Fantasia 2023: Our Review of ‘With Love and a Major Organ’

Posted in Fantasia 2023, Festival Coverage, Film Festivals by - August 01, 2023
Fantasia 2023: Our Review of ‘With Love and a Major Organ’

With Love and a Major Organ drops the audience directly into a world where detachment and conformity are the rules of the day, most of the world accountable to a phone app dubbed ‘LifeZapp’. With LifeZapp controlling everything from reminders on when to sleep, and what groceries to grab to whom you should make friends and spend time with, the world has sunk into an almost clinical and sterile state. But in this environment, we meet an agent of chaos Anabel (Anna Maguire), someone who not only engages and feels everything but does so in such a manner that it overflows and disrupts her surroundings entirely. But a chance encounter with George (Hamza Haq), someone even more detached than most, changes both their lives forever.

Director Kim Albright and writer Julia Lederer fill the film with metaphors and nuanced takes on grief, loss, conformity, reliance on electronics, and the monotony of everyday life. It also explores the concept of whether those friends we keep close, even when our lifestyles and interests have diverged and changed, are there out of loyalty or love, something rarely tackled on screen. The creative team definitely has something to say here, the only problem is does it become too much? The film’s real motivating event doesn’t even happen until halfway through, and it takes alot of conjecture to get there.

Ultimately, the enjoyment derived from the film might come down most to whether the audience enjoys spending time in this world and with the characters onscreen. It’s well-acted throughout and Albright certainly has an eye behind the lens. But for a film where one of the biggest themes explored is detachment, the most considerable detachment I had was from engaging in what was happening onscreen.

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"Kirk Haviland is an entertainment industry veteran of over 20 years- starting very young in the exhibition/retail sector before moving into criticism, writing with many websites through the years and ultimately into festival work dealing in programming/presenting and acquisitions. He works tirelessly in the world of Canadian Independent Genre Film - but is also a keen viewer of cinema from all corners of the globe (with a big soft spot for Asian cinema!)
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