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Reviews

The Reflecting Skin

British filmmaker Philip Ridley’s The Reflecting Skin hasn’t screened in Toronto since its Canadian premiere at TIFF in 1990.  Given its vibrant formalism and unconventional approach to genre, Ridley’s first feature simply may have been unable to find a broader audience.  However, the film works well for cult film audiences.

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2015: ‘Backtrack’ and ‘Patchwork’

Backtrack (DIR. Michael Petroni) By: Shahbaz Khayambashi Michael Petroni’s Backtrack contains a villain that does not often end up in horror films: guilt.  Adrien Brody portrays a psychiatrist, still seeing patients as he is being torn apart inside by the death of his young daughter.  It is at this juncture of his life where he realizes that he needs to come to terms with a traumatic accident that he witnessed, and inadvertently caused, as a child….

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2015: ‘The Interior’

By: Trevor Jeffery James (Patrick McFadden) is a typical 20-something living in Toronto facing a quarter-life crisis: he’s got a job he hates along with a boss he hates, a girlfriend towards whom he is apathetic, and he is tired of the city’s drone.  The final straw is a devastating diagnosis, after which he packs up and leaves everything behind for the dense woods of British Columbia.  Camping out and surviving with only packed sundries…

One-on-Ones

People Hold On (plus a One-On-One with Director Michael Seater)

By: Addison Wylie Life With Derek’s Michael Seater gets his directorial feet wet with the ensemble dramedy People Hold On.  It’s a good place for the budding filmmaker to start.  The film itself is contained within few environments and doesn’t call for visual tricks, which leaves Seater a lot of time to draw characters and connect with his tight-knit cast.  The filmmaker must’ve also felt another level of comfort and confidence knowing co-star Paula Brancati – whom…

Festival Coverage

Toronto Youth Shorts’ T24 2015: Challenging Perfection

By: Addison Wylie Toronto Youth Shorts’ T24 challenges filmmakers to create, finish, and submit a short film to the festival’s committee within 24-hours.  Before heading out to plan their production, each team is given a page-long mission statement for the challenge documenting the themes that their works should fulfill. This year, festival director Henry Wong and his team were inspired by recent, humbling articles complimenting the GTA.  The Toronto Youth Shorts committee state the long and…

Festival Coverage

TIFF 2015: Smiling Back with Adam Salky, Amy Koppelman, and Paige Dylan

By: Shannon Page Wylie Writes had the opportunity to sit down with director Adam Salky (Dare), as well as writers Amy Koppelman and Paige Dylan, about their film I Smile Back which stars Sarah Silverman as a drug and alcohol abusing New Jersey housewife trying to keep herself and her family together.  Koppelman and Dylan co-wrote the screenplay, based off of Koppelman’s 2008 novel by the same name. “The novel was incredibly helpful in making…

Reviews

Hellions

By: Addison Wylie Bruce McDonald (Hard Core Logo, The Tracey Fragments, Pontypool) is a very busy filmmaker.  In 2010 alone, the award-winning director released three films.  If I don’t like one of McDonald’s films, I can at least find something I can appreciate about his filmmaking, but his latest horror Hellions suggests to me that the next best thing for his career may be some downtime. The main problem with Hellions, a film about a…

Festival Coverage

Wylie Writes at Fan Expo ’15

By: Trevor Jeffery At Toronto’s Fan Expo (an annual gathering for sci-fi super fans, comic book buffs, anime addicts, gaming geeks, horror… fans), badge-wearing nerds flock from all around, many garbed as pop culture icons, to enjoy a convention of collective interests.  It’s a place where people can gather in community, compliment each other’s costumes, bathe in their favourite entertainment cultures and, of course, enjoy the celebrity guests.

Festival Coverage

TIFF 2015: ‘Lolo’

By: Shannon Page While on a spa retreat in the countryside with her best friend (Karin Viard), Violette (Julie Delpy, who also directs) meets geeky computer engineer Jean-René (Danny Boon).  Their romance gets rocky when Violette brings Jean-René into her sophisticated life in Paris and introduces him to her nineteen year old son, Lolo (Vincent Lacoste).  An unhappy Lolo attempts to sabotage his mother’s new relationship. The script – which was co-written by Delpy and Eugénie…

Festival Coverage

TIFF 2015: ‘Invention’

By: Addison Wylie It takes patience to mull thorough Mark Lewis’ Invention.  However, even the calmest movie goers may find themselves jiggling their leg and looking at their watch. Invention features visual artist Lewis and a wandering, hovering camera (driven by cinematographers Bobby Shore and Martin Testar) visiting Toronto, Paris, and Sao Paulo.  His feature film debut asks audiences to find fascination in minor details.  The camera floats, locks in on open, negative space and waits for…