Festivals: Toronto Film Festival

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The Great Festival Rebound of 2020: Chapter One - The Film Festivals

2020 was some kind of year.    There were more pressing matters, of course, but as a film site - any film site - we live and breathe by the beat of the film festival circuit. So as the year...

Now Streaming: SING ME A SONG, A Document of Fantasy Crashing Into Reality

"Have the Monks stopped meditating? They all seem to be tweeting." Werner Herzog made this potent (and pithy) observation in his 2016 documentary on the origins and effects of the internet, Lo And Behold. A few years later, French director...

Friday One Sheet: SING ME A SONG

I have written, several times in this space, that many of the best posters are simply a well-designed photo. This is something South Korea designers are known for. A well produced still without the usual clutter, merging of too many...

Toronto 2020 Review: SHADOW IN THE CLOUD, A Boisterous Aerial Horror Adventure With Dubious Motivations

Part World War II aerial action thriller, part creature feature, and one hundred percent disinterested in reality or physics, Roseanne Liang's Shadow in the Cloud is a boisterous adventure bound to delight audiences, as long as they don't think too...

Toronto 2020 Review: ANOTHER ROUND, A Feel Good Movie About Booze

Thomas Vinterberg's latest comedy of manners is as bourgeoisie-punk as ever. He leaped onto the global stage, along with Lars von Trier, with the collaborative manifesto Dogme95, and its first film Festen (The Celebration), which re-wrote the design rules of...

Toronto 2020 Review: FAUNA Cleverly Deconstructs The Mexican Social Contract

Poor Paco needs a cigarette. Badly. After arguing with his girlfriend, Flora, and fighting with Waze and Wifi they eventually arrive in the remote Mexican village of her childhood, only to find her parents not to be around. The house...

Toronto 2020 Review: LIMBO, The Refugee Experience As A Dazzling, Deadpan Fantasia

We are in a small grocery store on an isolated island off the northwest coast of Scotland. The camera smoothly glides along, past the canned goods and hardware, to the ‘spice’ section. Here it stops to reveal only salt, pepper,...

Toronto 2020 Review: TRICKSTER, Mischief and Mayhem in the North

Being a teenager these days is not easy. But if you add to that being one in a rural community with few job prospects, in which you are an Indigenous person and therefore frequently treated like a second-class citizen (to...

Toronto 2020 Review: NIGHT OF THE KINGS, A Young Convict Fights For His Life In This Stunning Ode To Storytelling

In ninety-three spellbinding minutes, director Philippe Lacôte takes us through centuries of magical storytelling devices in Night of the Kings, as a young convict attempts to talk his way through the night in this magnificent take on One Thousand and One...

Toronto 2020 Review: UNDER THE OPEN SKY Showcases Another Exceptional Yakusho Koji Performance

At the midpoint of Under The Open Sky, Mikami Masao, the ex-convict at the heart of the story, observes, “Prison is the one place they do not throw you out for bad behaviour.” After several on again off again prison sentences,...

Toronto 2020 Review: THE THIRD DAY, Recycled Yet Entertaining Folk Horror

Folk horror has become a cornerstone of the genre for British filmmakers, with creepy woods, farmlands, and lots of public footpaths connecting them, allowing for Celtic and Pagan mysteries to be ripe for the picking. That being said, with it...

Toronto 2020: CITY HALL Trailer, Frederick Wiseman Documents Boston Problems, Possible Solutions

The great Frederick Wiseman makes documentaries that are restful yet restless, exploring big subjects that inevitably spiral and split into absorbing moments, capturing a time and place that may never be repeated or replicated. His latest, City Hall, recently enjoyed...

Toronto 2020 Review: VIOLATION Powerfully Vivisects The Trauma Left By Sexual Violence

Rape revenge films are a fraught bunch, while some seem to seek only to exploit an inappropriate titillation stirred in more lascivious audiences, others take a more nuanced look into the psychology of this very specific kind of trauma. The...

Toronto 2020 Review: THE DISCIPLE, A Piercing Character Study Within the World of Hindustani Music

Indian classical music, also known as Hindustani music, is a unique cultural artifact that defies simple categorization. The sitar and tabla laden raga has a history hundreds of years old and remains an important touchstone and identifier for Indians around...

Toronto 2020 Review: GET THE HELL OUT, Adrenaline-Fueled Horror Comedy With Style to Spare

Political theater gets a whole new meaning in debutante director Wang I-Fan's horror comedy, Get the Hell Out, one of three genre features anchoring the Toronto's fabled Midnight Madness section this year. A virus causing a 28 Days Later style...

Toronto 2020 Review: NOMADLAND, The Quiet Endurance of Traveling Workers

As likely many of you, this pandemic era has me rethinking my life, what my goals are, where I want to be a year, five, ten, twenty years from now. About what is possible for me to achieve, where I...

Toronto 2020 Review: ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI, A Vibrant and Provocative Debut

We've all had those 'what famous dead person would you like to have dinner with' or 'what famous people would you love to see having a conversation' moments, when ideas of what we think a famous person is, and how...

Friday One Sheet: UNDER THE OPEN SKY

Three things stand out about this key art for Nishikawa Miwa's Post-Yakuza drama, Under The Open Sky: One, the small hints of pink go a long way. The small "cosmos flowers" figure into the actual film, physically and metaphorically (they...

Toronto 2020: VIOLATION, Exclusive Image From Canadian Dramatic Horror Debut

Canadian filmmakers Madeleine Sims-Fewer and Dusty Mancinelli will be making their feature film debut at TIFF on Monday with their dramatic horror film Violation. Screen Anarchy has an exclusive image from the film to share with you this morning. From...

Teaser: NOMADLAND's Quiet, Beautiful Pitch

Searchlight Pictures just dropped a short, single-shot teaser trailer for Chloe Zhao's (The Rider) new feature, Nomadland. And it is beautiful, measured, and melancholic, with Frances McDormand at her understated best. Adapting Jessica Bruder's journalism-novel of the same name, the...