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 Thedin) has left. Her fourteenth birthday is just days away and yet she returns home from school to see the beginnings of a celebration abandoned and her mother Astrid (Maria Bonnevie) asleep in bed. Knowing…

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Top 100 Albums of 2017

Honorable Mention: #100: Talking by Elderbrook #99: Carnival III:The Fall and Rise of a Refugee by Wyclef Jean #98: Somewhere in Between by VÉRITÉ #97: The World We Built by The Wild Reeds #96: Lines by Charlie Cunningham #95: Ti Amo by Phoenix #94: Confidently Lost by Sabrina Claudio #93: Last Place by Grandaddy #92: AFI (The Blood Album) by AFI #91: VOIDS by Minus the Bear #90: Under Stars by Amy Macdonald #89: Love In a Time of Madness by José James #88: Captain California by Murs #87: No…

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Online Film Critics Society Ballot 2015

Below is my December 12th ballot for the 19th annual Online Film Critics Society Awards honoring movies released domestically in the United States during the 2015 calendar year. Group winners are highlighted in red. Best Picture #1 Inside Out . #2 Carol . #3 Spotlight . #4 Ex Machina . #5 Mad Max Fury Road #6 Brooklyn #7 The Revenant #8 Room #9 The Martian #10 Sicario Best Animated Film #1 Inside Out . #2 Shaun the Sheep Movie #3 Anomalisa . #4 The Peanuts Movie #5 The Good Dinosaur…

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REVIEW: Phoenix [2014]

“I no longer exist” The Holocaust left thousands of survivors stripped of identity—branded by a number as though they weren’t worthy of the name given at birth. To exit such horror was to enter a new world forever changed for them as well as those lucky enough to have missed the nightmare first-hand. Pity, guilt, sorrow, and anger mixed as victims, oppressors, heroes, and bystanders who refused to acknowledge the truth reunited in a post-War Earth. Nations tried to make things better by pooling together the wealth of those who…

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Top 100 Albums of 2013

Honorable Mention: #100: The Silver Gymnasium by Okkervil River. #99: Monkey Mindsin the Devil’s Time by Steve Mason #98: Weekend by The Sounds. #97: Reflektor by Arcade Fire #96: Beyond Wilderness by Gold & Youth #95: Amok by Atoms for Peace #94: Edward Sharpe& The Magnetic Zeros by Edward Sharpe& The Magnetic Zeros #93: Trouble Will Find Me by The National.. #92: Praxis Makes Perfect by Neon Neon.. #91: Electric Slave by Black Joe Lewis #90: Devil by Lydia #89: Birthmarks by Born Ruffians #88: Comedown Machine by The Strokes…

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REVIEW: Somewhere [2010]

“Hey Johnny. You’re having a party.” Ever since her debut film—a favorite of mine—The Virgin Suicides, Sofia Coppola has spiraled into a mode of minimalist storytelling. Receiving raves from critics and a Best Screenplay Oscar for her sophomore effort Lost in Translation, I began to wonder what I was missing. It was a good film, but a transcendent piece of cinema introducing us to a new master of the medium? I didn’t even think it was her best film, let alone all that. Perhaps it is in the simplicity where…

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Top 10 Albums of 2009

(short and sweet and to the point—culled from listening to 417 releases from 2009) The TOP TEN of 2009: 1.) Florence and the Machine: Lungs 2.) Mando Diao: Give Me Fire 3.) The Decemberists: Hazards of Love 4.) Passion Pit: Manners 5.) The Sounds: Crossing the Rubicon 6.) Silversun Pickups: Swoon 7.) White Lies: To Lose My Life 8.) The Audition: Self-Titled Album 9.) La Roux: La Roux 10.) Paper Route: Absence Honorable Mention (11-25): 11.) The Temper Trap: Conditions 12.) Gossip: Music for Men 13.) Doves: Kingdom of Rust…

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Virgin Music Festival 06

On a whim, a friend and I decided to head up to Toronto for the day on Saturday to check out the first annual Virgin Music Festival held on Toronto Park Island. This show is a two day event bringing some huge name acts over to Canada, just a short drive down the QEW. It’s our very own Lollapalooza only with great bands playing rock from the US, Canada, and England. The catch-phrase is “From England with Love” afterall. While the second day had more well-known bands playing – The…

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