Posts by Eric Marchen

Blood in the Snow 2013: Thanatomorphose Review

Thanatomorphose If you’re looking for a repulsive, mean-spirited, body horror gore fest that quickly transforms into a morbid pornography of human decay, then look no further than Thanatomorphose. Writer/director Eric Falardeau (no doubt a fan of David Cronenberg’s The Fly borrowing liberally for his more grotesque moments, such as body parts in jars) has created […]

Blood in the Snow 2013: Clean Break Review

Clean Break Clean Break is an engaging, if mostly predictable genre effort with star Tianna Nori giving the film a much needed dash of sinister delight. The Toronto based thriller takes off when Scott (Sean Kaufmann), an out-of-work but likable everyman , accepts roommates Cam (Sam Osman) and Dan’s (Serge Plourde) invite to a work […]

Planet in Focus 2013: No Land, No Food, No Life Review

No Land, No Food, No Life Some documentaries guide, some illustrate, some shock, and others just tell you what’s going, and disappointingly No Land, No Food, No Life fits into that last category. Shot in Mali, Cambodia and Kampala, Uganda, the film depicts large corporations (both foreign and local) swooping  in and seizing land from […]

Planet in Focus 2013: A River Changes Course Review

A River Changes Course The minimalist documentary A River Changes Course quietly tackles globalization, deforestation, and over-fishing.  Director Kalyanee Mam discreetly films three separate families struggling to assimilate past and present in Cambodia today. They barely survive in villages located in a remote (but dead) jungle in Northern Cambodia, on the Tonie Sap River and […]

Reel Asian 2013: The Kirishima Thing Review

The Kirishima Thing The complexities of high school set the stage for this unconventional drama set in modern Japan. Through multiple perspectives, teens find themselves affected by a missing classmate, who’s central to the story but never seen. The Kirishima Thing goes about investigating his mysterious disappearance. The ensemble film begins on a Friday with […]

Touchy Feely Review

Underwhelming, Lynn Shelton's Touchy Feely feels like a stock American indie that never lives up to the talents of the director or the cast. It's not awful, but it never reaches it's full potential.

TIFF 2013: Joe Review

Joe Special Presentation Director: David Gordon Green An unusual relationship develops between young, refuge seeking drifter, Gary (Tye Sheridan) and ex-con Joe (Nicholas Cage) who oversees a crew clearing trees. Joe is a believable and emotional film that follows an unconventional friendship between two emotionally scarred people   Taking place in America’s deep south, site foreman Joe […]

TIFF 2013: Watermark Review

Watermark Special Presentation Directors: Jennifer Baichwal, Edward Burtynsky How does water shape us and how do we shape it in return?  That’s the question at the heart of this visually stunning film. Photographer Edward Burtynsky and filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal (Manufactured Landscapes) have collaborated again, creating a journey to explore the true value and necessity of […]

TIFF 2013: Rock the Casbah Review

Rock the Casbah Special Presentation Director: Laila Marrakchi Director Laila Marrakchi returns to the festival with an ensemble piece that includes Morjana Alaoui, Nadine Labaki (Where Do We Go Now?), Lubna Azabal (Incendies), and screen legend Omar Sharif. A prominent Moroccan family assembles to mourn the loss of Moulay Hassan (Sharif): husband, father, and grandfather. […]

TIFF 2013: Empire of Dirt Review

Empire of Dirt Contemporary World Cinema Director: Peter Stebbings Set in motion when First Nations Mother, Lena (Carla Gee), learns her thirteen year old daughter (Shay Eyre) has overdosed, this very Canadian indie film unfolds to reveal an authentic, albeit typical, drama. Fleeing the prying eyes of social services, Lena returns to her estranged mother’s home in rural Ontario. For added discomfort, the reformed addict Lena is faced with addressing her past and facing the mother […]

TIFF 2013: Blue is the Warmest Color Review

Blue is the Warmest Color Special Presentation Director: Abdellatif Kechiche This year’s Palme d’Or winning film at Cannes (which was awarded the prize thanks to a Steven Spielberg headed jury), unfolds as a love story between two French girls: high schooler Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos) in and fine arts student Emma (Léa Seydoux). As their relationship […]

TIFF 2013: Gloria Review

Gloria Special Presentation Director:Sebastian Lelio Gloria, a character driven story about a middle aged divorced woman (Paulina Garcia) looking for her second chance at love, offers TIFF enthusiasts a lighter option that’s easier to digest amongst the more serious titles. The fifty-something dynamic lead can usually be found at her favourite disco for older singles. […]

TIFF 2013: Young & Beautiful Review

Young & Beautiful Special Presentation Director: François Ozon François Ozon explores the initial sexual experiences of a seventeen year old French girl over four seasons. At the end of summer, Isabelle, beautifully played by newcomer Marine Vacth, loses her virginity in a less than stellar first roll in the sand. As the season changes into […]

TIFF 2013: A Touch of Sin Review

A Touch of Sin Masters Director: Jia Zhangke A Touch of Sin brings to light the plight of the common working class in modern day China. Winning Best Screenplay at Cannes this year, writer and director Jia Zhangke (Still Life) intertwines four disturbing and violent stories, from four provinces into a startling snapshot of four […]

TIFF 2013: Tracks Review

Tracks Special Presentation Director: John Curran Headstrong and antisocial Robyn Davidson (Mia Wasikowska) feels a need to escape from everything civilized and trek across the harsh, Australian Outback in 1977. With four camels (Dookie, Bub, Zeleika and baby Goliath) and her dog Diggity, the 27 year old leaves Alice Springs, commencing a 2700 kilometre walkabout […]

TIFF 2013: Gabrielle Review

Gabrielle Special Presentation Director: Louise Archambault Quebecois director Louise Archambault tackles the delicate subject matter of a young woman with developmental disabilities trying to secure her independence. Newcomer Gabrielle Marion-Rivard plays the lead who deals with Williams Syndrome in real life. She’s a likable, warm-hearted individual falling in love with Martin, a fellow member of […]

TIFF 2013: The Invisible Woman Review

The Invisible Woman Special Presentation Director: Ralph Fiennes Based on Claire Tomalin’s novel, and bursting with beautiful costumes shot in natural light, The Invisible Woman examines the quiet, but newsworthy affair between author Charles Dickens and Ellen “Nelly” Ternan. Assuming a dual role as leading man and director, Ralph Fiennes keeps things very Victorian and […]

Closed Circuit Review

Short on enthusiasm and originality, the legal thriller Closed Circuit wastes a talented cast, writer, and director on something that's been done to death. The film isn't merely ill conceived. It feels like it was cloned in a lab.