Author: William Brownridge

Review: Pray For Japan

On March 11, 2011, a devastating 9.0 earthquake and tsunami destroyed the Tohoku coastal region in Japan. Director Stu Levy, an American living in Tokyo, immediately set out to volunteer. Over a six-week period, Levy alternated between filming and offering his help as a volunteer. Over 50 hours of footage was edited down to make the 97 minute documentary Pray For Japan . On March 14, 2012, the film will have a one day charity screening at AMC Yonge & Dundas 24 at 7:00 pm. Pray For Japan covers four different areas throughout the film. Family, school, volunteers, and...

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Review: 24 Hours Berlin

Director Volker Heise brought together over 80 different directors and camera crews to record for a full 24 hours in Berlin on Friday, September 5, 2008. Over 700 hours of footage was then edited to form one 24-hour-long film, entitled 24 Hours Berlin , which chronicles a day in the life of the iconic city. The Goethe Institut will be bringing two separate 3-hour segments of the film to TIFF Bell Lightbox on March 12, 2012 and March 14, 2012. The film covers every part of the city imaginable. From prison inmates to government officials to world famous conductor...

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Review: Battle Royale

Battle Royale (2000) was part of my introduction to the cinema of Japan. A brutal and bloody tale of a high school class forced to fight against each other until only one person remains,   it’s a film that handles subject matter we wouldn’t normally see in North American movies, and now is your chance to catch it on the big screen. On March 2, the director’s cut of Battle Royale will be screening at The Projection Booth as part of Fangoria’s Fright Nights. It’s not hard to see how the film has generated controversy over the years. In...

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Review: The Odds

Simon Davidson offers up his first feature-length film with The Odds , a story about illegal teenage gambling featuring Tyler Johnston. Desson (Tyler Johnston) and his friend Barry (Calum Worthy) will gamble on just about anything, even high school wrestling. Taking their bets is Paul (Jaren Brandt Bartlett), who happens to run poker games in his basement. After a losing evening, Desson overhears Paul demanding that Barry pay him his money. The next morning Barry is found dead of an apparent suicide. Desson decides that he has to find out what really happened, even if it means risking his...

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Review: Familiar

Fatal Pictures, a Toronto-based film production company founded by Zach Green and Richard Powell, unleash their most disturbing film to date with Familiar . Robert Nolan stars as John Dodd, a husband and father who can’t stand his family. He dreams of the moment when he can escape, but begins to think that his increasingly disturbing thoughts aren’t really his own. Fright Nights at the Projection Booth will host the world premiere of this short film on March 2, along with their screening of Battle Royale . Writer/director Richard Powell delivers one of the most disturbing, disgusting, and tension-filled...

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Review: Snow

Writer/director Rohan Fernando explores loss, love, and finding your place in the world with Snow . When Parvati’s (Kalista Zackhariyas) family is killed in the 2004 South Asian tsunami, she must move to Halifax to live with relatives. She struggles to become accustomed to her new life in Canada while dealing with such a tragic and traumatic experience, but she eventually finds friends in unlikely places along the way. Interestingly, most of the actors in this film are amateurs who were hired based on their own experiences in life, and how well those experiences fit the roles they played....

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Review: Donovan’s Echo

The feature film debut of Canadian director Jim Cliffe, Donovan’s Echo, is a supernaturally-tinged mystery featuring an incredible performance from the legendary Danny Glover. The film introduces us to Donovan Matheson (Danny Glover), whose wife and daughter were killed in a 1964 car accident. 30 years later,Donovan returns to his old home and begins experiencing moments of déjà vu which lead him to believe that a young neighbour and her mother will be killed on the anniversary of his family’s death. The film combines an interesting narrative concept and strong performances   across the board. Natasha Calis plays Maggie,...

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