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Browsing CategoryVideo Essays

This essay was commissioned by the Toronto International Film Festival as part of their 2016 Canada’s Top Ten Festival. Thanks to Patricia Rozema for her participation.

Boat People

This video essay looks at one of the most important films of the Hong Kong New Wave, Ann Hui’s Boat People, and how it formally combines the director’s interest in the political and the melodramatic.…

Xavier Dolan

This video essay looks at the consistencies in Xavier Dolan’s aesthetics in each of his first five films: I Killed My Mother, Heartbeats, Laurence Anyways, Tom at the Farm, and Mommy. The essay was written…

Pushing Hands

A video essay on how space is used in Ang Lee’s Pushing Hands (1992) to convey themes of cultural communication, the outsider figure and utopia. The essay was written by Christopher Heron, edited by Brian Robertson and…

Casabalanca

This video essay looks at how the Casablanca TV series from 1983, starring David Soul, exemplifies the process of how the 1942 film became a cult film through what Umberto Eco identified as its intertextual…

Contempt

A video essay on Jean-Luc Godard’s Contempt (Brigitte Bardot) and Jean-Jacques Beineix’s Diva (Wilhelmenia Fernandez), and how they exemplify the modernist interest in the real vs. the classical ideal and the postmodern skepticism towards the…

The Man Who Left His Will on Film

This essay investigates the role the city plays in this political discourse in Oshima’s The Man Who Left His Will on Film, where the tension is deliberately set against its urban backdrop, which seems to…

Psycho

Bates Motel has lead to a renewed interest in the Psycho series. This video essay looks at how the sequels to Psycho compulsively re-perform significant scenes from the original in a nostalgic way that culminates…

Rodney King

A video essay that compares the use of the Rodney King beating tape in the films Malcolm X (Spike Lee, 1992) and Dark Blue (Ron Shelton, 2002). The essay explores how these two films differ…

MDF Trilogy

A video essay that investigates the formal themes of the MDF Trilogy: Assault, Princess Margaret Blvd., and Out in that Deep Blue Sea. These three shorts, directed by MDFF’s Kazik Radwanski (Tower), all chronicle unlikely…

Ossos

A video essay about Pedro Costa’s film Ossos (1997) and its representation of the Lisbon neighbourhood of Fontainhas. The essay considers the formal techniques used to express the community that lives in this neighbourhood and…