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    ‘Elena’ proves the power of documentaries

    Depression is something that movies never seem to get right. Perhaps it’s to avoid dragging viewers into a hopeless abyss, or sidestepping the painful truth that no one is immune to the despair. Whatever the reason, filmmakers invariably choose to glamourize depression, either by exaggerating it into a hallucinatory freakshow or diminishing it to tortured brooding. The reality—the unrelenting emptiness—is neither easy to portray nor pleasant to acknowledge. Petra Costa accomplishes both by weaving images and sounds from her childhood into a quasi-mystery story that’s determined to find closure, even if the case can never truly be solved. More

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    GFF 2014: ‘The Zero Theorem’ sees Terry Gilliam in his comfort zone, for worse rather than better

    Though writer Pat Rushin scripted and conceived the story of The Zero Theorem, one can be forgiven for assuming Terry Gilliam came up with the narrative himself, being that it comes across as the work of someone who either saw every film Gilliam’s ever made or just happened to direct them. Indeed, The Zero Theorem sees Gilliam very much in his storytelling and thematic comfort zones, though sadly to diminishing returns. It openly scrounges scraps from earlier efforts, especially Brazil, but has little idea how to develop its ever so slightly different ideas beyond thin sketches. More

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    Attack of the Trilogies

    E. B. White once wrote, “Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested and the frog dies of it.” Analyzing trilogies seems to the same. The entire point is to enjoy them. Still, given the many sins to be found in film, there are worse things than movie trilogies but few have […] More

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    Trailer: Life moves at ‘360’ degrees for some people

    360 Written by Peter Morgan Directed by Fernando Meirelles UK, Austria, France, Brazil, 2012 Looking awfully similar to Babel and Crash, director Fernando Meirelles returns with a dramatic, multiple storyline, interweaving tale. Familiar territory aside, this one looks pretty good, especially with Ben Foster playing an ex con molester. Should we expect more from this […] More

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    TIFF Bell Lightbox Presents The Rise of Beefcake Cinema: ‘Total Recall’ becomes progressively endearing with age

    Total Recall Directed by Paul Verhoeven Written by Ronald Shusett, Dan O’Bannon and Gary Goldman USA, 1990 Thanks to some of the greatest scientific minds of the 20th century, we’ve come to discover that the moon is, in fact, not full of cheese. But thanks to Paul Verhoeven’s 1990 sci-fi action adventure movie, Total Recall, […] More

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    SOS Staff’s Gateway Films: Simon Howell, ‘Brazil’

    Throughout November, SOS staffers will be discussing the movies that made them into film fanatics. (click here for the full list) Until I was about 14 years old, I was strictly a music nerd. I have distinct memories of arguing with another kid I went to school with around the time Radiohead’s Kid A came […] More

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    A Brief History of Title Design

    Put together to compete in the SXSW Title Design Competition, Ian Albinson has edited a large mix of some of the greatest film and television titles ever made. Slashfilm reports that the websites mission is: A compendium and leading web resource of film and television title design from around the world. We honor the artists […] More

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    Turning 32

    Dir. Robbie Hart, Luc Côté (2010, Canada, 104 min.) Turning 32 asks an impossible but fascinating question: what parts of growing up are universal? A sequel to the 1992 television series Turing 16, this film reconnects with the principal characters of that series and traces the direction of their lives. It jumps back and forth […] More

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    Interview: Jose Mojica Marins & Dennison Ramalho

    In 1964, while the rest of the world was watching Mary Poppins take school kids on acid trips, Brazil was thrilling to the exploits of Coffin Joe, a character mixing the best parts of Anton LaVey, Count Dracula, and a homeless old man. Considered Brazil’s first horror film, At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul was […] More

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    Toronto After Dark 2009 – Embodiment of Evil

    Coffin Joe. For Brazil, nothing personified horror quite like him. He’s a deceptively simple villain. He’s doesn’t drink blood, he’s not undead, he has no magic powers. There is absolutely nothing supernatural about him. Nothing. He is just an undertaker in a top hat and cape with extremely long fingernails. What strikes fear into the […] More