FNC ’21 Review: ‘Wildhood’ is a tender coming of age tale

No good comes from denying the self. If it seems like a thing easier said than done, that’s because it is. Living in a trailer park with his abusive father and staring down a road or petty crime and everything that follows, Wildhood is the story of a young man who is in so much self-denial that he is dying his hair blond in an effort to distance himself from his indigenous heritage, and that’s before he even begins to examine his sexuality.

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FNC ’21 Review: ‘The White Fortress’ sets young love among a divided city

The White Fortress

Young love set against a backdrop of crime is a tale as old as time. In The White Fortress, the story is set in modern-day Sarajevo and follows a young man called Faruk (Pavle Čemerikić) as he navigates the current realities of growing up poor in the politically divided city.

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Home Video: Five Great Horror Films and Where to Buy, Rent, or Stream Them

The House of the Devil

Halloween is coming, and that means it’s time to start watching some horror movies! Last week we looked at the Halloween franchise; this week, we’re looking at a half dozen gems that I love.

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Heads Up: The 2021 Festival du Nouveau Cinema is on now!

2021 Festival du Nouveau Cinema Festival_Header

Good news, everyone! Montreal’s Festival du nouveau Cinema is celebrating its 50th year this year! The in-person festival is over, but the online version runs through the end of October, and I will be covering it –albeit in a limited fashion.

Film are available to watch on the festival website, and you can follow my coverage here on the site using the FNC 2021 tag or click the banner below wherever you see it.

Festival du Nouveau Cinema

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VIFF ’21 Interview: Lauren Grant on her directorial debut short film ‘Things We Feel But Do Not Say’

Things We Feel But Do Not Say

Lauren Grant is a prolific producer of Canadian film and television, having worked on the series Killjoys as well as the films Riot Girls, Sugar Daddy and The Retreat just in the last two years. This year she also makes her debut as a director with her original short film Things We Feel But Do Not Say, which premiered as part of the shorts program at VIFF 2021. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Lauren on zoom to talk about the film.

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VIFF ’21 Wrap Up: Matthew joins Thomas from ForReel and Taylor from Drink in the Movies to talk festival favourites

2021 VIFF Wrap Up

Another edition of the Vancouver International Film Festival is come and gone, and it’s time to talk about the movies we loved. This year I once got to sit down with Thomas from ForReel Movie News & Reviews and Taylor from Drink in the Movies and since the border is open, and we’re all vaccinated, we got to do it in person! So join us as we each talk about our top three films from the fest.

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VIFF ’21 Review: ‘Bootlegger’ is a gorgeously shot story of findings one’s place

Bootlegger

A young woman returns to her small, rural community and begins to effect change. It’s a setup as old as the movies themselves and one we love to return to because so much can be mined from this kind of setup. In Bootlegger, a young woman returns to the reserve she called home as a child and begins a campaign to open up the sale of alcohol, free the community from some amount of the oppression they face.

It’s a gorgeously shot and very Canadian story.

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Review: ‘I’m Your Man’ brings a new twist to a familiar trope, to excellent effect

I'm Your Man

The exploration of love between a human and artificial intelligence is by no means a new concept. Whether we’re talking a voice in an earphone like Her, or a captive innocent as in Ex Machina, or any number of Star Trek plotlines, it has been done before. This time around, though, it’s not a matter of whether a machine can love, but whether having a partner made to order to fulfil all your needs will actually fulfil all of your needs.

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VIFF ’21 Review: ‘Petite Maman’ is a warm hug on a rainy day and one of the best films of the year

Petite Maman

While there is a myriad of ways to describe Petite Maman, the effect that it has on the viewer is one of a warm hug. It’s a ray of sunshine through the leaves of a forest on a rainy day. This is my way of saying that it is wonderful and you should watch it, regardless of what I am going to say in the following few paragraphs. Director Céline Sciamma has created another emotionally resonant film and a worthy follow up to Portrait of a Lady on Fire.

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Review: ‘Mass’ tackles the pain and grief of the aftermath of a school shooting with four powerhouse performances

Mass

There are few topics so sensitive in American than that of mass shootings. All too common, they plunge entire communities into a disarray of astonishment, grief, and a desperate need for answers that will likely never come. Fran Kranz, best known to me as a series of stoner characters in various genre films and series, aims to tackle at least some of these feelings in his debut feature as a director, Mass, which sees the parents of a high school shooter face to face with the parents of one of the victims. Let me tell you, folks: it’s a hell of a debut.

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VIFF ’21 Review: ‘Belfast’ is a crowd pleasing but personal film from Kenneth Branagh

BELFAST (2021)

The Troubles, as they are so politely referred to, have had an indelible impact on Northern Ireland and the people who live there. Yes, that is the understatement of the decade, but while we think about the 30-year conflict in very broad terms, generally, outside of that country, we often don’t think about the real human impact. Kenneth Branagh is one of those people, and with Belfast, he seeks to tell the story of his families well as part of the story of Northern Ireland at large.

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Review: ‘No Time To Die’ gives Daniel Craig an emotional ending to his time as James Bond

No Time To Die

It is the end of an era. No Time To Die, the 25th entry in the James Bond franchise and the last to feature Daniel Craig as the titular superspy, is finally here after several pandemic related delays. It has been a long time coming; in fact, this has been one of the most prolonged periods without a Jame Bond film since the franchise began back in 1962. The question then becomes, “Is this film worth the wait?” and the answer to that is a resounding “yes.”

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Home Video: Every ‘Halloween’ Film and Where to Buy, Rent, or Stream them

Halloween Kills

This week sees the release of the latest film in the Halloween series, Halloween Kills, which is a direct sequel to the 2018 film Halloween. While it’s true that these movies ignore the entire franchise except for the first two movies, there’s still a lot of fun to be had in the rest of those sequels. Sure, some of them are bad, but many of those are delightfully bad. Either way, if you want to catch up on your Halloween lore, here is every film in the franchise and where to buy, rent, or stream them.

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VIFF ’21 Review: ‘Tin Can’ is a great example of doing a lot with limited resources

Tin Can

In the not too distant future, a global outbreak of a parasitic fungus is devastating humankind. Not content to merely kill you, it latches onto your body, sprouts growths and spores, and changes you into something else entirely. This is the world of Tin Can, one that is in many ways not unlike our own: a world with a raging pandemic, with some people who want to solve the problem and some content merely to avoid it.

As ever, the cinema of the age of COVID-19 speculates what a world might look like under similar circumstances to ours, and Tin Can takes a look at one of those dark futures.

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