Jason Lapeyre is a Canadian filmmaker with blood on his hands…in a good way. A romantic of crime films and novels, Lapeyre, like Martin Scorsese and Sidney Lumet, depicts his lurid film worlds with equal affection and scorn for the brutality and corruption they breed.
A York University-graduate, Lapeyre hurdled headlong into the film industry by helping out on sets and directing music videos for several years. He even made a funny short film that parodies the opening text crawl credits of “Star Wars”. His low-budget feature debut “Cold Blooded” is also funny, I suppose, but the humour springs from the audience’s discomfort. This is the Hitchcock rule: laughter is the reflex of our unconscious fears and desires. (continue reading…)
Some of the best horror films aren’t, in fact, horror films. Those that veer into the dramatic and focus on the personalities of the characters and their daily struggles tend to resonate the most. The terror that unfolds, therefore, is unleashed from a natural state of fear and discontent – emotions we can easily tap into. This purpose is what permeates from the works of the talented Richard Powell, a Canadian filmmaker who demonstrates in his new short film “Familiar” that he is perhaps perversely fascinated by a human’s body and mind. (continue reading…)
There’s something very inviting about a film that captures Toronto like it’s the underbelly of a Jim Thompson novel. There’s also something compelling – and quite original – about a vulnerable and damaged Samuel L. Jackson character. In David Weaver’s “The Samaritan”, Jackson’s tall and dominating screen presence is effaced under the restraint of his new screen role as Foley, an ex-con so worn down by his mistakes and regrets that, after all these years, he returns to his old bar like it’s his lucky penny. (continue reading…)