TIFF 2014: Haemoo Review

Haemoo Gala With Snowpiercer finally out and as beloved as all assumed it would be, the time has come to appreciate Joon-ho Bong’s next movie….kind of. He produced and co-wrote Haemoo, while directing duties fell into the hands of his longtime writing partner Sung-Bo Shim. Bong’s fingerprints remain on the film in its radical tonal […]

TIFF 2014: The Wanted 18 Review

THE WANTED 18 TIFF Docs A tax rebellion, political clashes, border disputes… and cows? Veteran documentarian Paul Cowan and newcomer Amer Shomali put cattle at the centre of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in their collaboration, The Wanted 18. The 18 refers to the 18 cows purchased by the Palestinian residents of Beit Sahour, a suburb of […]

TIFF 2014: Nightcrawler Review

Nightcrawler Special Presentatons Jake Gyllenhaal delivers easily a career best performance as an amoral psychopath drawn into the highly profitable world of freelance journalism, capturing grisly crime scene footage throughout the overnights and selling it to the highest bidding local news source. The directorial debut for screenwriter Dan Gilroy (Real Steel, Freejack, The Bourne Legacy), […]

TIFF 2014: St. Vincent Review

St. Vincent Special Presentations In what might be Bill Murray’s best chance at Oscar gold yet, the comedic actor plays a boorish, loutish, scoundrel who helps a young man learn how to stand up for himself. It’s basically a kinder, gentler, funnier Gran Torino (or a white trash, Brooklyn version of his character in Rushmore) […]

TIFF 2014: Spring Review

Spring Vanguard Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson, directors of the exceptional indie horror film Resolution, come up with a nice blend of the sappy and scary in this off beat romance. Evan (Lou Taylor Pucci) has just lost his mother and his job so he uses some of his inheritance to take an impulsive trip […]

TIFF 2014: The Narrow Frame of Midnight Review

The Narrow Frame of Midnight Discovery Moroccan-Iraqi director Tala Hadid presents her first feature film,  setting it chiefly in her two ancestral homes. Zacaria (Khalid Abdalla) is leaving Morocco in order to track down his brother Yosef who has gone to Iraq, presumably to join jihadist rebels. The film hints that he turned a blind […]

TIFF 2014: What We Do in the Shadows Review

What We Do In The Shadows Midnight Madness It’s been a while since Christopher Guest made one of his patented mockumentaries about fringe figures fumbling through fringe culture, so there’s plenty of room for someone to fill the gap. Given that Guest and his gang never would have possibly gotten around to pointing their lens […]

TIFF 2014: Breathe Review

Breathe Contemporary World Cinema Seemingly all actors want to be able to direct, so it’s often a pleasant when they turn out to be pretty decent at it. Breathe is a slow burn of a movie that sneaks up on you with some pretty dark stuff. Charlie and Sarah (Joséphine Japy & Lou de Laâge) […]

TIFF 2014: Hector and the Search for Happiness Review

Hector and the Search for Happiness Special Presentations Listen, if I’m going to sit through Eat Pray Love for dudes I’m going to want way more tanks, nudity, Vegas buffets and duking it out. Not a film that’s just an odyssey linking various cutesy inspirational memes with each other. This is one of the most […]

TIFF 2014: Wavelengths Shorts Program 2: Something in the Atmosphere

In Wavelengths shorts program 2, Something in the Atmosphere, we have strange encounters with both the past and present through a series of jarring, evocative and visually arresting films. Toronto artist Jean-Paul Kelly channels Truman Capote’s desire in his short film The Innocents. The focus is a shot-by-shot re-enactment of a scene from With Love […]

TIFF 2014: Wavelengths Shorts 1: Open Forms Reviews

In the first Wavelengths short film program, Open Forms, landscape is explored, challenged and assaulted through fascinating experimental work. In Brouillard- Passage 14, experimental filmmaker Alexandre Larose guides us on a path through a forest glade that finishes at a lakeside dock. The surrounding images float freely in the shot, while the viewer’s focal point […]

TIFF 2014: Trick or Treaty? Review

Trick of Treaty? Masters ‘”In 2013 our people still have to do drastic measures in order to get acknowledged” is one of the painful truths stated in Canadian filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin’s newest exploration of the hardships faced by Canada’s oft abused Aboriginal peoples. Sadly, Trick or Treaty? would benefit from some of that radicalism, as the lack […]

TIFF 2014: The Judge Review

The Judge Gala (Opening Night Film) It’s not that the Robert Downey Jr./Robert Duvall familial, courtroom face to face is patently unwatchable, but it feels as if it were created by robots in a laboratory that were programmed to exactly pin-point the kind of legal drama that would slay in the sticks. Hotshot big city […]

TIFF 2014: The Valley Below Review

The Valley Below Discovery Albertan Director Kyle Thomas weaves together the story of four people living in Drumheller in his debut feature film, The Valley Below. The four character’s stories are told through self-contained vignettes, following their struggles as the film progresses. Kate (Mikaela Cochrane) is about to leave her small-town life and small-town boyfriend […]

TIFF 2014: Samba Review

Samba Gala  Samba is a beautifully crafted film that explores the illegal immigrant experience and its impact on human dignity through humour and heartbreak. Directors Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache re-unite with actor Omar Sy following their critically acclaimed comedy-drama Les Intouchables.  Here, the story focuses on a Senegalese man named Samba Cissé (Sy) who has sought refuge in […]