Abraham Lincoln

RVIFF Reviews: Dream Taxation, a Magic Realist Time Slip, and Korean Zombie Comedy

September 18th, 2022 | Robin


A Ken and Robin Consume Media Special Feature


At the end of last year’s Toronto International Film Festival, my wife Valerie and I decided to break up with it, after decades of attendance. We have replaced it with RVIFF, the Robin and Valerie International Film Festival. It’s the festival you can play along with at home, with a curated roster of streaming titles I’m excited to see. Daily capsule reviews roll out throughout the festival, with a complete list in order of preference dropping a day or two afterwards. Review ratings are out of 5.


Plaza Catedral (Panama, Abner Benaim, 2021, 4) Grief-stricken, closed-off architect (Ilse Salas) takes in a street kid (Fernando Xavier De Casta) suffering from a gunshot wound. Benaim shows an eye for composition and control of the cinematic palette in this taut character drama.

Strawberry Mansion (US, Kentucker Audley & Albert Birney, 2021, 4) Suggestible taxman (Kentucker Audley) arrives at elderly artist’s house to assess overdue taxes on her backlog of dreams, only to find that they are stored on tape, not the now-required airstick method. Quirky romantic dreamquest with adorable handcrafted creatures and effects.

Petite Maman (France, Céline Sciamma, 2021, 5) While at her late grandmother’s house for the last time, an eight year old finds a time slip allowing her to make a new playmate—her mother, at the same age. Still, poised, deeply felt drama finds the magic in elusive everyday moments, even before the magical realism kicks in.

Zombie for Sale (South Korea, Lee Min-jae, 2020, 4) Family of scammers and losers who own a decrepit gas station try to cash in when they capture a cabbage-loving zombie with a rejuvenating bite. Lovably dysfunctional underdogs unite in this fun zomcom.

Due to moderate demand, the RVIFF shirts I made for the two of us are now available in the Ken and Robin merch store.



If you enjoy this special text feature of the Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff podcast and don’t already support our Patreon, consider tossing a few bucks in the tip jar. Or check out my book on action films and their roleplaying applications, Blowing Up the Movies. Or the roleplaying game inspired by the Hong Kong films I first encountered at TIFF, Feng Shui 2.

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