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Articles by Shahbaz Khayambashi

Reviews

Yesterday

What would happen if you woke up one day and just one seemingly ubiquitous thing had vanished off the face of the earth?  As far as thought experiments go, this formula can lead to a variety of paths, most of them worth a bit of digging.  However, what would happen if the Beatles vanished off the face of the earth and the answer was told by a cheque-cashing Danny Boyle, based on yet another formulaic…

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The Dead Don’t Die

Jim Jarmusch has been making films for almost forty years.  Despite such a prolific career, his bad works can be counted on one hand.  This is a direct result of knowing his audience and knowing exactly what it is that they want.  This streak continues with his latest feature, The Dead Don’t Die, a zombie horror-comedy which takes on American consumption without ever taking itself too seriously;  after all, that film was made about forty…

Reviews

Walking on Water

Christo and Jeanne-Claude were a married couple who were well-known for creating massive works by altering the environment around them, often by wrapping a giant structure in plastic or introducing new foreign elements into an established setting.  Their works were equally celebrated and ridiculed by the artistic elites and society at large.  When Jeanne-Claude passed away from a brain aneurysm, Christo’s attempt to honour her came as a realization of a work they had planned…

Reviews

Girls of the Sun

The struggle of the Yazidi people against ISIS is a noteworthy story and one deserving of a sympathetic and heroic cinematic adaptation.  Unfortunately, Eva Husson’s Girls of the Sun is just not it.  While the film is serviceable, its relationship to its subject matter is somehow mundane and exploitative at the same time.

Reviews

3 Faces

In 2010, Jafar Panahi was arrested on the charge of making propaganda against Iran and was sentenced to not make any films for twenty years.  To a filmmaker, that is akin to having one’s tongue cut off.  Panahi, however, did not take that sentence into consideration;  the last nine years seeing four new releases from him, making it the most prolific chapter of his career.  This new act of revolutionary filmmaking has created some of…

Festival Coverage

Wylie Writes @ What The Film Festival ’19

In a city oversaturated by film festivals, it is nearly impossible to find a festival that isn’t somehow derivative of others.  While many festivals have something to offer to a small, niche audience, it often seems like it’s all been done.  And yet, occasionally, you find something wholly unique;  something that suggests that, not only is there no similar festival in Toronto, it may well be the only festival of its kind in the world….

Reviews

Hal

Hal Ashby is undoubtedly one of the underrated greats of American cinema.  While he never quite became a household name, his films frequently had a certain magical quality to them;  never quite being the film that people think of when referring to the great works of an actor, but rather that other film that always comes out in the second or third breath.  Films like Harold & Maude, The Last Detail, Bound for Glory and Being There ensured that he would…

Reviews

The Favourite

Yorgos Lanthimos has been one of the most exciting voices in cinema for the past decade;  from bringing attention to Greek cinema to bringing that off-kilter absurd style to an American audience.  Across four features, Lanthimos’ style has been apparent in a variety of ways;  from his films’ unusual stilted acting style to the general oddity of his imagery.  Now, in his latest feature The Favourite, Lanthimos shows that his style is inherent, even if…