I’ve already got 21 Toronto Film Festival films on my priority list so there’s not a lot of room to jam in selections from this morning’s announcement of fresh titles. I’my definitely adding four or five but I can’t fool around. I can’t be whimsical or open to exotic experiments. Well, I usually wind up succumbing to precisely those experiments due to occasional scheduling gaps and pocket-drops but for the most part I have to be hard and mean.
I’m definitely adding Michael Winterbottom’s The Face of an Angel because it’s Winterbottom doing a real-life, Italy-based murder tale “inspired by” the Amanda Knox case (i.e., Kate Beckinsale and Daniel Bruhl as journalists looking into the case, Cara Delevingne as the femme fatale). MW’s last real-events recapturing, A Mighty Heart, was quite good. Pic is more or less based on “Angel Face,” a 2010 investigative study.
I’m expecting to catch my second viewing of Andrei Zvyagintsev’s Leviathan in Telluride (following my first immersion in Cannes two and a half months ago) so there’s no need for a third go-round in Toronto, but it’s an absolute must-see for anyone who hasn’t yet had the pleasure.
Mark Hartley’s Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films is a definite add-on. I’ve been hearing all along that Hartley’s doc is tougher and snarkier than Hilla Medalia’s The Go-Go Boys, which I saw and reviewed in Cannes last May. (Medalia’s doc was produced, I’m told, to counterbalance the expected impact of the Hartley.) I’m also invested as I worked as a Cannon publicity press-kit writer in in ’86, ’87 and early ’88.
Due respect and affection for my big-hearted ex-boss Kevin Smith but the trailer for Tusk has convinced me to steer clear for the time being. No offense.
I feel a little alienated from Roy Andersson’s A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence because of that pretentious title, but if I don’t see it I’ll have to take shit from Glenn Kenny and others in that high-minded, esoteric, cinematically correct, New York-centric camp that Kenny is a kind of scout master of. Or is one of the scout masters of, I should say, along with Kent Jones and Richard Brody, etc.
I guess I’ll have to sit through Jean-Luc Godard’s Goodbye to Language 3D because of Manohla Dargis‘s Cannes review, even though I became persuaded a long time ago (sometime after Prenom: Carmen) that Godard is more into doodling than making movies with any kind of recognizable intentions or proportions. I’ve lost interest in the guy…sorry.
I’ll definitely try to get to Nick Broomfield’s Tales of the Grim Sleeper out of affection for Broomfield and a general interest in whatever he’s into.
I saw and admired Gabe Polsky’s Red Army in Cannes, and I’m hearing it’s also going to Telluride but again — definitely worth it.
The previous tally from the initial TIFF announcement:
1. Wild, d: Jean-Marc Vallee; 2. The Theory of Everything, d: James Marsh; 3. While We’re Young, d: Noah Baumbach; 4. Rosewater, d: Jon Stewart; 5. Men, Women & Children, d: Jason Reitman; 6. Black and White, d: Mike Binder; 7. Wild Tales, d: Damian Szifron (loved it in Cannes, can’t wait to see it again); 8. Antoine Fuqua and Denzel Washington‘s The Equalizer; 9. Phoenix, d: Christian Petzold; 10. Pasolini, d: Abel Ferrara; 11. Nightcrawler, d: Dan Gilroy; 12. 99 Homes, d: Ramin Bahrani; 13. Time Out of Mind, d: Oren Moverman; 14. The Judge, d: David Dobkin; 15. This Is Where I Leave You, d: Shawn Levy; 16. The Riot Club, d: Lone Scherfig; 17. Miss Julie, d: Liv Ullmann; 18. The Good Lie, d: Philippe Falardeau; 19. Love & Mercy, d: Bill Pohlad; 20. Manglehorn, d: David Gordon Green; 21. The Humbling, d: Barry Levinson; 22. The Last Five Years, d: Richard LaGravenese; 23. The New Girlfriend, d: François Ozon; 24. Top Five, d: Chris Rock; 25. A Second Chance, d: Susanne Bier.
I now have a hard list of 26 TIFF films, or 30 if you want to be liberal about it.