I worked at 7-24 Videos & More, in Parkdale. I loved recommending, discussing, and debating films with customers. Then I discovered the amazing DVD collection at the Toronto Public Library. In addition to DVDs, you can also stream films using Kanopy and Hoopla. Remember when you’d hold up a DVD case and ask, “How’s this?” In the spirit of an opinionated video store clerk, here are our answers.
Written by Peter Bird and Paul Hutcheson.
Film Reviews: November 1st, 2023
THE WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD (subtitled)
A masterful film about love and longing. A complex portrait of a woman becoming an adult. Original and nuanced, with a brilliant lead performance. We all think we’re the worst person in the world at some point.
BABY ASSASSINS (subtitled)
Hyper-violent but lacking a compelling plot; it finally collapses under the weight of its absurdity. The lead performers are fun to watch.
SUMMER OF SOUL
It’s a sin that the footage from the Harlem Cultural Festival fell into obscurity. Questlove found and edited the material, showcasing 1969 Black excellence: music, fashion, and performance.
When viewed through a lens of excess, we were able to see past the negative presentation of obesity. The form matches the content. Everyone in this film is excessive, only Brendan Fraser’s is the most obvious. All the performances are excellent.
SATURDAY NIGHT AT THE BATHS
A 1975 domestic drama wherein Tracy encourages her boyfriend to take a job as the piano player at a New York City bathhouse. Michael tickles the ivories and manager Scotti. Minds are opened and sexualities are explored. Thank you, Toronto Public Library.