by Shannonn Kelly
02:14AM, EST, Friday September 06, 2013
Too pooped to party (and not really that interested after going there and people watching), I decided to just get in front of my computer and write my blog early, since every other day I’ll be penning it sometime past 3AM.
As the opening night of the 38th Annual Toronto International Film Festival, before the gala premiere at the Elgin, we were treated to a short film among many commissioned by the Elgin/Wintergarden theater to celebrate it’s centennial. A post-apocalyptic piece with great set design that turned the Elgin into a decrepit temple of doom cloaked in darkness, cobwebs and a hosteling a hidden society.
The next unexpected bittersweet treat was a short retrospective on Roger Ebert’s (sadly missed) presence at TIFF> Years of archival footage and stills woven together to celebrate a critic that truly loved the voice of film.
Tonight I saw the much anticipated “The Fifth Estate“, the WikiLeaks Julian Assange story starring Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead role.. Some timely and sly references from the characters of David Thewlis, Laura Linney, Stanley Tucci, some cold but interesting graphics, ‘The Fifth Estate’ is part geek-heaven-globe-trotting information espionage, part contentious ‘Bro-mance’ between Assange and Daniel Domscheit-Berg played solidly by Daniel Brühl.
I’m too tired to read any reviews, but I’m sure they will be mixed as audience reaction seemed mixed as well. I was thinking about a lot of the technical aspects of the film while watching. However, the acting all around was very strong.
I went to the ‘early’ premiere. Director Bill Condon was present but not Cumberbatch nor Brühl.
- “12 Years A Slave”, dir. Steve McQueen (USA) I’ll say it right now – Look for an Oscar worthy performance by Chiwetel Ejiofore
- “Attila Marcel”, dir. Sylvain Chomet same director who brought us Triplettes of Belleville with his firat live action feature.
- “Parkland”, dir. Peter Landesman directs Zac Efron, Paul Giamatti, Billy Bob Thornton, and Jacki Weaver in an ensemble piece that looks at the day and the people involved the day JFK was shot.
- “Prisoners”, dir.
Denis Villeneuve (Incendies) directs Jake Gyllenhaal and Hugh Jackman in a thriller about the disappearance of two young girls.
- “Bad Words”, dir. Jason Bateman
directs and stars as a 40-something high-school dropout who, through some weird loophole enters a national children’s spelling bee that he lost out on years previous when he was a kid.
- “Horns”, dir.
Daniel Radcliffe stars in this horror/supernatural thriller as a guy blamed for the brutal murder of his girlfriend (Juno Temple) and realizes he’s been marked as the murderer when he awakes to find a pair of horns growing from his head.
- “Abuse of Weakness”, dir. Catherine Breillat’s
Based on the director’s own almost unbelievable story about an filmmaker (Isabelle Huppert) who suffers from a stroke, and as she begins to recuperate puts here faith in a con-man who bilks her out out almost a million dollars after she commissions him to write a screenplay for her
- “What is Cinema?” Dir. Chuck Workman
The question is the reason you should see this documentary
- “Love is The Perfect Crime”, dir. Jean-Marie Larrieu and Arnaud Larrieu’s
A womanizing professor complicated life takes a turn for the worse following the disappearance of a student. Stars Mathieu Amalric (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, 2007)
- “Triptyque” (Triptych), dir. Robert LePage, Pedro Pires – Not originally on my Top 100 but I’ve heard so much about the play, that I’m hopefully going to see it
- “Tim’s Vermeer”, dir.
Penn of “Penn and Teller” directs this unusual documentary that investigates how Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer painted such photo-realistic paintings
- “All About The Feathers”
Dir. Neto Villalobos from Costa Rico directs his first film about a security guard who wants to get into the cockfighting but becomes inseparable from his rooster Rocky.
- “Midnight Madness: The Station“
dir. Marvin Kren His film Rammbock from 2010 had a virus spread across a city that turned people into mindless homicidal maniacs. This time his thriller takes place with a remote weather research station crew in the German Alps that discover a glacier turning the local wildlife into “ravenous biological monstrosities”.