the other lamb trailer

Cults! They’re creepy! And the cult at the center of The Other Lamb certainly has that creep factor down pat, wth dozens of blank-faced woman with bodily scarring dutifully serving the messiah-like leader played by The Haunting of Hill House‘s Michael Huisman. But one innocent teenage member (played by The Killing of a Sacred Deer‘s Raffey Cassidy) who has lived her entire life in the cult, starts to see the commune for the horrifying place it is in the chilling film from Polish filmmaker Malgorzata Szumowska. Watch The Other Lamb trailer below

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The Other Lamb Review

In Christianity, the lamb is symbolic of gentleness, innocence, and purity. The animal has also been used as a reference to Jesus Christ when the bible mentions “lamb of God.” There is a softness and delicate nature to the lamb, one that provides comfort in its shed fur used for blankets and clothing. They also possess a specific loyalty and obedience as they are willfully herded by a shepherd–blindly following its master even to its death. This thematic symbolism is woven throughout director Malgorzata Szumowska’s horror film, The Other Lamb, as she depicts a tale of obedience and defiance within the isolated world of a cult. Read More »

TIFF 2019 Unsung Gems

The festival scene rolls on past Toronto, with Fantastic Fest kicking off this week and New York Film Festival gearing up for next week. It’s easy to focus on the big winners – Joker, Jojo Rabbit – and the losers – The Goldfinch, Lucy in the Sky – and completely lose sight of why these festivals exist in the first place. In a crowded media environment, film festivals represent one of the last bastions that provide platforms to emerging or under-the-radar filmmakers. They are a spot where a film, freighted with few expectations, can come out of nowhere and surprise unsuspecting viewers.

The following three films represent some of the best of this side of TIFF. Their journeys do not end at the festival, either. Unlike well-funded studio projects using TIFF as a launch pad for release, these films are all seeking U.S. distribution and will likely continue touring the worldwide festival circuit. Keep an eye out for them if they arrive at a fest near you.

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Female Directors at TIFF

Like many time periods preceding it, the fall film festival circuit of 2019 has been a mixed bag of results for female filmmakers. The Venice Film Festival spared a measly two slots in its competition for films directed by women and, as if to thumb their nose at those decrying their regressive attitudes, awarded their Best Director prize to convicted rapist Roman Polanski. All this from a festival that signed the 50/50 by 2020 pledge for gender parity just last year, to boot. As Katrin Gebbe, director of Pelican Blood told me, “In the past few years, we’ve started to put our finger into the wound.”

Meanwhile, at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), the programmers paid more than lip service to their commitment on equality. Female directors comprised 36% of this year’s selection at TIFF, with percentages even higher in sections like Contemporary World Cinema and the high-profile Galas. Look beyond the numbers, too, and it’s clear that quantity did not come at the expense of quality.

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