Piggy is committed to its framework and characters, but it hasn’t settled on a primary genre. Actually, as confusing as it is, the story tries to make its main character the genre which, you can imagine, poses issues.
The Exchange is pitched as a film by Borat co-writer Dan Mazer. The ad campaign conveniently omits Mazer’s more recent effort Dirty Grandpa, a hard-R gross-out comedy that was dragged by critics and audiences alike although I feel like those reactions were over-the-top and unnecessary. This exclusion, though, may not be because of Dirty Grandpa’s negative reception, but because The Exchange has more in common with Borat – to an extent.
Pascal Plante’s Nadia, Butterfly eerily takes place at the now-cancelled 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and follows a French Canadian Olympian swimmer as she participates in her final event as a professional athlete. Lovingly directed yet glacially paced, Nadia, Butterfly boasts some excellent performances and cinematography, but struggles to overcome its vague characterizations and meandering screenplay.
Céline Sciamma’s highly acclaimed drama Portrait of a Lady on Fire is visceral filmmaking at its most eloquent. So much of this period piece hinges on textures, sights, and sounds to make the audience believe that we’re living through someone’s romantic memories.
I’m a late arrival to Agnès Varda’s career and, considering she passed away earlier this year, I thought I was too late to start appreciating her filmmaking. But what her final film Varda By Agnès has taught me is that it’s never too late to share or be inspired. And because the film has been made with compassion and love, it never feels like a pretentious exercise.
Contemporary cinephilia places – at times – undue emphasis on the auteur in relation to their work and in relation to the works of others. Intertwined authorship and intertextuality are the two most recurrent approaches in film criticism. As such, it’s easy to rationalize the existence of the Hitchcock/Truffaut: Magnificent Obsessions retrospective at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, given the sheer amount of discourse written on the famous relationship of Alfred Hitchcock and François Truffaut.
Unsimulated sex and its utilization in film is a continuing debate between movie aficionados on whether the uncensored acts add to a story or the general moviegoing experience. French filmmakers Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau create a controversial – yet very convincing – argument towards the issue in their minimalist drama Paris 05:59: Theo & Hugo.
By: Addison Wylie Serial (Bad) Weddings is a funny flick before it gets cold feet. Christian Clavier is the deadpan Claude Verneuil, a father who is constantly faced with cultural differences. Three daughters all marry over the course of three years, and all fall in love with men of different cultural backgrounds. The Verneuil’s welcome Chinese, Muslim, and Jewish ethnicities. The men are all standoffish with each other, the women are defensive, and the parents…
By: Addison Wylie Audiences can witness Wes Anderson going through filmmaking periods. We’re not exactly sure what’s triggering these changes of pace, but those willing to follow the whimsical auteur don’t regret the trip. As of late, Anderson has been wearing his French influences on his sleeve – or, rather across his forehead. He made the transition with The Fantastic Mr. Fox and then went full-tilt Français with his highly acclaimed Moonrise Kingdom; nodding towards…
By: Addison Wylie Palme d’Or winner Blue Is the Warmest Colour is an intellectual work about observing and defining sexuality. It’s a raw look allowing the viewer to be in clear view of everything, but by no means presents itself as indecent. In fact, those graphic scenes of sexual content that seem to be flooding the media surrounding Blue Is the Warmest Colour with controversy are represented this way because there is no other way…