TIFF22 REVIEW: Until Branches Bend [2022]

You did the right thing. Something is amiss both with Robin (Grace Glowicki) and the quiet Canadian peach grove town of Montague. An invader has taken hold. It’s wormed its way beneath the surface to incubate and grow, causing incalculable stress upon its vessel. And nobody wants to admit it’s there. Because doing that—making it real—means turning everything upside down to deal with it. So, they bury their heads in the sand and ignore that a problem could even be feasible let alone already in progress. Unlike everyone else, however,…

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BERLINALE20 REVIEW: La déesse des mouches à feu [Goddess of the Fireflies] [2020]

I feel like I’m wasting my life. Die-hard grunge fan (and drug dealer) Fred (Noah Parker) tells Catherine (Kelly Depeault) she can’t play her Hole cd because Courtney Love killed Kurt Cobain. It’s a remark that was probably half joke and half memorial that leads into Keven (Robin L’Houmeau) dropping the necessary wisdom of knowing Love wouldn’t have been able to stop him if she tried. Cobain wasn’t a victim. He lived hard and walked a road of his own making to an end he ultimately embraced enough to pull…

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TIFF19 REVIEW: Antigone [2019]

My heart says to help my brother. A lot of people die during Sophocles‘ Antigone. The death of Oedipus puts his sons Eteocles and Polynices on the throne, their deaths spark their titular sister to fight for the latter’s right to be buried, and her eventual suicide leads to more dead bodies as only a Greek tragedy could allow. While Canadian director Sophie Deraspe loosely adapts his play to tell her tale of North America’s immigration ills (through the specific lens of Montreal, Quebec), she leaves the killing behind. There’s…

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