TIFF 2013: The Films I'm Seeing

I had a blast at TIFF last year, so I'm doing it again! I'm looking forward to ten days of dressing fancier than usual, trying to talk my way into parties (which was surprisingly easy the one time I tried it last year), hanging out at the Shopify Toronto office, and soaking in tons of movies that aren't likely to play Ottawa anytime soon. Here's a list of all the movies I'll be seeing this year, and quick outlines of why each made my list. There's a number of great-looking films that the scheduling didn't work out for, so don't take anything being absent here as a slight. 12 Years A Slave and Labor Day both look awesome, but they (and lesser-known pick Attila Marcel) were either sold out or impossible to fit in my schedule.

Friday, Sept. 6 - Jason Reitman Live Read: Boogie Nights

This is going to be awesome - everyone I know who attended last year's live read of American Beauty was blown away. The cast hasn't yet been announced, but based on who's in town and not occupied with other premieres that evening, I wouldn't bet against George Clooney as Jack Horner, Joseph-Gordon Levitt as Dirk Diggler, Kate Winslet as Amber Waves, and Mia Wasikowska as Rollergirl.

Saturday, Sept. 7 - Only Lovers Left Alive

Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton play vampires in a film directed by Jim Jarmusch. That was enough to get my ass in a seat.

Sunday, Sept. 8 - You Are Here, All Is By My Side, and Visitors

You Are Here is a dramedy from the creator of Mad Men, and stars Owen Wilson and Zach Galifianakis. It's Matthew Weiner's directorial debut and should be great. All Is By My Side is a Jimi Hendrix biopic, with Andre 3000 in the role of Hendrix. Visitors is the highlight of the day, though. Godfrey Reggio (Koyaanisqatsi) has made another documentary with Philip Glass, it's the world premiere, and it's being presented in 4K with a live orchestra. It's going to be amazing.

Monday, Sept. 9 - Gravity, Quai D'Orsay, and The Fake

Gravity is one I know I can see in a month, but I don't care - it looks so good I can't wait. Cuaron's a genius and the trailers make this look incredibly intense. Quai D'Orsay is the world premiere of a French political satire about "a dashing, globetrotting French foreign minister whose charm and insouciance mask his utter and complete incompetence." which sounds right up my alley. The Fake is a Korean animated feature that serves as a comprehensive takedown of organized religion, which should be fascinating.

Tuesday, Sept. 10 - Child of God and Man of Tai Chi

I didn't notice the symmetry in the titles of these when I was picking them, but it's kinda cool. The former is an adaptation of Cormac McCarthy written, directed by, and starring James Franco. The latter is Keanu Reeves' directorial debut. It's a martial arts movie with fight choreography by Yuen-Woo Ping, and while I didn't see any sign of it in the trailer, this proof of concept clip has me very intrigued.

Wednesday, Sept. 11 - The Wind Rises and Jodorowsky's Dune

One is Miyazaki's final film, the other is a documentary covering one of the craziest movies that never was: Alejandro Jodorowsky's adaptation of Dune, which was shelved before eventually ending up as a David Lynch film. Jodorowsky's vision was 14 hours long, was intended to star Mick Jagger as Paul Atreides, production design by H.R. Giger, music by Pink Floyd... it was going to be insane, and this is just scratching the surface. I can't wait to see just how much madness there is in this story.

Thursday, Sept. 12 - Blind Detective and R100

Blind Detective is a Hong Kong police thriller with great pedigree - I picked it out blind (no pun intended). R100 is from the director of Big Man Japan (which I loved) and concerns a guy who signs up for a sex club where the dominatrices will randomly come after him in public, rather than in the confines of a dungeon on his own schedule. He wants out, but that isn't an option. Hilarity ensues.

Friday, Sept. 13 - Palo Alto and Why Don't You Play In Hell?

James Franco's book of short stories is adapted into a film starring Franco and directed by Gia Coppola (Sofia's niece and Francis Ford's granddaughter). Why Don't You Play In Hell is the second of my Midnight Madness picks and looks, for lack of a better phrase, completely insane in the best possible way. Just check out this trailer.

Saturday, Sept. 14 - Dom Hemingway and Bad Words

Ending on something of a lighter note, Dom Hemingway is a crime caper starring Jude Law as an ex-con, and being that it's from the director of The Matador (which I really enjoyed) it seems like a safe bet. Bad Words centers on a bitter thirty-something man who uses a technicality in the rules to enter a national spelling competition for children. Jason Bateman is the bitter thirty-something in question, and it's his first time directing. There's something uniquely awesome about him playing mean, and it was one of very few things I liked about The Change Up, so we'll see if that's still the case here.

And that's the schedule. Pretty extensive, but I could probably squeeze more in if I really really tried. I can't wait!

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