Tag Archives: Female Filmmakers

September 15

TIFF 2017: Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami

Grace Jones’ lengthy career has spanned the worlds of music, fashion and acting, so it is somewhat surprising that no one thought to make a film about her life until now. Thankfully Sophie Fiennes’ new film Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami is here to fill that void. Taking an unconventional approach, the film forgoes the […]

September 14

TIFF 2017: Creatura Dada

It almost feels folly to describe Caroline Monnet’s Creatura Dada with any kind of sincerity. I could certainly do it, but it will take you more time to read my blurby review than to actually watch the film. I watched it four times in preparation, and each time I noticed something different. At a scant […]

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 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: 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: 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: What Will People Say

In What Will People Say, young Nisha (Maria Mozhdah) is caught in an irreconcilable culture clash between her Pakistani heritage and her Norwegian surroundings. At home, especially in the presence of her father, she plays the part of the faithful Muslim daughter. Out with her friends, she is your standard Western teenager – chasing boys, […]

September 06

TIFF 2017: Threads

Threads is why animation exists. It’s a simplified little tale with even simpler animation, but every single aspect of the art style informs the story that Oscar-winning animator Torill Kove wants to tell. That story is one about love, relationships, and the interconnection required of the human experience. Though Threads is full of characters that […]

August 08

Detroit

Watching Detroit, the latest collaboration between director Katheryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal, reminded me of my experience observing D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation for the first time. While I marvelled at the filmmaking prowess on display, I was ultimately left feeling angry and cold. Thankfully, unlike Griffith’s cinematic propaganda, Bigelow’s film has no […]

July 07

Tickling Giants

Bassem Youssef has been called the “Egyptian Jon Stewart” for his popular brand of political satire. In a country where journalists are routinely jailed, or mysteriously go missing, for exercising free speech, the surgeon turned televised comedian is truly one of a kind. As Youssef points out in Sara Taksler’s charming and poignant documentary Tickling […]

June 03

Murphy’s Law

Life can be summed up as a series of journeys. Each experience takes us down a new road that helps to shape who we are. However, sometimes we can get lost on once familiar paths and loose sight of ourselves in the process. This was the case for Megan Murphy who, after a recent breakup, […]

May 28

Inside Out 2017: Picture This

Andrew Gurza and Stella Palikarova may be in wheelchairs, but they refuse to be confined. The brains behind Deliciously Disabled, a company designed to breakdown the traditional stereotypes of disability in pop culture, the pair gained international attention when they decided to throw the world’s first sex-positive party for people with disabilities. Though their intent […]

May 28

Inside Out 2017: I Like Girls

Diane Obomsawin’s delightful short film I Like Girls finds four women sharing their experiences around when they first discovered that, as the title suggests, they liked girls. Ranging from funny to sad to whimsical, and conveyed through colourful animation, the tales offer an intimate portrait of key moments in each woman’s life. Whether it is […]

May 26

Inside Out 2017: Behind the Curtain: Todrick Hall

James Brown once carried the moniker of being the hardest working man in show business, however Katherine Fairfax Wright’s Behind the Curtain: Todrick Hall makes a convincing case for Todrick Hall being the heir to that mantle. Driven by his passion to express himself creatively, and unafraid to tackle serious issues, Hall has become a […]

May 25

Inside Out 2017: The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin

Listening to Armistead Maupin recount prominent moments in his life, it quickly becomes clear that he is a natural storyteller. Achieving fame for his celebrated column Tales of the City in the San Francisco Chronicle, Maupin has been a key documentarian of life in San Francisco and the changing face of America’s political climate for […]

May 24

Inside Out 2017: Signature Move

Zaynab is a Pakistani-American immigration lawyer who is: a) learning wrestling moves from a former pro wrestler who went by the name Jolt; and b) keeping a new relationship with Alma secret from her conservative Muslim mother who doesn’t know she’s gay. “Mothers and daughters aren’t friends in our culture,” Zaynab tells Alma. “That’s a […]

May 23

Inside Out 2017: Free Cece

On one horrific night in June 2011, Cece McDonald was violently attacked while walking with her friends. Attempting to defend herself, Cece, a transgendered woman, accidentally stabbed one of her attackers. Her incarceration sparked an international outcry as it once again highlighted the injustice that the transgender community endure when it comes to the criminal […]

May 07

Changing Reels Ep. 18 – Pariah

How does a teenager come to terms with her sexual identity in an environment that refuses to acknowledge who she really is? This is the predicament that 17-year-old Alike finds herself in as she tries to navigate an overbearing mother, a father in denial and her own quest to find a relationship. We celebrate LGBT […]