Posted Jun 12, 2010 in Arts | 0 Comments

Inside Out, Cinematheque, Bloor, and more!

The 20th annual Inside Out Film Festival, and the first one I attended, is an interesting yet familiar experience for me. I consider myself as a person living in many worlds or cliques – the film geek world and the gay world. And at the Inside Out Film Festival, those two worlds intersect. I met the Michaels at the screening of the conversational “Bear Nation,” a friend at “I am Love,” and a friend’s best friend at the terrible “Is It Just Me?

The highlight of the festival for me was “I am Love,” starring Tilda Swinton and coming out on limited release at the weekend of the 11th. The movie focuses on an Italian family and one of their wives, Emma Recchi, who has an affair. It’s a moving, sensory portrait that doesn’t have to explain the ways of the upper class family Emma married herself into. It shocked yet slightly delighted me that archaic decorum still existed in a hidden part of the old world. Swinton’s performance shows her audience that she’s this generation’s snow-covered volcano, both in her timidity and her capacity to desire. This movie will divide audiences like the one I saw it with it, and I will defend it because of its strengths.

TIFF Cinematheque has a lot to offer this summer, and they’ll probably take me away from the multiplexes. Sorry Carrie Bradshaw. Their headliners for the season are separate yet overlapping career retrospectives of actor James Mason and director Akira Kurosawa, which I’ll talk about next month. What I really want to talk about is their third billed program, a tribute to the critic Robin Wood and his eclectic Top Ten Greatest Movie list that includes Howard Hawks’s “Rio Bravo” starring John Wayne (June 18), “The Chase” starring Marlon Brando (June 19), Max Ophuls’s “Letter from an Unknown Woman” starring Joan Fontaine (June 23) and the Hitchcock 1964 release “Marnie” (June 28). The directors and stars of the movies I’ve mentioned have performed better in other movies. I can speak of that specifically about  “Marnie,” since it’s a movie past Hitch’s noir age and Golden age and I’m not the biggest fan of Tippi Hedren, her Southern accent, or Sean Connery’s sexual aggression. But I do give Wood credit for writing a list that will keep people talking and will make people like me revisit these interesting  movies.

Bloor Cinema’s also screening double bills of great film directors like Hitchcock, Francois Truffaut and Steven Spielberg. Your best bet is to catch the Truffaut Double Bill on the 16th, screening “The 400 Blows” at 7:00 and “Day for Night” at 9:10. If you can’t make it on the 16th, “The 400 Blows” is showing on the 14th and 15th while “Day for Night” is showing on the afternoon of the 17th. “The 400 Blows” has a place in my heart, featuring the story of young Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Leaud). Here you’ll see boys who gesture like they’ve lived for decades and have the experience to back it up. It shows boys having fun and skipping school, having rustic, postwar Paris as their playground. It also shows the carelessness of juvenile delinquency enacted by characters too sympathetic to be called stupid. Two weeks later, on the 30th, is the Spielberg double bill featuring crowd pleaser movies like “Jaws” and “Jurassic Park.”

For new releases, Xavier Dolan’s “Heartbeats” also comes out the week of the 11th. June 18 will see the release of “The Killer Inside Me.” “Winter’s Bone” comes out on June 25, and by the time you read this I hope I get into a preview screening. And June 30 will see the release of “Love Ranch,” the Helen Mirren-Joe Pesci prostitution movie that will compete for “Twilight: Eclipse” for ticket sales.

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