VIFF11 REVIEW: Inni [2011]

“We’re a very serious heavy metal band—and we worship the devil” If you go into Inni thinking you’ll receive Heima Part 2, you either be sadly disappointed or extremely grateful because it is anything but. Rather than show us Sigur Rós’ atmospherically sumptuous music against the gorgeous expanse of their Icelandic homeland, director Vincent Moriset […]

REVIEW: Footloose [1984]

“When you burn all these—what are you going to do then?” Almost three decades later, I have to acknowledge the fact that Footloose is dated. I don’t say it to be derogatory or to admit some hidden yearning I have to see it remade—which it was—but instead to simply state a fact. It’s dated; I’m […]

FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #12: The King and I [1956]

“Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera” You don’t get much more dated than the 1956 musical edition of The King and I. Through all the pomp and circumstance, it’s the trite storyline of a wannabe-modern king and the British school teacher who thaws his barbaric ways that comes through. All that’s wrong with the Western world is brought […]

FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #11: Victor Victoria [1982]

“I’d sleep with you for a meatball” You’re down on your luck, famished, and unable to get a job despite having a voice like no other. What do you do? Victoria Grant (Julie Andrews) is asking herself that very question when we see her auditioning for Chez Lui—a dump populated by gangsters and hotheads that’s […]

FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #10: Bugsy Malone [1976]

“I’ve spent my entire life coming back tomorrow” A director with a career infused by music for three decades, Alan Parker’s feature length debut came in the form of Bugsy Malone. Completely populated by kids under seventeen, it’s a gangster film that exists as though in an alternate reality, working on all levels whether treated […]

FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #9: Singin’ in the Rain [1952]

“Dignity, always dignity” With just two Oscar nominations—for supporting actress and musical score—the lack of love for Singin’ in the Rain at its release shouldn’t be too surprising. Crafted by MGM’s Arthur Freed to reuse the songs he and Nacio Herb Brown wrote for a slew of musicals in the 1930s, the film feels like […]

FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #8: Yankee Doodle Dandy [1942]

“The first thing I ever had in my hand was an American flag” Shortly after the events at Pearl Harbor thrust America into World War II, a film was released that both paid respect to one of the true patriots of our country and gave the new contingent of men sailing off to fight a […]

FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #7: 42nd Street [1933]

“Jones and Barry are doing a show” For being the American Film Institute’s 13th best musical on its 2006 list, 42nd Street is surprisingly devoid of song. Depicting the behind the scenes comings and goings of a big scale production, the fact its subject is a musical seems more relevant than it being one itself. […]

FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #6: Hairspray [2007]

“Good Morning Baltimore” Boy does the trailer for Hairspray really forget mentioning exactly what it’s about. Going through its beats, the advertisement talks about its young star Nikki Blonsky and her character Tracy Turnblad’s dreams of overcoming her weight and society’s bigotry to seize her dreams, dance on TV, and get her man. The jokes, […]

REVIEW: The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert [1994]

“Bernice has left her cake out in the rain” Based The road trip comedy is a staple in the cinematic world and I’m sure some would be quick to state how, “if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all”. However, I’d be surprised if those same people have ever seen anything as uniquely eccentric as […]

BNFF11 REVIEW: The Beast Pageant [2010]

“Sometimes you gotta feed the serpent its own damn tail” The love child of David Lynch and Michel Gondry has been born in Rochester, NY and its name is The Beast Pageant. Screening at the Buffalo Niagara Film Festival, Albert Birney and Jon Moses’s film is obtuse, inventive, funny, and more than it appears on […]