Posted Sep 18, 2010 in Arts | 0 Comments

Toronto International Film Festival Brings You…

I don’t even know where to begin when talking about TIFF, except that I’m seeing the movies featured at the festival as a plebeian and not as a person of the press, that I only have one possible gala on my list, that I’m only seeing people who I think are celebrities, like Willem Dafoe from last year and Danis Tanovic from this year, instead of running into Javier Bardem or Javier Bardem, and I just came off as a pretentious douche.

But I’m really looking forward to my Tuesday double bill of Rabbit Hole and Black Swan both screening at the historic Elgin Theatre. Both movies have strong female leads with heavy emotional pathos – Nicole Kidman loses a child and Natalie Portman loses her mind. The former is based on a play that I just read most of, and the role of Becca is typical of Kidman’s emotional restraint. That doesn’t mean, however, that I’m crossing my fingers for her character to explode on screen. And of course, we’ve all seen the trailer for Black Swan, making most people excited. Strangely, some are comparing it to Showgirls. I personally think that the trailer’s a bit sweaty, but it’s all part of the fun.

And there are a lot more adaptations in this year’s selection of films, including some that I already know I’m seeing or am thinking of seeing. Never Let Me Go, starring Carey Mulligan, is about young people raised up to become organ donors (I also bought the book and read the first few chapters). There’s Let Me In, a adaptation of a Swedish classic that some of us didn’t want to be remade. Danis Tanovic’s Cirkus Columbia is a beautiful story of a dysfunctional, broken home in pre-war Bosnia. And lastly, there’s Late Autumn that takes a look at Asian diaspora on the west coast of the United States, apparently based on a lost film from the 1960s. Sure, there are writers like Mike Fleming who would rather see Hollywood do original material, but with the exception of Late Autumn, I’m really stoked to see the movies I listed above and I hope they don’t disappoint.

Nonetheless, TIFF is a gift that keeps on giving, since the films featured during the festival are gonna trickle into releases from this weekend – like Easy A, Incendies and actor-director Ben Affleck’s The Town (don’t hate) – to mid-January, when Blue Valentine comes out. Also, the Bell Lightbox just opened and will be the official home of the festival even after it ends, showing TIFF selections like Les Amours Imaginaires and the Palme D’Or winner Uncle Boonmee. The Lightbox is also gonna start screening film from their 100 Essential Films, starting with Citizen Kane and L’Avventura. That’s a handful of films to think about.

If you wanna take a rest from the Lightbox and all those blinding celebrities (yeah, right), there’s some things going on at the Bloor Cinema as well. The classic Japanese film Kwaidan is playing from the 17th to the 2oth. The Australian gangster flick Animal Kingdom from the 19th to the 21st. And for the James Bond fans out there, there’s From Russia With Love showing the 27th and 28th. Lots of movies to choose from, from future classics to ones that are already timeless.

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