TIFF 2017 Review: Highlights from Short Cuts Programme 3

Posted in Festival Coverage, Movies, TIFF 17 by - September 08, 2017
TIFF 2017 Review: Highlights from Short Cuts Programme 3

For Nonna Anna
Dir. Luis De Filippis

A transgendered woman is left to take care of her ailing Italian grandmother in the drama For Nonna Anna. Gracefully tackling the notions of change and isolation, De Filippis’s film shows that some familial bonds run deeper than they may seem on the surface. Effectively providing a humanistic look at two individuals trying to come to terms with this stage in their various lives. Subtle in tone and emotion, the film makes create use of quiet spaces, For Nonna Anna is a captivating and elegant work.

Creatura Dada
Dir. Caroline Monnet

Six powerful Indigenous women, including iconic Canadian filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin, gather for a decadent feast in the latest vibrant work from festival favourite Caroline Monnet. Celebrating the elegance, strength and radiating power of Indigenous women, Monnet’s film manages to be invigorating and empowering in its brief running time. Colourful, stylish and full of fierce attitude, Creatura Dada will have you walking out of the theatre with an extra spring in your step.

Bird
Dir. Molly Parker

Acclaimed actress Molly Parker makes her directorial debut with the intimate family drama Bird. Sam’s (Amanda Plummer) life has changed greatly since the track and field days of her youth. Now she is struggling to cope with her aging parents, her father’s Alzheimer, and her own issues with alcohol. Offering a snap shot of a family trying to maintain a sense of normalcy in the face of growing disconnect, Parker’s film is rich in emotion. Drawing strong performances from her cast, Parker shows much promise as a director. Hopefully this will not be the last time she steps behind the camera.

Grandmother (?Etsu)
Dir. Trevor Mack

Trevor Mack presents an intriguing look at isolation and grief in his supernatural drama Grandmother. The film follows a young boy on an isolated reserve as he attempts to connect with his recently deceased grandmother via an old VHS camcorder. Over the course of the film Mack starts to play with the viewer’s perceptions of reality as the boy continually records the mundane aspects of life and his problematic home life. While the film does not always work, especially when deciphering the logistics of communicating with the dead, it does build up to a rather powerful ending.

Drop by Drop
Dir. Alexandra Ramires (Xá), Laura Gonçalve

Where one goes in life is not always as important as where one came from. In the animated documentary short Drop by Drop, the legacy and history of a village is placed in jeopardy as the inhabitants slowly leave. With only a handful of residents left, determined to die on the land where they were born, the film forces audiences to ponder what happens to the roots that shape us if no is one left to preserve it. Anchored by wonderful animation, the film is a visual treat that provides plenty of food for thought.

The President’s Visit
Dir. Cyril Aris

A seaside community in Lebanon is turned upside down when a local soap maker receives word that the President will be making a surprise visit. Highlighting how the allure of celebrity can bring out the worst in even the most wholesome individuals, Aris constructs a film that is both smart and immensely funny. Aris’ pointed and devilish script takes delight in commenting on the greed, self-importance and faux alliances that arise within the town. A pure delight to watch, The President’s Visit is not to be missed.

Screens:

Saturday, September 9, 4 PM, Scotiabank 14
Friday, September 15, 6:30 PM, Scotiabank 10

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Courtney has been sharing his thoughts on film online since 2006. The founder of Cinema Axis, he frequently celebrates diversity in cinema as one of the co-hosts of the Changing Reels podcast on Modern Superior. A regular on the Regent Radio program Frameline, Courtney has contributed to several publications including Black Girl Nerds, Comix Asylum Magazine and The Grid Does TIFF. He is also a member of both the Canadian Association of Online Film Critics and the Online Film Critics Society.