Film Festival

TIFF 2014: From What is Before Film Festival

TIFF 2014: From What is Before

Every time something gets written about Lav Diaz, an explanation of the director’s unusual, tough filmography feels necessary. When it comes to length, Diaz is one of the most maximal directors around. It says something when Diaz’s last film, the 4 hour Norte, the End of History, is one of his shortest works. From What Read More
TIFF 2014: Goodbye to Language 3D Film Festival

TIFF 2014: Goodbye to Language 3D

Like the film’s 70 minute runtime, I’ll be brief. Jean-Luc Godard tackles three dimensions in his latest film, a complete sensory assault that, like his other recent works, can only be attributed to the legendary filmmaker. Narrative and characters don’t truly matter here; something one character explicitly states at one point. There are two couples Read More
TIFF 2014: Gett, The Trial of Viviane Amsalem Film Festival

TIFF 2014: Gett, The Trial of Viviane Amsalem

In Gett, The Trial of Viviane Amsalem, the title character (played by co-director Ronit Elkabetz) spends 5 years trying to divorce her husband Elisha (Simon Abkarian). In Israel, divorce cases are only handled by the Rabbinical Court, and religious laws state the husband must approve the divorce in order for it to be final. Elisha Read More
TIFF 2014: The Look of Silence Film Festival

TIFF 2014: The Look of Silence

After making The Act of Killing, Joshua Oppenheimer goes back to the same subject matter for his follow-up The Look of Silence. A brief background: In The Act of Killing, Joshua Oppenheimer followed several people responsible for slaughtering hundreds, if not thousands, of suspected communists in the 1960s military coup of Indonesia. Oppenheimer was shocked Read More
TIFF 2014: While We’re Young Film Festival

TIFF 2014: While We’re Young

Two years ago Noah Baumbach charmed Toronto audiences with Frances Ha, although fans of the whimsical free-form narrative in his last film might be disappointed with the concise structure and fastened script found in his latest film While We’re Young. Forty-something married couple Josh (Ben Stiller) and Cornelia (Naomi Watts) begin to notice the signs Read More
TIFF 2014: Whiplash Film Festival

TIFF 2014: Whiplash

Whiplash has been one of the biggest hits on the festival circuit so far this year, getting rave reviews from Sundance, Cannes, and from many audiences here in Toronto as well. And it’s pretty easy to see why: An impressive cast makes for an entertaining watch. But the film ultimately keeps its focus too shallow Read More
TIFF 2014: Cub Film Festival

TIFF 2014: Cub

Jonas Govaerts’ Cub feels all too familiar, a significant problem given its promising concept and imagery. On a Cub Scout trip to the woods, young scout Sam (Maurice Luijten) sees a feral child with a bizarre mask running around in the forest. He repeatedly warns his fellow campers, only to get made fun of. The Read More
TIFF 2014: Goodnight Mommy Film Festival

TIFF 2014: Goodnight Mommy

Austrian filmmakers Veronika Franz (wife of auteur Ulrich Seidl) and Severin Fiala first present Goodnight Mommy as a mystery with a horror film premise–two nine-year-old twin brothers question their mother’s identity after a facial surgery leaves most of her face covered with bandages. The boys notice their mother acting out of the ordinary, she never Read More
Oscar Frontrunners Featured in Mill Valley Film Festival 2014 Lineup Film Festival

Oscar Frontrunners Featured in Mill Valley Film Festival 2014 Lineup

The Mill Valley Film Festival has built a reputation as a showcase for future Oscar winners and emergent independent and foreign filmmakers. The festival has hosted five of the last six Best Picture Oscar winners, rolling out the red carpet for A-list actors and filmmakers while heavily supporting local filmmakers as well. Nestled in one of the Read More