toronto international film festival 14 results

At TIFF 2018, it’s all about the music

Movies: #TIFF18, Toronto International Film Festival The soundtrack of movies can leave you with the exhilaration of the dance floor, or bring you down into the existential angst of neo-noir By Jay Stone (September 8, 2018) TORONTO — There was a great moment at the movies this morning, near the end of Gloria Bell, Sebastian Lelio’s English-language remake of his own 2013 drama Gloria. Julianne Moore, replacing Chilean actress Paulina Garcia in the original, stars as a 50ish divorcee — are they still called that? — who has a productive but somewhat lonely life that she spices up by going to dance clubs and letting herself get lost in the candy sounds of disco. A romance with a divorced man (John Turturro), who seems not quite totally divorced, disrupts her balance, but in the final scene, we see Moore back on the dance floor, raising her arms and swaying from side to side as Laura Branigan sings the old hit Gloria. You can sometimes forget the importance of music in ...

Canadian film goes full frontal in Toronto

Movies: #TIFF18, The Toronto International Film Festival This year’s lineup of Canadian film at TIFF represents more than a handful of familiar faces, it’s a coming-of-age moment for the whole industry.

TIFF 2018: The top 10 movies to watch for this fall

Movies: #TIFF18, Toronto International Film Festival On his 25th anniversary of covering the Toronto film festival, a critic decides he is ready for the quieter side of cinema. By Jay Stone (September 5, 2018) - I’ve been going to the Toronto film festival for 25 years, which means I’ve seen maybe 1,000 movies there, interviewed almost as many celebrities, and enjoyed so many all-you-eat shrimp buffets that I believe my liver is now breaded. I’ve sat in hundreds of darkened cinemas and endured millions of feet of film — back when film had feet; hell, back when there was film at all — filtered through modern sound systems that seem to assault your eardrums directly through your eyeholes. When people ask me what I’m looking forward to this year, I tell them I would be grateful to return with the shreds of my hearing intact. I think it’s a pretty good answer too, given that most of the time I didn’t hear the question. But you want to know about the films. ...

Mother! Rips TIFF Audiences Apart with Creative Labour Pains

Movies: TIFF17 Darren Aronofsky's latest is a dark swan dive to the depths of the artistic process that could be read as brilliant biblical allegory or a self-absorbed bid at vindicating failure By Katherine Monk TORONTO (September 10, 2017) - Oh, mother! The creative process can be a real bitch. Just ask Darren Aronofsky. The director of the Oscar-winning Black Swan returned to the Toronto International Film Festival with his latest film, mother! And already, it’s dividing audience opinion. A laborious metaphor about the act of making art, the film stars Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem as a handsome couple renovating an old farmhouse in the middle of nowhere. He’s a successful writer struggling with a blank page. She is the young muse, fixing and mending broken walls, looking to restore the house to its former glory after a fire burned it to the ground. The only thing left is a diamond-like stone with a mysterious glow that he carefully places on a ...

The Square and Loveless Share Responsibility for Eye-Opening Day

Movies: #TIFF17 Ruben Östlund's Palme D'Or winning satire of the art world and Andrey Zvyagintsev’s peek into a Loveless Russia address issues of social responsibility in our generic age of self-absorption By Katherine Monk TORONTO — One man was lying face down on a street grate to keep warm. He wore no shoes. His feet were blistered and gangrenous black. He was eating what appeared to be a discarded salad with his hands, dirty, swollen, cracked. I walked by him, and about a dozen other bodies wrapped in soiled sleeping bags, on my way to festival headquarters on King Street where the freshly laid red carpet curls out its tongue, anticipating the glitterati. As a Vancouverite, walking past homeless people is routine. Turning a deaf ear to the person with the glazed eyes and a feeble hand stretched into the moving stream of sidewalk treading humanity is such a regular exercise, it doesn’t even register. It’s considered part of the urban experience. Yet, on day one ...

Jay Stone’s Top TIFF Picks for 2017

Movies: #TIFF17 The Toronto International Film Festival hits middle-age with an entourage of famous faces and a long history of cinematic conquests that seems destined to continue with a slate of intriguing titles from the world's best filmmakers By Jay Stone TORONTO — The Toronto film festival turns 42 this year, which is a dangerous age: if it was a man, it would probably buy a fancy red sports car that was entirely unsuitable to Canada’s roads or its climate and leave its perfectly serviceable wife for a doctoral student — studying something impractical, one imagines, having to do with postmodern cultural analysis — young enough to be its daughter. The festival hasn’t exactly done that, although one notes that it has lost some of its older friends — 81-year-old auteur Woody Allen, for instance, is taking his new film Wonder Wheel to the New York festival, bypassing Toronto — in favour of younger, more with-it voices. And while festival director Piers Handling ...

The Promise not worth keeping

#TIFF16: Critic's Dispatches A bad old-fashioned historical drama about the Armenian genocide revisits final days of Ottoman Empire while La La Land and few gin and gingers quench artistic thirst By Jay Stone TORONTO — They threw a party last night at the Toronto International Film Festival where they served a delicious drink made of gin and ginger ale, and you could have as many as you want. When I regained consciousness, it was time for The Promise, a bad old-fashioned historical drama in which the troubles of three little people — in this case, an Armenian apothecary (Oscar Isaac), a comely dance teacher (Charlotte Le Bon) and an American journalist (Christian Bale) — don’t amount to a hill of beans when they’re cast across the vast and clichéd canvas of tragedy during the First World War. Fusillades of exposition fly across the screen, capturing our doomed heroes in a crossfire of clunky dialogue, tired movie tropes, and earnest over-acting. Pass the gin and ...

Seeking inspiration in the Big Smoke

#TIFF 16: Critic's Dispatches Damien Chazelle's La La Land offers a deep breath filled with human notes in an urban landscape where the creative urge is often filtered and conditioned for comfort By Katherine Monk TORONTO — The condo tower I’m staying at affords me a view of downtown Toronto’s rooftops: squares and rectangles carving their way into the horizontal blue line of Lake Ontario. Sheer glass and steel boxes topped with trailing steel tubes that allow sealed office buildings to breathe. Inspiration, mechanized. It’s a necessity in an urban landscape that denies human scale, and emotionally speaking, all things human. But I didn’t even notice the ambient drone of a thousand HVAC fans whirring away over the Big Smoke until today — until I saw Damien Chazelle’s La La Land and rediscovered what true inspiration really feels like: A deep breath exhaled as song. Sure, La La Land had already been touted as the big buzz movie at this year’s Toronto ...

Three at-bats, but no TIFF hits on this day in cinema sports

#TIFF16: Critic's Dispatches Seasoned critic sacrifices a Blue Jays game to take in The Queen of Katwe, Planetarium and The Bleeder but finds little to celebrate beyond a sweet mid-movie slumber By Jay Stone TORONTO — I went to three films today, which means I didn’t get to watch the Toronto Blue Jays game on television. The films weren’t great as cinema, but they were excellent as distractions from the Toronto Blue Jays. For the record, the Boston Red Sox beat the Jays 11-8, and I went 0-for-3. The first movie was The Queen of Katwe, a Disney movie based on a true story about a teenage Ugandan girl who lives in dire poverty on the bad side of a small African village — mud streets, bare shacks, a cacophony of people trying to sell maize to people in cars stuck in monumental traffic jams at red lights — and becomes a chess champion. Yes, it’s that movie, which suited my fellow movie-goers to a T. They laughed and applauded on cue, which makes me think The Queen ...

On American Pastoral and Canadian Shields

Movies: #TIFF16 American Pastoral press conference Ewan McGregor's adaptation of Phillip Roth's novel points out the problems in bringing internal narrative to the big screen, but the actor-turned director faced the same challenge as those who braved the work of Carol Shields By Jay Stone TORONTO — Here’s something pretty interesting: in the Carol Shields book Unless (now a motion picture at the Toronto International Film Festival), a sensitive teenage girl sees a monk setting himself on fire and is inspired to drop out of society and become a mute beggar in front of Honest Ed’s discount emporium in Toronto. In the Philip Roth novel American Pastoral (also a movie at TIFF), a sensitive teenage girl sees a monk setting himself on fire and is inspired to drop out of society and become a domestic terrorist. This tells us something about Canada and the United States — or perhaps just something about Carol Shields and Philip Roth, and about the film industry in general. ...