North America’s largest film festival, TIFF, celebrated its 40th anniversary by unleashing a prodigious 399 films on the city of Toronto. With only 10 days and 240 hours to take them all in, missing out on a few highly anticipated movies is part of the festival experience — I was disappointed that I didn’t have the chance to catch The Lobster, Green Room and Dheepan.
Fans of July Delpy’s work will be happy to know that her sixth directorial feature Lolo, contains all of the style, wit, and charm offered in her earlier films. For the majority of Lolo’s ninety-nine minute run time the film serves as a light-hearted and fun romantic comedy filled with charming characters and clever dialogue.
Hamoun, playing at the Toronto Film Festival on Sunday 28th March, was voted the best Iranian film of all time in 1997 within film critic circles in Iran. It was directed by Dariush Mehrjui, the Tehran-born giant of Iranian cinema, and one of the co-founders of the most modern end of Iranian New Wave cinema.
If you have never seen a Hou Hsiao-hsien film, Dust in the Wind is the perfect starting point. Preceding the Taiwanese historical dramas he is best known for—City of Sadness (1989), The Puppetmaster (1993), Good Men, Good Women (1995)—Dust is the most assured work of Hou’s early career, and one of the best examples of Taiwanese New Wave Cinema.
Hou Hsiao-Hsien made this film after directing nine features in Taiwan and was awarded the prestigious Golden Lion at the 1989 Venice Film Festival. A City of Sadness was written by two key screenwriters from the Taiwanese New Wave: Chu Tien-wen and Wu Nien-Ju, both of whom worked with Hou and Edward Yang (the other great director from this film movement) before and after A City of Sadness. The first film of a trilogy by Hou that would deal with Taiwan’s tragic past (followed by The Puppetmaster (1993) and Good Men, Good Women (1995)), A City of Sadness does the seemingly impossible task of distilling an unrepresentable experience into the fate of one family struggling to make sense of their situation following WWII.