Here Are 5 TIFF Must-Sees

From High-Art Sci-Fi to Mind-Bending Documentaries, Here Are 5 TIFF Must-Sees

Starting on Thursday, September 6 and running through September 16, the internationally treasured Toronto International Film Festival is back for its 43rd year. TIFF is a cultural institution for Hogtown, screening hundreds of films from all over the world and welcoming an attendees. The city hums with events that are nonstop and celebrity sightings for ten days.

The whole thing can be a bit overwhelming–just reading through the listings of films that are featured is enough to make your head spin! Here is a list of some of the titles at TIFF, for tokers.

If Beale Street Could Talk

(Annapurna Pictures)

Moonlight is one of my favorite films of the last decade–writer/director Berry Jenkins made a truly magical piece of artwork. At its core, Moonlight is a heart-melting coming-of-age narrative, but it’s also a vehicle for so much more, tackling complex issues like homophobia and toxic masculinity in present-day America. At certain moments it captures a sense of joy and hope that is unrivaled in film, although it & rsquo; s heavy. Jenkin’follow up feature that is s promises to deliver on that same front that is multi-layered. Tackling a novel by one of America’s best thinkers and writers, James Baldwin, Jenkins feels like the perfect match to pinpoint the tone of If Beale Street Could Talk: a tragic love story set in Harlem in the early 1970s starring Kiki Layne, Regina King, and Scarborough-born Stephan James. Tre’vell Anderson, reporter with the Los Angeles Times, and David Ehrlich, Senior Film Critic at IndieWire both place If Beale Street Could Talk at the top of their What I’m Seeing TIFF record and I couldn’t agree more.

If Beale Street Could Talk plays TIFF on September 9 and 10 as part of the Special Presentations programme.

This sci-fi movie from acclaimed director Claire Denis sounds incredible. Written by novelist Nick Laired, Geoff Cox, and Denis’ longtime collaborator Jean-Pol Fargeau, High Life stars Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, Mia Goth, and André Benjamin (aka André 3000) as criminals on a spaceship travelling toward a black hole. Beyond that is mystery–I couldn’t even find a trailer, only a single still shot of Pattison in a spacesuit–but from what I gather High Life promises to be a shocking, jolting ride into space, conducted by a master of Franch cinema making her first film in English.

High Life plays TIFF on September 9, 11, and 14 as part of the Gala Presentations programme.


(Universal Pictures)

For those of us who love pop culture as a zeitgeist-capturing mechanism, the horror genre is a treasure trove of case studies, and no film captures the soul of this genre for me like the first Halloween. (Full disclosure: I’m kind of obsessed with John Carpenter’s Halloween, especially the scene where Laurie gets baked with her friend Annie who also happens to be the sheriff’s daughter. 40 years after the first, the new 2018 Halloween finds John Carpenter back as a consultant, producer, and composer, and picks up where the first left off–all interim sequels and remakes in the franchise will be discounted. If that’s not reason enough to hyperventilate, the new sequel is created by the same group that brought us the genius of Get Out, and producer Jason Blum has hinted that the new Halloween will deal with post-traumatic stress disorder and irreparable injury coming to a head after 40 years. I already have chills.

Halloween plays TIFF Saturday, September 8 as part of the Midnight Madness programme.


(Mongrel Media)

A documentary that is fantastic is loved by every stoner , especially if it includes great visual excursion or a stirring message. This doc has both. Celebrated Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky’s work leaves the viewer to imagine the impact — and involves large-scale, abstract shots of industrial sites around the world. During a visit to the Art Gallery of Hamilton, I was lucky enough to grab a Burtynsky exhibit and was floored. Gorgeous to look at but devasting to consider, his photos are captivating and haunting and I cannot wait to see them come alive. Filmmakers Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier have teamed up with Burtynsky twice previously, with both 2006’s Manufactured Landscapes and 2013’s Watermark garnering acclaim, and this third project should be no different.

ANTHROPOCENE: The Human Epoch plays TIFF September 6, 7, 11 and 12 as part of the Special Presentations programme.

Edge of the Knife

(Niijang Xyaalas Productions LTD)

I can’t overstate how important and cool rsquo & this film; s existence is and I can’t wait to watch it. Co-directed by Haida filmmaker Gwaai Edenshaw and Tsilhqot’in filmmaker Helen Haig-Brown in collaboration Canada’s Inuit independent production company, Edge of the Knife is a retelling of a Haida legend about revenge and death in the 19th century. The narrative is told via a Haida cast and with the Haida language–that less than 30 people speak. The process has been described by director Helen Haig-Brown as being collaborative and unobtrusive. I can’t wait to see the results.

A Star is Born

(Warner Bros.. Pictures)

Lady Gaga–aka Mary Jane Holland herself–stars in Hollywood’s fourth (!) Remake of the tale, brought by Bradley Cooper in his directorial debut. Cooper stars as country singer Jackson Maine, who “lives half his life on tour and the other half at the bottom of a jar ” till he meets Gaga’s Ally and “they catch in each other a glimpse of the pain that drives them both. ” This one is sure to have long lines, and yes, Lady Gaga will be for the premiere in Toronto. (Too bad that the cannabis enthusiast is only a little more than a month away from October 17’s legal bud festival.) I have trepidations about A Star is Born–it’s literally been achieved before THREE TIMES–but critics who’ve seen it are raving and Gaga is already getting Oscar buzz so here’s hoping the fourth time’s a charm.

A Star is Born plays TIFF on September 9, 10, and 14 as part of the Gala Presentations programme.

Published at Wed, 05 Sep 2018 22:44:16 +0000

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