Thursday, March 24, 2022

Film Review: Eve Parade by Rebeccah Love

 Once again, I’m happy to share Mitch Greenberg’s review of Rebeccah Love’s newest short-film, Eve Parade, which will be premiering on April 16th at the Paradise Theatre. – D.D.

 

I once attended a screening of Don Shebib’s Between Friends on the fourth floor of Robarts Library. The Canadian legend himself was there to introduce his film, and over the course of our brief conversation, he described his cinematic philosophy as ‘Hegelian’. Over the years, I’ve often pondered this enigmatic and polyvalent statement, unsure whether I’d ever fully grasp its meaning. Having recently seen Rebeccah Love’s Eve Parade, I believe I have inched closer to understanding what the Canadian legend meant.

Rebeccah Love’s cinema strikes me as Hegelian. Each film in Love’s cinema is an antithesis and synthesis to what came before it, and each new Love film presents us with a new thesis that will surely be challenged and reshaped by her future work. Like the work of any great artist, her oeuvre is like an entropic spiral in conversation with itself, growing truer with each swing of the pendulum.

Eve Parade is a synthesis of everything that Love has directed before it, and also marks a new direction. With Eve Parade, Love takes story elements from her past work and reshapes them into something new: a film about courage.

Love begins the film with a static montage of idyllic bliss - we see a peaceful coterie of presumably upper-middle class neighbours enjoying a pleasant afternoon in the liminal spaces of their front porches. When Love cuts to the film’s protagonist, Eve, the camera loses its static positioning, as if to signal the chaos that is about to unfold.

Eve directly addresses the camera, divulging her hopes and fears with eloquence and bravery. She divulges her neurodivergence directly to the camera as her neighbours watch with pity and misunderstanding. “I know things,” Eve whispers to us. Indeed, she does - she’s the only character aware that she’s in a film.

Eve’s neighbours pity her, dismissing her monologue as the babble of a sick person despite the fact that Eve is the only one among them who is aware of their metaphysical context. This reminded me of an insight about Renaissance attitudes towards insanity shared by Foucault in his Madness & Civilization: in Renaissance visual arts, ‘the mad’ are often ascribed a knowledge of the limits of the world, and in Renaissance literature, ‘the mad’ are people who reveal the distinction between what people are, and what people pretend to be. Of course, these attitudes have persisted well into the 19th, 20th, and now 21st centuries (think of Prince Myshkin from The Idiot, or even the Riddler from The Batman, who reveals the sordid corruption of Gotham’s leadership).

Mid-monologue, Eve is swiftly corralled by her neighbours and marched to a nearby hospital. Eve responds to this with fear, but also with profound courage. Despite her terror, she marches on, encouraged by her community.

The hospital is a place where people diagnosed with mental illnesses are habitually forced to take antipsychotic medications (which can result in tardive dyskinesia, weight gain, diabetes). The hospital is a place where the rights of people diagnosed with mental illnesses are often trampled (hospitals habitually detain their psychiatric patients, place them in isolation, place them in restraints, force them to undergo painful and horrific treatments against their will). Given this context, Eve’s concerns about heading to the hospital strike me as entirely reasonable.

Halfway through the film, one of Eve’s neighbours shares a story about a dog who was abused at a kennel. It’s a major highlight of the film - through this story, Rebeccah Love allegorically synthesizes with succinct and powerful writing the experience of systematic abuse that neurodivergent people have experienced at the hands of psychiatric institutions. This reminded me of a short anecdote about a beaten donkey from a Dostoyevsky novel (which was later adapted into Au hasard Balthazar by Robert Bresson). Love’s story about the beaten dog holds so much power that I wish one day to see her adapt it into a purely allegorical film.

What is so remarkable about Eve Parade (inter alia) is the immediacy with which the theme of courage is explored. We see Eve confronted with coercion, misunderstanding, pity, and condescension. We see Eve corralled towards a hospital where she has likely experienced all kinds of horrors. Despite these horrors, despite these humiliations, Eve marches forward like a warrior. And like Eve, I look forward to seeing Rebeccah Love continue to courageously march forward - into unexplored cinematic territory.

 

Mitch Greenberg

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Top Ten Films of 2021

In memory of Jean-Marc Vallée…

 

David Davidson

Matt and Bird Break Loose (Matt Johnson) and The Beatles: Get Back (Peter Jackson)

Memoria (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)

Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy and Drive My Car (Ryûsuke Hamaguchi)

Tralala (Arnaud and Jean-Marie Larrieu)

The French Dispatch (Wes Anderson), The Tsugua Diaries (Maureen Fazendeiro, Miguel Gomes), Cry Macho (Clint Eastwood)

Ste. Anne (Rhayne Vermette) and Night Raiders (Danis Goulet)

Ville Neuve (Félix Dufour-Laperrière)

West Side Story (Steven Spielberg)

Eternals (Chloé Zhao)

Jeff, How Elon Met Grimes, oh no! and Tom (shy kids)

 

Three local short films: Cafard (Alfio Foti), Richard and Mary (Emily Lawson), We Need To Talk About #TheVaccine (Adrian Patterson).

***

 

Candice Davidson

Old (M. Night Shyamalan)

Madres paralelas (Pedro Almodóvar)

Night Raiders (Danis Goulet)

Cry Macho (Clint Eastwood)

West Side Story (Steven Spielberg)

The Beatles: Get Back (Peter Jackson)

Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy (Ryûsuke Hamaguchi)

Red Rocket (Sean Baker)

The Hidden Life of Trees (Jörg Adolph, Jan Haft)

- Doug Ford’s Fresh Egg Sandwiches presser

***

 

Nick Little

Licorice Pizza (Paul Thomas Anderson)

Nightmare Alley (Guillermo Del Toro)

Dune: Part One (Denis Villeneuve)

Spider-Man: No Way Home (Jon Watts)

The Matrix Resurrections (Lana Wachowski)

Spencer (Pablo Larraín)

No Time to Die (Cary J. Fukunaga)

West Side Story (Steven Spielberg)

The Green Knight (David Lowery)

Godzilla vs. Kong (Adam Wingard)

Army of Thieves (Matthias Schweighöfer)

The Last Duel (Ridley Scott)

Ghostbusters: Afterlife (Jason Reitman)

The Tragedy of Macbeth (Joel Coen)

Halloween Kills (David Gordon Green)

Zack Snyder’s Justice League (Zack Snyder)

The Tomorrow War (Chris McKay)

Cherry (Anthony and Joe Russo)

The Suicide Squad (James Gunn)

A Quiet Place Part II (John Krasinski)

***

 

Megan Widawski

Spider-Man: No Way Home (Jon Watts)

West Side Story (Steven Spielberg)

Our Friend (Gabriela Cowperthwaite)

The Little Things (John Lee Hancock)

Palmer (Fisher Stevens)

I Care a Lot (J Blakeson)

Cruella (Craig Gillespie)

Don’t Look Up (Adam McKay)

tick, tick… BOOM! (Lin-Manuel Miranda)

Dear Evan Hansen (Stephen Chbosky)

***

 

Gaspard Nectoux

1. Introduction In Front of Your Face (Hong Sang-soo)

2. Memoria (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)

3. Vas-tu renoncer ? (Pascale Bodet)

4. Tralala (Arnaud and Jean-Marie Larrieu)

5. Drive My Car Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy (Ryûsuke Hamaguchi)

6. Poet (Darezhan Omirbayev)

7. Onoda (Arthur Harari)

8. The Girl and the Spider (Ramon and Silvan Zürcher)

9. Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn (Radu Jude)

10. Picasso in Vallauris (Peter Nestler)

 

+ Bits and Pieces: the « May We Start » scene in Annette (Leos Carax), the « Goodbye First Love, Pt. 2 » scenes in Bergman Island (Mia Hansen-Løve) and the « Visions » scenes in Benedetta (Paul Verhoeven).

« Ce que tu aimes bien demeure », the last regular issue of Trafic (1991-2021).

***

 

Nicolas Rioult

1. The scary of sixty-first (Dasha Nekrasova)

2. Memoria (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)

3. Annette (Leos Carax) and No Time to Die (Cary J. Fukunaga)

4. The Card Counter (Paul Schrader)

5. The Wheel of Life (King Hu, Lee Hsing, Pai Ching-Jui, 1983)
6. Nous (Alice Diop)
7. Wonder Woman 1984 (Patty Jenkins) 
8. Midnight Mass (Mike Flanagan)
9. Siberia (Abel Ferrara)

10. House of Gucci (Ridley Scott)

 

Also: Seize printemps (Suzanne Lindon), Cry Macho (Clint Eastwood)After Dark, My Sweet (James Foley, 1990), Eternals (Chloé Zhao)Gagarine (Fanny Liatard, Jérémy Trouilh), Spectre: Sanity, Madness and the Family (Jean-Baptiste de Laubier), Fou de Bassan (Yann Gonzalez), Malignant (James Wan), Halloween Kills (David Gordon Green)...

***

 

Jordan Cronk

Annette (Leos Carax)

Benedetta (Paul Verhoeven)

Il buco (Michelangelo Frammartino)

The Card Counter (Paul Schrader)

Cry Macho (Clint Eastwood)

Drive My Car (Ryûsuke Hamaguchi)

France (Bruno Dumont)

In Front of Your Face (Hong Sang-soo)

Memoria (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)

What Do We See When We Look at the Sky? (Alexandre Koberidze)

***


Collin Brinkmann

1. Cry Macho (Clint Eastwood)

2. West Side Story (Steven Spielberg)

3. Zack Snyder’s Justice League (Zack Snyder)

4. Zeros and Ones (Abel Ferrara)

5. The Card Counter (Paul Schrader)

6. The French Dispatch (Wes Anderson)

7. The Matrix Resurrections (Lana Wachowski)

8. Jungle Cruise (Jaume Collet-Serra)

9. Annette (Leos Carax)

10. Dune: Part One (Denis Villeneuve)

11. No Time to Die (Cary J. Fukunaga)

12. The History of the Atlanta Falcons (Jon Bois)

13. Old (M. Night Shyamalan)

14. Belfast (Kenneth Branagh)

15. A New Year’s Resolution (Lesley Demetriades)

 

+ a special few from 2020: The Woman Who Ran (Hong Sang-soo), Undine (Christian Petzold), The Stendhal Syndrome or My Dinner with Turhan Bey (Mark Rappaport), Wife of a Spy (Kiyoshi Kurosawa), Malmkrog (Cristi Puiu), Her Socialist Smile (John Gianvito), The Salt of Tears (Philippe Garrel).

***


Mark Cira

1. Can’t Get You Out of My Head (Adam Curtis)

2. Licorice Pizza (Paul Thomas Anderson)

3. Nightmare Alley (Guillermo Del Toro)

4. Annette (Leos Carax)

5. The Beatles: Get Back (Peter Jackson)

6. The French Dispatch (Wes Anderson)

7. Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn (Radu Jude)

8. Titane (Julia Ducournau)

9. The Power of the Dog (Jane Campion)

10. The Card Counter (Paul Schrader)

***

 

Adrian Patterson

1. Licorice Pizza (Paul Thomas Anderson)

2. West Side Story (Steven Spielberg)

3. The Card Counter (Paul Schrader)

4. The French Dispatch (Wes Anderson)

5. Drive My Car (Ryûsuke Hamaguchi)

6. The Tragedy of Macbeth (Joel Coen)

7. Malignant (James Wan)

8. Cruella (Craig Gillespie)

9. Don’t Look Up (Adam McKay)

10. Dune: Part One (Denis Villeneuve)

***

 

Marcus Pinn

The Souvenir: Part II (Joanna Hogg)

Titane (Julia Ducournau)

Benedetta (Paul Verhoeven)

The Village Detective: a song cycle (Bill Morrison)

Pig (Michael Sarnoski)

The Suicide Squad (James Gunn)

Vacation Friends (Clay Tarver)

Slow Machine (Paul Felten, Joe DeNardo)

France (Bruno Dumont)

One Shot (James Nunn)

***

 

Ryan Krahn (“New Circle of Cinema”)

1. Murina (Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović)

2. Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy (Ryûsuke Hamaguchi)

3. Babi Yar. Context (Sergey Loznitsa)

4. Azor (Andreas Fontana)

5. The Tale of King Crab (Matteo Zoppis, Alessio de Righi)

6. El Planeta (Amalia Ulman)

7. Natural Light (Nagy Dénes)

8. Nitram (Justin Kurzel)

9. Worlds (Isaac Goes)

10. Dune: Part One (Denis Villeneuve)

***

 

Kevin Laforest

1. Pig (Michael Sarnoski)

2. West Side Story (Steven Spielberg)

3. Titane (Julia Ducournau)

4. Licorice Pizza (Paul Thomas Anderson)

5. Annette (Leos Carax)

6. The Last Duel (Ridley Scott)

7. One Shot (James Nunn)

8. Vortex (Gaspar Noé)

9. tick, tick… BOOM! (Lin-Manuel Miranda)

10. Dune: Part One (Denis Villeneuve)

***

 

Marko Orlic

1. Quo Vadis, Aida? (Jasmila Žbanić)

2. The Worst Person In The World (Joachim Trier)

3. Licorice Pizza (Paul Thomas Anderson)

4. The Card Counter (Paul Schrader)

5. Benedetta (Paul Verhoeven)

6. Bo Burnham: Inside (Bo Burnham)

7. Flee (Jonas Poher Rasmussen)

8. The Humans (Stephen Karam)

9. Dune: Part One (Denis Villeneuve)

10. Drive My Car (Ryûsuke Hamaguchi)

11. Great Freedom (Sebastian Meise)

12. King Richard (Reinaldo Marcus Green)

13. The French Dispatch (Wes Anderson)

14. The Rescue (Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin)

15. Compartment No. 6 (Juho Kuosmanen)

 

Honourable Mentions: Titane (Julia Ducournau), Shiva Baby (Emma Seligman), Bergman Island (Mia Hansen-Løve).

 

Best Films Not Yet ReleasedThe Kids (Eddie Martin), Benediction (Terence Davies), Magnetic Beats (Vincent Mael Cardona), On The Count Of Three (Jerrod Carmichael) and Hands That Bind (Kyle Armstrong).

***

 

Gabrielle P. Leith

1. Quo Vadis, Aida? (Jasmila Žbanić)

2. In the Heights (Jon M. Chu)

3. The Rescue (Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin)

4. Promising Young Woman (Emerald Fennell)

5. The Kids (Eddie Martin)

6. Framing Britney Spears (Samantha Stark)

7. Petite Maman (Céline Sciamma)

8. Scarbrough (Shasha Nakhai, Rich Williamson)

9. Bo Burnham: Inside (Bo Burnham)

10. Licorice Pizza (Paul Thomas Anderson)

***

 

Lars Aumueller

- A Sun (Mong-Hong Chung)

Bacurau (Juliano Dornelles, Kleber Mendonça Filho)

The Card Counter (Paul Schrader)

- The Climb (Michael Angelo Covino)

C’mon C’mon (Mike Mills)

Da 5 Bloods (Spike Lee)

The Green Knight (David Lowery)

The Hand of God (Paolo Sorrentino)

In the Heights (Jon M. Chu)

Licorice Pizza (Paul Thomas Anderson)

Minari (Lee Isaac Chung)

- No Sudden Move (Steven Soderbergh)

Pig (Michael Sarnoski)

Saint Frances (Alex Thompson)

Yes, God, Yes (Karen Maine)

***

 

Ethan Vestby

1. Annette (Leos Carax)

2. Drive My Car (Ryûsuke Hamaguchi)

3. Zeros and Ones (Abel Ferrara)

4. West Side Story (Steven Spielberg)

5. The Card Counter (Paul Schrader)

6. Dune: Part One (Denis Villeneuve)

7. Benedetta (Paul Verhoeven)

8. Cry Macho (Clint Eastwood)

9. Zack Snyder’s Justice League (Zack Snyder)

10. Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy (Ryûsuke Hamaguchi)

***

 

Alan Jones

1. Can’t Get You Out of My Head (Adam Curtis)

2. Benedetta (Paul Verhoeven)

3. The Scary of Sixty-First (Dasha Nekrasova)

4. Red Rocket (Sean Baker)

5. Heard She Got Married (Charles Roxburgh)

6. The Card Counter (Paul Schrader)

7. Project Space 13 (Michael Bilandic)

8. The Beatles: Get Back (Peter Jackson)

9. Zeros and Ones (Abel Ferrara)

10. Cry Macho (Clint Eastwood)

***

 

Arika Jiang

The Worst Person In The World (Joachim Trier)

Drive My Car (Ryûsuke Hamaguchi)

Titane (Julia Ducournau)

I Carry You With Me (Heidi Ewing)

Silent Land (Agnieszka Woszczynska)

- The Souvenir: Part II (Joanna Hogg)

The Hand of God (Paolo Sorrentino)

Zola (Janicza Bravo)

The White Fortress (Igor Drljača)

- Bergman Island (Mia Hansen-Løve) and Night Raiders (Danis Goulet)

 

Honourable Mentions: Wolf (Nathalie Biancheri), The Green Knight (David Lowery), and Learn to Swim (Thyrone Tommy).

***

 

Sean Patrick Kelly

1. Mass (Fran Kranz)

2. Spencer (Pablo Larraín)

3. Candyman (Nia DaCosta)

4. The Rescue (Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin)
5. All the Moons (Igor Legarreta)

6. Dashcam (Rob Savage)

7. Last Night in Soho (Edgar Wright)

8. Belfast (Kenneth Branagh)

9. Pig (Michael Sarnoski)

10. Psycho Goreman (Steven Kostanski)

***

 

Paolo Kagaoan

Emicida in Sao Paulo (Fred Outro Preto)

Bo Burnham: Inside (Bo Burnham)  

Mare of Easttown (Craig Zobel)  

Tick, tick…. BOOM! (Lin-Manuel Miranda)  

The Crossing (Florence Mihaie)  

Euphoria: F*ck Anyone Who’s Not A Sea Blob (Sam Levinson)

Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band: The Legendary No Nukes Concerts (Thom Zimmy, Richard Namm) 

Maid (John Wells, Nzinga Stewart)  

Come From Away (Christopher Ashley)  

Drive My Car (Ryûsuke Hamaguchi)    

I’m only a size queen when it countsVO (Nicolas Gourault), Angakusajaujuq: The Shaman’s Apprentice (Zacharias Kunuk) and Listen to the Beat of our Images (Aundrey and Maxime Jean-Baptiste).

***

 

Neil Bahadur

1. Zack Snyder’s Justice League (Zack Snyder)

2. #FreeLarryHoover Benefit Concert Live at Los Angeles Coliseum (Kanye West, Aus Taylor)

3. Cliff Walkers (Zhang Yimou)

4. Worlds (Issac Goes)

5. West Side Story (Steven Spielberg)

6. Zeros and Ones (Abel Ferrara)

7. The Matrix Resurrections (Lana Wachowski)

8. Donda: Live at Mercedes Benz Stadium 8.02.2021 (Kanye West)

9. Dune (Denis Villeneuve)

10. Ferny and Luca (Andrew Infante)

11. Spider-Man: No Way Home (Jon Watts, Kevin Feige)

12. Drive My Car (Ryûsuke Hamaguchi)

13. The Card Counter (Paul Schrader)

***

 

Kendall Grant

1. Drive My Car / Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy (Ryûsuke Hamaguchi)

2. Memoria (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)

3. The Worst Person in the World (Joachim Trier)

4. Petite Maman (Céline Sciamma)

5. Parallel Mothers (Pedro Almodóvar)

6. Licorice Pizza (Paul Thomas Anderson)

7. The Lost Daughter (Maggie Gyllenhaal)

8.  The Souvenir Part II (Joanna Hogg)

9.  The Green Knight (David Lowery)

 

In a League of its Own: The Underground Railroad (Barry Jenkins)

 

Honourable Mentions: The Tragedy of Macbeth (Joel Coen), C’mon C’mon (Mike Mills), Bergman Island (Mia Hansen-Løve), Pig (Michael Sarnoski), Passing (Rebecca Hall), Mass (Fran Kranz).