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The Burnt Orange Heresy

“Soapy” is usually a word with a negative connotation, but The Burnt Orange Heresy seems to challenge that. The film is a to-do list of soapy thematic tropes, such as using sex, deception, and even murder to drive its story, yet director Giuseppe Capotondi, screenwriter Scott B. Smith, and a great cast get away with it because the central drama is so interesting and the characters are so beguiling.

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Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Céline Sciamma’s highly acclaimed drama Portrait of a Lady on Fire is visceral filmmaking at its most eloquent.  So much of this period piece hinges on textures, sights, and sounds to make the audience believe that we’re living through someone’s romantic memories.

Reviews

There Are No Fakes

Kevin Hearn, keyboardist for The Barenaked Ladies and an avid art collector, accidentally opened a can of worms by purchasing a painting by late indigenous artist Norval Morrisseau.  During an exhibit of Hearn’s curated pieces at the Art Gallery of Ontario, his Morrisseau was proven to be bogus.  This pivotal event (which also led to a lengthy court case) pulled a thread, unravelling conflicting opinions surrounding a remarkable mystery behind Morrisseau’s work.

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Walking on Water

Christo and Jeanne-Claude were a married couple who were well-known for creating massive works by altering the environment around them, often by wrapping a giant structure in plastic or introducing new foreign elements into an established setting.  Their works were equally celebrated and ridiculed by the artistic elites and society at large.  When Jeanne-Claude passed away from a brain aneurysm, Christo’s attempt to honour her came as a realization of a work they had planned…

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Ruben Brandt, Collector

Art has been known to be so vivid and realistic that it can leap off the page, the canvas, et cetera.  That saying becomes quite literal for psychotherapist Ruben Brandt, who is experiencing surrealists nightmares of famous paintings torturing him.  In order to confront and conquer his fears, Brandt makes a bold choice to steal and obtain each work of art that haunts him, therefore being in full control of whatever is “out” to get…

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The Image Book

The Image Book is nonsense that gives experimental cinema a bad name.  If a comedy had to spoof an “artsy” movie that’s “a little bit out there”, the filmmakers would try and emulate the ludicrous decisions Jean-Luc Godard makes in his latest “movie”.  They might as well play portions of The Image Book instead of writing anything.

Reviews

The Price of Everything

The central question at the core of Nathaniel Kahn’s The Price of Everything is how importantly, or inherently, is money connected to art?  The answer reveals itself through the understanding of artists, historians and dealers, with that importance going higher as monetary power does.  In other words, this documentary ultimately makes two points: art is inherently financial, and capitalism will slowly but surely cause the demise of it.

Reviews

Maker of Monsters: The Extraordinary Life of Beau Dick

A new documentary called Maker of Monsters: The Extraordinary Life of Beau Dick was formally titled Meet Beau Dick.  The older title is fitting because, over the course of 90 minutes, that’s exactly what the audience does thoroughly.  I assume the name change was for keepsake purposes since Beau Dick passed away last year at the age of 61.  But no matter what it’s called, Maker of Monsters is a good movie.  Standardly structured, but an honourable film…