Vanguarders and Vanguardians, The Festival season is over and it's time for the Vanguard blog to crawl sleepily away to its cave to hibernate until the next Vanguard programme.
Thanks to the programmers and, especially, to Colin Geddes, who coordinated the blog. And thanks to all the bloggers who participated. And thanks to all you readers!
These cute, sleepy animals symbolize the blog's hibernation and might ease the pain--just a little. See you next year!
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Congratulations to the filmmakers, cast, and crew of Motorway, Thale, and The We And The I!
All three films have been picked up for distribution after screening in the Festival's Vanguard programme.
Motorway, directed by Soi Cheang, was acquired by Grindstone/Lionsgate for North American distribution.
Thale, directed by Aleksander Nordaas, was acquired by Xlrator Media for US distribution.
The We And The I, directed by Michel Gondry, was acquired by Paladin and 108 Media for North American distribution.
If you were a silly goose and missed these three movies at the Festival, look for them in theaters soon!
Sunday, September 16, 2012
So it's Sunday. The last day of the Festival and the weekend. What to do?
Don't worry. There is one more screening of Zhang Yuan's Beijing Flickers.
Still not convinced? Screen Daily says Beijing Flickers is a "highly accessible and heartfelt expression of angst and alienation among the city’s less upwardly mobile young adults."
You can read the rest of their review here, but don't wait too long. You've got to get your tickets!
BEIJING FLICKERS Screening Time:
Sun., Sept. 16th, 9:30PM: TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX 4
What better way to end the Festival--and your Sunday evening--than by watching the final screening of Soi Cheang's Motorway? There are car chases! Cops! Cops in car chases!
Keep in mind, though, that Motorway is not an open world video game, so drive carefully on the way home, people. Don't try to emulate the title of Cheang's last movie, Accident.
MOTORWAY Screening Time: Sun., Sept., 16th, 6:30PM: SCOTIABANK 9
With Thale, Aleksander Nordaas's second feature, the director establishes himself as someone to whom we should pay close attention.
Nordaas isn't just the director; he's also the writer, editor, associate producer, and set decorator. His involvement with every aspect of this film results in a wonderful, evocative, fully realized piece of imaginative filmmaking.
Part of this is the film's subject matter: a mythical Norwegian creature known as a "huldra," in this case, one named Thale (pronounced "TELL-uh"). Although her mysterious and heartbreaking story forms the core of the film, it is actually a story about trust and friendship, but one that is neither corny nor overly sentimental.
Nordaas skillfully weaves multiple timelines and storylines without resorting to shopworn flashbacks, instead utilizing a tape-recorded voice as a quasi-narrator as well as dreamlike sequences that reveal more profound significance as the film progresses.
There is also an incredibly engaging contrast between Thale's mystical existence and the gruesome, yet matter-of-fact world of Leo and Elvis, two members of a forensic cleaning crew. Nordaas manages to make both worlds mesh beautifully with extreme close-ups, minimal non-diegetic music, but maximum diegetic sound. The result is a film that is remarkably intimate yet not gratuitous or exploitative.
Much of the credit for the film's enchanting yet ultimately realistic aura must be given to Jon Signve Skard and Erlend Norvold as Leo and Elvis, respectively. With their subtle inflections of voice and unique physical mannerisms, we are immediately drawn to these two; they feel like real people and not characters.
As the film's titular character, Silje Reinåmo creates an aura of genuine otherworldliness. She speaks no dialogue, conveying everything with her face and eyes, but she is not a cipher or a sexualized girl-woman. And although her fear of those who wish to harm her feels uncomfortably real, Thale is not a helpless heroine.
As both a fantasy and a slice of reality, Thale succeeds. It isn't a horror film, though there are horrors within it. There are also moments of laugh-out-loud humor, though it isn't a comedy, either. It is a little bit of all these things, but mostly Thale is an emotionally engaging film that will hold sway over your heart, and precisely when you least expect it.
Quick, get out your favourite giant pencil and softest pair of erotic knit panties because we've got one final screening of Sightseers tonight. We don't think there's a single person out there who hasn't enjoyed this film. And if they haven't, well, then they're crazy. Duh. And they obviously don't appreciate the natural beauty of vistas. Or dead, bloodied people. If you know what's good for you--so help us--you'll put down that copy of the Daily Mail and get yourself to The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema for tonight's final screening of Sightseers.
SIGHTSEERS Sun., Sept. 16th, 7:00 PM BLOOR HOT DOCS CINEMA
If you woke up this morning and thought to yourself, "Gee, I wish there was a scary, sexy, Mexican horror movie I could go see this afternoon," have we got the film for you.
Here Comes The Devil is a terrifying and entertaining account of what happens to a family after a son and daughter go missing for a night and then mysteriously reappear. Sure, you'd probably be over the moon if your missing children were found, but this family soon finds out that there is something not quite right with the returned kids. And by "not quite right" we mean "damn scary", of course.
HERE COMES THE DEVIL Sun., Sept. 16th, 3:30 PM SCOTIABANK 4