VIFF11 INTERVIEW: Prashant Bhargava, writer/director of Patang

While at the Vancouver International Film Festival this year, I had the pleasure of speaking to the writer/director of Patang [The Kite], Prashant Bhargava. A Chicago-born filmmaker of Indian descent, his first feature length work has hit screens in Berlin and Tribeca before making its way to Canada, picking up praise at every screening. A very human tale of a family in Ahmedabad rekindling during the city’s famous kite festival, Bhargava’s film will enchant and intrigue through its exotic locale and very familiar emotions. Speaking about his process, the casts’…

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Top 50 Films of the Decade (2000–2009)

As always, I have not seen every film made in the decade, so this list is only complete as of posting. There are those diamonds in the rough I’ve yet to witness that could render this entire list obsolete. The ‘Naughts’, I believe an appropriate term being used for the decade spanning from 2000–2009, the years we feared wouldn’t come thanks to Y2K, brought with them some amazing films. Technological advancements aside, this time period contained a number of singular auteurs both continuing on already stellar careers and others beginning…

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REVIEW: Sunshine Cleaning [2009]

“I recommend the pecan pie” Sometimes it takes a while for a film to be shown to the masses, no matter how much praise is lauded on it. After being buzzed at Sundance in 2008, it took a complete year before Sunshine Cleaning got out to the public. Thankfully it finally got its shot because this film is a definite gem. The title begs comparison to another Sundance favorite, Little Miss Sunshine, and the trailer even attempts to ride that to financial success, but don’t be misled. While that film…

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REVIEW: The Wedding Date [2005]

“He’s not really family; he’s more like a hostage” The filmmakers behind The Wedding Date do a very smart thing by throwing us into the action right from the start. I was anticipating a lengthy exposition period of Debra Messing’s Kat talking to a best friend about how she doesn’t want to go to her sister’s wedding alone, especially since the best man is her ex-fiance. As the two banter about the past and broken-hearts, the friend will suggest, “why don’t you get an escort to make him jealous?” Then…

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REVIEW: Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day [2008]

“Money or love?” Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day indeed. And quite the day it was. Here is the “governess of last resort,” a daughter of a vicar, raised in a sheltered world of modesty. After butting heads with her previous employers due to their lack of courtesy, manners, and morals, Miss Pettigrew finds herself hungry, penniless, and very desperate. In a moment of need, she steals the address of a prospective client and pops over to pose as the woman sent for the job. Expecting a young boy to…

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REVIEW: Junebug [2005]

“I just wanted something good to come out of all this” Junebug was one of those films that came out of the 2005 festival circuit with buzz galore. Unfortunately I never got to see it until randomly passing it by on Starz-On-Demand, in widescreen no less. This was a temptation that wouldn’t be quelled and so I sat down with high expectations. The movie not only lived up to those, but exceeded them as well. You don’t get character pieces as well acted and written as Junebug often. Every performance…

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Top 25 Films of 2005

(short and sweet and to the point; culled from watching 93 releases. constantly updated as i catch up to those i missed. click poster for review if applicable) #25: Hauru no ugoku shiro[Howl’s Moving Castle] directed by Hayao Miyazaki #24: Good Night,and Good Luck directed by George Clooney #23: Joyeux Noël[Merry Christmas] directed by Christian Carion #22: The Descent directed by Neil Marshall #21: Kingdom of Heaven directed by Ridley Scott #20: 13 Tzameti directed by Géla Babluani #19: Batman Begins directed byChristopher Nolan #18: The Girl in the Café…

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