Bentonville Film Festival Film Review: The Novice

Year: 2021 Duration: 94 minutes Directed by: Lauren Hadaway Written by: Lauren Hadaway Starring: Isabelle Fuhrman, Amy Forsyth, Dilone, Jonathan Cherry As conversations around mental health in sports continue to grow, writer/director Lauren Hadaway creates a compelling take on unhealthy obsession with her feature directorial debut, “The Novice” (2021). We’ve seen plenty of struggling, obsessive artist stories in the past, like “Black Swan” (2010) and … Continue reading Bentonville Film Festival Film Review: The Novice

Tribeca Film Festival Review: ClayDream

There is something magical in animation, as anyone who has ventured to try creating in the visual style knows. Clay animation is a special kind of crazy magic; crazy, because of how a shapeless blob can be given movement and form but also because of the time and focus that is required for it to be done well. Maybe Will Vinton was a special kind of crazy for his incredible talent that took animation to a new level, but the personal cost to him and to those who believed in his dreams proved devastating. “ClayDreams” (2021) is a cautionary tale of how art and finance don’t necessarily play well together, sometimes with heartbreaking results. Continue reading Tribeca Film Festival Review: ClayDream

Taiwan Film Festival: “Ice Poison”

Year: 2014Duration: 95 minutesDirector: Midi ZWriter: Midi ZStarring: Wu Ke-Xi, Wang Shin-Hong By Caz Armstrong Set in the director Midi Z’s native Burma (referred to in the film as Burma, not Myanmar), “Ice Poison” won a Best Film award at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in 2014 and was Taiwan’s entry for the 2015 Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film. It’s available currently as … Continue reading Taiwan Film Festival: “Ice Poison”

Fantasia Festival Review: Hunted

“Hunted” (2020) stars Lucie Debay as Eve, a building contractor who is struggling under the pressures of work. The project is closing in to its impending deadline soon and the stress is starting to kick in for Eve and none of her male colleagues are of any help to her. Seeking any sort of cathartic release, she goes to a nightclub for drinks. Continue reading Fantasia Festival Review: Hunted

Greenpoint Film Festival Review: Ace

“Ace” (2020) is a wonderfully dark and atmospheric little tale perfectly animated in muted colours and stylized figure drawing. The setting is the “Eternity Circus” and various circus performers are costumed as playing cards. The Master of Ceremonies is brilliantly foreboding as he sets them in competition with each other to achieve a series of tasks. Continue reading Greenpoint Film Festival Review: Ace

We Are One Film Festival: Five to Watch

By Caz Armstrong The “We Are One” Global Film Festival has begun in earnest. This is a free online festival hosted on YouTube and curated by the best international film festivals in the world. Cannes, Sundance, Tribeca, London, Berlinale, Tokyo, Sydney, Annecy, TIFF, you name it they have something for you. The films each have a set start time but most are available for around … Continue reading We Are One Film Festival: Five to Watch

Sundance Exclusive Review: Wendy

“Wendy” takes us back to Neverland with the new version of Peter Pan. It begins with a series of scenes full of sweetness and cuteness that will most likely hook (no pun intended) you into this film. Wendy (Devin France) is now facing the reality of survival by having to protect her brothers with possibly never returning home. Continue reading Sundance Exclusive Review: Wendy

Exclusive Interview with director Courtney Hope Thérond

During LFF 2019 I encountered many short films, there were many that I enjoyed but there was one that stayed with me long after the festival had ended. This film was “Rehearsal” written and directed by Courtney Hope Thérond, who very kindly agreed to talk to ITOL regarding her film and the it’s production. During our interview we discussed what inspired her to make the film, the issues concerning consent and what filmmakers inspired her. We would like to extend our thanks to Courtney and wish all the best of her luck with her future projects! Continue reading Exclusive Interview with director Courtney Hope Thérond

LFF Exclusive Review: Rocks

Set in the depths of London, Sarah Gavron has portrayed the hardships, yet the beauty of the manic city in her film “Rocks”, which premiered at the 63rd BFI London Film Festival. The cast and crew, 75% of whom were female, collaborated incredibly hard to represent the true identity of the working class in London. For some, it was their first time on a set, yet they did not shy away from the initial fear but were able to provide 93 minutes of heartache, humour, and honour. Continue reading LFF Exclusive Review: Rocks

LFF Exclusive Review: Uncut Gems

By Caz Armstrong This review contains spoilers I haven’t been so uncomfortable in the cinema for a very long time. Not because of the seats, they had fancy electronic recliners and footrests. But the tone and content of this film were immensely stressful – in a bad way. “Uncut Gems” (from directors Benny Safdie and Josh Safdie) follows Howard Ratner (Adam Sandler), a Jewish jewelry … Continue reading LFF Exclusive Review: Uncut Gems