In the Garden of Beasts (2011) – Erik Larson

After I finished Erik Larson’s latest book, Dead Wake, I made sure to go out and track down another one. Not since Stephen Ambrose have I enjoyed a historian’s storytelling method, and it was with great delight that I picked up In the Garden of the Beasts, even the subtitle on the cover was enough…

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921) – Rex Ingram

The War recommendations following my screening of All Quiet on the Western Front for the Great Movies – 100 Years of Film book get underway with this silent film from 1921. A cattle dynasty in Argentina finds itself in conflict with itself when the Great War breaks out and French and German in-laws take sides….

Kings of the Road (1976) – Wim Wenders

The next road movie following my viewing of Easy Rider for the Great Movies – 100 Years of Film book is this German road film. It definitely falls into the road movie category, but there is a somberness to it, that doesn’t seem to be reflected in its North American counterparts, no matter what their…

Blonde Venus (1932) – Josef von Sternberg

von Sternberg and Marlene Dietrich team-up for another film from the list of titles to watch in the Great Movies – 100 Years of Film book following my screening of The Blue Angel. This time around Dietrich plays Helen Faraday, a young woman, who wooed by a man, Ned (Herbert Marshall) on a walking trip across…

Hot Docs: Teenage – Matt Wolf

Using Jon Savage’s Teenage: The Creation of Youth Culture as a launching point, Wolf’s film, which screened at the Lightbox yesterday, serves as a perfect companion piece to Savage’s work. Through the use of varied voice overs from the UK, the U.S. and Germany, the film charts the growth of a new creation, that of adolescence at…

TIFF 2012: Lore – Cate Shortland

Bright new talent Saskia Rosendahl stars as Lore, a young girl who has to make her way across war-torn Germany near the end of WWII, with her much younger siblings in tow, including her infant brother, Peter.  They are trying to get safely to their grandmother’s home in Hamburg after their parents have been imprisoned…

WSFF – Creative Control

Last night’s screening of a series of shorts called Creative Control was a much quieter affair than the opening gala, but brought us 7 more short films that entertained, made you think, and gave you pause as you wondered about the concepts of life, love, loss, and death. Heady stuff right? The first film up…

WSFF – Opening Gala, Award Winners From Around The World

The 2012 Worldwide Short Film Festival kicked into gear last night at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, with an entertaining, and wonderful program featuring shorts from around the globe. The seven shorts featured ran the gambit from whimsical to laugh out loud funny, with a dash of romance and historical combining into an enjoyable potpourri of entertainment. The first…

Oma & Bella – Alexa Karolinski, Germany/USA

Oma & Bella points a camera into the lives of two Holocaust survivors who remained in Germany after WWII.  Living together now in Berlin, their friendship has survived several decades, and has an enviable strength due to their shared memories and love of cooking.  For both women, food – and the preparation of food –…