My Favorite Films of the 76th Venice Film Festival - In Love, In Space



"When I met you, it was like, you weren't scared of anything." The fall festival season has begun! What are the best of the films I've seen so far? While the Toronto Film Festival is still underway, the 2019 Venice Film Festival has wrapped up. All t...

Venice 2019: Atom Egoyan's Muddled Story of Guilt 'Guest of Honour'



What a strange, strange film this is. Egyptian-Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan has returned the festival circuit again with another peculiar feature film, this new one titled Guest of Honour (the extra "u" still included because this is the Canadian t...

An Open Letter About the Harmfulness of Embargoes at Film Festivals



After being threatened by the Venice Film Festival to have my press badge removed because I refused to follow the nonsensical embargo rules, I decided to publish this letter. When you experience injustice, when you experience oppression in the world,...

Todd Phillips' 'Joker' Wins Golden Lion at the 2019 Venice Film Festival



Send in the clowns. The 76th Venice Film Festival wrapped up this weekend on the Lido, and the awards were handed out. The top prize at Venice is a Golden Lion (in honor of the iconic lion that is the symbol of the city) and it's one of the greatest...

Venice 2019: Questioning the Truth of Art in 'The Burnt Orange Heresy'



How much of the art world is bullshit? All of it? None of it? Some of it? At the beginning of the year, we had the funky art world satire Velvet Buzzsaw to make us wonder about the validity of art, and now at the end of the year we have The Burnt Ora...

Venice 2019: Katrin Gebbe's 'Pelican Blood' Brings Evil into the Home



Sometimes horror films don't have much horror, and sometimes dramas can be just as horrifying as horror films. Sometimes films defy labels and don't fit into any one genre. Pelican Blood is a good example of all of this, a film that presents itself a...

Venice 2019: Eliza Scanlen is Superb in Fresh & Funny 'Babyteeth' Film



A sweet, heartfelt, smart tale of young first love. Babyteeth is the feature directorial debut of Australian filmmaker Shannon Murphy, after making a number of shorts and TV series previously. The film earned a spot playing in the main competition li...

Venice 2019: The Power of Positivity in '45 Seconds of Laughter' Doc



Can laughter change the world? Can happiness save a life? Those are the kind of questions that might come to mind while watching this documentary, and at times, you could actually believe the answer is yes. 45 Seconds of Laughter is a doc film direct...

Venice 2019: Soderbergh's Ingenious Money Satire 'The Laundromat'



Welcome to Steven Soderbergh's history class. Today we will be learning about the history of money, and how our obsession with it has gotten seriously out of hand. Steven Soderbergh's latest feature film, titled The Laundromat, is an ingenious social...

Venice 2019: Todd Phillips' Demented 'Joker' Movie Doesn't Hold Back



There will be before Joker. And there will be after Joker. Nothing will be the same after, we'll be living in a whole new world. That's not even hyperbole, just the truth. I don't know if the world is ready for this movie. Or maybe it is? We'll find...

Venice 2019: Haifaa Al-Mansour's 'The Perfect Candidate' is Inspiring



I'm happiest when I watch a great film. Not just a good one, but a really great one. Something that fills me with energy, that reminds me this is why I love going to film festivals. And I'm happy to report that the new film from Saudi Arabian filmmak...

Venice 2019: James Gray Goes on a Trip into Deep Space in 'Ad Astra'



What is out there? What is waiting for us in the stars? James Gray's long-awaited sci-fi adventure Ad Astra has finally arrived. This time Gray takes us out into deep space on a journey with an astronaut named Roy McBride, set in the near future when...

Venice 2019: 'Marriage Story' is One of Noah Baumbach's Finest Films



"I can't think of anything lonelier than spending the rest of my life with someone I can't talk to, or worse, someone I can't be silent with." (–Mary Ann Shaffer, "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society") That feeling of being high on ci...

Venezia! Back at the Venice Film Festival to Kick Off the Fall Festivals



"Is it just me, or is it getting crazier out there?" I'm back! Back again in the groove, the film festival groove. This week kicks off the fall season with two major film festivals: the Venice Film Festival and Telluride Film Festival, both running o...

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