There was a palpable nervous energy in the air as we impatiently waited for our…
Browsing: Special Edition
This year I went from having never been to a film festival, to attending two in two months. And the second one was in another city. I flew to Melbourne to attend the 2012 Melbourne International Film Festival and cram eight films into two days. During my time at the Revelation Perth International Film Festival in July, I only managed six in two days and thought that was an achievement. Increasing my movie load could be either the dumbest idea ever or one of the best decisions of my life. I think it was the latter.
It is without question the success of the Dark Knight trilogy is due to the brilliance of Christopher Nolan. Although his adamant refusal to continue directing the saga is completely understandable, it is also disheartening to the fans of the Dark Knight. In unison, Christian Bale has turned down reprising his role as Bruce Wayne. So a complete revamp is the only option, if the studios are intent on cashing in on the box office success of this trilogy.
In The Dark Knight, the middle film in Christopher Nolan’s masterful, genre-defining Batman trilogy, Harvey Dent argues that, “you either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” At the film’s climax, these words serve as self-fulfilling prophecy, and Batman accepts the mantle of villain, allowing Gotham City to memorialize her ‘hero’, Harvey Dent. Redemption on a grand scale–for our anti-hero and the city that rejected him–fuels the action and the intrigue in the story’s final chapter, The Dark Knight Rises.
For a self-confessed film nerd, it is shameful that 2012 marked my first trip to a film festival. The Revelation Perth International Film Festival just celebrated its 15th year with a selection of documentaries, feature films, short films and film maker Q and A’s that would appeal to those who need a break from the multiplexes. Ten days worth of carefully chosen films were scheduled to be screened at the vintage, two screen Astor Theatre during July. With my pass in hand, I spent my first day at the festival discovering three documentaries.
The entrance of a movie theatre is lined with the blood curdling posters of slasher films, each one teasingly more brutal than the last. As you walk past, a pattern begins to emerge. A villainous celebration is on display showing off an array of monsters from wolfmen to pin-headed demons, but what about that defiant woman poised for action in the foreground, is she not also the star? Behind every great horror villain, there’s a great heroine and too long have they been dismissed as interchangeable, superfluous eye candy. Ask yourself this, where would Michael Myers be without Laurie Strode? Probably at Camp Crystal Lake with a bunch of faceless teens.
My number one pick is a documentary film which profiles Lesley Slowley. An artist and environmentalist, Slowley lives his life differently from the rest of us. He travels using his bicycle…backwards. The term he uses is “backwards rider.” The film shows Slowley on a day in his life during the Occupy movement in Toronto last year, where he taught people courses on how to recycle papers to create art.
The camera follows him as he travels backwards on his bicycle through the streets of Toronto. As he travels, you can relate to the reaction on the faces of pedestrians. It’s not exactly what we could consider normal behaviour. But Slowley claims there are “billions of backwards riders.” The climax of the story occurs when Slowley is confronted by the police for his dangerous way of traveling. The tension is palpable. As a viewer, you feel as if you are present in the scene.
Audiences are expected to be active participants when immersive cinema is introduced to Toronto by 360 Screenings on May 25, 2012. Created by Ned Loach and Robert Gontier, this film screening merges the worlds of cinema and immersive theatre to produce a truly unique experience.
A positive buzz is in the air this week as Canadian independent filmmakers get ready to showcase their talents. Hollywood studio films may attract general audiences, but Canadian indie filmmakers are hoping to make a change. The spotlight will be placed on films made by hometown talents, with the revival of the Canadian Film Fest from March 28 to 31st. The festival, which was created by Toronto film enthusiast Bern Euler, originally began in 2004 but ended temporarily in 2008 because of the economic crisis, resulting in lack of sponsorship money. Its return this year provides a great platform for Canadian filmmakers who continuously struggle to share their stories with an audience.
There’s been a lot of talk lately about the perceived death of Hollywood. Between movies like Battleship, the incumbent Stretch Armstrong and Transformers 4, Tyler Perry, and pretty much the entirety of the 2012 Oscars, many see the film industry as being on its last legs. It’s difficult to blame them. There’s so much wrong in Hollywood today (what’s up, box-office-record-breaking Twilight Saga?) and so much that has been said about it that it’s difficult for me to not come across as a broken record right now. Here’s the condensed version: reboots, remakes, spin-offs, sequels, toy adaptations, regular adaptations, adaptations of adaptations (and adaptations of these adaptations)…it was depressing just typing that. As jaded as any passionate moviegoer may be (believe me, I feel your pain), imagine how much more jaded young aspiring filmmakers must be. You’d think we would be, right?