Screen Anarchists On ALIEN: COVENANT

("And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?" The Second Coming, 1919 - W. B. Yeats) Ridley Scott's Alien: Covenant has arrived in cinemas, and a strange film it is indeed....

10+ Years Later: CODE 46 Showed Us That We Are All Replicants

With a new Blade Runner film on the way later this year, it seems an appropriate time to revisit a certain overlooked 2003 film that is as close to a prequel to Ridley Scott's seminal clone-noir as there ever was....

Hot Docs 2017 Review: BRIMSTONE & GLORY, Where Cinematography Induces Euphoria & Panic

Do you remember that sequence in Beasts Of The Southern Wild when everyone runs around shooting fireworks at each other in the Bayou? The glorious dance of the visuals and music grasp at the essence and the onslaught of life's...

Hot Docs 2017 Review: SHINERS, Making A Living With Polish

Opting for nothing less than an examination of the purpose and philosophy of 21st century labour -- in short, how and why do we work in an era of automation and disposable consumerism? -- Stacey Tenenbaum's re-evaluation of the humble...

Hot Docs Review 2017: RAMEN HEADS, Slurp-tastic Food Porn

What is it about ramen, Japan's robust working man's (be it salaryman, artist or labourer) meal of broth, noodles and pork, that makes its practitioners and enthusiasts become philosophers and seriocomic poets? Cinema has only encouraged this, as Itami Jûzô's gonzo, fussy,...

Hot Docs 2017 Review: HOBBYHORSE REVOLUTION Revels in the Intensity of Youth

Dressage, in equestrian terms, is the art of riding and training a horse in a manner that develops obedience, flexibility, and balance. It factors significantly into Selma Vilhunen's documentary on the most curious of Finland subcultures, one involving hobbyhorses and (mostly)...

Hot Docs 2017 Review: ALL THAT PASSES BY THROUGH A WINDOW THAT DOESN'T OPEN

I have a particular fondness for movies set on trains or in railyards, and also for documentaries about labour. Thus, it should come as no surprise, that Martin DiCicco's All That Passes By Through A Window That Doesn't Open caught...

Hot Docs 2017 Review: PACMEN Is Exquisite Schadenfreude

How many people have selfies taken with Dr. Ben Carson on their phones that they will probably never look at again? For a few shining moments, the former neurosurgeon whose stab-to-scalpel story was adapted into a television movie starring Cuba...

Hot Docs 2017 Review: DO DONKEYS ACT?, Perhaps the Strangest Piece of Animal Activism Ever Made

"Plunge into the intrinsic range of unfamiliar expressions, inside this wild sanctuary that offers a sonorious glimpse into the reveries, melodies, and rhapsodies of a great donkey orchestra." What will undoubtedly be the strangest film I catch at the 2017...

Hot Docs 2017 Review: THE ROAD MOVIE, Chaos Reigns On Russian Byways

If you have spent any time lost in the YouTube wormhole, you have probably seen some of the crazy car accident footage that has been uploaded and archived by witnesses, usually from cheap cameras mounted at the front windshield of...

Hot Docs 2017 Review: LET THERE BE LIGHT Illuminates That To Play God, One Must Collaborate

There is something magnificent about human endeavours that require several lifetimes to achieve. The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família in Barcelona was started in 1888 by architect Antoni Gaudí, but he will have been dead for 100...

10+ Years Later: SOUTHLAND TALES Captured a Fascinating Moment In America

In 2006, Richard Kelly’s Southland Tales premiered to thunderous jeer at the Cannes Film Festival. Eighteen months later, an edited version quietly limped into a handful of cinemas without so much as a whisper of marketing.   Judged as the...

Review: RUPTURE, Big Questions in a Claustrophobic Package

"Don't fight it. Let it happen. This confusion is all part of the process." This advice is repeated, often in a beatific manner, by the mysterious group of captors who are intent on, among other things, helping the audience navigate the...

Hot Docs 2017 Curtain Raiser: A Deep Dive Into Toronto's Super-Sized Documentary Festival

North America's premiere documentary film festival kicks off in a few days in Toronto for its 24th edition. As is the norm, it features a daunting number of titles for lovers of standard, and not so standard, non-fiction cinema.  ...

THE BEGUILED Trailer Offers Stylish Blood And Sex In A Boarding School For Girls

I am not sure how much of the trailer for Sophia Coppola’s new film, The Beguiled, constitues as spoiler or not. I have never read Thomas P. Cullinan’s novel, "A Painted Devil," nor have I seen the Don Siegel/Clint Eastwood...

Now on Blu-ray: THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS is a Fresh Take on the Undead

Director Colm McCarthy's The Girl With All the Gifts is one of the best zombie films ever made, and this Blu-ray release from Lionsgate is a solid treatment for this relatively low-budget marvel. The zombie film has become one of...

Review: SONG TO SONG, Where Angelic White People Have A Devil Of A Time

And so the prostitute says, "Create the Illusion, but don't believe it."  I am not sure if that is Terrence Malick's thesis with Song To Song, an elliptical fairy tale of despondency, but the film does feature Val Kilmer wielding a...

Screen Anarchists On: GHOST IN THE SHELL (Live Action)

I don't think we've ever featured a title more fit to be given a group-review than Rupert Sanders' live-action adaptation of Ghost in the Shell. A huge-scale re-imagining of several beloved source materials, the film is literally surrounded by...

Have Your Say: Aggregate Review Scores Are Good / Bad

Director Brett Ratner made some waves last week, when he publicly stated his opinion about aggregate review scores. I quote from Entertainment Weekly's article about it: The worst thing that we have in today's movie culture is Rotten Tomatoes. I...

Calgary Underground 2017 Announces Lineup: Kaiju! Bigfoot! Booze! Headbangers! Sugar-Cereal! and The Shower Scene

The Calgary Underground Film Festival (CUFF) has been quietly kicking ass for 13 years. Being overshadowed somewhat by larger festivals in larger Canadian cities like Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, or even its bigger sister, the Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF),...