Skip to main content

TIFF review PORCUPINE LAKE



2017
Directed by: Ingrid Veninger
Starring: Charlotte Salisbury and Lucinda Armstrong Hall

PORCUPINE LAKE opens on Bea (Salisbury) as she rests in the back of her parent’s station wagon, peacefully unaware of the quiet tension that fills the front half of the vehicle. The juxtaposition of a picturesque countryside and her parent’s uncomfortable silence evokes a strange feeling of melancholy while staring through the lens of something utterly beautiful. The family is traveling across a Norman Rockwell like landscape to take over a restaurant bequeathed from Bea’s grandfather.

The “Snack Shack”, situated in Port Severn Ontario, represents a missed opportunity for this struggling young family to start over. Scotty sees this as a chance to fix up the place and make a go of it, while Ally is only interested in selling. Ally and Scotty, absorbed with their own problems and mounting tensions from the restaurant leave Bea mostly to her own devices.

One morning, while Bea is enjoying some of the Shacks breakfast offerings she sees Kate (Hall). A young girl with curly hair and a unique sense of style. Bea, immediately drawn to Kate, follows her from a distance when she leaves the restaurant. The two girls come from different backgrounds and have wildly different personalities but after a few brief encounters, they become fast friends. The innocence of first love and navigating the waters of how to handle newly found independence; Bea is in the midst of a transformation.

Films about first loves are commonplace, but few capture the awkward innocence of adolescence as well as PORCUPINE LAKE. The first kiss between Kate and Bea, one of the more honest moments in any film this year, perfectly encapsulates the capricious nature of change. How we seldom take time to acknowledge the big moments, allowing them to pass by without missing a beat.


Veninger delivers PORCUPINE LAKE with the breezy carefree pacing of a small town summer, taking the time to dwell on smaller moments. She explores the humanity or her characters by showing them move through their lives. Building each character so methodically allows her the freedom to avoid telegraphing every emotional arc. It’s easy to project yourself into this film. I cannot imagine a person who will not see some version of themselves on screen. Veninger builds her film on a foundation of trust where ambiguity is a tool for bringing in the audience as opposed to distancing them.  


PORCUPINE LAKE will be having its world premiere at TIFF 2017. For more information and showtimes click here.



Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Richard Armitage interview on SLEEPWALKER

SLEEPWALKER is the latest film from director Elliott Lester. Troubled by bouts of sleepwalking and disturbing nightmares, graduate student Sarah Foster goes to her university's sleep research center for help. When she wakes up after her first night of being monitored, the world she lives in seems to have changed in subtle, Twilight-Zone-esque ways. In fact, every time she goes to sleep now, she wakes up in a slightly different version of her world. With the help of sleep researcher Dr. Scott White, she tries to work her way back to the reality she started in. But when they finally succeed, it’s revealed that Sarah’s world is not what she thought at all.

Today my guest is one of the stars SLEEPWALKER, Richard Armitage. Tonight we talk about his work on that film as well as his work as Thorin Oakenshiled in The Hobbit Films, as John Proctor in The Crucible, and his upcoming films Ocens 8 and the Julie Delpy directed film My Zoe.

Sleepwalker is Now Available on Digital HD and On Dem…

Internet Trolls and Critics in the Age of Rotten Tomatoes - A Look at the Critical Response to GOTTI

Hate, intolerance, and cruelty are the most valued currencies in the digital age. Online publications deal in the same eye-catching tabloid headlines that were once exclusive to rags like WEEKLY WORLD NEWS and the NATIONAL ENQUIRER. The monetization of clicks is ruining many forms of journalism and film criticism is just one of them. When organizations can see what headlines are generating revenue its only natural that sensationalism would start to rise. There is no consorted hivemind like conspiracy to destroy certain films but rather internet activity that has boosted a certain type of writer. From the outside, online film critics share quite a bit with their Twitter troll counterparts.

The critical response to John Travolta's passion project Gotti has been less than favorable, in fact, it has been downright abysmal. A project over ten years in the making, Travolta has poured his heart and soul into this venture. And many writers seem to take pleasure in the film's failure.

I…

NO ALTERNATIVE review

Depression is often marked by sadness, despair, and hopelessness. The sense that things will not get better is something most of us pass through at different points in our lives. But depression is something more than that. It’s not just a temporary feeling, it’s a debilitating emotional state that you can’t simply pull yourself out of. The angry outbursts, irritability, and frustration that come along with depression can isolate individuals suffering from this condition and push them deeper into their own thoughts. Everyone needs to be heard and sometimes those who can’t express themselves in traditional forms find their voice in art.
Edvard Munch wrestled with agoraphobia and frequently had hallucinations, one of which inspired THE SCREAM, a painting so iconic that even the most casual art enthusiast is familiar with the piece.  Sylvia Plath took a more direct approach with THE BELL JAR and laid out the details of her depression with brutal honesty. Briana Dickerson a white suburba…