The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival wrapped up last week. This year offered a career-high for me – in terms of festival participation – with twelve films watched. Within this twelve, I enjoyed some super violent action from Japan (World of Kanako) and South Korea (The Hard Day). I watched a gritty melodrama from the Phillipines (Justice). All were worth watching. I do love my Asian movies.
This year however, I was thrilled to dig a little deeper into Chinese cinema. Here’s a brief primer: film in China is often separated into different generations. First generation Chinese cinema dates back to the dawn of film making and includes films from the Second World War. The second generation filmmakers worked in the years immediately following World War Two. The third generation focused on the main communist years before the Cultural Revolution and it was this Cultural Revolution that gave the world the fourth generation. Continue reading
In terms of being a movie fan, I seem to be a tad forgetful. I’m not necessarily a fair weather friend – my love stays constant – but I am too easily distracted by the next shiny thing that comes along.
So with every new year and every new Toronto International Film Festival, I am reminded of an admired film artist that I have been neglecting.
Last year, I felt great shame at how I had been taking the wonderful Jim Jarmusch for granted. Now I have kept up with his work, but lately with less fidelity. I have no idea why (perhaps I am too much the dilettante) as he has made some of my favourite American indie movies. Continue reading
Last week I had a fun day where I enjoyed a Purge double-bill. I watched the first The Purge movie on Blu-ray at home (borrowed, of course, from the library) then went out to catch its sequel The Purge: Anarchy in the theatre. I’m crazy for bad movies like these. And when I say “bad”, know that I don’t mean BAD. These are b-movies.
And when I say “b-movies” I mean …well, I might not know what I mean. Traditionally, a b-movie was a low budget, quickly filmed feature that ran on the bottom of a theatrical double feature. That kind of film going experience disappeared long ago.
The term b-movie also could signify that a film belongs to a certain genre – a genre that is gritty or silly or what-have-you. They are more fun-for-you and than good-for-you. We have your old timey westerns, creature features and gangster movies. We also have your more contemporary horror and science fiction genre workouts. Continue reading