Wednesday, August 31, 2011

TIFF 2011

The TIFF lottery gods were uncommonly kind to me this year: I got nearly all my picks for the film festival. Here's what I'm seeing:

Dreileben ("Three Lives" -- three feature films, by Christian Petzold, Dominik Graf, and Christoph Hochhäusler; Germany)
Almayer's Folly (Chantal Akerman, Belgium/France)
The Turin Horse (Bela Tarr, Hungary)
The Kid with a Bike (Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Belgium)
This is not a Film (Mojtaba Mirtahmasb and Jafar Panahi, Iran)
Crazy Horse (Frederick Wiseman, USA)
Elena (Andrei Zvyagintsev, Russia)
That Summer (Philippe Garrel, France)
Le Havre (Aki Kaurismaki, Finland)
The Cardboard Village (Ermanno Olmi, Italy)
Outside Satan (Bruno Dumont, France)
Martha Marcy May Marlene (Sean Durkin, USA)
Life without Principle (Johnnie To, Hong Kong)
House of Tolerance (Bertrand Bonello, France)
ALPS (Yorgos Lanthimos, Greece)
The Loneliest Planet (Julia Loktev, USA)
Elles (Malgoska Szumowska, Poland/France)
Good Bye (Mohammad Rasoulof, Iran)
Azhagarasamy's Horse (Suseendran, India)
A Separation (Asghar Farhadi, Iran)
The Student (Santiago Mitre, Argentina)
Back to Stay (Milagros Mumenthaler, Argentina)
Sleeping Beauty (Julia Leigh, Australia)

Films I wanted to see but was unable to schedule: The Deep Blue Sea (Terence Davies, UK); Damsels in Distress (Whit Stillman, USA); Take Shelter (Jeff Nichols, USA); We Need to Talk About Kevin (Lynne Ramsay, UK); Invasion (Hugo Santiago, Argentina, 1969); Century of Birthing (Lav Diaz, Philppines); Once upon a Time in Anatolia (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey); Faust (Alexander Sokurov, Russia); Low Life (Nicolas Klotz/Elizaeth Perceval); and Mushrooms (Vimukta Jayasundara, Sri Lanka). And my Wavelengths (avant-garde) schedule is still uncertain.

Here is a link to all the programmes at the festival. Any suggestions or recommendations? I'd love to hear them.

* * *

A few links:

-- For the next couple of weeks, during TIFF, Cinema Scope Online will be putting up new pieces each day.

-- Catherine Grant's post at Filmanalytical presents, with explanatory text, her latest video essay: on "the haptic" in film.

-- Good news: Nicholas Ray's We Can't Go Home Again has just been picked up for distribution by Oscilloscope Laboratories. Jonathan Rosenbaum has posted his essay on the film. Also at Jonathan's: an essay on Raymond Durgnat on the occasion of the launch of a new website devoted to Durgnat's writings. Right now there are links to a small number of pieces, and I hope the site will accumulate many more as time goes by. Finally: an interview with Jonathan by Michael Guillen titled "Positioning Cinephilia" in the journal Film International (not, alas, available to read online).

-- Jim Emerson helpfully (as always) gathers together the various strands of the recent "chaos cinema" debate.

-- Interested in browsing an eclectic set of links-filled posts? Visit Cinetrix.

-- Ignatiy V. on Johnnie To and Wai Ka-fai's Don't Go Breaking My Heart.

-- Steven Shaviro: "What is the Post-Cinematic?"

-- (via Chris Fujiwara) A brief interview with Frederick Wiseman, "Finding a sharper focus on reality through literary criticism."

-- German cinema: I finally caught up with Maren Ade's Everyone Else, surely among cinema's great microscopic examinations of a relationship. The three-feature Dreileben is the film I'm most looking forward to at Toronto; here is a 2007 interview with one of its directors, Christoph Hochhäusler, who also helps run the film blog Revolver. Michael Sicinski's appetizing review of The City Below is here; I hope the film gets distributed in the US. I can't wait to see it.

pic: Dreileben - One Minute of Darkness.


Anonymous Peter Nellhaus said...

No Headshot? Pen-Ek returns to the crime film genre of Last Life in the Universe and 69ing with a movie about a guy who gets shot in the head, recovers, and sees the world upside down. Ah well, at least you're catching the new Johnny To and a documentary featuring women in various states of undress.

September 01, 2011 12:48 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

My first thought coming out of Alle Anderen was that it was to my generation what Nous ne vieillirons pas ensemble was to my father's. Not too sure about whether that's true or not, but absolutely one of the greatest observations of a couple onscreen.

September 01, 2011 3:54 AM  
Blogger Debbie Ann said...

I loved A Separation and Elena and Le Havre - saw them at the Melbourne Intl Film Fest. Your list looks great - have a good time.

September 01, 2011 6:05 AM  
Blogger Michael Guillen said...

Congratulations on getting your picks, Girish. Great list. We'll have some crossover. Look forward to waving at you across campus.

September 01, 2011 12:26 PM  
Blogger girish said...

Peter, I liked LAST LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE but haven't followed Pen-Ek's career since (by accident rather than intention). Johnnie To is so prolific that I've only scratched the surface of what he's made. Speaking of, whatever happened to SPARROW? I'm still waiting for it; it never did get a DVD release here.

Nathan, that's a canny connection with Pialat film!

Debbie Ann, thanks for the confirmations on those picks, especially A SEPARATION, which I've read very little about.

Michael, thanks, and wish you a wonderful festival!

September 01, 2011 12:48 PM  
Anonymous Jonathan Rosenbaum said...

I saw A Separation with Jim Hoberman in Wroclaw, Poland in late July, and liked it a lot. Although it's conventionally made (and, if I'm not mistaken, actually got shown commercially in Iran--not that this necessarily a strike against it), I found it easily the best Iranian film I've seen since Rafi Pitts' The Hunter (which is available now on DVD from Artificial Eye in the UK for only about 7 quid, and, to my mind, is even better).

September 01, 2011 8:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great list! How about some of the films I'm seeing: Wuthering Heights (Arnold), Footnote (Cedar) and Dark Horse (Solondz)?

September 01, 2011 8:24 PM  
Blogger girish said...

Thanks, Jonathan: I didn't realize THE HUNTER was now available on DVD.

Anonymous, I wanted to schedule FOOTNOTE but couldn't; I've heard good things about it. I haven't heard any advance word on the other two.

September 02, 2011 7:02 AM  
Anonymous David D. said...

Great list, Girish.
Make sure to bring to bring a discriminating eye and credit-card, or something, if you are coming by the, as it will be full of exciting books! (I am working on post where I am going to list some of them).
The two films at TIFF 2011 that I am the most looking forward to see are Francis Ford Coppola's 'Twixt' and Jean-Marc Vallée's 'Café de flore'.

September 02, 2011 11:31 AM  
Anonymous Peter Nellhaus said...

What happened to SPARROW? You'll have to get a DVD like I did almost three years ago. My version is officially R3, if you know what I mean.

September 02, 2011 3:22 PM  
Anonymous Peter Nellhaus said...

I forgot to add that if you want to get a copy of Sparrow, you'll need to go to Yesasia or Asian Cult Cinema.

September 02, 2011 3:25 PM  
Blogger girish said...

Thanks, Peter and David!

Must-read: Gabe Klinger has been sending tweet-sized impressions of films from Venice.

September 02, 2011 10:12 PM  
Anonymous Yusef Sayed said...

Mark Cousins' STORY OF FILM, which is showing at the festival, began as a TV series on More4 in the UK. This is the closest I will get this year to any of the films at the festival but its appearance on the TV last night Saturday night, prime time!), among the usual dreck, was heartening. In terms of scope and approach it seems very promising and it has already sent me off to find out stuff I didn't yet know. Future episodes are set to include African films which I'm ooking forward to. Refreshing choice of clips too. Apparently Kira Muratova was asked to be interviewed but sadly declined. Recommended viewing. Any readers who can access More4 onine from their part of the world, check it out here

September 04, 2011 5:10 AM  
Anonymous David D. said...

Marc Cousins' book 'Story of Film' is hard to get a hold of. I ordered like six copies over a month ago from Da Capo Press and I am still waiting for them, hopefully they arrive before Thursday.

September 04, 2011 7:55 PM  
Anonymous Yusef Sayed said...


according to Amazon in the UK it is being reprinted in a couple of weeks - a new issue to coincide with the TV series.

September 05, 2011 3:04 AM  
Anonymous David D. said...

Thanks Yusef, I was wondering about that one.

September 05, 2011 11:51 AM  
Blogger girish said...

Over a year in the making, the Adrian Martin-organized conference WORLD CINEMA NOW kicks off in Melbourne this month. Here is the conference blog, which will be regularly updated before and during the conference.

September 06, 2011 6:54 AM  
Blogger girish said...

At MUBI: an amazingly in-depth preview of the Wavelengths (avant-garde) program at TIFF by Michael Sicinski.

September 07, 2011 2:40 PM  
Blogger girish said...

Just want to reiterate that the Cinema Scope daily preview coverage is AMAZING. (CS -- you should do this every year!)

September 08, 2011 12:40 PM  

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