Toronto After Dark 2019: ‘Enhanced’, ‘Werewolf’ and ‘The Wretched’
Enhanced (DIR. James Mark) The idea of a low budget superhero film is an undeniably commendable one. Superheroes are incredibly generic, and there is nothing that necessitates the bloated budgets that they tend to cost, so the idea of telling those stories with less waste should be celebrated. Unfortunately, the films that come out of this practice tend to be underwhelming. Case in point: James Mark’s Enhanced.
Wylie Writes’ One-On-One with Robert Eggers
“This makes me want to puke. Sorry, this came into my head. Sorry.” These were the words spoken by Robert Eggers, before he made a point about the relationship between Andrej Tarkovsky and Fyodor Dostoevsky. The singular voice behind the instant classic The Witch and The Lighthouse provided evidence of two important parts of his personality: the first being his self-effacing tendencies despite how well-read he is—after all, any great artist is first a great student—and…
Toronto After Dark 2019: ‘8’, ‘The Assent’ and ‘The Mortuary Collection’
8 (DIR. Harold Holscher) Horror can be found just about anywhere, however not all horror is equal. This is why films that incorporate real-life horrors must be particularly aware of how they incorporate the various elements. Former TAD presentation Under the Shadow is a great example of how to do this correctly. But, this is why Harold Holscher’s 8 is so conflicting. It doesn’t really have much to say about its source events, creating a final product…
Using a narrative that gradually builds momentum through a series of hustles and surprises, Parasite is utterly unpredictable. It’s a memorable flick not only for its mind-bending story, but because director Bong Joon-ho (The Host , Snowpiercer, Okja) has reinvented the farce formula with this Palme d’Or award-winner.
Toronto After Dark 2019: ‘Contracts’ and ‘Paradise Hills’
Contracts (DIR. Alex Chung) Critics Jean-Luc Comolli and Paul Narboni once suggested that all films were inherently political because, even when a film lacks an overt political bent, its refusal to question the politics of its world is an acceptance of said politics. This lesson in film theory may sound like it is coming out of nowhere, but it serves a purpose, namely in explaining that Alex Chung’s Contracts—which had its world premiere at Toronto After…
World War II has been done! This is hardly a controversial claim when it comes to cinema; everyone and their mother has already made a film about World War II—whether about how bad the war was or how heroic—and seemingly every possible angle has already been covered. Filmmaker Taika Waititi, however, finds a way to stand out with Jojo Rabbit, a movie that refuses to be about the war at all, instead using his unique brand…
Pain and Glory
By: Trevor Chartrand Pedro Almodóvar’s Pain and Glory is a well-crafted melodrama; an emotional piece weighed heavily by its evocation of sadness and regret. The film stars Antonio Banderas as Salvador Mallo, an aging filmmaker who reflects on his past and the mistakes he’s made – mistakes that seem more clear through older, wiser eyes. Almodóvar explores themes of life, love, family, regret, and retribution, all through the lens of the classic mantra: ‘hindsight is…
When Robert Eggers appeared on the cinematic scene with The Witch at 2015’s Sundance Film Festival, he exposed untold new ways to tell horror stories. So, what can someone who has already reinvented a genre do to follow up such a work? Eggers decided to use a similar formula—mainly the research of authentic historical documents that went into the screenplay’s creation of horror—to tell a brand-new story. The results are great.