Midsommar (2019) – Ari Aster

Writer/director Ari Aster’s follow-up to his unnerving horror film, Hereditary, is another menacing, and ominous story, Midsommar. Florence Pugh stars as Dani, a traumatised young woman, who is dealing with personal grief, and a crumbling love life, when she learns that her boyfriend, Christian (Jack Reynor) and a number of his buddies, some are doing…

TIFF 2021: Petit Maman dir. Celine Sciamma

Director Celine Sciamma delivers a gentle pontification of loss, family and understanding in this gentle, and quiet drama. When Nelly’s (Josephine Sanz) grandmother dies, she regrets the fact that she didn’t get a chance to truly say goodbye to her. While her mother (Nina Meurisse) deals with her grief, and the job of clearing out…

TIFF 2021: Dear Evan Hansen dir. Stephen Chbosky

Mental health. Suicide. Depression. Loss. Grief. Loneliness. These issues are usually trapped in the individual, and though a number of us share in these things, it’s never a shared experience. We are held in the prison of our issues, in a society where social media presentation, the illusion of life being better than it is…

Moonlighting (1987) – I Am Curious… Maddie, and To Heiress Human

Things heat up between Maddie (Cybill Shepherd), David (Bruce Willis) and Sam (Mark Harmon) this week in the penultimate episode of the third season, I am Curious… Maddie. Written by series creator Glenn Gordon Caron and Jeff Reno from a story by Ron Osborn, Karen Hall, Roger Director and Charles H. Eglee, this episode debuted…

The Changeling (1980) – Peter Medak

Next up in DK Canada’s immensely enjoyable Monsters in the Movies, is the classic Canadian horror (shot in Vancouver and featuring some homegrown talent), The Changeling, a wonderful addition to the ghost chapter I am currently delving into. After his wife and child are killed in an accident while on vacation, composer John Russell (George…

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1998) – Honor Among Thieves, and Change of Heart

Station log: stardate unknown Rene Echevarria pens this O’Brien (Colm Meaney) episode from a story by Philip Kim. It first aired on 25 February, 1998. O’Brien is recruited by Starfleet Intelligence to infiltrate an Orion Syndicate one of the largest criminal organizations in the Alpha Quadrant, and is required to befriend the man he is…

The Babadook (2014) – Jennifer Kent

The final film in the What Else to Watch list following my screening of Picnic at Hanging Rock for DK Canada’s The Movie Book is this terrifying Australian film The Babaook. A widowed mother, Ameila (Essie Davis) and her young son, Samuel (Noah Wiseman) are put through the wringer by director/writer Jennifer Kent, as Samuel’s…

Pet Sematary (1983) – Stephen King

This week’s great Stephen King re-read brings me the horror classic, Pet Sematary, which I read in the mid-80s, shortly after I had discovered the prolific writer. I remember greatly enjoying it, and being very unnerved by King’s riff on the famed horror story The Monkey’s Paw. This time around I was entertained by it, but…

The Birch Wood (1970) – Andrzej Wajda

As I return to DK Canada’s The Movie Book, I dive into the What Else to Watch list following my screening of Ashes and Diamonds. Directed by the same film maker, Andrzej Wajda, The Birch Wood is a gentle character piece set in prewar Poland. The story follows Stanislaw (Olgierd Lukaszewicz), a young man suffering…

The Virgin Spring (1960) – Ingmar Bergman

Taking its inspiration from a centuries old ballad, as well as Kurosawa’s Rashomon and in turn inspiring Wes Craven’s revenge horror thriller, Last House on the Left, Ingmar Bergman’s The Virgin Spring comes up on the What Else to Watch list following my screening of The Seventh Seal. Dk Canada’s The Movie Book continues to…

Billy Elliot (2000) – Stephen Daldry

The final recommendation from the Great Movies – 100 Years of Film book for my viewing of West Side Story isn’t necessarily a musical, but it definitely shares the same love of dance. Billy Elliot, which has since inspired a stage musical perfectly captures joy in dance and simultaneously juxtaposes the ordinary events of day…