• Zero Dark Thirty

    Zero Dark Thirty

    ★★

    The film has many formal qualities that are quite effective, but the pacing is excruciatingly drawn out, and the film’s neutral depiction of torture as a ‘hard but necessary’ tool on the belt of justice left a bad taste in my mouth. Bigelow should’ve emphasized an anti-torture stance harder, if that's what she even intended. Torture is wrong, whether it leads to important information or not - and in the case of the bin Laden manhunt, it didn’t - which…

  • The Humans

    The Humans

    ★★★★

    tiff movie #10

    My final TIFF movie as the festival rounds out, and quite an incredible film to land on. I feel like this could easily go up to a 9 when I rewatch it in theaters with a good sound setup and I can get even more immersed in its gestures. It breathes a psychologically creepy cinematic language into the mental financial/familial distress of these people to remarkable effect. There’s so many moments in this film that build up…

  • Memoria

    Memoria

    ★★★★½

    tiff movie #9

    I was a bit unsure near the beginning, but the last act was so phenomenal that it’s hard to deny. I watched Uncle Boonmee this summer, which had quite the impression on me, but this was even better I feel. Immaculate use of sound, probably one of my favourite soundscapes in years. It blends the absurd, the spiritual, and the existential in such a fascinating way where you’re exploring some of the most high concept stuff you’ve…

  • The Rescue

    The Rescue

    tiff film #8

    I was vaguely aware of this news story back in 2018, but this gives you all the information and suspense you need to know to be put through the hardships and suspense of this incredible rescue. One of my favourite adventure movies of the year: heroic people doing the impossible and saving lives. Very well made doc, not sure what to rate it.

    WATCHED: TIFF Digital Cinema

  • Întregalde

    Întregalde

    ★★★½

    tiff movie #7

    Very well executed suspense piece in the Romanian countryside. Very underseen at these festivals (not many LB ratings) but it’s definitely worth checking out. Builds themes and a narrative slowly into these moments of despair. My only thing is that for some reason certain suspenseful moments weren’t fully hitting me, but that might’ve just been a mood thing - and there were plenty that did. Check it out!

    7.5/10

    WATCHED: In cinema

  • Cutaway

    Cutaway

    One of my professors made this. Not bad but I admit I only watched it because I looked up his name on the Criterion Channel haha.

    WATCHED: Criterion Channel

  • Bergman Island

    Bergman Island

    ★★★½

    tiff film #6

    I’m surprised this movie even exists, I remember reading the plot description over a year ago and being like “they’re making a movie like that?” But as a big Bergman fan, there was lots of details and information packed into this that really struck a chord with me. The parts I liked most involved exploring the island and enjoying the energy, Tim Roth honestly didn’t seem to put in as much effort as Vicky Krieps did, which…

  • Run Lola Run

    Run Lola Run

    ★★★★

    Felt like a more entertaining and concise version of the themes and structure in Kieslowski's 'Blind Chance.' While it's more fun to take it as a very well stylized race-against-the-clock superhero movie that explores themes of fate and chance - the sheer amount of power Lola has makes you question the need for all these stakes to begin with, but that doesn't really matter too much for me. Maybe she only has these superpowers in high octane situations like this. Was very fun!

    8.5/10

    WATCHED: Criterion On-Demand

  • Compartment No. 6

    Compartment No. 6

    ★★★½

    tiff film #5

    Barebones character/dialogue piece with some pretty impressive technical elements to boot. I loved a lot of it, there was a particular choice that wasn’t totally my thing, but overall this is a thought provoking film with a burning heart at the center of its subzero temperatures.

    7.5/10

    WATCHED: TIFF Digital Lightbox

  • The Worst Person in the World

    The Worst Person in the World

    ★★★★

    tiff film #4

    Expertly paced and edited ‘coming of age’ anthology that confronts the alienated drifting of the millennial/Gen Z generation through the lens of an intelligent rom-com structure. No one in this movie is ‘The Worst Person in the World,’ but no ones a great person either. And the filmmaker expects you to understand that, while also showing you sharply funny and bitingly human sequences that ask the viewer to examine the flaws in people while also understanding they are…

  • Titane

    Titane

    ★★★★★

    tiff film #3

    One of the most viscerally upsetting and thrilling film experiences I’ve ever been through. Eraserhead is no longer the most disturbing film about having a child. While Lynch’s film is (in many ways) a male perspective on the fear of having your life consumed by the responsibility of fatherhood - Titane is a female perspective; the grotesque body horror of your body being invaded by an unwanted pregnancy. This movie re-sensitizes even the most desensitized viewers into…

  • Drive My Car

    Drive My Car

    ★★★★

    tiff film #2

    This was an intricate and soft spoken movie that weaves together unsaid thematic weight so expertly through subtext and implied understanding it feels through and through like a Murakami short story brought up onto the screen. Burning was one of the greatest films of the last decade, and I’m glad the next major Murakami adaptation was also very good (not quite Burning level, but that’s an unfair comparison). So much happens in this film that the weight…