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Shahbaz Khayambashi

Reviews

It Comes at Night

There is a tradition in American horror cinema of making a short film with a lot of effects and minimal plot to be eventually used as a calling card.  It seems like this practice has found its way into the feature length semi-mainstream.  At least, that’s the only explanation for the existence of Trey Edward Shults’ It Comes at Night, a film which shows the director’s abilities as a horror filmmaker – including his great gift for…

Reviews

Urban Hymn

A racially-diverse group of children cause havoc until a teacher comes along and sets them straight.  No, this isn’t about Stand and Deliver or Dangerous Minds.  This is about Urban Hymn, yet another film which takes the familiar plotline and runs nowhere with it.

Festival Coverage

Hot Docs 2017: ’78/52′ and ‘Motel’

78/52 (DIR. Alexandre Philippe) It’s a testament to Alfred Hitchcock’s talent as a filmmaker that he directed the shower scene from Psycho and he is still known for things other than that;  any other director would have simply become known by that singular sequence.  Even though, that particular scene may well be the single most studied, analyzed and deconstructed scene in the history of cinema and, as a part of this tradition, there is Alexandre…

Reviews

Raw

There is a horror renaissance going on right now that everyone should be excited about.  The genre has struggled to keep up with the horrors of the real world and has returned to top form;  with many of the best films of the last few years coming from the auteurs of screams.  One of these films, a film which made this critic’s top ten list last year, is Julia Ducournau’s Raw, which is finally getting…

Festival Coverage

Hot Docs 2017: ‘My Enemy, My Brother’ and ‘PACmen’

My Enemy, My Brother (DIR. Ann Shin) In 2015, Ann Shin documented a rather unusual event: an Iranian child soldier, Zahed, had recently had a chance encounter with an Iraqi soldier, Najah, whom he had saved during the Iran-Iraq war, at a Vancouver institution for survivors of torture.  This chance encounter had made the two men friends.  This anomaly had led to the short film My Enemy, My Brother.  Now, Hot Docs is home to the…

Reviews

XX

It’s no secret that women are all too frequently shut out of the film industry, with few of them being able to make a living or having their work seen.  In recent years, there has been a renaissance of genre films made by women, but their work is still a minority in cinemas or at film festivals.

Reviews

Exit: Music

Nazis plundering art has been a subject of much consideration and curiosity ever since the objects began to be recovered.  Plenty of focus has been placed on paintings that were lost and found in this way, and the reasons for it are plain to be seen: the paintings have famous, long-deceased names attached and, due to their singular status, they can only be experienced by a limited number of people and can be valued at…