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 preview
Saturday Sept 8th preview
Sunday Sept 9th preview
Monday Sept 10th:
- Cate Shortland, who was here a few years ago with an Aussie coming-of-age story called Somersault that showed a fair amount of promise, shoots the moon with her latest film Lore, an inverse end-of-Sound of Music about a group of children raised by SS parents trying to escape across a war-ravaged Germany in 1945.
- Berberian Sound Studio sees Toby Jones as a British sound engineer used to doing nature docs hired to work on an Argento-esque '70s horror film, and slowly losing his grip on reality. So basically, DePalma's Blow Out made a demon spawn baby with In the Mouth of Madness. Sweet.
- Vinterberg collaborator Tobias Lindholm makes his directorial debut with A Hijacking, about the taking of a Danish freighter by Somali pirates.
- Bill Murray plays FDR in... wait, I'll let that sink in for a moment. Bill Fucking Murray plays Franklin Delano Motherfucking Roosevelt in Hyde Park on Hudson, from Notting Hill director Roger Mitchell. (Admittedly, that part's less mind-blowing.)
- Casting By shines a spotlight on trailblazing casting director Marion Dougherty, whose name you've seen on more great movies than you realized.
- Imagine if Haley Joel Osment's Sixth Sense character grew up and became a sad-sack high school teacher? And that the Breakfast Club ends with them all dying in a giant explosion? Then, provided you're imagining it in Spanish, you're imagining Ghost Graduation.
- If you could handle that last mental exercise, try this one: imagine if Matt Murdock gave up being Daredevil, and instead tried to teach a blind Portuguese woman how to 'see' like he does. Then you'd be imagining, umm, Imagine. Yeah, OK, enough of that.
- It's becoming clear that David Cronenberg will probably never make another Videodrome, or even another Rabid. Fortunately, he had children, and one of them is now picking up that fleshy, throbbing gauntlet. Son Brandon makes his debut with Antiviral, about a black market for celebrity diseases and the people who procure and inject them. Hot damn.
- No Place On Earth pieces together the history of a small band of Jewish escapees who survived the Nazis by hiding in a series of underground caves for 18 months.
- Fittingly, along with Lindholm's debut feature A Hijacking (listed above) we also get the latest film he co-wrote with Thomas Vinterberg, The Hunt, about a town torn apart by accusations of pedophilia which stars the always awesome Mads Mikkelsen.
- Zhang Ziyi and Cecilia Cheung star as the nice one and the slutty one, respectively, in a '30s Shanghai version of Cruel Intentio... err, I mean Dangerous Liaisons.
- The Iceman has Michael Shannon doing what he does best (namely, being a sick, creepy fuck- in this case mob hitman and serial killer Richard Kuklinski).
- Terrence Malick enlists Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Javier Bardem and others to help him analyze the mystery of love in To the Wonder.
- In the House sees Francois Ozon in fine form, with a story about a teacher who unwittingly invites a bad seed into his home in the form of a prized pupil.
- And Rob Zombie's latest for Midnight Madness, Lords of Salem, sounds like an extended Night Gallery episode, with a rock DJ in Salem accidentally awakening witchy evil by playing a cursed record. Or something.
- Also repeat screenings of Midnight's Children, The Act of Killing, The Girl From the South, The Company You Keep, Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence In the House of God, Blancanieves, Mr. Pip, The Impossible, Free Angela & All Political Prisoners, Fin, Everybody Has a Plan, The Deflowering of Eva von End, London - The Modern Babylon, The Color of the Chameleon, No One Lives, Quartet, Thanks For Sharing and A Liar's Autobiography.