|
|
Wellington Daily News - Wellington, KS
  • It’s TIFF time: 39th Toronto International Film Festival gears up

    • email print
      Comment
  • By Ed Symkus
    More Content Now
    Every year at this time for the past decade, I put my movie ducks in a row and make a wish list of what I’d like to see – for work and pleasure – at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). It’s the biggest fest in North America that’s open to members of the film industry, the press and the public.
    If you love movies, get yourself to the sprawling city of Toronto, where TIFF runs from Sept. 4-14. Among the 393 films being shown on 28 different screens, there are features, shorts, world premieres and a couple of old classics. There’s also the chance of getting a glimpse of or spending a chat session with actors, directors, writers and producers from around the planet. TIFF is a world-class festival that runs the gamut of the movie-going experience. There will be films from major studios that will open in a few weeks but can be seen here first. There are independent features galore, some of which will open in theaters over the next few months, while others – even if they’re deemed terrific by some viewers – will go straight to disc or the stream, or never be heard from again.
    In the years I’ve attended, I’ve had to see some films because interviews with filmmakers were set up in advance. But I’ve always made time to check out some titles I’ve never heard of, that I might not get to see on a big screen anywhere else.
    I’ve only carved out enough time to be at TIFF for six days this year, and some interviews are already planned. For my “spare time,” I made an initial list of 61 films that looked promising, then, for reasons of maintaining sanity, carved that number down to 33. Well, even that ain’t gonna happen, but here’s a brief preview of the 15 that are calling out my name, and that I will make my priority. They’re in alphabetical order.
    “Bang Bang Baby” – a 1960s rock ’n’ roll-science fiction-horror-musical about a small-town girl whose singing ambitions are hampered when a chemical leak starts causing mutations among the population.
    “Big Game” – Air Force One is shot down in the wilderness by terrorists, and a 13-year-old camper must rescue President Samuel L. Jackson.
    “The Cobbler” – Tom McCarthy (“The Station Agent,” “The Visitor”) directs Adam Sandler in a fantasy about a shoe repairman who finds a magical object that puts him into other people’s lives (and shoes).
    “The Drop” – Dennis Lehane adapted his short crime story “Animal Rescue” into this tale of a Brooklyn robbery gone wrong. With Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace and the late James Gandolfini.
    “The Face of an Angel” – Prolific Michael Winterbottom directs Daniel Bruhl and Kate Beckinsale as a journalist and a documentarian who are both working to figure out the same murder case.
    Page 2 of 2 - “Foxcatcher” – The true story of wealthy John du Pont (Steve Carell), his involvement with Olympic gold medal wrestler brothers Dave and Mark Schultz (Mark Ruffalo, Channing Tatum), and a road to murder.
    “Hector and the Search for Happiness” – Sometimes funny, mostly serious, this tells of a psychiatrist (Simon Pegg) who, unable to properly explain “happiness” to some of his patients, sets off on a journey to find out what it really is.
    “A Little Chaos” – Alan Rickman directs and stars as Louis XIV, for whom a female landscaper (Kate Winslet) is hired to design the royal gardens at Versailles.
    “Love & Mercy” – Paul Dano plays the young Brian Wilson, John Cusack plays the older Brian Wilson, and Paul Giamatti played Dr. Eugene Landy, the controversial quack who played with the Beach Boy’s already messed-up head.
    “Maps to the Stars” – Emotional problems haunt a Hollywood family (as does a possible ghost) in David Cronenberg’s psychological study of the pursuit of celebrity and escape from the past.
    “Men, Women and Children” – Director Jason Reitman looks at contemporary love lives in stories featuring high school teens and their parents, and how social media has complicated and changed everything.
    “Mr. Turner” – Timothy Spall won the coveted Best Actor award at this year’s Cannes Film Festival for his portrayal of the brilliant (and a bit crazy) British Landscape artist J.M.W. Turner. Directed by Mike Leigh.
    “Nightcrawler” – Busy screenwriter Dan Gilroy (“The Bourne Legacy,” “The Fall”) gets his first directing credit in this study of a freelance writer (Jake Gyllenhaal) who gets caught up in a nasty L.A. crime scene.
    “Rosewater” – Remember when “The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart took some time off a while back? It was to direct this film about a journalist who was imprisoned in Iran, partly due to an appearance he made on Stewart’s show.
    “Tusk” – It’s Kevin Smith’s newest film. I’ve decided to print verbatim what it says on the Internet Movie Data Base: “A man is captured by a maniac and tortured, physically and mentally, into becoming a walrus.”
    For absolutely everything you need to know about this year’s TIFF, including a complete list of films and events, visit www.tiff.net/festivals/thefestival.

        calendar