Wednesday, 17 September 2008

TIFF'08 Day 6 - Tuesday September 9, 2008


Day 6 was my late start day of the fest with the first film at 12:15pm at Scotiabank - what bliss to sleep in just a wee bit! After that I headed on up to AMC for the rest of the day. Highlights of the day were two awesome Q&As. First, the Kisses Q&A featured not only the director, but also both young actors whom charmed and amused the audience. Then at Toronto Stories there was oodles of cast and crew in attendance for the World Premiere of the four part film.

Want to hear all about Day 6? Check out my Vlog for Day 6!

Kisses director Lance Daly

Dir: Lance Daly
Cast: Shane Curry, Kelly O'Neill

Reason to see: I found the premise fascinating.

Kisses is a touching tale of two kids that try to make a go at a better life from a pretty low starting point. But their lack of life skills in this particular endeavour is made up with a lot of guts and fierce loyalty. The film features two incredible performances by the young leads Shane Curry and Kelly O'Neill which bring to life the troubled twosome of Dylan and Kylie. The film was short at 72 minutes but it fits the tone perfectly. Quite a gem.

Highlights from the Intro and Q&A with director Lance Daly and actors Shane Curry & Kelly O'Neill
-See a selection from the Q&A where director Lance Daly describes why he wanted to tell this story
-There was quite the lively reaction to whether or not the audience would prefer to see the film with English subtitles (it's in English but with strong Irish accents). About 10% of the audience would want subtitles, but around 60% or more said to leave it as is. When released on DVD it will have optional subtitles but director Lance Daly mentioned before the screening to just relax into the film and the you will become accustomed to the accent (I agree with this).
-Regarding the casting, it was explained that they had saw thousands of kids but they took the worst behaved of the lot and then from that found that Kelly was the only one who could deal with Shane and vice versa. It was also noted that the two had great chemistry
- In response to whether the film was scripted as it had such a freshness to it, the dialogue was scripted but what we see is peppered with stuff that happened naturally as well. Also, scenes could have between 50-60 takes.

Kisses director Lance Daly, actors Kelly O'Neill and Shane Curry

24 City / Er Shi Si Cheng Ji
Dir: Jia Zhang-ke

Reason to see: I had heard good things about this film and sounded like it had an interesting pace.

In all honestly I don't think it would be fair to review this film as I was a wee bit tired at the screening and may have missed just a bit here and there. I did find it compelling and was strongly interested in the memories described by subjects regarding the personal connection to Factory 420, which produced aviation and aeronautical equipment for years but remained a military secret. I did often find myself pondering if the film was a documentary or commentary and after further investigation it appears to be both which is a fascinating approach. It had a haunting tone and fierce nostalgia have cemented my interest and hope to see this one again someday.

Toronto Stories filmmakers

Toronto Stories
Dirs: Sook-Yin Lee, Sudz Sutherland, David Weaver, Aaron Woodley
Cast: Toka Murphy, Tygh Runyan, Sook-Yin Lee, Carly Pope, Joris Jarksy, K.C. Collins, Gil Bellows, Ricardo Hoyos, Samantha Weinstein

Reason to see: I'm a Torontonian through and through. This was a must-see from the get go.

One of the things I love most about Toronto Stories was its ability to capture the different tones, styles and locations of Toronto. We Torontonians are very aware that we live in a multicultural mecca, but it is so great to see this reflected on the screen and through the stories told in this film. I was most impressed by 'The Brazilian' set in Kensington Market and featuring Tygh Runyan and Sook-Yin Lee out of the series of stories but they all had wonderful moments.I would also note the stand out performance by Gil Bellows which really brought the film home.

Toronto Stories Q&A:
Check out these vids from the Introduction and Q&A.

Toronto Stories easily was the film with the most representation out of the entire festival:

A Film with Me In It
Dir: Ian FitzGibbon
Cast: Dylan Moran, Mark Doherty, Amy Huberman, Keith Allen, David Doherty

Reason to see: Films about films pique my interest.

Wow, I was not expecting this film to be so dark and so funny. It rivals Forever, Never, Anywhere from TIFF'07 as one of the darkest comedies I have ever seen. The audience just ate it up though, they were really having a ball following this band of down on their luck filmmaker hopefuls. It really pushed the envelope when it came to humour and managed to be flippant and suave at the same time. As I'm not a huge fan of dark comedies, I was a bit mystified that I continued to laugh throughout which can partly be attributed to being in a packed house of laughing festival goes but moreso to the strong performances by Mark Doherty and Dylan Moran. So much of the film was completely over the top but Dylan Moran's delivery always brought the film together perfectly.

Now that is a lot of stickered screenings!

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

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