Lenin M. Sivam’s Roobha explores two intersecting narratives: one, a young dancer, Roobha (Amrit Sandhu), a transgender woman living on the streets; two, an older bartender Antony (Jesuthasan Antonythasan) whose poor lifestyle choices have severally worsened his health. The two unexpectedly fall in love, creating tension in both characters’ lives.
Director, writer, and star Frederick Keeve demonstrates a strong imagination but a weak sense of dramatic ability in his feature The Accompanist, a story about a gay piano accompanist who becomes infatuated with a male ballerina amidst a series of tragedies that befall both men.
Two years ago, I seemed to be on the wrong side of the tracks when discussing Netflix’s bubblegum teen movie To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. Everyone threw their arms around it, except for me who thought teenagers deserved a smarter movie. Excuse my déjà vu as I find myself in the same dilemma. The reviews are in for Netflix’s latest fluffy flick The Half of It and people find it endearing, except for…
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.
The ReelHeART International Film & Screenplay Festival is currently underway until Saturday, July 8 featuring events all over the city of Toronto. I’ve seen two of this year’s selected documentaries and while these films belong in separate categories, both have a comparable criticism.