Now that reality is the new fiction/entertainment, I find myself doubting what's true or false. Is everyone on Facebook really that perfect? Are we raising a generation of wimps? Can homegrown videos reach nine million people organically? Is bacon a food or an industry? And for the love of God, will the real James Franco please stand up.
Toronto has gone Hollywood as it does each September, gripped by movie and movie star madness as the Toronto International Film Festival enters its se...
The Wind Rises is a biopic of Jiro Horikoshi, the brilliant designer of Mitsubishi fighter planes used extensively in the Sino-Japanese War and WWII. Yet despite legendary director Hayao Miyazaki being an avowed pacifist, the film glosses over Horikoshi's culpability in making war machines. By avoiding politics, the movie becomes undone by it.
With Enough Said, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, one of TV's funniest women ever, has finally been given a perfect film vehicle.
My novel Sex and Sunsets was optioned as a movie. The option ran out, and it was optioned again, and again. Option cheques arrived for 25 years. I gave up on it being made....
Kelly Reichardt has made her career on the fringes of the Hollywood system, making complex, austere films on tiny budgets, and building up a reputation for a singular vision. But, with Night Moves, a generic take on the moral questions associated with terrorism, Reichardt's vision feels blinkered.
Well, it's day four and two of the CINEMANOVELS public screenings are in the books. TIFF audiences are amazing. They were so enthusiastic about the film, and the questions they asked during the Q&A were smart and thoughtful.
Today my phone buzzed with the story of a film blogger calling 911 because he was bothered by someone using their cellphone during a screening. It's kind of a funny story to most, I suppose -- one that illustrates just how wrapped up people can get in this odd world. Except I didn't find it funny. At all. On any level. As a guy who spent every day of my working life for eight years trying to keep up with the volume of calls pouring in to 911 -- legitimate calls, each of which carried with it the weight of someone possibly dying -- I find Billington's action offensive.
Even when asked, not all actors and directors at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) are engaging with reporters on questions about red carpet designer wear or what their shots are at getting an Oscar nod.
Night Moves is about three environmental activists who blow up a dam. The first 15 minutes warn us that there are going to be some painfully unnecessary scenes laced with unnatural dialogue.
Like some psychedelic mash-up of Eyes Wide Shut, The Trial and Naked Lunch, R100 is by turns disgusting, hilarious, and tedious. For the most part the audience must surrender to the demented flow of the thing in order to have any fun.
Despite the utter unlikelihood of the plotting, everything about Enough Said feels lived in and true. Sparkling, light and yet awash in thoughtful insight into the particular challenges of new love in middle age, this was easily my favourite comedy of the festival so far.
A quick-paced, hard-charging adrenaline ride of a movie, Gravity takes us into the heart of an infinite darkness and then leads us home. As exciting as it is technically virtuosic, it invites us to reconsider the possibilities of the "popcorn movie." Thank god for that.
I judge a film by the punch it packs and whether it has the sentiments to reach and a message to teach. Egyptian filmmaker Ahmed Abdallah's Rags and Tatters possesses it all. But it delivers this wallop in a very meditative, introspected way.
Secrets and lies carried the day in most of the five films I saw Monday at the Toronto International Film Festival. But then, aren't the most interesting movies built around them? It's so obvious that Mike Leigh used the idea as the title of one of his finest efforts.
Between long, punishing shots of brutal whippings, lynchings, hangings, and rape, and the pervasive repugnance of the situation more generally, Steve McQueen has mounted the most affecting film about American slavery that has ever been made. But, does that in and of itself recommend it?