Sleepless in Toronto: Our Review Of ‘White Night’

Posted in Movies, Theatrical by - September 29, 2017
Sleepless in Toronto: Our Review Of ‘White Night’

White Night is an anthology film directed by Dan Slater, Sonny Atkins, P.H. Bergeron, Brian Hamilton, and Matt Purdy. It stars, Canadian actor, Adam Booth, along with Jonathan Keltz, Sara Mitich, and Natalie Brown.

This ambitious film follows six different stories all taking place during the sleepless night of Nuit Blanche, an event that takes place every year in Toronto at the start of October. From sunset to sunrise, Nuit Blanche transforms Toronto into an artistic arena with contemporary art experiences in unexpected public spaces.

As the six stories unfold, different individuals in each story weave their way through various art installations while at the same time, trying to tackle the issues of, love, loss, aging, and the question; is it art? Emily is an artist. She has an installation titled, ‘Me As I See It In Boxes’. It is a bit difficult to figure out what it is she is trying to say in her piece. Frank just lost his job as a lawyer; so he decides to “be a hero for a night”. Violet and Sully are high school friends. Trying to hold on to their punk rocker attitudes from their late teens, they try to accept the are ‘growing up’. Melanie uprooted her life in Quebec to start fresh in Toronto. She does not speak English much, and communicating with others is more difficult than she’d imagined. Stacey likes to help people as outreach worker. While others are enjoying the art at Nuit Blanche, she is out finding people in need. Riley lives to capture life on his camera, which he uses to hide behind and keep to himself.

Most of what these people have in common is that they are all out in downtown Toronto during Nuit Blanche. They somehow cross paths during the night as they make their way through art installations, live performances. The idea is that all of them are being forced to look within themselves to see who they are, what their intentions for the future are, and where the decisions they make will take them next.

Cleary the fim is trying to address various themes; such as, being introspective, helping others in order to make a difference, taking risks in life and love, and essentially accepting adulthood — whatever that means. The idea of six somewhat interconnected stories loses its strength for me; perhaps because there are five directors all trying to push the stories they are leading with their own points of view, into one main story. As the film progressed, the connection between stories seemed more and more forced.

The film includes some live bands as part of its score — were these scenes supposed to help drive the plot? I cannot say but perhaps they are there to add to the artistic nature of Nuit Blanche. They were not needed, but they do not take away from the film either. From a technical view, Ilike the production value — the camera work and look of the film are good.

All in all, White Night is a film that has potential. The characters are believable to an extent. The positives: it is set in Toronto during an annual event that many of us have attended. It is always a bonus to see one’s city on the big screen. The film contains some decent funny moments. The cast is good. And of course, it is a Canadian independent production.

White Night opens in Toronto at the Imagine Cinemas – Carlton Theatre from September 29 to October 5, 2017.

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Heidy has a love of fine art history, films, books, world issues, music and science, leading her to share her adventures on her website (www.hyemusings.ca) , and as a contributor at other outlets. She loves sharing the many happenings in Toronto and hopes people will go out and support the arts in any fashion possible.