REVIEW: Irma Vep [1996]

“Have you sex with girls?” If you’re going to poke fun at the film industry, you might as well go for broke. Take Olivier Assayas‘ Irma Vep for example. Hot off the success of his acclaimed Cold Water, he was recruited for a project about foreigners in Paris with Claire Denis and Atom Egoyan. When […]

REVIEW: L’eau froide [Cold Water] [1994]

“Extravagant maneuvers” Originally envisioned as a 52-minute chapter of a television anthology series with strict thematic and contextual rules, Olivier Assayas‘ L’eau froide [Cold Water] eventually found itself as the much sought-after 90-minute Cannes debut that cemented the auteur’s style, acclaim, and promise without ever reaching American shores due to lapsed music rights. He would […]

REVIEW: Personal Shopper [2016]

“I just need to see it to the end, that’s all” At the heart of Olivier Assayas‘ Personal Shopper is an idea of fear. This isn’t surprising considering it’s a genre ghost story, but its target is. Lead character Maureen Cartwright (Kristen Stewart) isn’t afraid of ghosts, spirits, or the supernatural because she’s a medium […]

Wiig, Gyllenhaal, and Monster Love at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival

Friends and family think me crazy for driving up the QEW so I can sit in darkened theaters for around thirty of a total eighty-hours in Toronto, but I wouldn’t spend my early September days any other way. This is what the Toronto International Film Festival does—it makes you look sanity in the face, say no […]

Toronto International Film Festival 2014 Preview

We may have two consistent film festivals here in town showcasing small releases and restored classics, but you might not realize how close we are to one of the biggest in the world. Most “in the know” will center on five events when thinking about the best of the best film festivals and while Venice, […]

TIFF12 REVIEW: Après mai [Something in the Air] [2012]

“I live in fantasy. When reality knocks I don’t open.” Sex, drugs, art, and revolution—such was the life of a young European in 1971. Or at least it was the life of a young director at 17 trying to reconcile the state of his country and his ambitions for the future. Taking us along for […]

Top Ten Films of 2010: Dark Fantasy Cinema

This list is accurate as of post-date. So many films and not enough time to see them all—141 seen is this year’s number—the potential for future change is inevitable, but as of today here are the best … I remember thinking around April that there hadn’t been a truly great film released yet. After summer […]

Top 25 Films of 2010

(short and sweet and to the point; culled from watching 156 releases. constantly updated as i catch up to those i missed. click poster for review if applicable) #25: Restrepo directed by Tim Hetherington& Sebastian Junger #24: Trust directed by David Schwimmer. #23: Kick-Ass directed by Matthew Vaughn. #22: Christina directed by Larry Brand. #21: […]

REVIEW: Carlos [2010]

“Sudden bloody terror” Kudos to Dan Franck and Olivier Assayas—who also directed—for doing the research and having the skill necessary to pull off an epic such as Carlos. Originally created as a three-part, five and a half hour miniseries for Canal Plus in Europe, the work became a sensation, debuting at Cannes and eventually being […]

REVIEW: L’heure d’été [Summer Hours] [2008]

“It’s nicely displayed” What is the true value of something? Whether it a house, paintings, heirlooms, or photos, do objects hold more worth monetarily or sentimentally? Just the fact that the deceased is taxed upon death shows how important the money is to the whole system of life, rendering one’s childhood memories into commodity. Olivier […]