FESTIVAL REPORT Leave it to me to pack as much violence as possible into my first days at the Toronto International Film Festival. (And that's with only having seen one entry in the horror-heavy Midnight Madness series.) In Spanish spookfest The Orphanage featuring a Poltergeist shout-out for Zelda Rubenstein fans fingers are slammed in doors, limbs are snapped, and a few unfortunate, uh, accidents occur. Jodie Foster goes aggro with a cause in The Brave One, poppin' pricks with a pistol (and other handy tools). Read more »
Day Five of the Toronto International Film Festival: I had to make a Bob Dylan pun above because today I saw I'm Not There, Todd Haynes' tribute to the star (focusing on the young, exciting, pre-Victoria's Secret sellout years, thankfully). There's a lot going on here -- I'm sure you've already heard about the gimmick of having several different actors play Dylan or Dylanesque characters. Read more »
Day four of the Toronto International Film Fest: So, I was wrong. Nick Broomfield's Battle for Haditha isn't a documentary. Hell, it doesn't even have any voice-over. It's a drama -- a docu-drama -- that reenacts a real-life Iraq war incident in which a roadside IED led to the death of one American solider -- and in turn, many Iraqi civilians (including children) shot to death by the fallen soldier's weary, emotional, and confused squadmates. Read more »
Day three of the Toronto International Film Festival, and on the heels of Control comes Joy Division, a documentary about the groundbreaking (and heartbreakingly short-lived) post-punk band. Read more »
Er, actually, I shouldn't say shit like that, considering whatever cruddy virus I carted from California to Canada is lingering, probably due to acute lack of shut-eye. I am now officially "that coughing asshole" during quiet moments in movies.
Fortunately, the flicks on my schedule today at the Toronto International Film Festival haven't been too library-like. Read more »
Day one of the Toronto International Film Festival. New this year: badges with bar codes. Now, when you enter a screening room, they zap you in the badge instead of making you sign in. There's also a lot of construction going on in the mall that envelops the main festival theater. This is my third year at TIFF, but things feel a little unfamiliar so far.
Not the case with the movies (or the ancient-popcorn smell that fills the theaters...rank, yet comforting somehow). I've already seen some really great ones. Read more »
How many times am I gonna have to rave about Exiled before you go see it? It's been a year since I first caught it at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival; the 2007 TIFF starts Sept. 6 and features Mad Detective, Johnnie To's latest collaboration with Wai Ka Fai (Fulltime Killer). Needless to say, I'll be first in line at that flick and perhaps, like Exiled, it'll play the San Francisco Asian American Film Festival before finally opening in theaters. Read more »
Superlative: Most Likely to Carry a Django Reinhardt Album While Wearing a Master of Puppets T-shirt
Quote: "It's cartoon music. You can't really go wrong with it.
Here's a question: where on earth would a group of metalheads and hard-core punkers come together and start playing toe-tapping swing ditties? Only in King City, baby a mysterious burg where headbanging and devil horns are replaced by tango dips and jazz hands, and the music is suitable for smoky cafés, exotica bars, and backyard fiestas. Read more »
FILM On any given day, on any given Muni, you're likely to hear John Carpenter's Halloween theme trilling out of some kid's cell. Sprung from one gloriously terrifying, terrifyingly simple idea (in a word: babysitters!), the seminal horror series welcomes its ninth installment with Rob Zombie's remake of the 1978 original. I can hear you, horror snob: "Ninth installment? Remake? Read more »