Tuesday, May 23, 2017

HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT: Moonlight


As is the case around this time every year, the cinephile world currently has its eyes glued to the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival. But for me, the most exciting film-related news of the past week was the announcement that The Film Experience's Hit me with your best shot series is back for another season. And to kick things off, Nathaniel has chosen a wonderful film for us to dissect through its beautiful imagery.

For this first installment, we looked at Barry Jenkins' masterpiece and recent Best Picture winner "Moonlight", a perfect choice for this exercise. This was my third viewing of the film and it didn't disappoint, providing an even richer experience than I'd remembered. What I particularly loved is how Jenkins portrays Chiron's struggle and coming of age with such specificity and underlying optimism. Though my eventual pick for Best Shot was primarily an aesthetic choice, it also reflects these traits.

Click below for my favourite shot...

Monday, May 22, 2017

10 Essential Palme d'Or Winners


In just a matter of hours, the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival will open with Arnaud Desplechin’s “Ismael’s Ghosts,” kicking off an 11-day celebration of contemporary film. Amid the cinephilia, most of the attention will be focused on a select 19 films competing for the coveted Palme d’Or, the most prestigious film festival prize in the world. If chosen by the Pedro Almodóvar-led jury, the eventual winner will go down in history alongside an esteemed group of films. Indeed, the treasure trove of Oscar winners, arthouse classics and smashing debuts associated with the Palme d’Or gives us much to be excited about.

Read more at The Awards Circuit

Friday, May 19, 2017

REVIEW: The Last Shaman


It’s no secret that America is overmedicated. As persons seek a quick fix for their problems, drugs like Xanax have proliferated throughout society. But is there a more natural alternative? One young American searches for these answers in the jungles of Peru, embarking on the strange, spiritual journey documented in “The Last Shaman,” written and directed by Raz Degan.

Read more at The Awards Circuit

REVIEW: A Woman's Life


Late in the award-winning drama “A Woman’s Life,” the titular protagonist is informed that her properties now amount to only six of her family’s original 22 farms. In most other films, this scene might have been the last eye-rolling blow in a “rich people problems” story. But Stéphane Brizé is no ordinary filmmaker and Judith Chemla’s performance as Jeanne Le Perthuis des Vauds is far from average. As such, this scene is the culmination of a narrative of rare empathy and palpable emotion.

Read more at The Awards Circuit

REVIEW: Sleight

e story that even the most implausible situations are accepted without much second thought. This concept is especially true of films like J.D. Dillard’s “Sleight“, which tests the boundaries of science and human behavior. Unfortunately, this is one instance where despite its compelling magical mysteries, the film falters in the fundamental requirement of presenting a believable, empathetic central character.

Read more at The Awards Circuit

Sunday, April 30, 2017

COMING SOON: Everything, Everything

After an uncharacteristically diverse slate of Oscar noms this year, Hollywood will be under close watch to see whether the trend will continue. Aside from "Get Out" however, things aren't looking so rosy in 2017. Films featuring black talent have been rare so far, but hopefully things will turn around as we head into the summer and fall. One promising release coming up in May is "Everything, Everything", based on a YA novel by the same name. On the surface, this story - about a sheltered girl falling dangerously for the boy next door - doesn't seem like much more than your typical sick teen romance. But with the underused Anika Noni Rose in the cast and Indie Spirit nominee Stella Meghie directing, there's definitely potential for a solid flick. Check out the trailer below:



"Everything, Everything" opens in theaters May 19th.

Monday, April 10, 2017

REVIEW: Heal the Living


Images of a heart provide a pivotal moment in the narrative of “Heal the Living,” a tragic drama from director Katell Quillévéré. And indeed, the film’s “heart is in the right place,” showcasing the perseverance of humanity in the aftermath of an accident. But despite its best intentions, there’s something lacking in this wandering multi-narrative story.


Read more at The Awards Circuit

REVIEW: Truman


Winner of five Goya Awards in 2016 (including the trifecta of Best Film, Director and Screenplay) Cesc Gay‘s “Truman” confronts one of the most difficult facts of life. Namely, death becomes the central theme throughout this gentle drama, which stars Ricardo Darin in a role that will feel familiar to any audience. “Truman” bears witness to this character’s dying days, reminding us of the depressing and often uneventful experience of losing a loved one.

Read more at The Awards Circuit

Friday, March 31, 2017

REVIEW: God Knows Where I Am


“God Knows Where I Am” is a documentary that is as depressing as it gets. Centering on the final days in the life of a woman named Linda Bishop, it examines an issue that evidently needs urgent attention. The villains in the story of her death aren’t sadistic serial killers, but they are equally effective. Framed around her own lonely thoughts, directors Jedd and Todd Wider deliver a harrowing but insightful account of the failures of the mental health care system and its dire consequences for the mentally ill.

Read more at The Awards Circuit

REVIEW: I Called Him Morgan


No matter how objective a documentarian sets out to be, non-fiction films are always guided by a particular agenda. In the case of Kasper Collin and his new feature “I Called Him Morgan,” he seems intent on validating an age old saying. Namely, “behind every successful man, there is a woman”. Breaking the mold of similarly tragic rise-and-fall artist documentaries, Collin tells the story of Lee Morgan through an unexpected focus on the woman by his side.

Read more at The Awards Circuit