Top of the Docs #34 – TIFF Special: City Hall (2020)

Veteran documentarian Frederick Wiseman takes his unique lens and applies it to his home-town of Boston, taking us right to the heart of City Hall.

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TIFF REVIEW: ‘Still Processing’ (2020): A Journey of Grief and Vulnerability

As Sophy Romvari goes through each of her own childhood photographs for the first time on camera, she gives a stunning portrait of joy, grief and trauma of lost memories.

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FANTASIA REVIEW: Ladies it’s Time to Dump Him, ‘Don’t Text Back’ (2020)

“Don’t Text Back is the embodiment of the phrase: You can do better than him.” Warn your friends about shitty dudes; that truly should be the motto for millennial dating culture. The heteronormative world is filled with horror stories from young women about bad Tinder dates and terrible relationships. From the classic, “oh my god…

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FANTASIA REVIEW: ‘Doppelbänger’ (2020) is a Sci-Fi Film with a Retro Feel

While Doppelbänger serves as proof of concept for a series called Autom Reign, as shown by the short film’s open ending, it easily manages to stand well on its own.

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FANTASIA REVIEW: ‘Sanzaru’ 2020 is a Subdued Gothic Horror with a Filipino Twist

“Sanzaru’s lingering sense of terror makes for a compelling horror.” Secrets are the driving force of Xia Magnus’ debut feature film Sanzaru, an unsettling slow-burn horror that fuses Southern Gothic and Filipino legend to create an unparalleled ghost story. Sanzaru is the Japanese term for the three wise monkeys who “see no evil, hear no…

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SUNDANCE LONDON REVIEW: Adolescence and Electioneering Collide in ‘Boys State’ (2020)

Boys State lifts the curtain on one of American’s most interesting political experiments and reveals a story which has somehow remained untold until now.

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SUNDANCE LONDON REVIEW: ‘Luxor’ (2020) Excavates an Enigmatic Love Affair

Luxor is a dreamlike but hard-hitting love story between two people rediscovering one another and dealing with pain beyond description.

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FANTASIA 2020 REVIEW: ‘Clapboard Jungle’ (2020) and the Harsh Reality of Independent Filmmaking

“Clapboard Jungle is the quintessential handbook for aspiring filmmakers.” Turning the camera on himself, Justin McConnell’s Clapboard Jungle: Surviving the Independent Film Business, chronicles the hardships of navigating the film industry. Utilizing a mixture of talking heads interviews and guerrilla-style vlogging, McConnell explores how difficult it is for independent filmmakers to navigate the business side…

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SUNDANCE LONDON REVIEW: ‘Uncle Frank’ (2020) Stages an Explosive Southern Coming-Out Story

A southern-fried coming-out melodrama from writer-director Alan Ball.

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BFI FLARE REVIEW: ‘A Dog Barking at the Moon’ (2019) is a Carefully Crafted Portrait of a Family Held Together by a Thread

This carefully crafted portrait of a family held together by a thread is intimately and masterfully handled, and the film is a mature study in self-reflection – Xiang Zi is a director to watch out for.

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