Monday, 12 September 2011

TIFF Day 4 - Sunday September 11, 2011



Day 4 of the festival was all Scotiabank 2 for me, which was kind of strange - I often do a day at one theatre location but to it literally to be in the same physical theatre over and over bit of odd, not that I really minded. The only thing is that Scotiabank 2 is now their AVX theatre which has been around I think just less than a year (seeing TRON: Legacy there last year was awesome!), but it means the seats are a bit of a different set up and where I'd normally sit for festival doesn't exist. I picked a new spot, which was great (although close) for the films, but not so great for the Q&A's which they did at the foot of the stairs as opposed to the front of the theatre. I think that works nicer for the majority of the audience though, as it's closer and therefore feels more intimate. Both Q&A's for Day 4 were excellent, although had polar opposite energy were both funny. Extraterrestrial director Nacho Vigalondo was very candid about it being okay to laugh during his film (at the funny bits, of course) and Headshot director Pen-ek Ratanaruang joked with us that he was going to make us wait so that a friend who was delayed could have a chance to arrive.

Rather watch than read? Check out my Day 4 Vlog.


Extraterrestrial director Nacho Vigalondo (centre)

Extraterrestrial / Extraterrestre
Dir: Nacho Vigalondo (Timecrimes)
Cast: Julian Villagran, Michelle Jenner, Raul Cimas, Carlos Areces, Miguel Noguera
Spain

I'll admit that I picked Extraterrestrial / Extraterrestre on title alone, I'm in for anything alien-centric, paranormal, spooky and the like. Only I saw that oodles of my buddies were heading out to it too that the light went on that it's from the director of Timecrimes, Nacho Vigalondo. That kind of freaked me out a I wasn't a fan of Timecrimes, but hey - I'm still up for aliens. Then, as it turns out it's not really about aliens, but a romantic comedy. Oh boy! Not quite my favourite genre, but I'm happy I stuck with it as it was a delightful film with a fun, frisky sense of humour. Although the extraterrestrial content is low, the impact of them on others is really the films focus. We follow a small group of people including the young and beautiful Julia (Michelle Jenner), along with several men who are interested and/or involved with her from the mysterious Julio (Julián Villagrán) to the carelessly imposing Tipo (Miguel Noguera) to watchful Ángel (Carlos Areces). The chemistry between the actors is magic, whether it's playful and flirting or confusing and accusing or even all out antagonizing. That was the true joy of the film, and I enjoyed every minute of it's craziness. I think because the humour comes across so well that fans of either romantic comedies or science fiction will get a kick out of it. I was very happily surprized.


Headshot director Pen-ek Ratanaruang (left)

Headshot / Fon Tok Kuen Fah
Writer/Dir: Pen-ek Ratanaruang (Last Life in the Universe, Ploy, Nymph / Nang Mai
Cast: Nopachai “Peter” Jayanama, Sirin “Cris” Horwang, Chanokporn “Dream” Sayoungkul, Apisit “Joey Boy” Opasaimlikit, Krerkkiat Punpiputt
Thailand/France

Now, Headshot was a little more literal when it came to use of title as in it we follow someone who literally does get shot in the head, and then sees things upside down. The guns alone let you know there is definitely going to be a fair amoungt of crime involved and even though I'm not a huge fan of that I am a huge fan of director Pen-ek Ratanaruang, therefore I'm willing to see anything he does and he really brings the goods in this film yet again. There is an intricate crime drama story woven throughout the film that's paired with the ideas of crime and justice and to an extent good and evil. Could we go as far to say right and wrong? Up and down? Perhaps. But what I love about it is that the film gracefully examines the different philosophies while showcasing them not just through the story and characters but literally through the journey of how Tul sees things, who is forced to shift will his change in point of view. The upside down vision isn't a gimmick and we experience it in different visual ways throughout the film including the brilliant physical performance from Nopachai Jayanama who carries the film. It's a dark look at dark ideas, but I found it fascinating to watch it unfold through an intense and graceful pace. Very well done, fascinating idea and story and huge kudos to actor Nopachai Jayanama for making the audience feel the bizarre experience of what he is going through. I loved it.

The Toronto International Film Festival 2011 runs from September 8 - 18, 2011 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

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