Anton Corbijn, that's 2 for 2 now. The American and A Most Wanted Man are some of my favourite films. I love how Corbijn tells a story. Slow. Detailed. Never hurried. Both films were utterly captivating from the first frame to the last.
I would have given this one extra 1/2 star, but the issue with the accents was a tad bothersome. It was never enough to disengage from the story, and if I'm being honest I don't think I…
tiff 2014 film #17
I had a fantastic string of great 'Hollywood' pictures at tiff this year. 99 Homes, The Drop and Nightcrawler all had me giddy with amazement. If this is an indication of what is to come when Hollywood gives pictures to foreign or indie directors then by all means keep doing it. Please. Pretty please.
Out of all of them Nightcrawler was the one with the most bang. There were two scenes very near the end that…
tiff 2014 film #16
My guess is that Wild will never get the audience it deserves. Why? Because we've already seen Into the Wild and 127 hours and we might be tired of films about young folk who have the luxury of going on high risk adventures and end up paying the price. It is why I didn't pick Wild as a film I wanted to see at TIFF. I can't say for sure what changed my mind*, but I'm…
tiff 2014 film #8
The timing of Rosewater could not have been worse.
The news is filled with stories of journalists and aid workers being beheaded publicly after years of imprisonment, and along comes Rosewater, asking us to sympathize with a reporter who was jailed for a 4 months in Iran and released physically unharmed in time for his child's birth.
I suppose I am being unfair. Just because other journalists suffered worse conditions and much more dire consequences it…
tiff 2014 film #1
Clouds of Sils Maria should have been great. Its main characters are strong women. Its setting in the Swiss Alps is majestic. It explores the complexities that abound with the self-realization that age changes you, when you become acutely aware that the world and its opportunities begin to shrink the older you get, and that you must negotiate a balance between your being-in-the world and its acceptance of you.
When Maria Enders (Binoche) is asked to…
tiff 2014 film #4
The Crow's Egg (Kaakkaa Muttai) was part of the Discovery programme at TIFF 2014, which, as their description goes, means "Directors to watch. The future of World Cinema". First time director M. Manikandan fits that bill.
The film is very small, which is why I was interested in seeing it. Two young boys living in the slum see a pizza commercial on tv and want to try it. A pizza place has just opened nearby and…
tiff 2014 - film #20
The Owners is a difficult film to describe. Its subject matter is deadly serious, and it takes a while to get used to the idea that it incorporates offbeat deadpan comedy. Director Yerzhanov throws in Kaurismaki-like off-kilter images when you least expect it, including odd characters dancing about whenever there is a death in the village. Corruption abounds in the small town where everyone seems to be against the idea of three orphaned siblings taking…
tiff 2014 film #13
Jauja is an Art-house film, there is no debating that.
I hate to follow that statement with a "but" and all that it implies, but as slow as the film gets it is always strangely compelling. I'll admit to almost nodding off a couple of times in its first half, but I was acutely aware of not wanting to nod off, and that makes all the difference.
The presentation plays tricks on you. You are seeing…
tiff 2014 film #10
This film struck me like no other at TIFF.
If you want to know what it is like, really like, when your world gets taken over by regimes or fanatics that haphazardly impose their will over yours, this is the film to see. If you want to know what it is like to be helpless, truly helpless, the way many communities are in the world, this is the film to see. If you want to see…
Tiff 2014 film 3
Like most of us, director Reuben Ostlund believed that in disasters, a sinking ship for example, men ensured that children and women were saved first. He was quite surprised to find that research did not support this notion of the heroic man. Indeed, safety boats were almost always filled with men. Is it only the cowards that make it to the boat, or the men with the strongest survival instict, or those who have no one…
Tiff 2014 capsule - film 2
I took the train from Paris to Milan a long time ago and I remember looking out the window at the majestic mountains admiring them, of course, but it wasn't until we got into Northern Italy that I found them beautiful and alive. It was there that real life was sprinkled throughout the mountains, with clotheslines everywhere and junkyards and swing sets. It was there that I loved those mountains.
Give Nuri Bilge Ceylan…