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8/25/2017

Sundowners and the Tertiary Life Crisis

Sundowners
(Canada/USA/Colombia, 95 min.)
Written and directed by Pavan Moondi
Starring:  Phil Hanley, Luke Lalonde, Tim Heidecker, Cara Gee, Nick Flanagan, Leah Faye Goldstein
Phil Hanley and Luke Lalond star in Sundowners.
Photo by Jesus Lora
Let’s introduce a new term for aging millennials: the Tertiary Life Crisis. Hitting 30 sucks—but in my case, the milestone coincided with Trump’s inauguration, so many people had a worse weekend than I did—and it’s a time for self-reflection. Particularly for those of us who threw our lives away for arts degrees, it’s hard to feel like an adult in a low-paying job going nowhere when other friends are signing mortgages, getting married, and popping out babies. But some people prefer creative passions, drinks with friends, and cats, so there’s no reason that one lifestyle should eclipse another on the roundabout road to adulthood.

8/24/2017

The Reign in Spain

The Queen of Spain (La reina de España)
(Spain, 128 min.)
Written and directed by Fernando Trueba
Starring: Penélope Cruz, Antonio Resines, Javier Cámara, Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Chino Darín
Penélope Cruz stars in The Queen of Spain.
Pacific Northwest Pictures
The Queen of Spain, colloquially known as Penélope Cruz, returns to the throne in one of her most popular and acclaimed roles. Cruz gives an encore performance as Macarena Granada, her movie star character from The Girl of Your Dreams, which won her a Goya (Spanish Oscar) for Best Actress, and she’s in top form working again with director Fernando Trueba and most of the cast from the original film.


8/21/2017

First Teaser and Images for TIFF Gala 'Hochelaga, Land of Souls'

All photos courtesy Les Films Séville
The first teaser and images are out for Hochelaga, Land of Souls (Hochelaga, terre des âmes). The film is the lone Canadian drama to get the full red carpet Gala treatment at TIFF this year. Hochelaga comes from acclaimed filmmaker François Girard, director of 32 Short Films About Glenn Gould and The Red Violin, both of which won the Genie for best film with the latter drama scooping one of the few Oscar wins for a Canadian film when it nabbed best score at the 1999 Academy Awards. Hochelaga seems to put Girard back in Red Violin territory with its tale about the lives and histories that have touched one unique place throughout the years. The film features a mix of French, Mohawk, and English, and it might be one to keep on the radar if it delivers. eOne Films and Les Films Seville have Canadian distribution. (No release date as of yet.)


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.