Tag: film review

#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


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


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 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

On Bruce LaBruce’s Saint-Narcisse (2020)

by Jacqueline Valencia Dominic and Daniel (both played by Felix-Antoine Duval) are twins who have been separated at birth. Their mother is a witch who lives in the woods with her much younger lover. Dominic was believed to be dead and his brother Daniel’s existence was only speculated. In a

On Javier Andrade’s Lo Invisible (2021) #TIFF21 review/analysis/discussion

by Jacqueline and Jennifer Valencia Jacqueline: The weeks of TIFF21 have been full. Full of work from home in the middle of the pandemic and finally sending my child to school again. Our intentions with covering TIFF this year were to review as much as we had time for in

Critical Focus TIFF21 Rushes: Mandico’s After Blue, Akl’s Costa Brava, Lebanon, Griffin’s Silent Night, and Forbes & Wolodarsky’s The Good House

by Jacqueline Valencia After Blue (Dirty Paradise) Directed by Bertrand Mandico Bertrand Mandico is back from The Wild Boys with another gender bending and all encompassing world builder. After Blue is a planet where only women can survive. The men who tried to live there died from having their hair

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