Interview: Mark O’Brien on his film ‘The Righteous’

Mark O'Brien / The Righteous

Greetings programs! Canadian actor Mark O’Brien has been working steadily since the mid-2000s with roles in CBC’s The Republic of Doyle and AMC’s Halt & Catch Fire, and movie appearances in Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett’s Ready or Not, and Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story

This week sees his feature film writing and directorial debut, The Righteous, arrive in cinemas nearly a year after its premiere at least year Fantasia Festival. Grappling with themes of faith and guilt, The Righteous stars a who’s who of Canadian talent including O’Brien himself, Henry Czerny, Mimi Kuzyk, and Nygel Bennet.  It also picked up three Canadian Screen Award nominations this year including best original screenplay and best supporting actor for O’Brien himself.

I sat down with Mark this week on Zoom to talk about the film.  You can listen to it right here on the page after the jump, or wherever you listen to podcasts. I hope you enjoy it!

Continue reading “Interview: Mark O’Brien on his film ‘The Righteous’”

WFF ’21 Quick Review: ‘We’re All In This Together’ is a quirky family drama

We're All In This Together

Of all the most reliable subjects for drama, family is the most reliable. After all, unlike friends or coworkers, you don’t get to choose family, and that extra level of tether adds stakes to any situation. We’re All In This Together is a good example of this fact, bringing together a pair of estranged twins, an underaged sister in a relationship with an older man, and a mother who went over a waterfall in a barrel. Literally, not figuratively.

Continue reading “WFF ’21 Quick Review: ‘We’re All In This Together’ is a quirky family drama”

Review: ‘Powder Keg’ is a noble but unsuccessful drama

Powder Keg

In February 2015, a man with a gun opened fire in Copenhagen. He attacked the Krudttønden Cultural Centre, discharging more than thirty rounds and killing Finn Nørgaard, a filmmaker who ran outside and tried to overpower the shooter. The following day, the same shooter arrived at the Great Synagogue and killed Dan Uzan, a Jewish community member. This event remains one of the most prominent terrorist attacks in recent Danish history.

Powderkeg, releasing on-demand today by Vortex Media, tells the story of these three men plus a responding police officer. And it’s fine.

Continue reading “Review: ‘Powder Keg’ is a noble but unsuccessful drama”

Interview: Nicole Dorsey on her film ‘Black Conflux’


Black Conflux, the first feature film from director Nicole Dorsey, had its premiere at TIFF 2019, and then with the outbreak of COVID-19, the film has had a long journey to theatres and finally vide on-demand this summer. It’s a confident and engaging film (read my review here) and an affecting one.

I had the chance to sit down with Nicole via audio last week to discuss the film, transcribed here. I hope you enjoy it!

Continue reading “Interview: Nicole Dorsey on her film ‘Black Conflux’”

Review: ‘Black Conflux’ is a confident first feature from director Nicole Dorsey

Black Conflux

Small town living can be, in a word, stifling. Yet, as much as it can be peaceful, they can also feel like grue traps, holding you in place. Black Conflux follows two people in small-town Newfoundland whose lives are wholly disconnected, but never the less on a collision course. The inevitability of this collision lends the entire film a sense of menace, dread, and purpose. Being set against the peaceful and serene backdrop only heightens it.

Continue reading “Review: ‘Black Conflux’ is a confident first feature from director Nicole Dorsey”

Review: ‘Edge of the World’ is a beautiful –but kinda boring– adventure

Edge of the World

Edge of the World is based on the life of James Brooke, the man who inspired –in whole or in part– novels by Conrad and Kipling. Brooke, a veteran of the Bengal Army, sailed to Borneo in the late 1830s and, after helping the Sultan of Brunei put down a rebellion, was gifted rule of Sarawak, a large swath of land on the northeast side of the island. He ruled for decades, and his descendants ruled all the way into the mid 20th century.

There is, as they say, a lot of story to tell here. This movie doesn’t quite tell it, though.

Continue reading “Review: ‘Edge of the World’ is a beautiful –but kinda boring– adventure”

Review: ‘Love Sarah’ is sweet, but underbaked

Love Sarah

Grief is a powerful thing. Imagine that you’re waiting for your friend to show up on the first day you begin your new adventure as business partners. I imagine being a child who texts your mother good luck and then goes on about your day. Imagine being a mother, estranged from her daughter, and having to answer the door to a pair of police officers there to let you know that your daughter has been killed in an accident.

This is the setup of the three main characters in Love Sarah, the story of a daughter, a mother, and a friend who open a bakery and name it after the titular Sarah dies in the films opening moments.

Continue reading “Review: ‘Love Sarah’ is sweet, but underbaked”