Rightwing Film Geek

Another TIFFing Mess

I’m now up in Canada, and in fear of being hauled before one of the Human Rights Commissions for all of my various thought crimes. Hopefully, nobody at Canuck Big Brother Central is reading this, because this is where I will be for the next two weeks. Warning to my film-geek buds: I’m ducking out at the first sight of the Thought Police.

Thu 4
* 630pm SOUL POWER (Jeffrey Levy-Hinte, USA)
* 900pm WALTZ WITH BASHIR (Ari Folman, Israel)
mid JCVD (Mabrouk El Mechri, France)

Fri 5
915am THREE MONKEYS (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey)
* 245pm LINHA DE PASSE (Walter Salles, Brazil)
630pm 35 RHUMS (Claire Denis, France)
830pm THE BURNING PLAIN (Guillermo Arriaga, USA)
mid DETROIT METAL CITY (Toshio Lee, Japan)

Sat 6
915am ZIFT (Javor Gardev, Bulgaria)
* 230pm LAST STOP 174 (Bruno Barreto, Brazil)
600pm FLAME AND CITRON (Ole Christian Madsen, Denmark)
930pm HUNGER (Steve McQueen, Britain)

Sun 7
115pm UNSPOKEN (Fien Troch, Belgium)
600pm THE SILENCE OF LORNA (the Dardenne brothers, Belgium)
900pm GOMORRAH (Matteo Garonne, Italy)

Mon 8
900am THE OTHER MAN (Richard Eyre, Britain)
300pm ASHES OF TIME (Wong Kar-wai, Hong Kong)
615pm TERENCE DAVIES TRILOGY (Terence Davies, Britain)
915pm GOODBYE SOLO (Ramin Bahrani, USA)

Tue 9
945am THREE BLIND MICE (Matthew Newton, Australia)
1215pm KISSES (Lance Daly, Ireland)
400pm OF TIME AND THE CITY (Terence Davies, Britain)
530pm TOKYO SONATA (Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Japan)
900pm THE BROTHERS BLOOM (Rian Johnson, USA)

Wed 10
900am HAPPY GO-LUCKY (Mike Leigh, Britain)
noon A CHRISTMAS TALE (Arnaud Desplechin, France)
315pm SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE (Danny Boyle, Britain)
* 715pm LES PLAGES D’AGNES (Agnes Varda, France)
930pm SKIN (Anthony Fabian, Britain/South Africa)
mid MARTYRS (Pascal Laugier, France)

Thu 11
945am HOOKED (Adrian Sitaru, Romania)
* noon A WOMAN IN BERLIN (Max Farberbock, Germany)
315pm GIGANTIC (Matt Asselton, USA)
645pm CLOUD 9 (Andreas Dresen, Germany)
1015pm STILL WALKING (Hirokazu Kore-eda, Japan)

Fri 12
900am CHE (Steven Soderbergh, USA/Spain)
245pm PRIDE AND GLORY (Gavin O’Connor, USA)
600pm CONTROL-ALT-DELETE (Cameron Labine, Canada)
800pm ACHILLES AND THE TORTOISE (Takeshi Kitano, Japan)
1030pm EASY VIRTUE (Stephan Elliott, Britain)

Sat 13
900am THE WRESTLER (Darren Aronovsky, USA)
115pm ADAM’S RESURRECTION (Paul Schrader, USA)
345pm EDEN LOG (Franck Vestiel, France)
545pm WHAT DOESN’T KILL YOU (Brian Goodman, USA)
mid CHOCOLATE (Pracha Pinkaew, Thailand)

* Second choice film for that time slot.

There’s a lot of unknown quantities in this festival — 24 films, a majority of the 47, are director first-viewings for me. Another seven are by directors whose work I have seen but rarely or never liked (Salles, Barreto, Farberbock, Kurosawa, Denis, Desplechin, Kitano — though several of those cases are samples of 1 or 2). That’s almost the same as the number of directors (8) who have ever scored a Top 10 film for me (Ceylan, Leigh, the Dardennes, Boyle, Pinkaew, Wong, Kore-eda, and Soderbergh). By comparison the same figure of “ever having made a previous Top 10” for the 2007 fest was more than twice that, 17 — Ozon, Maddin, Rohmer, Bergman, Loach, Baumbach, Van Sant, Miike, Herzog, Ford, Greenaway, the Coens, Andersson, Olmi, Lee, Jordan, Argento. And that was “going into the fest,” thus not counting high-buzz titles like the Cannes-winning 4 MONTHS, SILENT LIGHT and ATONEMENT (3 of my 4 faves, as it turned out). As a result, this festival his mopre of a “unsure/discovery” feel than an “confirming the expected awesomeness” feeling that 2007 had.

Although there’s a lot of second choices in there, I’m not crushed by any of them. Of the missing first choices, only UNCERTAINTY (McGehee/Siegel) and the old film 32 SHORT FILMS ABOUT GLENN GOULD (Francois Girard, which I’ve never seen) disappoint me that much. And those two films were replaced by just about the two strongest-on-paper/-on-buzz second choices I had — LINHA DE PASSE (an Actress prizewinner at Cannes) and the latest Agnes Varda (LES PLAGES D’AGNES). I’m more disappointed by the excellent buzz surrounding HURT LOCKER, Kathryn Bigelow’s contribution to the Iraq War Genre, about which I’ve heard good word (or rather, bad word of the right sort from certain people), but which I just can’t fit in without ripping everything up and starting from scratch.

Also, I won’t be seeing a lot of the highest-profile films to the casual moviegoer — the Hollywood fall-prestige titles in the Gala Program (like the Coens’ BURN AFTER READING, Demme’s RACHEL GETTING MARRIED, THE DUCHESS, and NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH). This was deliberate — they had no screenings (or just one in the last-named case) that passholders like myself could get into. I could (try to) buy a ticket for cash, but my reaction is “I’m already paying hundreds of dollars for the pass, so if you’re not gonna give me a chance to see this film, you must not want me to see it. There is NO way I’m paying you extra, you money-grubbing sunsuvvbi….

(Victor calms down)

Also, there is no way I will watch RELIGULOUS for compensation that does not involve four digits before the decimal point.

September 4, 2008 - Posted by | TIFF 2008

1 Comment »

  1. Also, there is no way I will watch RELIGULOUS for compensation that does not involve four digits before the decimal point.

    Funny, I’m not religious at all and yet I feel the same way. Maybe Maher secretly is really trying to bring us all together.
    Nah, he’s just a smarmy tool.

    Comment by Steve C. | September 4, 2008 | Reply

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