TIFF13 CAST Awards Announced

The “Cinema Appreciation Society of Toronto,” myself included, voted on their favourite films of the recently completed Toronto International Film Festival.  Not surprisingly, the top film in the poll was 12 Years a Slave, which was the film that walked away with the People’s Choice Award at the festival.  However, a surprise on the list […]

The TIFF13 P&I Cellphone Controversy: My Two Cents

During TIFF, a major controversy developed when Alex Billington, editor of the film blog FirstShowing.net, was annoyed at someone using their phone during a Press & Industry screening of Ti West’s The Sacrament and he ended up calling 911 to report what he perceived to be a case of piracy.  This issue became a major […]

TIFF13: Wrap-Up

The 2013 edition of the Toronto International Film Festival began my second decade of attending TIFF.  Ever since my first festival back in 2003, I have steadily found my niche with the festival and I can now consider myself to be an old pro.  With the popular Midnight Madness programme celebrating its 25th anniversary this […]

TIFF13: Films in Review

The 2013 edition of the Toronto International Film Festival is behind us and I can say that I had a fairly satisfying year.  Altogether, I saw a total of 24 films as part of this year’s festival.  This was my first year doing double duty for the film festival, since I wrote a number of […]

TIFF13: My Thoughts on Night Moves

Director Kelly Reichardt (Wendy and Lucy, Meek’s Cutoff) returns with this very naturalistic look at a trio of eco-terrorists. Josh (Jesse Eisenberg) and Dena (Dakota Fanning) are a pair of environmental activists, who join up with Harmon (Peter Sarsgaard) in Portland to blow up a dam.  Despite a few bumps along the way, the plan […]

TIFF13: My Thoughts on Witching & Bitching

The 25th anniversary of Midnight Madness concluded with a bang with the crazy horror/comedy Witching & Bitching by Spanish director Álex de la Iglesia (The Last Circus). Jose (Hugo Silva) is a down-on-his-luck divorced man, who is forced to bring his son Sergio with him on a robbery of a cash-for-gold store.  During the getaway, […]

TIFF13: My Thoughts on The Wind Rises

Japanese animation master Hayao Miyazaki returns with a new film that is poised to be the director’s final feature before retirement. For the first time in his career, Miyazaki focuses on a character who existed in real life, in this case being aeronautical engineer Jiro Horikoshi.  The Wind Rises follows Jiro from childhood straight through […]

TIFF13: My Thoughts on The Sacrament

Director Ti West (The House of the Devil, The Innkeepers) returns with a faux documentary look at a cult located in an undisclosed location outside of the United States.  Sam (A.J. Bowen) is a correspondent for Vice Magazine, whose colleague Patrick (Kentucker Audley) receives a letter from his estranged sister Caroline (Amy Seimetz), who has […]

TIFF13: On Giallo Homages and Mass Walkouts

It is never a good thing when people decide to walk out of a screening, however it’s probably worse when these walkouts happen at a film festival screening. Since the filmmakers are nearly always present at these events, it must feel horrible to them to be witness to people walking out of their films. This […]

TIFF13: My Thoughts on Rigor Mortis

Hong Kong pop star, turned director, Juno Mak directs that a film that is meant as a homage to the 1985 vampire comedy Mr. Vampire, even casting that film’s star Chin Siu-Ho in the lead role. In Rigor Mortis, Chin plays an aging actor, who is mourning the loss of his wife and son and […]