Friday, 18 September 2009

TIFF'09 Day 6 - Tuesday September 15, 2009


There are small things that make you notice how far along the festival is, and for Day 6 one of those things is seeing that we are down to 1 poster board of film lists outside theatres. Still surprized that there weren't that many films that had gone rush, but this was taken in the morning so it may have changed as time when on. A new thing I did this year was book in a screening at Jackman Hall, which I've seen films at before at Cinematheque but never gone there during the festival. I have to say it was a nice break to pop over there mid festival as it's a very calm venue, even in the midst of the festival.

To hear all about Day 6 check out my TIFF'09 Vlog for Day 6.


The Warrior and the Wolf / Lang Zai Ji
Dir: Tian Zhuang Zhuang (On the Hunting Ground, The Blue Kite)
Cast: Joe Odagiri, Maggie Q, Tou Chung-hua

Historically set film about a mans resistant journey into warriorhood that also dances on the line of myth and magical realism. I found this film a little hard to follow when it jumped back and forth through time as it told the story, but did appreciate a lot of the beautiful scenery and creative ideas. I picked this film pretty much on the title and picture in the program book, and didn't know too much about it but the day before seeing it a friend mentioned it had a lot of sexual violence in it which I wasn't expecting at all. Neither were other people as apparently the screening had a fair few walk outs. I didn't, but I didn't think it was necessary and rather disliked not only the inclusion of the scenes but also how they fit into the story overall.


The Loved Ones
Dir: Sean Byrne
Cast: Xavier Samuel, Robin McLeavy, John Brumpton, Victoria Thaine, Jessica McNamee

Fantastic horror film that is completely sick and twisted, this one really came out of left field and nailed it out of the park. Not for the faint of heart though, or even the pretty solid at heart as the violence got pretty extreme not only in intensity but also in portrayed a fair amount of things that are along the lines of being so disturbing that even the idea of them messes with your head. I attended a daytime screening of this Midnight Madness film and it was easy to pick out the MM regulars over people who had no idea what it would be about. There were gasps and shudders, and so far it's the only film that even I turned away at certain points because it was so messed up. It was totally worth it though as the story is strong, the acting is spectacular and the soundtrack is awesome. The main song has been stuck in my head for days and I'm sure it, and the film, will stay with me for a long time coming. It's easily one people are quoting as one of the best of the fest, for which I have to agree.

See selections from The Loved Ones Introduction and Q&A with Sean Byrne

The Loved Ones director Sean Byrne

Every Day is a Holiday / Chaque jour est un fête
Dir: Dima El-Horr
Cast: Hiam Abbass, Manal Khader, Raia Haidar

The title Every Day is a Holiday is a ironic title for a film that shows anything but. The ever present sense of danger, loss and helplessness are steeped in every scene. Starting with a beautiful opening shot full of richness and intensity but also depicting ranges of desolation. This is one of the films at the festival where I'm surprized people would mention the plot, as it really is a journey and one that requires little explanation. It was great to see a film that was about womens stories and experiences.

See selections from Every Day is a Holiday Introduction and Q&A with Dima El-Horr, Hiam Abbass and Theirry Lenouvel

Every Day is a Holiday actor Hiam Abbass and director Dima El-Horr

La Donation / The Legacy
Dir: Bernard Émond (La neuvaine, Contre toute espérance)
Cast: Élise Guilbault, Jacques Godin, Éric Hoziel, Françoise Graton, Angèle Coutu

This film was a complete joy to watch. It is the third film in Bernard Émond humanist trilogy exploring Faith (La neuvaine), Hope (Contre toute espérance) and now Charity with La Donation all of which have played at the festival. Bernard Émond re-iterated before the screening that he isn't a believer and you certainly don't need to be to get a lot out of his films and this, like his previous two, is brilliant. Élise Guilbault reprises her role from La neuvaine as a doctor, this time replacing a doctor of a small community for a month of holiday. The locations are absolutely fantastic and the performances understated and beautiful. The gentle pace and tone of the film expertly handle any situation that appears. Elegant and wise, this film portrays a beautiful world even amongst daily tragedies. An astonishing accomplishment.

See selections from La Donation Introduction and Q&A with Bernard Émond and Élise Guilbault

La Donation director Bernard Émond

La Donation actor Élise Guilbault

La Donation cinematographer Sara Mishara

The Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 10 - 19, 2009 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


1 comment:

donna g said...

Every Day is a Holiday made my Top 12 Faves for TIFF '09. Here's a link to my thoughts on the film:

Sorry I couldn't fit La Donation into my TIFF schedule. I've seen the other two films in the trilogy
(Contre toute esperance and La Neuvaine), so will wait for the release.

Love your coverage.

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