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The Outside Story

By: Trevor Chartrand A brilliant slice-of-life comedy, The Outside Story is a charming and lighthearted little film.  This day-in-the-life movie tells the story of Charles Young (Hotel Artemis’ Brian Tyree Henry), an introverted video editor who’s down in the dumps after splitting up with his ex.  After accidentally locking himself out of his apartment, this homebody is forced to stop and smell the roses in his neighbourhood for the first time since he moved in.  While…

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Underplayed

By: Trevor Chartrand Director Stacey Lee raises some important questions in Underplayed, a documentary about diversity in the music industry.  Specifically, the film focuses on electronica (or dance music) and the women who make it.  Often left behind on a concert schedule predominately populated by men, these artists are underappreciated and underrepresented, especially in this particular genre.

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398 Days: Hostage

By: Trevor Chartrand Based on a true story, 398 Days: Hostage is the harrowing account of a Danish photographer captured, tortured and held hostage in Syria for over a year.  Young and ambitious, our protagonist Daniel Rye Ottosen (Esben Smed) is an Olympic contender with the Danish gymnastics team, until a knee injury shatters his dreams of pursuing the gold medal.  Short on prospects and in need of work, Daniel starts his career over with…

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Sugar Daddy

By: Trevor Chartrand Director Wendy Morgan has made an interesting and thought-provoking film with her drama Sugar Daddy.  The movie features the story of Darren, an aspiring musician who joins a paid dating service to make ends meet until her music career takes off.  While acting as arm candy for wealthy older guys at high society functions is by no means prostitution, Darren struggles with her own self-worth and the moral implications of selling herself…

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Donny’s Bar Mitzvah

By: Trevor Chartrand Irreverent, crude, absurd and insane, Donny’s Bar Mitzvah is a bizarrely entertaining comedy that somehow manages to function coherently – while at the same time doing everything wrong.  The film is certainly funny, bordering on hilarious, but incredibly immature.  Keep the kids out of the room for this one, folks.

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Doors

By: Trevor Chartrand Doors is an anthology-style sci-fi film from the producers of V/H/S, featuring four short stories all set in the same universe.  Each story or segment is helmed by its own filmmaker, giving us a variety of perspectives and approaches to one shared idea.  Without a doubt, the film is an interesting experiment and a great way to showcase the uniqueness of the creative mind.  Given the same premise, each filmmaker turns in a…

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Death of a Ladies’ Man

By: Trevor Chartrand In the delightfully surreal Death of a Ladies’ Man, director Matt Bissonette addresses some hard-hitting subjects in a mature (yet somehow silly) way.  This darkly funny film was heavily influenced and inspired by the work of Leonard Cohen, and the late artist’s presence in the film will not go unnoticed.  The film explores themes and ideas present in Cohen’s music, and features a soundtrack that includes plenty of Cohen songs.

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Meltdown

By: Trevor Chartrand Director Fredric Golding takes a look at climate change with Meltdown, a documentary that focuses on the decline of melting glaciers in Greenland, the world’s ‘ground zero’ for evidence of climate change.  The film features an odd-couple collaboration between Yale Science professor Tony Leiserowitz and renowned photographer Lynn Davis – two vastly different personalities with a shared interest in raising Global Warming awareness.

Reviews

Falling

By: Trevor Chartrand Falling is the incredibly strong directorial debut from Viggo Mortensen, featuring fully-realized characters in a well-constructed, grounded world.  The film illustrates humanity at its most raw in this powerfully compelling and dramatic character study.