Author: Katie O'Connor

TIFF 2015 Review: World Famous Gopher Hole Museum

World Famous Gopher Hole Museum is a short based on the well-known tourist attraction located in Torrington, AB (yes, it’s closer than you think). It’s a museum filled with taxidermied gophers, placed in dioramas, modelled after the history of Torrington and the Canadian Prairies. Directed by Chelsea McMullan and Douglas Nayler, the film will have its world premiere in Short Cuts Programme 4 at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. The filmmakers are careful not to mock this strange yet endearing tourist attraction, but instead shine a light on fading traditions in the small town of Torrington. The manager of the...

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TIFF 2015 Review: Boxing

Boxing is a short about a woman named Sheila, who returns to her boxing class after a tragic accident. The film flips the narrative of the traditional sports film to the female experience, adding a story based on drum-tight tension with a fitting finale. Directed by Aidan Shipley and Grayson Moore, Boxing will have its world premiere in Short Cuts Programme 3 at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. Boxing is a fascinating effort that plays with various forms of dramatic and thematic elements and subject matter. Shipley and Moore are careful not to give away what happened to Shelia, which lends...

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TIFF 2015 Review: The Ballad of Immortal Joe

The Ballad of Immortal Joe is a fun yet haunting animated short about a cowboy who was cursed with immortality in order to carry out the wishes of his late beloved. Animator/director Hector Herrera pays tribute to the classic poetry of Robert W. Service, offering an eerie, supernatural twist on the tale. This short is part of a trilogy that includes Typesetter Blues (2012) and Half a Pantaloon (2013). Herrera presents The Ballad of Immortal Joe as an eerie, cool short that has all the elements of a jazzy Western film. It features a lustful, smooth score by the...

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TIFF 2015 Review: Never Steady, Never Still

Never Steady, Never Still is a short about a young man named Jamie (Dylan Playfair) who returns home to his frail mother (Tina Hedman) after some unforeseen circumstances. As mother and son, they must work together to try and lead a happy and normal life, however Jamie is at a crossroads with what he wants. This short will be having its World Premiere in Short Cuts Programme 1. Never Steady, Never Still is the latest short for Kathleen Hepburn. She is a recent graduate of the Writer’s Lab of the Canadian Film Centre. Other work by Hepburn includes Murder in Hecate...

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TFS Festival Quickie: Caroline Monnet, Director of Mobilize

Mobilize is a short that communicates the relationship between spaces – nature and the urban landscape. The film encapsulates these spaces and their experiences in entirely archival footage and an original soundtrack by Inuk artist, Tanya Taqaq. Director Caroline Monnet talks about the invaluable Indigenous archival footage and how music and sound are an essential sensorial experience for audiences. Mobilize will have its World Premiere at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival in the Short Cuts Canada Programme 1. Check the TIFF website for more information. Describe your film in 10 words or less. Made entirely with archival footage, Mobilize is...

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TIFF 2015 Review: Son of Saul

Saul Ausländer (Géza Röhrig) is a Jewish Hungarian living through the Second World War in a concentration camp. Saul is employed in the camp as part of the Sonderkommando unit, which take prisoners to the gas chambers and dispose of their bodies afterwards. During his work, Saul comes across a young boy who survives the gas chamber but later dies. Saul is adamant on saving the boy’s body in order to perform a Jewish burial. The film follows Saul tirelessly attempting to work his way through the camp’s complex networks in order to find a rabbi to perform the Jewish prayer...

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TFS Festival Quickie: Steven McCarthy, director of O Negative

O Negative is a near silent horror/thriller that confronts desire and dependency. It follows a man who looks after a woman and feeds her addiction. The short film will be having its world premiere at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival in the Short Cuts Canada Programme 1 at this year’s festival. Director Steven McCarthy spoke about how he made this film as a learning experience and what it was like to work with his girlfriend. Check the TIFF website for more information. Describe your film in 10 words or less. A dark and dreamlike story of desire and dependency. What...

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