Jennie Livingston’s award-winning documentary Paris Is Burning has received a 4K restoration twenty-eight years after its initial release, and it’ll screen in select theatres across Canada throughout the year. I believe the re-release was planned in part to curate the footage, but also because the documentary is relevant as ever.
At the End of the Day comes from a good place, but its execution is rough.
As people grow up, ideas are suggested to them from various sources to help craft their life in a certain way. However with The Miseducation of Cameron Post, co-writer/director Desiree Akhavan makes an argument about the search for personal individuality which is not only liberating, but absolutely valid. Adapting Emily M. Danforth’s novel of the same name, Akhavan shows audiences that no matter what customs or beliefs are enforced onto another person, their voice and personality…
Sook-Yin Lee is currently mystifying Toronto movie goers with her long-awaited return to feature-length filmmaking. Octavio is Dead! gradually reels us in with a dream-like allure as we observe Tyler (Sarah Gadon) rediscover herself through the death of her absent father (Raoul Max Trujillo). From there, Lee strings her audience on a winding narrative that consistently maintains a personal intimacy throughout its run.
Pardon me for sounding blasé, but I can’t help but clench when a Canadian film makes supernatural suggestions. Other than the odd exception (A Sunday Kind of Love), these are ideas that are usually squandered of their potential (Considering Love & Other Magic). Imagine my surprise in Octavio Is Dead!, the latest filmmaking effort from Shortbus actor Sook-Yin Lee, when the writer/director treaded familiar ground but drove her film in a darker direction; blending different…
Craig Johnson (director/co-writer of The Skeleton Twins) returns with another sweet story about solving personal ambiguity with wonder, caution, and experience in Netflix’s Alex Strangelove. This time, the angst takes place in high school, as Johnson evolves the “teen sex comedy” sub-genre with positive (and current) messages of sexual orientation.
ABU is a beautiful trip through the life of Pakistani-Muslim filmmaker Arshad Khan. It’s also an outstanding and promising feature-length debut by the filmmaker.
Yorkshire farmer Johnny Saxby (Josh O’Connor) has a rough exterior that could be intimidating to others. He’s certainly aware of this power as he reflects his standoff attitude to anyone who criticizes him. But, Johnny is also a closeted gay man, distancing himself with personal conflict and confrontations. He acts on sexual desires with casual flings, but his romantic interests remain indifferent. That is, until he meets a migrant worker named Gheorghe (Alex Secareanu).
Charlie, a queer millennial in New York, is looking for love. His modest expectations are reasonable, yet the mission proves to be a constant bust throughout the course of Prom King, 2010. Charlie chats with friends, family, and other acquaintances within his community (mostly for catharsis or assistance), but these conversations lead to opinions – sometimes closed-minded views – about love, Charlie’s sexual orientation, and dating etiquette.
The David Dance is a stage-to-film adaptation from actor/screenwriter Don Scimé. I haven’t seen his original stage play, but I can figure out a couple of things from the movie: Scimé is a passionate artist who cares very deeply about the themes acknowledged in his work, but not enough compromises have been made by director Aprill Winney to make his original material fill feature film britches.