TIFF2015 :: 28 Hand Picked Films From A Toronto Film Festival Director

by Shannonn Kelly
September 10, 2015 03:25AM EST

 Colin Farrell,  John C. Reilly, Ben Whishaw in "The Lobster" by Greek director  Yorgos Lanthimos
Colin Farrell, John C. Reilly, Ben Whishaw in “The Lobster” by Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos

360 days ago, I took a break from blogging, to focus on writing and editing my Screenplays and also work on a few documentary projects.

But alas, the big Monster is back that is the Toronto International Film Festival and it’s the 40th Anniversary. So It’s a little hard to ignore. And since last season I saw Justin Long turned into a Walrus, this year I want to see Colin Farrell turned into a *Lobster* (winky face)…

 

 

Here are my Picks for #TIFF15
Continue reading “TIFF2015 :: 28 Hand Picked Films From A Toronto Film Festival Director”

TIFF2014 :: Hand Picked Films From A Toronto Film Festival Director

by Shannonn Kelly
06:45AM, EST, September 04, 2014

Go to Character actor Timothy Spall gets his own light in Mr. Turner, directed by Mike Leigh.
The UK’s ‘go to’ character actor Timothy Spall gets his own light in “Mr. Turner”, directed by Mike Leigh.

While Cannes, Sundance, Telluride and TIFF fight over policy and premiere status, the good news is for audiences is that around 30 films from Telluride this past weekend and Cannes festival in May and Sundance, will premiere to Toronto audiences at the 39th Annual Toronto International Film Festival starting today.

What TIFF doesn’t really get is that most cinephiles don’t travel all over the world to see films at other film festivals. This is mainly what film festival programmers do. So no matter where a film has premiered outside of the country of Canada before, it’s still a premiere to Toronto audiences.

According to the TorontoStar.com:

TIFF’s new policy states that all films playing during the fest’s first four days, from Thursday through Sunday inclusive, must be either be a World or North American premiere. Films failing to meet these criteria will screen in the last week of the 11-day event.

Cannes Winners coming to TIFF that I highly suggest are:

  1. MR. TURNER (UK) director (the incredible) Mike Leigh cast (the incredible) UK character actor staple, Timothy Spall in the ultimate “Art film” where Spall shines brilliantly in this biopic period piece that starts in 1826 about J.M.W. Turner, one of the greatest English landscape painters of all time. Timothy Spall won the Best Actor prize at Cannes for his outstanding performance.
  2. LEVIATHAN (Russia) director Andrey Zvyagintsev  Won Best Screenplay at Cannes and is the story about a proud patriarch fighting to protect his family home from a corrupt local official in post Soviet Russia.
  3. FOXCATCHER (USA) director Bennett Miller won for Best Director at Cannes in May. He also directed “Capote” (2005) and “Moneyball” (2011). It stars Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo as brothers in the true life story of Olympic wrestler Mark Schultz, whose relationship with sponsor John du Pont and brother Dave Schultz would lead to unlikely circumstances. It also stars Anthony Michael Hall, Steve Carell and Sienna Miller.
  4. MOMMY (Quebec, Canada) director Xavier Dolan won the Jury Prize, and an extended standing ovation, at Cannes for his latest feature.

Other films on my list include:

  1. AN EYE FOR BEAUTY / Le règne de la beauté (Quebec, Canada) According to TIFF: Romantic drama becomes a means for a sharply observant societal critique in the new film from Academy Award winner Denys Arcand (The Barbarian Invasions), about a married Québécois architect who embarks upon a torrid love affair with a young Toronto woman. While many critics say the story doesn’t live up to the usual ‘Arcand’ standards, the film should still be heads above a bad ‘Canadian’ film.
  2. A LITTLE CHAOS, (UK) director Alan Rickman also stars as King Louis XIV in this historical drama of the female landscape-gardener of Versailles played by Kate Winslet. This is Rickman’s 2nd feature that he directed. His first was 17 years ago, “The Winter Guest” starring Emma Thompson.
  3. A SECOND CHANCE / En chance til (Denmark) director Susanne Bier. This is the 2nd film from Denmark on my list this year. Bier directs this story that asks how far would decent human beings be willing to go, when tragedy blurs the line between just and unjust?
  4. BOYCHOIR (Quebec, Canada) director François Girard who directed “Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould” and “The Red Violin”. Two of my favorites. This family friendly film stars Dustin Hoffman who had his directorial debut last year at the age of 76 with “Quartet”. Hoffman also stars in the highly anticipated “The Cobbler”.
  5. CAKE (USA) director Daniel Barnz gives Jennifer Aniston her “Blind Side” role as the acerbic, hilarious Claire Simmons who becomes fascinated by the suicide of a woman in her chronic pain support group. While I am NOT and never will be an Aniston fan, I’m as curious as the next person to see her in this film which didn’t have the best start in pre-production. The film also stars Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington, William H. Macy and his lovely talented wife, Felicity Huffman.
  6. COMING HOME (China) Director Yimou Zhang who helmed the excellent “House of Flying Daggers” (2004), directs this script from novel turned screenplay about a Chinese man who is forced into marriage and flees to America, but when he returns home, he is sent to a labor camp. It stars the lovely Li Gong, and the dashing Daoming Chen.
  7. EDEN (France) director Mia Hansen-Løve. Felix de Givry, Greta Gerwig, Pauline Etienne star in this underground dance music film which traces the rise of the French electronic-music boom in the 1990s and the DJ who’s credited with inventing “French house” music. Music in the film includes Daft Punk, Joe Smooth and Frankie Knuckles.
  8. FOREIGN BODY / OBCI CIALO (Poland) Director Krysztof Zanussi – According to TIFF: A dashing young Italian in Poland finds himself caught between two women — a novitiate nun and a ruthless corporate ladder-climber — in this lacerating vision of contemporary Poland.
  9. GETT, THE TRIAL OF VIVIANE AMSALEM / GETT, LE PROCÈS DE VIVANE AMSALEM (Israel) directors Ronit Elkabetz, Shlomi Elkabetz bring you a riveting and timely courtroom drama where in Israel there is neither civil marriage nor civil divorce. Only rabbis can legitimate a marriage or its dissolution. But this dissolution is only possible with full consent from the husband, who in the end has more power that the judges. Viviane Amsalem has been applying for divorce for three years. But her husband Elisha will not agree. His cold intransigence, Viviane’s determination to fight for her freedom, and the ambiguous role of the judges shape a procedure in which tragedy vies with absurdity, and everything is brought out for judgment, apart from the initial request.
  10. ITSI BITSI (Denmark) director Ole Christian Madsen (Flame & Citron) directs this 1962 countercultural romance based on events where Peace activist Eik Skaløe meets Iben and falls head over heels in love, but when Iben refuses to commit herself to one man, Eik tries to win her over by transforming from poet to writer, nomad, junkie and eventually lead singer in the destined-to-become-legendary band STEPPEULVENE.
  11. LIFE IN A FISHBOWL / VONARSTRÆTI (Iceland, Finland, Sweden, Czech Republic) director Baldvin Zophoníasson presides over an intriguing, According to TIFF: multiple-narrative drama that follows three people — a struggling single mother, a former athlete trying to scale the corporate ladder, and a once-acclaimed author turned full-time drunk — whose lives intersect in surprising ways.
  12. MAGICAL GIRL (Spain) director Carlos Vermut conducts a stylish noir thriller about the father of an ill girl who tries to obtain his daughter last wish, the dress of the main character of a Japanese TV series.
  13. MAY ALLAH BLESS FRANCE !  (France) director Abd Al Malik is a French rapper, author, and spoken word artist. This is his directorial debut with this adaptation of his 2004 autobiography, chronicling his upbringing in the crime-and drug-ridden streets of Strasbourg and his life-changing encounters with hip hop and religion.
  14. NIGHTCRAWLER (USA) director Dan Gilroy. Two words. Jake Gyllenhaal. He’s a down and outer who  stumbles upon the underground world of L.A. freelance crime journalism. This film also brings back Rene Russo who we haven’t seen in quite awhile
  15. OVER YOUR DEAD BODY  / KUIME (Japan) director Takashi Miike A theatre troupe rehearsing a classic play of murder, betrayal and vengeance find life bloodily imitating art backstage at a Kabuki performance.
  16. PRIDE (United Kingdom) director Matthew Warchus Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton and Paddy Considine star in this story of UK gay and lesbian activists work to help Welsh  miners during their lengthy strike of the National Union of Mineworkers in the summer of 1984.
  17. SHELTER (United Kingdom) the directorial debut of actor Paul Bettany. I’m recommending this as a study more than a powerhouse outing. Bettany was born into a ‘theatre family‘. His maternal grandmother, Olga Gwynne was a successful actress, his maternal grandfather, Lesley Kettle, was a musician. Bettany’s father, Thane Bettany, is still an actor, his mother, Anne Kettle, now retired, was an actress. Bettany’s older sister is a writer. I want to see what he can do first hand… besides being almost transparent eye candy. Bettany has also (of course) cast his wife, actress Jennifer Connelly and Anthony Mackie who I think does some pretty good work.
  18. SPRING (USA) directors, co-editors Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead serve up a love story, horror, romance with a supernatural twist when an American backpacker (Lou Taylor Pucci, “Evil Dead”) while in Italy, falls in love with a beautiful young woman harboring a dark “primordial” secret, played by the stunning German actress Nadia Hilker. Well, I know Italy doesn’t have moors, so there goes that guess.
  19. TALES OF THE GRIM SLEEPER (USA) directed by Nick Broomfield this documentary delves into a cold case about a notorious serial killer known as the “Grim Sleeper,” who terrorized South Central Los Angeles over a span of twenty-five years. The man thought to be the suspect was incarcerated in 2010, but the ongoing investigation has stalled because as the premise surmises, the suspect is black…
  20. THE LITTLE DEATH (Australia) director Josh Lawson. I’ve had an on-going love affair with Australian films. There’s a quirk and a darkness that’s similar to films from Denmark, Iceland, Norway, but still a very distinct and different voice. This dark, sex comedy is another multi-story narrative: A woman with a dangerous fantasy and her partners struggle to please her. A man who begins an affair with his own wife without her knowing anything about it. A couple struggling to keep things together after a sexual experiment spins out of control. A woman who can only find pleasure in her husband’s pain. A call centre operator caught in the middle of a dirty and chaotic phone call. And the distractingly charming new neighbour who connects them all.
  21. THE ELEPHANT SONG / La chanson de l’éléphant (Quebec, Canada) director Charles Binamé has a goldmine on his hands with actor, filmmaker Xavier Dolan who plays Michael, a troubled psychiatric patient.
  22. THE GOLDEN ERA / HUANG JIN SHI DAI (China) director Ann Hui. According to TIFF: The prodigious output of Chinese essayist and novelist Xiao Hong, long overshadowed by the careers of more established male writers in her literary circle, has only recently been discovered. Directed with both authority and grace by Ann Hui, The Golden Era bridges the gaps and tells the story of an exceptional life marked with tragedy and the signs of genius, Hui’s film is a wondrous reflection of China’s turbulent 1930s.
  23. TOKYO TRIBE (Japan) According to TIFF: Midnight Madness favorite Shion Sono (Why Don’t You Play in Hell?, winner of the 2013 People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award) (which I absolutely loved) ventures even further into uncharted cinematic territory with this yakuza-street gang-hip hop-musical epic. Avoiding the usual fresh young faces of Japanese films, Sono chose to cast real rappers, tattoo artists and stunt performers in many of the main acting roles, a rebellious move that brings vibrancy and freshness to his outlandish street-fighting epic.
  24. WETBUM (USA) director Lindsay Mackay in her directorial debut is getting a lot of buzz on her first outing of a story about Sam is a self-conscious yet stubborn 14-year-old girl who, like many teenagers, is searching for a place to belong. After landing herself into trouble, she is forced to work as a cleaner in the retirement home run by her mother. In between shifts at the home, she tries to find solace in the only place she can, the pool, but it becomes the place where deepest insecurities collide with her raging hormones.
  25. WHIPLASH (USA) director Damien Chazelle has had my attention since Sundance where he won both the Audience Award and Grand Jury prizes on this film about A young musician played by Miles Teller who struggles to make it as a top jazz drummer under the almost masochistic tutor J.K. Simmons (Law & Order, Oz)
  26. WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS (New Zealand) director Taika Waititi (Boy, Eagle vs Shark) and Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords) co-direct and star in this hilarious mockumentary about a trio of vampires living in a New Zealand suburb who struggle to adapt to life in the 21st century.
  27. WINTER SLEEP / KIS UYKUSU (Turkey) director Nuri Bilge Ceylan who won the Palme D’Or and the FIPRESCI prize at Cannes, brings us a drama set in central Anatolia about a small-town innkeeper whose cultural pretensions and smug self-satisfaction are fatefully undermined over the course of an eventful winter.

You know every year since I’ve been doing this list I always promote world cinema and steer clear of Hollywood films that have distribution and are going to hit theaters in the next 3-4 months. But sometimes you have to break that rule. Here’s why in 2014:

  1. INFINITELY POLAR BEAR (USA) director Maya Forbes cut her writing teeth on The Larry Sanders Show and as a co-writer on Monsters vs. Aliens (09), and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (12). A little surprised this is a Gala event. Given this is based on her family growing up and a writer should always write what they know, this may be a good choice. But a Gala…? Mark Ruffalo plays a loving husband and father struggling with manic depression, who is forced to raise his two young daughters on his own. Mark Ruffalo, J.J. Abrams also serve as executive producers. Did I mention it stars Mark Ruffalo…?
  2. THE JUDGE (USA) director David Dobkin. Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall respectively play a defense attorney father and a judge in this tight legal drama, where they also play father and son. This is a film loaded with ‘acting chops’ when you also figure in co-starts, Billy Bod Thornton, Vincent D’Onofrio, Vera Farmiga, and Jeremy Strong.
  3. MAPS TO THE STARS (Canada / USA) director David Cronenberg with a satirical drama about a Hollywood family chasing fame and and trying to come to grips with ghosts from the past. While the film itself may not be great, the performance of Julianne Moore is.  Moore won the Best Actress Award after its Cannes premiere. The film got its theatrical release in France on May 21 right after Cannes. It also stars Robert Pattinson(yes he can act) and John Cusack. Right now the buzz is Moore may lose a shot at an Oscar nod, because  Focus World, who acquired the United States distribution rights will not be giving it a theatrical release until 2015. All Oscar contenders have to screen before the end of November.
  4. THE COBBLER (USA) director Thomas McCarthy is an actor turned director, with some pretty impressive outings helming, The Station Agent (2003) and “The Visitor” (2007) both exceptional films with an indie feel that garnered tons of award nominations, including Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for Richard Jenkins. McCarthy himself won the BAFTA (UK equivalent of the Oscar) for The Station Agent and nominated for and Oscar for “Up” in 2010. The Cobbler which opens in USA theaters September 11th, stars Adam Sandler as the Cobbler, Dan Stevens, Dustin Hoffman, Steve Buscemi, Ellen Barkin and the incredible Marlon Brando meets Billy Bob Thornton-esque actor Glenn Fleshler who played the villain Errol Childress in “True Detective”.

The 39th Annual Toronto International Film Festival runs September 04-14. For Programs and Tickets, please Click HERE.

Beloved Comedic Actor Chris Farley Resurrected as Toronto Mayor Rob Ford

by Shannonn Kelly
05:56PM, EST, November 21, 2013

At Least Chris Farley Would Be Lovable as Toronto Mayor Ford (image supplied by "Geeksofdoom")
At Least Chris Farley Would Be Lovable as Toronto Mayor Ford (image supplied by “Geeksofdoom”)

Last Saturday night after I watched the Saturday Night Live sketch about Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, I said to my husband, “Chris Farley would’ve nailed that character.” Even though I have over 24,000 tweets, and ton’s of GetGlue check-ins, I didn’t even think to Tweet that.

I could’ve started a ‘meme‘. But alas, someone else did. When the thought occurred to Chris’s brother, Kevin Farley (@Imkevinfarley) and he put it out there on Twitter, it sort of put an official stamp or blessing if you will, on the Farley / Ford comparison.

Kevin Farley Tweets Brother Chris would have crushed Rob Ford on SNL.
Kevin Farley Tweets Brother Chris would have crushed Rob Ford on SNL.

What’s been great is that Chris’s body of comedic work is honored and not his substance activity. Ford is a buffoon. Chris excelled at playing one. But unlike Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, Chris’s buffoon was always lovable and always learned a lesson in morals. Too bad we can’t say the same thing about the Mayor.

Here’s a great trailer to the ‘would-be’ movie if Toronto Mayor Ford was played by the beloved Chris Farley. Enjoy... 🙂

 

 

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”.