#TIFF22 Interview with V/H/S 99’s Verona Blue

by Jacqueline Valencia On September 16, 2022, I met up with LA-based actress Verona Blue. I’ve known Verona for a long time since my later goth days in the clubs. Verona has been a local Toronto DJ, alternative model, animal rescuer, and always an up and coming actress. I hadn’t

#TIFF22 On Sophie Kargman’s Susie Searches (2022)

by Jennifer Valencia Susie Wallis (Kiersey Clemons) is an awkward young woman holding down part-time school, a job at Burger Bonanza, and an internship at the Sheriff’s office all while being the primary caregiver to her mother who has MS. She is quirky, unpopular with almost everyone she encounters and

#TIFF22 On Miles Warren’s Bruiser (2022)

by Jacqueline Valencia Director: Miles Warren Toxic masculinity hurts everyone. It carries itself through intergenerational trauma and can prevent tenderness and empathy in times of conflict. In Bruiser, Miles Warren explores the complexities of toxic masculinity in a nuanced coming of age story. Fourteen year old Darious (Jayln Hall) comes

#TIFF22 On Soko and DeFilippo’s Free Money (2022)

by Jacqueline Valencia Directors: Sam Soko and Lauren DeFilippo The answer to ending poverty is to share and not to hoard the means by which everyone in the world can have their basic human needs met and rights protected. World poverty is very much tied into capitalist ventures and climate

#TIFF22 ON ANTHONY SHIM’S RICEBOY SLEEPS (2022)

by Jennifer Valencia (Director: Anthony Shim) This is a story that is not new to me. It may not be the exact same story, circumstances, or culture but it is a story many of us children of immigrants or immigrants ourselves know all too well. Riceboy Sleeps (2022) tells the

CRITICAL FOCUS TIFF22 RUSHES: LEVACK’S I LIKE MOVIES, RODRIGUEZ’ SO MUCH TENDERNESS, AND PAYAMI’S 752 IS NOT A NUMBER

by Jacqueline Valencia It’s Toronto Film Festival time and as accredited press, Critical Focus is ON IT. First thing’s first, I would like to acknowledge the work of a lot of film PR companies who have reached out with screeners for those of us who can not make it entirely

On Don McKellar’s Sensitive Skin (2014)

by Jacqueline Valencia I’ve been accused of loving Toronto too much. In these dire times, with the way the city is run, it’s hard to keep loving a city that will either drive you out or eat you up whole. Born and raised here (my parents decided to take my

On Chad Ostrom’s The Day After Halloween (2022)

by Jacqueline Valencia Audiences need more horror movies with clever stories. Horror movie lovers can be discerning and quite critical of what they will champion. I do love horror and I’ve loved it since I was a kid. Nothing better than having a pile of VHS tapes to babysit you

On Weerasethakul’s MEMORIA (2021)

by Jacqueline Valencia Jessica (Tilda Swinton) is a Scottish orchid farmer living in Medellin, Colombia. One night she is suddenly awakened by an unsettling, “Bang!”. The camera sits still watching her pondering, maybe waiting for the sound to happen again. The rustle of leaves, her breath, even the buzz of

Toronto Reel Asian Fest: On Edralin’s ISLANDS and Sethi’s 7 DAYS

by Jacqueline Valencia First of all, I’d like to commend the Toronto Reel Asian Festival for making this festival accessible to all. It helps reviewers and audiences like me, to be part of a very important cultural event during a harrowing time. I would like to see accessibility this way

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