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 preview
Wednesday Sept 12th:
- Takeshi Kitano, back doing yakuza flicks, cranks out a sequel to 2010's Outrage called Outrage Beyond. While I'm disappointed to see him throttling back his ambitions, hey, it's still Kitano.
- Scott Pilgrim's Mary Elizabeth Winstead (what do you mean she was recently in a horror prequel? Lalalalala I'm not listening) gets to flex her acting chops in Smashed, about an alcoholic teacher who tries to straighten out her life while her equally-unsober husband (Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul) tries to keep it crooked.
- I think the program note for Thale sums it up nicely: "Two forensic clean-up men discover a deadly mythological siren hidden in the basement of a remote cabin in the Norwegian woods." So, basically, Quentin Tarantino's Splash.
- A Royal Affair sees Mads Mikkelsen starring as a German doctor who tore apart the Danish court of Christian VII in the 1700s. Oh, and it's from the screenwriter of Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.
- South Korea's resident demented genius Kim Ki-duk is back with Pieta, about a loan shark's sadistic enforcer who reunites with his long-lost mother. Wherever you think that set-up might go, I can pretty much guarantee it's going to go somewhere else.
- Johnnie To produces Motorway, which looks like some sort of Hong Kong mashup of Drive and The Fasts and the Furiouses.
- Patrice Leconte, best known for crime-tinged dramas like Monsieur Hire and L'homme du train, turns up with an animated musical that Tim Burton will probably be doing a stop-motion adaptation of any day now, about a family-run Suicide Shop that sells the accoutrements of euthanasia and their optimistic white sheep of a son.
- And on a day that features name-brand international directors like Leconte, Kim and Kitano, name-brand American director Barry Levinson does something I never in a million years would have expected from him: namely, make a Midnight Madness film, and a found footage MM film at that. The Bay looks like a mutated hybrid of Slither and Contagion, and I have absolutely no idea what Levinson is up to in making this. That's a good thing.
- Also repeat screenings of Great Expectations, Key of Life, Ghost Graduation, Antiviral, The Hunt, Lore, Lords of Salem, Imagine, Here Comes the Devil, In the House and A Hijacking.