TIFF18 Review: DIAMANTINO – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

With its North American premiere at the Midnight Madness program of this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, there is little that can prepare you for the unique, twisted majesty of queer Portuguese film Diamantino. Co-directed by Gabriel Abrantes and Daniel Schmidt, this is an unapologetic carnival of bad taste all but destined for cult film longevity.

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TIFF16 Review: RETROSPEKT — Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

With its world premiere at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, Dutch filmmaker Esther Rots’ sophomore feature Retrospekt is an extraordinary accomplishment and one of the standouts of this year’s Contemporary World Cinema programe. The film begins humbly enough and – based on the plot synopsis alone – indicates at first what might be a relatively pedestrian drama about a domestic violence counsellor

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TIFF18 Review: CLIMAX – Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

It’s been sixteen years since the notorious French master of excess Gaspar Noé’s Irréversible, with its unforgettable nine-minute long rape scene, truly shocked audiences. Movies like 2009’s Enter the Void and 2015’s Love have seen the filmmaker pushing the envelope of acceptability and explicitness in ways that have become perhaps paradoxically something to be expected. Climax is one of his most euphoric, succinct, and effective movies in over a decade

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TIFF18 Review: BURNING — Alexander Heller Nicholas

The blaze of admiration first sparked when Lee Chang-dong’s taut thriller Burning premiered at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival earlier this year where it competed in for the Palme d’Or and won the FIPRESCI Prize showed no signs of abating when it made its North American premiere in September at the Toronto International Film Festival.

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NYFF18: Just 4 Out of 30 Main Slate Films are Female-Directed – Melissa Hanson reports (Guest Post)

In 2017, New York Film Festival (NYFF) announced that its main slate lineup featured the most female-directed films in 10 years. This year it’s back below average with just four female-directed films in the lineup of 30. NYFF has made no mention of an equality pledge, nor commented on the inclusion rider circulating in Hollywood, and it shows.

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TIFF18 Review: JEREMIAH TERMINATOR LEROY (World Premiere) – Alexander Heller-Nicholas

In any other time, there surely couldn’t be a twisted lo-fi queer-leaning biopic co-starring Laura Dern and Kristen Stewart that could be anything less than a total smash hit. Individually, each actor has developed intensely devoted fan bases in both the general mainstream and simultaneously among cult film die-hards. Framed with that ever-alluring ‘based on a true story’ chestnut, Jeremiah Terminator LeRoy should be win-win. So this indie turn should be a slam dunk, and yet…these are far from ordinary times.

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NYFF18 Review: THE FAVOURITE — Martha P. Nochimson

Have you ever wondered what sexual politics would be like in a matriarchy? In their rompin’ stompin’ film, The Favourite, shown as the opening night feature for this year’s New York Film Festival, director Yorgos Lanthimos and writers Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara, give you space to imaginatively explore that possibility.

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TIFF18 Review: WOMEN MAKE FILM: A NEW ROAD MOVIE THROUGH CINEMA – Loren King

Taken as a whole, the scope and breadth of the films represented in the documentary is likely to make one wonder, as I did, why aren’t Muratova, Zhelyazkova, Reiniger, Lois Weber and Barbara Loden as famous in the film canon as Scorsese, Orson Welles, John Cassavetes and on and on? We know why. Women Make Film: A New Road Movie Through Cinema goes a long way toward correcting a glaring omission.

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TIFF18 Review: THE FRONT RUNNER – Pam Grady

Welcome to the worst episode of West Wing, ever, as directed by Jason Reitman trying to channel Robert Altman. Never has Altman’s signature overlapping dialogue and large, panoramic casts been so ill-used than in this pallid distillation of what went wrong with Colorado Senator Gary Hart’s 1988 presidential campaign.

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