Quirky and original new film from Canadian director and screenwriter Daniel Cockburn. Its plot is certainly hard, if not impossible, to summate, as a traditional plot as such does not exist. But that certainly doesn’t mean the film has no story; far from it.
What do you get when you cross a Hollywood-style college sex comedy with a bizarre sci-fi-demon-cult adventure mystery? You get the latest film from Gregg Araki, Kaboom. Returning to the form of his earlier films such as The Doom Generation, Araki takes the audience on a strange ride through one teenager’s search for his sexual identity and investigation of a possible demon cult.
When Joaquin Phoenix announced he was retiring from acting to pursue a music career in 2008, people were right to be suspicious. Even if substance abuse or mental health issues had been involved, the actor's transformation from clean-cut talent to aloof hobo-chic seemed too drastic and too sudden to stomach. It was sad to see a person self-destruct so publicly, but we watched him do it anyways, and that's where the brilliance of Casey Affleck's mockumentary I'm Still Here comes in.
While Guillermo del Toro might not have directed a film in a while, he has not been idle. His producing credits show a devotion to and invigoration of the Spanish film industry, in particularly in the horror and thriller genre. Following in the footsteps of his success with The Orphanage, del Toro has produced Guillem Morales’ latest thriller Julia’s Eyes.
It is with a combined sense of shame and excitement when I admit that I had only seen one Frederick Wiseman film in its entirety prior to screening his latest gem, Boxing Gym. Shame because I could name a dozen titles of his recommended by as many people, and excitement because this film has motivated me to finally donate some time to the observational cinema of this true auteur.
It must be hard to be a director like John Carpenter. When you create such classics as Halloween, The Thing and Escape from New York within four years, any subsequent films will never apparently measure up. And his new film The Ward, does not, but it is still a solid old-school horror film with plenty of scares and a twist that is only obvious after the fact.
The Australian film industry seems to have a knack for churning out two great kinds of films: campy Abba-inspired comedies, and dark taut thrillers. For the latter, it might be do to the country’s criminal ancestry, but Australian crime films concentrate on the human element, the things that make people evil, or do evil things. […]
Horror and science fiction genres have long been used as metaphors for problems and issues of the real. Our fear of the dark, our concerns over long wars, issues of poverty and strife, and our possible demise can be explored in many ways more readily through genre film. With that in mind, science fiction films […]
Peep World is about a family full of hatred for one another getting together to celebrate the patriarch’s 70th birthday. Unfortunately, depicting 24 hours with 14 characters rehashing one family’s entire history is far beyond the scope of this 90 minute film. So many things are breezed over and simplified that the viewer is left […]
Brad Anderson is interested in the end of things. In The Machinist, he examined the end of one man’s ability to deal with reality and its resulting madness. In Transsiberian, he examined one woman’s reaction to the possible end of her marriage and by extension her emotional existence. In Vanishing on 7th Street he looks […]
Takashi Miike is not known for his subtlety. When his film Ichi the Killer premiered, the audience were given vomit bags (several of which, apparently, were used.) He is also one of Japan’s most prolific filmmakers, often churning out more than one film a year. It is not often, though, that he focuses on true […]
Probably more than any other program at TIFF, the Midnight Madness section is set apart by films that are heavy on style. As many of them are genre films, the style weighs heavily in conveying the themes and subject matter to the audience. Unfortunately, often films that rely upon or engage too much of their […]
Easy Money (Snabba Cash) is easy viewing for anyone who likes a good crime story that examines the relationship between gangs, drugs and big business. Set in Stockholm where organized crime is still relatively young, the film follows three very different protagonists who all become vested in one big drug shipment. Jorge is a recently […]
Through its static nature, photography indulges in a nanosecond of time. An object or a person is timeless in the single moment of the camera’s shutter click. Is it possible to fall in love with a perfect yet still person, especially when they are dead? Not only dead in the continuing present, but in the […]
I really don’t like remakes. Like many film fans, I believe that they should be avoided at all costs, particularly when they are Hollywood remakes of excellent foreign films. However, Hollywood being what it is, remakes are inevitable. So when I heard that there were plans to remake the excellent Swedish film Let The Right […]