It’s hard to believe that in just over a month, the city of Toronto will be taken over by the Toronto International Film Festival for an insane 10 days of film premieres, teeming with the hottest celebs and directors from the worldwide stage of cinema. Yesterday morning, the first wave of film announcements were delivered at a press conference from TIFF Bell Lightbox by CEO Piers Handling and Artistic Director Cameron Bailey, in which 68 titles were revealed from the Special Presentations and Galas programmes for the festival’s 41st edition. We here at Fresh From The Theatre have decided to highlight some of the films playing at this edition of TIFF that we’re most excited for.
Rob Trench (@robtrench)
“A critical and audience sensation at the recent Cannes Film Festival, Maren Ade’s near-three hour dramedy received raves and applause for its story that detailing a father’s numerous insane attempts to reconnect with his estranged adult daughter. The film has been called a masterpiece for German cinema, that manages to convey a dark sense of tragedy amongst its more humorous and charming moments, as well as featuring a surprising level of complexity. Its placement in the Special Presentations section of TIFF guarantees that festival programmers want as big of an audience as possible, as it holds the potential to be a landmark film for 2016.”
Jonathan Brito (@jonathaninspace)
A Monster Calls
“Director J.A. Bayona seems to have something special on his hands with A Monster Calls. From how it looks, the film aims to further meditate on the depth of monsters and how in our imagination they can fit roles to better explain personal matters, especially tragedies. Bayona has previously proved himself with films such as The Orphanage and The Impossible, demonstrating his ability to tell great stories of scope, atmosphere, eeriness and emotion.”
“A science fiction film by director Denis Villeneuve, preceding his Blade Runner sequel, should be an experience like none other. Villeneuve is capable of crafting scenes with great precision, tension, and visual architecture, however audiences have only witnessed what he is capable of within the real world. Arrival seems to be offering him a chance to lengthen his potentials through a more fantastical vision, something that should elevate audiences cosmically in unexpected ways.”
Shahbaz Kayambashi (@ShaKhayam)
“When Jim Jarmusch directs a new film, it is always a cause for celebration. His latest, Paterson, follows a working class poet in a small New Jersey town, who works as a bus driver by day and deals in monotony by night. The setup sounds like a perfect Jarmusch film, as he works best when dealing with the mundane. Add in the ever exciting Adam Driver to the mix and you have the most anticipated film of the year, tiff or otherwise.”
Josh Rapps (@RAPPSTHYME)
“Fresh off of a dynamic performance in FX’s American Crime Story and during the midst of a Duplass renaissance in Hollywood, Sarah Paulson and Mark Duplass, respectively, are two heavy hitters who add hype to any project they are attached to. In Blue Jay, the actors play former high-school sweethearts who reengage with each other years later and reflect on their lives. Blue Jay is the debut feature film by Duplass collaborator and journeyman cinematographer, Alex Lehman. It doesn’t hurt that the title reflects Toronto’s beloved baseball squad, who hopefully will be in playoff contention come September during the film’s screening at TIFF.”
Marko Orlic (@)
“Jay-Z’s and, well, all of America’s favourite fashion designer, Tom Ford, makes his anxiously anticipated return to directing duties a whole seven years following the release of his aesthetic marvel of a debut, A Single Man. This time around, he hooks up with Seamus McGarvey (Atonement, We Need To Talk About Kevin), a talented, veteran DP, who should be a suitable — hehe — fit for bringing out Ford’s unparalleled penchant for visual panache. From a screenwriting standpoint, Nocturnal Animals looks to challenge and stretch Ford’s novel adaptation muscles, as its frame narrative marks a noticeable jump in storytelling ambition for a filmmaker still harnessing his cinematic voice. The intricate, perhaps foreshadow-heavy plot follows parallel stories of a woman drawn into the world of a mysterious novel written by her ex-husband, whom she left years ago. As the supposed work of fiction begins to reveal the violent details of a man whose family vacation turns deadly, our protagonist is forced to confront past demons and, potentially, a veiled symbolic threat of revenge. Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Isla Fisher, Karl Glusman, Armie Hammer, Laura Linney, Andrea Riseborough, and Michael Sheen round out one hell of a half-American, half-English ensemble cast. A fine balance of pulp and class, no doubt.”
Mark Barber (@worstcinephile)
Be sure to check out all of Fresh From The Theatre’s #TIFF16 coverage throughout the next month leading up to the festival, as well as all our reviews and interviews to come in September!