Tag Archives: CS

November 24

BITS 2017: Paint the Town Red, Itch, Crux: Black Sol Empire

Paint the Town Red Scoring tickets to an ultra upscale night club, Josephine (Ariel Hansen, who co-directs the film with Christopher Andrew Graham) and Andie (Allison Klause who is delightful in the role) are excited to have a girls’ night out on the town. Unlike her oblivious party eager friend, Andie cannot help but notice […]

November 23

BITS 2017: Kill Order

James Mark’s Kill Order plays like a throwback to the type of action films that were prevalent in the 90’s. The foot to face martial arts films that helped to make individuals such as Billy Blanks, Cynthia Rothrock and Jalal Merhi international stars. If there is any justice, then Chris Mark will follow suit. An […]

November 22

BITS 2017: Red Spring

It is tempting to call Jeff Sinasac’s Red Spring a vampire film for The Walking Dead generation. The film features a group of survivors thrown together in a land ravaged by vampires with only each other to rely on. However, such a simplistic comparison does a disservice to all the things that makes Sinasac’s tale […]

November 13

Black Star: Lime Kiln Club Field Day

As the nimble fingers of jazz pianist Thompson T. Egbo-Egbo glided across the ivory keys of the piano on the side of stage, my eyes were transfixed on the images being projected on the screen in front of me. It quickly became clear that what I and others in the theatre were witnessing was a […]

November 12

Black Star: Imitation of Life

John M. Stahl’s 1934 version of Imitation of Life may be a product of a certain era, but some of its themes still feel relevant today. It is a film that speaks to all those who, even for a fleeting moment, wished they were born into different circumstances. Adapted from Fannie Hurst’s novel, Stahl’s film […]

November 10

Black Star: Black Mother Black Daughter, Whitewash and Black Soul

Three vastly different films. Three female directors. One enriching experience. This was not the official tagline for this particular Black Star shorts program, but it could have been. Though the centerpiece of the program was Sylvia Hamilton and Claire Prieto’s 1989 documentary short Black Mother Black Daughter, there was a thematic link with the two […]

November 09

Expect the Unexpected: Justice, My Foot!

In Johnnie To’s 1992 action comedy Justice, My Foot!, justice is far from blind. In fact, it is downright crooked. The convoluted plot centres around Sung Sai-Kit (Stephen Chow) a lawyer in Guangdong who has a track record of winning all of his cases. Part of Sung’s success comes from the fact that he is […]

November 08

Black Star: Carmen Jones

One cannot help but think about what could have been for Dorothy Dandridge while watching Otto Preminger’s Carmen Jones. Dandridge was the first African-American actress to ever be nominated for any Academy Award in the best actress category for her work in the iconic musical, but she was never able to cash in on her […]

November 07

Mudbound

Mudbound has been on my mind a lot since I saw at the Toronto International Film Festival a few months ago. In observing the vitriol spewed toward NFL players peacefully invoking their right to protest, my thoughts have turned to one of the common talking points regarding how such protests are a slap in the […]

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 […]

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 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 20

TADFF 2017: Poor Agnes

Poor Agnes is a psychological thriller that puts the audience into the mind of a serial killer. Unlike the numerous psychopaths who routinely stalk and terrorize women, a staple in most films and television crime thrillers, the killer in Navin Ramaswaran’s latest film flips the convention on its head. Living in a small rural town, […]

October 19

TADFF 2017: Game of Death

Seven high schoolers gather at a home to do what most teenagers do in films such as this: talk about sex, drink, talk about sex, get high, talk about sex, and in, some cases, have sex. When they discover an obscure electronic board game in the house they cannot help but give it a spin. […]

October 19

imagineNATIVE 2017: Thirza Cuthand is an Indian Within the Meaning of the Indian Act

Thirza Cuthand is an award-winning filmmaker who has wrestled with questions of identity and belonging for most of her life. In her lastest short film, Cutland takes audiences on a personal journey as she details the struggles of being a light-skinned Cree woman in Canada. Born with a fairer complexion than those in her family, […]

October 18

TADFF 2017: Tragedy Girls

There is a serial killer running around in Sadie Cunningham (Deadpool’s Brianna Hildebrand) and McKayla Hooper (X-Men Apocalypse’s Alexandra Shipp)’s town, but the two teenagers are not afraid. In fact, they are downright excited. Creators of the Tragedy Girls crime blog, which covers local murders, the duo sees this as their opportunity to go viral. […]

October 17

New on DVD: Lady Macbeth

In the Behind the Scenes of Lady Macbeth feature on the Lady Macbeth DVD, which arrives today courtesy of D Films, director William Oldroyd remarks that he was taken by the idea of a woman defending herself via whatever length that might entail. It is this mixture of perseverance and ruthlessness that makes Oldroyd’s film […]