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 Brother Ali – All the Beauty in This Whole Life; Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – The Tourist; Laura Marling – Semper Femina; Oh Wonder – Ultralife; Stars – There Is No Love In Flourescent Lights; Jay Som – Everybody Works; Real Estate – In Mind; Goldfrapp – Silver Eye; Katy Perry – Witness; Elder – Reflections of a Floating World; Mew – Visuals; Los Campesinos! – Sick Scenes; Death From Above 1979 – Outrage! Is Now; Björk – Utopia; Nick Hakim – Green Twins; Little Dragon –…

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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 The Joy Formidable – Wolf’s Law; Indians – Somewhere Else; Young Galaxy – Ultramarine; Cansei de Ser Sexy – Planta; Kodaline – In a Perfect World; Frank Turner – Tape Deck Heart; Black Blinds – Black Blinds; Chelsea Wolfe – Pain is Beauty; Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Push The Sky Away; The Jungle Giants – Learn To Exist; GRMLN – Empire; Holy Ghost! – Dynamics; Ours – Ballet The Boxer 1; KT Tunstall – Invisible Empire // Crescent Moon; Jim James – Regions of Light…

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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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