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Film Festival

Hot Docs 2014: The Basement Satellite (Dork Shelf)

Originally Published at Dork Shelf

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South Korean artist Hojun Song is determined to build the first civilian launched satellite. To accomplish this Hojun establishes the his own organization to fund the program. Sadly though, the only fundraising effort he undertakes is an ill-fated attempt to sell 10,000 T-Shirts with minimal advertising. The inexperienced Song then spends five years testing, tweaking, drawing up diagrams and soldering circuit boards trying to make his dream a reality.

While our protagonist is a fascinating character, driven and determined to build this satellite despite having no idea what he is doing, this a dense film. It follows the everyday carrying on of the project in all its banality, with brief interludes to talk about the botched fundraiser. The days continue to tick away until he needs to deliver the satellite (sometimes literally on screen) and he and his rag tag crew continue to crack under the pressure to deliver.

Of course nothing gets done ahead of time and he’s left scrambling to accomplish anything at all. It’s the full court press of this frantic construction in the third act, the very last days before the deadline that works best. But at an almost 2 hour run time, it’s a taxing journey just to get there.

Till Next Time

Movie Junkie TO

Follow me directly on twitter @moviejunkieto and by liking my Facebook page at Movie Junkie TO

Email me at moviejunkieto@gmail.com

 

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Contest!! Win tickets to ‘Frank’ at CMW in Toronto!

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Its contest time here again at the FIX and here is one of 3 contests for passes to films playing at the upcoming 32nd edition of Canadian Music Week. This marks the 4th year that the festival has included films about music and the  CMW programming team have delivered one of the most anticipated lineups  of a festival so far this year.

With films focusing on Fela Kuti, Elliot Smith and Johnny Thunders mixed with fictional tales like the TIFF breakout “We Are the Best”, Michael Fassbender oddity “Frank” and the Jimi Hnedrix biopic “Jimi: All is by My Side” starring Outkast’s Andre Benjamin, CMW’s lineup has something to interest everybody. All films will play at the Royal Cinema.

For further information, please visit us at cmw.net/film

Contest!! Win tickets to ‘Heaven Adores You’ at CMW in Toronto!

heaven-slider-980x418

Its contest time here again at the FIX and here is one of 3 contests for passes to films playing at the upcoming 32nd edition of Canadian Music Week. This marks the 4th year that the festival has included films about music and the  CMW programming team have delivered one of the most anticipated lineups  of a festival so far this year.

With films focusing on Fela Kuti, Elliot Smith and Johnny Thunders mixed with fictional tales like the TIFF breakout “We Are the Best”, Michael Fassbender oddity “Frank” and the Jimi Hnedrix biopic “Jimi: All is by My Side” starring Outkast’s Andre Benjamin, CMW’s lineup has something to interest everybody. All films will play at the Royal Cinema.

For further information, please visit us at cmw.net/film

Essential Viewing Hot Docs 2014: Songs for Alexis

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Ryan is a very talented 18-year-old transgender (having just finished the main stage of his surgeries) male musician who rarely lets his acoustic guitar slip from his side. After meeting his 16-year-old girlfriend Alexis at a summer camp they both attended the year before, the pair is now virtually inseparable and they have fallen madly in love. But when Alexis’ father discovers the existence of their relationship, especially the gender status of Ryan, the pair is thrust headlong into the harsher realities of the adult world. Alexis is soon faced with the daunting task of choosing between her family and the man she loves. (more…)


TIFF Next Wave 2014

nextwave2014Starting last night at the TIFF Bell Lightbox is one of TIFF’s biggest offshoot festivals, the youth-programmed and driven TIFF Next Wave festival. The festival itself is steered by the TIFF Next Wave Committee, a voluntary advisory team made up of 12 youth dedicated to bringing quality film programming and film-related events to young cinephiles across the city. The festival aims to empower and inspire youth to make films and come together to watch movies on the big screen. This year’s lineup features Canadian and international films that explore a variety of cultures and topics that are universal for anybody (not only teens), no matter who they are or where they come from. (more…)


RWM 2013: Winter in the Blood (Dork Shelf)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED AT DORK SHELF

Winter-in-the-BloodVirgil First Raise (Chaske Spencer) wakes up in a ditch on the hardscrabble plains of Montana, hungover and badly beaten. He returns to his ranch on the reservation to find that his wife, Agnes (Julia Jones), has left him. Worse, she’s taken his beloved rifle. Virgil sets out to town find her— or perhaps just the gun— beginning a hi-line odyssey of inebriated and possibly imagined intrigues in town with the mysterious ‘Airplane Man’ (David Morse), a beautiful barmaid, and two dangerous Men in Suits. Virgil’s quest brings him face-to-face with his childhood memories of his beloved lost brother, Mose.

Twin directors Alex and Andrew Smith have attempted to create a film that is true to the spirit of James Welch’s 1974 novel about Native American life, but the film is just as meandering and disjointed as Virgil’s recollections. Narrated in voice over by an older Virgil and liberally jumping between young man Virgil and childhood, the film comes across aloof, keeping the audience at a distance the whole time, much like Virgil does with everyone else. David Morse’s Airplane Man (clearly his attempt at Hunter S Thompson) is uneven at best, and oddly a low point from an otherwise usually strong actor. The other myriad of characters that jump in and out of Virgil’s fever dream are never really developed beyond caricatures and sketches that aren’t all that interesting.

Winter in the Blood rests solely on the shoulders of Chaske Spencer, and while his performance is very strong, it’s not enough to anchor the sense of aimlessness that permeates the heart of the film.

Till Next Time

Movie Junkie TO

Follow me directly on twitter @moviejunkieto and by liking my Facebook page at Movie Junkie TO

 

Email me at moviejunkieto@gmail.com


TIFF 2013: Blue Ruin (Addicted)

blueruin_01Dwight is a scruffy vagrant who lives by the beach and scavenges for food in dumpsters. He sleeps in a rusty old car seemingly content to live outside the norms of the everyday hustle and bustle. His seemingly aimless existence is interrupted when he learns of a man’s release from prison. Dwight transforms overnight and his life purpose snaps into focus as he returns to his Virginia hometown to face his past.

Blue Ruin is anchored by an intrepid and highly skilled performance from Macon Blair. (more…)