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Vancouver 2016 Review: THE ROAD TO MANDALAY Paints A Dark Portrait Of Migration

We've all heard, or read, an innumerable amount of horror stories about immigrants from third-world countries coming to North America and Europe. The Road to Mandalay shows us that even the seemingly small hop from Myanmar to Thailand can feel...

Vancouver 2016 Review: THE LOCK PICKER Features Very Promising Talent

Randall Okita's debut feature, The Lockpicker, screened as part of the Vancouver International Film Festival's new Future // Present series, which showcases emerging directorial talent in Canadian film. The film is a claustrophobic -- mainly shot in tightly held closeups...

Vancouver 2016 Review: MALIGLUTIT, A Spiritual Remake of John Ford's Western Classic THE SEARCHERS

Maliglutit, the latest film by Zacharias Kunuk (The Fast Runner), is essentially a spiritual remake of John Ford's seminal Western classic, The Searchers. This time, the action is set entirely in Nunavut, Canada's most sparsely populated territory and home to...

Vancouver 2016 Review: THE UNKNOWN GIRL, All Quiet Revelations, Resignation and Modest Hope

While its central conceit is decidedly sensational in nature, The Unknown Girl (La fille inconnue) unfolds at a mundanely methodical trot that has come to be expected of the Dardenne brothers. Their latest film revolves around a confident and talented...

Vancouver 2014 Review: MAN ON HIGH HEELS, Crime Genre As Transgender Study

Man On High Heels, a Korean gangster-cop flick of another color, navigates gender politics as shakily as its strangely-worded (or translated) title would suggest. Cha Seung-won stars as Ji-wook, the eponymous man: a specimen of ideal masculinity who spends his...

Vancouver 2014 Review: EXIT Feels Pretty But Shallow

Chienn Hsiang's second feature, Exit, is lovely to look at, and pleasant enough to watch, but ultimately feels inconsequential. Chen Shiang-chyi stars as Lingzi, a childlike middle-aged woman finds herself alone for a few weeks while her teenaged daughter visits...

Vancouver 2014 Review: WELCOME TO ME Stokes The Fires Of Disability Discourse

Kristen Wiig has been enjoying a lengthy run of success since leaving Saturday Night Live in 2012. Her humor is punctuated by awkward, uncomfortable stares, or lines delivered with more weight -- loneliness, sadness, regret -- than they seem to...

Vancouver 2014 Review: THE GOLDEN ERA Hits All Of Its Marks

The Golden Era follows the (tragically short) life of one of China's most celebrated female writers, Xiao Hong (portrayed by Tang Wei), in typically lavish period-biopic fashion. On an aesthetic level, the film is gorgeously realized by director Ann Hui,...

Vancouver 2014 Review: WHITE BIRD IN A BLIZZARD, Gregg Araki's Nostalgic, Seductive Puzzle

Gregg Araki's latest offering, White Bird In A Blizzard, is set during the time period when Araki first began making films (1988-1991). Because of this, the sets and costumes are rendered with a loving nostalgia that never feels overly novel....

Watch The Teaser For Fantastic Fest And Sitges Selection THE INCIDENT

Just days before Isaac Ezban's science fiction picture The Incident (El Incidente) premieres in North America at Austin's Fantastic Fest, the first teaser trailer has arrived online courtesy of Cine CanĂ­bal, the company that will distribute the film next year...

Vancouver 2013 Dispatch: STRAY DOGS, AIN'T THEM BODIES SAINTS, And LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON

Stray Dogs, the perhaps-last-ever film from Taiwanese master Tsai Ming-liang, is a devastatingly sad, quirk-ily mysterious and slithery film. It's hard to pin down the details of the characters' (a father and his two young children) lives, how much time...

Vancouver 2013 Dispatch: WOLF CHILDREN, RHYMES FOR YOUNG GHOULS, And MISS VIOLENCE

Between Wolf Children and Summer Wars, Mamoru Hosoda is establishing himself as a gifted anime auteur (with "anime" functioning as a descriptive word, not a qualifier) whose style, visually and thematically, lies somewhere between Ghibli fare and the work of...

Vancouver 2013 Review: OUR SUNHI Floats Across The Screen

I always hesitate when reviewing a film by a prolific director whom I am mostly unfamiliar with, especially one with plenty of dedicated followers and specialists. Such is the case with South Korea's Hong Sang-soo, who typically pumps out two...

Vancouver 2013 Review: BENDS Offers An Assured Study Of Class, Wealth And Excess

Bends, the first full-length film from Flora Lau, observes a dreamy Hong Kong through the eyes of a wealthy, middle-aged kept woman Anna (Carina Lau), and her young, blue-collar driver (Chen Kun). Minutes into the film, shortly after Anna...

Twitchvision: Jason Gorber Talks RUSH, ENOUGH SAID, DON JON and More!

Another fine week with Scott Laurie, talking (again!) about Rush, Nicole Holofcener's Enough Said, and Joseph Gordon Levitt's Don Jon. Plus, a shout-out to the Vancouver International Film Festival, including the (fabbo) Rhymes For Young Ghouls.Video embedded below...

VIFF 2012 Wrap-Up: All Apologies, A Mere Life, and In the Name of Love

Emily Tang's beautiful, smart, and moving Perfect Life is not only one of my favorite VIFF films of 2008, but one of my favorite films period (I don't keep a list, I just know that the memorable ones must...

VIFF12 Interview: THE UNLIKELY GIRL Director Wei Ling Chang and Star Shane Lynch are Quite the Pair

There's a flurry of excitement in the room where I am about to speak with director Wei Ling Chang about her first feature, The Unlikely Girl, a few hours prior to its world premier at the Vancouver Film Festival. Chang's...

VIFF 2012 Interview: Director Andy Keen on New Tragically Hip Documentary BOBCAYGEON

The Tragically Hip are the biggest Canadian band that - for those who live beyond the great white north's borders - you have probably never heard of. Currently riding their third decade of domestic domination, The Hip (as they are...

VIFF 2012 Review: IF IT'S NOT NOW, THEN WHEN

The world can be a dull and sullen place. Movies of the mainstream variety offer an easy if not cathartic diversion from the humdrum with momentary distractions full of thrills, horrors and laughs where things happen for a reason. Festival...

VIFF 2012 Dispatch: THE CAPSULE, A STORY FOR THE MODLINS, And MORNING OF ST ANTHONY'S DAY

Though Athina Rachel Tsangari's short film The Capsule played third after two others, I'm reviewing it first as it was the title with which the other two were programmed (i.e. you show up to see a showing of The...