Articles by Shahbaz Khayambashi



Christine Chubbuck was a woman who managed to do what no one else could – shock America.  In 1974, in the midst of countless political assassinations, mass murders and serial killings, it would take a truly jarring event to shake the American public, which turned out to be a suicide on live television;  “the latest in blood and guts, in living colour”.  Chubbuck’s suicide has been an object of morbid curiosity since and it has…


The Birth of a Nation

Sometimes, it becomes difficult to separate an artist’s work from their personality;  sometimes, this is because the artist has done something horrible and unforgivable.  Director, writer and leading actor Nate Parker is one of those people: this is not the space to get into his actions, but I would recommend all uninformed readers to do their research before deciding if they wish to give him their money.  With that out of the way, it became…


The Lovers and the Despot

In 1978, South Korean actor Choi Eun-hee went missing.  Her ex-husband, director Shin Sang-ok, made it his mission to find her when he too went missing.  Their whereabouts remained elusive for some time, but the answer that eventually came out was stranger than any potential explanation: the two South Korean celebrities had been kidnapped by none other than North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il with the purpose of having them direct films for the people of…

Festival Coverage

TIFF 2016: ‘Paterson’

Paterson is a study of ennui in its purest form.  Paterson is a love letter to the seemingly inconsequential town of Paterson, New Jersey.  Paterson is about Zen and the creation of art.  The fact that all of this is contained in a film about the quotidian activities of a man’s life across one week is nothing short of a miracle.



In their essay “Cinema-Ideology-Criticism”, Jean-Luc Comolli and Jean Paul Narboni speak of a category of cinema which is politically progressive in content, but whose politics can be discounted due to the generic and status quo supporting form.  This category is exemplified in Nerve, a film which, just like your friend who speaks about how others “don’t understand”, manages to talk for 96 minutes without ever actually saying anything.


Queen of Spades: The Dark Rite

Making a mythology for a horror film is a complex concept.  Filmmakers have to take into account narrative, visual and paratextual elements in order to create an iconic creature that can stand the test of time.  The filmmaker may not realize this, but they are inherently forced into this routine when they make a film which involves the creation of an urban legend.


9 Days with Cambria

9 Days with Cambria is sold as an experiment in character development and storytelling.  It tells the story of a young woman by the name of Cambria, who was once raped by her boyfriend-at-the-time which led to their breakup and her worsened mental state.  In more competent hands, this could have been an inquisitive work, but in the hands of directors Mike Klassen (Abolition) and Jason Armstrong, the final product is at best inconsequential and at…



Based on my moviegoing experience, most romantic comedies, melodramas and other stereotypically feminine genre films are directed by men.  Based on this alone, Chevalier is an important film: a study of masculinity through the gaze of a woman filmmaker.