…and the quest to see everything

Posts tagged “Toronto International Film Festival

Cool Story Bro: “Antichrist”


Showing up to screenings two hours before the movie starts, I headed off to the rush line at the Ryerson Theatre. An hour later an older man sells a pair of tickets to whoever wants to see Antichrist.  I raised my hand a second later than someone behind me, who happens to be a French woman who is also pregnant. Dammit. I’m pretty sure this woman lives a twelve-hour drive from Cannes Why didn’t she just see it there?

Half an hour later, she comes back and says “Mai hazzbahnd won’t cam zee eet.” Obviously. Why the fuck do you? Or me? “I want feeftee dallarz for zeez teekehts.” (I am so racist). Fine.

I join the ticket holders’ line and find kids from my university, the ones who make fun of the slightly special needs kid in the film studies department or talk about how Amanda Seyfried was ‘The most BEAUTIFUL woman I’ve EVER seen…” because that’s what sexy hipsters talk about. We eventually headed to the doors where the most beautiful hipster tells some security guard “This film will win People’s Choice.”

It was one of the most fucked up movie I have ever seen.

Later, the most beautiful one tells us that she gave the movie a 3. “He’s a master master master master master master but…” I can’t remember what she said but it’s something like how gruelling he is.” I tell them that I bought my ticket off a pregnant woman. ‘You saved a pregnant woman and her child.” Imagine someone giving birth while watching that movie.

I have no idea how notorious that screening was compared to others. Watching it at Cannes might have been an experience. There’s another fest somewhere in middle America where the audience chanted “CHAos REIGNS!” Apparently someone vomited during the Toronto première but I was probably drowned by my own reactions to hear someone retch.

Days later, in other screenings, I meet industry guys before the Micmacs where the cuter business guy kept saying “That scene where she hammered his BALLS and I’d cross my legs every time he said ‘balls.’

I have new goals during the festival while writing for myself and others – next year’s choices will be actress-y because of Nathaniel. But because of that first movie during that first real TIFF, one of my goals is to see the grossest movie ever. Last year’s is Black Swan and LA Zombie. This year’s is Lovely Molly. Swear I’ll do the best I can to catch the Midnight Madnesses.


TIFF 2011’s Birthday Gift: Guns!


For the past few Tuesdays – or the occasional Wednesday – the Toronto International Film Festival announces their line-ups bit by bit, and its my duty to write about those films an Anomalous Material. For some reason I chose to movies about alleged female murderers, assassins as my leads and wrote a bit more about movies about women experiencing violent births, smoking cigarettes and second wives left out of inheritances. I forgot to mention Christophe Honore’s Beloved, about a mother-daughter team (real-life mother and daughter Catherine Deneuve and Chiara Mastroianni) who go through a lot of men. Gritty.

But don’t think that the unfair sex isn’t getting in on this action. Films included in the Gala and Special Presentations are the previously announced Machine Gun Preacher and the newly announced Intruders and Killer Elite, the latter also starring birthday boy Robert de Niro! I’m not that much of a snob and I guess I should open my mind to genre. Preacher seems more of the prestige awards film and I assumed that guns belonged to Midnight Madness territory. But apparently Gerard Butler, Jason Statham and multitasker Clive Owen’s muscular bodies don’t fit with that programme’s zombie theme. And apparently a Nicholas Cage movie called Trespass is playing too. The end! Photos courtesy of TIFF.


TIFF: Legend of the Fist


Andrew Lau‘s Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen opens with  a battle scene where Chinese labourers are being ordered around by French troops. Our hero Chen Zhen (Donnie Yen), gives an ‘inspirational’ speech to his comrades, then he goes out to the battlefields and beats down the German snipers who shot said comrade or two, kung fu style. The last part sounds ridiculous, but there are many elements within the mise-en-scene. Yen makes it through sniper fire, the first of many complex, well-choreographed fight scenes where his enemies surround him.

ph. TIFF

The movie flashes forward to the main plot. Chen Zhen becomes Qi, a charismatic patron of a Shanghai dance hall There’s also a thrush named Kiki who can sing and entertain in both Chinese and Japanese. The dance hall, named Casablanca, a reference to that film. Chen Zhen takes on a third identity as a movie hero called ‘The Masked Warrior.’ Shanghai’s a mixed crowd, the main characters are hiding something and is suspicious of each other, there’s cliché free dialogue, boiling down into one showdown bigger than the one before, revealing more about the story of Chen Zhen and the country he represents. Lau is also responsible for the slightly grainy digital photography of the film perfectly showing, among many things, how worn down our hero can be.

I saw this movie last night in the festival’s opening night. There are two more showtimes, at noon today at Ryerson and at the morning of the 18th at the Varsity. My grade for the movie: 3/5.