One of the most popular and well attended (justifiably) portions of the Toronto International Film Festival is the Midnight Madness programme (which already announced its programme). What is often over-looked is its sibling, the Vanguard programme which strives to introduce festival-goers to international works that defy convention and ride on the pulse of cutting-edge cinema. Curated by the Festival’s Midnight Madness expert Colin Geddes, this lineup taps into a bold and dangerous world where genre meets art house cinema.
“From Tijuana caves to the dawn of the Spanish civil war, this programme takes genre junkies to the extreme depths of storytelling that push the boundaries of filmmaking,” said Geddes, TIFF Programmer. “I like to think of Vanguard as Midnight Madness’s older, more mature sister with a darker, confrontational and transgressive core.”
90 Minutes Eva Sørhaug, Norway World Premiere Director Eva Sørhaug (Cold Lunch) reveals the rage and violence lurking beneath seemingly tranquil domesticity in her bold and uncompromising sophomore feature.
Beijing Flickers Zhang Yuan, China World Premiere Beneath Beijing’s dazzling economic boom exists the downtrodden and the forgotten “little” people who bear the weight of life’s trials and injustices.
Berberian Sound Studio Peter Strickland, United Kingdom North American Premiere Set in 1976: Gilderoy is hired to orchestrate the sound mix for the latest film by Italian horror maestro, Santini. As time and realities shift, Gilderoy is lost in a spiral of sonic and personal mayhem, and has to confront his own demons in order to stay afloat.
Blondie Jesper Ganslandt, Sweden North American Premiere Three sisters, all adrift and in crisis, reunite at their childhood home as their domineering mother arranges a big birthday. But as the festivities come to an end, repressed conflicts rise to the surface. Old wounds are opened and a new family is born.
Here Comes the Devil Adrian Garcia Bogliano, Mexico/Argentina World Premiere On a family vacation, a couple’s son and daughter disappear while exploring a cave-riddled mountainside. The children eventually return home seemingly unharmed, but are withdrawn and devoid of emotion. The parents fear they have fallen prey to something inhuman — and that this dark evil has come home with them.
iLL Manors Ben Drew, United Kingdom International Premiere iLL Manors is the highly anticipated directorial debut by pioneering British music artist Ben Drew (a.k.a. Plan B). A unique crime thriller set on the unforgiving streets of London, iLL Manors follows six disparate lives, all struggling to survive the circles of violence that engulf them. Narratively linked through original music from Plan B, the film is a visually stunning and emotionally impactful experience laced with street-wise humour. The film’s soundtrack just topped the U.K.’s album chart.
Motorway Soi Cheang, Hong Kong North American Premiere A cocky young cop on the city’s top-secret, high-speed pursuit squad must learn the tricks of the trade from a grizzled veteran (Hong Kong action star Anthony Wong) as he prepares to take down a getaway driver in this super-charged, high-octane thriller from Hong Kong action auteur Soi Cheang (Accident) and legendary producer Johnnie To.
Painless Juan Carlos Medina, Spain/France/Portugal World Premiere At the dawn of the Spanish civil war, a group of children insensitive to pain is locked in a sanatorium in the heart of the Pyrénées. In the present day, brilliant neurosurgeon David Martel discovers that he has a tumor and starts searching for his biological parents, in order to get the bone marrow transplant necessary for his survival. During his quest, he will exhume terrifying secrets about his origins, reanimate ghosts of his country and confront Berkano, the only fateful survivor of the insensitive children. From the writer of [Rec].
Peaches Does Herself Peaches, Germany World Premiere On the advice of a 65-year-old stripper, Peaches makes music that is sexually forthright. Her popularity grows and she becomes what her fans expect her to be: transsexual. She falls in love with a beautiful she-male, but Peaches gets her heart broken and has to realize who she really is. Described as an anti-jukebox musical. Peaches writes, directs and plays the role of Peaches herself.
Pusher Luis Prieto, United Kingdom North American Premiere As edgy and explosive as Nicolas Winding Refn’s (Drive) 1996 cult classic, this English language remake tells the story of a week in the life of Frank, a big time drug pusher in London. Frank’s life is a fun-filled rollercoaster ride that spins out of control. Friendships start to vanish, there is no longer room for love within his life, and violence takes over. Danger and chaos ensue, and eventually Frank is left with no one to turn to and nowhere to go.
Room 237 Rodney Ascher, USA Canadian Premiere Room 237 fuses fact and fiction through interviews with ardent fans convinced they have decoded Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining’s secret messages regarding genocide, government conspiracy, and the nightmare that we call history. Ideas of five devotees of the film are braided together in a kaleidoscopic deconstruction of the horror classic.
Sightseers Ben Wheatley, United Kingdom North American Premiere Chris (Steve Oram) wants to show Tina (Alice Lowe) his world and he wants to do it his way: on a journey through the British Isles in his beloved Abbey Oxford caravan. Erotic odyssey… Killing spree… Caravanning holiday… The trip taken by Tina and Chris in Sightseers is all these things and more.
Thale Aleksander Nordaas, Norway Canadian Premiere Two crime-scene cleaners discover a mythical, tailed female creature in a concealed cellar. She never utters a word, unable to tell her story, but the pieces of the puzzle soon come together: she’s been held captive for decades for reasons soon to surface.
The We and the I Michel Gondry, USA North American Premiere It’s the last day of the year at a high school in the Bronx, and students pile on to the usual bus home. The raucous bunch of aggressive and superficial teens — the bullies and the bullied — develops and is transformed as the bus empties. Relationships become closer and more personal between students with absolutely nothing in common.
Purchase Festival ticket packages online 24 hours a day at tiff.net/festival, by phone Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET at 416.599.TIFF or 1.888.599.8433, or visit the box office in person from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET at TIFF Bell Lightbox. The 37th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 6 to 16, 2012.
About TIFF TIFF is a charitable cultural organization whose mission is to transform the way people see the world through film. An international leader in film culture, TIFF projects include the annual Toronto International Film Festival in September; TIFF Bell Lightbox, which features five cinemas, major exhibitions, and learning and entertainment facilities; and innovative national distribution program Film Circuit. The organization generates an annual economic impact of $170 million CAD. TIFF Bell Lightbox is generously supported by contributors including Founding Sponsor Bell, the Province of Ontario, the Government of Canada, the City of Toronto, the Reitman family (Ivan Reitman, Agi Mandel and Susan Michaels), The Daniels Corporation and RBC. For more information, visit tiff.net.
Whenever master filmmaker and auteur Wong Kar Wai does something..anything, attention must be paid. His next film is The Grandmasters, his take on the master martial arts teacher Ip Man (known most famously for teaching Bruce Lee), is slated to open in December. In the meantime, we have a teaser by Wai for a short film that was commissioned by Chival Regal.
It makes no difference what the subject matter is, this teaser is pretty incredible to watch. I will definitely catch the short film when it is released in June.
The first weekend has passed and most of the celebrities are long gone, guess they’re is no point in talking about the Toronto International Film Festival anymore is there?
Like the tag-line of our #TIFF11 site trumpets: It’s about the films.
So in that same vein, I happily present to you my 1st Annual It’s About the Film Sleeper #TIFF11 Picks for true TIFFheads.
Despite losing his job, Michel lives happily with Marie-Claire. They have been in love for over thirty years. Their conscience is as clear as their view of life. This happiness will be shattered by two young men, armed and masked, who beat them, tie them up and snatch their money to go for a trip to Kilimanjaro.
Why See it? I managed to catch this before the festival and even after all of the movies that I have seen since, it has stayed with me. It starts one way and ends up in a magnificent place. Probably the best depiction of love I have ever seen on the screen. And for me that is worth not only my money..but my time.
Based on real people and events. Ah Tao was born in Taishan, China. She works as a servant for 60 years and has been serving four generations of the Leung family. For the past decade, Ah Tao lived with Roger, the only family member left in Hong Kong. Stars Andy Lau, Deanie Ip, Wang Fuli and Qin Hailu.
Why See It? Based on the trailer and the buzz from folks leaving the screening, there seems to be gentle elegance that this film conveys. The actors are some serious heavyweights in Asian Cinema and Deanie Ip walking away with the Best Actress Prize at the Venice Film Festival definitely backs that up.
When is it Playing? Sunday September 18 Scotiabank Theatre 2 9:45am
Joseph is a man plagued by violence and rage that is driving him to self-destruction. As Joseph’s life spirals into turmoil, a chance of redemption appears in the form of Hannah, a Christian charity shop worker. Their relationship develops to reveal that Hannah is hiding a secret of her own which has devastating results on both of their lives. Starring Peter Mullanand Olivia Colman.
Why See It? Anyone who is a fan of British cinema a la Layer Cake and Snatch will love this gritty, intimate film pairing two of the best of that genre of British cinema. Paddy Considine is a great actor who is now on the other side of the camera with his friend Peter Mullan. Together they seemed to have put together a pretty powerful performance to drive an extremely interesting film.
Gerhard Richter, one of the internationally most significant contemporary artists of our times, granted filmmaker Corinna Belz access to his studio in the spring and summer of 2009 where he was working on a series of large abstract paintings. In quiet, highly concentrated images, the film gives us a fly-on-the-wall perspective of a very personal, tension-filled process of artistic creation. In her intelligent and perceptive film, Corinna Belz brings us closer to the complex processes of artistic creation. Gerhard Richter Painting is the penetrating portrait of an artist at work – and a fascinating film about the art of seeing.
Why See It? If there is a movie that correctly captures the essence of one of the last genius painters, it is this one. The trailer is beautiful, Gerhard Richter is a living legend and a treasure and being able to watch a master work is a true joy.
Need I say more?
When is it Playing? Sunday September 18 Jackman Hall – AGO 3:15pm
Michael, an ex-cop, lives with his 11-year-old son and works in a theatre as a projectionist pirating DVDs for a living. When he starts receiving death threats for his son from someone in his past, he gets caught up in a complex web of his own impending blindness comprised of his insecurities. First-time director Ribhu Dasgupta teams up with India’s guru of independent cinema, producer Anurag Kashyap, and veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah for this character-driven, psychological drama.
Why See It? Naseeruddin Shah is a living legend. From great, captivating performances in gems like Amal to more western fare like League of Extraordinary Gentleman, he always delivers. He is best in these small indie-types films and that is exactly what this is. The story is great and you will not be disappointed in anything Shah does.
When 16-year-old Jamie is introduced to a charismatic man, a friendship begins. As the relationship grows so do Jamie’s suspicions, until he finds his world threatened by his loyalty for, and fear of, his newfound father-figure John Bunting, Australia’s most notorious serial killer. Starring Lucas Pittaway, Daniel Henshall, Louise Harris.
Why See It? There is something very odd about this trailer. Something very off-putting and that is what l love about it. There has been a ton of criticial acclaim for this film in Australia. And I mean a lot. Some have even dubbed it the best Australian film this year. Between that and the subject matter, your time will definitely be well spent.
When is it Playing? Saturday September 17 Scotiabank Theatre 4 10:00pm
Ever since his wife was burned in a car crash, Dr. Robert Ledgard, an eminent plastic surgeon, has been interested in creating a new skin with which he could have saved her. After twelve years, he manages to cultivate a skin that is a real shield against every assault. In addition to years of study and experimentation, Robert needed a further three things: no scruples, an accomplice and a human guinea pig. Scruples were never a problem. Marilia, the woman who looked after him from the day he was born, is his most faithful accomplice. And as for the human guinea pig… Stars Antonio Banderas, Elena Anaya, Blanca Suárez and Jan Cornet.
Why See It? Almodovar and Banderas back together again. That should be enough…and really it is. If you are going to see this because of their history together, than you know you are in for a wild, weird and wonderful ride. This film definitely delivers and not in the way that you might hope for. Once you realize the twist, you might either love me or hate me for recommending this too. I loved it and I am betting that you will as well.
When is it Playing? Saturday September 17 TIFF Bell Lightbox 2 9:30am
The big competition between Venice and Toronto Film Festivals is in full swing. We had the folks in Toronto announce their lineup earlier and now we have the powers that be at the Venice Film Festival have announced their lineup.
Starting with festival opener George Clooney‘s The Ides of March, (which just dropped its’ trailer and poster), the week-long event will also feature Carnage from Roman Polanski and the world premier of A Dangerous Method from David Cronenberg.
Here is the full list:
The Ides Of March, George Clooney (US) [Opening Night Film] Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, Tomas Alfredson (UK, Germany) Wuthering Heights, Andrea Arnold (UK) Texas Killing Fields, Ami Canaan Maan (US) Quando La Notte, Cristina Comencini (Italy) Terraferma, Emanuele Crialese (Italy/France) A Dangerous Method, David Cronenberg (Germany/Canada) 4:44 Last Day On Earth, Abel Ferrara (US) Killer Joe, William Friedkin (US) Un Ete Brulant, Philippe Garrel (France/Italy/Switzerland) A Simple Life (Taojie), Ann Hui (China/Hong Kong) The Exchange (Hahithalfut), Eran Kolirin (Israel) Alps (Alpeis),Yorgos Lanthimos (Greece) Shame, Steve McQueen (UK) L’ultimo Terrestre, Gian Alfonso Pacinotti (GIPI) (Italy) Carnage, Roman Polanski (France/Germany/Spain/Poland) Chicken With Plums, Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud (France/Belgium/Germany) Faust, Aleksander Sokurov (Russia) Dark Horse,Todd Solondz (US) Himizu, Sion Sono (Japan) Seediq Bale, Wei Te-Sheng (Taiwan)
Showing Out Of Competition
Vivan las Antipodas!(documentary), Victor Kossakovsky (Germany/Argentina/Holland/Chile/Russia) La Folie Almayer, Chantal Akerman (Belgium/France) The Sorcerer And The White Snake (Baish Echuanshuo), Tony Ching Siu-Tung (China/Hong Kong) Giochi D’estate, Rolando Colla (Switzerland/Italy) La Desintegration, Philippe Fauchon (Belgium) The Moth Diaries, Mary Harron (Canada/Ireland) Alois Nebel, Tomas Lunak (Czech Republic/Germany) W.E., Madonna (UK) Eva, Kike Maillo (UK) Scossa, Francesco Maselli, Carlo Lizzani, Ugo Gregoretti, Nino Russo (Italy) La Cle Des Champs,Claude Nuridsany, Marie Perennou (France) Il Villaggio Di Cartone, Ermanno Olmi (Italy) Wilde Salome, Al Pacino (US) Tormented, Takashi Shimizu (Japan) Contagion, Steven Soderbergh (US) Marco Bellocchio,Venezia 2011, Pietro Marcello (Italy) (documentary, short) La Meditazione Di Hayez, Mario Martone (Italy) (short) Tahrir 2011,Tamer Ezzat, Ahmad Abdalla, Ayten Amin, Amr Salama (Egypt) (documentary) The End, Collectif Abounaddara (Syria) Vanguard, Colleftif Abounaddara (Syria) Evolution (Megaplex)(3D), Marco Brambilla (US)
Damsels in Distress, Wilt Stillman (US) [Closing Night Film] source : /Film.