Issue: December 2014 - Year-End Spectacular

2015 Predictions: Rise of the small films

There are only two things I ask of the film industry for 2015, and I hope these predictions come true. First, can we please cool it with the superhero films and young adult adaptations? I realize that this is a long shot, as due to the success of Marvel’s film and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay at the box office, it looks like these trends are going to continue for a while yet. Marvel already has two films scheduled to come out in 2015 plus a new tv show and have announced their planned films through 2019. There is also...

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2015 Predictions: pop musicians curating/scoring soundtracks

Ever since Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor teamed up with Atticus Ross to win an Oscar (and a Grammy) for scoring The Social Network and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, I honestly thought more contemporary artists would be chomping at the bit to want to take a stab at composing a score for a film or at the very least curate the soundtrack. Perhaps 2015 will be the year that this prediction comes true. Pharrell tried his hand at it and tackled the soundtracks for both Despicable Me films and scored a Best Original Song nomination for...

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2015 Resolutions: Against the stream

This coming year, I’m going to stand neck-deep against coming tide of internet streaming services. I say “neck-deep,” as it would be completely foolish and naïve to say I’ll cancel my Netflix account or stop streaming altogether. No. But, I am signing a new lease on my own movie-going and re-investing in brick and mortar businesses and tangible film technologies. We all need to right our course and move away from the intangibility of streaming services and back to our beloved neighbourhood video stores and personal movie collections. Many streaming services want you to believe that there is a...

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2015 Predictions: let’s embrace illogic

Predicting the future is a fool’s errand, which means I’m uniquely qualified to write this article. I don’t know what the future holds. I am therefore going to use the next few paragraphs to manifest my ideal cinematic future into existence and pass it off as a prediction. Think of this as the mood board sequence from The Bling Ring, but in text. In 2014, filmmakers desperately tried to convince us that their movies made sense. They tried very hard. Too hard, one might say. Not for the first time, Christopher Nolan wheeled out actor-cum-exposition-device Michael Caine to deliver...

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Franchised: The Santa Clause

Christmas movies aren’t usually something that get a number of sequels, so there weren’t many choices when the holiday season rolled around and Toronto Film Scene wanted to explore a holiday franchise. In fact, The Santa Clause may be the only film to actually get a trilogy. There are a few films that have managed to get a direct-to-video sequel, but two films doesn’t make a franchise. Starring Tim Allen as Scott Calvin, the popular series was shot mainly in Canada and has managed to become a part of Christmas tradition over the years. With 2014 marking the 20th anniversary of...

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2015 Resolutions: 5 things to study before heading to the movies in 2015

Although many films contain original material, it’s not uncommon for their narratives to be drawn from other sources such as chapters of world history or the lives of important figures. Films have also relied on novels, comics, and even news and current events for inspiration and ideas. While a successful film should allow you to enter the theatre with no prior knowledge, paint a fully realized portrayal, and send you on your way fully enlightened and learned, sometimes you can’t help but want a little background. Be it reading the book beforehand, checking CNN archives, or doing a quick...

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I’m dreaming of a Black Christmas

Let me take you back to 1974, a year that saw many historical events occur. The year that witnessed Richard Nixon’s comeuppance at the Watergate Hotel, a year that featured The Rumble in the Jungle, and saw Stephen King publish his first novel, “Carrie”. West Germany won the World Cup on home soil, ABBA won the Eurovision contest, and the Rubik’s Cube entered stores. But one event that is not so well-known about 1974, was that Black Christmas was released. The film that turned the traditional Canadian white Christmas, black! Black Christmas isn’t a well-known movie outside Canada, and...

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