JWR Articles: Film/DVD - Toronto Urban Film Festival (Guest Judge: Don McKellar) - September 20, 2009

Toronto Urban Film Festival

No rating No rating

Two special categories

Trinity Square Video Pitch Award Winners

Vince Kesavamoorthy
Three stars
A collage of historical to current Toronto images fills the screens of Dundas Square. Interesting concept gets overwhelmed by its own inventiveness; too many images lessen the impact of all.

city green
Caitlin Durlak
Four stars
Lots of fun here! Toronto’s cityscape and streets seldom look as clean and engaging as the result of piecing together the film, virtually one frame at a time.

Jean-Pierre Joubert
Five stars
Joubert’s ode to the fireman’s best friend is a spectacular array of dozens of stoic hydrants enduring the elements, graffiti, parking rage, construction dilemmas and the ever-so personal visits from man’s best friend. More, please.

Lost in Communication
Zefred Scarlette
Four and one-half stars
Like the great power blackout of 2003, Zefred Scarlette’s heroine is faced with a world without digital connections of any kind. Rather than just curl up with a good book in her small apartment, a bit of lipstick and a window pane become the improvised means of getting a message out. Soon the neighbours are replying in kind before a marvellous payoff rescues the lonely woman stranded on an urban isle.

Mr. Swan: Swansea
Carolyn Tripp
Three stars
This swan tries various means of relaxing in the ‘hood of Swansea. Perhaps some references to Proust’s more famous Swan (a walk with his “friend” to the club …) might have added magic and depth to the otherwise pleasant piece of reflection.

Maya Bankovic, Nadia Tan and Stuart Campbell
Four stars
Another bicycle-commute adventure has a compelling sense of pace, proportion and magnificent curves—both real and “stretched.” The snappy edits reinforce the whole. Seems only a helmet was missing.

Under Construction
Melissa Levin
Four stars
In yet another take on “Speak hands for me,” Melissa Levin and many helpers piece together the puzzle that jigs its way into Toronto’s skyline in a manner that brings to memory Alex’s conquest of music lovers in A Clockwork Orange. Rossini’s zesty score would have fit here as well. Thank goodness no one stole the last piece!

A4C Special Selection Films

Dog Days
Brandi Boulet
Five stars
Cholo is the camera’s delight. Running on his own, being ferried by bicycle and—especially—frolicking with his equally voracious colleagues at this incredible journey’s end, it’s smiles all around.

Taken by Your City
Dale de Silva
Two and one-half stars
What color is your parachute? Here, a clipart stick man (with strings attached) has a harrowing ride on all means of transportation with more than a few bumps along the road. Forcing underground conveyances into 90 degree turns seems to add extra, unintentional shades of meaning to the premise.

Toronto Is Your Ex-Lover
Neven Lochhead
One star

Love affairs with cities are usually related to such attributes as architecture, restaurants, transportation, sports, etc. Working on the well-worn premise that many revisit their exes because of the “best sex in your life” seems a bit off unless you’re a naturalist of the late-evening, bushy variety. The reasons stated for ending the relationship in the first place were even less persuasive. JWR

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