Canadian

Reviews

Unarmed Verses

Signs posted around a low-income housing block in Toronto announcing “new developments” promises desirable changes, but it’s the community who are woefully anticipating the shift.  This upcoming demolition, in pending stages of growth, means permanent relocation for these residents.  Kids and teenagers are encouraged to direct their focus on other, less stressful interests, such as poetry and music.

Reviews

Great Great Great

Set in the Roncesvalles neighbourhood of Toronto, Great Great Great is the story of Lauren (Sarah Kolasky) and Tom (Dan Beirne), a couple in their early thirties whose relationship is coasting along steadily despite Tom’s inability to find steady employment as an urban planner.  Nothing about Lauren and Tom‘s life is particularly awful: they eat food, they go to the gym, they have relationships with friends and family.  Everything begins to fall apart when Lauren‘s parents…

Reviews

Don’t Talk to Irene

Writer/director Pat Mills follows up his 2015 comedy Guidance with the equally hilarious Don’t Talk to Irene.  However, his latest flick is certainly cut from a quirkier cloth, but that doesn’t make it any less sarcastic.  It’s certainly one of the funniest films of the year.

Reviews

Long Time Running

A documentary about The Tragically Hip’s Man Machine Poem Tour needed to be made.  After all, it was a pivotal imprint in modern Canadian culture as the entire nation collectively considered the band’s timeless legacy and paid respects to terminally ill musician Gord Downie.  Finding filmmakers to handle such sensitive subject matter would be an intimidating order, yet Jennifer Baichwal (Watermark) and Nicholas de Pencier (cinematographer on The Ghosts in Our Machine) rise to the occasion and exceed…

Reviews

The Neighborhood

At the moment, there isn’t a more indulgent director than Frank D’Angelo.  The Canadian entrapreneur/musician has made a film career out of mob movies featuring (and recycling) loaded casts, essentially, playing cops n’ robbers.  The material is more than criminals and anti-heroes pointing guns and using twelve-letter words to berate each other, but some have argued otherwise.  The Neighborhood, unfortunately, gives the haters ammunition.

Reviews

Hunting Pignut

Written, directed, and produced by Martine Blue, Hunting Pignut is the story of Bernice, played by Taylor Hickson (Aftermath, Deadpool), a teenager in a rural Newfoundland community.  She is a typical teenage misfit: lonely, bullied at school for no obvious reason, and picked last at sports.  When Bernice’s estranged father dies of a drug overdose, his wake is crashed by a gang of gutter punks claiming to have been his closest friends – one of…

Festival Coverage

TIFF 2017: ‘Meditation Park’

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.

Festival Coverage

TIFF 2017: ‘Porcupine Lake’

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.

Festival Coverage

Wylie Writes @ TIFF ’17 – Canadian Slate

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.