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Dream Scenario

By: Jeff Ching The idea of a random Joe Schmoe appearing in everyone’s dreams is an intriguing premise, but could Dream Scenario’s writer/director Kristoffer Borgli (Sick of Myself) have ever imagined a better set-up than Nicolas Cage portraying this ubiquitous dream character?  The answer to my rhetorical question is a resounding “hell no!”. In fact, at the post-screening Q&A at this year’s TIFF, Cage explained how he easily relates to this character and brought up the meme about himself;…

Reviews

Talk to Me

By: Jolie Featherstone Talk to Me, by brothers Danny and Michael Philippou (a.k.a. RackaRacka of YouTube fame), is a modern folk tale charged with the rush and hook of viral trends, and the desperate compulsion of grief.

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Master Gardener

Master Gardener is the third entry in writer/director Paul Schrader’s “man in a room” series, and it’s a satisfying albeit modest finish to a contemplative trilogy the filmmaker hadn’t initially planned.

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Beau Is Afraid

By: Jolie Featherstone From Hereditary to Midsommar, and now Beau Is Afraid, director Ari Aster has dug deeper and deeper into the primal fears and anxieties of the human psyche, while injecting seemingly personal vulnerability into his doomed protagonists’ journeys.

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When You Finish Saving the World

When You Finish Saving the World is about human connectivity and how big personalities are interpreted through alternative perspectives.  It checks out that these elements are featured in Jesse Eisenberg’s directorial debut, an Oscar nominated performer who seems to be attracted to these themes when reflecting on his previous work.

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Funny Pages

As rude and unappealing Funny Pages can be, it’s a brutally honest and funny character study of a young artist who channels trauma and grief into his aspirations to be a successful cartoonist.  A true tale of an unlikely opportunist.

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Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On has always found a way to make people laugh through short films and literature.  For their next trick, creators Dean Fleischer-Camp and Jenny Slate effortlessly expand on their concept to include more of an emotional core to Marcel’s world in this self-titled, feature-length debut.

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Men

Following in similar footsteps as his previous feature Annihilation, Alex Garland’s Men offers an unsettling premise with visuals to match that are eventually hampered by an unnecessarily cryptic and complicated narrative.

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After Yang

After Yang chronicles the in-between of a family tragedy. Set in the not-so-distant future (similar to Spike Jonze’s Her), an assistive android named Yang (Justin H. Min, in one of this year’s strongest supporting roles) suddenly malfunctions. Yang’s assigned family are shaken up as they grasp for an action plan. The search for a satisfying resolution falls on the father, Jake (Colin Farrell), who slowly discovers more of Yang’s purpose as he shops around for repair…

Reviews

Red Rocket

Filmmaker Sean Baker follows up his American masterpiece The Florida Project, a drama about a helpless community living on the fringe of fantasy, with Red Rocket, another winner that dabbles in the same wheelhouse but broadening its scope to a rural population.  And much like how The Florida Project found humour in innocence, Red Rocket finds humour in ignorance.