Kiva Reardon

TIFF 2014 | Eden (Mia Hansen-Løve, France) — Special Presentations

By Kiva Reardon / September 7, 2014

By Kiva Reardon For the first time, Mia Hansen-Løve hasn’t made a movie about a woman. But Eden isn’t about a man either, but rather a sort of man-child. This is an important distinction, given that for this particular creature there’s nothing more terrifying than the inevitable passage of time, which brings with it the slow…

Read More

TIFF 2014 | Trick or Treaty? (Alanis Obomsawin, Canada) — Masters

By Kiva Reardon / September 3, 2014

By Kiva Reardon Since Alanis Obomsawin began her work with the NFB in the late 1960s, her style hasn’t much changed: talking-head interviews, heavy on narration, pedagogical to the core. True to form, the Masters-ratified Trick or Treaty? offers more of same—but rather than scanning as the work of a stymied veteran institutional filmmaker, Trick…

Read More

TIFF 2014 | National Gallery (Frederick Wiseman, US) — TIFF Docs

By Kiva Reardon / September 3, 2014

By Kiva Reardon After a quick establishing shot of the stone lions that guard the British National Gallery, Frederick Wiseman plunges into the building itself with a rapid-fire montage of the iconic works that hang on its walls. The effect is nearly overwhelming—especially for a viewer like me who dropped the one Art History class…

Read More

TIFF 2014 | The Wanted 18 (Amer Shomali & Paul Cowan, Canada/Palestine/France) — TIFF Docs

By Kiva Reardon / September 2, 2014

By Kiva Reardon In 1987, during the first Intifada, a group of Palestinians in Beit Sahour bought 18 cows. As every action in the Occupied Palestinian Territories is imbued with a deeper meaning, these weren’t just basic bovines, but symbols of how the town could become self-sustainable (specifically, by breaking the community’s reliance on Israeli…

Read More

TIFF 2014 | In the Crosswind (Martti Helde, Estonia) — Contemporary World Cinema

By Kiva Reardon / September 2, 2014

By Kiva Reardon As one might expect of a film dedicated to the victims of the “Soviet Holocaust,” In the Crosswind is mighty bleak, but it’s not misery porn. Estonian director Marti Helde eschews the form of the standard historical biopic for an exploration of time, which literally stands still onscreen via a series of…

Read More

TIFF 2014 | ’71 (Yann Demange, UK) — Discovery

By Kiva Reardon / August 31, 2014

By Kiva Reardon The Greengrass grows all over Yann Demange’s ’71, the latest example of a “historical” drama that believes that “immediacy” stripped of context equals the universal. Set in Troubles-troubled Belfast in the eponymous apostrophized year, the film follows a young English soldier, Gary Hook (Jack O’Connell), who gets separated from his unit after…

Read More

Digital Images: Images Festival 2014

By Kiva Reardon / April 18, 2014

By Kiva Reardon Toronto’s Images Festival presents something of a glut of convenience for media in attendance. Offering streaming links to almost their entire programme, the festival can be consumed from a couch, in sporadic order and with no regard for curatorial intent, which beggars the question: Is a collection of Vimeo links really a…

Read More

TIFF 2013 | Triptych (Robert Lepage & Pedro Pires, Canada)—Masters

By Kiva Reardon / September 9, 2013

By Kiva Reardon With Robert Lepage and Pedro Pires’ Triptych, you get three terrible films for the price of one. Composed in a tripartite structure, the film follows Michelle (Lise Castonguay), a schizophrenic second-hand bookshop owner who hears voices and self-harms with a rosary; Thomas (Hans Piesbergen), a brain surgeon with an unsteady hand which…

Read More

TIFF 2013 | The Lunchbox (Ritesh Batra, India/France/Germany)—Gala Presentation

By Kiva Reardon / September 3, 2013

By Kiva Reardon There’s a certain simple charm to Ritesh Batra’s debut The Lunchbox. The film follows lonely housewife Ila (Nimrat Kaur) and curmudgeonly widower Saajan (Irrfan Khan), who are brought together when the lunches she lovingly cooks for her adulterous husband are misdelivered to Saajan. After discovering the error, the two begin passing notes…

Read More

TIFF 2013 | Afflicted (Derek Lee & Clif Prowse, Canada/US)—Midnight Madness

By Kiva Reardon / September 3, 2013

By Kiva Reardon “Men in their 20s are the worst thing happening on our planet,” said comedian Rob Delaney; given the evidence of Afflicted, the debut feature from Derek Lee and Clif Prowse, the same could be said of cinema. A horror film that unfortuntately lacks any real dread, gore or suspense, Afflicted follows filmmaking…

Read More

TIFF 2013 | Devil’s Knot (Atom Egoyan, US)—Special Presentation

By Kiva Reardon / August 31, 2013

By Kiva Reardon The story of the wrongful conviction and incarceration of Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley, Jr. and Jason Baldwin—better known as the West Memphis Three—was conveyed in such compelling, gritty detail over the course of the three-part HBO documentary Paradise Lost (1996/2000/2011) that one may conceivably feel sorry for anyone attempting to relate it…

Read More

TIFF 2013 | Watermark (Jennifer Baichwal & Edward Burtynsky, Canada)—Special Presentation

By Kiva Reardon / August 31, 2013

By Kiva Reardon Moving from oil to water and proving the two can mix, Jennifer Baichwal and Ed Burtynsky reunite after their eco-tract Manufactured Landscapes for Watermark, which once again examines the intersection of humans and nature. This time around, however, the results are more meditative and philosophical. Burtynsky has taken on a co-directorial role,…

Read More

Short Term 12 (Destin Cretton, US)

By Kiva Reardon / June 26, 2013

By Kiva Reardon The title of Destin Cretton’s first feature suggested that the director knew his audience. Premiering at Sundance in 2012, I Am Not a Hipster seemed tailor-made for the festival’s indie-centric crowd: focusing on a lovesick California indie musician, the film sketched a spot-on portrait of young white male malaise, awash in scruffy…

Read More

Future Imperfect: IFFR 2013

By Kiva Reardon / February 5, 2013

By Kiva Reardon Whether one is lamenting not having enough time to see personal picks or having hedged one’s bets on a dud, regret is intrinsic to any festival experience. Cue the tears, then, as this writer’s International Film Festival Rotterdam was dominated by the Bright Future section, the festival’s showcase of debut and sophomore…

Read More

Rebelle (Kim Nguyen, Canada)

By Kiva Reardon / September 11, 2012

The year in cinema has been stamped with a modicum of magical realism. First up at Sundance was Benh Zeitlin’s Beasts of the Southern Wild, a film routinely described as “lyrical” and “heartwarming.” Now there is Montréal director Kim Nguyen’s Rebelle, arriving at fall festivals after bowing in Berlin and taking top honours in Tribeca.…

Read More

Ass and Ye Shall Receive: Steven Soderbergh’s Magic Mike

By Kiva Reardon / July 6, 2012

By Kiva Reardon “Let’s fucking get it on right now.” So begins Magic Mike, the distinctive Southern drawl of Matthew McConaughey intoning over a black screen followed by a swift cut to our man’s leather-encased rear thrusting vigorously towards a cheering, all-female audience. From this slam-bang opening, it would seem that Steven Soderbergh’s much-anticipated exploration…

Read More

Web Only | You’re Next (Adam Wingard, US)

By Kiva Reardon / December 20, 2011

By Kiva Reardon The question of whether the horror genre is dead has become as predictable as the very cinematic ouroboroi—such as Saws and Paranormal Activities, constantly finding new ways to die within the same immovable structure—that tend to inspire such sweeping generalizations. It’s also necrophiliac in nature: if horror is dead, why do people…

Read More