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 thanks, and go the exact opposite way towards a world-renowned cinematic spectacle those same people are jealous about once I tell them I saw Kristen Wiig tell a joke. It was a funny one too…

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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, Cannes, and Berlin are an ocean away and Sundance is across the country, The Toronto International Film Festival is less than a two-hour drive via the QEW into Canada. Even better than proximity, though, is…

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REVIEW: 三槍拍案驚奇 [A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop] [2010]

“You are such a wimp, the biggest I’ve ever seen” A prolific director in China, Yimou Zhang found an audience in America with the wonderful Hero and his follow-up House of Flying Daggers. Curse of the Golden Flower came next with its stunning visuals but lackluster storyline that left me cold and uninterested, thinking perhaps his style had gotten the best of him on the almost film per year pace he had begun. But then he decided to do something completely out of left field, pushing the serious, feudal artistry…

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REVIEW: 满城尽带黄金甲 [Curse of the Golden Flower] [2006]

“Family dysfunction” My introduction to writer/director Yimou Zhang was his first foray into epic territory Hero. The film took the beauty of Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and infused it with inventive and powerful storytelling a la Kurosawa’s Rashômon. As a result, the film was an amazing feat of technical and emotional brilliance. I still haven’t seen his follow-up, House of Flying Daggers, as it seemed a more cartoony look into the genre, with visual style pushed to the forefront while story is pushed back. With his newest film,…

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