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  • Sound of Metal

    Sound of Metal

    ★★★

    It seems as though the idea of a musician going deaf has been percolating a lot in recent cinema, between Tessa Thompson's subplot in the Creed movies, Bradley Cooper's decline in A Star Is Born, and now Riz Ahmed's ordeal in a film that places hearing loss front and center. I thought that this movie would finally be a place to focus on struggles of a musician who can no longer connect to his artistic medium, yet I found that…

  • Crazy World

    Crazy World

    ★★★★

    Just attended the world premiere of this total cinematic experience on the last night of Midnight Madness at TIFF 2019, and I can die happy now. Director IGG Nabwana, producer Alan Ssali Hofmanis, live narrator VJ Emmie, Midnight Madness programmer Peter Kuplowsky all teamed up for the most immersive and communal filmgoing experience of my life. Among the things that happened in the span of two hours (the film runs 63 minutes):

    - a pre-film taped advisory from the Ugandan…

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  • Hold the Dark

    Hold the Dark

    ★★

    Jeremy Saulnier’s boreal epic could tilt in either direction: a great movie or a failure. In epic tradition, it is polymorphic and irreducible to a single descriptor: a Cormac McCarthyesque crime drama, a Twin Peaks supernatural thriller, a Wind River-like tale of a remote place with violent secrets, a Sam Peckinpah war film, a Jack London man vs. wild survival saga, even an occasional Blood Simpke tale of bumbling small town folk. Every 15 minutes I lurched from one mode…

  • The Assignment

    The Assignment

    ★★★½

    I am captivated by the idea that, were this film made in 1978 (when the script was written, per Walter Hill), a pre-Alien Sigourney Weaver could well have become famous not as Ellen Ripley but as Frank Kitchen, a professional assassin who undergoes the titular involuntary sex change at the hands of a vengeful surgeon. Four decades later, Weaver instead kicks ass in the latter role, the imperious, institutionalized Dr. Rachel Kay, serenely recounting the tall tale that led her…