Portrait Of A Lady On Fire – VIFF 2019 Review

French formalist writer-director Céline Sciamma (Girlhood [2014]) is completely in her element with her exquisitely tender costumer, the laudable and lovely new film Portrait of a Lady on Fire. Having already achingly smouldered earlier this year at Cannes where it rightfully netted the award for Best Screenplay, Sciamma’s painterly perfection focusses on Marianne (Noémie Merlant) […]

Bait – VIFF 2019 Review

Cornish writer-director Mark Jenkin has, with his debut feature film Bait, created a daringly original and unique film that feels like a found artifact from an antiquated era. Shot on 16mm black-and-white Kodak film stock with a 43-year-old wind-up Bolex camera, there’s an unmistakable Dogme vibe to Jenkin’s class clash picture (Jenkin’s authored a very […]

Babysplitters – VIFF 2019 Review

Writer-director Sam Friedlander’s refreshingly upbeat comedy sets its sights on the ambiguity couples often have over whether or not to have kids. Presenting itself as something of a modernized screwball comedy––and I’ll define that for people unfamiliar with the sometimes misused term; it’s a rom-com subgenre from the Golden Age of Hollywood that juxtaposes opposites […]

Deerskin – VIFF 2019 Review

Georges has a real killer look in writer/director Quentin Dupieux’s latest film, a batshit-beyond-all-reason black comedy/character piece called Deerskin. Dupieux, the deranged genius behind such wonderfully weird films as the absurdist horror tale Rubber (2010), and the irreverent comic mystery Wrong (2012) is no stranger to bizarre backroads and crackpot detours into the ludicrously far-out […]

Cherry Blossoms & Demons – VIFF 2019 Review

Eleven years ago at VIFF 2008 (where does the time go?) there was a fair bit of praise falling like confetti on writer-director Doris Dörrie’s plaintive and heartfelt drama Cherry Blossoms. An East-West culture clash story with a lackadaisical pace, sumptuous visuals and a peculiar poetry to it all as Dörrie rendered a slow goodbye […]