North Bend 2021 Quick Reviews: ‘Cryptozoo’ and ‘Swan Song’

North Bend Film Festival continues with two esoteric and singular films, Dash Shaw’s Cryptozoo, an a dreamy animated commentary on capitalism and Swan Song, a personal journey of restoration and reclamation featuring stunning performance from Udo Kier.

Cryptozoo

dir. Dash Shaw

Set in a world where every possible cryptid exists and are hunted by humans for various reasons, Cryptozoo follows a benevolent woman and her friends trying to find and protect various mythical creatures from being exploited. With animation that feels somewhere in the middle of a mixed media collage, an early 90s flash animation, and a 90-minute mushroom trip, the film is one of the most visually interesting films I have seen all year. While I can’t quite say that it was for me, what I can say is that if it is for you then it is probably exactly for you.

Cryptozoo is playing for US audiences as part of North Bend Film Festival through July 18th. It will be released in Canada by Mongrel Media on August 20th, 2021

Udo Keir as Pat / Swan Song

Swan Song

dir. Todd Stephens

Udo Kier is one of those actors you recognize because he is always working. A character actor, he has appear in multiple films every year (including two in this festival!) and he is the type of performer than can show up in a single scene and walk away with the entire movie. Swan Song features him in the lead role as Pat, an aged hairdresser who embarks on a journey across Sandusky to do the hair of his former best client. In the process he revisits his life, and reclaims his passion. Kier is stunning in this, taking his performance right up to eleven when the moment is right, and right into your emotions right when you least expect it. A must watch.

Swan Song is playing for US audiences as part of North Bend Film Festival. It will be released in Canada by Mongrel Media on August 6th, 2021


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