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Fantasia 2017 Review: KING COHEN and the Art of the Steal

"Anybody will put up with anything if they think a movie is being shot." These are words of wisdom, but also kind of a guerrilla filmmaking mission statement, from filmmaker Larry Cohen. Steve Mitchell's King Cohen offers a breathless sprint through...

Fantasia 2017 Review: DEAD SHACK, Mixed Results Hamper Canadian Zom-Com From Breakout Success

Jason is joining his best friend Colin and his family on a weekend getaway to a cabin in the woods. Along for the ride is Colin’s sister Summer, their dad Roger and his girlfriend Tina. Jason and Colin could not...

Fantasia 2017 Review: JAILBREAK, An Exceptional Addition to Martial Arts Cinema Coming Out of Southeast Asia.

A group of Special Task Force Officers are escorting Playboy, a reported crime boss of the Butterfly Gang to Prei Klaa prison. Playboy though, claims that he is not the true boss and will reveal their identity when he is...

Fantasia 2017: Born Of Woman Shorts Programme Highlights a Trio of Haunting Standouts

For its second year at Fantasia, the theme running across the curation for the shorts programme Born Of Woman has moved away from the cerebral physical fetishes, and queer emotional landscapes of last year, towards the nature of haunting. The highlights were...

Fantasia 2017 Review: LOWLIFE Confidently Infuses Absurdity With Heart

As a snappily dressed Luchador intensely monologues his desires and legacy to the camera, we are unsure of exactly who his audience is, and the movie withholds the answer to maxim effect. A dirty Immigrations Officer and a scuzzy surgeon...

Review: THE GRACEFIELD INCIDENT, A Collection of Rehashed Material

"Matthew Donovan (played by Mathieu Ratthe, who's also the film's director) embeds an iPhone camera into his prosthetic eye to secretly record a weekend with friends in a luxurious mountain top cabin”, says the official synopsis for the Canadian/American production...

Fantasia 2017 Short Film Short Review: EVEN THE DARKNESS HAS ARMS, A Two-Minute Creepfest

Chris Bavota, writer of the family reunion horror short from 2015 Never Tear Us Apart, has a new short, short film, Even The Darkness Has Arms, premiering tonight in the horror shorts program at Fantasia. Yes, it is so short...

Fantasia 2017 Short Film Short Review: THE LAST SCHNITZEL

Humankind’s time on Earth has is coming to end. As the planet dies nations prepare fleets to flee to nearby Mars. One of the last holdouts is the Grand Turkish Republic. The president refuses to okay the evacuation until he...

Short Film Short Review: THE SUMMONER Punching Ghosts to an Electronic Beat

James Secker’s short film The Summoner introduces us to a world where the spirit world can be very invasive. When this happens the public can call upon The Summoner and he will come and clean your home. Think Tangina Barrons...

Japan Cuts 2017 Review: THE TOKYO NIGHT SKY IS ALWAYS THE DENSEST SHADE OF BLUE, A Maudlin if Earnest Tale

Like its long, declarative title, Ishii Yuya's new film is a curious work that stumbles towards earnestness. Sometimes it is poetic and ponderous. At other times it is just plain tedious and twee.

Review: A GHOST STORY Offers Top-Tier Existential Horror

A definite highlight of the year, David Lowery's new film grips you completely as it explores fresh ground in how it tackles mourning and losing a loved one.

Review: THE B-SIDE: ELSA DORFMAN'S PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY, Of Time, Memory, Love and Friendship

"Almost all human endeavour is ephemeral, all that is left in the end is love and friendship." So said Errol Morris at the screening of his latest movie, The B-Side, in which he spends a little over an hour on-screen...

Now on Blu-ray: ALL THE COLOURS OF THE DARK Shines In HD From Shameless Films

Jane is a tragedy magnet. Plagued by the murder of her mother in her childhood and the recent loss of her unborn child in a car accident, Jane is beset by trippy nightmares that seem to foretell her own impending...

Toronto Japanese Fest 2017 Review: IN THIS CORNER OF THE WORLD

A young girl named Suzu who, in 1944, moves from neighbouring Hiroshima to the port city of Kure, the largest military base for the Imperial Navy and home to ships like the Yamamoto. She moves there to marry Shūsaku, a...

Review: HICKOK Is Just A Brief Chapter Of Wild Bill's Life

James Butler Hickok, better known as Wild Bill, was one of the heroes of the American Old West; a figure who has attained a near-mythical status and whose exploits – some real, some imagined – are prime material for the...

Review: THE REAGAN SHOW Illustrates a Two-Way Relationship Between the Media and the President

It is very important to remember that even Reagan, a highly divisive figure, was regularly grilled by the people who are now regarded as partisan hacks. It didn't used to be that way. There were mutual respect. The film is a good reminder of that.

Review: THE BIG SICK Skillfully Tackles Weighty Themes With a Light Comic Touch

Whenever The Simpsons offered moments of unexpectedly touching sweetness, the writers would refer to these moments as "Jimmys", as in, showrunner James L. Brooks, who enjoyed providing the family with bouts of humanity. Walking the line of comedy and drama...

Review: THE BAD BATCH, Left Behind by the American Dream

Real credit where it’s due, Ana Lily Amirpour’s self-confessed "Iranian Vampire Spaghetti Western" A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night must have been a hell of a tough act to follow, so props to Amirpour for pulling it off in...

Review: MAUDIE, Art and Beauty in the Smallest Places

Biopics of visual artists are (or can be) some of the more interesting of that mode of film: it's fairly simple to show a painter creating their work, or show the inspiration for that work. Too often, artists who are...

Review: DAWSON CITY: FROZEN TIME Digs Up Explosive Film History in Yukon Territory

It tells a truly fascinating bit of cinema history involving the Gold Rush at the turn of the 20th century in Dawson City, deep in the Yukon Territory.