I'll eventually be compiling these into one big omnibus preview piece for Ain't It Cool News, but in the meantime here's the day-by-day preview of the hell that is trying to narrow a list of 101 picks into a workable, non-life-threatening 11-day schedule. Yes, I said 101 picks... this year's TIFF program is flat out ridiculous. I've never had a more laughably named 'short list'.
Thursday Sept 6th preview
Friday Sept 7th:
- Another classic restoration sees the light of day, this time of Rossellini's little-seen Stromboli (the film on which he and Ingrid Bergman fell in love). It's paired with a doc on the shoot itself, War of the Volcanoes.
- Imogene stars Kristin Wiig in what seems like a fairly by-the-numbers American indie wacky family comedy but hey, it's Kristin Wiig.
- Three Kids looks like a vaguely George Washington-esque film about some young 'uns trying to survive in Port-au-Prince in the wake of the Haitian earthquake.
- Zizek returns for another round of analyzing film clips while making your head simultaneously spin and hurt with The Pervert's Guide To Ideology.
- Ryan Gosling re-unites with Blue Valentine director Derek Cianfrance, hooks up with Eva Mendes (in real life, I mean. I have no idea what their characters get up to in the film) and goes mano a mano with Bradley Cooper in moody crime drama The Place Beyond the Pines.
- Call Girl is a '70s Swedish period piece and stripped-down procedural recounting the tale of a prostitution scandal that derailed the government.
- Janeane From Des Moines is another semi-doc, this one about a Republican Iowa housewife who experiences a crises of political faith during the 2012 GOP caucuses.
- Ben Affleck returns as director (yay!), but also as leading man (uh oh...), in Argo, a thriller about the Iranian hostage crisis and the too-crazy-not-to-be-true, Wag the Dog-ish rescue effort.
- The We and the I sees Michel Gondry (who I've decided to forgive for the Green Hornet) riding shotgun with a pack of Bronx schoolkids on a bus on the last day of school.
- Hip hop godfather Snoop Dogg becomes reggae neophyte Snoop Lion in the doc Reincarnated.
- Paul Thomas Anderson. The Master. 70 fucking mm. Holy fuck. Did I mention there's a non-zero chance of a Scientology protest or something given their large, decrepit church/chapter house/gormless office building on Yonge Street in Toronto?
- I'm actually not terribly looking forward to this one, but the English remake of Nic Refn's Pusher sees the light of day. At least Zlatko Buric returns as Milo.
- Sally Potter is back with a Cold War coming-of-age flick starring Elle Fanning, Ginger and Rose.
- Wasteland looks like a Ken Loach film made a baby with The Usual Suspects, which is too ridiculous a mishmash not to check out.
- Julianne Moore struts around in leopard print and spars with Steve Coogan in What Maisie Knew, a 21st-century Kramer vs Kramer based on a Henry James book.
- How To Make Money Selling Drugs is a doc exploring the US drug trade from the inside out, apparently structured like a video game that sees you rise from selling crack on the street corner to lording over a cartel and featuring interviews with everyone from David Simon to "Freeway" Ricky Ross (not the MC, the guy who says he invented crack).
- A childless Vietnamese couple gets torn apart when the wife decides to let her husband's ex-best friend impregnate her in In the Name of Love.
- Bernardo Bertolucci is back behind the camera with Me and You, about a couple of troubled young half-siblings who have different ways of hiding, and different reasons for doing it.
- Joe Wright teams back up with Keira Knightley, again, for an adaptation of Anna Karenina.
- Indie darling Noah Baumbach teams up with indie darling Greta Gerwig for a film about a rootless Brooklynite that's sure to be an indie darling, Frances Ha
- And at Midnight Colin Farrell re-teams with In Bruges writer/director Martin McDonagh and drags Christopher Walken, Sam Rockwell, Tom Waits and Goddess known who else along with him for Seven Psychopaths, which looks like nothing less than a rebirth of that crazy '90s sub-genre of crime film that featured insanely deep, talented casts and made no sense at all (you know the ones I mean... Things To Do In Denver When You're Dead, 8 Heads In a Duffel Bag, Two Days in the Valley etc etc). Of course Seven Psychopaths looks like it might actually be good, but I'll settle for random, entertaining bosh.
- Also, repeat screening of Kinshasa Kids and On the Road.