Written and directed by Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola’s newest film, Twixt, enters the realm of popular supernatural dime novels. Val Kilmer is Hall Baltimore, a second-rate Stephen King who is in a slump. Not only has he lost all enthusiasm for the series of novels about witches, but his personal life is plagued by tragedy, alcoholism and financial difficulties. As many American protagonist have before him, he rolls into a small town only to find himself intertwined in the case of a mysterious and supernatural death of a young teen.
Twixt bounces with a self-deprecating sense of humour as it continually tears down Hall Baltimore. Though he has clearly already reached rock bottom, his adventures in real life crime and a strange dream land only further cement the absurdity of his existence. The film revels in a twisted brand of existential angst which continually re-inforces the cruelty of chance and the meaninglessness of human enterprise.
Val Kilmer truly shines in this world and his charm lends pathos to a character who is not immediately sympathetic.
Twixt will not please all audiences, especially those expecting a certain gravitas associated with Coppola’s heaviest works. Those with an open-mind and a passion for kitsch, will certainly enjoy this offbeat comedy. Coppola, conscious or not of what his reputation and legacy suggests, creates a debate on the value of low art. Questioning implicitly if we should even make the differentiating, perhaps harkening back to cinema’s uphill battle towards legitimacy in America.
– Justine Smith
The Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 8th to the 18th. Tickets, schedules, and other information can be found on the festival’s website.