September 13

TIFF 2017: Black Cop

Black Cop (Ronnie Rowe Jr.) goes by many names, many of which are not pleasant, making his real name not that important. In the community which he serves, Black Cop is viewed as the enemy, a traitor whose uniform is considered implied support for the frequent harassment and murders of black individuals. Amongst his fellow […]

September 13

TIFF 2017: In the Fade

Considering the rash of hate crimes occurring against non-whites in North America and Europe, Faith Akin’s latest film, In the Fade, is both timely and necessary. The film focuses on a woman, Katja Sekerci (Diane Kruger), who must deal with the sudden loss of her husband and son to a terrorist bombing. Going through the […]

September 13

TIFF 2017: The Crescent

It’s always a treat when TIFF brings us films with fresh perspectives, and Seth A. Smith’s second feature film The Crescent does this and more for the psychological horror genre. Beth (Danika Vandersteen) is an artist mourning the loss of her husband. She decides to regroup with her young son Lowen (Woodrow Graves) at her […]

September 13

TIFF 2017: The Tesla World Light

The Tesla World Light is a strange stop-motion animation short film. Robert Vilar plays Nikola Tesla in the latter days of his life, fantasizing about a system of free energy for all nations while a lightning-spouting pigeon terrorizes him around his room. So, it’s something of an art film. The animation technique is obviously stop-motion, […]

September 12

TIFF 2017: Disappearance

Roos’ (Rifka Lodeizen), an accomplished photographer, return to her mother Louise’s (Elsie de Brauw) remote home in Norway is not the joyous homecoming one would expect after a lengthy absence. Having abruptly ended her last visit after yet another fight with her mother, Roos promises her younger brother Bengt (Marcus Hanssen), whose thirteenth birthday they […]

September 12

TIFF 2017: Thelma

Moving from her small town on the west coast of Norway to attend university in Oslo, Thelma (Eili Harboe) is ready to embrace the freedom of this stage of her life. The freedom of adulthood comes with limitations though as her devoutly religious parents, Trond (Henrik Rafaelsen) and Unni (Ellen Dorrit Petersen), monitor her schedule […]

September 11

TIFF 2017: Breathe

Celebrated actor Andy Serkis makes his directorial debut with an inspiring tale of love and courage in the face of adversity. Breathe tells the love story of Robin and Diana Cavendish (Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy), a couple whose bravery when confronted with debilitating disease ended up changing the lives of millions of people around […]

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 10

TIFF 2017: Mary Shelley

Saudi Arabian filmmaker Haifaa Al Mansour follows up her critically acclaimed film Wadja with Mary Shelley, a gothic romance about the events which inspired Mary Shelley’s seminal novel Frankenstein. Charting the tumultuous relationship between Mary and her husband Percy, Al Mansour weaves together a tale of love, betrayal and gender bias. Infatuated with reading, especially […]

September 10

TIFF 2017: Soldiers. A Story from Ferentari

Ferentari is an impoverished ghetto of Bucharest. Adi, an anthropology student, moves there to work on his thesis on manele pop music. He soaks up the local culture at a seedy bar where he meets a guide, Alberto. Alberto is a colourful character, a gregarious man with a gambling addiction and 14 years of prison […]

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: Beyond Words

It would be easy to simply call Urszula Antoniak’s immigrant experience drama Beyond Words timely. While a true statement, it does not effectively convey the complex layers that serve as the film’s foundation. Similar to its protagonist, Michael (Jakub Gierszal), there is a deceptiveness to the how Antoniak’s story is presented. On the surface, the […]

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 […]

September 09

TIFF 2017: Bird

There are a lot of clichés that film can rely upon to create characters, a woman fainting to denote a pregnancy, a child avoiding eye contact to demonstrate autistic tendencies. I imagine when you’re making a short film, like Molly Parker’s Bird, it would be easy to simply rely upon stereotypes to get to the […]

September 08

TIFF 2017: Sheikh Jackson

A devout imam (Ahmad Alfishawy) starts to question both his faith and his own values upon hearing of the passing of pop icon Michael Jackson. Discovering the King of Pop at a young age, Jackson’s music and fashion played big part, much to the chagrin of his gruff father (Maged El Kedwany), in the man’s […]

September 08

TIFF 2017: Tulipani: Love, Honour, and a Bicycle

Tulipani: Love, Honour, and a Bicycle is a Dutch romance film that perfectly balances its whimsical outlook on life with heartfelt drama. Set in Puglia, Italy, the film tells the story of a Dutch man named Gauke starting a new life after a devastating flood in his home town. The overall result is a brilliant […]

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 […]

September 08

TIFF 2017: Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts

Seven strangers descend upon the isolated farmhouse of an Indonesian widow, Marlina (Marsha Timothy) with the intent to steal her livestock, take her possession and rape her. What these robbers do not realize, and as the rotting corpse in her living room indicates, is Marlina is not your average widow. Relying on her survival instincts, […]

September 07

TIFF 2017: Happy End

Michael Haneke’s follow-up to his Academy Award winning Amour is a sharp dark comedy that takes stinging jabs at family, societal appearances and even our unhealthy obsession with social media. Happy End focuses on the Laurent clan as they deal with unexpected professional and personal issues, while attempting to maintain the appearance of an affluent […]