Cinema Scope Online

This is a regularly updated web supplement to the print version of Cinema Scope. In the magazine, we have a limited amount of space to pack the world of Cinema As We Know It in. So, for example, while we might cover the major premiere festivals in print, in the updates you’ll find more festival reports, as well as articles on retrospectives and the like taking place in our immediate and general global jurisdiction.

This is a Canadian film magazine based in Toronto, and that’s an important part of the mandate.

 

A Bridge Too Far: James Vaughan’s Friends and Strangers

By Chloe Lizotte It’s not immediately clear who the protagonist of James Vaughan’s debut feature is. Following the credits, which play over a montage of 18th-century artist William Bradley’s watercolours of English ships docking in Sydney (the settlement’s first representation in Western art), we are shown a sunny park on the edge of Sydney’s harbour,…
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Breathing Chasms: Rita Ferrando’s Ikebana

By Saffron Maeve “Soil does not come to life of its own accord.” So says Rita Ferrando in Ikebana (2021), a poetic documentary short about ecological temporality and the Japanese art of floral arrangement, which screened at IFFR earlier this year. The sediment is instead churned into existence by decomposing trees and heaps of fallen…
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TIFF 2021 | The Other Tom (Rodrigo Plá, Laura Santullo, Mexico/USA)

By Angelo Muredda Single mom Elena (Julia Chavez) tries to do right by her scampish ten-year-old son Tom (Israel Rodríguez Bertorelli) despite the interventions of the byzantine Texas school system in Rodrigo Plá and Laura Santullo’s minor-key drama The Other Tom, based on Santullo’s novel. The filmmakers do well to balance their kitchen-sink realism and…
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TIFF 2021 | One Second (Zhang Yimou, China)

By Shelly Kraicer Published in Cinema Scope #87 (Summer 2021) Zhang Yimou has released 22 features to date, in addition to a couple of shorts, two more features shot and ready to go (censors permitting), his grandiose made-for-TV pageants for the Beijing Olympics, opera stagings like Turandot at the Forbidden City, and, if we’re being…
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TIFF 2021 | Murina (Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović, Croatia)

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 | The Devil’s Drivers (Mohammed Abugeth & Daniel Carsenty, Qatar/France/Lebanon/Germany)

By Katherine Connell Car chases, the customary crescendo of the action genre, are a tense everyday reality for the subjects of The Devil’s Drivers, Mohammed Abugeth and Daniel Carsenty’s documentary that follows Palestinian drivers who smuggle workers living in the West Bank into Israel. Plumes of orange dirt trail behind vehicles navigating desert roads at…
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TIFF 2021 | Dashcam (Rob Savage, UK)

By Corey Atad  As livestream horror has become a recognizable subgenre in its own right, director Rob Savage has deliberately thrown all caution to the wind, diving head first into absolute chaos with Dashcam, his follow-up to the more sparse, Zoom-set pandemic hit Host. The chaos begins well before the horror with our introduction to…
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TIFF 2021 | Bergman Island (Mia Hansen-Løve, France)

By Jay Kuehner The concept of a Bergman Safari on the island of Fårö is something that not even a Roy Andersson would have conceived of, but it’s a tour bus that many cinephiles have been riding for years, like it or not. The punchline afforded in Mia Hansen-Løve’s faintly brackish, irreverent homage is that…
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TIFF 2021 | France (Bruno Dumont, France)

By Lawrence Garcia Published in Cinema Scope #88 (Fall 2021) “Not how the world is, is the mystical, but that it is.” —Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus In the seven years since P’tit Quinquin, it has become impossible to continue tagging Bruno Dumont with the longstanding clichés of Bresson criticism. Epithets like “ascetic,” “severe,” “punishing”—already limited descriptors…
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TIFF 2021 | Spencer (Pablo Larraín, UK/Germany)

By Jay Kuehner Come for the Di, but stay for the Pablo. Having followed the moves of the Chilean autor far more than that of any royal family member, I thought the strategy was sound enough to suffer the eternal hors d’oeuvre of crustless sandwiches and acrid tea that is monarchy-watching. If Larraín, in Tony…
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TIFF 2021 | A Hero (Asghar Farhadi, Iran)

By Jay Kuehner An unexpected insight is proffered in Asghar Farhadi’s A Hero by the maligned creditor Bahram, who speculates whether good deeds have become so scarce in society that they warrant congratulation. Much of Farhadi’s moral tale revolves around the appearance of virtue and all of its attendant deceptions, conjuring a very modern anxiety…
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TIFF 2021 | Sundown (Michel Franco, Mexico)

By Adam Nayman The indefatigable Michel Franco is back on his grind with Sundown, a companion piece to last year’s accomplished or objectionable (depending on who you ask) New Order. Both films—one a thriller, the other a character study, both set in the director’s native Mexico—could  broadly be said to be about “wealth inequality.” Careful…
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