Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Toronto's Local Film Cultures

Toronto has an incredibly nuanced history when it comes to film, be it in its many theatres, its discourses, or the the diverse sites and scenes that have made our city so welcoming to the medium. In keeping with this idea, the University of Toronto's Cinema Studies Institute has organized a (now completed) course regarding the documentation of Toronto's colourful cinematic past. The culmination of the project is Local Film Cultures, a website that has exhibition histories on almost all of Toronto's vintage (or dead) cinemas, and detailed reports on the cultures, scenes, and  and its evolution in Toronto. Check it out if you have some time, or you ever want to take a trip down memory lane.

Here are a few sample articles, written by the We Bleed Movies team:

Brad's account of the infamous University Theatre

Oscar blog - Why I disliked Rampart

Woody Harrelson is too good for this.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Oscars 2011 - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

While audiences already familiar with Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy have no doubt devoured Niels Arden Oplev's 2009 Swedish adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, rallying the mob to decry David Fincher's latest as simply a 'cash grab' or 'Americanized remake' is something you'll want to think twice about.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

The Girl with the Rotten Tomatoes

 As tiresome as "Denbygate" has become to discuss — the Internet certainly moves quickly — I believe there's a side of the entire controversy that has been largely overlooked.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Oscars 2011 - MARGIN CALL

Despite being released in a year of financial turmoil and global protests like Occupy Wall Street, Margin Call fails to bring a sense of danger or precariousness to the "financial thriller" genre.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Oscars 2011 — HUGO

With Hugo, director Martin Scorsese has created a film that honours cinema's rich and often-overlooked heritage. But in a kid's movie?

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Oscars 2011 — THE ARTIST

There is likely no other movie quite as eminently enjoyable this year than The Artist

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Oscars 2011 — YOUNG ADULT

Young Adult is a lot of things, but a good Jason Reitman movie it isn't.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Oscars 2011 — PROJECT NIM

In the mid-1970s, Project Nim was a radical experiment to teach Nim, a baby chimpanzee, American Sign Language. The final goal? A coherent, grammatically correct sentence.

Saturday, 3 December 2011


Alexander Payne is truly the master of character development.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Film review: Rob Ford's "Mayor of Toronto"

Director Rob Ford has taken a bold new approach to filmmaking in his new film, Mayor of Toronto.

But does it hold up to any sort of critical scrutiny?

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Oscars 2011 — INTO THE ABYSS

Werner Herzog's latest is an exploration into the unknown.

Unfortunately, one of the unknowns is the message (or intention) he wants to send across. 

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Oscars 2011 — SHAME

One of the most "controversial" films in recent memory, Shame is rated NC-17 in the United States.

Really, MPAA? No One 17 And Under Admitted? Pardon the pun, but that's a shame.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011


To kick off the blog's Oscar coverage, I thought I'd start with a rather bizarre film.

Thursday, 15 September 2011


Gerhard Richter is a humble man; a renowned German visual artist and squeegee pro. 

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Sunday, 11 September 2011

TIFF '11 - Keep checking back!

Thanks for all the continued support for our relatively new website. Stick around for more TIFF '11 coverage, including reviews for The Raid, Elles, Take Shelter, Take This Waltz, A Dangerous Method, and many more!


Killer Elite is based on a "true story." But why is Jason Statham running around with Robert De Niro and Clive Owen?

To be honest, I have no idea. 

Thursday, 8 September 2011


"It's unbelievable how much you don't know about the game you've been playing all your life" - Mickey Mantle


"Nature teaches beasts to know their friends."


Tuesday, 30 August 2011


"Nothing bad happens when you're doing the right thing."

Oh no

How time flies.

It doesn't seem like three months have gone by since Cannes and I was posting to this blog everyday. I was meaning to do some reviews over the summer of films that I got a chance to see before the public, but I didn't see too many, sadly. By the time I had enough time to get around to them, it was already old news. Everyone makes posts about how they wish they kept up with their blog, and while I suppose this is one of them, I'm happy to announce that a novel I'm working on has taken up the majority of my free time (at least, when it comes to writing). That's about 36,000 words in and continues to take form. It's very fun to write, and to be honest, I'm shocked at how much the story-telling begins to take root in your mind.

As for films, I recently had a brilliant stroke of luck and generosity, and thanks to some certain individuals I am now armed with a pass for the TIFF '11 P&I screenings — so Brad, Nick and myself should be bringing a combined force of reviews throughout the behemoth that is Toronto. I know we're all very excited.

Hang on tight. It's gonna be crazy.

Monday, 22 August 2011

A Quick Blurb on the State of Things

Busy summers are busy. Consumed with full time work and other obligations, I feel like I need to address the inactivity on this here blog. Do not fear the worst, for we're all lurking somewhere in the shadows of Toronto's film scene, just a little further outside the margins than we'd like to be. I for one know that I have a whole slate of films lined up to be reviewed, scrutinized, and ultimately published for your re-criticism here. Attack the Block, Horrible Bosses, the new Harry Potter thingy, and a load of home-viewed releases I'm planning to summarize in a Summer 2011 wrap-up (which would be cool if we could all sync up. Woo!). Brad and I will be attending the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival with press/industry passes, so expect a whole lot more coverage of whatever we're interested in or we find topical. Here's to a new semester of film school and a summer of good times. Catch you all soon,


Friday, 17 June 2011

Addendum: Long Live the New Flesh

A friend, colleague, and fellow film enthusiast has uploaded a neat little project he directed for part of his stint over at York University. In regards to my spiel about film moving into the digital age, I think this is a great specimen to tease out a particular point.

Soulmates from Bernard Books on Vimeo.

Green Lantern (2011)

Green Lantern is on course to be the worst superhero film of 2011. But is it really all that terrible?

Considering the Reel

Sitting here with a freshly resuscitated laptop, I am forced to come to terms with the fact that, like it or not, I have hopelessly and completely moved into a digital age. Sure, naysayers and the autocratical nature of sheer technological progression have pointed to this for many years (I distinctly remember my first 'real' computer almost a decade ago, and how that was supposed to be my big move), but I never really felt it until I was unable to access digital copies of my film collection.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Super 8 (2011)

Is Super 8 really the movie event you have to see?

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Cannes Day 8: Melancholia

Melancholia (n). 1: deep sadness or gloom; melancholy: rain slithered down the windows, encouraging a creeping melancholia.

Melancholia (n). 2: when one sees a really silly movie: Jake saw an insincere piece of pretentious garbage called Melancholia, and subsequently felt the pains of melancholia

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Cannes Day 7: Pater

Ah, Pater. My Cannes arch-nemesis.

The bleeding continues.

I'm trying my best to type up reviews for the remaining films that I saw at Cannes. The last three days of the festival were incredibly hectic, letting me get behind the ball in blogging. Boo. It also didn't help that two of my least favourite films in Competition were the next to review. Alas, the bleeding continues. Cannes coverage, take two.

— Jake

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Lars Von Trier "understands Hitler", gets banned from Cannes

At the press conference for Melancholia (review to come), Lars Von Trier did his dumb rant thing again:

"For a long time I was a Jew and I was happy to be a Jew, then I met Susanne Bier and I wasn't so happy. But then I found out I was actually a Nazi. My family was German. That also gave me pleasure. What can I say? I understand Hitler. I sympathize with him a bit. I don't mean I'm in favor of World War II and I'm not against Jews, not even Susanne Bier. In fact I'm very much in favor of them. All Jews. Well, Israel is a pain in the ass...How can I get out of this sentence? OK, I'm a Nazi."

Thankfully, Cannes has some class. The Board of Directors met today to announce that Von Trier has been declared a "persona non grata." Keep in mind, Von Trier was forced to issue an apology yesterday, but that didn't really sink in. He blamed his childish "jokes" on the press, saying they "egged him on."

Uncharacteristic of Cannes, but hey, you don't make Nazi remarks in a country that was occupied and destroyed by them.

Cannes Day 7: The Big Fix

It seems there's been a recent spurt in eco-focused documentaries. That's probably because the ecological crisis is getting harder and harder to ignore.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Cannes Day 7: Le Havre

In my screening of Aki Kaurismäki’s Le Havre, Cannes audiences were peeing themselves laughing.
Yet according to a friend, his screening was relatively silent, with only a peppering of giggles here and there.  

Cannes Day 6: The Tree of Life

I just love this picture of Terrence Malick.

Cannes Day 5: Martha Marcy May Marlene

Canadian writer / director Sean Durkin won Sundance's "Best Director" prize for his first feature, Martha Marcy May Marlene, which is here under Un Certain Regard.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Booing sucks.

I have little else to say in terms of this post, but I just wanted to report to the world that the booing of Tree of Life is one of the only things people are talking about here in Cannes.

That's so lame.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Cannes Day 5: The Kid With a bike

Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne are famous French filmmaking frères. Their latest picture, The Kid With a Bike, has hit the Croisette to compete.

Cannes Day 4: Michael

"This is my knife, and this is my cock.
Which one would you like me to stick inside you?"

Cannes Day 4: Pirates of the Caribbean - On Stranger Tides

I wish I had better news, Pirates fans.

This is my Twitter feed right now.

I have a lot of movies to catch up on before I get to writing about The Tree of Life (which I imagine will be quite a difficult task) but this is what my Twitter feed looks like right now. It's a little ridiculous here.

The Tree of Life just got booed (very loudly) by one asshole in the left corner. His actions have such an impact though - people around the world are learning that the new Malick film (one of the most-hyped films of the year) was booed at its premiere screening.

People are such dickheads.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Cannes Day 3: Footnote

Eliezer Shkolnik spends 30 years of his life dedicated to studying Talmudic texts, only to have his glory stolen days before he publishes his earth-shattering findings.

Such is the scene in Joseph Cedar's Competition film, Footnote.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Bridesmaids (2011)

Bridesmaids is the culmination of some of comedy’s greatest rising female talent. The film was written by former The Groundlings members Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig. Wiig, perhaps best known for her work on Saturday Night Live, stars as Annie, a 30-something year old single woman whose life begins to fall apart while her best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) announces her engagement and asks Annie to be her maid of honour. While Annie hits rock bottom (she lives with strange brother and sister duo Gil [Matt Lucas] and Brynn [Rebel Wilson], works at a jewellery store her mother’s Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor owns, and struggles to form a meaningful relationship with her “fuck buddy” Ted [Jon Hamm]), she is faced with the lavish and glorious lifestyle that Lillian now lives.

Cannes Day 3: Habemus Papam

Palme winner Nanni Moretti (The Son’s Room) is back! His latest film, Habemus Papam (We Have A Pope), is being described as a Papal King’s Speech.

Cannes Day 2: Restless

Gus Van Sant, who won the Palme d’Or in 2003 for the exquisite Elephant, returns to the Croisette for his new movie (and the opener of mixed-bag category Un Certain Regard), Restless.

Cannes Day 2: Polisse

 There was a moment in Polisse  when I was sitting there thinking, “this is downright disgusting.”  

Friday, 13 May 2011

Cannes Day 2: Labrador

Day 2 of Cannes was, admittedly, pretty difficult. Now, I’m okay with seeing four films in a day - I’ve even done six or seven back at TIFF, when running around the ScotiaBank Theatre is a breeze for
back-to-back screenings.

Maybe it’s the jetlag; maybe it’s the ever-present realization that there are still many two-and-a-half hour art dramas, just waiting to be debated. Hooray! I saw one effective movie (We Need To Talk About Kevin), one offensively dreadful movie (Polisse), and one silly and disappointing movie (Restless).

But I also saw a gem of a film. It’s a shame – it went completely unnoticed.

Labrador (Out of Bounds) is that gem.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Cannes Day 2: We Need To Talk About Kevin

Remember that line from Lady Macbeth? "Out, damn spot!"

Apparently so does Lynne Ramsey, director of We Need To Talk About Kevin.

Cannes Day 1: Sleeping Beauty

“My vagina is not a temple”,  mutters Lucy (Emily Browning).

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Hot Docs: Eco Pirate

Eco Pirate: The Story of Paul Watson - Trish Dolman

At the end of our lives, when all is said and done and we've involuntarily donated our beings to the fertile soil of the earth, will we have left a legacy? Will our existences, however small or minute, leave an imprint on even a small number of others so that we may be remembered?

Cannes: Day One - Midnight in Paris

Cannes has officially begun! It's a little nuts, but that's expected from one of the most important festivals in the world.

The whole gong-show was kicked off by none other than Woody Allen, a Cannes alumni, who opened the festival with his new film Midnight in Paris.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Some More Hot Docs Coverage

This Thing Called Hot Docs

No, it isn't Hot Dogs. For the hundredth time, I did not rush in a manic stupor from the outer fringes of the of the city to stand in line for some delicious street meat, but I could see how some of the engaging documentaries that screened at Toronto's premier doc-fest are analogous to such a tasty snack. For a good week and two days I braved the rainy weather, grey skies, and endless transit rides to see slices of life. Though the informed reader might contest such a remark ("reality can never truly be captured by celluloid!" you might say), I feel as though I have learned to appreciate certain elements of life more than I ever would have before attending.

Bienvenue a Cannes - and the launch of the blog

What a way to start a film blog. As I write this, I'm sitting in the press office for the 64th edition of the Festival de Cannes, watching the action walk by on the historic Boulevard de la Croisette.

I took this shot last night. The festival starts tomorrow with Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris", which is the official opening film. So keep checking back in the days to come - Cannes is just one of the many film events we hope to cover in-depth, as well as reviews, interviews, and various insights that may cross our minds.