Who am I and what do I want? The joys and sorrows of generation Z.

Can high school students sing and dance their way to safety during a zombie cataclysm in small-town Scotland at Christmas time? That’s the delightfully crazy and highly entertaining question in Anna and the Apocalypse, a horror-musical-comedy loaded with cartoonish gore and peppy production numbers performed with full “let’s put on a show” gusto by an appealing cast of little-knowns. Anna registers as more than just a throwaway novelty item thanks to simple yet highly effective emotional underpinnings. For the first 15 minutes there’s not a drooling ghoul in sight. We’re in classic, John Hughes-style teen movie territory, with singing and dancing added. Anna, played with star-in-the-making sparkle by Ella Hunt, is a clever senior at Little Haven High. Her decision to travel abroad instead of going straight to university has angered her widowed father, Tony (Mark Benton), who’s also the school’s janitor. The gory stuff gets going when Anna and
Screenings

Denmark (2017)

Denmark is set in a world of youth promiscuity, weed and alcohol, a world of a fluid social awareness based on the limitless availability of information and an undefined idea of morals and what emotions really mean. So it is not hard to imagine a situation in which 22-year-old skater Norge (Jonas Lindegaard Jacobsen) is suddenly seduced by 16-year-old Josefine (Frederikke Dahl Hansen), and only a few days later persuaded by her that she is pregnant by him. What is harder to expect is the way their relationship develops into a deep emotional connection, however frivolous it may appear in the given social context. There are many films that explore wild and obliviously nihilistic youth, but what sets Denmark apart are the protagonists, who are far from shallow, remote or uninterested. […] Denmark is a multi-layered exploration of many oft-trodden topics connected to growing up in the modern Western world,
Screenings

Fake Tattoos (2017)

Pascal Plante’s feature debut is a spry little rock-‘n’-roll romance so deliciously immediate that though you were likely never a tangle-headed, aspiring Quebecois tattoo artist in a Dead Kennedys tee it feels addressed to you in the second person. Initially, Theo (Anthony Therrien) might be nothing but a scowl atop a punk-band T-shirt, concealed in a froth of dark hair that looks like a map of chaos. […] The girl is Mag (Rose-Marie Perreault), she of the straggly pink-blonde hair and merry smile, and she’s teasing him about the “tattoo” that’s partially visible under his sleeve. There’s an enveloping warmth to Plante’s tender script and DP Vincent Allard’s buoyant images that belie the loose-limbed, offhand rhythm. It’s as though the film itself is constantly surprised – like its attractive protagonists — that there’s more here than just a fleeting one-night stand. Dialogues that could easily peter out instead flow conversationally
Screenings

Game Girls (2018)

Game Girls, the second feature documentary from Polish director Alina Skrzeszewska (Songs from the Nickel), chronicles the many ups and downs (mostly the latter) of an African-American lesbian couple scraping by in L.A.’s Skid Row neighborhood. When the film begins, one of the women, Teri, is coping with mental illness, while the other, Tiahna, has been locked up in jail for drug dealing – which means that what you’re about to witness will not necessarily be a smooth ride. Granting us what seems like unlimited access to the lives of Teri and Tiahna over the course of a year or so, we follow them from their happy union after Tiahna’s release to the difficult days they spend trying to scrape by on Skid Row – an area made up of 55 city blocks in downtown Los Angeles, and whose homeless population is estimated to be around 10,000. The girls definitely
Screenings
Rafiki [reminds] us that LGBT narratives in the mainstream are not to be taken for granted. Many international viewers would identify nothing especially subversive in Kenyan writer-director Wanuri Kahiu’s pure-hearted, candy-colored tale of first love blooming between two teenage girls in the rough streets of Nairobi. Yet at home, where homosexuality remains a criminal offense, Rafiki has been slapped with a ban for its positive representation – a state of affairs that makes this lively, brightly performed film impossible not to celebrate […]. In a bustling ghetto on the outskirts of the Kenyan capital […], protagonist Kena (Samantha Mugatsia) is introduced lithely skateboarding through streets fizzing with gossip and activity […]. Kena begins hanging out with Ziki (Sheila Munyiva), a charismatic, well-to-do girl with a veritable firework of pastel-colored braids on her head […]. The girls’ mutual infatuation is intense and almost instant, though expressed only in innocent kisses and
Screenings

Sextape (2017)

Funny, farcical and wincing, Sextape responds to the sexual politics of the moment. [Director] Antoine Desrosières has an acute eye for the complications of emerging desire, pointedly going after the internalised hatred of young women and the ingrained misogyny of young men […]. Rim (Inas Chanti) and Yasmina (Souad Arsane) start double-dating Majid (Mehdi Dahmane) and Salim (Sidi Mejai). The sisters have a playful, intimate relationship – they share a bed – brought on by apparently strict parents and the economic constraints of a working-class neighbourhood. The boys partake in excited, juvenile, sexist banter, while their close friendship borders on homoeroticism. The director manages a humorous tone, but we’re always aware of the pernicious mindset, the slippery slope, the pervasive culture that facilitates gendered abuse. […] This comedy about rape and revenge porn raises ethical questions. Sextape judges the malice and stupidity of young men quite accurately, as their treatment
Screenings