Kathleen Hepburn’s feature debut, Never Steady, Never Still, viewed at Toronto International Film Festival 2017, leaves a lot to be desired. Théodore Pellerin stars as Jamie, a young, aimless man living in Alberta, Canada. He struggles with his identity and sexuality while his mother, Judy (Shirley Henderson) attempts to deal with the progressing symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. But with underdeveloped characters who rely on garish representations of difficulty, the film is never sensitive enough to its subjects.
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In 2012, Denis Côté directed Bestiaire, a documentary which captured with simultaneous cold objectivity, and tender sensitivity, the lives of zoo animals, allowing them to be looked at, but also to look back. Côté created a space for a new visual relationship with animals. Taking up this same style, Ta peau si lisse, at Toronto International Film Festival 2017, focuses this time on five bodybuilders.
Electric Zoo 2017 was by no means perfect. Having attended only the final day of NYC’s major EDM fest, I arrived fresh on site to find the fields full of mud. I should have known better given the rain on Saturday, but I managed not to slip, nor get any mud on my camera. And the crew worked hard to get hay on the field to prevent any one else from falling. So that counts as a success.
Greta Van Fleet‘s EP Black Smoke Rising (Lava Records) grabs the listener from the get-go. It’s hard not to hit play and immediately sense lead singer, Josh Kiszka, practically embodies Robert Plant with the vocal undercurrent to the guitar riffs (Plant is of course still alive). The band has been selling out shows on the back of that four-track EP and made their way through New York City for a sold out early night at the Mercury Lounge.
The 3rd Annual Emerging Music Festival took place in collaboration with Paste Magazine, who were livestreaming the show. With the first day of the two day fest nearly rained out (a set or two was spared from the deluge), the EMF was aided by terrific weather on the second day which drew a lot of people to Bryant Park‘s lawn for the music, food and activities, like hula hooping, juggling, and bubble blowing.