If I could afford to go to the Venice Film Festival a few days before attending the Toronto Film Festival, I’d be looking forward to ten or eleven of the films that were announced earlier today. Not that I know anything, but the names of Demme, Bigelow, Arriaga, Coen, Aronofsky, Schroeder, Schroter, Kitano and Miyazaki offer feelings of comfort and continuity. It’s also good to know most of these films will be playing in Toronto a few days later.

I’m frankly scared of Darren Aronofsky‘s The Wrestler because (a) wrestling has been a coarse, low-rent joke for decades, and (b) the wrestler is played by Mickey Rourke. But I shouldn’t admit to that prejudice. I just need to grim up and see it and go from there.
We all know the ups, downs and inside-outs of Joel and Ethan Coen‘s Burn After Reading. I’ve written about it so much I feel as if I’ve almost seen it.
Guillermo Arriaga‘s The Burning Plain…of course, of course. Charlize Theron, Kim Basinger, Jennifer Lawrence, Jose Maria Yazpik, Joaquim de Almeida.
Kathryn Bigelow‘s Hurt Locker — Iraqi bullets and IEDs, insurgents, and another go-round with a squad of hyperventilating, morally compromised U.S. soldiers with sweaty faces and coarse personalities. Remember that terrific one-sheet?
Jonathan Demme‘s Rachel Getting Married with Anne Hathaway, Debra Winger, Rosemarie DeWitt, Mather Zickel, Bill Irwin, Anna Deavere Smith, Anisa George.
Plus Takeshi Kitano‘s Achilles and the Tortoise, Hayao Miyazaki‘s Ponyo on Cliff by the Sea, Asmir Naderi‘s Vegas: Based on a True Story, Barbet Schroder’s Inju (shot in Japan), Werner Schroeter‘s Night of the Dog (Nuit de chien), Claire Denis‘s 35 Rhums, a short by Manoel de Oliveira called Do Visivel ao Invisivel, and a new version of Pier Palo Pasolini‘s La rabbia (’63).
Am I overlooking something exceptional that somebody actually knows something about?