8/21/2017

This Time Tomorrow: A Living Family Album


This Time Tomorrow (Mañana a esta hora)
(Canada/Colombia, 85 min.)
Written and directed by Lina Rodriguez
Starring: Laura Osma, Maruia Shelton, Francisco Zaldua, Francisco Restrepo
There are no big moments in This Time Tomorrow. There are no loud dramatic bursts, no screaming fits, and no outpouring of emotions. And that’s just fine.


8/13/2017

Detroit: Battle of Algiers


Detroit
(USA, 143 min.)
Dir. Kathryn Bigelow, Writ. Mark Boal
Starring: John Boyega, Will Poulter, Algee Smith, Jacob Latimore, Jason Mitchell, Anthony Mackie, Hannah Murray, Kaitlin Dever, Nathan Davis, Jr., Jack Reynor, Ben O’Toole, John Krasinski
eOne Films
What a weekend to see Detroit. The morning of the screening, Twitter was ablaze with disgusting and appalling images of white supremacists, Klansmen, neo-Nazis, and other varieties of deplorable trash marching in a kind of #WhiteLivesMatter rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Emboldened by the idea that more rights for others means fewer rights for them, these pitchforking wielding racists leave one wondering if the land of Lady Liberty will ever find peace.


8/11/2017

Nancy Grant Says Xavier Dolan's 'John F. Donovan' Will Debut this Fall

Kit Harrington in The Death and Life of John F. Donovan
Photo by Shane Laverdière / eOne Films
The plot thickens! After much debate and speculation ensued when Xavier Dolan's upcoming star-studded English-language debut The Death and Life of John F. Donovan was not included in the Toronto International Film Festival's Canadian programming announcement comes another oddity. According to Marc-André Lussier at La presse, the film's producer, Nancy Grant, says Donovan will premiere at a festival this fall.

8/10/2017

'Wind River' Haunts with a Chill

Wind River
(USA, 110 min.)
Written and directed by Taylor Sheridan
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen, Graham Greene, Kelsey Asbille, Gil Birmingham
Elizabeth Olsen and Jeremy Renner star in Wind River
VVS Films
The whispers of frigid air provide a winter chill in Wind River. Set in the snowy mountains of Wyoming at the Wind River Reservation, Wind River could easily take place in the Canadian North up by Highway 16 (aka Highway of Tears) with its unsettling story of a young Indigenous woman who is raped and murdered in an act of violence that seems all too common. She runs through the snowy field as the film begins, coughing blood as her lungs freeze until her frostbitten bare feet can’t carry her any further and she collapses. As she runs, a poem quietly murmurs in voiceover: it’s the sound of a ghost floating through a valley in which death always hangs in the air. This film chills you to the bone with its unnerving and all too real drama.


8/09/2017

TIFF Announces Canadian Line-up: A mix of veterans and newcomers (and no Dolan!)



Ingrid Veninger's Porcupine Lake debuts at TIFF
Courtesy of TIFF

There were three recurring questions at today’s TIFF press conference for Canadian films screening at this year’s festival:

1) Where’s the Dolan?
2) What about opening night?
3) Which of these people have you heard of?

Let’s unpack the #tiff17 interrogation in a game of bon cop/bad cop.

8/03/2017

TIFF's Platform Competition Highlights International Films and Stars

Alicia Vikander and Eva Green star Euphoria.
Courtesy of TIFF
The Toronto International Film Festival announced the films selected for the third edition of the Platform competition. Introduced in 2015, Platform offers a prestigious and tightly curated line-up of auteur cinema designed to give new and innovative voices a spotlight in the programme. Previous winners are Alan Zweig's Hurt and Pablo Larrain's Jackie. The programme also gave a major spotlight to Barry Jenkins' Moonlight last year, which went on to win Best Picture at the Oscars.


7/27/2017

Dunkirk: Band of Brothers


Dunkirk
(USA/UK/Netherlands/France, 106 min.)
Written and directed by Christopher Nolan
Starring: Fionn Whitehead, Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Jack Lowden, Barry Keoghan, Aneurin Barnard, Tom Glynn-Carney, Harry Styles
Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick.

The clock keeps ticking in Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk. Every second counts in this intense tour de force. Dunkirk is a pulse-pounding drama that realises the evacuation of British soldiers at Dunkirk by land, air, and sea. The film weaves together three narrative threads about the soldiers on the beach, the civilians in the boats, and the fighters in the air as they all work together to bring one another safely home. Breathless entertainment, Dunkirk is, but it’s foremost an intricately crafted drama about the collective struggle in wartime.


7/25/2017

Losing Weight Isn't a Bad Thing: Thoughts on the TIFF Announcement


C'est la vie starring Suzanne Clément (centre) closes TIFF '17.
Courtesy of TIFF
Losing weight is rarely a bad thing. A diet looks to be boding well for the Toronto International Film Festival after reducing its belly by 20%. With today’s announcement of the first wave of programming, TIFF’s earliest slate of Galas and Special Presentations seems to have resisted the sugary cravings and empty calories. There’s a healthy mix of stars, indies and world cinema, and the effort to spotlight women directors (about 30% so far) and multiculturalism is appreciated given that this portion of the line-up draws heaviest from the Hollywood side of things, which still has a ways to go. Those numbers will improve with the forthcoming announcements of documentaries, indies, and international titles. TIFF’s eating its veggies even if most members of the press have little more than black coffee and free booze come September.


7/21/2017

#TIFF17 Wish List

Ryan Gosling in Denis Villeneuve's Blade Runner 2049
The Toronto International Film Festival drops its first wave of programming announcements on Tuesday, July 25. The bulk of the Canadian programming gets unveiled fairly late this year (August 9th), but it’s not too early to start listing all the titles one hopes to see at the festival.

The pressure’s on TIFF this year, though. The festival announced earlier this year that it plans to reduce the line-up by 20%. Given that TIFF generally has around 300 titles, that’s about 60 films less than usual.

7/14/2017

Ottawa International Animation Festival Announces Line-up!

Oscar winner Torill Kove returns to Ottawa with Threads
Courtesy NFB
The Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF) has unveiled the line-up for the 2017 edition of the festival. The festival, which is North America's largest showcase of animation and the National Capital's premiere film event, boasts a strong line-up of international works and Canadian cartoons. OIAF offers five feature films in competition this year and ninety-four short films in competition, fourteen of which are Canadian productions or co-productions. Also returning to the festival are the Canadian Panorama and Canadian Student Competition, which provide healthy surveys of CanCon.


7/07/2017

Blue 'Moon'


From the Land of the Moon (Mal de pierres)
(France/Belgium/Canada, 120 min.)
Dir. Nicole Garcia, Writ. Nicole Garcia, Jacques Fieschi
Starring: Marion Cotillard, Louis Garrel, Alex Brendemühl 
Pacific Northwest Pictures
From the Land of the Moon is a film of a different era. Fifty years ago, it might have been the stuff of awards and rave reviews. There’s a lot to admire in its prestigious production that soaks up the scenery the Alps while French superstar Marion Cotillard acts her heart out playing Gabrielle, a young woman from a small post-World War II town who draws suspicions of madness because she believes in true love. It’s 2017, though, and movies need to do more than make their leading ladies long for a man to earn their laurels.

7/05/2017

Vengeful Bitches Slay


The Beguiled
(USA, 93 min.)
Written and directed by Sofia Coppola
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell, Kirsten Dunst, Elle Fanning, Oona Laurence, Angourie Rice, Addison Riecke, Emma Howard
“What have you done to me, you vengeful bitches?!” cries Corporal John McBurney (Colin Farrell) in a fit of rage. McBurney shrieks his words with a timbre so venomous that every male in the audience might cross his legs, wince, and grasp at his nether regions just to make sure that they’re still in the theatre. The male members of the audience, anyways.


6/30/2017

2017 in Review: The Best Films of the Year so Far


Cate Blanchett gives the 13 best performances of 2017 in Manifesto.
Photo by Julian Rosefeldt, courtesy of Filmrise.
Is it already June? This year is just flying by. I’m sorry that updates here have been scant (work’s just been a series of events that haven’t let up) but this blog seems to be waking up from an extended hibernation. It’s time to recap the year at its halfway mark.

Contest! Win Run of Engagement Passes to See 'From the Land of the Moon' Starring Marion Cotillard!



Cinemablographer favourite Marion Cotillard returns in the acclaimed drama From the Land of the Moon. After debuting to strong notices for Cotillard’s performance at last year’s Cannes Film Festival (where she also turned heads for It’s Only the End of the World) and earning eight César Award (French Oscar) nominations including Best Film and Best Actress, From the Land to the Moon is coming to theatres. The film opens July 7 from Pacific Northwest Pictures and Cinemablographer has run of engagement passes for lucky readers to see the film. Enter the trivia below for your chance to win!

6/22/2017

"That's, Like, the Biggest Shark I've Ever Seen."


47 Meters Down
(USA, 89 min.)
Dir. Johannes Roberts; Writ. Johannes Roberts, Ernest Riera
Starring: Mandy Moore, Claire Holt
Mandy Moore Claire Holt
Claire Holt and Mandy Moore star in 47 Meters Down.
VVS Films
The cautious tourists always have the craziest vacations. Linda (Goldie Hawn) plays it safe and doesn’t talk to strangers during her Ecuadorian nightmare, but she gets kidnapped and terrorized by the cartel. Susan (Cate Blanchett) drinks Diet Coke without ice to avoid germs in Morocco, yet a renegade bullet nips her whilst she naps on a tour bus. Darlene (Kate Beckinsale) hesitantly agrees with her friend Alice (Claire Danes) to swap Hawaii for Thailand and (whoops) finds herself spending more time in jail than on the beach. Rose (Kate Winslet) follows her mother’s orders until she rebels and finds love on a cruise ship until (whomp whomp) the boat sinks. Lonely Planet doesn’t prepare tourists for plot twists.