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Aren Bergstrom

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About Aren Bergstrom

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  • Occupation
    Writer/Director/Film Critic
  • Favorite movies
    Return of the Jedi, Spirited Away, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Blue Velvet
  • Favorite music
    Kendrick Lemar, The Beach Boys, Editors
  • Favorite creative writing
    Dune, The Lord of the Rings, The Great Gatsby
  • Favorite visual art
    Hokusai, The Group of Seven, Vincent van Gogh, J.M.W. Turner

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  1. Yeah, definitely. I didn't mean it as criticism either, just pointing it out. I'm still amazed they were able to accomplish what they did with such a limited budget. Here's my review of Wolfwalkers if it's of interest to anyone: https://3brothersfilm.com/blog/2020/9/17/tiff20-wolfwalkers
  2. Yes, the way that the themes of the film are expressed in the animation is wonderful. The way that the animation in the forest shows traces of pencil lines is such a nice touch. I think such an expressive contrast is only absent in The Secret of Kells because that film was famously low budget for such a complex animated work. Formally, Cartoon Saloon keeps getting better and better.
  3. As a part of TIFF, I watched Wolfwalkers, the new film from Tomm Moore (The Secret of Kells, Song of the Sea) and Ross Stewart. I know that many people here are great fans of Moore and I'm happy to say that Wolfwalkers is another wonderful film from the Irish animator. Interestingly, Wolfwalkers seems to take a lot of structural cues from The Secret of Kells. It's set during the 17th century and deals with the Cromwellian Conquest of Ireland, with the main character being the daughter of a wolf hunter brought over from England. As is expected now, the animation is stunning. The way that he fla
  4. Thanks, Jeremy! Really appreciate you watching and your comments about it resonating with you. Yeah, that is definitely something that has kept in my mind, because although it's such a small niche, I think that if it actually does find the audience, it's hopefully extra resonant for those people. We'll see what the future brings!
  5. I'll probably take in a film or two if the in-person festival ends up happening, but it'll be absolutely bizarre, to say the least. I have no interest in the online stuff. TIFF's website infrastructure is so bad that I have no trust in them handling a streaming service. CBC Gem and Crave (two Canadian-only streaming services) are bad enough when it comes to quality and buffering. I don't trust a cash-strapped organization like TIFF actually handling the online portion.
  6. I rewatched The Last Wave last night after watching it for the first time back in June when I was knocking off some Peter Weir blindspots. What a beguiling film, one that percolated around my head for the past month, which is what prompted me to put it on again. Not surprising that I liked it even more the second time. In many ways, the film hits some familiar notes in its general conceit about a white man trying to do right by a colonized people. Richard Chamberlain's David Burton has a bit of a white saviour complex (a colleague even calls him out for his bourgeois attitudes towards the
  7. That's a nice little blurb. I think Weir is perpetually under-appreciated. I'm always down for more discussion of his work. Hopefully I can knock off the rest of my blindspots of his work in the next few weeks.
  8. I didn't have the energy to watch The Last Wave last night, so instead put on The Cars That Ate Paris, which left me baffled. It's a strange mix between a kind of kitchen-sink drama and Ozspoiltation. There are some interesting ideas bubbling beneath the surface of this film, but I'm not sure any of it comes together in a satisfying manner. Aside from the one (accidentally?) striking image of the police officer brandishing the door of his car with the word "pig" spray painted across it and wielding a bloody makeshift spear, I didn't find the film particularly invigorating. Anyone feel pas
  9. Just caught up with this film last night as I've had Peter Weir's early Australian films on my Criterion Channel list for a while. What a mysterious film. It seems to channel some of those quintessential 1970s movies techniques—superimposition of images, inserts shots of nature, elliptical editing patterns—but it doesn't use them simply to create horror, as say, The Wicker Man does, or to play into any kind of New Age textual elements (although I did get a sense that Ari Aster's Midsommar may have been inspired by this film in some respects). The girls that disappear certainly inhabit the idea
  10. I took advantage of the recent long weekend in Canada to finally watch A Brighter Summer Day after having recently caught up with Taipei Story, The Terrorizers, and his segment in In Our Time. Add my voice to the chorus of praise. I was pretty wowed by it, not only by how dense it is, but by the amount of care that went into every composition and character interaction. What struck me most about it is that it never achieves an epic scale, despite being three minutes shy of four hours, which means that the length of the film is there to help us understand these characters and this world in great
  11. Aren Bergstrom

    The Matrix

    Was going to comment here and link back to my review from 2019 about how to perceive the significance of the film, but I see that Anders has already done so. So... carry on, gentlemen.
  12. I am not on the voting committee so have no say in the Top 100, but your breakdown of the power of Blue Velvet, Darren, is amazing. Blue Velvet is my favourite "dramatic film" (the only movies I like more are Return of the Jedi, Spirited Away, and Raiders of the Lost Ark, which are all fantasies of various sorts) and so if I was voting on this Top 100, it'd sit at or near the top. You beautifully capture two things that are absolutely critical to understanding Blue Velvet: 1. We are meant to be implicated in the sadism on display. We are Jeffrey in the closet. 2. The robins are not satire or a
  13. I did the predictable and binged Tiger King not long after the pandemic started. The absurdity is appalling and undeniably entertaining, but it's also little more than a freak show. More recently, I finished up season two of Narcos: Mexico and season five of Better Call Saul, both of which were excellent, especially the latter. Now, I find myself with no active show to watch aside from the weekly episodes of The Last Dance to give me my sports fix. I'm tempted to delve back into Star Trek: The Next Generation as I find the Star Trek series among the most comforting (and best) series ever
  14. Aren Bergstrom


    The images of stillsuits hew pretty closely to what I imagined. Of course, I'm most excited for when they finally reveal what the sandworms look like.
  15. You say it much better than I could. Yes, this is what the film captures.
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