JWR Articles: Film/DVD - Toronto Urban Film Festival - Ideas (Programmer: Pablo de Ocampo) - September 12, 2009

Toronto Urban Film Festival - Ideas

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Creativity abounds

1 minute 1 city
Astrid Schau-Larsen
Three and one-half stars
The nuts and bolts of cluster bombs are clearly illustrated in this succinct plea to end the deadly practice of targeted annihilation. Seeing no human results leaves it entirely to the imagination as to the awful carnage such attacks leave in their wake. Sadly, a touch more realism would drive the point even further into the consciousness of laggard states.

Back in Time
Kwan Ho Tse
Four and one-half stars
Toronto’s present slips magically into the past. Something new is old again. Employing breathtaking speed as static landmarks time-travel back to a less frantic era, reminds us all how nothing ever stays the same for long. Imaginative concept; beautifully rendered.

cultural adaptation
Midi Onodera
Two and one-half stars
A crow of many colours is the focus for this evolutionary statement. Intriguing as the premise is, it can’t find a finish to actively ignite a discussion rather than merely pose a question.

Earth Works
Candace Couse
Four stars
Being merely a cog on the world stage is fascinatingly explored even as globes are turned out factory style and skyscrapers expand and contract at will. Being transported momentarily to a lush forest provides a heady mixture of nature, colour and hope. Great concept; nicely balanced.

ESTA Toronto
James Gillespie
Three and one-half stars
Split screen, filtered frames, backward moving traffic (feet and wheels) give this ode to a fading edifice a glorious send-off before progress catches up with it.

Repetition of a World City
Miika Vaso
Four stars
“There’s no place like home” comes through loud and silently clear. The golden-hue memories flit by and above a darkened cityscape. The acrid exhaust from the speeding jet can nearly be experienced—a wonderful contrast to the exhilaration of the skateboarders at journey’s end.

David Hodge
Three and one-half stars
Hodge’s great sense of fun gets a little bit lost in the ever-changing barrage of fonts (painted and lit) as the camera selectively captures public words and links them into some sort of logical expression. The ever-present “Dos&rsduo; and “Do Nots” that relentlessly pepper the urban fabric with mute, civic commands work best.

Alice Bradshaw
Four stars
A truly fantastic confetti of words—filled with punch in more ways than one; in glorious black-and-white—gyrates, stutters and finally stops on the screen. One could imagine a wry smile from Kafka if a few of his thoughts had been added to the rocky mix. Installation art of a most creative kind.

Tara and Terry’s Summer Vacation
Tara Cooper
Five stars
What can you say? This one takes the cake! From the piggy bank’s vanishing contents to the nodding head of the “still life” stuffed dog, Cooper’s whimsical “staycation” is as full of delight as her rapidly vanishing birthday treat. We’ll look forward to another slice from this imaginative life.

Yum Yum Toronto
Niamh Heery
Two and one-half stars
Do we eat too much? Travel too much on fuel-guzzling jets instead of kinder-to-the-environment buses or trains? These and other questions are brought into somewhat fuzzy light rather than clearly delineated to get the discourse going. Don’t forget, “Too many fonts spoil the point.” JWR

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