TIFF15 REVIEW: Sonámbulo [The Sleepwalker] [2015]

“Green, how I want you green.” Animator Theodore Ushev embraces yet another visual style to treat us with at the Toronto International Film Festival. From conté crayon images rotoscoped atop Jafar Panahi in 2012’s Joda to the Cubist/Constructivist homage of 2013’s Gloria Victoria, his latest Sonámbulo [The Sleepwalker] delves into Abstract Expressionism bearing to mind […]

TIFF15 REVIEW: Pojkarna [Girls Lost] [2016]

“Can’t you see it’s me?” Writer/director Alexandra-Therese Keining‘s adaptation of Jessica Schiefuer’s 2011 August Prize-winning (Sweden) young adult novel Pojkarna (translated as The Boys but changed to Girls Lost for international release) is deliciously dark and profoundly vital. It definitely lends itself to the genre with overt metaphors between three female classmates finding themselves budding […]

TIFF15 REVIEW: Bunny [2015]

“Friends of your springtime / they are all vanishing / fleeing to fables” Some films end with me desperately trying to find a way to love them to no avail. Megha Ramaswamy‘s Bunny is just such a piece. It is beautifully shot with a Wes Anderson sense of whimsical artifice that’s devoid of dialogue besides […]

TIFF15 REVIEW: Der Schwarm [The Fantastic Love of Beeboy & Flowergirl] [2015]

“They had to realize that love was nothing but fantasy” In the grand picture book aesthetic of Bryan Fuller‘s “Pushing Daises”, Clemens Roth‘s Der Schwarm [The Fantastic Love of Beeboy & Flowergirl] is a delightful little fantasy of over-the-top whimsy. Peter (Florian Prokop) is forced to live inside a bee suit due to killer bees […]

TIFF15 REVIEW: She Stoops to Conquer [2015]

“It’s everything you’ll never be” The TIFF description calling Zachary Russell‘s She Stoops to Conquer a “fantastical oddity” is about as spot-on a review as you can get. What else can you say about a short film depicting a struggling performance artist who applies a latex mask—transforming her into an older gentleman in hope of […]

FANTASIA15 REVIEW: 奇人密碼: 古羅布之謎 [The Arti: The Adventure Begins] [2015]

“Where the heart is lies eternity” You can’t watch 奇人密碼: 古羅布之謎 [The Arti: The Adventure Begins] without finding yourself in awe of the amazing puppet work on display. While told it was only “enhanced” by CGI, it looks as though a lot more was computer-generated than such a verb would infer. For one the smoothness […]

REVIEW: 思い出のマーニー [Omoide no Mânî] [When Marnie Was There] [2014]

“I wish for a normal life everyday” If Studio Ghibli ends up closing shop as announced, we can be glad their final film is a winner with the heart and soul we’ve come to love from Hayao Miyazaki and the team. I’m surely in the minority, but I’d even say Hiromasa Yonebayaski‘s When Marnie Was […]

REVIEW: Avengers: Age of Ultron [2015]

“It wasn’t a nightmare. It was a legacy.” He may not have been there at the start, but Joss Whedon stewarded the Marvel Cinematic Universe through its make or break stage. It was one thing to give the world high-tech flying fun via a sarcastic playboy, otherworld fantasy come to earth courtesy of a haughty […]

REVIEW: Lost River [2015]

“Here in my deep purple dream” You cannot watch Ryan Gosling‘s directorial debut Lost River without recalling the divisive surrealism of Only God Forgives. He’s the first to admit how much of an influence Nicolas Winding Refn was, pitting the Dane’s heightened realities against the emotive authenticity of another favorite collaborator in Derek Cianfrance. Gosling […]

REVIEW: Cinderella [2015]

“Have courage and be kind” For anyone who cannot stand singing, Disney’s latest iteration of the timeless Cinderella is catered to you. I know Chris Weitz and the other screenwriters on the project before him poured through the fairy tale’s vast lineage for every detail they could cull together into what they surely believe to […]

REVIEW: かぐや姫の物語 [Kaguyahime no monogatari] [The Tale of The Princess Kaguya] [2013]

“That was Heaven telling us who she’d grow into” There is no questioning whether かぐや姫の物語 [Kaguyahime no monogatari] [The Tale of The Princess Kaguya] is an extraordinary work of art. The beauty of its simplistic, watercolor ink-lined drawings is a breath of fresh air within a medium of 3D-rendered characters trying so hard to not […]