Their Finest (2016)

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Image via pinewoodpictures.com

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On the surface, this is the kind of feel-good WWII movie that the British do so well. Made, though, by Danish director Lone Scherfig (An Education), it has a subtle complexity, a slightly contrived but interesting subtext and a feminist slant that makes it more interesting than it seems (and almost works). Continue reading

The Eagle Huntress (2016)

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Talking about feminism, this is a lovely example of a story that centres around a girl making her own choices in a conservative, patriarchal culture. Aisholpan is 13 and lives with her parents and younger siblings nearly the Altai mountains in Mongolia. Her father comes from 12 generations of eagle hunters and Aisholpan has inherited his passion. Women don’t become eagle hunters though, they milk the livestock, cook food and, according to the menfolk, “argue over the gifts at a party.” Continue reading

T2 Trainspotting (2017)

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Image via screensequel.com

For those born after 1980, Trainspotting was a genre-changing, career-making, 1996 film that made us fall in love all over again with 80s punk music and feel empathy for a group of low-life heroin addicts. The sequel, the rather cutely named T2 Trainspotting, unapologetically replicates the original’s style and shows us what becomes of 20-year-old smack heads as they approach middle age. Continue reading

Virtual Reality: 6×9

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6-X-9-AN-IMMERSIVE-EXPERIENCE-OF-SOLITARY-CONFINEMENT-1My second VR experience was a sobering one. This time I was ushered into a room with a circle of chairs and settled in with nine other people. We are kitted up with our goggles and headphones and then all of a sudden, I am in a solitary confinement cell. Bed, toilet, shelf, door, blank painted walls, a heavy door with a clouded window. As I move my gaze around the room, objects light up and fragments of audio interviews of people talking about their experiences play. Continue reading

Virtual Reality: The Turning Forest

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TURNING-FOREST-1I love virtual reality! Wow, what an experience. The Turning Forest is a short (10 minute) animation and the virtual reality goggles insert you right into the middle of it. MIFF has a series of VR experiences this year and for this one, I was ushered into a curtained off space and seated on a stool that swivels 360 degrees. With goggles and headphones on, the blackness suddenly falls away and I am in an iridescent forest with orange trees towering above me. Continue reading