Film

Foxtrot — An Emotionally Wrenching Movie

Filed in Film by on March 10, 2018 0 Comments
Foxtrot — An Emotionally Wrenching Movie

Grief, anguish, boredom and callousness course through Samuel Maoz’s emotionally wrenching film, Foxtrot, which opens in Canada on March 16. Divided into three related segments, it takes place in a high-rise condo in Tel Aviv and at a remote checkpoint in the desert. As in his previous movie, Lebanon, he presents Israel as an embattled […]

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Sidney Lumet Retrospective

Filed in Film by on March 7, 2018 0 Comments
Sidney Lumet Retrospective

The Toronto International Film Festival is presenting a retrospective from March 10-16 on the late Hollywood movie director Sidney Lumet (1924-2011). Five of his films — 12 Angry Men, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, Network and The Prince of the City — will be screened at the TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King West). One of his […]

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Meditation Park

Filed in Film by on March 3, 2018 0 Comments
Meditation Park

A 60-year-old subservient wife strikes a blow for women’s rights in Mina Shum’s low-key but forceful film, Meditation Park, which opens in Canada on March 9. The Chinese Canadian woman in question, Maria Wang (Cheng Pei Pei), lives in an immigrant district in Vancouver. An ideal submissive spouse as far as her husband, Bing (Tzi […]

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Exile Shanghai

Filed in Film by on March 2, 2018 0 Comments
Exile Shanghai

Contemporary Shanghai is a modern, pulsating metropolis of 24 million inhabitants, a microcosm of China’s astonishing ascension to super power status. But from the late 1930s to the mid-1940s, when it was occupied by Japan, this vibrant city was a haven for some 20,000 European Jewish refugees, primarily from Germany and Austria but also from […]

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The Zookeeper’s Wife

Filed in Film by on February 27, 2018 0 Comments
The Zookeeper’s Wife

Niki Caro’s The Zookeeper’s Wife, now available on the Netflix streaming network, is a film that will most likely please the current Polish government, which presents Poland as a model of resistance and a beacon of righteousness during the German occupation from 1939 to 1945. Based on real-life events, it’s the inspirational story of a Polish […]

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Loveless — A Strong Russian Movie

Filed in Film by on February 16, 2018 0 Comments
Loveless — A Strong Russian Movie

One of the most memorable images in Loveless, an evocative Russian film by Andrey Zvyagintsev opening in Canada on February 23, summarizes its relentlessly bleak mood. In the opening frame, the camera lingers pensively on a big tree whose branches have been shorn of their leaves by lashing autumn winds and rain. It’s a stark […]

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Shiners, A Documentary, Confers Respect On The Dignity of Manual Labor

Filed in Film by on February 15, 2018 0 Comments
Shiners, A Documentary, Confers Respect On The Dignity of Manual Labor

Stacey Tenenbaum’s unusual documentary, Shiners, examines an archaic trade that seems destined for oblivion. Her subjects are shoe shiners who polish and buff shoes and boots for a living. As she suggests, they’re a dwindling breed. Her film, a paean to working-class men and women, will be screened at the Royal Cinema in Toronto on February […]

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The Big Sick

Filed in Film by on February 10, 2018 0 Comments
The Big Sick

Interracial dating, an increasingly common phenomenon in Western societies, is the subject of Michael Showalter’s romantic comedy, The Big Sick. It’s about the on-again, off-again relationship between a Pakistani American standup comedian and an Anglo postgraduate student. Kumail Nanjiani, playing himself, meets Emily Gardner (Zoe Kazan) in a  comedy nightclub one night. In a clever […]

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A Classic War Film

Filed in Film by on February 9, 2018 0 Comments
A Classic War Film

There are only a handful of movies I would bother watching again, and Das Boot (The Boat), a German-language war film released in 1981, qualifies as one. I caught it on the Netflix streaming network the other night, and it was as thrilling, gripping and spine-tingling as I remembered it 37 years ago. Wolfgang Petersen’s […]

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In Between — An Israeli Arab Movie

Filed in Film by on February 7, 2018 0 Comments
In Between — An Israeli Arab Movie

Maysaloun Hamoud’s debut feature film, In Between, examines the Arab minority in Israel through the eyes of three young Israeli Arab women living in the world’s first all-Jewish city, Tel Aviv. It  opens in Vancouver on February 9, in Toronto on February 16 and in Ottawa on April 6. Laila (Mouna Hawa), Salma (Sana Jammelieh) […]

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