Posts by Zack Kotzer

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.

Interview: John Krokidas

Dork Shelf talks to Kill Your Darlings director John Krokidas about humbling your idols, the Beat Generation, youthful ambitions, working with Daniel Radcliffe, and wondering aloud about Glen Danzig’s past

Our Man In Tehran Review

The Canadian documentary about the Iranian Hostage Crisis of 1979, Our Man in Tehran, is more about creating a well rounded and thoughtful history than trying to one up the fictionalized American account of events in Argo.

TIFF 2013: R100 Review

R100 Midnight Madness Director: Hitoshi Matsumoto Japan has absolutely no shortage of absurd, off-the-wall directors, who take already gaga plots and then execute them in even more surreal ways. Matsumoto, with the head-turning Big Man Japan under his belt, has already managed to help establish himself amongst the bewilderbeast heard. R100, his new film about […]

TIFF 2013: Gerontophilia Review

Gerontophilia Vanguard Director: Bruce LaBruce Bruce LaBruce, Canada’s most shocking film director and queer zombie porn auteur, has officially mellowed. Expecting something edgy or cynical from his latest, Gerontophilia, will only have you second-guessing the sentiment as slow motion embraces between the young and the old are actually more sincere than sinister. Lake, a young […]

TIFF 2013: The Eternal Return of Antonis Paraskevas Review

The Eternal Return of Antonis Paraskevas City to City Director: Elina Psilkou Branded by the festival as this year’s new-wave of Greek cinema entry, Antonis Paraskevas isn’t as high concept as Dogtooth, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t as bizarre or unforgettable. Sombre and psychotic, the strange tale is best described as The Shining, but […]

TIFF 2013: Ningen Review

Ningen Contemporary World Cinema Directors: Guillame Giovanettie & Cagla Zencirci Japanese folk lore is whimsical, wide, weird, wonderful but heinously outlandish, overshadowing in alienation because of how odd and specific its supernatural inhabitants are. And much of that likely attracted Turkish filmmakers Giovanetti and Zencirci, nevermind that the film is, shockingly, mostly improvised by its […]

TIFF 2013: Fading Gigolo Review

Fading Gigolo Special Presentation Director: John Turturro Turturro can have some fun with you behind the camera, and as cult actor worth rooting for in front of. Fading Gigolo, Turturro’s New York flavoured rom-com, wears its influences on its sleeve. Actually, it wears it in the film, as the wit snapping Woody Allen stands side-by-side […]

TIFF 2013: Metalhead Review

Metalhead Contemporary World Cinema Director: Ragnar Bragason Thrashing, moshing, black, speed, doom, new wave of British and heavy, metal rules. It’s a vast collection of camaraderies and noise. And the usual arguments towards carpet bombing your ear drums is that it A) can help the troubled and frustrated vent their clogged emotions in a healthy […]

TIFF 2013: Night Moves Review

Night Moves Special Presentation Director: Kelly Reichardt Each film Reichhardt makes is stark but mysterious, amplifying nuanced emotions by keeping their heads to the ground of the human experience. Night Moves (which has nothing to do with Bob Seger no matter how much you hum the song to yourself) is Reichardt taking another half-inch towards […]

TIFF 2013: Labor Day Review

Labor Day Special Presentation Director: Jason Reitman Since 2005’s Thank You for Smoking, Reitman has produced quirky, critical character studies, each slices of odd, complicated inhabitants in their near-highs and terrible lows. (And usually JK Simmons waves hello). In Labor Day, Reitman travels far outside of his comfort zone for a tense drama about the […]

Riddick Review

While solidly entertaining and once again establishing Vin Diesel's sci-fi persona as a credible antihero, Riddick feels like a slight entry in a franchise bound for more ambitious turns.