TIFF 2021 Review: “The Rescue”

TIFF 2021 Review: “The Rescue”

The Rescue is the first documentary I’ve seen at TIFF, as part of their TIFF Docs programme. It’s a documentary about the rescue efforts in Thailand in 2018, when a soccer team of 12 kids and their coach found themselves trapped in the complex Tham Luang cave system. I have a terrible memory, but I’m sure I tracked this story when it made global headlines in 2018. I must have missed some important factors about it, as I was picturing them being lost deep in a cave, or being caved in somehow, where I was picturing a 127 Hours or Kirk Douglas film Ace in the Hole kind-of scenario. I didn’t realize it was flooding that trapped them. These are some of the perfect details tracked.

TIFF 2021 Review: “All My Puny Sorrows”

TIFF 2021 Review: “All My Puny Sorrows”

In Michael McGowan’s adaptation of Miriam Toews’ novel of the same name, All My Puny Sorrows concerns two sisters: Yoli (Alison Pill), a writer struggling with success, and the other, Elf (Sarah Gadon), a brilliant concert pianist who’s hellbent on ending her own life. The themes in this film are very heavy, as it opens with their father Jake (Donal Logue) waiting for a train and stepping in front of it to end his life. It’s a heartbreaking film that you’ll need a pick-me-up from after watching it, and one that I admittedly was apprehensive that would have the dull, negative melodrama of August: Osage County. However, this is a truly beautiful film. I really enjoyed these characters and getting to learn about the sisters’ relationship, and I was surprised by the story because I figured the sisters would be brought together by their father’s suicide, and not Elf’s own suicide attempt.

TIFF 2021 Review: “Montana Story”

TIFF 2021 Review: “Montana Story”

Besides the characters themselves, this film might as well be a tourism advertisement for the beauty of Montana. Giles Nuttgens’ cinematography is gorgeous, highlighting the landscapes, and it looks beautiful even in simple scenes of Erin riding a horse, Mr. T, with landscapes in the background. The cinematography here definitely has put Montana on my bucket list. The film’s great score complements these visuals so beautifully, too, and some scenes had me in awe.

Fantasia Film Festival Short Film Reviews: Kwêshkosîw (She Whistles), Victim No. 6, Neo Cryptide, 10-33, Ryuk-Sa: A Teaser

Fantasia Film Festival Short Film Reviews: Kwêshkosîw (She Whistles), Victim No. 6, Neo Cryptide, 10-33, Ryuk-Sa: A Teaser

Featured image: Sera Lys-McArthur in Kwêshkosîw (She Whistles). (Courtesy of Fantasia.) As the Fantasia Film Festival wrapped up this past Wednesday, August 25, I still have some interviews to post from the festival, as well as a few smaller reviews of some of the short films that I saw at the festival. Those included She [...]

Fantasia Film Festival Review: Hello! Tapir (2021)

Fantasia Film Festival Review: Hello! Tapir (2021)

Hello! Tapir is exactly the kind-of film that hits me in the emotional feels; one of those kind-of films that use fantasy to deal with our own grief. Films like Bridge to Terabithia come to mind for that, as well as more direct comps in A Monster Calls and I Kill Giants.

In this Taiwanese film, a young boy, Ah-Keat (Run Yin-Bai) is told stories by his father, Ah-Sheing. His main tale is about a tapir – a creature with the body of a pig, trunk of an elephant, ears of a horse and feet of a rhinoceros. The tapir is a benevolent creature who passes through villages at night, gobbling up all nightmares.

Fantasia Film Festival Review: Coming Home in the Dark (2021)

Fantasia Film Festival Review: Coming Home in the Dark (2021)

Featured image: Daniel Gillies as Mandrake and Tubs in Coming Home in the Dark. (Photo credit: Gold Fish Creative.) Directed by James Ashcroft. Screenplay by James Ashcroft, Eli Kent, based on the short story by Owen Marshall. Starring Daniel Gillies, Erik Thomson, Miriama McDowell. Coming Home in the Dark is currently available to watch On Demand [...]

Fantasia Film Festival Review: The Sadness (2021)

Fantasia Film Festival Review: The Sadness (2021)

In the film, we first meet young couple Kat (Regina Lei) and Jim (Berant Zhu), getting ready for an ordinary day. However, today, after a year of living with the Alvin virus, it’s permanently mutated into something rabid. It turns everyday, fine citizens into feral sadists who give into their primal urges. In the film, Jabbaz throws every caution to the wind, creating a totally bonkers action-horror film.

It’s filled with anxiety as we watch as we never know what will happen. It’s injected with the pure insanity of each film in The Purge series (the good ones), but dialed to 11. It’s also just The Crazies on crack. The first kill we see is haunting, and a big kudos to Jabbaz for choosing this greasy first death. If you’re watching the film and you’re immediately turned off by this first kill, there’s a decent chance this won’t be for you. It’s definitely not for the faint-hearted.