TIFF 2016 Review: Highlights From Short Cuts Programme 1

Posted in Film Festivals, Movies, TIFF 2016 by - September 06, 2016

Short Cuts Programme 1

3-Way (Not Calling)
Dir.Molly McGlynn

Mel talks asks her live-in boyfriend to partake in a threesome. They try to come up with an anonymous way to find a third person to no real avail. There is a friendly ‘millenial’ girl from the coffee shop they frequent who seems playful and nice. She is after all tired from all her Tinder dating and lack of the comforts of a committed relationship.

The boyfriend arranges the threesome with the ‘millenial’ girl – from coffee shop – as a birthday present for Mel. Aside from some awkward moments, they have a good time. But it was not as fun as Mel hoped it would be; no strings attached.

Some humourous moments that are certainly relatable. I had some laugh out loud moments watching the film. The cast works well with one another. I found the film enjoyable up until the end, where it lost me altogether.

Rating 3/5

Night Dancing 
Dir. Barney Cokeliss

Bob dreams of a girl and man dancing on the street every single night. He talks about the girl with his therapist. Somehow Bob is not able to make full sense of this ‘dream’. As time transpires, Bob’s dream allows him to become part of it and free himself through dance.

The dream itself is a lovely pas de deus set to beautiful music composed by Anne Kulonen. This is a short film about love, obsession, and delusion, with a dancing element. It is stylized quite nicely with lovely use of cool colours throughout. A personal fave in this line up.

Rating 3.5/5

Nutag (Homeland) 
Dir. Alisi Telengut

During World War II, the Kalmyk people of the Soviet Union were forcibly relocated to Siberia, and nearly half of them died before the return home some 14 years later.

The film is a hand-painted visual telling about diaspora, one’s homeland, deportation, and relocation. It is like an oil painting created right in front of you. The film incorporates interesting use of art and music. The music does help in telling the story and moving it along. It is visually quite interesting but it could use a little more work on the narrative.

Rating 3/5

Samedi Cinema 
Dir. Mamadou Dia

Set in northern Senegal, we meet two young cinephiles who plan to raise the cash for a couple of movie tickets before the local cinema closes. This is their last chance to catch the end of a movie they have been catching glimpses of over the last few weeks. In order to pay for their admission tickets, they write letters for people who cannot read/write in exchange for some money. Through letter writing they meet many people writing to their loved ones abroad.

The day of the film screening, only one friend can afford to buy a scalper ticket… to the chigrin of his pal. Before the movie ends, the friend inside the cinema decides to look for his fellow cinephile friend. They miss the film’s ending but it does not matter; their time together is what counts. 

The young leads are engaging and certainly make the film enjoyable. The ending is a bit vague but story works. 

Rating 3/5samedicinema_06

Dir. Caroline Monnet

Shot in black and white, the film takes us no a trip on an Indigenous-owned train line in northern Québec. It is the first railway train owned by Indigenous peoples since December 2015; the line is owned by three Band Councils.

The train mostly takes Indigenous travellers (many Innu people) going to visit family from Sept-Ils, Québec into Northern Canada. We come to know more about this train’s journey and its passengers from the point of view of an Innu man who works the line. There are many stories on this train as it traverses along some unchartered territory.

Although a short film in its length, it gets its point across well. The train, its route and its passengers are all symbols of the pride and dignity of Indigenous peoples.

Rating 3/5


Thur Sept 8, 8:15pm at Scotiabank Theatre Cinema 2
Sat Sept 17, 1:00pm at Scotiabank Theatre Cinema 8

This post was written by
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.
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