The Tribe Review

14TRIBE2-articleLarge-v2Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy’s debut feature may be among the most frustrating film in years, for a select group of film-goers. Those select film-goers being the general public, but this movie seems to have been made for a specific type or person, the Arthouse snob. The Tribe is a beautifully shot and authentic feeling european film that harkens back to the silent era mixed in with the harsh reality of now. Make no mistake, The Tribe is, on the surface, an incredibly pretentious film, but it also stays increasingly fascinating over the course of the 2 hour and 20 minute running time. It turns out that making a movie using only Ukraine Sign Language isn’t as off putting as it sounds. Continue reading

Victoria Review

The single take or one shot sequence, or whatever you want to call it, has been a consistently celebrated use of filmmaking to create a sense of reality or hyper-realism. The single take has been around almost as long as filmmaking actually has. From Hitchcock to this film, it has consistently gained more and more love from the critics and audiences themselves. But of course, the next logical conclusion from creating a small one take sequence to one that’s even longer is finally making a movie all in one uncut sequence. It takes a lot of discipline, but with a number of rehearsals and dedicated cast & crew, it can create a seamless feeling throughout the entire film. And that’s what Victoria does effortlessly. Continue reading

Anomalisa Review | VIFF 2015

Charlie Kaufman is one of America’s preeminent writers of existentialism and nearly all other forms of humanity. Anomalisa is another example of Kaufman’s look into the droll life of a man, but with his usual quirks and outlooks on love and infidelity added in. With this film being served to the audiences in Kaufman’s first use of animation, there is sure to be some worry among his fans on whether his style can be translated in a different visual medium. It’s safe to say that being lost in this droll, ugly world has never looked so beautiful. Continue reading

Dheepan Review | VIFF 2015

Jacques Audiard has created visceral, yet deep films that stay with you. He first came to worldwide attention with the intense A Prophet – an effective and heart-wrenching film about the underworld of prison and it’s corruption on humanity. What was a stunning drama led to the melodramatic romance, Rust and Bone. While I didn’t find myself interested in a romance between a bare-knuckle boxer and a killer whale trainer, audiences ate it up and a large saving grace was the performances from Matthias Schoenaerts and Marion Cotillard. Now Audiard is back with his Palme D’or winning Dheepan – what might be his best film to date. Continue reading

The Assassin Review | VIFF 2015

I’m just gonna say it right here. I’m not well versed in either wuxia films or the filmography of Hou Hsiao-Hsien. Not that either set of films don’t interest me, but I’ve never really put in the time or effort. After The Assassin, I might understand why. I am all for pretentious movies (Upstream Color and Under the Skin are a couple of my favourite movies of the past couple years), but The Assassin focuses on a thin plot and even thinner characters in the hopes that you’ll be interested enough in the beauty of the filmmaking. And I was almost fooled too.

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Room Review | VIFF 2015

Room may come across as a divisive film. Brie Larson is incredibly talented and her role here as Ma or Joy Newsom is another piece of evidence to support that. Jack, as played by Vancouver native Jacob Tremblay, is an engrossing character and he is played to an extraordinary standard by the young actor. In fact, all facets of acting are near perfect. But this movie seems to exist as an actors showcase and that’s it.

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The Walk Review

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For roughly twenty minutes after seeing The Walk in IMAX 3D, my breathing was irregular. My fear of falling (not heights) had been toyed with too many times over the course of the final act of the film. I could feel the doubts in Philippe Petit’s (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) head, but was able to recognize when I should be scared and when I should be smiling. Even in a vanilla 2D screening, I can still safely say that The Walk is an enjoyable experience – though without IMAX 3D, it’s less of a spectacle.

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