November 05

THOR: RAGNAROK

At this point in the series, I’m likely talking to devotees when discussing Thor: Ragnarok. There are at a minimum 4 other movies you’d need to have pretty decent knowledge of to understand most of what’s going on here (Thor, Thor: The Dark World, The Avengers, and The Avengers: Age of Ultron). However, I would […]

November 04

Black Star: Jean of the Joneses

Do not be fooled by the jazzy New York vibe of Stella Meghie’s multigenerational comedy Jean of the Joneses. While it is reminiscent of the works of Woody Allen and Whit Stillman, Meghie’s film has its own wonderfully distinct voice. The film follows the mishaps of Jean (Taylour Paige), a promising young writer who is […]

November 03

Black Star: In the Heat of the Night

Growing up my mother was not a big fan of movies, but she loved Sidney Poitier. If To Sir, With Love or Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner was on, we would be in front of the television. Oddly enough, of the three iconic films Poitier was a part of in 1967, Norman Jewison’s In the […]

November 01

Rendezvous with Madness Turns 25

The 25th Anniversary edition of Rendezvous with Madness, the first and largest mental health film festival in the world, kicks off on Friday. Running from November 3 – 11, 2017, the nine-day festival showcases 16 features and 34 short films from across the globe, including a series of curated short film programs, vital discussions and […]

October 31

What To See at TIFF’s Black Star Series

This weekend marks the start of TIFF Cinematheque’s Black Star series celebrating 100 years of black excellence on screen. Running from November 3, 2017 to December 22, 2017, and featuring a slew of feature length and short films curated by Ashley Clark, a writer and senior programmer of cinema at BAM in Brooklyn, the series […]

October 30

The Square

The standout scene in Ruben Östlund’s latest satire The Square involves a performance artist (Terry Notary) mimicking an ape at a black-tie fundraiser. The guests are amused at first as the muscular figure beats his chest and stares down those in his path. The assertion of dominance quickly descends down a dark path as the […]

October 27

Expect the Unexpected: Election II

Johnnie To’s Election II: Harmony is Virtue is one of those sequels that not only builds on its predecessor, but surpasses it. If the original Election was about the quest to gain power, then this film is about the problems that come with trying to evolve that power in the face of historical legacy. The […]

October 26

Expect the Unexpected: Election

When one thinks of elections images of debates, grand promises and slanderous television advertisements often come to mind. In the criminal underworld where the characters in Johnnie To’s Election reside, campaigning is taken to a whole other level. Bribery and promises of expanded territories are the tactics of choice. If that does not work, you […]

October 25

Talking Planet in Focus on Frameline

On last Thursday’s episode of Frameline, Barbara Goslawski, Matthew Price and myself discussed some of the films that played the Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival. If you missed it when it aired live, you can now find the recording below. The films we reviewed included: Unfractured, Poached, Food Coop, Wasted! The story of Food […]

October 24

TADFF 2017: Lowlife

There’s nothing like a good crime caper film to get people excited, and Ryan Prows’ first feature film, Lowlife does just that. Using his Taco restaurant as a front, Teddy ‘Bear’ Haynes (Mark Burnham) is an organ runner and pimp, using illegal immigrants as his main supply. He has El Monstruo (Ricardo Adam Zarate), as […]

October 23

Changing Reels Ep. 30 – Train to Busan

A neglectful father attempts to reconnect with his young daughter by accompanying her on a train ride to see his ex-wife. What starts off as a simple journey soon turns into a harrowing fight for survival as a zombie virus rapidly spreads across South Korea. This week film critic and Blood in the Snow Film […]

October 22

imagineNATIVE 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 […]

October 22

imagineNATIVE 2017: Kayak to Klemtu

Teenagers. They think they know it all, don’t they? They have this unbearable self-righteousness. They can take a motorboat to testify about the dangers posed by oil tankers and not feel a little hypocritical, not even a bit. The big picture is missed. Kayak to Klemtu, Zoe Hopkins’ first feature, finds itself in the same […]

October 22

imagineNATIVE 2017: Juliana & the Medicine Fish

Director Jeremy Torrie’s Juliana & The Medicine Fish adapts the popular Young Adult novel by Jake MacDonald, with both men co-writing the adaptation. The film tells the story of young Juliana over a summer at her father’s fishing lodge following the death of her mother. The two do not have the best relationship to begin […]

October 21

imagineNATIVE 2017: Our People Will Be Healed

Alanis Obomsawin is one of Canada’s most prolific filmmakers. At 85 years-old, and with an astounding 50 films under her belt, she has been an integral figure in promoting both indigenous culture and the issues that impact First Nation communities across the land. Last year, with her film We Can’t Make the Same Mistake Twice, […]

October 21

imagineNATIVE 2017: Laundry

Kids ruin everything. They especially ruin sex. Carly is a happily married woman who just wants 10 minutes alone with her husband for some quality time. He’s definitely on board for the same. But try as they might – and they do try – the kids are always interrupting. Eventually Carly finds pleasure rather by […]

October 21

imagineNATIVE 2017: Brown Lips

Writer–director Nakkiah Lui’s Brown Lips is a wonderful little short charged with teenage sexuality, rebellion, and taboo. As Kiera prepares for her debutante ball by ballroom dancing to Tchaikovsky’s Waltz of the Flowers from The Nutcracker with her cousin Des. Their attraction to each other is palpable, communicated through brilliant bits of imagery, shot selection, […]

October 21

imagineNATIVE 2017: Indictment: The Crimes of Shelly Chartier

NBA star Chris Anderson claims that he had no idea that the aspiring model that he met online was 17 when he flew her out from California to spend the weekend with him. The even bigger surprise came when the pair realized that they had never in fact spoken to each other before meeting face […]

October 21

imagineNATIVE 2017: Mankiller

Wilma Mankiller: you may not know her name, but you should. She was the first woman elected Chief of the Cherokee nation, but her story is more complex than any list of her achievements would imply. Born to a Cherokee father and European mother, she was raised with sense of her culture but was influenced […]

October 20

imagineNATIVE 2017: Zaasaakwe

Zaasaakwe is more moving essay or tone poem than a narrative or documentary. The film juxtaposes native dancers adorned in traditional dress with young people walking the streets and riding skateboards. The film draws parallels between the struggles and hardships of the past and the strengths of the new generation. The film isn’t even five […]