Author: John Sekerka

Ingrid Bergman, Photographer Unknown. Courtesy: Rialto Pictures/Mantaray Film/Wesleyan Cinema Archives

THE PACKRAT: Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words – film review

Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words     director: Stig Björkman (Sweden)     Bright Nights: The 6th Baltic-Nordic Film Festival     Thursday, February 18, 2016, 7:00 pm     River Building Theatre, Carleton University     Every ten years, movie starlet Ingrid Bergman changed her life: countries, husbands, studios, directors and sometimes children. She loved life, and lived it […]

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2 Nights Till Morning – film review

2 Nights Till Morning – film review

2 NIGHTS TILL MORNING     director:  Mikko Kuparinen (Finland)     Bright Nights: The 6th Baltic-Nordic Film Festival (CFI)     Friday, February 19, 2016, 7:00 pm     River Building Theatre, Carleton University)     Oh hey, the perfect one night stand: a couple of buff travellers from far away lands (Finland, France) on a brief Vilnius stopover, conveniently […]

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TICKTICKTICK – Louder Than Bombs – film review

TICKTICKTICK – Louder Than Bombs – film review

LOUDER THAN BOMBS     director: Joachim Trier (Norway) Bright Nights: The 6th Baltic-Nordic Film Festival (CFI)     River Building, Carleton University     Hiding in a dark drama vehicle from Norway, Jesse Eisenberg delivers a staggering performance that tops his ridiculously prolific, yet young career. Sparring with heavyweights Gabriel Byrne and Isabelle Huppert (and excellent newcomer David Druid) , Eisenberg stealthily steals […]

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ERROAR – Roar – film review

ERROAR – Roar – film review

ROAR     director: Noel Marshall     opens January 29th     Mayfair Theatre, 1074 Bank street     Remember the early days of colour tv, when Sunday afternoons were filled with cheapo Disney vignettes starring rascally vermin getting into all kinds of home alone mischief?  Pesky raccoons in the kitchen? Sly foxes in the den? Silly monkeys in the […]

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FRANK MEETS ALFIE: Hitchcock/Truffaut – film review

FRANK MEETS ALFIE: Hitchcock/Truffaut – film review

HITCHCOCK/TRUFFAUT      director: Kent Jones      opens: January 7th, ByTowne Cinema      325 Rideau Street, Ottawa      In 1963, during the frenzy stirred by “Psycho”, fresh French filmmaker Francois Truffaut interviewed Alfred Hitchcock in a series of interrogation style questions. The resulting book became an insider’s bible to movie making 101. It was long, dry, and […]

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NOT FUNNY: I Smile Back – film review

NOT FUNNY: I Smile Back – film review

I SMILE BACK     director: Adam Salky     opens December 11     The Mayfair Theatre, 1074 Bank Street, Ottawa     Hoping for a rib-tickling hijinx escapade with razor sharp witticisms from Sarah Silverman? Not happening. Instead, “I Smile Back” slaps audience faces awake with a desperate housemom coke binge scene. Its realism is disconcerting, and quite shocking. […]

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Wild Life – film review

Wild Life – film review

WILD LIFE (VIE SAUVAGE) director: Cedric Kahn Tuesday, December 8th, 7pm Bytowne Cinema, 325 Rideau Street, Ottawa Living off the grid sure sounds romantic, but unfortunately in real life, living off the land, romance is not top priority. “Wild Life” traces a drastic family separation when the mother decides to escape a communal hippie culture she no longer believes in. […]

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EXCRUTIATING: Entertainment – film review

EXCRUTIATING: Entertainment – film review

ENTERTAINMENT    director: Rick Alverson opens December 5th    Mayfair Theatre, 1074 Bank Street, Ottawa This, without a doubt, will be the toughest watch of 2015. Terrible stand up comedians have their place, and can offer entertainment value in some form or another. Enter Greg Turkington, who as his alter ego Neil Hamburger has been mastering the craft of truly unremarkable, offensive, […]

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SNAPPING JAMES: Life – film review

SNAPPING JAMES: Life – film review

LIFE    director: Anton Corbijn    opens December 4th    Troubled photographer. Moody, genius actor. LIFE magazine. Sounds like cinema bonanza. Almost. Dennis Stock’s iconic still of a sopping wet James Dean wading through Manhattan is a grand piece of art, and former NME photog Anton Corbijn attempts to translate that magic on to a moving screen. Corbijn has tread similar waters […]

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BLACK AND WHITE – James White – film review

BLACK AND WHITE – James White – film review

JAMES WHITE    director: Josh Mond    opens: November 28th    The Mayfair Theatre, 1074 Bank Street, Ottawa It’s all about James. James White is a young, upper middle class New Yorker, eager to party, easy to anger. He is hard to like, but easy to pal around with. James is a happy drunk, but only for a minute. James is […]

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THE FINNISH LINE – The Grump – film review

THE FINNISH LINE – The Grump – film review

THE GRUMP    director: Dome Karukoski    Finland, 2014, 104 minutes    30th European Union Film Festival    ByTowne Cinema, 325 Rideau Street, Ottawa    Sunday, November 29, 2015, 3:50pm    In the 1976 Olympics Lasse Viren cemented his place as the premier long distance runner in world with a 5,000 and 10,000m double, matching his 1972 feat. Not much has […]

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I WANNA BE A COWBOY – Cowboys – film review

I WANNA BE A COWBOY – Cowboys – film review

KAUBOJI (COWBOYS)    director: Tomislav Mršić    Croatia, 107 minutes    30th European Union Film Festival     ByTowne Cinema, 325 Rideau Street    Wednesday, November 25, 2015, 6:55pm Small town, local theatre productions can be utterly delicious in their awfulness. Now imagine such a venture featuring a band of Croatian misfits stumbling to produce a western play. Not as far fetched […]

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MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE – The Sinking of Sozopol – film review

MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE – The Sinking of Sozopol – film review

THE SINKING OF SOZOPOL    director: Kostadin Bodev    30th European Union Film Festival    Monday, November 23, 2015, 8:45 pm    ByTowne Cinema, 325 Rideau Street    Be prepared for a soaking. This is one wet film. There is rain, there is ocean, there is vodka. Ten bottles worth in fact. When Chavo returns to the seaside village of […]

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Bonnie and X – Baby(a)lone – film review

Bonnie and X – Baby(a)lone – film review

BABY(A)LONE    director: Donato Rotunno    Luxembourg, 2015, 90 minutes    Friday, November 20, 7pm    ByTowne Cinema, 325 Rideau Street    30th European Union Film Festival    The kids are not alright. “Baby(a)lone” is an unsettling primer about disenfranchised youth dealing (poorly) with contemporary first world problems. It is also a very good looking piece of cinema. Like a kiddie version of Bonnie […]

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CHECK MATE – Man Vs. – film review

CHECK MATE – Man Vs. – film review

MAN VS. director: Adam Murray    Back in 1971 at the Crystal Palace Bowl Garden Party, Pink Floyd slipped dry ice in the lake to kick off their very loud set, killing all the fish. There’s a scene in “Man Vs.” where a loud explosion is followed by ex-fish floating on the surface of a lake. Sadly, this is no trippy […]

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BOARDING SCHOOL – The Games Maker – film review

BOARDING SCHOOL – The Games Maker – film review

THE GAMES MAKER director: Juan Pablo Buscarini Warning: this is a silly, tangent-loving, art deco carnival family film that Disney used to crank out before Walt became a popsicle. Meaning kids with a short attention span will dig it, and stuffy adults should revert to their carefree days and just go with it. There’s a helluva lotta colourful crap crammed into […]

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FOOD FIGHT! – Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of National Lampoon – film review

FOOD FIGHT! – Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of National Lampoon – film review

DRUNK STONED BRILLIANT DEAD: THE STORY OF NATIONAL LAMPOON     director: Douglas Tirola    premieres October 17th    The Mayfair Theatre, 1074 Bank Street, Ottawa    Animal House, the Vacation movies, Saturday Night Live … all the glory resides on screens big and small, yet the germ of subversive, frat boy comedy under the National Lampoon banner belongs in […]

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REDRUM REDRUM – Goodnight Mommy – film review

REDRUM REDRUM – Goodnight Mommy – film review

GOODNIGHT MOMMY    directors: Severin Fiala, Veronica Franz    screens October 14th    The Mayfair Theatre, 1074 Bank Street   Close your eyes. No really, close ’em. “Goodnight Mommy”, or the better translated title “I See I See” is one scary cinematic ride. Hop on board if you wish, but the warning stands. In the grand tradition of successful horror, this […]

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MOLLY ON THE BEACH: Fort Tilden – film review

MOLLY ON THE BEACH: Fort Tilden – film review

FORT TILDEN    directors: Sarah-Violet Bliss, Charles Rogers  opens October 10th    The Mayfair Theatre, 1074 Bank Street    “When you come to a fork in the road, take it”, Yogi Bera.    What seems like an inoccuos day trip to the beach for a couple of truly unlikeable, priveleged millenials, turns into a distraction-filled anti-adventure slog. Why this makes for fascinating cinema is […]

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CH-CH-CHANGES: This Changes Everything – a film review

CH-CH-CHANGES: This Changes Everything – a film review

THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING    director: Avi Lewis    special screening October 4th, with the filmmakers in attendance    regular run starts october 9th    The Mayfair Theatre, 1074 Bank Street    “This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs The Climate” is the full title of Noami Klein’s tome, and frankly, the documentary needs that crucial extension, else it becomes a bit of a guessing […]

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