Since this will be my first experience at TIFF, I have to say that I’m rather pleased with the films that I’ll be seeing. If I had prior knowledge of the festival schedule before its release, I would have chosen the second weekend instead of the first. Films that I’ll have missed out on include: To the Wonder, No, Passion, Post Tenebras Lux, Antiviral, and Mekong Hotel. Due to my scheduling of films being a little later in the ticketing window, I unfortunately missed out on Anna Karenina and The Master. Not a huge deal since I’ll be able to catch the latter a few weeks later and the former a few months down the road. Holy Motors, which is one of my most anticipated films of the year, won’t even be playing at the fest this year. Another bummer, but what can you do? Even still, I’ve walked away rather unscathed through the whole mind-boggling process of planning travel arrangements, guessing which films would play, and the ticketing process. So, without further adieu, listed below are my five most anticipated films of the festival.
Like Someone in Love
Given his rather uncanny formal gamesmanship, Abbas Kiarostami remains one of cinema’s most treasured international auteurs. Coming off of Certified Copy, Kiarostami seems to be delving further into the charade of identity, perception, and image with his latest film, Like Someone in Love. The story is centered on the relationship of a young woman and an old man in Tokyo. Having already premiered at Cannes, the film is said to be even loopier than the enigmatic and playful Certified Copy. Personally, I can’t wait to experience it and the endless debates that will surely follow.
While he’s hardly a household name, the controversial and talented Harmony Korine always seems to pique my interest. One could argue that none of his film’s are the same, and his latest looks to follow suit. Spring Breakers follows four college girls who land in jail after robbing a restaurant in order to fund their spring break vacation; they find themselves bailed out by a drug and arms dealer who wants them to do some dirty work. The cast includes James Franco, Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, and Ashley Benson. Korine always seems to subvert expectations, and I can’t wait to see the final result.
The Place Beyond the Pines
Derek Cianfrance’s Blue Valentine was a shattering portrait of marriage that really seemed to shake up viewers upon its release in 2010. It was a very promising debut from Cianfrance, and I’ve been eager for his follow-up ever since. Now, the director’s scope seems to be enhanced with The Place Beyond the Pines – a film that is said to be a mix of The Godfather and The Deer Hunter. Ryan Gosling re-teams with Cianfrance as a motorcycle stunt rider who considers committing a crime in order to provide for his wife and child, an act that puts him on a collision course with a cop-turned-politician. Along with Gosling, the cast also includes Eva Mendes, Bradley Cooper, Rose Byrne, Ray Liotta, and Ben Mendelsohn.
Something in the Air
Continuing on with my adoration for foreign auteurs, Olivier Assayas’ Something in the Air is something I know little about outside of its rather scarce synopsis; but it’s Assayas, and of course I’m there. The French auteur rarely delivers a disappointment, and I’m eager to see how his latest will align with the politically-charged Carlos. His latest sports an almost unknown cast and is shrouded in the social changes of late 1960’s Europe.
This spot was originally reserved for Michael Haneke’s Amour, but with so much acclaim already attached to that film, I figured I’d spread the word on Paradise: Love; a film that has me very intrigued, despite not been familiar with director Ulrich Seidl’s work. What I do know is this: The film was received very warmly at Cannes and tells the story of three women- three holidays and three loves. Paradise: Love is also the first film in a trilogy from Seidl, so it’ll be quite beneficial to catch it at TIFF.
The Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 6-16
For more information and tickets, please visit the official website
– Ty Landis