Certain topics pertaining to sex and intimacy aren’t really taboo anymore. We’ve had an influx of orgy comedies (A Good Old Fashioned Orgy, How to Plan an Orgy in a Small Town), and filmmakers have also captured stripped-down dating culture in the current digital age (Jackie Boy, as well as with glossier mainstream movies). Because of these advancements in storytelling, Jon E. Cohen’s underwhelming feature film debut A Swingers Weekend feels a few years too late.
Nelly, a gung-ho private detective, and Simon, an aspiring anthropologist, make an unlikely heroic pair in Nelly & Simon: Mission Yeti, a colourful French-Canadian action/adventure yarn from directors Nancy Florence Savard and Pierre Greco.
Supa Modo hit an emotional sweet spot with me, as I’m sure it will with TIFF Kids audiences. It’s easy to engage with a film that has this much optimism and zest.
Next Door Spy is this generation’s Harriet the Spy. At least, that’s what it’s aspiring to be. Unfortunately, this competently animated Danish film isn’t ready to play.
By: Trevor Chartrand As a film that explores the creative process, Ryan M. Andrews’ Art of Obsession fails to bring much originality to the table. This slow-paced, predictable little story takes itself too seriously, grasping aimlessly at faux-philosophical musings all along the way. The film is an unfortunate mix of unconvincing plot, passionless performances, and a non-existent visual style. It’s the kind of film I can still enjoy, however with a more ironic appreciation than…
Collaborating filmmakers Rob Grant and Mike Kovac receive a tape from an alleged fan mimicking a disturbing scene from their crime comedy Mon Ami. Rob and Grant, immediately feeling guilty about inspiring a movie goer in the wrong way, reflect on cinematic violence and compare it to real-life acts of assault. It’s a personal insightful adventure that leads them down an unpredictable rabbit hole.
In 2014, at the Blood in the Snow Film Festival, I had rather exciting things to say about director Audrey Cummings. The film she screened was her feature film debut, Berkshire County, and while it treaded common ground, she at least showed enough awareness to spin clichés into something new.
By: Trevor Chartrand While the concept of a homicidal Santa Claus has certainly been explored in slasher films like Santa’s Slay and Silent Night, Deadly Night, director Paul Tanter has found a surprisingly fresh approach to the ‘Killer Claus’ trope in Once Upon a Time at Christmas. This fun and festive Canadian B-movie will give viewers a reason to keep the Christmas lights on overnight.
By: Trevor Chartrand Kill Order is essentially a Crank film without the charisma or charm. It tries hard to be pulse-pounding and slick, but this punch-a-minute action flick is all fist and no fury. Given the film’s structure, it’s not surprising to learn writer/director James Mark has a lot of stunt department work on his resume, including action-driven films like Jumper and Pacific Rim. Kill Order favours style over substance, desperately stringing a series of…
The European Union Toronto Film Festival is currently screening at The Royal Cinema (until Tuesday, November 23), and the selected features offer audiences different stories told by filmmakers from various EU countries. The festival serves an important purpose as a cultural essential in one of Canada’s most diverse cities.