6/07/2018

'Prodigals': Keeping It Real in the Soo

Prodigals
(Canada, 108 min.)
Dir. Michelle Ouellet, Writ. Nicholas Carella
Starring: David Alpay, Sara Canning, Kaniehtiio Horn, Andrew Francis, David Kaye, Nicholas Carella, Jameson Parker, Brian Markinson 
Prodigas directed by Michelle Ouellet
David Alpay and Sara Canning star in Prodigals
LevelFilm
Prodigals is a new stage to screen production featuring a complicated legal trial and an even trickier romantic triangle. While the courtroom scenes might reveal the film’s theatrical origins, director Michelle Ouellet and writer Nicholas Carella open up the material remarkably. Who knew the quiet steel town of Sault Ste. Marie could be a backdrop for bigger drama? The Soo once again gets a starring role after its breakout turn in Edwin Boyd and its bargain bin appearance in Compulsion. Ouellet gives the Soo a crisp sense of place with Prodigals, particularly in the spicy Italian attitude that gives provides the city’s best flavours. Whatever one makes of the courtroom drama or the love story, one must admire the authentic character of the surroundings.


6/06/2018

Interview: Talking with 'Beast' Director Michael Pearce at Beatroute

 A favourite from TIFF, which I caught while covering the Platform competition, Beast hits theatres June 15. Film about a girl in love with a potential predator has an extra bite playing post-Weinstein!

Had a chance to speak with Pearce recently for BeatRoute to discuss the film and his process. Pick up a copy if you're in Vancouver!

Read it online here.

6/05/2018

Documentary-like Realism

Fail to Appear
(Canada, 68 min.)
Written and directed by Antoine Bourges
Starring: Deragh Campbell, Nathan Roder

At what point does drama end and documentary begin? Writer/director Antoine Bourges tightrope walks the line between fiction and non-fiction in Fail to Appear, but he isn’t aiming for hybrid hijinks. This intriguing film mines the aesthetics of documentary filmmaking through the lens of neorealism and the result is a unique work of docu-ish-fiction: a film that is, for all purposes, narrative dramatic fiction, but seems as authentic as life itself.


6/04/2018

'Les affamés' Leads Quebec's Prix Iris Winners

Zombie girl and her mother stand in front of a pile of junk
Les affamés
Emmanuel Crombez / Les Films Séville
It was a zombie apocalypse last night in Quebec! The Prix Iris, Quebec's equivalent to the Canadian Screen Awards and Oscars, were gobbled up by Robin Aubert and his team for Les affamés. The chilling ensemble drama stars Marc-André Grondin, Monia Chokri, and Brigitte Poupart as a group of rural Quebeckers as the lone survivors of a zombie outbreak. The film scored eight awards in total between last nights honours and the artistic and technical awards handed out earlier in the week. Les affamés scored wins in top categories including Best Film, Best Director for Aubert, Best Supporting Actress for Brigitte Poupart, and the annual honour of being the most acclaimed film outside Quebec.