Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2015: ‘Deathgasm’ and ‘The Diabolical’

Deathgasm (DIR. Jason Lei Howden) By: Shahbaz Khayambashi Think to yourself for one moment: what do you imagine when you think of a film entitled Deathgasm?  Jason Lei Howden’s film is basically that. The plot is simple enough: four teenage New Zealand metalheads decide to form a band, after sneaking into a Varg Vikernes stand-in’s house and coming into possession of music and lyrics to a demonic song which turns the inhabitants of their small town…


Wylie Writes’ One-On-One with Elaine Constantine

Elaine Constantine’s Northern Soul has been praised as an authentic reenactment of the music scene in 1970’s England – Lancashire to be exact.  The film also stands as a strong example of a filmmaker accomplishing their goals because they have been able to put so much of their heart and life experience into their project. Wylie Writes’ Trevor Jeffery liked the film when he caught it at this year’s TIFF – Northern Soul had its North American premiere at the…

Festival Coverage

TIFF 2015: ‘Northern Soul’

By: Trevor Jeffery In 1978, John (Elliot James Langridge) is a lonely English youth with a penchant for vandalism.  He goes from creepily shy to dance machine after meeting cool guy Matt (Josh Whitehouse) and being introduced to the sounds of American soul music.  And speed.  Lots and lots of speed. The two bond quickly over records and dancing.  John ditches his good boy life, rudely telling his parents and teacher to go elsewhere, and…


We Are Your Friends

By: Addison Wylie In five years, when you catch We Are Your Friends on cable, you’ll regret not seeing it in theatres.  For me, I felt like I was watching an exciting, addictive shockwave.  A realized movie that knew the power of music and its behavioural persuasion, as well as the importance of a key controller.  The movie may not have fast cars or roaring dinosaurs, but We Are Your Friends calls for a big screen experience….


Strange Magic

By: Addison Wylie Strange is right. Magic? Not so much. Oscar winner Gary Rydstrom takes a stab at feature length directing and writing with animated musical-fantasy Strange Magic, a movie that shouldn’t be anyone’s “first” for anything.  It begins as a novelty act with some redeeming moments of punchy animation and terrific duets, and then pushes its luck too far. The story (conceived by Star Wars’  George Lucas) gives audiences two opposing territories.  There’s a…


Around the World in 50 Concerts

By: Addison Wylie There’s nothing inherently wrong with Around the World in 50 Concerts, but there’s not a whole lot to it either. Heddy Honigmann’s documentary ought to be a hit with anyone who ever partook in band practice.  As a former student whom attended extracurricular concerts, I was most interested in the doc when Honigmann showed how the Dutch Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra traveled, which includes the process behind transporting these delicate instruments.  I also enjoyed…



By: Trevor Jeffery If you walk in to Eden with little understanding of electronic dance music (EDM), there won’t be much of an issue because you’ll be left feeling about the same as when the movie started. In 1992’s version of Paris, teenager Paul Vallée (Félix de Givry) sits in the woods as he hallucinates on some sort of rave drug.  Over the next 20 years, Paul will: start a EDM duo who brings in…


Porch Stories

By: Addison Wylie Porch Stories has a good eye and ear for the city;  most notably Toronto, Ontario.  After a parade disperses, the sidewalks are lined with kids hanging out with friends and families enjoying the nice weather.  In the distance, we can almost make out whirring white noise of busy cars and streetlights. Sarah Goodman’s film is black-and-white, and I’m unsure why she signed off on this artistic decision.  On the one hand, she…


Love & Mercy

By: Trevor Jeffery Over the past few decades, the biopic has been more or less perfected and recreated over and over, to the point of boring predictability.  While ultimately Love & Mercy is no exception, the film deviates from the structure enough to make the journey feel like a new, albeit shaky, perspective on the formula. Following Beach Boy Brian Wilson, the film jumps between the 20-something-prodigy Wilson in the 1960s (played by Paul Dano)…


Can’t Stand Losing You: Surviving The Police

By: Addison Wylie Can’t Stand Losing You: Surviving The Police has the novelty of guitarist Andy Summers reading his memoir to which this film is based on.  The audience watches Andy Grieve expansive documentary with full investment, but the experience feels more like a tell-all with a legend. Summers takes us on his journey beginning with his dog days of cutting his teeth in the music industry.  He glides through his past roles in other bands…