Author: Stephen Mayne

SXSW Film Festival 2017 Preview
Festivals

SXSW Film Festival 2017 Preview

The annual mid-March South by Southwest (better known as SXSW) shindig has just about everything going for it. Taking place in hip Austin, it’s perhaps best known as a musical festival, but the film portion has grown in importance as the years roll by, premiering exciting new releases from big […]

Dog Eat Dog (2016)
Film Review

Dog Eat Dog (2016)

To call Dog Eat Dog uneven is to do a great disservice to all gently sloping tables. Paul Schrader’s amped up overdose on style and depravity doesn’t really have a steady level to stray from in the first place. It’s a series of inexplicable darts in multiple directions at the […]

TIFF 2016 – Five Things We’ve Learned
Festivals

TIFF 2016 – Five Things We’ve Learned

We watch films for fun but pure entertainment isn’t all they’re good for. Sometimes they even teach a thing or two. Now the 41st edition of the Toronto International Film Festival has drawn to a close, here are the top five lessons to take away: 1. The RAF needs to […]

TIFF 2016 Round-up
Festivals

TIFF 2016 Round-up

After a week and a half and hundreds of films, TIFF has come to an end. Taxi drivers can stop complaining about the forced pedestrianisation of King Street, the queue in Tim Hortons near the main venue will return to normal, and Toronto bids farewell to a load of people […]

TIFF 2016 – Carrie Pilby (2016)
Film Review

TIFF 2016 – Carrie Pilby (2016)

A smart, socially awkward loner attempts to navigate between teenage years and adulthood. Hundreds of films deal with this topic, relying on the easy drama arising from the transition out of education and into everything to come. Carrie Pilby follows the formula rigidly right down to the wacky new friends […]

TIFF 2016 – Blue Jay (2016)
Film Review

TIFF 2016 – Blue Jay (2016)

If the past is a foreign country, no one seems to believe it. Particularly when it comes to our own history, we often look back with a carefully censored gaze. Blue Jay throws two former high school sweethearts into this confusing nexus causing them to evaluate current inadequacies against a […]

TIFF – LBJ (2016)
Film Review

TIFF – LBJ (2016)

No one has ever been sure what to do with Lyndon Baines Johnson, the 36th President of the United States. He fell between the unforgettable John F. Kennedy and the infamous Richard M. Nixon, a hard place to land. As a Texan Senator he blocked action on equality and yet […]

TIFF 2016 – (re)Assignment (2016)
Film Review

TIFF 2016 – (re)Assignment (2016)

When there’s nothing else to sell, an attention grabbing concept is the way forward. That’s exactly where (re)Assignment goes with its trans-community and general decency baiting set-up. It’s also a wash-out, the initial shock fading early in the running time, leaving a limp and remarkably dour revenge thriller to struggle […]

TIFF 2016 – Jackie (2016)
Film Review

TIFF 2016 – Jackie (2016)

Few families have proven as adept at mythmaking as the Kennedys. The early ‘60s were a glorious golden period, a time when Civil Rights finally made the agenda, a US President faced down the USSR and seemed to do ok, and America set out on the path to the moon. […]

TIFF 2016 – Moonlight (2016)
Film Review

TIFF 2016 – Moonlight (2016)

The view we have of ourselves is almost certainly not what other people see. Knowing this doesn’t stop everyone making snap judgements based on cultural and social signifiers. These signifiers are a message in themselves, sometimes a sign of belonging, sometimes a device to hide deeper truths. All of it […]