Author: Sean Kelly

Media Impact: Joe Hill

Without a doubt, it can probably be agreed that Stephen King is one of the most successful and popular novelists working today. After a career of more than forty years, not only are King’s novels and short stories still going strong, but they have been the source of countless film and TV adaptations. King’s writing has been the basis of everything from horror classics, such as Carrie and The Shining, to more dramatic works, such as Stand by Me and The Shawshank Redemption. Most recently, King’s 2009 novel Under the Dome was adapted into a CBS television series this past summer. With so much success...

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Review: All the Boys Love Mandy Lane

Mandy Lane (Amber Heard) is a popular high school student and the object of affection for a group of boys. At the urging of her friend Chloe (Whitney Able), Mandy is invited to join the boys and another friend at a weekend party on a secluded ranch. While the boys all have ulterior motives for inviting Mandy, it turns out that someone else has followed the group up to the ranch, with more sinister intentions. All the Boys Love Mandy Lane originally premiered as part of the Midnight Madness programme at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival and was picked...

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How TIFF evolved over a decade

It’s hard to believe that I have been going to the Toronto International Film Festival for a decade. When I first went to the festival in 2003, I was a very naive 21-year-old, who didn’t really know how to plan for the festival experience. I remember heading down to the festival box office at College Park, two days into the festival, and I expected to easily get tickets for films, such as Billy Ray’s Shattered Glass, Alejandro González Iñárritu’s 21 Grams and Jim Jarmusch’s Coffee and Cigarettes. Imagine my shock when I found out all those films were offsale and I had to scramble...

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TIFF Review: Unforgiven

In this Japanese remake of Clint Eastwood’s Oscar-winning 1992 film of the same name, a long retired samurai named Jubei “the Killer” Kamata (Ken Watanabe) is asked by his old war comrade Kingo Baba (Akira Emoto) to help kill a couple of settlers, who sliced the face of a prostitute. Together they head to a small town ruled by sadistic lawman Ichizo Oishi (Koichi Sato) and Jubei finds himself having to confront his violent past, which he has tried so hard to escape from. While the opposite has become common practice, it is not too often that an American film is remade...

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TIFF Review: The Animal Project

Leo (Aaron Poole) is a Toronto-based theatre director, who finds himself frustrated by the group of misfits that make up his theatre troupe, as well as the fact that he seems to be growing apart from his teenage son Sam (Jacob Switzer). Inspired by a video he made of Sam when he was 8, Leo gets the idea for “The Animal Project,” in which he asks the theatre troupe to dress up in animal costumes and interact with strangers in the street. Through this ridiculous concept, Leo learns to bond with Sam, while the other troupe members work out...

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TIFF Review: Tracks

Tracks tells the true story of Robyn Davidson (Mia Wasikowska), who set out by foot on a 2700 km journey across the Australian outback, accompanied by nobody, except her dog and four camels. Robyn’s journey was sponsored by National Geographic, who sent a photographer named Rick Smolan (Adam Driver) to meet up with Robyn at various points and document the journey for the magazine. The film follows Robyn’s trials and tribulations, as she struggles against the scorching desert and other obstacles, in order to reach her goal of the Indian ocean. A film that came immediately to mind while watching Tracks was...

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TIFF Review: The Armstrong Lie

Earlier this year, seven time Tour de France winner and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong finally admitted, in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, that he did indeed use performance enhancing drugs for each of his wins between 1999 and 2005. In his documentary The Armstrong Lie, director Alex Gibney looks back across Armstrong’s entire career, with particular focus on his comeback to the Tour de France in 2009, to unveil the truth of the lie Armstrong has been living for his entire career. The Armstrong Lie is a bit of an uneven film, since it incorporates footage Alex Gibney shot about Armstrong’s comeback in...

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