JWR Articles: Film/DVD - Toronto Urban Film Festival - Secrets (Programmer: Dara Gellman) - September 19, 2009
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Toronto Urban Film Festival - Secrets

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Secrets I Have Known

60 Words
Linda Matarasso
Three and one-half stars

A montage of urban signs becomes calls to action in the never-ending quest to live life large. It’s a kind of scavenger hunt of self-improving slogans with as many fonts as there are personalities.


A Day at the Construction Site
Linda Fruehbeis
Three and one-half stars
Another round (high proportion in the 2009 entries) of time-lapse photography, this time watching a building come to life. The worker bees are men in hard hats with the overhead crane doing the heavy lifting. Thankfully, more than one angle is used and the site’s safety record remains unblemished.


Blended Route / mutual-jarvis-bloor-avenue
Sefan Powell
Three stars
Murky, streetscape images have an initially intriguing tone and texture, necessarily, not a clearly defined objective. Impressionists will revel, jaded realists will press their own fast forward.


Face book
My name is Scott
Three and one-half stars
A discarded, empty photo album fuels the notion of identity. It’s surrounded by neighbours from the ever-abundant pieces of garbage and graffiti: scraps of many lives that come together by the chance of discovery. There are pieces of us everywhere in digital and real-life half-completed profiles leaving it to others to fill in the blanks, risk a chat or move on to the next rough sketch.


I Have a Secret
Barbara Meneley
Two and one-half stars
A hand scrawled confession of a child’s temptation (cash from a stranger in return for posing for kiddie porn) is remarkable for its linear innocence even if the lines do pile up on each other. Sadly, too many of these sorts of secrets have quite a different outcome.


Kate + Bradbury
Colleen MacIsaac
Four stars
It’s love at first bike in this whimsical encounter between a restless two-wheeler and a demure, slightly-coquettish kite. Soon the breezy pair are linked at the handlebars and driving as one into life’s great adventure. Fine ebb and flow, rendered with much love and care.


Kim and Jesse
Nguyen-Anh Nguyen
Four stars
Kids doing what they do best: exploring secret places, discovering forbidden treasure, adding to urban clutter before dashing to the nearest exit in fear of discovery. Nguyen-Anh Nguyen has created quite an impressive range of emotion in such a short span.


Renaissance Men
Linda Matarasso
Four stars
Exploring their inner child are two business execs who celebrate their latest “done deal” by taking in a Blue Jays game, munching street-vendor food and engaging in a sandy duel with water guns. Nobody ever really grows up, we just like to think what we have—especially not playing “nice” if we don’t get our way. That side of the equation ought to be shot next.


The Spit
Vuk Dragojevic
Four stars
An engaging tour of what ought to be a natural haven clogged, clouded and covered with eyesores, pollutants and bilge. One lone soul (as disguised as some of the toxins) shares the sepia screen with a single sea gull—perhaps the last of their lines.


Unicorn
Stephanie Kervin
Five stars
First-class animation, clear purpose and direction all combine to release a fleeting payoff of the highest order. Merci mille fois! JWR

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Further information, future screening/performance/exhibition dates,
purchase information, production sponsors:
GreenGround Productions Heineken Canada Toronto Urban Film Festival
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