TIFF 2013 :: Day 11 :: Last Chance Films – BlackBerry® People’s Choice Award

by Shannonn Kelly
00:25AM, EST, Sunday September 15, 2013

Today is the last day the 38th Annual Toronto International Film Festival. I can barely see straight with all the long hours I put in. But all for a worthy cause. Seeing film and informing my readers about the best film picks and the fun moments at TIFF 2013.

Winners will be awarded in three main categories today: BlackBerry® People’s Choice Award; BlackBerry® Documentary Award; and BlackBerry® Midnight Madness Award. Other awards will be announced as well from Canadian Shorts and Feature Juries when announce their picks starting at 12 Noon today.

TIFF2013 Tip: Get in line at The Ryerson Theater  (44 Gerrard Street East) early because at 6:00PM, the Blackberry People’s Choice Award Winner will be screened and it is *free* to the public. Many people start lining up well before 12 Noon today at Ryerson, where tickets will be handed out to audience members waiting in line. Once the number of tickets needed to fill the house are given out, there is NO getting into the screening.

My picks for the BlackBerry® People’s Choice Award is “Gravity” starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney or “12 Years a Slave” starring Chiwetel Ejiofore. Bullock and Ejiofore are among my 2 picks for Best Actress and Best Actor nods for the Academy Award® 2014

TIFF 2013 BlackBerry® People's Choice Award Winner might be "Gravity" starring Sandra Bullock or "12 Years a Slave" starring Chiwetel Ejiofor
TIFF 2013 BlackBerry® People’s Choice Award Winner might be “Gravity” starring Sandra Bullock or “12 Years a Slave” starring Chiwetel Ejiofor

Today is Day 11 and this is your last chances to see films big or small. Please try to see films that do not have distribution. Please Support Independent Film. Happy TIFF-ING! 🙂
Continue reading “TIFF 2013 :: Day 11 :: Last Chance Films – BlackBerry® People’s Choice Award”

TIFF 2013 :: Day 10 :: What To See at TIFF Today

by Shannonn Kelly
05:33AM, EST, Saturday September 14, 2013

Today is the big closing night Gala at the 38th Annual Toronto International Film Festival. Look for complete pandemonium at the 6PM Gala Premiere for “Life of Crime” directed by  starring , , , , , and , in the Elmore Leonard adapted screenplay about a kidnapping that goes horribly wrong.

"Life of Crime" closes the 38th Annual Toronto International Film Festival
“Life of Crime” closes the 38th Annual Toronto International Film Festival

 

Today is Day 10 and these are some of your last chances to see the smaller independent films that still do not have distribution. Please support independent film. Happy TIFF-ING! 🙂

Continue reading “TIFF 2013 :: Day 10 :: What To See at TIFF Today”

TIFF 2013 :: Day 6 :: What To See at TIFF Today

By Shannonn Kelly
05:47AM, EST, September 10, 2013

Nicholas Cage answers my question during the Q&A for the TIFF Gala Premiere of "JOE" while co-star Tye Sheridan and director David Gordon Green look on.
Nicholas Cage answers my question during the Q&A for the TIFF Gala Premiere of “JOE” while co-star Tye Sheridan and director David Gordon Green look on.

I didn’t see as many films as I wished today. Sometimes that just happens. I had planned to sleep in a little but boom, 5:00AM, I was up and couldn’t go back to sleep even though dog-tired so here is this morning’s blog.

Yesterday (Monday) I saw:

  • The Double
  • Joe
  • Rhymes For The Young Ghouls

“The Double” written and directed by Richard Ayoade (Submarine) is based on a Fyodor Dostoevsky novel about a man driven insane. Ayoade creates a dark and peculiar world somewhere between Erasurehead meets Dark City in which there seems to be no natural light and people work and function in a weird ‘industrialized’ way. Jesse Eisenberg plays milquetoast ‘Simon’ in an ill-fiting suit a’la David Byrne from ‘Talking Heads.

When his doppleganger ‘James’ shows up in the same suit but slightly better fitting, no one notices the resemblance because no one has ever really noticed Simon before because he’s doesn’t make any impact on people as is sort of a non- person. The subtle difference between James and Simon all have to do with projecting a positive image and standing your ground, which Simon has to learn the hard way. The film also stars Mia Wasikowska and Wallace Shawn. Continue reading “TIFF 2013 :: Day 6 :: What To See at TIFF Today”

TIFF 2013 :: Day 5 :: What To See at TIFF Today –

by Shannonn Kelly
01:27 AM, EST, September 09, 2013

Sunday was a big Canadian film day at the Toronto International Film Festival – Snapped this picture of director Bruce McDonald for fun as we were crossing the street together.

Canadian filmmaker Bruce McDonald
Canadian filmmaker Bruce McDonald

I watched the premieres of 3 Canadian films on Sunday starting very early in the morning: Peter Stebbings “empire of Dirt”, documentary Burt’s Buzz and Don McKellar’s stellar debut of the English-speaking version of ‘Seducing Dr. Lewis called, “The Grand Seduction” starring Brendan Gleeson and Gordon Pinset.

My favorite films of the day were “Empire of Dirt”, where I tweeted: “Peter Stebbings gracefully directs a superbly realistic cast in @EODthemovie, proving again #FirstNations talent is sadly underused in #film“, “The Grand Seduction” for different reason’s maybe than critics might say, “Parkland” by Peter Landesman about the people behind the scenes of the day JFK was shot (superb cast) and the raw and under-doggish “FAT”, by Mark Phinney.

Today for Day 5, here are my picks for what to see. Happy TIFF-ing 🙂

Continue reading “TIFF 2013 :: Day 5 :: What To See at TIFF Today –”

TIFF 2013 :: Day 4 :: What To See at TIFF Today

by Shannonn Kelly
02:42AM, EST, September 08, 2013

There’s nothing more I hate than the combination of TIFF+Rain. What an ugly day to be running around between cinemas and screenings. When it rains it shaves even more time off your schedule and consequently you forget to do things like eat. My first meal was at 10:50PM since starting out at 7:30AM…

The 3 Stars of "Bad Words" the Jason Bateman directorial debut with Kathyrn Hahn and Rohan Chand at TIFF 2013
The 3 Stars of “Bad Words” the Jason Bateman directorial debut with Kathyrn Hahn and Rohan Chand at TIFF 2013

The good news is I got to see not once but twice! (Yes, still a hopeless HP fan) Radcliffe has grown into such a fabulous actor, taking all sorts of roles from the risky to the mainstream to shed the 10 years of making Harry Potter.

I also saw “Lucky Them” by director Megan Griffith, but missed the Q&A with Toni Collette to rush to another screening. Collette plays a rock journalist who’s getting a little long in the tooth (but still with a rockin’ bod)  who’s is given an assignment to hunt down a highly regarded musician who was once her lover but mysteriously appeared to have dropped off the face of the earth until she learns people all over the world have posted sightings of him. She’s joined in the hunt by IPO Multi-millionaire Thomas Haden Church who hates music, but has recently taken a course in ‘documentary filmmaking‘. Thomas Haden Church never disappoints and he was in full form in that ‘Sideways’ way in this film. 🙂

My favorite film of the day however was “Bad Words“, the feature film directorial debut by Jason Bateman.

Today for Day 4, here are my picks for what to see. Happy TIFF-ing 🙂 Continue reading “TIFF 2013 :: Day 4 :: What To See at TIFF Today”

TIFF 2013 :: Day 3 :: What To See at TIFF Today

by Shannonn Kelly
01:18AM, EST, September 07, 2013

Jason Bateman as a 40 year-old Spelling Bee contestant in his directorial debut "Bad Words"
Jason Bateman as a 40 year-old Spelling Bee contestant in his directorial debut “Bad Words”

 

Unexpectedly, my final film tonight was “Triptyque” (Triptych), by co-directors Robert LePage and Pedro Pires – Not originally on my Top 100 but I’ve heard so much about the play, that I decided to go see it since it was in close proximity to my previous film. The cinematography by co-director Pedro Pires was gorgeous. The story simple. The cast perfect. The overall feeling was very organic from storytelling to editing. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I have never seen a bad film from Quebec. I could go watch ‘Triptyque’ again right now. It was what I would call “poetically artful”.

I also saw “12 Years a Slave” – – Stunning, beautifully acted narrative of appalling historical fact… Chiwetel Ejiofor is ready for his Oscar! A **Must See**

My Picks for Day 3 at TIFF 2013 are as follows. Happy TIFF-Ing 🙂 Continue reading “TIFF 2013 :: Day 3 :: What To See at TIFF Today”

TIFF 2013 :: Day 2 :: What To See at TIFF Today

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 , , 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 .

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  was present but not nor .

  • “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”.

TIFF 2013 :: Day 1 :: What To See at TIFF Today “Cumberbitches!”

by Shannonn Kelly
05:43AM, EST, Thursday September 05, 2013

Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange in The Fifth Estate Opening Gala - TIFF 2013
Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange in The Fifth Estate Opening Gala – TIFF 2013

Cumberbatch-Palooza‘ starts today at the 38th Annual Toronto International Film Festival.

Benedict Cumberbatch opens the festival in his biggest star-making role to date as Julian Assange, the founder of Wiki Leaks in director Bill Condon’s “The Fifth Estate“.

Cumberbatch also co-stars in two other highly anticipated films: “12 Years A Slave” and “August: Osage County”.  Best known for his “Hobbit” and Sherlock Holmes work, Cumberbatch also played Khan in “Star Trek Into Darkness” (2013).  He’s also revered for his strong supporting roles in “War Horse” (2011) “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” (2011) and The Whistleblower  (2010) as well as one of his most talked about roles playing theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking in the BBC drama “Hawking” from 2004. Continue reading “TIFF 2013 :: Day 1 :: What To See at TIFF Today “Cumberbitches!””

TIFF 2013 :: Breaking Down The Program – 100 Picks at TIFF

by Shannonn Kelly
05:12AM, EST, Thursday September 05, 2013

Chiwetel Ejiofor, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Jason Bateman bring their personal best to TIFF 2013
Chiwetel Ejiofor, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Jason Bateman bring their personal best to TIFF 2013

Well film lovers – the behemoth that is known as the 38th Annual Toronto International Film Festival is in full swing starting Today!

As my readers know, I try and give you the best bang for your $23.50 per ticket by breaking down the monster program book into a pop-culture-y take and make it all user friendly.

I always try to find the gems from all over the world and not just Hollywood blockbusters. Especially interesting to filmgoers should be films without distribution. Those are the films people need to see so the filmmaker can build and audience through word-of-mouth, no matter what country they’re from. This year was tough to stay ‘indie‘ with so many good people making good movies and a few GREAT directorial debuts, by the likes of (my crushes) Jason Bateman and Joseph Gordon-Levitt for instance.

I’ve been following Chiwetel Ejiofor since he played ‘Okwe’ in Stephen Frears‘ film Dirty Pretty Things (2002). I saw the premiere of this film when I was still in school but came here for TIFF. I was blown away by his performance and the screenplay in general.the script was originally submitted by writer Steven Knight to the BBC Writersroom. This screenplay went on to become ‘Dirty Pretty Things’. Ejiofor won Best Actor at the British Independent Film Awards, the Evening Standard Film Awards, and the San Diego Film Critics Society Awards. He went on to co-star in  Love Actually (2003), Woody Allen‘s Melinda and Melinda (2004), Kinky Boots (2005), Inside Man (2006), Children of Men (2006), American Gangster (2007) which I really thought he was the star and not Denzel Washington.

This year Ejiofor stars in two heartfelt and dramatic films at TIFF. He plays ‘Odenigbo’ in Half of a Yellow Sun about family and war in Nigeria by director and starring opposite Thandie Newton and Anika Noni Rose.

In “12 Years a Slave“, Ejiofor also stars as ‘Solomon Northup’ in this horrendous based on fact story about a fiddle playing 19th-century free black man abducted and sold into slavery in the pre-Civil War era Deep South. Directed by Steve McQueen “Hunger” (2008) and Shame (2011). Cast your early Oscar vote for for Ejiofor in “12 Years a Slave”. It’s going to be a Winner.

Continue reading “TIFF 2013 :: Breaking Down The Program – 100 Picks at TIFF”

TIFF 2013 :: Midnight Madness Serves Up Everything from Cannibalism to Supernatural Cheerleaders

by Shannonn Kelly
12:28PM, EST, July 31, 2013

The bloodsport of "All Cheerleaders Must Die", by co-directors Lucky McKee and Chris Sivertson
The bloodsport of “All Cheerleaders Must Die”, by co-directors Lucky McKee and Chris Sivertson

The 38th Annual Toronto Film Festival has finally announced its lineup for Midnight Madness program, which is the wild side of TIFF, screening genre films that include: Action, Horror, Shock and Fantasy film to a rabid nocturnal crowd. This year’s offerings so far include:

  1. Afflicted
  2. All Cheerleaders Must Die
  3. Almost Human
  4. The Green Inferno
  5. Oculus
  6. R100
  7. Rigor Mortis
  8. The Station
  9. Why Don’t You Play In Hell
  10. TBA

We have yet to find out what the 10h film might be. It’s very possible they are looking for another star studded feature such as 2012’s “Seven Psychopaths” which became such a media frenzy hype-fest, that the films screened 1 1/2 hours late and the Q&A went until well past 3AM.  (My review is Here.) Continue reading “TIFF 2013 :: Midnight Madness Serves Up Everything from Cannibalism to Supernatural Cheerleaders”