Coco (US 2017 – Pixar)



Pixar’s new Animated extravaganza, Coco, is out this Wednesday. The Oscar contender (and favorite to win the animated category) features the voices of Gael García Bernal and Anthony Gonzalez.

In Coco, Miguel’s dreams suffer from decades of family ban on music. But the aspiring musician finds himself locked in the Land of the dead where he meets a gallery of colorful characters. Miguel tries to unveil the secrets of his family history.

Directors Lee Unkrich & Adrian Molina and their team deliver, as always with Pixar, a vivid fast pace episode, this time with Mexican flavor. The music by Oscar winner Michael Giacchino (Up, Ratatouille), provides the sonic answer to the action and colors on screen, with rhythms Continue reading


Bubble Heads – A prequel…

Our beloved discovery at Fantasia 2017…


We received a call from the production team behind the amazing Japanese stop motion feature, Junk Head, one of the best films of the year. And a (Mostly) independent affair.

They are in the process of funding a prequel with Kickstarter involved and they need YOU.

So take time to read back our review:


Their Kickstarter Link (worth your time, these guys are hot!):

Loving Vincent (2017)



Dorota Kobiela & Hugh Welchman ‘s Loving Vincent was hand-painted (frame by frame) by over 100 artists, and aims to shed light on Vincent Van Gogh’s final days. The writer-directors  lead the viewer into a world made of swirly brushstrokes and black and white flashback sequences with a softer appearance. Sometimes objects and characters appear to move through proper 3D space, but now and then there is a flat-looking chair, or a table with distorted perspective. These purposely 2D-ified elements are a direct homage to Van Gogh’s signature style. The oil-painted animated frames are not mimicry, but rather a re-imagination of the artist’s approach. As such, they are impressive and move in a way that embellishes without altering what the general public knows to be Van Gogh’s aesthetic. However, the downside is the artistic choice to freeze some parts of the picture plane while others boil, as in traditional 2D animation. Before the advent of computerized animation techniques, boiling referred to the effervescing strokes or outlines even apparent in still objects. This technique was seen to ‘give life’ to old-school animation, even when incorporating so-called inanimate elements.

This unusual creative decision aside, the paintings themselves are lovely. Once the spectator moves past the novelty of the artwork to become absorbed in the story, this is Continue reading

FNC 2017: Animated Features Spotlight



There are many animated shorts and features at the 2017 FNC. Two full-length films worth noting are Mutafukas (Shoujirou Nishimi, Guillaume Renard), and Tehran Taboo (Ali Soozandeh).

In Tehran Taboo, if you’re a woman, you will always need a man’s written validation to make any serious life decisions. So, you landed that great job! Your husband must sign a waiver giving his permission for you to work. So, you want a divorce but your husband is in jail and high? Still, his written authorization is obligatory.

This is the lifestyle in Iran. Soozandeh’s insight into the male dominated society reveals things outsiders may not expect. Sure, it’s socially acceptable to smoke shisha and cigarettes, but is it commonly known that students and starving artists smoke weed just like in North America and Europe? Young adults can’t go to a nightclub without recreational drugs and promiscuous sex. Is Iran’s society then, so different than others? Well, there are some glaring differences. Public hangings are legal. Holding hands in public with the opposite gender if you Continue reading

CCIFF 2017: Short Films and VR



What’s Your Art?’s director Maxim Bessmertny and writer Iam Lam were at the Montreal screening of their docu-fiction about an elderly cardboard vendor and a bodybuilder. Many types of people call Macau home, including 5’2”, 64-year old Lin Yao, and Allen the Brazilian cardio expert and trainer.

Macau may seem to sparkle, but there’s a “whole cake under that cherry.” The majority of the country’s revenue and recognition comes from casinos. There is not much to highlight or support the Arts industry, but Bessmertny and Lam were seeking authenticity in a city of gambling. They have created an amusing comparative study between two people who – at first – appear to have nothing in common.

Through off-camera sexual gags, politely delivered foul language, and a lively interviewer, we learn that Allen and Lin Yao share one thing in particular. Cardio. The streets of Macau and its tourist attractions are seen merely as backdrops as Lin Yao pushes 200-pound carts of cardboard to Continue reading