Thursday, November 11, 2021

Steel Town, Steel Town Gamin ! (Episode 7)

 I'm happy to share Nathan Powell's new episode of his great Hamilton gonzo web-series Steel Town Gaming and an introduction by him where he explains his process. I highly recommend it ! - D.D.


Hello to all fans of filmmaking, Toronto, and the online world at large!


It’s quite an honour to be featured on the Toronto Film Review blog. Back in the day, when I was an increasingly disillusioned film student in my final years of college, this place was an invaluable resource for many things, and particularly for its coverage of Matt Johnson and Nirvanna the Band the Show. I don’t mean to gloss over the work David has been doing to elevate obscure voices in the Toronto film scene (myself included!) or to shed light on this country’s most esoteric works of filmmaking, but David’s complete list of every single Matt Johnson project is one page I’m certain every fan of the show has seen, if not bookmarked. Just to inhabit space on this same blog is incredible.


To that end, inspiration can be a powerful thing. For those who don’t know the deal, Steel Town Gaming is a mockumentary comedy web-series about video games, nostalgia, and the city of Hamilton. It follows the strained relationship between two high school buds who reunite as adults to try and make a web show, and that hard-to-articulate loneliness of adulthood. The early episodes of Steel Town Gaming owe a great deal to Matt Johnson, but as the show has continued, I like to think it has become its own thing. Which shouldn’t surprise anyone, because it has taken us four yearsto get here. When this is all over, I’ll hopefully be a very different filmmaker than when I started.


Getting to imitate your heroes if a wonderful thing. But in breaking the story of this episode, I experienced the flip side of inspiration, which is the utter chaos of working in a medium so undefined, there’s almost no one to steal from. “Natalya Follows You” jumps back and forth between an online game and the IRL world, and finding the narrative balance between those spaces, as well as the overall tone of the story, was quite tricky. Going into this, I swear, I only knew of one other media product to attempt a similar thing, and that was the Warcraft episode of South Park. I was making up my own rules as I went. (Ironically there’s a low-budget Canadian film that jumps between an MMORPG and the IRL world, and Matt Johnson plays a bit part in that. It’s one of his few appearances which I have not seen.)


I greatly appreciate David giving me this space to share the episode, hopefully you enjoy watching it. Having mostly disappeared from society during the last two years, I found great joy in getting to emerge from the void with such a strange and experimental project that even some of my close friends didn’t know about. There are so many films you simply cannot make during a global pandemic (at least, not without money), and I was very, very lucky to have a script with so many scenes of just people sitting alone in rooms. If I didn’t have this episode to work on, I would have already gone full Jack Torrance by, like, May 2020.


All the best,

Nathan Powell

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Film Review : Parlour Palm by Rebeccah Love

I'm happy to share my friend's Mitch Greenberg's review of Rebeccah Love's newest short film, Parlour Palm, currently streamable via CBC Gem as part of the Future of Film Showcase. - D.D. 


Parlour Palm is everything the Canadian critical establishment has celebrated: an uncanny re-presentation of psychosis, an animated domestic drama, a philosophical enigma. But these remain insufficient grounds of celebration. Parlour Palm is something more: it is a rebuttal to Canadian cinema’s ‘tradition of quality’.

Canadian audiences have long lamented the general malaise of our national cinema, and providence has responded with Parlour Palm, a narrative art object of remarkable formal and thematic unity.

Parlour Palm begins with a static montage depicting the idyllic domestic life of partners Brayden and Mel. Rebeccah Love ingeniously frames the montage as though framing a doll’s house: her heroes live in spiritually hollow comfort, in atomized bliss.

But when Mel’s growing obsession with the apocalyptic implications of climate change clashes with Brayden’s professional ambitions, the plastic coating of their domestic life whittles away, revealing the scarred skin and strained sinews of Mel’s psychic terror.

As Mel’s obsession deepens, her thoughts and behaviour gradually grow more disorganized. Love depicts Mel’s decompensation from the confines of the dining room, as if Mel’s entire life is contained within those four walls.

The irony of Mel’s obsession with the environment is well observed: living as a virtual shut-in, Mel’s window into climate change is purely digital. She learns everything about climate change inorganically, through the mediation of a computer screen. She is remarkably disconnected from ‘the natural world’: she lives hermetically, has no professional life, no social life, no discernible hobbies, and her sole connection to ‘the environment’ exists through her coveted plant that sits listlessly in her parlour.

Given Mel’s hermetic existence, what could possibly be driving her obsession with climate change? Is her empathy theoretical, or does she personally know anyone suffering the consequences of climate change? Or perhaps her obsession with climate change functions as a psychological totem for more personal existential anxieties? And despite the remoteness of climate change to Mel’s life, are Mel’s anxieties reasonable given the magnitude of the impending climate apocalypse? Is it Brayden who’s living in pathological denial?

Fortunately, Love doesn’t answer these questions. To answer the basic questions of Mel’s psychology would be to neuter the film’s libidinal, mysterious energies. The mystery surrounding Mel’s decompensation is partly what makes the character so compelling. Sarah Swire’s performance of Mel is so immediate, audacious, and fearless, that Rebeccah Love rightly eschews any crude moments of psychological exposition.

The climax of the film occurs in a long take depicting a now floridly psychotic Mel giving some kind of theatrical performance for Brayden. Mel has transformed the dining room into a theatre, and she delivers a strange and compelling performance that includes poetry and song, in which she indicts Brayden, and herself, and the world, for their complicity in contributing to Mother Earth’s murder.

Rebecca Love’s cinema is a cinema of dramatic immediacy and formal invention. Love unifies Mel’s claustrophobia with an artificial, theatrical cinematic form. It’s as if Swire’s Mel is trapped within the artifice of the form itself, struggling to break free.

Mel is a character in the same vein as Brecht’s Galileo, or The Matrix’s Neo, or A Woman Under the Influence’s Mabel - Mel is a woman persecuted for her revelation of the truth.

I find myself left with this question about Love’s formalism: Is Parlour Palm a social film realized in cinematic terms? Or is it a cinematic film realized in social terms? Does it matter, when we have a new luminary of Canadian cinema?

Mitch Greenberg

Friday, January 1, 2021

Top Ten Films of 2020

David Davidson

1. Parlour Palm and Short Pieces (Rebeccah Love)

2. First Cow (Kelly Reichardt)

3. The Woman Who Ran (Hong Sang-soo)

4. Tommaso / Siberia / Sportin’ Life / The Projectionist (Abel Ferrara) 

5. Watchmen (Damon Lindelof) and I May Destroy You (Michaela Coel)

6. Ewa Goes Viral (Erik Anderson) and Plea Bargaining (Mitch Greenberg)

7. Still Standing – Season 6 (Jonny Harris)

8. City Hall (Frederick Wiseman)

9. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Aaron Sorkin) and Mrs. America (Dahvi Waller)

10. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (Jason Woliner)

11. Crash (David Cronenberg, 1996) and An Affair to Remember (Leo McCarey, 1957)


(Honourable mentions for the films that I got to see in theaters since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic: Random Acts of Violence, Unhinged, The Nest, Possessor Uncut, Mank, Monster Hunter)



Candice Beaith

- Possessor (Brandon Cronenberg)

- Soul (Pete Docter, Kemp Powers)  

First Cow (Kelly Reichardt)

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (Jason Woliner)

Mrs. America (Dahvi Waller)

Monster Hunter (Paul W.S. Anderson)

The King of Staten Island (Judd Apatow)

- Hillbilly Elegy (Ron Howard)
- The Flight Attendant (Steve Yockey)
Deer Skin (Quentin Dupieux)


Some reality-television that I liked: Tiger King, Love Island, Love is Blind, Great British Bake Off, The Great Pottery Throw Down…


Michael Davidson

1. Zappa (Alex Winter)



Megan Widawski

- Palm Springs (Max Barbakow)

- Onward (Dan Scanlon)

- Wonder Woman 1984 (Patty Jenkins)

Soul (Pete Docter, Kemp Powers)  

- The Hunt (Craig Zobel)

- Bill and Ted Face the Music (Dean Parisot)

- The Witches (Robert Zemeckis)

- Holidate (John Whitesell)

- Hillbilly Elegy (Ron Howard)

- Fatman (Eshom Nelms, Ian Nelms)

- The Prom (Ryan Murphy)

- Just Mercy (Destin Daniel Cretton)


Denis Côté

1. Days (Tsai Ming-liang)

2. First Cow (Kelly Reichardt) 

3. DAU (Ilya Khrzhanovsky)

4. The Trouble with Being Born (Sandra Wollner) 

5. Residue (Merawi Gerima) 

6. The Woman Who Ran (Hong Sang-soo)


Gilles Lyon-Caen

Livres: Souvenirs/Écran - Voyages en France 2017-2018 de Noël Herpe et Histoire de ta bêtise de François Bégaudeau.

Films: Énorme (Sophie Letourneur), Mignonnes (Maïmouna Doucouré), Le cas Richard Jewell (Clint Eastwood) et The King of Staten Island (Judd Apatow).    

DVD: Olive Kitteridge (Lisa Cholodenko), I see you (Adam Randall) et Cap Nord (Sandrine Rinaldi).

Un événement: Cahiers du cinéma n° 765 (et 766).


Frank Beauvais

1. First Cow (Kelly Reichardt) 

2. I Was at Home, But... (Angela Schanelec) 

3. The Devil, All the Time (Antonio Campos) 

4. Journal de Septembre (Eric Pauwels) 

5. Tutto l’oro che c’e (Andrea Caccia) 

6. Muscle (Gerard Johnson) 

7 Abou Leila (Amin Sidi-Boumédiène) 

8. La France contre les robots (Jean-Marie Straub) 

9. Traverser (Joël Akafou) 

10. Le Sel des larmes (Philippe Garrel)



Nicole Brenez

Twelve Films of the Year  (by alphabetical name of the author(s))    

- Carlos Adriano, O que há em ti, Brazil, 2020, 13’30    

- Danielle Arbid, Blackjack, Lebanon, 2020, 13’   

- Prantik Basu, Bela, India, 2020, 59’    

- Cecilia Bengolea, Shelly Belly Inna Real Life, Jamaica, 2020, 23’

- Fergus Daly, Mirror of the possible Worlds, Ireland, 2020, 24’   

- Anja Dornieden, Juan David González Monroy, Her Name Was Europa, Germany, 2020, 76’

- John Gianvito, Her Socialist Smile, USA, 2020, 93’    

- Florent Marcie, A.I. At War, France, 2020, 106’    

- Jacques Perconte, Avant l’effondrement du Mont Blanc, France, 2020, 15’    

- Jean-Marie Straub, La France contre les robots, Switzerland, 2020, 9’  



Gaspard Nectoux

1. The Woman Who Ran (Hong Sang-soo) 

2. L’Année dernière à Dachau (Mark Rappaport) 

3. La France contre les robots (Jean-Marie Straub) 

4. Le Sel des larmes (Philippe Garrel) 

5. Un soupçon d’amour (Paul Vecchiali) 

6. Merveilles à Montfermeil (Jeanne Balibar) 

7. City Hall (Frederick Wiseman) 

8. Her Socialist Smile (John Gianvito) 

9. Après les nuages (Collectif Les Scotcheuses) 

10. Tipografic majuscul (Radu Jude)   


A few « fantômes du permanent »: Hopper/Welles (Orson Welles, 1970 + Filip Jan Rymsza and Bob Murawski, 2020), El Tango del Viudo y Su Espejo Deformante (Raúl Ruiz, 1967 + Valeria Sarmiento, 2020) and Tapes (Jonas Mekas, 1990s-2010s + Microscope Gallery, 2020).


The programming work of Collectif Home Cinema at the occupied film theater La Clef Revival in Paris.


Blake Williams

1. Movie That Invites Pausing (Ken Jacobs) 

2. DAU. Degeneration (Ilya Khrzhanovskiy, Ilya Permyakov) 

3. Recovery (Kevin Jerome Everson) 

4. Figure Minus Fact (Mary Helena Clark) 

5. Her Socialist Smile (John Gianvito) 

6. Fauna (Nicolás Pereda) 

7. I May Destroy You S01 (Michaela Coel) 

8. Communicating Vessels (Maïder Fortuné, Annie Macdonell) 

9. How To with John Wilson S01 (John Wilson) 

10. Equinox (Margaret Honda) 

11. Days (Tsai Ming-liang)

12. Point and Line to Plane (Sofia Bohdanowicz) 

13. DAU. Three Days (Ilya Khrzhanovskiy, Jekaterina Oertel) 

14. Let Them All Talk a.k.a. The Fall of 2019 (Steven Soderbergh) 

15. Le Sel des larmes (Philippe Garrel)

16. The Last City + The Lobby (Heinz Emigholz) 

17. The Disciple (Chaitanya Tamhane) 

18. Malmkrog (Cristi Puiu) 

19. The History of the Seattle Mariners (Jon Bois)



Jordan Cronk 

1. DAU (Ilya Khrzhanovsky) 

2. Days (Tsai Ming-liang) 

3. Malmkrog (Cristi Puiu) 

4. The Works and Days (of Tayoko Shiojiri in the Shiotani Basin) (C.W. Winter, Anders Edström) 

5. Beginning (Dea Kulumbegashvili) 

6. Her Socialist Smile (John Gianvito) 

7. Le Sel des larmes (Philippe Garrel)

8. Siberia (Abel Ferrara) 

9. The Woman Who Ran (Hong Sang-soo) 

10. The Year of the Discovery (Luis López Carrasco)


Ryan Krahn

1. Fauna (Nicolás Pereda)

2. Atarrabi and Mikelats (Eugène Green)

3. Beginning (Dea Kulumbegashvili) 

4. Love Affair(s) (Emmanuel Mouret)

5. Malmkrog (Cristi Puiu)

6. Inventing the Future (Isiah Medina)

7. s01e03 (Kurt Walker)  

8. The Woman Who Ran (Hong Sang-soo)

9. Undine (Christian Petzold)

10. Siberia (Abel Ferrara) 


Andrew Stanley

- The Trouble With Being Born (Sandra Wollner)

- Rebecca H: Return to the Dogs (Lodge Kerrigan)

- The Servant (Joseph Losey)

- Sans Soleil (Chris Marker)

- The Woman Who Ran (Hong Sang-soo)

- Badlands (Terrence Malick)

- Sun Don’t Shine (Amy Seimetz)

- Paradise: Love (Ulrich Seidl)

- Talk Radio (Oliver Stone)

- The Assistant (Kitty Green)

- Mishima (Paul Shcrader)


Flavia Dima

- Days (Tsai Ming-Liang) 

- El Tango del Viudo y Su Espejo Deformante (Raúl Ruiz, Valeria Sarmiento)

- La Nature (Artavazd Pelechian) 

- Heimat is a Space in Time (Thomas Heise) 

- The Woman Who Ran (Hong Sang-soo) 

- Ne croyez surtout pas que je hurle (Frank Beauvais) 

No Data Plan (Miko Revereza) 

- Unusual Summer (Kamal Aljafari) 

Bird Island (Maya Kosa, Sergio da Costa) 

Fourteen (Dan Salitt)


Pedro Emilio

La France contre les robots (Jean-Marie Straub)

- The Woman Who Ran (Hong Sang-soo) 

- The Works and Days (of Tayoko Shiojiri in the Shiotani Basin) (C.W. Winter, Anders Edström) 

- Days (Tsai Ming-liang) 

- First Cow (Kelly Reichardt) 

- Communicating Vessels (Annie MacDonell, Maïder Fortuné)

- Malmkrog (Cristi Puiu) 

- Sun Dog (Dorian Jespers) 

- Isabella (Matías Piñeiro) 

- El Año del Descubrimiento (Luis Lopez Carrasco)



Marcus Pinn

1. Another Round (Thomas Vinterberg) 

2. Sorry We Missed You (Ken Loach) 

3. The Sound Of Metal (Darius Marder) 

4. Joan Of Arc (Bruno Dumont) 

5. The Inheritance (Ephraim Asili) / Fauna (Nicolás Pereda)

6. Tommaso (Abel Ferrara) 

7. The Lost Okoroshi (Abba Makama) 

8. City Hall (Frederick Wiseman) / Education (Steve McQueen) 

9. Bad Trip (Kitao Sakurai) / Deer Skin (Quentin Dupieux) 

10. Fourteen (Dan Sallitt) / Nomadland (Chloé Zhao)



Niles Schwartz

1. Small Axe (Steve McQueen) 

2. J’accuse (Roman Polanski) 

3. Martin Eden (Pietro Marcello) 

4. First Cow (Kelly Reichardt)

5. On the Rocks (Sofia Coppola) 

6. She Dies Tomorrow (Amy Seimetz) 

7. Time (Garrett Bradley) 

8. American Dharma (Errol Morris) 

9. Let Them All Talk (Steven Soderbergh) 

10. Driveways (Andrew Ahn) 

11. Dick Johnson is Dead (Kirsten Johnson) 

12. Tommaso (Abel Ferrara) 

13. Beanpole (Kantemir Balagov) 

14. David Byrne's American Utopia (Spike Lee) 

15. Wasp Network (Olivier Assayas) 

16. Possessor (Brandon Cronenberg) 

17. The Mole Agent (Maite Alberdi) 

18. Jeanne (Bruno Dumont) 

19. Bacurau (Kleber Mendonca Filho, Juliano Dornelles) 

20. The Personal History of David Copperfield (Armando Ianucci)  


Zac Goldkind

1. Vitalina Valera (Pedro Costa) 

2. Liberté (Albert Serra) 

3. To The Ends of the Earth (Kiyoshi Kurosawa) 

4. Fire Will Come (Oliver Laxe) 

5. I Was at Home, But... (Angela Schanelec) 

6. City Hall (Frederick Wiseman)

7. State Funeral (Sergey Loznitsa) 

8. DAU. Three Days (Ilya Khrzhanovsky, Jekaterina Oertel) 

9. Sound of Metal (Darius Marder) 

10. Bacurau (Kleber Mendonça Filho, Juliano Dornelles)


Others to watch: Isadora’s Children, Lingua Franca, Jinpa, Bulbbul, Heimat is a Space in Time, Tommaso, Ghost Tropic and Small Axe.



Alan Jones

1. Hubie Halloween (Steven Brill) 

2. Unhinged (Derrick Borte) 

3. TFW NO GF (Alex Lee Moyer) 

4. Sincerely, Louis CK (Louis CK) 

5. Martin Eden (Pietro Marcello) 

6. I’m Thinking of Ending Things (Charlie Kaufman) 

7. Assassin 33 A.D. (Jim Carroll) 

8. Tenet (Christopher Nolan) 

9. Family Romance, LLC (Werner Herzog) 

10. Color Out of Space (Richard Stanley) and Sonic the Hedgehog (Jeff Fowler)


Ethan Vestby

1. The Traitor (Marco Bellocchio) 

2. Tommaso (Abel Ferrara)

3. First Cow (Kelly Reichardt) 

4. I’m Thinking of Ending Things (Charlie Kaufman) 

5. Fourteen (Dan Sallitt) 

6. Tenet (Christopher Nolan) 

7. Fantasy Island (Jeff Wadlow) 

8. I Know This Much is True (Derek Cianfrance) 

9. Days (Tsai Ming-liang) / Le Sel des larmes (Philippe Garrel)

10. s01e03 (Kurt Walker)  / Inventing the Future (Isiah Medina)


Best First Time ViewingsRuby Gentry (King Vidor, 1952), Our Daily Bread (King Vidor, 1934), The Docks of New York (Josef von Sternberg, 1928), The Boy With Green Hair (Joseph Losey, 1948), Rita, Sue and Bob Too (Alan Clarke, 1987), Gohatto (Nagisa Ôshima, 1999), The Big Sky (Howard Hawks, 1952), The Aviator’s Wife (Eric Rohmer, 1981), The Fall of the House of Usher (Jean Epstein, 1928), Lonesome (Paul Fejos, 1928), Timecode (Mike Figgis, 2000) and Throw Down (Johnnie To, 2004).



Will Sloan

- Days (Tsai Ming-liang) 

- Tommaso (Abel Ferrara) 

- The 7th Annual Live ‘On Cinema’ Oscar Special (Eric Notarnicola) 

- Druids Druids Everywhere (Charles Roxburgh) 

I’m Thinking of Ending Things (Charlie Kaufman)


Mitch Greenberg

1. How To with John Wilson (John Wilson) 

2. Possessor (Brandon Cronenberg) 

3. An Evening with Tim Heidecker (Ben Berman) 

4. Hubie Halloween (Steven Brill) 

5. Tiger King (Eric Goode, Rebecca Chaiklin) 

6. Sonic the Hedgehog (Jeff Fowler) 

7. The Wrong Missy (Tyler Spindel)

8. Tenet (Christopher Nolan) 

9. Mank (David Fincher) 

10. The Reagans (Matt Tyrnauer)



Marko Orlic

1. I Know This Much Is True (Derek Cianfrance) 

2. Nomadland (Chloé Zhao) 

3. Small Axe (Steve McQueen) 

4. Shithouse (Cooper Raiff) 

5. Another Round (Thomas Vinterberg) 

6. I May Destroy You (Michaela Coel) 

7. Dave (Lil Dicky, Jeff Schaffer) 

8. The Last Dance (Jason Hehir) 

9. How To With John Wilson (John Wilson) 

10. Waiting For The Barbarians (Ciro Guerra)  


Honourable Mention: The King Of Staten Island (Judd Apatow), Pen15 (Maya Erskine, Anna Konkle, Sam Zvibleman), Ema (Pablo Larraín), Sound Of Metal (Darius Marder), Sorry We Missed You (Ken Loach), Bad Education (Cory Finley), Martin Eden (Pietro Marcello) and Calm With Horses a.k.a. The Shadow Of Violence (Nick Rowland)  

Best Films Not Yet Released: Quo Vadis, Aida (Jasmila Zbanic), The Father (Florian Zeller), Saint Maud (Rose Glass), Shiva Baby (Emma Seligman) and Gagarine (Fanny Liatard, Jeremy Trouilh).


Gabrielle Leith

1. And Then We Danced (Levan Akin) 

2. Small Axe (Steve McQueen) 

3. Time (Garrett Bradley) 

4. Sorry We Missed You (Ken Loach) 

5. Shiva Baby (Emma Seligman) 

6. Keyboard Fantasies: The Beverly Glenn-Copeland Story (Posy Dixon) 

7. Shithouse (Cooper Raiff) 

8. King of Staten Island (Judd Apatow) 

9. There’s No Place Like This Place, Anyplace (Lulu Wei) 

10. Tenet (Christopher Nolan) 

Honourable mention: Never Rarely Sometimes Always (Eliza Hittman)



Joseph Elliott

- Crazy World (Nabwana I.G.G.) 

- Days (Tsai Ming-liang) 

- Family Romance LLC (Werner Herzog) 

- First Cow (Kelly Reichardt) 

- Hudson Yards Video Game (Conner O’Malley) 

- In Sudden Darkness (Tayler Montague) 

- Labyrinth of Cinema (Nobuhiko Obayashi) 

s01e03 (Kurt Walker)  

- Still Processing (Sophy Romvari) 

- The Truth (Hirokazu Kore-eda)


Sophy Romvari

- The Assistant (Kitty Green) 

- Nasir (Arun Karthick)

- First Cow (Kelly Reichardt) 

- Ham on Rye (Tyler Taormina) 

- Murmur (Heather Young) 

- I Was at Home, But... (Angela Schanelec) 

City Hall (Frederick Wiseman)

- Dick Johnson Is Dead (Kirsten Johnson) 

- Time (Garrett Bradley) 

- Lovers Rock (Steve McQueen)  


Shorts: In Sudden Darkness (Tayler Montague), Sun/Moon Rise: She Goes Home (Eve-Lauryn LaFountain), Marriage Story (Jessica Dunn Rovinelli), Ghost (M.H. Hurray), I Wish You Would (Ryland Walker Knight) and Pick (Alicia K. Harris).


Films from 2020 on my watchlist: Shirley, Collective, Mayor, Martin Eden, Bacurau, The Sound of Metal, She Dies Tomorrow, Beginning, Saint Maud, Midnight in Paris, The Twentieth Century, Da 5 Bloods, Some Kind of Heavenand Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets.


Kurt Walker

- Inventing the Future (Isiah Medina)

- Gradations I-II (Dylan Tachick) 

- The Way Back (Gavin O'Connor) 

- Pears (Kelley Dong) 

- Autoficción (Laida Lertxundi) 

- Baby Anger (Caroline Poggi, Jonathan Vinel)  


Discoveries: Moonfleet (Fritz Lang), Berserk (Naohito Takahashi), The Terrorizers (Edward Yang), Rhapsody in August (Akira Kurosawa), Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story (Todd Haynes), Water From the Seine (Teo Hernández), When a Stranger Calls Back (Fred Walton), Where is My Friend’s House? (Abbas Kiarostami), Hostel: Part II (Eli Roth), Running on Empty (Sidney Lumet), Julie and Julia (Nora Ephron), The Thing Called Love (Peter Bogdanovich), Nomad (Patrick Tam, Terry Tong), The Incubus (John Hough), Richard Pryor: Live in Concert (Jeff Margolis), Hookers on Davie (Holly Dale, Janis Cole), Wild Things (John McNaughton) and Frankenstein Unbound(Roger Corman).



Neil Bahadur

1. Inventing the Future (Isiah Medina)

2. Tenet (Christopher Nolan)

3. La Nature (Artevazd Pelechian)

4. Small Axe (Steve McQueen) 

5. Wife of a Spy (Kiyoshi Kurosawa) 

6. Swimming Out Till The Sea Turns Blue (Jia Zhangke)

7. Gradations I-II (Dylan Tatchick) 

8. Siberia (Abel Ferrara)

9. Bad Trip (Eric Andre, Kitao Sakurai) 

10. Monster Hunter (Paul W.S. Anderson)


Kelley Dong

New releases: Inventing the Future (Isiah Medina), Between the Hotel and City Hall (Syeyoung Park), Untitled (Moon) (Douglas Dixon-Barker). 

New to me: Melo (Alain Resnais), From the Notebook of… (Robert Beavers), JLG/JLG: Self-Portrait in December(Jean-Luc Godard).



Collin Brinkmann

1. Tenet (Christopher Nolan) 

2. Never Rarely Sometimes Always (Eliza Hittman) 

3. The History of the Seattle Mariners (Jon Bois) 

4. Mank (David Fincher) 

5. s01e03 (Kurt Walker) 

6. The Way Back (Gavin O’Connor) 

7. The Eddy (Damien Chazelle et al.) 

8. Emma (Autumn de Wilde) 

9. Inventing the Future (Isiah Medina) 

10. L’année dernière à Dachau and Anna/Nana/Nana/Anna (Mark Rappaport) 

11. Point and Line to Plane (Sofia Bohdanowicz) 

12. Monster Hunter (Paul W.S. Anderson) 

13. La France contre les robots (Jean-Marie Straub) 


A Special Few from 2019Martin Eden (Pietro Marcello), To the Ends of the Earth (Kiyoshi Kurosawa), A Rainy Day in New York (Woody Allen), I Was at Home, But… (Angela Schanelec), The Professor and the Madman (Farhad Safinia).


A Very Special Few from 2018: La flor (Mariano Llínas), CoinCoin et les Z'inhumains (Bruno Dumont), Grass (Hong Sang-soo).



Lola Landekic

1. First Cow (Kelly Reichardt)  

2. Wolfwalkers (Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart) 

3. Nomadland (Chloé Zhao) 

4. The Assistant (Kitty Green) 

5. Never Rarely Sometimes Always (Eliza Hittman) 

6. Dick Johnson is Dead (Kirsten Johnson) 

7. Kajillionaire (Miranda July) 

8. Still Processing (Sophy Romvari) 

9. Feels Good Man (Arthur Jones) 

10. David Byrne’s American Utopia (Spike Lee)

Shout outs also to: Shirley (Josephine Decker), Cuties (Maïmouna Doucouré), She Dies Tomorrow (Amy Seimetz), Driveways (Andrew Ahn), Alone (John Hyams) and The Invisible Man (Leigh Wannell).



Paolo Kagaoan

- Emicida (Fred Ouro Petro) 

- Hamilton (Thomas Kail) 

- Black is King (Beyoncé) 

- Kelet (Susani Mahadura) 

- Savage X Fenty 2 (Alex Rudzinski) 

- Disclosure (Sam Feder)  

- Shiva Baby (Emma Seligman) 

- Soul (Pete Docter, Kemp Powers)  

- Mangrove (Steve McQueen) 

- Lovers Rock (Steve McQueen)



Pat Mullen

1. Nomadland (Chloé Zhao) 

2. Promising Young Woman (Emerald Fennell) 

3. Boys State (Jesse Moss, Amanda McBaine) 

4. Another Round (Thomas Vinterberg) 

5. Let Them All Talk (Steven Soderbergh) 

6. Summer of 85 (François Ozon) 

7. Funny Boy (Deepa Mehta) 

8. First Cow (Kelly Reichert) 

9. Pieces of a Woman (Kornél Mundruczó) 

10. Nadia, Butterfly (Pascal Plante)


Leora Heilbronn

1. The Prom (Ryan Murphy)  

2. I May Destroy You (Michaela Coel)  

3. The Great (Tony McNamara)  

4. I Am Not Okay With This (Jonathan Entwistle, Christy Hall) / The Wilds (Sarah Streicher) / Teenage Bounty Hunters (Kathleen Jordan) / Feel Good (Mae Martin, Joe Hampson) / The Half of It (Alice Wu) 

5. Soul (Pete Docter, Kemp Powers)  

6. Sound of Metal (Darius Marder)  

7. Nomadland (Chloé Zhao)  

8. Shiva Baby (Emma Seligman)  

9. Another Round (Thomas Vinterberg)  

10. David Byrne’s American Utopia (Spike Lee)   

Honourable Mentions: The Boys S02 (Eric Kripke), The Crown S04 (Peter Morgan), Grand Army (Katie Cappiello), Unpregnant (Rachel Lee Goldenberg), I’m Your Woman (Julia Hart), The Haunting of Bly Manor (Mike Flanagan), All Together Now (Brett Haley), Relic (Natalie Erika James), Little Voice (Sara Bareilles, Jessie Nelson), Normal People (Lenny Abrahamson, Hettie Macdonald), Insecure S04 (Issa Rae, Larry Wilmore), Little Fires Everywhere (Liz Tigelaar) and The Baby-Sitters Club (Rachel Shukert).



Sean Kelly

- Soul (Pete Docter, Kemp Powers)  

- Host (Rob Savage)

- The 8th (Aideen Kane, Lucy Kennedy, Maeve O'Boyle)

- Leap of Faith (Alexandre O. Philippe)

- Freaky (Christopher Landon)

- Violation (Madeleine Sims-Fewer, Dusty Mancinelli.)

- Tenet (Christopher Nolan)

- Tiger King (Eric Goode, Rebecca Chaiklin)

- The Invisible Man (Leigh Whannell)

- Impetigore (Joko Anwar)


Eric Bizzarri

- Nomadland (Chloé Zao)

- Never Rarely Sometimes Always (Eliza Hittman)

- David Byrne’s American Utopia (Spike Lee)

- Da 5 Bloods (Spike Lee)

- Sound of Metal (Darius Marder) 

- Another Round (Thomas Vinterberg) 

- Boys State (Amanda McBaine, Jesse Moss) 

- Soul (Pete Docter, Kemp Powers)  

- Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (George C. Wolfe) 

- The Assistant (Kitty Green)



Fred Jeanne

- Kongo (Hadrien La Vapeur, Corto Vaclav)    

- Chained/Beloved/Stripped (Yaron Shani)    

- I’m Thinking of Ending Things (Charlie Kaufman)     

- Sortilège (Tlamess) (Ala Eddine Slim)     

- Séjour dans les monts Fuchun (Gu Xiaogang)     

- La Femme des steppes, le flic et l’oeuf (Quanan Wang)     

- Honeyland (Tamara Kotevska, Ljubomir Stefanov)     

- Family Romance, LLC (Werner Herzog)     

- Abou Leila (Amin Sidi-Boumedine)     

The Woman Who Ran (Hong Sang-soo) 

- Another Round (Thomas Vinterberg)

- The King of Staten Island (Judd Apatow)

- La Communion (Jan Komasa)

- La Jeune fille à l’écho (Arūnas Žebriūnas)

- Benni (Nora Fingscheidt)

- The Hunt (Craig Zobel)

- L’Infirmière (Kôji Fukada)

- Madre (Rodrigo Sorogoyen)     

- Nina Wu (Midi Z)

- Kajillionnaire (Miranda July)


Hors compétition: Un pays qui se tient sage (David Dufresne) 


Comme un goût de revenez-y, voire un p’tit rappel du bon vieux temps: Parasite – Version noir et blanc (Bong Joon-ho)



Nicolas Rioult

- La Rupture (Philippe Barassat)  

- Degas et moi (Arnaud Des Pallières)  

- My octopus teacher (Pippa Ehrlich, James Reed)  

I’m Thinking of Ending Things (Charlie Kaufman)

- La voix humaine (Roger Avary)  

- Richard Jewell (Clint Eastwood)  

- Alphabet City (Amos Poe, 1984)  

- World of tomorrow 3 (Don Herzfeld)  

- Aviva (Boaz Yakin)  

- What did you do Jack? (David Lynch)  

- La virgen de augusto (Jonas Trueba) 

- Capone (Josh Trank)  

- Bombshell (Jay Roach)  

- Eurovision (David Dobkin)



Theresa Wang

1. Undine (Christian Petzold) 

2. log 2 (Isiah Medina) 

3. Love Affair(s) (Emmanuel Mouret) 

4. Beginning (Dea Kulumbegashvili) 

5. Fauna (Nicolás Pereda)


New to me: The Crucified Lovers (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1954), A Confucian Confusion (Edward Yang, 1994), Close-Up(Abbas Kiarostami, 1990), Marnie (Alfred Hitchcock, 1964), Comrades: Almost a Love Story (Peter Chan, 1996), The Dangerous Thread of Things (Michelangelo Antonioni, 2004), His Motorbike, Her Island (Nobuhiko Ōbayashi, 1986), Fire Will Come (Oliver Laxe, 2019), Bitter Moon (Roman Polanski, 1992) and The Strange Case of Angelica (Manoel de Oliveira, 2010).


Gary Eisenburg

1. Malmkrog (Cristi Puiu) 

2. Orphea (Alexander Kluge) 

3. Undine (Christian Petzold) 

4. City Hall (Frederick Wiseman) 

5. The Woman Who Ran (Hong Sang-soo) 

6. Atarrabi and Mikelats (Eugène Green) 

7. The Last City (Heinz Emigholz) 

8. Isabella (Matias Pineiro) 

9. Los Conductos (Camilo Restrepo) 

10. A Shape of Things to Come (J.P. Sniadecki, Lisa Marie Malloy)



Tom MacCammon

1. Mank (David Fincher)  

2. Soul (Pete Docter, Kemp Powers) 

3. The Midnight Sky (George Clooney)  

4. On the Rocks (Sofia Coppola) 

5. Another Round (Thomas Vinterberg)  

6. Da 5 Bloods (Spike Lee)

7. Falling (Viggo Mortensen)  

8. Wife of a Spy (Kiyoshi Kurosawa) 

9. The World to Come (Mona Farvold)  

10. Dear Comrades! (Andrei Konchalovsky)


Arika Jiang

1. Black Bear (Lawrence Michael Levine) 

2. And Then We Danced (Levan Akin) and Sound of Metal (Darius Marder) 

3. Bacurau (Kleber Mendonça Filho, Juliano Dornelles) 

4. Palm Springs (Max Barbakow) 

5. Another Round (Thomas Vinterberg) 

6. Summer of 85 (François Ozon) 

7. Queen of Hearts (May el-Toukhy) and Kajillionaire (Miranda July) 

8. Nomadland (Chloé Zhao) and Fauna (Nicolás Pereda) 

9. Swallow (Carlo Mirabella-Davis) and Babyteeth (Shannon Murphy) 

10. La nuit des rois (Philippe Lacôte) and Souterrain (Sophie Dupuis) 


Honourable Mentions: Beans (Tracey Deer), Lovers Rock (Steve McQueen), Sugar Daddy (Wendy Morgan), Martin Eden (Pietro Marcello), Saint Frances (Alex Thompson), She Dies Tomorrow (Amy Seimetz), Never Rarely Sometimes Always (Eliza Hittman), Undine (Christian Petzold).


Adrien Benson

1. The Climb (Michael Angelo Covino)

2. The Nest (Sean Durkin)

3. Bad Education (Cory Finley) 

4. I’m Thinking of Ending Things (Charlie Kaufman) 

5. Tenet (Christopher Nolan) 

6. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (George C. Wolfe) 

7. Possessor (Brandon Cronenberg) 

8. The King of Staten Island (Judd Apatow) 

9. The Queen’s Gambit (Scott Frank) 

10. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (Jason Woliner) 



Patrick Devitt

Le Sel des larmes (Philippe Garrel)

- On the Rocks (Sofia Coppola) 

- The Last Dance (Jason Hehir) 

Malmkrog (Cristi Puiu)

- 2020 NBA Season Black Bear (Lawrence Michael Levine) 

- Zola (Janicza Bravo) 

- DAU. Degeneration (Ilya Khrzhanovsky, Ilya Permyakov) 

- Progressive Touch (Michael Portnoy) 

- Let Them All Talk (Steven Soderbergh)


Kevin Laforest

1. Lovers Rock (Steve McQueen)

2. Portrait de la jeune fille en feu (Céline Sciamma) 

3. Le rire (Martin Laroche)

4. Tenet (Christopher Nolan)

5. The Wolf of Snow Hollow (Jim Cummins)

6. Sound of Metal (Darius Marder)

7. I’m Thinking of Ending Things (Charlie Kaufman)

8. Da 5 Bloods (Spike Lee)

9. First Cow (Kelly Reichardt) 

10. Nomadland (Chloé Zhao)


Adam Nayman

First Viewings, 2020: Betty Tells Her Story (Brandon, 1972), Between the Lines (Silver, 1977), Cane River (Jenkins, 1982), The Driver’s Seat (Griffi, 1974), Fata Morgana (Aranda, 1965), The Hearts of Age (Welles, 1934), Season of the Witch (Romero, 1972), So Dark the Night (Lewis, 1946), Soft Fiction (Strand, 1979) and Three Comrades(Borzage, 1938).



Daniel Reed

1. Quo Vadis, Aida? (Jasmila Žbanić)

2. Another Round (Thomas Vinterberg)

3. How To With John Wilson (John Wilson) 

4. Small Axe: Red, White and Blue (Steve McQueen)

5. Nomadland (Chloé Zhao)

6. Sorry We Missed You (Ken Loach)

7. I May Destroy You (Michaela Coel)

8. Mank (David Fincher)

9. I Know This Much is True (Derek Cianfrance) 

10. The Last Dance (Jason Hehir)


Honourable Mention: The online presence of Conner O’Malley


C.J. Prince

1. Undine (Christian Petzold) 

2. Days (Tsai Ming-liang) 

3. The Disciple (Chaitanya Tamhane) 

4. The Last City (Heinz Emigholz) 

5. Fauna (Nicolas Pereda) 

6. Bad Trip (Kitao Sakurai) 

7. The Monopoly of Violence (David Dufresne) 

8. Saint-Narcisse (Bruce LaBruce) 

9. Her Socialist Smile (John Gianvito) 

10. Da 5 Bloods (Spike Lee) 


Honourable Mentions: Build the Wall (Joe Swanberg), City Hall (Frederick Wiseman), The Dark and the Wicked (Bryan Bertino), David Byrne’s American Utopia (Spike Lee), Education (Steve McQueen), Freaky (Christopher Landon), Host (Rob Savage), The Salt of Tears (Philippe Garrel), Siberia (Abel Ferrara), Wolfwalkers (Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart) and The Works and Days (of Tayoko Shiojiri in the Shiotani Basin) (C.W. Winter, Anders Edstrom).