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 preview
Tuesday Sept 11th:
- Here Comes the Devil is another movie about creepy Spanish kids (there are a lot of them this year) who may or may not have been touched by something evil after disappearing for a day.
- From Microcosmos on up, modern camera technology has made recent bug docs true wonders to behold. More Than Honey focuses that lens on the imperiled world of the noble bee.
- Inescapable casts ST:DS9 alum Alexander Siddig as a former Syrian dissident who's built a very comfortable life for himself in Canada only to have his daughter disappear in Damascus, forcing him to go back home and be a badass once again. So, basically, a Liam Neeson movie without Liam Neeson.
- Many years ago I was a huge fan of Philippine films, and not just because the women in them were crazy hot and they all seemed to be ridiculous melodramas. There was an energy to their film industry that no one seemed to be matching at the time. I'm getting hints that West African films might be about to plug into that same socket... Kinshasa Kids I mentioned earlier, but Burn It Up Djassa is another one I get that vibe from. It looks like a City of God-esque brother-against-brother crime flick from Cote d'Ivoire, from a director named Lonesome Solo (!!!). Buckle up.
- In addition to films about creepy Spanish kids, there's also a subset of TIFF movies this year about Japanese bathhouses. Entrant #2 after Thermae Romae is The Key of Life, about a down-on-his-luck actor who swaps identities with a hitman after the hitman slips in a public bathhouse, bumps his head and gets amnesia. So, basically, a Takeshi Kitano comedy without Takeshi Kitano.
- A Werewolf Boy is a South Korean film about a poor family with a teenage daughter who take in a feral lad they find in the back yard and try to civilize him. It's described as a 'wistful fantasy'. Sure, what the hell.
- Audrey Tautou graces us with her presence in Therese Desqueyroux, Claude Miller's final film and based on a novel that's sort of the French equivalent to Tess of the d'Urbervilles or Anna Karenina.
- Kill List director Ben Wheatley is back with a bloody romp across the English countryside that sounds as much like Grant Morrison's Kill Your Boyfriend as it does Bonnie and Clyde in Sightseers.
- Since we have a film in Mr. Pip about people who like Great Expectations, it's only fitting that we also get a reverential adaptation of Dickens' classic as well, this one from Mike Newell and starring half the people who appeared in the Harry Potter series: Ralph Fiennes, Robbie Coltrane, Helena Bonham Carter etc etc.
- Passion sees Brian DePalma trying to stay relevant by getting Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace to star in a sexually charged thriller set in the advertising world. I'm sure it'll be very DePalma.
- And at Midnight, Aftershock casts Eli Roth (who also co-wrote it) as an American tourist caught in the middle of a devastating Chilean earthquake that quickly rips the veneer of civilization off the survivors. The director is Nicolas Lopez, who apparently has films called Fuck My Life and Fuck My Wedding on his resume. I guess he figured calling this one Fuck My Apocalypse might not play internationally.
- Also repeat screenings of Byzantium, The Iceman, Greetings From Tim Buckley, Hyde Park On Hudson, Tai Chi 0, Berberian Sound Studio, Dangerous Liaisons, No Place On Earth, The Lesser Blessed, To the Wonder and Hellbenders.