Sunday, 7 September 2008

TIFF'08 Day 3 - Saturday September 6, 2008

The theme of Day 3 was heroes, in all shapes and forms. Sometimes the protagonist was one literally or in the form of a role model, or stories of people looking for one. It was completely unplanned but was a strong theme for all of the films.

The Sky Crawlers poster

The Sky Crawlers
Dir: Mamoru Oshii

Reason to See: The idea of the creation of having games of war to keep war from actually occurring intrigued me.

Ironically the plot of the film was what got me interested seeing this one but when I was watching I found myself a little confused over what was going on. This is in part the storytelling style, not everything is revealed at once but also that is par for course for me with animated films. The idea is still fascinating but I'm not sure I believe that if there was no war that humans would still created it - I'm an optimist at heart. But the film shows a sustained yet somehow empty world of these war games played by kids to keep the world otherwise occupied.

Detroit Metal City director Toshio Lee, TIFF programmer Colin Geddes

Detroit Metal City
Dir: Toshio Lee
Cast: Kenichi Matsuyama, Rosa Kato, Yasuko Matsuyuki, Gene Simmons

Reason to See: This one looked so out there, I had to go. A film based on a Manga comic, and somehow death metal music is involved.

This film is completely wacky. A Japanese comedy that the director himself wondered if the audience would get it as he said he saw a lot of older people at the screening. I think they did. Based on the first 2 of 5 Manga novels we follow our awkward and over the top protagonist Negishi in a comedy of errors that also holds a strong sentiment of following your dreams.

Packed house at Scotiabank for the matinee screening of Detroit Metal City were you there?

Un Ete sans point ni coup sur director Francis Leclerc, actor Phillip Jarrett, writer Marc Robitaille, producer Barbara Shrier

Un été sans point ni coup sûr / A No-Hit No-Run Summer
Dir: Francis Leclerc

Reason to See: 1969 set Montreal film and baseball

A sweet hommage to to The Montreal Expos and to growing up in the late sixties. This film is quite touching and plays with themes of having dreams, being the underdog and families growing up in the time of social change.

Patrik 1,5 director Ella Lemhagen

Patrik 1,5 / Patrik, Age 1.5
Dir: Ella Lemhagen
Cast: Gustaf Skarsgård, Torkel Peterson, Tom Ljungman

Reason to See: Write up for this made it sounds like a film with a lot of charm

Hilarious romantic comedy of Goran and Sven, a couple who are going though the process of adoption. This film hits harsh tones and realities but also shows a lot of beauty and strength of character. Essentially a romantic comedy, delightful and fun this film received one of the warmest receptions I have seen so far.

Katia's Sister producer Hans de Wolf

Katia's Sister / Het Zusje van Katia
Dir: Mijke de Jong
Cast: Betty Qizmolli, Julia Seijkens, Olga Louzgina
The Netherlands

Reason to See: I was a little reserved on this selection, but it fit in my schedule perfectly

The program book notes this film as story when the titular character 'begins when she leaves Russia with her mother and older sister, Katia, hoping to find a better life'. If I hadn't read that in the program book I would have no idea this was the case, which may be due to language or cultural barrier but it wasn't clear to me. What was clear was a young girl whom was clearly felt isolated from the world outside her family and sometimes from her family as well. It was strongly acted and always felt real, but the subject matter was a little too dark and hopeless for me.

The Toronto International Film Festival 2008 runs from September 4-13/08 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

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