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Festival Coverage

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2019: ‘The Furies’ and ‘Mutant Blast’

The Furies (DIR. Tony D’Aquino) So, there are these seven women and seven monsters.  The women are tasked with staying alive, while the monsters attempt to kill them.  This plot could either be attached to a self-aware bit of amazing cinematic trash, or it could take itself too seriously and fail.  Tony D’Aquino’s The Furies falls firmly into the latter category.

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2019: ‘Blood Machines’ and ‘Homewrecker’

Blood Machines (DIR. Seth Ickerman) The cinema is a visual and narrative medium, but the narrative is often king.  Way too many films will give up on the visuals to tell a story, leading to slightly stagnant results.  As such, it is sometimes oddly refreshing to get a film which will sacrifice narrative cohesion in order to produce a spectacle of light and sound.  Seth Ickerman is such a filmmaker and Blood Machines, a collaboration between…

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2019: ‘Extra Ordinary’

Ghosts are just ordinary people who have died.  Surely, that means they are all around us, right?  Extra Ordinary starts with this quirky concept and adds satanism, post-domestic abuse, and driving school experience to turn the weirdness up to eleven.  The film’s weirdness isn’t its only trick, however, because Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman’s film is roaringly funny despite that.

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2019: ‘James vs. His Future Self’ and ‘Making Monsters’

James vs. His Future Self (DIR. Jeremy LaLonde) Jeremy LaLonde’s recent movies have truly owned their genre in a unique way.  The Go-Getters was a gleefully foul play on the traditional buddy formula, and How to Plan an Orgy in a Small Town was a charming sex comedy.  With James vs. His Future Self, LaLonde takes a swing at crossing science fiction with a romance – it’s a sweet success.

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2019: ‘The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale’ and ‘Witches in the Woods’

The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale (DIR. Lee Min-jae) The zombie genre has always managed to survive because zombies, as a monster, are wholly dependent on the zeitgeist of the time.  Since they are brainless creatures, their existence can generally be justified by the anxieties of the time (military industrial complex, consumerism, conformity, racism, etc.).  While that is an advantage to sub-genre, most zombie films follow the same template.  The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale is no…

Festival Coverage

TIFF 2019: ‘Tammy’s Always Dying’

By: Trevor Chartrand Former actress Amy Jo Johnson’s second directorial effort is Tammy’s Always Dying, an incredibly painful look at dysfunctional family dynamics.  The film explores the dark and unstable relationship between the understandably broken Catherine (Anastasia Phillips) and her suicidal mother Tammy (Felicity Huffman).

Festival Coverage

TIFF 2019: ‘Coppers’

In his documentary Coppers, Alan Zweig (15 Reasons To Live) interviews Canadian ex-police officers.  Occasionally, viewers are given the a ride-along perspective as the subjects drive around their formally patrolled turf and share some unforgettable stories.  Most of these interviewees can recall aged confrontations as if it happened hours before Zweig’s camera turned on.  For some, these cases have led to current wellness complications.  Along with riding shotgun, Zweig has also emulated the atmosphere of…

Festival Coverage

TIFF 2019: ‘The Twentieth Century’

Depending on who you ask, Canadian cinema may well be celebrating its 100th year this year and, despite the general dismay that it continues to attract from some, it is still very much able to be as innovative as any other national cinema.  Why the history lesson?  Because that may be the best way to introduce Matthew Rankin’s The Twentieth Century, at once a great addition to the Canadian cinematic canon and a bitter poisonous…