Gala: Award Winners From Around the World
Opening this year's program is Dutch short Bukowski, wherein a 12-year-old boy channels the hard drinking, no nonsense Charles Bukowski at an upscale hotel, resultantly delighting a much alarmed night staff. Light in tone and satisfyingly pithy, this short blends well with the somewhat more surrealist and imaginative short American film, West of the Moon. With ideas taken from the dreams of children, this impressive melding of live action and animation finds an older man repeatedly failing to find human connection, settling for a card-playing robot with a disastrous design flaw.
Having an environmental, evolutionist theme, Big Bang Big Boom uses stop-motion animation to detail the expansive, elaborate and somewhat confounding outdoor artistic renderings of Blu, who uses buildings, walls and water towers to paint a continuous flow of animal and technological imagery. It's far more compelling than Lipsett Diaries, which uses charcoal animation to explore the life and psychology of filmmaker Arthur Lipsett. It's narrated by Montreal hipster extraordinaire Xavier Dolan, so you can only imagine how sincere it is.
Na Wewe (You Too) covers the political contingent, tackling the Burundi Civil War, as a group of soldiers attempts to divide a minivan full of passengers into groups of either Hutus or Tutsis, which inevitably proves problematic. While the overall message is sincere and warm-hearted, finding the one thing that unifies all people regardless of race, colour or creed, it's also overly simplistic and patronizing.
Faring more successfully is Australian animated short The Lost Thing, wherein a boy discovers the titular "thing" and has to decide what to do with it in a world of labels and assimilation. This exceedingly clever and touching short stands out in the program, speaking human truths about the reality of the supposedly culturally purported value of individuality.
ReviewsOct 29, 2014
The BabadookJennifer Kent
At every Toronto After Dark Fest, there's at least one film that rides a wave of palpable buzz and has attendees clamouring to see it. Last ...
ReviewsOct 24, 2014
Films about time travel are some of the trickiest ones to create as far as sci-fi subgenres are concerned — it's not so much about the...
ReviewsOct 23, 2014
Why Horror?Nicolas Kleiman, Rob Lindsay
As a nerd, it's always pretty weird seeing your favourite genre rise to the surface of mainstream culture, and horror is no exception. In hi...
ReviewsOct 22, 2014
Time LapseBradley King
You don't fuck with time. That's the philosophical takeaway - an idea espoused time and time again by one of the lead characters - in Bradle...
ReviewsOct 21, 2014
John Geddes' Hellmouth is a kaleidoscopic vision of hell that tantalizes with some bewitching visuals but ultimately comes off more as funho...
ReviewsOct 20, 2014
Kumiko, The Treasure HunterDavid Zellner
In 2001, a woman named Takako Konishi was found dead in a remote area of Minnesota. Botched eyewitness information swirled into an urban leg...
ReviewsOct 19, 2014
Man, I really wanted to like Zombeavers. Based on the trailer, which currently boasts over three million hits on YouTube, the film seemed li...
ReviewsOct 18, 2014
ABCs of Death 2Various Directors
When producers Ant Timpson and Tim League announced that they'd be producing a followup to 2012's highly ambitious anthology film The ABCs o...