic example of that, a chunk of land “bought” for nothing where the tiniest square of land is now worth millions of dollars, from high-end department […]

May 04

Hot Docs 2016: Just a Dog

How is a cop like a box of chocolates? They’ll both kill your dog. Seven the Saint Bernard was one such dog. He was one of the roughly ten thousand dogs killed by police in 2006. Ten thousand more dogs have been killed every year since. Just a Dog examines the impact of one pet’s […]

April 28

Hot Docs 2016: League of Exotique Dancers

When divvying up which Hot Docs titles to see, the League of Exotique Dancers was my obvious top pick. I figured the concept of a burlesque hall of fame would be an easy topic to write about. As so often is the case when dealing with women, I turned out to be right for all […]