TIFF18 REVIEW: The Dig [2018]

“He’s on my land” After fifteen years in jail for murder, Ronan Callahan (Moe Dunford) returns home to find his victim’s father caught in a loop. Every day spent behind bars was a day Sean McKenna (Lorcan Cranitch) languished in the bog behind the Callahans’ property, digging holes along a carefully marked grid in search […]

TIFF18 REVIEW: Lof mér að falla [Let Me Fall] [2018]

“Then you’ll get the kick” Films about addiction can be tough to endure depending on how authentically harrowing the experience is drawn. They can only end in one of two ways: death or sobriety. The former can be literal or figurative depending on how deep the drug of choice has its claws fastened and the […]

TIFF18 REVIEW: Les salopes ou le sucre naturel de la peau [Les Salopes or the Naturally Wanton Pleasure of Skin] [2018]

“In the end there are only human experiments” Can skin tell the difference between love and desire? It’s an intriguing question Marie-Claire (Brigitte Poupart) can’t help but want to answer as a dermatology professor and lover of sex if only to supply a reprieve from the usual carcinoma studies her doctorate students tediously gravitate towards. […]

TIFF18 REVIEW: Blindsone [Blind Spot] [2018]

“Remember to breathe” The boldness of Tuva Novotny to choose to make her directorial debut a one-shot film of harrowing emotion cannot be understated. Her Blindsone [Blind Spot] takes us through the wringer as tragedy befalls a small, (seemingly) happy family without warning. These characters are distraught, confused, and falling to pieces as ambulances race […]

TIFF18 REVIEW: Endzeit [Endzeit – Ever After] [2018]

“Go out and bury what haunts you” What if humanity’s apocalypse wasn’t the world’s end? We’ve become so used to treating ourselves as rulers of this planet despite knowing so little about it and the surrounding universe while also doing our best to destroy everything we touch. So what are we truly besides another in […]

TIFF18 REVIEW: Kingsway [2018]

“I’ve been on speaker?” Love and suicide. Those are the words director Bruce Sweeney says inspired him to write Kingsway and are very much at the forefront of his dramedy about the dysfunctional Horvat family. And both are treated with humor despite never in a way that belittles their respective import. It’s not about laughing […]

TIFF18 REVIEW: Un ange [Angel] [2018]

“I’d rather consider myself a gazelle” Two lost souls struggling to reconcile their image meet in Senegal by chance. One’s a prostitute—although she rejects the label and the registration card that’s as much a means to procure wealthy clients as a permanent brand upon her skin. The other is a world famous cyclist just recovered […]

TIFF18 REVIEW: Freaks [2018]

“Go away ghost” It’s weird to think about a movie like Push today—an under-appreciated, much-maligned sci-fi that I’d argue is a lot better than the legacy it’s been given. The X-Men and Spider-Man trilogies had completed by the time it was released and Iron Man just hit theaters the year before to usher in what […]

TIFF18 REVIEW: Føniks [Phoenix] [2018]

“It has to be my turn sometime” If our best laid plans are said to often go awry, what happens to the ones we hastily make in desperation? Writer/director Camilla Strøm Henriksen looks to supply an answer to that very question with her feature debut Føniks [Phoenix] because desperation is all young Jill (Ylva Bjørkaas […]

TIFF17 REVIEW: Princesita [2017]

“The darker the night, the brighter the stars” Miguel (Marcelo Alonso) compares God to a fire when explaining how the ones our religions’ sacred books describe aren’t quite right. Our creator is simpler than those iterations. He has the power to turn wood into ash and water into steam. He has the power to transform. […]

TIFF17 REVIEW: Vinterbrødre [Winter Brothers] [2017]

“Everyone has a little darkness in them” It opens in darkness—the beams from headlamp flashlights and sparks of metal on rock our only points of illumination. This is the oppressive environment holding the over-worked and under-paid miners while their boss sits in his factory office without a care as to who the men in his […]