Félix et Meira’s Hadas Yaron on Playing a Woman Who Defies Her Culture

Hadas Yaron in Félix et Meira

Israeli actress Hadas Yaron plays an inhibited and closeted Hasidic Jew in Maxime Giroux’s powerful drama Félix et Meira. Yaron came from her native Israel to Montreal to shoot in minus 30 degree temperatures but that didn’t shut down her enthusiasm for the project. She plays Meira, an Hasidic Jew under the control of her Orthodox fiancé when she embarks on an affair with a gentile. The affair lifts her out of the staid, traditional world she knows and into freedom but at what cost? The film’s reflective point of view brings her struggle into sharp focus and lets us […]

Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron- Big and Loud and Long

Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Avengers: The Age of UltronWritten and directed by Joss Whedon (with Stan Lee) Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlet Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Renner, James Spader, Elizabeth Olson, Don Cheadle etc. etc. etc. etc. ad infinitumRuntime: 141 minutesCountry: USARating 3/5Why bother reviewing a film that will be reviewed by tens of thousands of professional and homegrown reviewers, bloggers and film fans? Why bother when reviews have been out for days, despite embargos and tweeted right after the private screening? Because I have an axe to grind that’s why.CGI is still way off being awesome. Its […]

Filmmaker Patricia Rozema Explains (Colourfully) Why Canadian Film Day Matters

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Canadian Film Day is a celebration of the rich history of Canadian cinema, its artists and legacy. The country north of Hollywood hasn’t been known for indigenous films for long. It’s often been used as a multifaceted location for international filmmakers but English Canadian filmmakers had a tough time getting films made and then getting people to see the results. Canada was always strong in documentary filmmaking, thanks to the boundary-breaking National Film Board of Canada, but fiction features was another subject altogether. Today with several years of sending strong films out in to the world, things are changing. We […]

The Water Diviner Review

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Russell Crowe gives a nice try but gets no cigar in this maudlin rehash of a horrendous moment in history.Russell Crowe comes out swinging with his narrative fiction feature directorial debut but fouls out as this war story drops off the deep end into the irretrievably maudlin. Screenwriters Andrew Knight and Andrew Anastasios are partly to blame, but Crowe should have known better. The setting is Australia circa 1915, on the eve of the dreadful battle of Gallipoli. Russell Crowe plays Connor, a hardworking man of the earth, divining a living out of the parched and unforgiving Australian outback. He […]

Hot Docs Toronto: The Bells – an Intimate Portrait by Jessica Edwards

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The Bells was a band known for signature vocal harmonies and the hit songs “White Dove” and “Stay Awhile”. In 1965 South African sisters Jackie and Anne Ralph were performing with their trio in small town Quebec when they first laid eyes on Cliff Edwards and his band. The electricity was palpable. The girl’s manager thought pairing Cliff’s band with the sisters would be a good idea. It was, The Bells was born and tasted spectacular success in the States. They performed on The Tonight Show, The Merv Griffin Show and American Bandstand and some of the most prestigious rooms […]

Ex Machina : Alex Garland on Robots, Sex and Power

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Ex Machina is a film for our times. It’s a cautionary tale about the potential future trajectory of artificial intelligence and our fear of it. Computers and robots are facts of life today, but their level of sophistication in 2015 may seem awfully primitive in the future as AI gains more and more footholds. It is entirely logical to fear that computers will outdistance and turn on us. Alex Garland a screenwriter making his feature film directorial debut with this chilling drama creates a world in which these things come to pass. Domhnall Gleeson is a young computer scientist invited […]

True Story Review

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Ripped from the headlines, it is not as good as “Capote,” but close enough.Debut feature director Rupert Goold pulled one out of the hat with this amazingly entertaining dual of wits, and lies, between two men who are world class in the art of deception. At the heart of the film is the weakness of the human soul when it comes to sorting out right from wrong and success from failure. As the semi-honest reporter Michael Finkel (Jonah Hill) matches wits with sociopath Christian Longo (James Franco) the audience is at wits end to decide who is the bearer of […]

About Elly Review

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This pot-boiler takes the viewer by surprise after a slow start, but the start is too long and the surprise too short.In the midst of a jocular college reunion, the young, beautiful and mysterious guest Elly (Taraneh Alidousti) disappears without a trace. In the wake of her disappearance, her true story emerges to the shame and humiliation of all concerned. The setting is the shore of the Caspian sea where three couples, their three children and the unmarried Elly and her blind date, the recently divorced Ahmad, have travelled for a carefree weekend. As the group arrives laughing and singing, […]

Cannes 2015: Andrew Cividino’s Sleeping Giant Stands Tall

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Writer director Andrew Cividino’s coming-of-age film Sleeping Giant has just been announced as Canada’s first feature film entry in competition at the Cannes Film Festival next month. It is part of Semaine de la Critique, the Directors’ Fortnight, competing for the prestigious Camera D’Or award. Sleeping Giant, made for just $60-thousand was inspired by Cividino’s’ boyhood summers at his grandparents’ place overlooking the Sleeping Giant rock formation on Lake Superior in Northern Ontario, Canada. The iconic land mass resembles a giant lying on its back, with 250 metre high cliffs, set in a majestic, rocky landscape. We spoke to Cividino […]

‘Jurassic World’ Unleashes New Images, Key Art

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Summer Movie Hype: ‘Jurassic World’ Unleashes New Images, Key Art. June 12th is the day that this epic action-adventure meets teeth! Moments ago Director @colintrevorrow debuted a new “Jurassic World” poster featuring Bryce Dallas Howard as Claire Dearing face to face with the Indominus Rex. Indominus Rex is officially described as the “most fearsome dinosaur ever to be displayed at Jurassic World.” It’s roar could reach to 140-160db, “the same as 747 taking off and landing,” reaching a speed of 50km/h.The official plot summary:“22 years after the events of Jurassic Park, Isla Nublar now features a fully functioning dinosaur theme […]

Armenian Genocide Recognition: “1915 The Movie” Schedule of Events

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Starting April 17 “1915 The Movie” will be shown in eight different theaters in Los Angeles and will continue to be screened in various cities across the globe. The movie is a major stepping stone towards global recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Why is this important? Because one hundred years ago this month, the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) enacted a systematic plan to exterminate its minority Armenian population. Between 1 million and 1.5 million people were killed or died of starvation. Yet the Turkish government still won’t admit this fact.“1915 The Movie” unveiled at spectacular red carpet premiere in Hollywood. (read […]

Ex Machina Review

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A B-movie that tried to be something better but stayed a B-movie. Writer/director Alex Garland’s sci-fi flick is the latest in a long line of slipshod Hollywood treatments of artificial intelligence. This tale starts with a pseudo “imitation game” in which Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) has been chosen to determine which is the real person and which is the computer armed with AI. To our surprise, Caleb is confronted with neither a computer nor a person, but an automaton programmed to act like a human and equipped with the computer generated human face, and body, of a very beautiful woman. How […]

Star Wars: The Force Awakens official teaser 2 arrives!

Han Solo with Chewie.

Well anticipation for Star Wars: The Force Awakens could hardly be greater and here to help tide us over until Christmas is the latest teaser trailer.John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver and Lupita Nyong’o star alongside veterans Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Kenny Baker. As Han says at the end: “Chewie, we’re home.”

IMAX, Mind Blown, Color Bombs, Blackest Blacks With New Laser Projection VIDEO

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“The debut of laser projection marks a pivotal point in time for IMAX and a giant leap forward for cinema technology. It continues a long tradition of innovation at IMAX that is centered around blending art with science to create a unique experience that moviegoers can’t find anywhere else.”Richard L. Gelfond IMAX CEOIMAX recently announced its next-generation laser projection system at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood – the first theater in the U.S. to feature this cutting-edge technology.   The Chinese Theater installation will be followed by Toronto, second in the world, but IMAX execs said they plan to […]

UCLA Celebration of Iranian Cinema, Schedule of Events VIDEOS

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The Farhang Foundation will sponsor the UCLA Celebration of Iranian Cinema, curated by UCLA Film & Television Archive.This year marks the 26th anniversary of the popular film series, which kicks off on Sat., April 25, at 7:30 p.m. with the much-anticipated film, Tales (Ghesse-ha), directed by the award-winning filmmaker Rakhshan Bani-Etemad. Rakhshan Bani-Etemad weaves the stories of seven characters linked by shared struggles — social, economic, and political — into a film that is both a microcosm of Iranian working-class society, and with graceful narrative finesse, Bani-Etemad and her co-screenwriter Farid Mostafavi give the impression that they are casually eavesdropping on […]

Stills from The Transporter Refueled

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Here are couple of new stills from forthcoming action movie The Transporter Refueled.The latest in the franchise is due out September 4th and stars Ed Skrein as Frank Martin with Loan Chabanol as Anna. Camille Delamarre is directing.

Avengers: Age Of Ultron Stills

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Avengers: Age Of Ultron hits the big screen on May 1 in U.S. and April 23 in UK. Joss Whedon directs as Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) restarts a mothballed peacekeeping program, things do not go to plan and this forces Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and the rest of the team to get back together. Check out some more stills below.

The Riviera Maya Film Festival Full Schedule, April 23-29

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 The Riviera Maya Film Festival was created in 2012 with the goal to meet one of the greatest needs of the film industry in Mexico and perhaps in the entire world: the distribution of quality international cinema. This festival is free and that is why they revitalized the film fest experience of screening and watching a film in all kinds of stages and contexts, such as at the beach or in public squares.More than 70 Films from Around the World, Including the Critically Acclaimed ‘Burying the Ex’ and Asia Argento’s ‘Incompresa,’ Have Been Selected To Screen During the 2015 Riviera […]

The Dead Lands (Photos)

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We have added some photos from forthcoming action-adventure movie The Dead Lands.The New Zealand film follows the teenage son of a Maori chieftain. His father and the tribe are slaughtered and he seeks revenge. However, he is hopelessly outnumbered by the enemy. His only hope is to pas through the forbidden Dead Lands and seek the help of the warrior who rules those lands.The Dead Lands is rated R and has a limited opening on April 17 in the U.S. and on May 29 in the UK.Check out the images and trailer below.

Review: What We Do in the Shadows

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The werewolves you can accept, the humans you can tolerate, but the Christians?Directed and written by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, “Shadows” is a marvelous mash-up of every vampire trope invented in the last century with a few new ones thrown in. The four flat mates are the best of friends, and have been the best of friends for several centuries, since vampires never die. But when they initiate a new member of the group and the rookie brings in a human, the friendship is tested to the limits. Turning the entire human-vampire relationship around, daylight becomes a lethal hazard […]

Review: Francesco Munzi’s ‘Black Souls’

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A real life interpretation of the “Godfather” series that strips away the glamour and leaves only despair.Nominated for the Golden Lion, the highest award of the Venice Film Festival, writer/director Francesco Munzi’s familial crime drama looks deep into the heart of darkness. Based on the novel by Gioacchino Criaco with a screenplay co-written by Maurizio Braucci and Fabrizio Ruggirello, this is the story of a family drawn into, and eventually destroyed by, the “Ndrangheta” crime syndicate. Having said that, this is not a film about organized crime. The same tragic and deadly story could be told about small time grifters […]

Review: While We’re Young

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A great performance by Ben Stiller makes this an easygoing Sunday afternoon movie, if not one of Baumbach’s best pieces of self-examination.Noah Baumbach’s latest dramedy takes on a decidedly Woody Allen feeling that gives Ben Stiller a chance to show his stuff. Supporting leads Naomi Watts and Adam Driver fall victim to the curse of New York City as they fade into the shadows behind the bright lights of Gotham. Stiller and Watts play Josh and Cornelia Srebnick, a married couple in their mid-30’s who are grappling with a childless marriage and the reality of a creative life in a […]

“Ted 2″ Teaser Clip, Time For Papa Bear

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Movie News: Watch the Ted 2 clip which debuted on MTV as part of the Movie Awards Takeover: Wicked Boston accents….check. Fart humor? Check. It’s time for Seth McFarlane’s part deux of “Ted” where a coming of age collides with arrested development. Ted is ready to become an adult, hold your breath!“Ted 2” picks up three years later with the profane lil’ bear marrying his girlfriend Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth) and trying to conceive a child with the help of his best friend and reluctant sperm donor, John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg). Things of course are complicated, as Ted is a BEAR […]

Romantic Mystery ‘French Kiss’ Starring Tyler Ritter Coming In May

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Interesting to note that corporate hotelier Marriott has a Content Studio and they are readying their second original short film “French Kiss” was shot in Paris, produced a la “Two Bellman” and teams with noted producers Ian Sander and Kim Moses. The trailer releases April 28th with a worldwide premiere on May 19th.  “Bellmen” featured some of the biggest stars from the hip hop and B-boy dance world and Hollywood stuntmen in a comedic, genre-bending mix of parkour, martial arts, dance and music action in partnership with JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts brand.Marriott International’s Content Studio has teamed-up with the […]

Matt Sadowksi’s Pretend We’re Kissing Flies in the Face of Romcom Convention and Wins

Dov Tiefenbach and Tommie-Amber Pirie in Let’s Pretend We’re Kissing

Filmmaker Matt Sadowski and his leading man Dov Tiefenbach took on the conventional romantic comedy and all its artifice and won with the independent Canadian feature Pretend We’re Kissing. Set proudly in Toronto, Tiefenbach brilliantly takes on the role of a reserved and socially phobic man who hopes to finally make a match with a girl (Tommie-Amber Pirie) who seems open to him. She’s patient and encouraging, but there are many obstacles in their way including an alt-babe roommate played by Zoe Kravitz. So they take it outdoors and into Toronto and onto the island where they are stranded overnight […]