By: Jessica Goddard Mina Shum’s Meditation Park is an engaging, quirky, and empowering film about the overdue self-actualization of a Vancouver woman (Cheng Pei-pei) in light of the discovery of her husband’s affair. This thoroughly modern film also expertly highlights the immigrant experience in multicultural Canada, while making clear that the narrative is culturally universal. There is an exquisite balance of humour and poignancy in the writing, strengthened by an excellent cast.
By: Jessica Goddard This detailed and thoroughly layered period drama intertwines two stories against the backdrop of the Catholic Church’s controversial reforms in the 1960s, known as Vatican II.
It’s not healthy to compare movies, but I have a feeling I would’ve had greater appreciation for Ingrid Veninger’s Porcupine Lake if I hadn’t already seen Andrew Cividino’s Sleeping Giant. Both are of Canadian origin, they take place over the course of a Summer away from home, and they follow a coming-of-age narrative with kids.
By: Jessica Goddard Mary Shelley is an appropriately dramatic and sentimental depiction of the early life of 19th century writer Mary Shelley (Elle Fanning), as well as a satisfying exploration of Shelley’s influences in writing her now-classic novel, Frankenstein. The film focuses heavily on the arc(s) of Mary’s relationship with her eventual husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley (Douglas Booth); always emphasizing the ways in which Mary’s famous Gothic novel is affected by the various traumas of…
Short film director Govinda Van Maele encounters pacing issues with his feature-length debut Gutland.
By: Jessica Goddard Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name is a complex and highly nuanced coming-of-age story, packed with moving performances.
Michael Haneke’s Happy End looks at modern technology’s ability to capture atrocities, through a sort-of-sequel to Amour, again following the Laurents through a series of misfortunes.
Despite all the less-than-stellar changes made to TIFF this year, the festival continues to excel in giving a voice to Canadian filmmakers and video artists. Representatives of TIFF, once again, gathered in the Fairmont Royal York hotel to announce Canadian films which will play at the festival this year and then – presumably – disappear into Canadian cinemas, where a few of them will compete with the latest Oscar bait and Hollywood slop.
The Toronto Youth Shorts Film Festival has always been a reliable and reassuring venue for up-and-coming filmmakers and animators to showcase their passion projects for a wider audience; establishing an early imprint in their career. In its ninth year, the festival continues to succeed by screening solid work.
It’s that time of the year again, when people in suits infest the city and everyone becomes a cinephile for a week-and-a-half. It’s TIFF time, as the 42nd annual event gets ready to come down upon us.