What to see at the Toronto Film Festival
August 28, 2004 9:51 AM   Subscribe

Selecting things to see at the Toronto Film Fest. Here's a list of films playing at TIFF. International MeFites and film nuts: have you seen/heard anything about any of them/the directors? What should a TIFF-goer see or avoid? If you're going to the Fest, what are you seeing? Got extra tickets you want to sell? Looking for ones to buy? Lets use the thread to maximize the event. {more}

I wasn't expecting to be going this year and am very unprepared. I've scrounged up 16 tickets so far. Since it's way short of my usual industry/festival pass, I want to use them wisely and am therefore asking for suggestions. Thanks!

(If any MeFites work for TIFFG and can help finagle me a (non-free) Industry (pref) or Festival pass, I'd sure appreciate an email and my lips will be sealed and I'd exnay on anything but screenings.)
posted by dobbs to Media & Arts (14 answers total)
Question for those who've been:

Do they strictly enforce the 18+ rule for all screenings? Before I waste any money on tickets (they're still available right?) I'd like to know if I'll actually be able to get in. I'm 17.
posted by Evstar at 10:11 AM on August 28, 2004

Response by poster: Evstar, it will depend on the movie you're seeing and who's at the door. I've been going since I was 16 (20 years ago) and never had a prob but things were more relaxed back then. If you look real young and are seeing something particularly adult, you may have a prob but usually, you should be okay.

they're still available right?

Well, yes and no. Theoretically, the fest is entirely sold out as far as passes and coupons go. However, you should read this page on advance tickets and rush tickets.

I believe you're interested in Midnight Madness which almost always sells out immediately and has long rush lines. I'm not much of a MM goer so don't recognize any of those names except for BLaB and Miike so can't comment on the likelihood of getting in.
posted by dobbs at 10:40 AM on August 28, 2004

I've seen a couple of the films already:

Oldboy (Chan-Wook Park): Best film I've seen all year. A Korean man is locked in a room for 15 years and then let go, he doesn't know why or by who, he just knows he wants revenge. Any more plot would be telling. Extremely intense film, it's like Kill Bill on steroids. Won second place at Canne. But be warned it can be a bit unsettling, if you've seen stuff like Ichi the Killer and The Isle you'll be fine.

Breaking News (Johnny To): A chinese film that opens with an incredible intricate 8 minute long gunfight done in one shot (maybe done with computers? I couldn't tell) and later turns into Die Hard in an apartment building, with everything being shown on live television and both the good guys and the bad guys trying to manipulate the media to their own ends. My favourite Chinese director right now, has a knack for doing these genre crime dramas with a twist.
posted by bobo123 at 10:42 AM on August 28, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks, bobo! I own Oldboy on DVD already and agree it's great. Hadn't heard of Johnny To.
posted by dobbs at 10:55 AM on August 28, 2004

Old Boy's very good, but not a masterpiece -- the ending is simply too plodding. I like the overly sentimental tone -- very Oriental -- but it's just too plodding. but it's beautifully shot, definitely a must see

Saverio Costanzo's movie is very interesting -- it's a good story about the Israeli/Palestinian problem
posted by matteo at 11:10 AM on August 28, 2004

Thanks for the info, dobbs. I really want to go this year, and it'd be my first time at a fest. I know a few people working at Bell so I'm hoping I can have them scrounge some free tickets for me
posted by Evstar at 11:13 AM on August 28, 2004

I saw Ghost in the Shell 2 at the SIFF (Seattle International Film Festival) a few months ago. I am not an anime fanboi by any means (that was the second anime movie I'd ever seen), and my reactions were mixed. On one hand, it is gorgeous beyond belief - the imagery is a pure eruption of creativity. Half the time I couldn't believe that someone has methodically descibed and drawn the incredible things I was seeing; the other half I had to remind myself that this is animation and not film stock.

In my opinion, this movie's downfall was the story/plotline. Too complicated, inconsequential, jumping all over the place, trying to tackle the entirery of eastern/western thought intersection over meaning of identity and self in too short of a time, under too fake of premises (come on, the main character is a cop who shoots things and delivers graduate level lectures on existentialism while reloading).

YMMV, but it sure was an interesting experience for me. Do make sure to watch the original before seeing this, if only to marvel at how far the state of art in anime has progressed over the last decade and a half.
posted by blindcarboncopy at 1:55 PM on August 28, 2004

I've held off buying the DVD of Breaking News because I'm hoping to see it at the festival.
Dobbs, If you like it, also check out PTU, The Mission and Expect the Unexpected - some of which have screened in past festivals. I almost don't believe that you've never heard of Johnny To.

I always had great luck getting single advance, or even rush tickets for the Midnight Madness screenings. But, that was when they played at the huge Uptown cinema. Anyone know where they are showing this year?
(Yes, I'm still quite bitter about losing the Uptown)
posted by Zetetics at 9:57 PM on August 28, 2004

Response by poster: Zetitics, I'm pretty ignorant about contemporary asian cinema. The reason is pretty damn lame: I'm a hella slow reader and they talk fast. Half the time I can't keep up with the subtitles. Sounds pathetic, I know, but I find the process very frustrating. I try a few every year, regardless, and will check out the To film if I can get a ticket. I'll keep an eye for the others on DVD.

Anyone know anything about the WKW film? Why isn't 2046 playing and what is Eros? I know it's three shorts by WKW, Soderbergh, and Antonioni, but it sure seems like a strange mix to me.
posted by dobbs at 10:26 PM on August 28, 2004

I've read that 2046 isn't playing because, after Cannes, WKW decided that it wasn't finished after all and has started shooting again. The expectation of seeing 2046 was one the reasons I bought coupons this year.
Ah well, maybe next year.
This site has some info on Eros. I was quite surprised to see WKW in the schedule for something other than 2046, let alone in that bizarre mix.

Its too bad subtitles don't work for you but its not a lame reason. I'm a fast reader but I can't always keep up with subtitles either.
posted by Zetetics at 11:37 PM on August 28, 2004

Shameless plug: For those on the East Coast of Canada, my employer—Atlantic Film Festival (Sept 17 - 25)—announces it's line-up on Tuesday. To be fair (and balanced), here are some other festivals:

Montreal's World Film Festival (Aug 26 - Sept 6)

Cinefest - Sudbury's International Film Festival (Sept 18 - 26)

Vancouver International Film Festival (Sept 23 - Oct 8)

...and a pant load more.
posted by boost ventilator at 7:44 AM on August 29, 2004

So, now that the full schedule is out, does anyone have recommendations? I'm looking for something funny.

. . .anyone still here?
posted by Zetetics at 9:50 PM on September 1, 2004

Response by poster: I'm not much of a comedy person, Zetetics. Sorry. I put in for 17 movies (all the tickets I could find on craigslist, basically):

*** Friday Sept 10

Whisky Romeo Zulu - 6 pm
A Hole In My Heart - 10 pm

*** Saturday Sept 11

Ferpect Crime - 1230 pm
Alzheimer Case - 715 pm
Letter to True - 10:00pm

*** Sunday Sept 12

Antares - 3 pm
Throw Down - 9 PM

*** Monday Sept 13

Astronauts - 3 pm
Be Here To Love Me - 930 pm

*** Wed Sept 15

Keane – 730 pm

Le Gout des jeunes filles – 10 pm

*** thurs Sept 16

Cinevardaphoto – 6 pm

Brodeuses – 930 pm

*** Friday Sept 17

Café Lumiere - 2pm

*** Saturday Sept 18

Eros – 630

I'd be curious what other people picked in case some of my first picks don't come thru.
posted by dobbs at 5:44 PM on September 4, 2004

I don’t know enough about any of my picks to recommend them but:

Les Revenants
The Alzheimer Case
It’s all Gone Pete Tong
Breaking News
Arsene Lupin
The World
Nobody Knows
Human touch
Ferpect Crime
Small Mall

I’m in box 40 so I guess I’ll not be seeing most of these.
posted by Zetetics at 9:41 AM on September 5, 2004

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