Vancouver International Film Festival 2019 Wrap – Marina Antunes reports

The 38th annual Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) may have wrapped its final screenings over a month ago, but the city is still basking in the post-festival glow thanks to the success of this year’s festival. VIFF has been expanding beyond film screenings for years and in 2019, organizers truly expanded the frame and in addition to over 320 films, the festival presented a number of live performances, master classes and industry-based conferences.

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ASTRONAUT – Review by Marina Antunes

Astronaut, which Shelagh McLeod both wrote and directed, is a kind of marvel; a movie that on the surface sounds like a sappy, forgettable drama about an old man going to space. Instead, McLeod’s balance of family drama and space travel are perfectly matched and just as the movie starts to tip into the saccharin, she sidesteps to tackle another aspect of the story that keeps the movie moving along.

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THE FIFTH CORD – Review by Marina Antunes

There’s much to love about The Fifth Cord. One of multiple Oscar-winning cinematographer Vittorio Storaro’s early works, the movie looks amazing and Storaro’s camera work is mesmerizing. From the first-person camera shots to the amazing framing and cinematography of the cityscapes, every frame of The Fifth Cord offers something new and interesting. Ennio Morricone’s unmistakable score adds flare. And Franco Nero, embodying the proto-typical 70’s macho-man who does things his way and even when he’s wrong, is perfectly cast in the lead.

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THE POSSESSED – Review by Marina Antunes

Bernard is a well respected, award winning writer but when we first meet him in The Possessed, he’s just another man breaking off a relationship over the phone. So opens Luigi Bazzoni and Franco Rossellini’s feature film; a scene which marks not only the introduction to our protagonist but also the last time Bernard is in control.

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HEAD COUNT – Review by Marina Antunes

On the surface Head Count looks like countless other horror movies: a group of college kids rent a house in the desert for the weekend and before the holidays are over, a bunch of them are dead. We’ve seen it before and we’ll certainly see it again but what makes writer/director Elle Callahan’s feature film debut interesting is that she’s far more interested in establishing a mood and tone while the scares feel almost secondary.

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Whistler Film Festival Wraps Another Successful Year – Marina Antunes reports

Whistler Film Festival wrapped another successful year and 2018, their 18th installment, proved to be as successful as previous years. WFF has long been a hub for female creatives and 2018 was no different. In addition to the films in this years’ EDA Awards competitions, and films featuring strong female leads, the festival was once again host to Variety’s 10 Screenwriters to Watch series which included no less than five female screenwriters.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK November 15, 2019: ATLANTICS

Dreamy and full of unexpected twists, Mati Diop’s narrative debut Atlantics — Grand Jury Prize winner at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival — is simultaneously a tender tale of star-crossed lovers, an eerie ghost story, and a gritty procedural. That unusual combination keeps it surprising and engaging throughout and underlines writer/director Diop’s notable talent.

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