The Goddess of Yantai (2018) – Ian Hamilton

Ava Lee returns in a book that allows for the forensic accountant’s take on the film world and the darkness it hides, as she and her girlfriend, Pang Fai, a Chinese film star are caught up in the corruption and actions of the Chinese Movie Syndicate. Hitting bookshelves in the next week, Anansi Press lets…

Toronto After Dark 2017: Poor Agnes – Navin Ramaswaran

The second feature screening tonight at Scotiabank Theatre as part of the Toronto After Dark film festival is another new favourite. Poor Agnes, having its Toronto premiere this eve, is a disturbing drama that haunts and troubles even as its story captivates. Agnes (Lora Burke) is a serial killer, and she is a master at…

Man with a Movie Camera (1929) – Dziga Vertov

Vertov’s engaging documentary is the next stop in DK Canada’s The Movie Book. It falls solidly and enjoyably in the What Else to Watch list of Battleship Potemkin. A man, Mikhail Kaufman, wanders the city and captures the daily life of the Soviet Union in a brilliantly engaging way, marrying idea to image as only…

Toronto After Dark 2016: War On Everyone – John Micheal McDonagh

My time with the 2016 Toronto After Dark film festival got underway last night with the exceptional, brash, bold, politically incorrect, devastatingly hilarious War On Everyone. I think the only thing I would have changed about it is the name, everything else, totally worked for me. Now, as a caveat, part of the enjoyment of…

TIFF Bell Lightbox, Trek and My Birthday

It’s October 12, my birthday, if you hadn’t circled it on your calendar, and TIFF Bell Lightbox will be my birthday starbase today apparently. First up, at 6:30 this evening is the first of the fantastic sounding Trek Talks programs, this evening’s topic, An Astronaut’s Voyage to the Final Frontier. Presented by Lt. Col. Jeremy…

TIFF 2015: Portal to Hell – Vivieno Caldinelli

  TIFF tends to be filled with hidden gems, each one tucked away and made all the more pleasing when you find it. So let Sue and I give you a little nudge in the right direction… Portal To Hell!!! is part of the Short Cuts Programme 4 and is nothing short of pure gold. Running…

Ghosts In Our Machine – Special Screenings!

  I was fortunate enough to screen Liz Marshall’s incredible award-winning film, The Ghosts In Our Machine, at Hot Docs this past spring, but it is now finding new life in theatres, and I must highly encourage anyone and everyone to see this documentary if the chance should ever arrive.  Thanks in no small part…

ReelWorld Film Fest: Cairo 678 – Mohamed Diab

Every so often, I deliberately choose to do something that I know is going to frighten, upset or otherwise unsettle me, but I usually do it anyway.  Call it challenge, call it growth…call it stupid, if you want.  But I do it.  Most often, this pushing of myself comes in the form of a book…

ReelWorld: La Playa D.C. – Juan Andres Arango

  Tomas (Luis Carlos Guevara) and his troubled younger brother, Jairo (Andres Murillo), live with their mother (along with her current partner and their baby) in the sprawling city of Bogota, Colombia. Despite losing their father in the small but violent, drug and war-torn village of Buenaventura on the country’s Pacific coast, neither boy has…

Toronto After Dark – My Amityville Horror – Eric Walter

  This documentary was one of the films I was most looking forward to seeing at Toronto After Dark this year, and while it was a little different than I’d expected going in, it gave me far more than I’d dared hope before the end credits rolled! Based on the events of the most famous…