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Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2019: ‘8’, ‘The Assent’ and ‘The Mortuary Collection’

8 (DIR. Harold Holscher) Horror can be found just about anywhere, however not all horror is equal.  This is why films that incorporate real-life horrors must be particularly aware of how they incorporate the various elements.  Former TAD presentation Under the Shadow is a great example of how to do this correctly.  But, this is why Harold Holscher’s 8 is so conflicting.  It doesn’t really have much to say about its source events, creating a final product…

Reviews

Parasite

Using a narrative that gradually builds momentum through a series of hustles and surprises, Parasite is utterly unpredictable.  It’s a memorable flick not only for its mind-bending story, but because director Bong Joon-ho (The Host [2006], Snowpiercer, Okja) has reinvented the farce formula with this Palme d’Or award-winner.

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2019: ‘Contracts’ and ‘Paradise Hills’

Contracts (DIR. Alex Chung) Critics Jean-Luc Comolli and Paul Narboni once suggested that all films were inherently political because, even when a film lacks an overt political bent, its refusal to question the politics of its world is an acceptance of said politics.  This lesson in film theory may sound like it is coming out of nowhere, but it serves a purpose, namely in explaining that Alex Chung’s Contracts—which had its world premiere at Toronto After…

Reviews

Jojo Rabbit

World War II has been done!  This is hardly a controversial claim when it comes to cinema;  everyone and their mother has already made a film about World War II—whether about how bad the war was or how heroic—and seemingly every possible angle has already been covered.  Filmmaker Taika Waititi, however, finds a way to stand out with Jojo Rabbit, a movie that refuses to be about the war at all, instead using his unique brand…

Reviews

Pain and Glory

By: Trevor Chartrand Pedro Almodóvar’s Pain and Glory is a well-crafted melodrama;  an emotional piece weighed heavily by its evocation of sadness and regret.  The film stars Antonio Banderas as Salvador Mallo, an aging filmmaker who reflects on his past and the mistakes he’s made – mistakes that seem more clear through older, wiser eyes.  Almodóvar explores themes of life, love, family, regret, and retribution, all through the lens of the classic mantra: ‘hindsight is…

Reviews

The Lighthouse

When Robert Eggers appeared on the cinematic scene with The Witch at 2015’s Sundance Film Festival, he exposed untold new ways to tell horror stories.  So, what can someone who has already reinvented a genre do to follow up such a work?  Eggers decided to use a similar formula—mainly the research of authentic historical documents that went into the screenplay’s creation of horror—to tell a brand-new story.  The results are great.

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2019: A One-On-One with Precious Chong

At this year’s Toronto After Dark Film Festival (which is currently in full swing at the city’s Scotiabank Theatre), you won’t be able to shake Precious Chong’s wild performance in Zach Gayne’s Homewrecker.  As Linda, Chong channels mousey and maniacal characteristics after she haphazardly kidnaps a new “friend” Michelle (Starry Eyes’ Alex Essoe).  Chong is funny, but she’s careful not to exploit the character;  allowing Essoe’s character to show empathy towards Linda under nerve-racking circumstances.

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2019: ‘The Furies’ and ‘Mutant Blast’

The Furies (DIR. Tony D’Aquino) So, there are these seven women and seven monsters.  The women are tasked with staying alive, while the monsters attempt to kill them.  This plot could either be attached to a self-aware bit of amazing cinematic trash, or it could take itself too seriously and fail.  Tony D’Aquino’s The Furies falls firmly into the latter category.