Skip to main content

Check Out Toronto Reel Asian Film Festival (Nov. 9-15th)

On the Flip Side is an entertaining showcase with films ranging from performance art (Exit Upon Arrival) to sexual fetishes (Covers) and family drama (The Auction). This mixed bag of shorts has many films of note, but the highlight for me is Howard Shia’s Peggy Baker: Four Phases. Watching Peggy Baker dance is always a treat, but in this film, her athletic technique and lean graceful limbs move so fluidly that you want to jump into the screen and dance along with her. Animating her movements and interspersing them with live action adds visual interest to Baker’s narration about living and moving through various spaces.
Thursday, November 11th, 6:30 pm, Innis Town Hall (Rated PG)

When something is good you know it, so need for me to wax poet about director, Phan Dang Di’s first feature, Bi, Don’t Be Afraid. The film is reminiscent of Edward Yang's Yi yi: A One and A Two, in that it is the story of an Asian family (in this case Vietnamese) seen through the eyes of a young boy who is naturally oblivious to the tense and complex relationships of the adults in his household. The unaffected storytelling and ease of the actors combined with some very lovely interior and exterior compositions, makes this film a satisfying experience. No wonder this film has garnered awards! Thursday, November 11th, 9:00 pm, Innis Town Hall (Rated 14A)

Learn some Chinese phrases (I’ve always wanted to learn how to say, “I love Andy Lau") and view China Town through the lens of seven talented, award-winning directors in Suite Suite China Town. Adding to the sweetness of this screening will be the live performance of music by Arthur Yeung and Theo Mathien’s by the Mary Ward Catholic Secondary School Band. Which film will be your particular favourite from the works of Lesley Chan, Lillian Chan, Aram Siu Wai Collier, Serena Lee, Howard Shia, and Joyce Wong? Since my, China Town means food, Heather Keung’s short film featuring a slow motion, pixel-filled, close-up of a woman chewing (dumplings, I surmise) earns a special place in my heart. Friday, November 12th, 7:45 pm, The Royal (Rated G)


You don’t have to see Fish Story to enjoy Yoshihiro Nakamura’s follow up film, Golden Slumber. In this thriller deliveryman, Aoyagi, has been framed for the assassination of the Japanese Prime Minister. Trying to escape the police and solve the puzzle of his bewildering and dangerous predicament, Aoyagi enlists the aid of friends, strangers, and a child-friendly serial killer whose catch phrase before he kills is “Did I surprise you?” The interactions with once close friends whose lives have taken different turns since their college days, lends a nostalgic undercurrent that grounds the surreal and darkly comic elements of the film. At 139 minutes, Golden Slumber is unnecessarily long, but even though it drags a bit, following Aoyagi to the end of his quest is an entertaining journey. Friday, November 12th, 10:00 pm, The Royal (Rated 14A)

Koji Yamamura: Master of the Form is your opportunity to delight in the brilliant work of this award-winning director. From his 1987 animated short, Aquatic, to 2007’s, Franz Kafka’s A Country Doctor, your eyes will be captivated by Yamamura’s creative expressions of whimsy and contemplation. My favourite in this collection of shorts, is the Oscar-nominated, Atama-yama/Mt. Head, which follows the mental and physical progress of a stingy old man who is determined to “waste nothing”. Whether you choose to view this film as a straightforward fantasy or moral and philosophical tale is up to you. Some of the best shorts I have seen. Saturday, November 13th, 12 Noon, NFB Cinema


Want an animation master class with Koji?
SAT NOV 13 | 10 AM – 12 PM | FREE with Pre-Registration
Click here for all the details.

Toronto Reel Asian Film Festival
Nov. 9-15
www.reelasian.com
Ticket Info: Click Here

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

donna g's TIFF 08 Coverage: Day 2 aka The Miscasting of Renée Zellweger

APPALOOSA

Appaloosa wasn't on my "Must See" list of films, simply because my Festival experience is seeing the films without the big stars that may not get distributed. Appaloosa is directed by my love, Ed Harris (who also stars in the film) and has such notable names as Viggo Mortensen and Jeremy Irons. I love Westerns, and an invite to the film had me in line at the elegant Elgin Theatre. While I enjoyed the Marshall (Harris) and his gun-toting, literate sidekick (Mortenssen) battling it out with the bad guy (Irons), I did not enjoy Renée Zellweger in the role of the woman who clings to whatever alpha male is dominating the scene. I kept trying to re-cast her, but it wasn't until I got home that Virginia Madsen's name popped into my head. Virginia would have been perfect and also luminous. Renée may be from Texas, but I wasn't buying her in this one. If you think I'm being harsh everything I've just written was also said by two guys walking behi…

Ross Petty's Sleeping Beauty BFFs: Meet Alexandra Beaton & Taveeta Szymanowicz

Fall/winter theatre favourite Ross Petty Productions is back with another fairy-tale pantomime! This year's treat is Sleeping Beauty-The Deliriously Dreamy Family Musical. The beauty is Kinky Boots star, AJ Bridal and playing her best pals are Alexandra Beaton and Taveeta Szymanowicz of Family Channel's The Next Steps. Taveeta and Alexandra were in rehearsals but took time out to share some insights into their roles.


donna g: Were either of you familiar with pantomime before being cast in Ross Petty's version of Sleeping Beauty?
Taveeta: Yes! I saw Ross's production of Peter Pan when I was in Elementary school. I remember having such a lovely time. I was thus very excited when I was cast in Ross's 2015/16 production of Peter Pan in Wonderland last year. I was thrilled to be cast again this year! 
Alexandra: Of course! Growing up in Toronto, going to the Panto at Christmas  time was a tradition for a lot of my friends. I even saw a few myself.
donna g: You both play Bea…

TIFF16 Day 5: Lion, (re)ASSIGNMENT, Julieta and a monk

Five days into TIFF16 and I'm exhausted. Its a happy tired for most of us who cover the festival, because we love film and we want others to love film too, which is why we share what we've been up to. We want to communicate the passion that is in the air around the central hub at King and John streets, the cinemas, and the stages that show the films and host the conversations.

Yesterday, I began my morning standing in the rush line on Queen Street, around the corner from the Elgin Theatre (called the Visa Screening Room during TIFF) waiting to see if I could get into the public screening of Lion, starring Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman. I was number 78 in the line but I got in and had a bird's eye view of the screen from my lovely single seat next to a column in the balcony.

I rarely cry at the movies, but Lion got me in end. Upon sharing this shocking news on social media some friends of mine quickly let me know that they teared up too. This from a feel good movie where we …