Last and First Men (2017)

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This was the first time at MIFF 68.5 that I really missed being in a cinema. Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson directs his only feature, bringing together three distinct and disparate components to create an emotional experience that cries out for sensory immersion.

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The Go-Go’s (2020)

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I wanted to like this documentary about “the first all-female band who wrote their own songs and played their own instruments to reach number one in the Billboard album charts.” This fact in itself is worthy of celebration. That this feat occurred in 1982 and hasn’t been repeated is appalling and I was hoping that this documentary by Alison Elwood might shine a light on “why The Go-Go’s?”

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Military Wives (2019)

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My comfort food is mashed potato and gravy, which is not a bad analogy for (Full Monty (1997)) Peter Cattaneo’s choir-based feel-good movie. It’s warm and predictable with just enough flavour to keep it interesting. The beats are predictable, the ending assured, the tissues needed, but the performances of leads Sharon Horgan and Kristin Scott Thomas elevate it to something more. Continue reading

The King (2017)

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This masterful and emotionally-engaging documentary begins as a journey through the key places and moments in the life of Elvis Presley, from Tupelo to Memphis, Nashville, New York and finally Las Vegas. Filmmaker Eugene Jarecki drives around in Elvis’s Rolls-Royce and passengers join him, some telling stories of being Elvis’s friend, neighbour or fellow churchgoer, some famous faces talking about celebrity and politics, others just playing a tune. Continue reading

Matangi/Maya/M.I.A. (2018)

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Pretty much all I knew about Matangi a.k.a. Maya Arulpragasm a.k.a. M.I.A. is the song Bad Girls. The anthem to girls doing whatever they want has a killer video clip of stunt drivers in the Middle East and M.I.A. resplendent in shades and gold chains. I now know there is so much more to her than this song and her Grammy and Oscar nominations. Continue reading