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Articles by Shahbaz Khayambashi

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.

Reviews

Nice People

Nice People is a very timely film.  In our current state of mass migration of Arabic and African refugees to European countries and the right-wing propaganda that follows such events, it is important for audiences to get a view of the conditions of these people.  The fact that Nice People’s view is all wrapped up in a feel-good narrative about a happy-go-lucky sports team is just a smart strategy from documentarians Karin af Klintberg and Anders…

Reviews

Sensoria

There are ultimately two extremes within the canon of horror cinema: those films which are focused on artistry and only use the set pieces of horror to create atmosphere, and those films which are focused on being scary without much artistic flair.  Christian Hallman’s Sensoria manages to bring these two extremes together by being neither artistic nor scary, resulting in something that just seems to exist for about an hour and twenty minutes.  I considered using…

Reviews

A Ballerina’s Tale

The works of people like Norman McLaren (Pas de Deux, Ballet Adagio, Narcissus) and Wim Wenders (Pina) have shown that ballet can be useful subject matter for beautiful cinema.  Unfortunately, for some strange reason, this pleasurable quality somehow cannot find its way into documentaries.  The most recent example of this failure to showcase ballet in the genre is A Ballerina’s Tale, Nelson George’s portrait of noted ballerina Misty Copeland – the first African-American woman to be…

Reviews

Les Démons

Allow me to preface this by disclosing my biases: I have a strong love for Canadian cinema and coming-of-age stories, and I truly believe that Canada perfected the coming-of-age story.  That being said, Philippe Lesage’s Les Démons is a fitting addition to this obscure canon.