Wonder Wheel A Troubled Retread of 20th Century Trailblazers
Movie review: Wonder Wheel
Woody Allen's direction is just plain wooden as he hands the dramatic tray to Kate Winslet, forcing her to serve up a bland meatloaf formed from F. Scott Fitzgerald scraps and Tennessee Williams's vulnerable female gristle
NFB offers early gifts
Brief: Canadian Film
The National Film Board of Canada wants you to unwrap your present of Canadian presence, offering 20 award-winning movies on-line for free, starting today
By Katherine Monk
(December 7, 2017) -- Naughty? Nice? No matter. The National Film Board is giving everyone a gift by posting 20 award-winning movies on-line — for free. Starting today, Canadian film fans can take in an assortment of documentaries and animated films, including Sarah Polley’s The Stories We Tell, a timeless portrait of her own family and its secrets, as well as Mina Shum’s Ninth Floor, a documentary about racial tensions at Concordia and the scars that linger decades later.
Perhaps best suited to the Christmas season is Payback, Jennifer Baichwal’s big screen take on Margaret Atwood’s Massey Lecture outlining the unspoken balance sheet that exists between humans.
“We all have these scales of acknowledged or unacknowledged balances in our heads. Some are family things. ...
Canada’s Sundance 2018 Delegation: Sexy and Animated
News Brief: Canadian Film
Three NFB shorts and four Canadian world premieres selected for the prestigious independent film festival founded by Robert Redford
By The Ex-Press
VANCOUVER — A sexy wolf washing repairman, epic girl crushes and a Croatian co-production about a hedgehog’s quest for home will be heading to Park City as part of the National Film Board’s Sundance Film Festival delegation.
Accepted into this year’s short film competition are Diane Obomsawin’s LGBTQ-themed I Like Girls, Chintis Lundgren’s Manivald — a howling take on the Maytag man, and Eva Cvijanovic’s Hedgehog’s Home, a stop-motion story of hedgehog domesticity.
According to the news release issued Monday, the three films have already pulled in more than 40 international awards before heading to Utah in the New Year.
In addition to the three NFB shorts, the following Canadian projects will also be taking part in the recently announced feature program with several world premieres, ...
Bjarke Ingels talks BIG in new documentary
Movie review: Big Time
The man behind the architectural powerhouse, BIG, gets a medium close-up in Kaspar Astrup Schröder's globe-trotting portrait that takes us to the heights of Manhattan's skyline to the depths of a Danish maritime museum
Fellipe Barbosa Follows Dead Friend’s Footsteps on the Mountain
Interview: Fellipe Barbosa
Gabriel and the Mountain tells the story of Gabriel Buchmann, a 28-year-old Fulbright scholar who perished on Mulanje Mountain in Malawi in 2009. Former classmate and Brazilian filmmaker Fellipe Barbosa says he didn't want to make an ode to his old friend, but an honest account of his beautiful contradictions.
By Katherine Monk
VANCOUVER, BC — Fellipe Barbosa’s first memory of Gabriel Buchmann was as a seven-year-old, studying at an all-boys Catholic school in Rio de Janeiro. “He was looking at me from a distance. He was very observant. He would study emotions. He was more shy, then.” Barbosa hesitates. “Eventually… I went to the U.S. to study film at the age of 19, and we lost touch.”
They would never have the chance to reconnect in the flesh. Buchmann died of exposure climbing Mulanje Mountain in Malawi in 2009. His tragic death became a headline that captured the hearts and minds of Brazilians: A Fulbright Scholar heads to Africa in ...
Mike White Updates Status Consciousness
The writer-director of Brad's Status is an indie darling, but he says he still wrestles with insecurity and ego issues because we live in a world of false comparisons
By Katherine Monk
TORONTO — “I think you have your epiphany, and then you forget about it,” says Mike White. “Then you remember it again. And you forget it again. It’s like you are inching toward wisdom. Or circling the drain.”
White seems to be doing all of the above, all the time, because his mind seems to radiate ideas. He creates tangent lines mid-sentence, leaving orbit, only to fall back to earth, chained by the full force of gravity.
It’s his ability to levitate and fall with giddy aplomb that makes his voice so unique and his characters so memorable, whether it’s Selma Hayek as massage therapist and healer in Beatriz at Dinner, Laura Dern as a recovering executive experimenting with faith in Enlightened, or the entirely childlike Chuck, from the indie landmark Chuck & ...
Battle of the Sexes Rages On
Stories about strong women continue to struggle for popular approval while movies about middle-aged men absorbed in their own search for success are celebrated for brave storytelling
By Katherine Monk
TORONTO (September 11, 2017) — Battle of the Sexes is the title of one of the bigger buzz movies at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, but four days into this exhaustive and exhausting celebration of cinema, it may as well be a central theme.
On one side, the festival is showcasing films featuring strong women with the courage to pursue their dreams. On the other, it’s awash in the insecurities of middle-aged men terrified by the prospect of being forgotten. Or, worse yet, being altogether average.
Maybe it was just the course of my day that kicked off with the press and industry screening for Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton’s take on the famous 1973 tennis match between Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King. I thoroughly enjoyed their period ...
Mother! Rips TIFF Audiences Apart with Creative Labour Pains
Darren Aronofsky's latest is a dark swan dive to the depths of the artistic process that could be read as brilliant biblical allegory or a self-absorbed bid at vindicating failure
By Katherine Monk
TORONTO (September 10, 2017) - Oh, mother! The creative process can be a real bitch. Just ask Darren Aronofsky. The director of the Oscar-winning Black Swan returned to the Toronto International Film Festival with his latest film, mother! And already, it’s dividing audience opinion.
A laborious metaphor about the act of making art, the film stars Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem as a handsome couple renovating an old farmhouse in the middle of nowhere. He’s a successful writer struggling with a blank page. She is the young muse, fixing and mending broken walls, looking to restore the house to its former glory after a fire burned it to the ground.
The only thing left is a diamond-like stone with a mysterious glow that he carefully places on a ...
TIFF diary: My day in Auditorium 12
What's it like to spend the entire day in one cinema, watching whatever comes along? Jay Stone sets out to find out at the Toronto film festival
By Jay Stone
TORONTO — Today I decided to test the fates by spending the entire day in one movie theatre at the Toronto International Film Festival. Most of the press and industry screenings are held at the Scotiabank cinema on Richmond Street, and I chose Auditorium 12, for reasons that will become more obscure as we go on.
The result was a kind of mini-film festival, with all the delights, disappointments — and meals of dry popcorn — that one associates with the glamorous life of the freelance film critic. This is what I saw:
On Chesil Beach: The first film of the day in Auditorium 12 — which turns out to be the Imax theatre, so you get a nice big screen — is this adaptation of what is, frankly, a rather thin 2007 novella by the otherwise estimable Ian McEwan. It stars Saoirse Ronan (whose appearance in ...
TIFF17 Opens with an Overhead Smash
Festival's opening movie, Borg/McEnroe captures, an epic battle at Wimbledon and the two contrasting personalities — the emotional American and the cool Swede — who fought it out
By Jay Stone
TORONTO — A magazine called Screen has a special edition at the Toronto film festival, and it runs capsule reviews of some of the movies showing that day. Wednesday’s edition included a review of Miracle, a Lithuania/Bulgaria/Poland co-production, in which “the owner of a struggling post-Soviet pig farm finds a surprising benefactor in a visiting American investor, whose ‘good’ intentions upend the gentle rhythms of small-town life.”
And that’s the film festival for you: it might be a warm and wonderful comedy, or it could be what you might later describe as the best Lithuania/Bulgaria/Poland co-production of the month. You can’t tell without actually going to watch it, and who has time for that?
As it happens, I was reading this while seated next to ...