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  • Clouds of Sils Maria 2014

    ★★★ Watched 04 Sep, 2014 1

    tiff 2014 film #1

    Clouds of Sils Maria should have been great. Its main characters are strong women. Its setting in the Swiss Alps is majestic. It explores the complexities that abound with the self-realization that age changes you, when you become acutely aware that the world and its opportunities begin to shrink the older you get, and that you must negotiate a balance between your being-in-the world and its acceptance of you.

    When Maria Enders (Binoche) is asked to…

  • The Crow's Egg 2014

    ★★ Watched 06 Sep, 2014 2

    tiff 2014 film #4

    The Crow's Egg (Kaakkaa Muttai) was part of the Discovery programme at TIFF 2014, which, as their description goes, means "Directors to watch. The future of World Cinema". First time director M. Manikandan fits that bill.

    The film is very small, which is why I was interested in seeing it. Two young boys living in the slum see a pizza commercial on tv and want to try it. A pizza place has just opened nearby and…

  • The Owners 2014

    ★★★ Watched 14 Sep, 2014

    tiff 2014 - film #20

    The Owners is a difficult film to describe. Its subject matter is deadly serious, and it takes a while to get used to the idea that it incorporates offbeat deadpan comedy. Director Yerzhanov throws in Kaurismaki-like off-kilter images when you least expect it, including odd characters dancing about whenever there is a death in the village. Corruption abounds in the small town where everyone seems to be against the idea of three orphaned siblings taking…

  • The Riot Club 2014

    Watched 13 Sep, 2014 4

    We gave it one hour then had to walk out.
    One hour of entitled rich boys partying. That's it. I can't believe we didn't walk out sooner.

  • Jauja 2014

    Watched 11 Sep, 2014 3

    .

  • Force Majeure 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 06 Sep, 2014

    Tiff 2014 film 3

    Like most of us, director Reuben Ostlund believed that in disasters, a sinking ship for example, men ensured that children and women were saved first. He was quite surprised to find that research did not support this notion of the heroic man. Indeed, safety boats were almost always filled with men. Is it only the cowards that make it to the boat, or the men with the strongest survival instict, or those who have no one…

  • Winter Sleep 2014

    ★★★★★ Watched 05 Sep, 2014 2

    Tiff 2014 capsule - film 2

    I took the train from Paris to Milan a long time ago and I remember looking out the window at the majestic mountains admiring them, of course, but it wasn't until we got into Northern Italy that I found them beautiful and alive. It was there that real life was sprinkled throughout the mountains, with clotheslines everywhere and junkyards and swing sets. It was there that I loved those mountains.

    Give Nuri Bilge Ceylan…

  • Grease 1978

    ★★★½ Watched 02 Aug, 2014 14

    I knew all the words.

    It was either go bowling, hang out at the mall or go back to the movie theatre to see Grease for the 13th time. That is why I knew all the words. Now, I was a youngin' at the time, and the only other films I'd seen were Saturday morning Vincent Price specials on TV, Dino and Lewis films, some Bruce Lee movies we saw at the drive-in when dad had a fixin' for popcorn,…

  • Good Will Hunting 1997

    ★★★½ Watched 11 Aug, 2014 2

    Sad news. Robin Williams died today of an apparent suicide.

  • Dirty Harry 1971

    ★★★★½ Watched 01 Aug, 2014 4

    It is so nice to re-watch a film you have known for your entire life and find that it really is as good as you remembered.

    I'm not sure why I don't grab a Clint film automatically for my Friday Night Action/Thriller selection. Clint is the man. That sounds so 80s but he is The Man. He's always the same reliably rogue character with fantastic zingers when it counts. I was surprised to find that in Dirty Harry none of…

  • Enemy 2013

    ★★★★½ Watched 24 Jul, 2014 37

    Thank goodness.
    After his foray into Hollywood with Prisoners I was afraid we might never see another great Denis film.
    He is now cemented as my favourite Canadian director, one of my favourites from anywhere, and one that I will always look out for.

    In Enemy Villeneuve creates his most distinctive mood piece. The entire film works because of the score. Without that score we have an awful lot of Gyllenhaal displaying worry in all the various ways you can…

  • Man of Steel 2013

    ★★ Watched 25 Jul, 2014 37

    There is a scene in Man of Steel that says it all.

    In the middle of a showdown with the bad guys in downtown Metropolis with people everywhere, a flaming truck or some other huge thing is thrown towards Superman who is standing in front of a building. A building presumably filled with people.

    Superman jumps out of the way.
    He jumps out of the way.
    Superman.

    The truck goes into the building destroying I don't how many floors killing…