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Festival Coverage

TIFF 2015: ‘I Smile Back’

By: Shannon Page Probably best known for her stand-up comedy and satirical roles, Sarah Silverman isn’t the first name that comes to mind when one thinks of serious dramatic actresses – but maybe she should be. Directed by Adam Salky (Dare), I Smile Back stars Silverman as Laney Brooks, a suburban housewife and mother of two.  In between packing lunches and driving the kids to school, Laney’s self-destructive behavior and out-of-control drug use begin to…

Festival Coverage

TIFF 2015: ‘Northern Soul’

By: Trevor Jeffery In 1978, John (Elliot James Langridge) is a lonely English youth with a penchant for vandalism.  He goes from creepily shy to dance machine after meeting cool guy Matt (Josh Whitehouse) and being introduced to the sounds of American soul music.  And speed.  Lots and lots of speed. The two bond quickly over records and dancing.  John ditches his good boy life, rudely telling his parents and teacher to go elsewhere, and…

Festival Coverage

TIFF 2015: ‘Ville-Marie’

By: Trevor Jeffery College senior Thomas (TIFF rising star Aliocha Schneider) witnesses a young mother’s suicide after she hands him her baby and dives in front of a truck.  Guy Édoin’s Ville-Marie takes two paths from this first scene tragedy: one, following Thomas as he reunites with his estranged actress mother shooting on location in Montreal, Sophie (Monica Bellucci), and the second following the hospital staff – a paramedic who shows up to the scene,…

Festival Coverage

TIFF 2015: ‘Dégradé’

Trapped in a hair salon while chaos ensues outside, the characters of Arab and Tarzan Nasser’s tensely-written Dégradé are confronted by the worsening socio-economic conditions of Palestine: frequent brownouts, lack of security, armed conflict, and ideological extremism.  The Nasser twins use their diverse range of female characters – all differing in terms of devoutness, personality, and in some cases cultural background – to weave together a flowing, stimulating dialogue on the political and social climate…

Festival Coverage

TIFF 2015: ‘Love’

By: Mark Barber Love is about reconciling romance with sex;  something its director, French provocateur Gaspar Noé, and the film’s main protagonist, Murphy (Karl Glusman), agree on.  Whether or not Noé is successful in marrying romance and sex (and whether they are even really that diametrically opposed outside of some conceptions of pornography) doesn’t matter.  Love faults in so many other ways, it’s easy to ignore its ambition. Love tells the story of the turbulent…

Festival Coverage

TIFF 2015: ‘She Stoops to Conquer’

By: Addison Wylie TIFF’s short film programmes have always featured creative work made by gifted people. This year, Peterborough born filmmaker Zack Russell is one of those people. She Stoops to Conquer marks Russell’s filmmaking debut, but he couldn’t be farther from being a beginner. His sweeping theatre experience has allowed Russell to gradually learn how to communicate with actors, how to block a scene, and how to understand the emotions behind a playwright’s work. After watching…

Festival Coverage

TIFF 2015: ‘Louder Than Bombs’

By: Shannon Page Louder than Bombs’s non-linear plot follows a widower named Gene Reed (Gabriel Byrne) and his sons, Jonah (Jesse Eisenberg) and Conrad (Devin Druid), as they navigate life two years after the death of Gene’s wife Isabelle (Isabelle Huppert) who was an acclaimed conflict photographer.  Jonah, now a university professor, returns to his childhood home to sort through his mother’s things prior to an upcoming retrospective on her life’s work. Given the subject…

Festival Coverage

Wylie Writes Rides with TUFF 2015

By: Addison Wylie As the city of Toronto gears up for its most prestigious film festival, passengers of the city’s TTC subway service will be occupied by various one-minute silent short films while they gaze at platform monitors and await their ride. TUFF (the Toronto Urban Film Festival) remains the largest film festival for commuters in North America.  From September 12th to the 20th, shorts from around the globe will play on TTC’s 290 available…

Reviews

Fantasia Fest 2015: ‘The Demolisher’

By: Addison Wylie Director Gabriel Carrer’s screenplay of The Demolisher is practically speechless until 18-minutes into the film.  However, the audience is so acquainted with the heart-aching leads by then, that Carrer’s film could’ve gotten away with completely being a silent film. If film critic-turned-filmmaker Chris Alexander is carrying out a similar yet more minimalist approach with the horror genre, Carrer could’ve done the same with this crime thriller.  Nonetheless, The Demolisher is really good.  And…