Articles by Shahbaz Khayambashi

Reviews

The Before Time

Sometimes, a film may fail at one or two or even five things.  A much rarer find is a film that manages to fail at absolutely everything it attempts.  The term “attempt” is important, since The Before Time did unintentionally succeed at making me laugh out loud several times – a much higher success rate than many recent comedies.

Reviews

Hockney

I have liked pop art for as long as I can remember, but I really fell in love with the movement after seeing a large retrospective of pop art from around the world at the Tate Modern last year.  There are so many ways to use this movement for revolutionary purposes, through the reappropriation of established cultural artifacts and ideologies.  But, as certain artists have proven, it is also exceedingly simple to not use it…

Festival Coverage

Canadian Film Festival ’16: Chasing Valentine

There is no bigger proponent of Canadian cinema than myself.  If a film really captures me, I’ll go out of my way to champion it.  Low budget, undetectable indies sometimes need that extra push.  However, no matter if the film is big or small, if the end result is wildly inconsistent, I have to throw in the towel.  Case in point: Navin Ramaswaran’s shockingly inept Chasing Valentine.

Reviews

The Clan

People are fully capable of great evil.  This seems to be a frequent moral that is being used lately in South American cinema.  Of course, when the real, non-cinematic world is full of unimaginable horror, filmmakers refuse to ignore.

Reviews

The Lobster

One of the most exciting voices of contemporary cinema has hit that point in his career where he needs to make his first English language feature.  Thankfully, unlike countless others before him, Yorgos Lanthimos managed to avoid the usual pitfalls of the “first English feature” and results in The Lobster, a film as weird and brilliant as his previous features Dogtooth and ALPS.

Reviews

Glassland

Filmmaking is certainly an important form of self-expression, but not all films are created equal;  sometimes a film comes out that serves no purpose, makes no impact and leaves no impression.  Gerard Barrett’s Glassland is a perfect example of such a film.  His film completely lacks any purpose other than to be a series of images giving an illusion of motion on a screen.  Glassland never rises above a TV-movie-of-the-week, and its attempts at slow and…

Reviews

Race

Jesse Owens is a fascinating individual and he absolutely deserves a biopic, but Race is not it.  Interestingly enough, the title gives away many of the film’s faults: it conflates racism and running to an uncomfortable degree.  Stephen Hopkins’ movie is almost completely devoid of subtlety – it’s so naive, it hurts.