Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Final Film list for TIFF 07

Well, here it is! It's very exciting to now know for certain what I will be seeing, I was going to say 'because now I can plan'. Whelp, not much more time for planning considering my first film is in less than 48hours. 41 films in 10 days, I'm so thrilled. Seeing films at 9am or 11:59pm, chatting with fellow linemates, hearing the buzz or creating it I can't wait to see what this year brings.

I had 7 substitutions, but still ended up heavy in the Contemporary World Cinema and Masters Programs. I'm a little surprized I ended up with even more Midnight Madness and Vangard films, and that Discovery and Canada First! were so low, but that is the luck of the draw. Canada still reigns supreme with 10 of my selections being Canadian, then Japan and European co-pro's clock in at 5 each, followed by France with 4. Full details on programs & countries after the list.

Sucessful First Picks:

Âge des ténèbres, L
dir: Denys Arcand
It’s Denys Arcand - need I say more? Well if you insist Les Invasions barbares is one of my favourite films, ever.

Beyond the Years
dir: Im Kwon-taek
Masters program + Asian directors usually = amazing. I also missed seeing Chihwaseon in 2002. Story sounds compelling.

Blood Brothers
dir: Alexi Tan
This one I was concerned I would not get a ticket, it’s a Gala and looks a little brutal in terms of violence but historical and highly stylized.

Cèdre penché, Le
dir: Rafaël Oouelle
Program: Canada First!
It’s Canadian and this line from the program book got me “Avoiding conspicuous narrative turns, the sisters’ story advances on an entirely subtextual level’.

dir: Julien Leclercq
French SciFi = yes. Concerned about level of violence though especially considering it’s part of the Vanguard program.

Contre toute espérance
dir: Bernard Émond
It’s Canadian and I loved Émond’s La Neuvaine from 2005.

Encounters at the End of the World
Dir: Werner Herzog
I have heard so many good things about the director and his latest wild release, Rescue Dawn with Christian Bale and I’ve not see anything by him so my curiously was piqued. Then to add the film is about the South Pole, and I was hooked.

Flash Point
Dir: Wilson Yip
I always try and work in at least one film at the festival that has martial arts, and this is this year’s selection for me. I also missed SPL in 2005 (I still remember the woman running the rush line shaking her head when I asked at my chances), so I’m really looking forward to it.

Forever Never Anywhere
Dir: Antonin Svoboda
The picture in the book got me, stories about people stranded can be interested and involved great acting although can also be straining. Fit nicely into my schedule.

Gentle Breeze in the Village, A
Dir: Nobuhiro Yamashita
Honestly, the kids in the print pic looked happy. Can always add a dash of happiness in the midst of all the films filled with angst, fear, disillusionment and pain.

Glory to the Filmmaker!
Dir: Takeshi Kitano
I saw this director’s film Takeskis’ in 2005 and I have to say it was one of the oddest films I’ve ever seen. I can’t wait to see what he’s come up with this time.

I am From Titov Veles
Dir: Teona Strugar Mitevska
How many opportunities do you get to see something from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia? I’m not giving up this chance. Also noted in the write up was magical realism, which I tend to enjoy.

Dir: Tom Collins
Underdog story, Colm Meaney (woohoo!)

Love Comes Lately
Dir: Jan Schütte
Hmm.. not sure on this one, probably because I liked it better than other options at that timeslot.

Dir: Lee Myung-se
This is by far my most anticipated film of the festival this year. I absolutely loved Duelist from 2005 which combined a beautiful story, fantastic visuals and tugged at the heart strings but also and soaring swords. I’d be happy to see anything by Lee Myung-se and now I know why the fans in the audience that year were so excited and I undoubtedly will be one of them this year.

Man of Cinema: Pierre Rissient
Dir: Todd McCarthy
Film about Pierre Rissient, behind the scenes of in the film world. Yep, got me.

Dir: Sergei Bodrov
How often do you get to see a co-pro from Germany/Kazakhstan/Russia/Mongolia? Add to that epic historical? I’m there

Mother of Tears, The
Dir: Dario Argento
Third in the trilogy that opened with Suspiria, I couldn’t pass over the opportunity to see this one. Although not impressed with picture in the program book.

My Winnipeg
Dir: Guy Maddin
I repeat, Dir: Guy Maddin. He’s an artistic genius, I will see anything he does. His films are out of this world, textural, vivid and bizarre. And Canadian to boot!

Dir: Carl Bessai (Unnatural & Accidental)
Canadian film with Canadian Actors (Carrie-Anne Moss, Callum Keith Rennie) set in Vancouver. Yep, I’m there.

Nos vies privé / Our Private Lives
Dir: Denis Côte
Canadian, looks compelling with the themes of isolation and connections

Paranoid Park
Dir: Gus Van Sant
This one is a bit of a risk for me. Gerry is one of my favourite films, however I was not impressed at all with Elephant. I am curious to see this one but am taking it with a grain of salt. Also, considering it was a Cannes award winner I’m not holding my breath that I’ll get in.

Sad Vacation
Dir: Shinji Aoyama
Look interesting, fit into my schedule. It seems pretty plot driven so I only skimmed over the description to yay/nah it and I yay’d it.

Dir: Peter Carstairs
Coming of age, friendships, social commentary of 1968 Australia.

Dir: Milcho Manchevski
Wow, I’ve no idea. Possible because it’s part of the Masters program and European co-pro

Shake Hands with the Devil
Dir: Roger Spottiswoode
I saw a preview in regular theatre and was compelled, and that is hard to say because I usually avoid any films about war. Starring Roy Dupuis as General Dallaire, I couldn’t pass this one by.

Stone Angel, The
Dir: Kari Skogland
Canadian film based on the book of the same name staring Ellen Burstyn.

Dir: Takashi Miike
Whoops, I thought this was by Takeshi Kitano. Anyhow it looks completely compelling a Midnight Madness film that is a western gets a ‘go’ for me.

Sun Also Rises, The / Tai Yang Zhao Chang Shen Qi
Dir: Jiang Wen
Sounded like interesting stories told over time with possible mystical notes.

Thousand Years of Good Prayers, A
Dir: Wayne Wang
Going to this one with my sister, and she suggested it so that’s the reason!

Dir: Volker Schlö
Looks like might be bizarre and magical

Dir: Sori
I'm not usually first in queue for animated flick but this looks gorgeous and I find the premise of a futuristic yet self-isolated country fascinating.

Voyage du ballon rouge, Le
Dir: Hou Hsiao-hsien (Three Times / Zui hao de shi guang)
Early promo print got me interested, then when I found out it was the director of Three Times, the green light was lit.

Wild Horse Redemption
Dir: John Zaritsky
Documentary about inmates training horses, that’s interesting. And it’s (yes you’ve heard it before…) Canadian.

Dir: Nanouk Leopold
Drama, human stories, from The Netherlands.

Newly Added due to 1st choices being gone:

Amours d'Astrée et de Céladon, Les
Dir: Eric Rohmer
Random substitution and director's name sounded familiar

Boy A
Dir: John Crowley
Swapped in a Sunday morning film to allow for an early night somewhere else. That was a tough choice... subways open late on Sundays and I'll have to tape Coronation Street.

Dir: Hitoshi Matsumoto
Woot! Fit in another Midnight Madness! I don't even remember what it replaced, but I'm happy.

Death Defying Acts
Dir: Gillian Armstrong
This one sounded very compelling.

King of the Hill
Dir: Gonzalo López-Gallego
This was my fourth and final choice for one night. Might be a bit brutal... we shall see.

Promise to the Dead: The Exile Journey of Ariel Dorfman, A
Dir: Peter Raymont
This is my 100% wildcard. I had not anticipated at all that I would need a second for this timeslot. Alas, after reading the description it sounded good and it was a documentary too which I don't normally end up seeing at TIFF. Something new every year!

Dir: Lucía Puenzo
This one fit snuggly between another two films after I swapped to a second pick somewhere else. It's all about the timing.

Didn't get:

Jar City
Dir: Baltasar Kormákur
Icelandic, bizarre, fit sweetly into my schedule. Looks like it might be a bit brutal, print shot in book has lots of jars with body parts. It’s gotten a fair amount of press, possible due to the CSI-like nature of the plot, therefore I am surprized I did not get tickets for it.

Dir: Shivajee Chandrabhushan
Fascinating setting: India’s Himilayas in the cold winter.

Dir: Lenny Abrahamson
Misfits, unconventional friendships, noted great performance – all sound good to me.

Dir: Pen-ek Ratanaruang
Seems like it will be interesting pacing and subject matter. I also tend to like films from Thailand, the few of which I’ve seen.

Trap, The
Dir: Srdan Golubović
I’m a little reserved on this one but it fit in my schedule and I’ve never seen anything from Serbia (it’s a Serbia/Germany/Hungary co-pro). Plot seems a little shifty and notes ‘tough ethical choices’ but I thought I would to risk it.

Under the Same Moon / La Misma Luna
Dir: Patricia Riggen
Tale of the human spirit, fit into schedule.

Program breakdown:
7 Contemporary World Cinema
6 Special Presentations
6 Masters
5 Midnight Madness
5 Vangard
4 Real to Reel
3 Discovery
2 Gala
1 Visions
1 Canada First

Country breakdown:
10 Canada
5 European co-pro's
5 Japan
4 France
2 Asian co-pro's
2 Australia
2 Euro/UK
1 Ireland
1 South Korea
1 The Netherlands
1 Great Britain
1 Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
1 China
1 Italian/US
1 Spain


Jamie said...

I just loved reading this list. What an exciting range of films you are going to see! And I found it so interesting to hear the rationale behind your choices. The program breakdown was also very interesting.

I love that you're adding polls this year. I'll be back often to take part!

Paul said...

Takeshi Miike did "Zebraman" one year, which I regret to this day not seeing.

And yes, I did get Jesse James, but it's the second showing, so that's not too impressive ;)

Polly said...

Wow, great selection! Looks like you only missed out on a couple, so congrats. And thanks for the descriptions - used them this morning to help make my own picks!

FORTY-ONE films??!! You are a rock star of film watching!

Have a wonderful TIFF!

Ryan McNeil said...

Dammit! I didn't realize the director of Takeshis was the same guy...how did I miss that? I'm gonna have to keep that in mind and try to pick it up as I go along.

...btw, I loved Zatoichi even more than Takeshis

Bob Turnbull said...

I love Takeshi Kitano...His films have moments that range from slow and contemplative to sudden and violent and then over to "what the hell was that?!" Great combination if you ask me.

The film "Takeshis" makes a bit more sense if you are familiar with his previous work and approaches.

Shannon, that's a great lineup of films...I look forward to reading your thoughts on them, especially the ones that made my short list but not the final list (M, Encounters At The End Of The World (Herzog is amazing), Mother Of Tears, Dainipponjin, Sukiyaki Western Django and so many others...).

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