TIFF Reviews: '3-Way (Not Calling)', 'Blind Vaysha', 'Ape Sodom'

3-Way (Not Calling)
(Canada, 10 min.)
Written and directed by Molly McGlynn
Programme: Short Cuts (World Premiere)
Courtesy of TIFF

The future of Canadian comedy looks pretty hot if Molly McGlynn’s 3-Way (Not Calling) is any hint of things to come. This funny and naughty hook-up adventure for the Netflix and chill age is bold and hilarious as Mel (Emma Hunter) and her husband (Kristian Bruuns) decide to spice up the monotony of Saturday nights of sweat pants and Game of Thrones. After a few awkward Craig's List ads and near casual encounters, they take a shot on the eclectic barista slinging beans at the local shop (Emily Coutts).  Spirited performances by the trio of actors create a spunky threesome as they explore the awkwardness of the situation. While the territory of hookups in the era of online ads and Tinder swipes isn't necessarily new terrain, 3-Way (Not Calling) is a smarter and funnier take. This short has its finger on button when it comes to the lost intimacy of connection when everyone it's plugged in and tuned in to mobile screens. Swipe right for 3-Way.

3-Way (Not Calling) screens in Short Cuts 1.

Blind Vaysha
(Canada, 8 min.)
Dir. Theodore Ushev
Programme: Short Cuts (North American Premiere)
Courtesy of TIFF

Animation master Theodore Ushev returns with the ambitious and enthralling film Blind Vaysha. This 3D film brings more of Ushev’s singular style, but it marks a notable drift from his recent experiments in shapes and structures after Gloria Victoria, Third Page from the Sun, and Sonambulo as a narrative work. The film adapts a tale about a young girl with peculiar vision who can choose to see either the past or the future as the film builds its own fable with shapes and patterns that evoke history in a contemporary flavour. Blind Vaysha is still an Ushev film through and through, though, for, unlike the discordant eyes of the poor young girl, narrative and experimentation aren’t incompatible elements. Ushev’s remarkably vivid palette offers one of his deepest films yet as the film meditates upon the limitations of human vision and foresight.

Blind Vaysha screens in Short Cuts Programme 2

Ape Sodom
(Canada, 14 min.)
Dir. Maxwell McCabe-Lokos
Programme: Short Cuts
Courtesy of TIFF

Without a doubt the weirdest and most fucked up film at the festival, Ape Sodom is a TIFF shorts novelty. This bizarre black comedy from Maxwell McCabe-Lokos, the writer and star of Bruce McDonald’s The Husband, envisions a post-consumer hell of hedonistic pleasures. McCabe-Lokos stars as a sweaty and sickly looking garbage picker who takes up and offers that’s too good to refuse and finds himself in a sick and twisted fetish freak-fest involving a gorilla suit, a television remote, some lube, and other things that are just too troubling to name. Ape Sodom amps up the weird factor as the dingy hotel room in which the drifter sells his soul features a TV documentary narrated by David Cronenberg, Canada’s king of the strange and unusual. Told with a spot-on tone that teeters on the edge of satire and insanity, and with the confidence of a rising talent, this darkly funny film delivers a peculiar style of body horror at which Cronenberg would surely chuckle.

Ape Sodom screens in Short Cuts Programme 6.

TIFF runs Sept. 8-18. Please visit tiff.net for more information.