Madeleine Wall

TIFF 2021 | Murina (Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović, Croatia)

By Madeleine Wall / September 15, 2021

By Madeleine Wall Winner of this year’s Caméra d’Or at Cannes, Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović’s Murina is a competent but slight combo of thriller and coming-of-age film basking in the sun of the Adriatic sea. Armed with a speargun and clad in a white bathing suit, 16-year-old Julija (Gracija Filipovic) cuts a striking figure in the…

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TIFF 2021 | Zalava (Arsalan Amiri, Iran)

By Madeleine Wall / September 14, 2021

By Madeleine Wall It is easy to be certain in the daylight. For gendarmerie sergeant Masoud (Navid Pourfaraj), maintaining order in the small Kurdish village of Zalava is a balancing act between accommodating the superstitions of the villagers and the rapidly changing modern world. These beliefs are foundational to the villagers, part of their genetics,…

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TIFF 2021 | Earwig (Lucile Hadžihalilović, UK/France/Belgium)

By Madeleine Wall / September 13, 2021

By Madeleine Wall In a large, gloomy house somewhere in Europe, sometime after a war, Albert (a brittle Paul Hilton) lives in isolation with his charge, ten-year-old Mia (Romane Hemelaers). Mia does not speak, and Albert’s main communication with the outside world is from sporadic telephone calls, asking about the state of his ward. Mia…

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White Lie (Calvin Thomas and Yonah Lewis, Canada)

By Madeleine Wall / August 3, 2020

By Madeleine Wall After 2019’s summer of scammers, from the fall of Elizabeth Holmes to the false starts of Caroline Calloway, the cold industrial winter of Hamilton feels particularly harsh. The glossy cautionary fables of the warmer months are long gone, and instead we have something on a smaller scale, a tale of the banality…

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The Antenna (Orçun Behram, Turkey) — Discovery

By Madeleine Wall / September 11, 2019

By Madeleine Wall Hiding from the world behind solitary, mindless work, Mehmet (Ihsan Önal) serves as the superintendent of an anonymous apartment complex. The residents mainly keep to themselves, but as Mehmet settles in for a day where the only thing of note on the agenda is the installation of a new antenna, things rapidly…

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Entwined (Minos Nikolakakis, Greece) — Discovery

By Madeleine Wall / September 10, 2019

By Madeleine Wall It is much harder to make a film like a fairy tale than one expects. When we look back at half- remembered stories from our childhood, they seem simple; we often forget the horrors and complexities that come from sparse storytelling. Minos Nikolakakis’ Entwined takes the form of such a tale, but…

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Paris Stalingrad (Hind Meddeb, France) — TIFF Docs

By Madeleine Wall / September 10, 2019

By Madeleine Wall The only static aspect  of Hind Meddeb’s documentary Paris Stalingrad is the area from which the film takes its name. Beginning with this eponymous space, Meddeb expands to the treatment of the refugees who must stay there, focusing as much on the newcomers  as the Parisians and their varying levels of aid.…

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Comets (Tamar Shavgulidze, Georgia) — Discovery

By Madeleine Wall / September 5, 2019

By Madeleine Wall It is inevitable that any reunion will always be more than the sum of its parts. Tamar Shavgulidze‘s Comets is a slight drama where two childhood friends, Irina (Nino Kasradze) and Nana (Ketevan Gegeshidze), have their own Janus-faced meeting. The film begins in the domestic realm of Nana, who spends a morning…

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White Lie (Calvin Thomas & Yonah Lewis, Canada) — Contemporary World Cinema

By Madeleine Wall / September 5, 2019

By Madeleine Wall Taking place during a barren Hamilton winter, Calvin Thomas and Yonah Lewis’ White Lie is as intimate as it is claustrophobic. Katie (Kacey Rohl) is a cancer poster child, a star of local fundraisers and surrounded by supporters. But Katie begins her day shaving her head, her chemo appointments involve getting empty…

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On the Outskirts: Brian M. Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky’s Interchange

By Madeleine Wall / October 9, 2018

By Madeleine Wall Signs of progress involve mobility, whether in the form of a shorter commute, or simply the ability to go farther, faster. As a city grows, its populations move from one point to another, and some spaces only exist as transitory places. Brian M. Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky’s Interchange focuses on the spaces…

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The Wind (Emma Tammi, US) — Midnight Madness

By Madeleine Wall / September 16, 2018

By Madeleine Wall Not unlike its South-shall-rise-again predecessor from 90 years ago, Emma Tammi’s The Wind pits woman against landscape, and when confronted with what little remains of Western civilization, things begin to unravel. Tough to the point of being worn down, Elizabeth Macklin (Caitlin Gerard) first appears in the doorway of her home, covered…

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Our Body (Han Ka-ram, South Korea) — Discovery

By Madeleine Wall / September 14, 2018

By Madeleine Wall Adrift in a South Korea where professional advancement appears to be the only option, lonely, 31-year-old Ja-young (Moon Choi) has a chance encounter one evening with the beautiful and enigmatic runner Hyun-joo (Ahn Ji-hye), who inspires Ja-young to ditch the civil service exam she’s spent years studying for and move out. But…

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Freedom Fields (Naziha Arebi, Libya) — Platform

By Madeleine Wall / September 12, 2018

By Madeleine Wall Taking place over the four long years after the Arab Spring, Naziha Arebi’s documentary Freedom Fields tracks the changes, and the lack thereof, after revolutionary fervour calms down. The film focuses on a group of young women attempting to become Libya’s first all-female soccer team and who, despite their best intentions, end…

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Mademoiselle de Joncquières (Emmanuel Mouret, France) — Platform

By Madeleine Wall / September 9, 2018

By Madeleine Wall Loosely based upon a Denis Diderot story, Emmanuel Mouret’s Mademoiselle de Joncquières is a vengeance tale, dry and brightly lit to the point of wash-out. Taking place predominantly in estates in the French countryside, this period piece is about the repressed fury of a woman scorned, and the double standards of the…

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Phoenix (Camilla Strøm Henriksen, Norway/Sweden) — Discovery

By Madeleine Wall / September 8, 2018

By Madeleine Wall The amount of skill that goes into taking care of someone is on full display in Phoenix, which begins with its protagonist, 13-year-old Jill (Ylva Thedin Bjørkaas), entering the apartment she shares with her family. Having taken responsibility for the well-being of her depressed and alcoholic mother Astrid (Maria Bonnevie) and her…

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ENDZEIT – EVER AFTER (Carolina Hellsgård, Germany) — Discovery

By Madeleine Wall / September 3, 2018

By Madeleine Wall As each era’s monster reflects its larger cultural identity, the turn to the eco-zombie, in both last year’s The Girl With All the Gifts and now in Carolina Hellsgård’s ENDZEIT – EVER AFTER, presents us with an undead horror directly responding to humanity’s transgressions against nature. After this particular zombie plague, only…

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Maria by Callas (Tom Volf, France) — TIFF Docs

By Madeleine Wall / September 1, 2018

By Madeleine Wall Compiled from archival footage of Maria Callas’ stage performances, interviews with the press, Super 8 home movies and the occasional letter, Maria by Callas attempts to create a portrait of a woman using as many angles as possible. Tom Volf’s film is more interested in Callas’ personal life than the professional career…

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