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A Geek’s Month in Review: April 2015

by on 2015/04/30

Hacker Renders
I won’t try too hard to defend our lack of productivity this month. To wit: something something April foolishness.

See, we’re geeky, very geeky, even our resident Goth person. In a month which saw the wholesale flood of Marvel’s Daredevil on Netflix, a new Dice Masters D&D game, and the start of barbecue season, we simply didn’t get around to watching as much after taking care of real life.

None of which precluded some cool Canadian content news. Last week, World Film Locations shared TIFF’s latest top ten list, which spans about thirty years now, surveying the best in home-grown movies. (Okay, technically a tie ensured that the top “ten” was actually eleven.) An introductory essay to the list was provided by our friend, Steve Gravestock:

Reviewing the list, I was struck how we’ve spent so much time (about five years) and effort (about a thousand articles) on this supposedly niche interest, and as yet have seen only half of the selections! Of course, that half is made up of great picks, but I’ll have to redouble my efforts, searching my collection for those unseen remainders. I’ve been juggling Atanarjuat and Stories We Tell for some years now, and I’ll have to dig a bit more to find the others.

In the meantime here’s an overview of the overlap, a solid subset and links to our original articles.

No fooling.

Mon Oncle Antoine (1971)TIFF placement: 2/10

Mon Oncle Antoine (1971)

* * * *

“Overall, Mon Oncle Antoine was a tad deliberate for me, but still worth seeing for gentle historical fare. It could make for an interesting counterpoint to Bob Clark and Jean Shepherd’s A Christmas Story, for they struck me as similar in many ways. Just be advised, Antoine is slower, darker, and comparatively adult.”

The Sweet Hereafter (1997)TIFF placement: 3/10

The Sweet Hereafter (1997)

* * * * *

“Plot-wise, [The Sweet Hereafter] felt less like a sprawling ensemble, and more a cross-section of parallels. The focus cuts between different times and places, across four major threads: a bedtime story, the accident, investigation, and a conversation . . . [it] certainly made a strong impression. I keep thinking about it long after the end. With people and predicaments so complex, conflicted, and well-rounded, the debate continues within me even now. It was less upsetting than I expected, if not exactly a feel-good time.”

Jesus of Montreal (1989)TIFF placement: 5/10

Jesus of Montreal (1989)

* * * * *

“I doubt I’d ever seriously considered seeing [this film] but here we are with an enthused review today . . . . Perhaps I just love watching people putting on a show, but Jesus of Montreal won over this skeptic. It taught me something, entertained, and transcended itself in the process. Though I’m no one’s idea of religious, in this case ‘true believer’ applies.”

Goin' Down the Road (1970)TIFF placement: 6/10

Goin’ Down the Road (1970)

* * * *

“To judge by all I’ve read online, and the video’s promotional materials, Goin’ Down the Road is a feature I should already be acquainted with. However, despite being a Toronto native, middle-aged, and a Canadian film buff, I’m certain I’ve never even heard of it, let alone seen it. Rarely am I so glad to be wrong and set right.”

Dead Ringers (1988)TIFF placement: 7/10

Dead Ringers (1988)

* * * *

Dead Ringers’ story threw me after [having just seen] The Fly, The Dead Zone, and Scanners. With nary a sci-fi element to be found, it’s a whole lot of character work . . . . [it] might be the Cronenberg film of your dreams. I went in expecting something quite different, was surprised, but not disappointed, and emerged with a new appreciation for the pivots between body horror and character drama.”

C.R.A.Z.Y. (2005)TIFF placement: 8/10

C.R.A.Z.Y. (2005)

* * * * *

“Experiences like C.R.A.Z.Y. keep me watching and writing reviews. They keep me human, keep me sane and — against all odds — an idealist.”

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