First Films Announced for January 17

If you follow us on Twitter or Facebook, you’ll know a few of these by now, but I wanted to officially announce the first batch of films screening at our January 17, 2013 edition. We’ll be back at the Carlton Cinemas, and advance tickets ($8) are already on sale. See you in the new year!

Still from Noreen

Noreen (Ireland, 2010, Director: Domhnall Gleeson, 18 minutes)

Actor/writer/director Domhnall Gleeson (True Grit, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) directs his father Brendan and uncle Brian in this gleefully madcap tale of two rural Irish cops who find a body during a routine house call. Young Frank is dealing with a recent heartbreak, while older Con is middle-aged and weary. What they have in common is that they’re both idiots. If you liked Brendan Gleeson in The Guard, you’ll love this.

Still from Long Branch

Long Branch (Canada, 2011, Directors: Dane Clark and Linsey Stewart, 13 minutes)

The scenario of Long Branch seems like a great concept for one of those “punch line” shorts: a young woman’s quest for a one night stand is complicated when the guy she goes home with lives two hours away by public transit. But the film movingly transcends its humorous premise to find genuine romance.

(excerpted from my full review over at Short of the Week)


I saw the next two at this year’s TIFF, so I’ve just copied my reviews from my post at Toronto Screen Shots.

Dear Scavengers

Dear Scavengers (Canada, 2012, Director: Aaron Phelan, 9 minutes)

Pitch perfect casting and just the right amount of sympathy for its cantankerous main character make this one a winner. Hrant Alianak (Pontypool) plays Hector, the owner of a used-appliance store who’s used to a certain amount of solitude. When a seemingly unending stream of tween girls enter his shop in search of a clue for their scavenger hunt, it leads to a hilarious clash of generations and personalities.

Chef de meute (Herd Leader)

Chef de meute (Herd Leader) (Canada, 2012, Director: Chloe Robichaud, 13 minutes)

In this comedy, the humour is dark indeed. When Clara’s spinster aunt dies suddenly, her family suggest she take in the older woman’s pug, since, as a single woman herself, she has time to take care of it. When even the dog seems to boss her around, she turns to a dog trainer for help. In a hilarious sendup of “The Dog Whisperer,” he encourages her to be more assertive. It’s a lesson she takes to her pushy family members. Ève Duranceau plays the put-upon Clara to neurotic perfection, and the pug turns in a pretty impressive performance, too.

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