Browsing: VIFF 2015

Film Festival I-Saw-the-Light_1-1

Though Tom Hiddleston is superb in the role of Hank Williams, Marc Abraham’s fictional biopic I Saw the Light follows a sluggish script replete with banal romantic ventures and non-intimate portraiture. It does a rather poor job at conveying Hank Williams’ complex personality, instead dramatizing his vices for shock value. Instead of giving the man the respect…

Film Festival CharlottesSong_1-1

Vancouver made Charlotte’s Song is an exceedingly provocative film that titillates the viewer with a haunting atmosphere, lavish dress, and beautiful music while completely nullifying all this through its convoluted script, crime TV-like special effects, and lack of direction. Set in the 30s Oklahoma Dust Bowl, Charlotte’s Song tells the story of a mermaid coming of age. Her mother, a mermaid singer with the power to control audiences with her voice, dies…

Film Festival anomalisa_1-1

Kaufman’s first stop-motion film, a high concept animation about the mundanity of existence and the homogeneity of experience, joins his catalogue of thought-provoking psychological dramas. The film focuses on the life of Michael Stone (voice of David Thewlis), a motivation speaker whose life has lost energy as he has succumbed to a placid role as…

Film Festival Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 4.58.38 PM

“I don’t demand much. I just want everything.” These are the words of superstar Ingrid Bergman, whose ambitious and illustrious career in film and theater is presented in this exceptionally resourceful documentary which places Bergman’s written and spoken words in the center of a film about her life. Narrated by Swedish up-and-comer …

Film Festival Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 4.34.06 PM

Eadweard, a highly dramatized biopic of legendary American photographer Eadweard Muybridge, uses the man’s theories of motion as a cinematic means of expression, authentically rendering a sense of his craft and genius in spite of the film’s obvious anachronistic tendencies and appeal to creative license. Special effects at times produce …

Film Festival mmd_1-1

In Jia Zhang-ke’s epic Mountains May Depart, a man, woman, and son—family members stripped apart over time—are featured in three episodic sections. Similar in structure to the recent American film The Place Beyond the Pines (Cianfrance, 2013), Mountains too carries a sense of family passage, however, in this case the focus is on family members who were…

Film Festival francofonia_1-1

A visual essay by master filmmaker Aleksandr Sokurov, Francofonia fits well within his directorial oeuvre, blending fantasy, fiction, memory, philosophy, and theatrical presence into an exceptionally poetic mode of filmmaking. Unfortunately, with Francofonia, Sokurov’s intellectual sensibilities have perhaps gotten the best of him. Rather than…

Film Festival hurt_1-2

After losing a leg to cancer at the age of twelve, Steve Fonyo was inspired by Terry Fox and in 1985, at eighteen years old, Fonyo completed his own run across Canada. Nonetheless hampered by the shadow of Terry Fox, his feat went well recognized in its own right. For his endeavor he was given the Order of Canada…

Film Festival sos_1-1

László Nemes acclaimed feature debut, Son of Saul, marginalizes dense content of concentration camp activities through its distinct but abusive cinematic style. Though immediately calling one’s attention to its unique visual rhetoric, wherein a mobile camera fastened into selective focus follows Saul (Géza Röhrig) move about the camp, the film’s potential to…

1 2 3 6