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.
I like Crackerhead, but this latest experimental experience from filmmaker Mike Klassen is making me sweat – it’s a tough movie to review if you can’t crack through Klassen’s poker face. The film’s flippant facade has anarchy written all over it, but the drive behind Klassen’s directorial decisions and stylistic storytelling suggests a deeper, poignant project.
The horror independent film scene may be the most supportive community of movie goers and filmmakers. Take Blood Hunters, for instance. Despite the movie’s routine qualities, I can imagine horror fanatics who scroll through weekly VOD titles every Tuesday will appreciate it for what it is – an honest effort with some admirably gruesome moments. Blood Hunters isn’t just for this niche audience though. It’s a harmless escape for those with a strong enough stomach…
Canada turns 150-years-old on Saturday, July 1, and film aficionados have been given two homegrown films to anticipate this historic birthday.
Tyler Perry apologists may find pleasurable qualities in Sergio Navarretta’s The Colossal Failure of the Modern Relationship. Then again, even those movie goers have seen this sort of romantic peril too many times by now (the Why Did I Get Married? series).
Jude Klassen’s feature film debut Love in the Sixth is a hodgepodge of “stuff”, but I kind of expected that.
A Better Man seems to have a concise albeit well-filmed production. It’s structured around a few confrontational chats and therapy sessions, along with a brief tour of pivotal locations mattering to filmmaker Attiya Khan and ex-lover Steve. The truth is A Better Man has been 20-plus-years in the making.
My introduction to filmmaking duo Brett Butler and Jason Butler was imperfect. Prior to the release of their indie Mourning Has Broken, I interviewed Brett. He was an all-around standup guy who was grateful for when he and his brother won Ingrid Veninger’s “1K Challenge”, granting them access to make their dark comedy starring character actor Robert Nolan.
Movies can be delicious, such as this year’s rom-com Bakery in Brooklyn. Despite the fresh food, the charming chemistry between the two leading women is what made the film buoyant. On the other end of the scale, you have Menorca, which is deliciously bad. This film feeds us so much camp, we’re begging for more when the movie begins to clam up.
The Devout is a new addition to the faith-based genre, and it’s actually a pretty cool flick. You don’t often hear “cool” in the same discussion as recent faith-based cinema, so I assume I already have your attention.