Category Archives: Film

Accessible and affordable films on campus and near campus

The Best French-Language Films on Canadian Netflix

Netflix Canada boasts an impressive roster of foreign language films. But you already knew that (right?).

I watch French films to keep up my grasp on the language, which having left Montreal at age 14 I try with some success to maintain at an 8th-grade level. I love French films for their originality (compared to Hollywood’s endless stream of sequels and reboots) and startling array of strong leading ladies. To follow is my list of what I consider to be Netflix’s best, all of which feature English subtitles. In no particular order:

  1. Romantics Anonymous (2010)

Watch two incredibly awkward people who share a passion for chocolate fall in love. Sounds like every relationship ever to me.

“The tale of two pathologically shy chocolate makers who are meant for each other but are too afraid to connect is a mug of warm cocoa with marshmallow topping that produces a comfy feel-good glow.”- Stephen Holden, New York Times

2. The Intouchables (2012)

A runaway hit both in France and abroad, this film will leave you with all the feels and warm-fuzzies.

“In this sentimental feel-good saga of an ultra-wealthy quadriplegic and the petty criminal who becomes his caretaker, the chemistry between the two lead actors goes a considerable way toward elevating the broad-strokes culture clash. That’s crucial to a film that is, in essence, a love story.” Sheri Linden, Los Angeles Times Continue reading The Best French-Language Films on Canadian Netflix


13th Annual Regent Park Film Festival

Celebrate diversity, community, and creativity at the 13th Annual Regent Park Film Festival. The best of emerging filmmaking talent and films from around the world.

November 18 – 21 at Daniels Spectrum (585 Dundas St. East, Toronto).



As Toronto’s only free-of-charge multi-cultural community film festival, we are dedicated to showcasing local and international cinematic works relevant to inner-city communities. Continue reading 13th Annual Regent Park Film Festival

RPFF E-Invite Fundraiser (med)

Regent Park Film Festival Annual Fundraising Screening

Come out and support Toronto’s only free multicultural film festival by attending our Annual Fundraising Screening, featuring a 2015 Hot Docs Film “Mom and Me”. A $50 ticket will include a cocktail reception, entertainment, film screening and more!

Mom and Me directed by Lena Macdonald and produced by Gordon Henderson and Lena Macdonald, is a personal and intimate documentary about a young filmmaker coming of age in extraordinary circumstances. It follows the complicated relationship between director Lena Macdonald and her mother, who was once a filmmaker herself, but ended up homeless, crack-addicted and on the streets. MOM and ME is about addiction, prostitution and despair but it is also a story about family, the power of hope and the tenacity of love.

For the trailer, go to

To purchase tickets go to:

Event Information:

Annual Fundraising Screening
October 22, 2015
6:30PM Cocktail Reception
8:00PM Film Screening & Panel
Daniels Spectrum, 585 Dundas Street East

Ticket Options:

  • Individual Ticket ($50)
  • Includes cocktail reception, entertainment, film screening and more!
  • Sponsor a Regent Park Youth ($50)
  • Buy a ticket for a Regent Park youth to attend the screening or participate in a Regent Park Film Festival workshop
  • Sponsor Ticket ($250)
  • Includes two individual tickets, festival merchandise and special recognition at the Film Festival

All tickets include a charitable tax receipt.

All proceeds go towards keeping the Festival and all our activities FREE!

Regent Park Film Festival Charitable Registration # 8459 14613 RR0001

Ticket Page:

Regent Park Film Festival website:

Advance Screening of HE NAMED ME MALALA


CINSSU Presents an advance screening of HE NAMED ME MALALA on October 1st at Innis Town Hall, 8pm!

For a chance to receive tickets, email with the subject code MALALA.

Synopsis: HE NAMED ME MALALA is an intimate portrait of Malala Yousafzai, who was wounded when Taliban gunmen opened fire on her and her friends’ school bus in Pakistan’s Swat Valley.

The then 15-year-old teenager, who had been targeted for speaking out on behalf of girls’ education in her region of Swat Valley in Pakistan, was shot in the head, sparking international media outrage. An educational activist in Pakistan, Yousafzai has since emerged as a leading campaigner for the rights of children worldwide and in December 2014, became the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.

Why Jackie Brown is Seriously Underrated

Jackie Brown movie poster (1997)

Most people have heard of Quentin Tarantino – the genius mind behind films like Pulp Fiction, Django Unchained, and Kill Bill I and II. Tarantino’s style of directing is one that many people love – his glorification of violence, satirization of serious topics and non-linear narrative define his new genre of film combining concepts from great historical films to cheesy little known works. He’s often considered one of the greatest directorial minds of our time, as he is not afraid to push boundaries and always crafts something completely original and exciting. He’s a film buff’s dream and never ever falls short of perfection.

Now most of us have seen his amazing and popular films like Resevoir Dogs and Inglorious Basterds, but my all time favourite Tarantino film is one that came out in 1997 called, Jackie Brown. I seriously love this movie. I watch it at least once a week and every time I reel in it’s perfection.

Like all of Tarantino flicks, there are tons of amazing movie stars depicted in relatable and real world ways, but the main difference in this movie is that the main characters were actually washed up actors that nobody had taken notice to in in years. The title character, Jackie Brown, was played by the amazing Pam Grier. In the 70’s Grier, starred in many Blaxploitation movies, which were overtly sexual and would now be considered a Black stereotype. During that time, she was widely renowned as a sex symbol, but after the fall of the popularity of Blaxploitation movies and the end of disco, her career soon fell flat. Her male counterpart, was played by Robert Forester. He was in two acclaimed supporting roles that got him quite noticed in the late sixties, in Reflections in a Golden Eye and The Stalking Moon. After he took a few TV roles in the seventies, his career had dried up as well.

The premise of the film is essentially how Jackie Brown, a middle aged flight attendant, is caught for smuggling money and drugs into US for her arms dealing boss, Ordell Robbie (Jackson). In order to avoid jail time, she begins working with the police in order to bring in the rest of the money Robbie has stashed in Mexico. She brilliantly plays the police and Robbie against each other in order for her to get out, and get out fast – but not without the help of her trusty compadre Max Cherry (Forester), a bail bondsman. I know that may not sound too exciting but the film is such an amazing throwback. It is in the style of a Blaxploitation film but is so unique because it has elements of modern society in it as well. The music is amazing and each scene is brilliantly crafted, it is such a joy to watch. I find it captures reaching middle age in a way we usually don’t see in Hollywood cinema.

Tarantino prodded the two out of their early retirement and set them among an amazing cast of Samuel L Jackson, Robert de Niro, Michael Keaton and a young Chris Tucker. The movie didn’t set the box offices on fire, but it did alright, even with it’s star studded cast. This is also seriously one of my favorite de Niro performances, right up there with Cape Fear, Awakening and Goodfellas. He plays a bumbling, middle-aged, ex-con who is just getting back into the game. It’s an unusual role for de Niro, who is usually given roles of power, but in this film he’s just Robbie’s (Jackson) friend and hired help.

I’m not sure what gives this movie it’s magic and lasting ability to make you think – the lead actors are fantastic, Jackie Brown is able to convey her feelings with just one expression – it’s all in her eyes and her subtle expressions. Forester is a great counterpart whose depiction of an aging, humble man allows for a lot of connection. The film also has a lot of appropriate twists and was just so real and honest. I don’t want to give away too many spoilers, but usually in a heist movie there is one big main conflict during the heist – the characters get over it and blah blah blah the movie ends. But in Jackie Brown, there are so many little things that go wrong (some of them you may miss when you first watch) and Jackie handles them with such authenticity, it is a joy to see her tackle a load of obstacles. The theme of girl power is common with this film as well as many others.

This film revitalized Grier’s and Forester’s careers, as well as made Bridget Fonda a household name after her success in The Godfather Part III. Even Samuel L Jackson stated this movie as his favourite Tarantino movie. So far, it’s up there on my list too. I think the real reason it’s not as well known as his other films is because of the lack of star power in the lead roles – but their performances are anything but lacking. It’s subtle, creative and exciting – just an amazing honest depiction of a woman’s struggle to make it in this world. So go home, get on Netflix, and watch Jackie Brown – sucka.

Why I’m Not Excited for Ben Affleck’s Batman

As a comic book fan, all I’ve been dreaming of is seeing my favorite character Batman, team up with his best pal and polar opposite, Superman. I love seeing these two together, they are so different but yet they understand each other. No matter how much they fight during the issue, they are always there for each other during the final conflict and get the job done right.

Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice is directed by Zack Snyder and is said to have appearances by Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and Lex Luthor, played accordingly by Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher and Jesse Eisenberg. I’m very excited to see these guys in their respective roles (I’m a little worried about how Eisenberg’s Luthor is going to work out but I have hope), but the only issue I have is with the title character, Ben Affleck.

I totally understand the need to re-cast Batman – Nolan’s version is so dark, gritty and realistic, but having Batman behave like this in a Justice League movie wouldn’t pan out too nicely. Batman is essentially a team player in the Justice League; he loves and cares about his colleagues and is nowhere near the loner we see in the Nolan movies. He’s witty, sharp and sometimes gets in a few good jokes. Justice League Batman is a lighter character; he’s great to watch with the team and can actually be a pretty fun dude.

I see why Snyder may have chosen Affleck – despite being a jokester in real life, he has a wide range, as we’ve seen in Argo, Gone Girl, Good Will Hunting, and even Dazed and Confused. I’ll give it to him, he can act, and I think he can capture Wayne’s constant inner turmoil, and he’s not a bad looking guy either. That said, he’s not at all what Batman would look like. Bruce Wayne is supposed to have jet black hair, intense blue eyes, a square jawline and is built like a quarter back. He’s supposed to be 6’ 2 and 210lbs – that’s Arnold Schwarzenegger in Predator. I have so many doubts that Affleck will have the musculature that would make a believable Batman (TMZ posted a photo here and I’m not convinced: Also, Affleck is 41 – it’s a little old to be starting a career as a superhero (RDJ is an exception). I think his age is also a clue into how this version of Batman is going to behave – he may be an older, wiser and calmer Batman which I think is exactly what the Justice League needs.

I think what I’m worried about is that Affleck may be able to pull off being Bruce Wayne, but can he pull off the intensity and athletic ability of Batman? Affleck’s only been in a few action movies and I’m not sure if he’ll be able to bring everything that is required to the table. I would have even more doubts if Snyder wasn’t the director – he is responsible for the masterpiece that is The Watchmen, and casting Henry Cavill play Superman. So maybe Affleck will do a better job than I’m giving him credit for, he was hand selected and the crowd during the Comic-Con screening reacted really well to him, so I’m hoping I won’t be let down again. *cough* *cough* Daredevil.

A Summer Movie Breakdown

Summer traditionally beckons thoughts of beaches and iced cream, of swimming in outdoor pools and sunning next to outdoor pools because there are children in there and you’d rather not swim in urine. You know, the pleasant stuff.
This summer, however, we’ve had fairly limited sun, and many days of rain and murky weather have nullified the above activities. But don’t worry, kids, there’s another traditional summer activity that is as much fun in and out of the rain: the summer blockbuster. For your education and entertainment, we present:

The Four Kinds of Summer Movies
(and some examples, and why you should see them)


The Fun Movie
Remember in your childhood when going to the movies was pure, uncomplicated fun? Pepperidge Farm remembers, and so do we. Since then your expectations have probably changed; you probably now want your movies to be clever and original, and possibly also insightful and with some message about social change. These are good things, yes, but sometimes there’s nothing better than suspending your grown-up expectations and watching a movie just for the enjoyment of it. Take, for instance, Man of Steel, probably the most anticipated blockbuster of the summer. It’s a retelling of the Superman story, beginning with the eponymous hero’s birth on the planet Krypton, his upbringing in heartland America, his dalliances with reporter Lois Lane (Amy Adams!), and his fight to save the world from genocidal aliens. I was treated to an advance screening of Man of Steel, and I can tell you that it’s the epitome of a fun flick. Plus, there’s an even amount of explosive violence and shirtless Henry Cavill, making Man of Steel a perfect date movie for couples divided.
Also worth considering: World War ZThis is the EndStar Trek Into DarknessThe Heat 

The Interesting Film
As a student, you probably know the importance of connotation, and why someone might call one thing a “movie” and another a “film.” A film is a little more deliberate than a movie; rather than strive towards a goal like fun or romance, it asks complex questions and sometimes, if you’re lucky, answers them. Interesting films might not thrill the way fun movies do, but they stay with you a little longer. Mud, for instance, has proven immensely resonant in the days since I saw it, popping up in my head whenever I experience something that reflects its story: two children in the Deep South, interacting with the vagrant who mysteriously appeared near their community.  Interesting films are especially good for conversation, so they’re well-seen by groups of friends.
Other interesting films: Before Midnight, The Place Beyond the Pines, The Kings of Summer, The Painting.

The ‘Oh, You Haven’t Seen It?!’
These kinds of films take interesting and turn it on its head. They’re usually documentaries, foreign films, or art-house pieces, and they rarely see wide release. These films may be enjoyable, but the guaranteed appeal is being able to bring them up and conversation and follow with “oh, you haven’t seen it?!”

“I saw this fabulous documentary about homosexuality in Uganda. I really enjoyed the director’s use of personal storytelling to blur the lines of personal and political. What did you think? Oh, you haven’t seen it?!”

Of course, non-pedants see these kinds of films as well, they’re just not me. Recommendations are difficult to offer (because I, um, haven’t seen many) but if you’re looking for quality cinema you should check out independent theatres like Bloor Hot Docs, TIFF Bell Lightbox, and the not-independent-but-very-affordable Carlton Cinema.

The Television Show
Well, duh, of course it’s not exactly the same as cinema, but we are in the golden age of TV dramas – and the summer is when they really shine. Mad Men wraps up soon, but Nurse Jackie is still in full swing. And, as the internet reminds us every day, Breaking Bad is coming back for its final episodes. These shows might not mirror movies in terms of production quality and star power, but the medium offers unparalleled suspense and continuity.
Some other awesome summer TV shows: VeepThe Newsroomand the first season of Graceland.