In the new Dread Central horror film Val, a criminal named Fin (Zachary Mooren) tries to evade cops by breaking into a mansion in a wealthy neighbourhood. This mansion happens to be owned by high-class escort Val (Misha Reeves), and Fin finds himself in a strange situation where nothing is what it seems. The film is currently playing in select theatres, and will be available On Demand this coming Tuesday, October 5. For my podcast/video podcast The Filmcraziest Show, I was able to speak with the film's co-writer and director Aaron Fradkin, as well as one of the film's stars Misha Reeves, who plays the titular Val.
Exploring themes of loss and grief through a science-fiction story in Between Waves, Fiona Graham plays photographer Jamie who finds herself at the centre of a missing persons investigation when her boyfriend Isaac (Luke Robinson) disappears.
As she’s dealing with potentially losing her boyfriend, she still sees him everywhere; and then she literally sees him everywhere. Isaac comes to her and reports that his research has worked: He’s thought of a way to open a parallel dimension, using the conduit of water. This sets Jamie on a journey, through Toronto and into the Azores, trying to reunite with Isaac.
For my podcast The Filmcraziest Show, I was able to speak with the film’s director and writer Virginia Abramovich where we talked about being drawn into the story, the research and figuring out the rules, the casting in the film, shooting in the Azores, shooting the underwater scene, the transitions in the writing and much more in between.
There’s nothing quite like a film that completely hooks from its first shot, and that’s the case with Clint Bentley’s Jockey. It opens with a conversation, where aging jockey Jackson (Clifton Collins Jr.) and fellow jockey Leo (Logan Cormier) discuss a young rookie on the tour named Gabriel (Moises Arias). It’s a standard conversation that hooks because of how it’s shot, shadows in front of a sunset as they watch horses gallop.
I must gush about Adolpho Veloso’s cinematography because I can’t remember when I’ve fallen in love so quickly with the look of a film. The bulk of the outdoor scenes are shot at the “golden hour,” highlighting the gorgeous oranges, blues and reds of Phoenix, AZ. In these scenes, the characters could be reciting the dictionary and I’d still be in awe.
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.
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.
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.
With over 100 million poker players globally, you could argue that there should be a lot more films about one of the most entertaining games in the world. Although there isn’t a raft of poker-based movies, there is one which stands head and shoulders above the rest and is still spoken about to this day [...]
For my podcast The Filmcraziest Show, I was able to speak with the minds behind Bad Candy. They are Desiree Connell and Scott B. Hansen, who share directing duties, as well as writing duties. In our conversation, we touch on the vignette shooting and how they don’t personally consider it an anthology film and adding to the Halloween resurgence and playing by Halloween rules.
At this past Fantasia Film Festival at the end of August, I was able to watch Kelsey Egan's Glasshouse, a unique sci-fi drama thriller about a family isolated in a glasshouse in the middle of the woods, sheltered away from a toxin outside that erases memory. When a stranger comes across their property, the eldest daughter Bee (Jessica Alexander) let's him in, which goes against their rules and rituals, and threatens their family unit.
You can find my review of the film here. I was also able to speak with Kelsey about her film, which she co-wrote with Emma Lungiswa De Wet. You can find my conversation with Kelsey directly below as we spoke for my podcast The Filmcraziest Show.