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Film/Art | Farewell to Storyville: John Akomfrah’s New Essays

By Phil Coldiron / September 26, 2016

…YouTube results for “Alton Sterling” total more than five million views, and include uploads by ABC, CBS, and CNN. The fidgety cameraman filmed by Akomfrah at Mrs. Jarrett’s funeral finds…

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TIFF Day 8: Wavelengths 1: Under a Pacific Sun

By Aliza Ma / September 12, 2012

…ingenious, uncanny, and playful trompe l’oeil vignettes via meticulously constructed, three-dimensional 1:1-scale cardboard architectural models, the 100-second-long video derives its mise en scène from a viral Youtube clip of footage…

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Spotlight | Foreign Parts (Verena Paravel and J.P. Sniadecki, US)

By Robert Koehler / September 21, 2010

…predictably filed out already and missed this crucial slice of the film, which capped an audio montage that contained the laments of several citizens. These complaints fill out a study…

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Columns | FILM/ART Featuring Michel Auder

By Andrea Picard / September 1, 2009

…may not be real). In The Feature, Auder tells us that the “documentary footage seems to be real, and is real, but is not real.” Not real, never was real,

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Spotlight | Chop Shop (Ramin Bahrani, US)

By Jason Anderson / September 1, 2009

…getting out of Willet’s Point any time soon—also suggest that for all of Ale’s struggles, he retains a capacity for joy and wonder. If such things can exist in this…

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Interviews | Trainspotting with James Benning

By Mark Peranson / September 1, 2009

…the cars. I suspect the oil cars are still all about hauling oil. And the trains that are loading automobiles you can tell because they have metal cars with little…

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Copy of Cinema Scope Online

By cscope2 / September 22, 2021

…first feature by Italian Carlo Sironi. Ermanno (Claudio Segaluscio) is a young man who spends his time engaged… Read More → Clifton Hill (Albert Shin, Canada) – Special Presentations By…

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Nicolas Winding Refn and the Search for a Real Hero

By Robert Koehler / September 28, 2011

…looking at something. I actually want to exercise as much control as I can over my material, and my calculation is that the shorter and more compact the material is,…

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TIFF Day 1: City to City: Buenos Aires / The Boy Who Was a King / Duch: Master of the Forges of Hell / Hard Core Logo II / Hors Satan / The Last Christeros / Lipstikka / A Mysterious World / Nuit #1 / The Other Side of Sleep / Restless / The Sword Identity / We Need to Talk About Kevin

By cscope2 / September 8, 2011

…a cheat. Hard Core Logo II is not only not about the seminal fake Canadian punk band Hard Core Logo, it’s also not about the not-at-all seminal real Canadian pop-punk…

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TIFF Countdown -9: Drive / L’Apollonide / Las acacias

By cscope2 / August 30, 2011

…around him, including Irene, who can nevertheless only marvel at him while knowing she can never have him. This is vastly different from Melville’s heightened existential world of professional killers…

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Spotlight | The Unbroken Path: Ben Russell’s Let Each One Go Where He May

By Michael Sicinski / September 12, 2009

always shown an uncanny knack for carving sculptural compositions out of the natural environment, and the beginning of Let Each One, while somewhat more frontal and flattened than other of…

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Toronto International Film Festival

By Cinema Scope / September 1, 2016

…Midnight Madness By Josh Cabrita André Øvredal’s The Autopsy of Jane Doe, the follow-up to his witty Trollhunter (2011), is bolstered by the clever conceit that a locked-room mystery can…

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Spotlight | Film Socialisme (Jean-Luc Godard, Switzerland/France)

By Andrea Picard / June 18, 2010

…the ecological implications of these and the philosophical implications of ecological change that Godard has raised in recent interviews), and a surprising, almost jubilatory use of experimental cinematic techniques (Oliveira’s…

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CS72 Editors Note

By Mark Peranson / September 28, 2017

…North America at what could be the last-ever Toronto International Film Festival, while over at right now you can find, oh, let’s say more than 150 or so pieces…

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Currency | Shining Trench

By Jay Kuehner / September 3, 2009

…of deliberate subversion than an organic play between personal and political cultural effects. His films are like anamolous inside jokes that deceptively partake of broader worldviews, wherein a pet gerbil,…

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Exploded View | Valentin de las Sierras / The Last Movie

By Chuck Stephens / April 9, 2012

…of the corrido fuses with the ambient burble and swell all around it; the camera alights on the carved, fish-headed cane of the blind and weathered singer; sunlight dances on…

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TIFF 2015 | Cinema Scope 64 Preview | The Sky Trembles and the Earth is Afraid and the Two Eyes Are Not Brothers (Ben Rivers, UK—Wavelengths

By Leo Goldsmith / September 8, 2015

…light of this fantasy, cinema’s own encounter with the real affords what Balsom calls “an exemplary ethical encounter with the fragility, alterity, and incalculability of our world.” In other words,…

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Global Discoveries on DVD | Mitigating Circumstances

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / March 20, 2014

…invaluable—albeit lamentably now out of print—two-disc PAL DVD set also including Alexander Sokurov’s Moscow Elegy (1987) and Chris Marker’s One Day in the Life of Andrei Aresenevitch (1999), the latter…

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Game Theories: Corneliu Porumboiu and the New Romanian Wake

By Jordan Cronk / March 20, 2014

…family portrait—are a nonetheless apt pair. Both conceptual reflections of a sort, these films plot coordinates between the personal, professional, and political past and present of Porumboiu himself, substantially rewiring…

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Temps mort: Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive

By Andrew Tracy / August 30, 2013

…similarly succubal, Tangier-dwelling lady love Eve (Tilda Swinton) early in Only Lovers Left Alive. Zeitgeist be damned, nevertheless it’s fitting that the predominant pop-cultural ghouls of the time be set…

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TIFF 2013 | The Selfish Giant (Clio Barnard, UK)

By Jay Kuehner / June 24, 2013

…salvaging metal scraps by horse and cart for an exploitive boss, but it’s the driving impetus behind Clio Barnard’s kitchen sink portrait of quasi-feral adolescence and life on the marginal

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TIFF Day the Last: Listomania

By cscope2 / September 16, 2012

…the Toronto International Film Festival). To wit, not the best films of the festival, as who could possibly be equipped to make that assertion, what with so many films on…

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TIFF Day 6: Camp 14: Total Control Zone | Cloud Atlas | Everyday | In Another Country | Key of Life | The Lesser Blessed | London – The Modern Babylon | Silver Linings Playbook | When I Saw You | Writers

By cscope2 / September 11, 2012

Camp 14: Total Control Zone (Marc Wiese, Germany)—TIFF Docs By Adam Cook Camp 14 is not the most enjoyable film: it’s not easy to watch, it’s slow, and the subject…

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TIFF Day 5: Antiviral | The Capsule/Walker | The Deflowering of Eva van End | Gone Fishing | The Impossible | Passion | The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology | Tout ce que tu possèdes | What Richard Did

By cscope2 / September 10, 2012

Antiviral (Brandon Cronenberg, Canada)—Special Presentation By John Semley Maybe the most frustrating thing about the debut by David Cronenberg’s twenty-aught son is that calling it “Cronenbergian” doesn’t really work: it’s…

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This Is Not an Omnibus: The Jeonju Digital Project 2012

By Michael Sicinski / June 24, 2012

…central nodes around whom an entire citizenry swirls, When Night Falls, while hardly a conventional melodrama and certainly not without formal innovation, calls upon emotional identification with Mrs. Wang, her…

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The Important Element of No Reason: The Mad World of Quentin Dupieux’s Rubber

By Jason Anderson / March 12, 2011

…or maybe a note in the killer’s handwriting. Instead, the camera tilts down to reveal a chessboard on the hood of a car. One lawman moves a piece. “Can’t do…

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Film/Art | Disappearances After the Revolution: On Alberto Grifi and Massimo Sarchielli’s Anna

By Andrea Picard / April 4, 2012

…confused, or oddly malleable, likely from the physical and emotional exhaustion of having lived on the streets before the filmmakers took her in, ostensibly to care for her, but under…

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Global Discoveries on DVD: About 40 More Items (or Thereabouts)

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / December 20, 2011

…early careers as a film actor and auto racer, and an interview that reveals the autobiographical source of Angelica about 18 years before that film was made. *** At,…

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TIFF Countdown -6: Miss Bala / Romeo Onze / The Cat Vanishes / Habemus Papum / i am a good person/i am a bad person / Coriolanus

By cscope2 / September 2, 2011

…in the real-life source material, but also in a closing title card that gives some facts and figures about the literal and human cost of drug trafficking in Mexico) and…

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Global Discoveries on DVD: Auteurist and Non-Auteurist Shopping Tips

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / June 29, 2011

…festival (International Film Festival of the National Autonomus University of Mexico City, or FICUNAM for short), yielded a handful of archival DVDs from the Filmoteca de la UNAM. Two of…

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Let the Readings Fly: Jiang Wen Reaches for the Mainstream

By Shelly Kraicer / June 28, 2011

…arch-Maoist allegory; a post-socialist or post-capitalist text; a subversive anti-Communist work. Can it be all of these? A brief look at the genre, plot, and characters of the film can…

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Heaven and Earth and Television Magic: The Cinema of Jesse McLean

By Tom McCormack / April 1, 2011

…and make sport of our disapproval. But there’s always a submerged longing for a deep communal outpouring of real feeling. On the one hand, we get things like internet trolls,…

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Exploded View | Death of the Gorilla 

By Chuck Stephens / December 21, 2015

…and elaborately detailed and accessible at Mays is also his own best critic and chronicler, as his biographical rumination “Mouse Enigma: Auto-History Of A Film Person” (1978-79, reprinted in…

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Interviews | The Inmost Leaf: An Interview with Nathaniel Dorsky

By Max Goldberg / March 12, 2011

…external confusions: each show played in the same theater in the new Lantern Venster Cinema, far off from the festival centre and always at four in the afternoon (a kind…

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Spotlight | Oki’s Movie (Hong Sang-soo, South Korea)

By Andrew Tracy / September 21, 2010

…brisk 80 minutes), Oki’s Movie functions as both reflexive auto-critique and an elegantly crafted cinematic/literary object bearing an all-too-pointed theme. Divided into four sections potentially capable of functioning as self-contained…

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Columns | Global Discoveries on DVD: Two Updates, 20 Additions, Several Extras

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / June 18, 2010

…who alerted me to this invaluable release, has also posted some helpful remarks about what makes it superior to all previously available versions on his web site: In my…

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Web Only | Paul’s Case: The Year in Canadian Film 2008

By Steve Gravestock / September 12, 2009

…both world wars.) Passchendale is also a fairly clear allegory for Canada’s current, increasingly bloody and controversial involvement in Afghanistan and makes rather clear allusions to it. A racist neighbour…

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Leeching Upon the Lifeblood of the Real: Ben Rivers’ The Sky Trembles and the Earth Is Afraid and the Two Eyes Are Not Brothers

By Leo Goldsmith / September 22, 2015

…this fantasy, cinema’s own encounter with the real affords what Balsom calls “an exemplary ethical encounter with the fragility, alterity, and incalculability of our world.” In other words, while we…

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PROTOTYPE (Blake Williams, Canada) — Wavelengths

By Phil Coldiron / September 6, 2017

…words than the current capsule allows—perhaps more than all of this year’s hundreds of brief reviews put together—to adequately account for what comes to fill these expectant frames over the…

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The Man Who Would Be Cinema: Muhammad Ali, 1942-2016

By Celluloid Liberation Front / June 27, 2016

…out to be the filmmaker best suited to capture Ali’s political significance. He had met and filmed Ali back in 1964 for a short called Cassius le grand, but most…

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Black Picture Show: On Khalik Allah’s Black Mother

By Lydia Ogwang / December 6, 2018

…the viewer through oral tellings of Jamaica’s history as a country and a culture, prior to and through colonial devastation all the way up to all what Allah takes care…

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To Sir, with Love: Maria Speth’s Mr. Bachmann and His Class

By Michael Sicinski / September 20, 2021

…coaching the kids on liberal ideals of citizenship and common respect. There is a casual, easygoing attitude in Bachmann’s class, and although the instructor rarely if ever states it outright,…

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Titane (Julie Ducournau, France/Belgium)

By Phil Coldiron / September 20, 2021

…what one does in a car culture. The car also frequently functions as a sign of desire or a metonym for what can’t be shown, yet there’s a still rarer…

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TIFF 2021 | Titane (Julie Ducournau, France/Belgium)

By Phil Coldiron / September 9, 2021

…cuddle, to kiss, to fuck, because that’s what one does in a car culture. The car also frequently functions as a sign of desire or a metonym for what can’t…

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Deaths of Cinema | Monte Hellman: The Art of Going Nowhere

By Haden Guest / June 15, 2021

…when seen in digital form), but also affirms, even redeems, the act of viewing movies as always an experience of the pure present. And yet, Two-Lane Blacktop also explores images…

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Open Ticket: The Long, Strange Trip of Ulrike Ottinger

By Michael Sicinski / September 22, 2020

…animal. It’s biography as intellectual history, and although it explains quite a bit about where Ottinger and her work came from, Paris Calligrammes is also about a much wider milieu…

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The Home and the World: Three Films by Ruchir Joshi

By Jesse Cumming / September 22, 2020

…speakers, I drew first breath in Calcutta”—a bit of biographical background that highlights the fibrous connections that exist between language, self, and place. Along with personal reminiscences and observational commentary,…

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Impresión de un cineasta: On the Films of Camilo Restrepo

By Jay Kuehner / March 20, 2020

…Goes Down (2014) locates another marginalized habitat in Medellín, where auto salvagers and street jugglers dwell in a symbolically perpetual midday, a vertical limbo in which no shadow is cast….

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No God But the Unknown: Pietro Marcello and Maurizio Braucci on Martin Eden

By Jordan Cronk / September 24, 2019

…world, all around our lives. In each case we were establishing references for our own improvement and our own teaching. Scope: How did this cultural education relate to your formal

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Martin Eden (Pietro Marcello, Italy/France) — Platform

By Jordan Cronk / September 3, 2019

…concrete narrative structure, it’s equally impressive how Marcello has integrated his typical use of archival material and expired celluloid stocks into the film’s larger formal organization. Interspersed throughout Martin’s journey…

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The Souvenir (Joanna Hogg, UK/US)

By Robert Koehler / June 27, 2019

…gradually and cumulatively reveal Hogg’s intent. Above all else, and contra Patrick’s blanket dismissal of film school, The Souvenir is about learning: about how a woman with a camera (both…

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Global Discoveries on DVD: Auteurist Updates

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / September 28, 2018

…central class issues are to Under Capricorn’s themes and dramaturgy, the movie is already a highly personal and confessional expression on Hitchcock’s part about his working-class Cockney background, perhaps accounting…

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L’Avenir (Mia Hansen-Løve, France)

By Adam Nayman / September 7, 2016

…playing Catherine Breillat’s surrogate in an auto-biopic; is there another actor alive with such auteur cachet?) The script and the acting are nicely complementary of one another throughout; Hansen-Løve’s selection…

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Driven (Nick Hamm, Puerto Rico/UK/US) — Special Presentations

By Jennifer Lynde Barker / September 14, 2018

…whereas Driven is a passive construction: Who exactly is driving whom? Hoffman doesn’t need to have a conscience in the film because the real baddy is always already the government….

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Non-Fiction (Olivier Assayas, France) — Special Presentations

By Jennifer Lynde Barker / September 2, 2018

…philosophical aims: the grainy, predominantly Super 16mm images insist on a material vision of the world that glows with specificity. Delightfully and unapologetically intellectual, Olivier Assayas’ latest considers the implications…

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Sundance 2018: What’s the Story?

By Robert Koehler / March 16, 2018

…expressly historical and political. In 1917, the International Workers of the World determined that an industrial shutdown of US factories would halt WWI, and targeted Bisbee, centre of American copper…

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Sightsurf and Brainwave: Blake Williams’ PROTOTYPE

By Michael Sicinski / December 15, 2017

…though, the title cards are a conscious homage, but to Something Horizontal. Scope: If you’re going to steal, steal from the best! But what you say about Something Horizontal is…

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Living Proof (Matt Embry, Canada) — TIFF Docs

By Aurelie Godet / September 13, 2017

By Aurélie Godet Canadian filmmaker Matt Embry is living proof that one can do well despite being stuck with multiple sclerosis, provided that one circumvents the medical establishment’s augur of…

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Unseen Forces: Joshua Bonnetta in Sound and Image

By Michael Sicinski / March 20, 2017

…distinctive anthropological ethos. The individual works may be highly divergent, but frequent collaboration can and does serve as a check on individual ego, making sure that the SEL’s overriding philosophy…

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Film/Art | Indeed, We Know: On the Video Art of Elizabeth Price

By Blake Williams / March 24, 2017

…to re-establish order or control, calling attention to the striker. It’s a compelling case, and one that aligns well with Price’s running theme of explaining visual phenomena through her interests…

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Berlin: Bright Nights and Non-Events

By Jordan Cronk / March 24, 2017

…hotel’s guests and its dysfunctional staff. Though predicated on present-day concerns, Occidental features a uniquely indefinable, ahistorical aura; full of fake fireplaces, Neoclassical-era wall art, chintzy special effects, and anachronistic…

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Godspeed (Chung Mong-hong, Taiwan) — Vanguard

By Shelly Kraicer / September 10, 2016

By Shelly Kraicer Hong Kong comic idol Michael Hui defined Hong Kong comedy (and, to a large extent, a specifically local Hong Kong Cantonese identity) in the late 1970s and…

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Sehnsucht: Ruth Beckermann on The Dreamed Ones

By Andrea Picard / September 4, 2016

…time allows cinema to bridge great distances, to spur on existential enquiry, to transcend reality and proffer alternate modes of existence but also, as clichéd or as glib as it…

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Web Only | Books Around: Ghosts

By Olaf Moller / August 21, 2009

…uniquely Belgian genius of this masked avenger, including an auto-analytico-biographical ABC in which Rousseau explains it all (cf. the entry on “cagoule”). And the best part is that there’s actual

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