'Tangerine': An artificial Christmas in July

Sean Baker's Tangerine is an independent film shot entirely on three separate iPhone 5 cameras. It follows the lives of various communities living in Los Angeles for 24 hours on Christmas Eve. The only glimpse of artificial nature in this film is the idea of Christmas in LA, which is a reoccurring theme. There are strong character investments as they go about their daily lives that can be compared to an entertaining train wreck of a Jerry Springer or Maury Povich episode. Set to a score that sounds as if Tangerine Dream were placed in a blender with Skrillex.

What to look forward to at this year's Fantasia Film Festival

Last year was my first Fantasia film festival, and this year I feel honoured to be covering the festival for CJLO. The Festival boasts 135 feature films and 300 short films, from a total of 36 different countries. It can take an entire day to read through every synopsis, as well screen the trailers. The Fantasia Film festival has something to offer every cinephile from July 14- August 4.

Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, The Man Behind the Music

I am not the biggest Nirvana fan but Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck hits all the right notes, and takes you on an emotional roller coaster. The perfect documentary must inform, entertain, enlighten and possibly move the audience. The documentary is the most authentic and intimate portrait of not only the band Nirvana, but also the frontman Kurt Cobain: it is one of the best films of the year so far.

'Unfriended' not your typical found footage film

It seems this day in age the horror genre gets generic after a while, with the same found footage and that thuds to make the decibel levels jump. Unfriended is different from the counterpart horror films in two ways. The first is that it takes place entirely on a computer screen, and secondly this horror teen thriller tackles the touchy subject of suicide and bullying patterns, that is a present problem that teenagers in our society are encountering. Unfriended is rated 13 + for subject matter, violence, scenes of horror and scenes of sensuality. This cyber natural thriller is directed by Russian director Levan Gabriadze.

ANIMAZE 2015 - The Land of the Magic Flute

An Invitation into the Colourful Abyss

The audience was immediately swept into a world of mystery. Was it a dream, or was it a strange, fantastical reality? Perhaps it was both?

ANIMAZE 2015 - Notable picks from the Death and Horror block

Unless you're the adventurous type, the concept of dying and fear may sound like a very morbid, depressing, and emotionally triggering combination to see on the silver screen. 

In the world of animation, portraying something as taboo can also open doors to expressing ideas that are creative and cool. As seen in the following selected picks represented in ANIMAZE's Death and Horror block, everything doesn't have to be floundered into the obscenity of darkness to appreciate an often overlooked but inevitable fact of life. 

'True Story': The Lifetime Movie Staring Hollywood Actors

There is something to be said about our culture being addicted to true stories. Especially when they involve scandals and murders. From Dateline NBC, Nancy Grace and most recently The Jinx: The Life And Deaths of Robert Durst. There are also the made for TV Movies that Lifetime produces. Even though True Story would have been great as a Lifetime movie of the month, it is on the big screen. The film stars Jonah Hill (Superbad, Moneyball, The Wolf of Wall Street) and James Franco (This is The End, 127 Hours, Spring Breakers, Instagram feeds), as well It is the Directorial Debut for Rupert Goold for this true story. 

'Danny Collins': Karma Catches Up With Al Pacino

Imagine receiving an inspirational letter from John Lennon later on in life. This is what happened to Steve Tilston, and it is the basic premise for the drama comedy Danny Collins. Instead of being the general audience film, it takes risks with it's 13 + rating. The film stars Al Pacino (The Godfather TrilogyScarfaceScent of a Women), Christopher Plummer (BeginnersThe Last Station), Annette Bening (American BeautyThe Kids Are All Right), Jennifer Gardner (AliasDallas Buyers Club) and Bobby Cannavale (Boardwalk EmpireBlue Jasmine).

ANIMAZE 2015 - Notable picks from the 'Nature and Humanity' block

From magical human-morphing polar bears to blazing indigo-hued birds, scary vines that spontaneously grow on their own, to dismantling a gigantic plate of solar panels, the diverse selection from ANIMAZE’s Nature and Humanity block invites you to sit down and explore your imagination in looking at the fast-changing world of Mother Nature from a different perspective. While all of these selections are captivating in their own right, here are some notable pieces that grabbed our attention:

FIFA 2015: 'Entre Ciel et Terre: Quand le hip hop devient art' is a dazzling experience

This spring marked the 33rd edition of the International Festival of Films on Art. The festival was founded in 1981 by René Rozon and has thrived over the course of the past three decades. Born out of a legacy of innovation, culture and technology, FIFA maintains the artistic legacy established by Expo 67’. It is only appropriate that one of the highlights of this year’s festival was a multimedia screening of the hip-hop documentary Entre Ciel et Terre: Quand le hip hop devient art.

FIFA: Ballet Boys: It’s more than just a story of boys dancing

If you have ever thought ballet dancing is all about young girls and pink frilly tutus, then think again.

This film, directed by Norwegian documentary producer Kenneth Elvebakk, follows the journey of three childhood friends all vying for their collective dream of becoming a successful professional ballet dancer. Originally released in 2014, this film was part of this year’s International Festival of Films on Art.

FIFA: Mugshot: An anatomy of prison portraiture

There's something eerie about being photographed moments after being arrested - but who knew that someone's misery can also be another person's artistic masterpiece, or even a scoop that's just waiting to be nourished by the hungry pages of the tabloid?

There's more to a mugshot than just an image, and there's more a story than just seeing someone smiling (or posing with umph and enthusiasm, or with utmost distaste and disgrace) for the camera.

The Lazarus Effect barely worth $5 DVD bin

When Jesus brought Lazarus back to life, everyone called it a miracle. Leave it to the cool, hip, nerdy medical researchers (Mark Duplass and Olivia Wilde) to start playing god and all hell breaks loose, including the fact that they should not be playing god according to the chair board.  Science and religion are the two common motifs used in horror films, so why should The Lazarus Effect not use them to their advantage. This supernatural horror film directed by David Gelb (Jiro Dreams of Sushi) and produced from the team behind The Purge and Paranormal Activities.

The 2015 Academy Awards: A Thinkpiece for your Thinkpiece, but Not Really.

In a world torn by conflict, inequality and uncertainty, we once again reach that time of year where one perennial certainty remains: the endless parade of pageantry and self-congratulation which captures the heart of us all. The ~Academy Awards~

'50 Shades of Grey' maintains integrity of novel and that is a very very bad thing

Anastasia or Ana (Dakota Johnson) has already met the man of her dreams, Christian Gray (Jamie Dornan), when she awakes in his bed after he “rescued” her from being drunk at a club. Ignoring the red flags of his already insatiable desire to control her actions, her thoughts and her life, on her bedside table instructive notes are arranged as a faint evocation of the vials Alice comes face with in Wonderland. Even on a level of subconscious, we understand the written commands on paper as an invitation into the world of perversion and secrets, and it is a journey that Ana willingly undertakes - or so it seems. This initial moment of accepting fantasy, of diving into the abyss of sexual discovery are very quickly discarded.