SFF ’14: Xavier Dolan Double Feature

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Tom at the Farm

It’s not a stretch to call Tom at the Farm (Tom à la Ferme) Dolan’s least distinctly Dolanian work. While it’s filled with many of the director’s trademarks (loose plotting, unhurried pace, Mother/son issues, intense characters), it lacks the usual emotional directness that fills Dolan’s best work; attributed perhaps to this marking Dolan’s first adaptation of someone else’s material, working off Michel Marc Bouchard’s play. The story centres on Tom’s visit to the farm of the title to attend the funeral of his recently deceased boyfriend, Guillaume. Upon arriving, Tom (Dolan himself) discovers that not only does Guillaume’s mother (Lise Roy) not realise her son was gay, but Guillaume’s brother Francis (Pierre-Yves Cardinal) wants to keep it that way, going to great lengths to intimidate Tom into submission. Continue reading

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Game of Thrones: 4×02 – The Lion and the Rose

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I’m not a religious man, nor am I especially blasphemous, but the only thing I could say after ‘The Lion and the Rose’ cut to black was:

“Jesus Christ”

Say what you will about Game of Thrones’ sometimes ponderous storylines, but the show is a journey, and if you stick with it, it will reward you and punish in unexpected ways as all great works of fiction should.

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Game of Thrones Catch-Up: Season 2 Review

*Spoilers ahead. Although I’ve seen the first three seasons in their entirety I try to avoid any spoilers from beyond season 2. But if you’re super risk averse, I’d avoid reading this until you’ve completed season 3*

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I ploughed through Game of Thrones‘ second season in roughly 5 days. I’ve realised that this is a good way for me to watch the show. The faster I watch, the less time I have to build things up in my head, the less disappointed I feel when certain plotlines don’t go anywhere or progress fast enough for my liking. For all the moaning that the show is all table setting that I did in my review of season 1, I do very much enjoy GoT. Purely from a production standpoint, the series represents the pinnacle in TV craftsmanship and polish, and the storytelling choices are often quite bold and outside of what is expected in TV, as per its source material. My main issue with season 1 was its lack of pay off.

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Mad Men 6X09 – The Better Half

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I was a little late to this episode, due to an avalanche of uni assessments that I left as late as possible to start tackling. A few day after it aired (in the US), I saw on my Facebook newsfeed (not naming anyone……SUE!) ‘Ugh.. Don and Betty. Yuck. And why!?’. My first thought was, ‘cool, someone who watches Mad Men’. My second thought was ‘Wait…..What????!!!!!’. So my whole viewing experience came down to waiting for that moment. It was to the show’s credit that it didn’t really feel like a big deal, or even a major faux pas for Don, who I think we all gave up on seasons ago, in the fidelity department. And for whatever their relationship lacked, Don and Betty always valued their sex life.

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