Posts by Zack Kotzer

TIFF 2014: The Voices Review

The Voices Vanguard In every horror movie, established or not, there has to be some assumption as to why a slasher is on their spree. Traumatic childhoods, supernatural influences, mental instability. Sometimes, there are films that try to turn the mirror on this, creating empathetic murders who seem like a machine unable to stop, like […]

TIFF 2014: A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence Review

A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence Masters So your first question, about the title, is answered immediately. It opens on a pigeon, sitting on a branch, and though it is stuffed and mounted in a natural history museum, it’s not a stretch to imagine it reflects on its existence. The people that […]

TIFF 2014: The Duke of Burgundy Review

The Duke of Burgundy Vanguard In Berberian Sound Studio, Peter Strickland made a delirious love letter to giallo horror, framed in the clever concept of an unassuming foley artist in a strange pocket of filmmaking before melting his work into a fever dream. In The Duke of Burgundy, Strickland revisits genres he had to hide […]

TIFF 2014: Hyena Review

Hyena Vanguard “This isn’t the 80s,” says Michael Logan’s superior, his contemporary way of groaning, “you’re a loose cannon, Logan, but damn it you get the job done.” Logan (A Field in England’s Peter Ferdinando), does get a job done, he gets a lot of people busted, but he doesn’t do it with any good […]

TIFF 2014: Interview: Dave McKean

In comics and illustration, Dave McKean is a legendary creator of fantasy, which is both odd and apt, as you don’t see many elves, pixies or dragons in his work. Creating the haunting landscapes which appeared in Hellblazer, Sandman, and Grant Morrison’s Arkham Asylum, McKean not only set the style guide for DC’s Vertigo imprint, […]

TIFF 2014: Luna Review

Luna Vanguard Dave McKean is one of the architects of the 90s; a dark illustrator, his busy but whimsical images set a tone for many brooding album covers and drama students. When he took his skills to task as a director for the first time in 2005, with MirrorMask, it felt like a bit much, […]

TIFF 2014: Elephant Song Review

Elephant Song Special Presentations In the moment, it’s easy to get a little invested in Elephant Song, a mysterious drama about a senior doctor, Toby Green (Bruce Greenwood) being called in on Christmas to see if a charismatic patient, Michael (Xavier Dolan, acting in a film he didn’t make himself), knows anything about a missing […]

TIFF 2014: ’71 Review

’71 Discovery Not all wars have glory and not all intense war films are glorifying. ’71 is a relentless, impressive and frank film about the IRA conflict, The Troubles at its peak, and moreover how no battles are fought strictly between combative soldiers on isolated battlefields. Gary (Skins’ Jack O’Connell) is an anxious soldier being […]

TIFF 2014: Hector and the Search for Happiness Review

Hector and the Search for Happiness Special Presentations Listen, if I’m going to sit through Eat Pray Love for dudes I’m going to want way more tanks, nudity, Vegas buffets and duking it out. Not a film that’s just an odyssey linking various cutesy inspirational memes with each other. This is one of the most […]

TIFF 2014: Wild Tales Review

Wild Tales Special Presentations Wild Tales, an anthology film, has a mixed definition of what makes something wild. It begins with something that’s easily considered its wildest element, an massive EC Comics-style revenge plot that begins and ends in a few joyfully sadistic minutes. Other times, and for a bulk of its duration, the tone […]

TIFF 2014: A Hard Day Review

A Hard Day City to City When you first meet Detective Ko Gun-soo (Lee Sun-kyun), it’s clear that he’s at the dawn of a real, real bad day. Driving to his mother’s funeral procession while on the phone with his snack-hungry daughter, a stray dog appears on the road causing him to swerve head on […]

TIFF 2014: Two Shots Fired Review

Two Shots Fired Contemporary World Cinema After a day of clubbing, swimming and garden work, Mariano (Rafael Federman) found a gun in his shed and shot himself twice. If this was a suicide, or an act of boredom, is unclear, as after surviving the incident he doesn’t seem anymore despairing than his generally blasé community. […]

Night Moves Review

Although a taut thriller like Night Moves is a change of pace for normally minimalist director Kelly Reichardt, it's even more thrilling thanks to her knack for slow burning character work.

Hercules Review

If Hercules has one major accomplishment, it’s how it's somehow managing to be both incredibly cheesy and starved of fun at the same time.

Gerontophilia Review

Bruce LaBruce, Canada’s most shocking film director and queer zombie porn auteur, has officially mellowed. That doesn’t mean he’s got nothing left to say or shout about, but it does mean that in Gerontophilia he isn’t doing it with his tongue wagging around.

Interview: Jody Shapiro

We talk to filmmaker Jody Shapiro about his documentary Burt's Buzz, a look at Burt's Bees' founder and corporate icon, Burt Shavitz.

Kill Your Darlings Review

Despite sometimes gimmicky style and an underlying tendency to dumb itself down in hopes of courting younger viewers, Kill Your Darlings succeeds by daring to actually humanize some of literature's most previously thought untouchable icons.