film-aspect-ratio

Medium to medium

David Lynch tells a story about how one day, as a young art student in Philadelphia, he was working on this painting. Green plants were slowly emerging from a blackened canvas. Then he heard wind and...
Liam Neeson, PI

Criminal undertaking

When we first meet Scudder (Liam Neeson) it’s 1991. Back then he was NYPD, with dyed moustache and goatee. He drinks a breakfast of coffee and two shots of whisky in a bar that gets robbed. The...
film-TIFF

Head in the clouds

Breaking from its customary early September chill, Toronto has finally taken revenge on the polar vortex. The highs have been in the 30s. I would under any normal circumstance savour the pristine ski...
Ebert, probably contemplating how many thumbs to put up

A life tenaciously lived

Among the refrains circulating the voluminous body of work generated by the late film critic Roger Ebert (and, yes, every working critic, this one included, has their refrains) was the desire to R...
cover-cover

Irretrievable loss

Complexity, alienation and unease seem fundamental to Atom Egoyan’s experience. He was born in Cairo to Armenian parents and named after a nuclear reactor. He was raised in Canada, but his nasc...
film-aspect-ratio

Crazy in love

We meet Robert (John Cassavetes) first, a novelist living in a spacious Hollywood Hills manor. He has many women around him, most of whom we won’t come to know, all of whom were pulled into Rob...
Riding in cars with Nick Cave

Dig yourself

There’s a scene in Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard’s remarkable feature debut in which the hero, a songwriter and musician reflecting on his life and work as he goes about his business on h...
Boyhood's Ellar Coltrane, in the midst of his boyhood

Growing into a film

Boyhood’s visual refrain is its protagonist’s wide open eyes, taking in the world, first at six, then at seven, eight and nine, all the way to that age when boyhood is shed for manhood. M...

This is Spinal Tap

Nimbly traversing the “fine line between stupid and clever,” This is Spinal Tap (1984) rewards multiple viewings because its humour is rarely played for big laughs. One of the reasons I l...