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Blame Canada? Toronto Intl Film Fest showcases 300+ films with 100+ world premieres!
The 34th TIFF runs Sept. 10-19th
'Creation' to open Toronto fest
Jon Amiel's biopic on Darwin kicks off event
[Source: www.Variety.com/StoryBy JENNIE PUNTER/TORONTO]-Jon Amiel's Charles Darwin biopic "Creation" will open the 34th Toronto Film Festival on Sept. 10.
"This intimate look at Darwin puts a human face on a man whose theory remains controversial to this day," said Toronto fest director and CEO Piers Handling, adding that this year marks the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth.
Produced by Jeremy Thomas, pic stars Paul Bettany as the English scientist and author of "The Origin of Species" and Jennifer Connelly as his wife Emma. John Collee's screenplay is adapted from "Annie's Box," penned by Darwin great-great-grandson Randal Keynes, about the scientist's struggle with the death of his daughter Annie and his religious views.
Thomas' Recorded Picture Co. developed the project with BBC Films and the U.K. Film Council.
Fest also has added three galas and 19 special presentations to its 2009 lineup so far.
Pics getting the gala treatment are Aaron Schneider's "Get Low," a world-premiere drama set in 1930 Tennessee and starring Robert Duvall, Bill Murray and Sissy Spacek; Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg's "Max Manus," a biopic about the Norwegian resistance fighter; and Lee Daniels' Sundance winner "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire."
Special presentation world premieres include Neil Jordan's fisherman fairy tale "Ondine," starring Colin Farrell; Brian Koppelman and David Levien's "Solitary Man," toplining Michael Douglas; Jordan Scott's boarding-school drama "Cracks," with Eva Green; Tim Blake Nelson's "Leaves of Grass," starring Edward Norton; Nicolas Winding Refn's Viking saga "Valhalla Rising"; Niki Caro's romance "The Vintner's Luck"; Raoul Peck's political thriller "Moloch Tropical"; and Bruce Beresford's "Mao's Last Dancer," with Kyle MacLachlan and Joan Chen. U.S. rights to all these pics are available.
Other world preems are Warner Bros. comedy "The Invention of Lying," co-helmed and co-written by Ricky Gervais (who also stars) and Matthew Robinson, and Miramax's "The Boys Are Back," helmed by Scott Hicks and starring Clive Owen.
Among the special presentations announced that are not world premieres: Steven Soderbergh's "The Informant!" (North American preem), Jane Campion's Cannes competitor "Bright Star"; Rachid Bouchareb's Berlin preemer "London River"; Bong Joon-ho's Cannes entry "Mother"; Yousry Nasrallah's "Scheherazade Tell Me a Story"; Bruno Dumont's "Hadewijch"; and Catherine Corsini's "Partir," starring Kristin Scott Thomas.
Toronto will make additional lineup announcements every Tuesday through Aug. 18, with a final roundup on Aug. 20.
Fest runs Sept. 10-19, 2009.
(Sharon Swart in Hollywood contributed to this story.)
Last edited by THEreelreviewer.com; 09-27-2009 at 10:45 PM.
has started this list of Toronto’s announced films
for your anticipatory pleasure
[Photo by Peter Knegt]
34th Toronto International Film Festival
[Source: www.indieWIRE.com/Story by Peter Knegt]-Over the past month, the 34th Toronto International Film Festival has slowly but surely started announcing its lineup. Six separate announcements have now totalled 199 films, 6 wavelengths programs, and a variety of Future Projections, which if one uses last year’s final count (249 feature films) as a source of judgement, that means we are quite close to the festival’s final lineup.
Descriptions, as per usual, are provided by the festival.
Last edited by THEreelreviewer.com; 09-13-2009 at 06:30 PM.
[TITLES: A - H]
Dir. by Hirokazu Kore-eda, Japan - North American Premiere
This compelling tale of a blow-up doll that becomes a real person and abandons her status of mere sex object comes to life with the superb performance of Korean actress Bae Doo-na.
Dir. by Lars von Trier, Denmark/Sweden/France/Italy - North American Premiere
This is a groundbreaking, deeply disturbing and graphic nightmare vision about gender relations from one of the most important and influential directors of the last 30 years. The film is a break from von Trier’s previous work in terms of aesthetics, resembling a Japanese horror movie re-imagined by Andrei Tarkovsky. Antichrist features unforgettable and courageous performances by Charlotte Gainsbourg and Willem Dafoe.
Dir. by Amos Gitai, Israel/France/Italy - World Premiere
History in the Middle East is a complex mix of the present and the past. Then, there is also the personal and Gitai is uniquely placed to reflect on his own past as a soldier and as the father of a young man caught up in the present conflicts that engulf the region.
Dir. by Bernard Emond, Canada - North American Premiere
Dr. Rainville, an aging country doctor with a deep attachment to his patients, is about to retire and is looking for a successor. Jeanne Dion, an emergency room doctor from Montreal, agrees to go to Normetal to replace him for a few weeks, with no plans for an extended stay. When Dr. Rainville suddenly dies, Jeanne must decide if she’ll take over the job, and its inherent responsibilities, for the long-term.
Eccentricities of a Blonde-Haired Girl
Dir. by Manoel de Oliveira, France/Portugal/Spain - North American Premiere
Famed filmmaker Oliveira, who celebrates his 101st birthday this year, tells the tale of Macario’s obsession with the enticing blond he spies from his window. Little does he know that she will end up stealing much more than his heart.
Dir. by Goran Paskaljevic, Serbia/Albania/Italy - North American Premiere
Two young married couples take off and travel abroad to the promised lands of better opportunities, but hope collapses when their expectations disappear into thin air and their dreams turn into nightmares.
Dir. by Suzana Amaral, Brazil - World Premiere
Enigmatic and perturbing, Suzana Amaral’s Hotel Atlantico takes us on a mysterious journey through Brazil’s southern landscapes. The film follows an unnamed actor as he wanders into new experiences, living life in the moment.
Les Herbes Folles
Dir. by Alain Resnais, France - North American Premiere
From modernist master Alain Resnais comes a romantic adventure based around the simple act of losing a wallet.
Last edited by THEreelreviewer.com; 09-27-2009 at 10:17 PM.
[TITLES: M - W]
Melody for a Street Organ
Dir. by Kira Muratova, Ukraine - North American Premiere
Two young orphan siblings travel to Moscow in search of their missing father. Scared of being separated and sent to orphanages, they hope to reunite with the last link of their shattered family.
Dir. by Francois Ozon, France - World Premiere
The French master returns with this unsettling tale of a rich, beautiful young woman who finds herself pregnant after her boyfriend dies of an overdose. Retreating to a seaside home, she is joined by his brother.
Dir. by Marco Bellocchio, Italy - North American Premiere
This fictionalized portrait of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini concentrates on his youthful years before he rose to power in Italy. It uncovers the details of his first marriage and the child he had with a passionate woman whom he later totally disowned and abandoned.
Dir. by Margarethe von Trotta, Germany - Canadian Premiere
One of the major auteurs to emerge from the New German Cinema, Margarethe von Trotta returns to the Festival with Vision, a study of the remarkable Hildegard von Bingen, the Benedictine nun who emerged as a Renaissance woman before there was a Renaissance.
Dir. by Claire Denis, France - North American Premiere
A family of French expatriates living in an African country where they own a coffee plantation find that their livelihood is threatened by the outbreak of civil war. They struggle to keep their lives together in the face of rival factions fighting for power and gun-toting child soldiers who have no sympathy for their plight.
The White Ribbon
Dir. by Michael Haneke, Germany/Austria/France/Italy - North American Premiere
In Protestant Northern Germany on the eve of World War I, strange incidents begin to occur in a village community and increasingly take the form of a ritual of punishment. This latest work from Michael Haneke won the Palme d’Or for best film at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
Dir. by Buddhadeb Dasgupta, India - World Premiere
When Bimal decides to give something back to his alma mater, he chooses to replace the broken window of his favourite classroom. Plans to pay for this gesture go awry and he cannot bear to tell his fiancee.
Last edited by THEreelreviewer.com; 09-27-2009 at 10:20 PM.
Contemporary World Cinema
[TITLES: A - B]
Dir. by Patxi Amezcua, Spain - North American Premiere
From director Patxi Amezcua comes a fresh action film that delves into the world of thieves, go-getters, swindlers, thugs, mafia members and corrupt police officers in Barcelona.
Dir. by Bui Thac Chuyen, Vietnam - North American Premiere
This is a sensual drama about a newlywed couple, exploring sexual awakening, forbidden lesbian desire and marital infidelity within modern Vietnam.
Dir. by Scandar Copti and Yaron Shani, Israel/Germany - North American Premiere
An original, powerful film in which an accidental murder and a murky drug deal spur uncontrolled violence in a Palestinian community in Jaffa.
At the End of Daybreak
Dir. by Ho Yuhang, Malaysia/Hong Kong, China/South Korea - North American Premiere
Two young people of different classes are bound together by restless ennui. But when the girl is revealed to be underage, lies and blackmail spiral out of control.
Dir. by Carlos Carrera, Mexico -International Premiere
A policewoman investigates the gruesome murders of female assembly-line workers in Ciudad Juarez. This suspense thriller is the first fictionalized account of the real-life events.
Dir. by Robert Connolly, Australia- International Premiere
This is the true story of a war correspondent who goes in search of missing colleagues amid the chaos of Indonesia’s invasion of East Timor in 1975.
Beyond the Circle
Dir. by Golam Rabbany Biplob, Bangladesh - World Premiere
In this political fable from Bangladesh’s leading filmmaker, a simple village musician gets swept up in the market economy of big city Dhaka.
Dir. by Ana Kokkinos, Australia - International Premiere
During the course of one day and night, seven children wander the streets in an urban odyssey. Blessed is a film about mothers and children, about love and beauty, about being lost and finding your way home.
Bran Nue Dae
Dir. by Rachel Perkins, Australia - International Premiere
The renowned Australian stage musical about young love and Aboriginal identity makes its exuberant and fun-filled way to the big screen.
Last edited by THEreelreviewer.com; 09-27-2009 at 10:28 PM.
Contemporary World Cinema
[TITLES: C - G]
Castaway on the Moon
Dir. by Lee Hey-jun, South Korea - International Premiere
This is a smart and original love story by one of Korea’s most promising young filmmakers, Lee Hey-jun. A potential suicide victim becomes a modern Robinson Crusoe on an island in the middle of Seoul’s Han River.
Dir. by Daniel Monzon, Spain/France - North American Premiere
A newly hired prison officer finds himself in the midst of a prison riot after an unforeseen turn of events. With the inmates around him unaware of his position, he must pretend to be a prisoner to survive.
Dir. by Carl Bessai, Canada - World Premiere
Cole (Richard de Klerk) wants to write his way out of small-town Lytton, B.C. and his job at the family gas station. A new romance with Serafina (Kandyse McClure), a woman from his writing class, offers a chance for both of them to change their lives in this emotional and intense drama.
Deliver Us from Evil
Dir. by Ole Bornedal, Denmark/Sweden/Norway - North American Premiere
A Danish variation on Straw Dogs, Deliver Us from Evil is an almost unbearably intense thriller about a young couple who moves to the countryside and encounters xenophobia, psychosis and murder.
Dir. by Yorgos Lanthimos, Greece - North American Premiere
Shut off from the outside world by their over-protective parents, three siblings are raised in a manner that their mother and father deem appropriate until the eldest daughter is offered an interesting proposition.
The Double Hour
Dir. by Giuseppe Capotondi, Italy - International Premiere
When an attractive young Slovenian girl moves to Italy and meets an eligible young man, both of their lives are set to change. They become the victims of a very professional art heist, but in this taut psychological thriller, appearances belie the truth. Or do they?
Down for Life
Dir. by Alan Jacobs, USA - World Premiere
Based on a New York Times article, this film depicts a single, fateful day in the life of a 15-year-old Latina gang leader. Leaving the gang, she discovers, is more difficult than joining. Shot in South-Central Los Angeles, the film stars local youths in the lead roles.
Dir. by Bruce Sweeney, Canada - World Premiere
Writer-director Bruce Sweeney returns with a romantic comedy about a man who may have just met the woman of his dreams, but their romance is complicated by his meddling, officious mother and his inability to confront or discuss his sexual hang-ups.
Eyes Wide Open
Dir. by Haim Tabakman, Israel - North American Premiere
A gay love story set in the heart of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Jerusalem, where the belief that love conquers all results in societal pressures and threats of violence.
Giulia Doesn’t Date at Night
Dir. by Giuseppe Piccioni, Italy - International Premiere
A young novelist is intrigued by his daughter’s swimming instructor. When he asks her out, he learns that she doesn’t date at night and discovers that she is serving a sentence for a crime of passion. Tentatively they start a relationship that leads both of them in unforeseen directions.
A Gun to the Head
Dir. by Blaine Thurier, Canada - World Premiere
A reformed criminal escapes his wife’s dinner party for a quick beer with his cousin and former partner in crime. Over the course of one wild night, he’s dragged back into a world of drugs, women, guns and gangsters; endangering the lives of those he loves the most.
Last edited by THEreelreviewer.com; 09-27-2009 at 10:31 PM.
A scene from Gary Yates’ “High Life.”
[Image courtesy of the Toronto International Film Festival]
Contemporary World Cinema
(TITLES: H thru La)
Dir. by Shalizeh Arefpour, Iran - World Premiere
A young Iranian girl falls in love with an immigrant student from Afghanistan, causing her family to react with anger.
Help Gone Mad
Dir. by Boris Khlebnikov, Russia - North American Premiere
Following the whimsical, warm-hearted relationship between two men, Help Gone Mad is a modern-day depiction of the theme of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. All sorts of their wild charades go wrong, but they remain faithful to their fantasies, adding pleasure and poetry to their sordid lives.
Dir. by Gary Yates, Canada - North American Premiere
Two drug-addled brothers go for one last major score in writer-director Gary Yates’s energetic and funny crime comedy.
The House of Branching Love
Dir. by Mika Kaurismäki, Finland - International Premiere
Family therapist Juhani and business trainer Taula decide to divorce in a civilized manner. Despite these good intentions, things turn ugly and the Pandora’s Box of their marriage flies open, releasing plagues of love and hate.
Dir. by Alejandro Fernandez Almendras, Chile - North American Premiere
A warm family saga which follows 24 hours in the life of a poverty-stricken provincial family in central Chile.
I Am Not Your Friend
Dir. by Gyoergy Palfi, Hungary - North American Premiere
This is a fresh and entertaining improvised film made up of a series of vignettes portraying the many faces of love relationships. Young couples move through stages of desire, jealousy and infidelity, tempted by the promises of someone or something different in their lives.
If I Knew What You Said
Dir. by Mike Sandejas, The Philippines - International Premiere
An affecting, sensitive and convincingly drawn teen romance between a rebellious rock girl and a deaf boy who loves to dance.
Dir. by Henrique Goldman, United Kingdom/Brazil - International Premiere
A Brazilian girl comes to live with her cousin in London. He has already carved out a life for himself there; she hopes to do the same. It is 2005, a year in which the city will be traumatized by terrorist attacks. Both of them will be caught in the crossfire.
The Last Days of Emma Blank
Dir. by Alex van Warmerdam, The Netherlands - North American Premiere
Emma is a lady living in high style, surrounded by family members who double as maids and servants. Everyone hopes Emma’s bad health will soon do her in, letting them inherit her substantial wealth.
Last edited by THEreelreviewer.com; 09-27-2009 at 10:37 PM.
Contemporary World Cinema
(TITLES: Li thru R)
Like You Know It All
Dir. by Hong Sang-soo, Republic of Korea - North American Premiere
Delightfully comic exploration of the emotional and social geography of an art-house film, directed by Korean auteur Hong Sang-soo.
Dir. by Jessica Hausner, Austria/France/Germany - North American Premiere
In order to escape her isolation, wheelchair-bound Christine makes a life-changing journey to Lourdes, the iconic site of pilgrimage in the Pyrenees Mountains.
Men on the Bridge
Dir. by Asli Oezge, Germany/Turkey/The Netherlands - North American Premiere
The stories of six men working on an Istanbul bridge are told by the original characters, in this mosaic depicting real persons exposing their lives and aspirations.
My Year Without Sex
Dir. by Sarah Watt, Australia - North American Premiere
A tender story from Australia highlights the realistic ups and downs of a family in the year following a parent’s emergency medical procedure.
Dir. by Matthew Bissonnette, Canada - Canadian Premiere
In writer-director Matthew Bissonette’s intimate and amusing road movie Passenger Side, two talkative brothers tour Los Angeles while trying to reconcile their romantic lives.
Le Pere de mes Enfants
Dir. by Mia Hansen-Love, France/Germany - North American Premiere
When a hard-working, independent film producer finds that personal and professional pressures are too much, something has to give -and it does. His wife is left to pick up the pieces in this heart-rending portrait of a modern-day marriage overwhelmed by life’s demands.
Dir. by Corneliu Porumboiu, Romania - North American Premiere
A witty portrait of life in the small town of Vaslui, the sophisticated Police, Adjective builds on the promise of Porumboiu’s debut 12:08, East of Bucharest.
Prince of Tears
Dir. by Yonfan, Taiwan/Hong Kong, China - North American Premiere
A gorgeously shot, thought-provoking look at Taiwan’s White Terror, the anti-communist campaign that swept the island throughout the 1950s. This little-known time in history becomes the backdrop for a unique tale of love, friendship, ideals and dignity.
Dir. by Sebastián Cordero, Spain/Colombia - World Premiere
Rabia is a romantic thriller about a construction worker on the run for killing his foreman who hides in the mansion where his girlfriend works as a housekeeper.
Last edited by THEreelreviewer.com; 09-27-2009 at 10:41 PM.
Contemporary World Cinema
(TITLES: S thru W)
Same Same but Different
Dir. by Detlev Buck, Germany - North American Premiere
This is an exceptional modern love story in which a young German falls in love with a Cambodian bar girl and stays by her side, even though she is HIV-positive. The film is based on the true story of Benjamin Pruefer and Sreykeo Solvan.
Dir. by Wisit Sasanatieng, Aditya Assarat, Kongdej Jaturanrasmee and Pen-ek Ratanaruang, Thailand - World Premiere
Directed by four distinctly talented Thai directors, this collection of tales about Bangkok is less a love letter than a funny, touching and surprising expression of the city’s reality.
Dir. by Wan Ma Cai Dan, China - North American Premiere
This peacefully charming second feature by Pema Tseden (Wan Ma Cai Dan) is the first ever to be shot entirely in Tibet and in the Tibetan language by a local crew. It is a road movie and an expedition in search of a disappearing culture, as well as a detailed fresco of contemporary Tibet.
Dir. by Jan Hrebejk, Czech Republic - International Premiere
This film, freely inspired by stories form Michal Viewegh’s bestseller, “Tales of Marriage and Sex,” is a wry comedy about sex and marriage and a story about losing and finding love.
Dir. by Damjan Kozole Slovenia/Germany/Serbia/Croatia - North American Premiere
A young university student solicits sex clients through newspaper ads, involving her in a hellish adventure.
Dir. by Robert Stefaniuk, Canada - World Premiere
A rock’n'roll vampire comedy about a down-and-out band that will do anything for a record deal. Their humdrum image radically changes when the bass player disappears one night with a hip vampire and emerges with a sexually charged charisma that drives the audiences wild. Featuring cameos by Alice Cooper, his daughter Calico Cooper, Alex Lifeson, Moby, Iggy Pop, Carole Pope and Henry Rollins.
Tales from the Golden Age
North American Premiere
Dir. by Cristian Mungiu, Ioana Maria Uricaru, Hanno Hoefer, Razvan Marculescu and Constantin Popescu, Romania/France
This film presents a series of absurd and ridiculous situations set during the repressive communist era in Romania.
Dir. by Francesca Gregorini and Tatiana von Furstenberg, USA - World Premiere
Tanner Hall a folkloric look into the private world of an all-girls boarding school. In a cozy but run-down New England town, the knot of adolescence is unravelled through the coming-of-age stories of four teenaged girls.
The Time that Remains
Dir. by Elia Suleiman, France/Belgium/Italy - North American Premiere
This semi-biographic film, divided into four historical episodes, portrays the daily life of Palestinians in 1948 who were considered a minority, even in their homeland.
Dir. by Cesc Gay, Spain - International Premiere
A smart and intriguing film-within-a-film comedy about love and friendship, where the characters travel playfully in and out of one another’s lives and the film’s narrative.
The Wind JourneyIgnacio, a former traveling musician, makes one final trip across the country following his wife’s death. He is joined by a teenaged fan, and together they explore the possibilities that life has in store for them.
Dir. by Ciro Guerra, Colombia - North American Premiere
Last edited by THEreelreviewer.com; 09-27-2009 at 10:42 PM.
Real to Reel
[TITLES: A - L]
The Art of the Steal
Dir. by Don Argott, USA - World Premiere
This art-world whodunit investigates what happened to the Barnes collection of Post-Impressionist paintings—valued in the billions—that fell prey to a power struggle after the death of owner Albert Barnes.
Dir. by Mehran Tamadon, Iran/France/Switzerland - International Premiere
For three years, Mehran Tamadon immersed himself into the very heart of the most extremist supporters of the Islamic republic of Iran (the Bassidjis) to understand their ideas.
Dir. by Andrew James and Joshua Ligairi, USA - World Premiere
The Mormon religion preaches against the content of R-rated films, so several Utah-based entrepreneurs started offering “clean” versions of Hollywood movies at specialty DVD stores. But the thriving industry runs into legal problems and its own sex scandal.
Dir. by Chris Smith, USA - World Premiere
From the acclaimed director of American Movie, this portrait of radical thinker Michael Ruppert explores his apocalyptic vision of the future, spanning the crises in economics, energy, environment and more.
Dir. by Carter Gunn and Ross McDonnell, Ireland - World Premiere
Several beekeepers around the U.S. cope with colony collapse disorder - the phenomenon that has caused millions of bees to mysteriously disappear - in this beautifully shot debut from a gifted directing duo.
Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould
Dir. by Peter Raymont and Michele Hozer, Canada - World Premiere
An enigmatic musical poet and world-renowned pianist, Glenn Gould continues to captivate international audiences twenty-six years after his early death. An intimate look at the man alongside the myth, Glenn Gould: The Inner Life casts a new light on a genius whose ideas were as controversial, and his private life as passionate as his music.
Dir. by Zippi Brand Frank, Israel- International Premiere
In India, the latest form of outsourcing is surrogate mothers who carry embryos for couples who can’t have a child. Director Zippi Brand Frank follows an entrepreneur who proposes a new service - baby production for western customers.
How to Fold a Flag
Dir. by Michael Tucker and Petra Epperlein, USA - World Premiere
The makers of Gunner Palace follow U.S. soldiers as they create new lives post-Iraq—from a Congressional candidate in Buffalo to a cage fighter in Louisiana—set against the backdrop of the 2008 election.
L’Enfer de Henri-Georges Clouzot
Dir. by Serge Bromberg and Ruxandra Medrea, France - North American Premiere
Film archivist Serge Bromberg uncovers a treasure trove of imagery from an unfinished film called L’Enfer starring Romy Schneider and directed by the French master Henri-Georges Clouzot, known for Wages of Fear and Diabolique.
A scene from Ricky Gervais & Matthew Robinson’s “The Invention of Lying”[Image courtesy of Warner Brothers Pictures]
Real to Reel
[TITLES: M - W]
The Most Dangerous Man in America:
Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers
Dir. by Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith, USA - World Premiere
Daniel Ellsberg was a valued strategist inside the American government until he leaked the Pentagon Papers and exposed the lies of the Vietnam War. This thrilling documentary chronicles this momentous chapter in history and how Richard Nixon’s obsession over the case brought down his own government.
Petropolis: Aerial Perspectives on the Alberta Tar Sands
Dir. by Peter Mettler, Canada - North American Premiere
Filmmaker and visual artist Peter Mettler takes audiences on an eye-opening aerial tour of Alberta’s tar sands in this beautiful, haunting and vital documentary. This film is co-presented by Short Cuts Canada.
Dir. by Roberto Hernandez and Geoffrey Smith, Mexico - World Premiere
Two young Mexican attorneys attempt to exonerate a wrongly convicted man by making a documentary. In the process, they expose the contradictions of a judicial system that presumes suspects guilty until proven innocent.
Dir. by Neil Diamond, Canada - World Premiere
Neil Diamond’s documentary Reel Injun is a long-needed corrective to the wildly inaccurate portrayals of native peoples in Hollywood films and filled with revealing and often poignant interviews with key players like actors Wes Studi, Adam Beach and Sacheen Littlefeather.
Schmatta: Rags to Riches to Rags
Dir. by Marc Levin, USA - World Premiere
Veteran filmmaker Mark Levin (Slam) looks at the past and present of New York’s garment district, from its heyday as a base for immigrant labour and unions to its recent decline.
Dir. by Vikram Jayanti, USA/United Kingdom -International Premiere
Rachael Scdoris, a blind 23-year-old, doesn’t let her disability stop her from competing in one of the most gruelling endurance contests in the world: the Iditarod dogsled race traversing 1,100 miles of Alaska’s most rugged terrain. But being blind is only the start of her challenges.
The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls
Dir. by Leanne Pooley, New Zealand- North American Premiere
Fun, disarming and musically provocative, the Topp Twins are New Zealand’s finest lesbian country-and-western singers and the country’s greatest export since rack of lamb and the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy.
Dir. by Erik Gandini, Sweden - North American Premiere
This penetrating look at the media empire of Italy’s prime minister Silvio Berlosconi reveals how his reality TV shows full of bikini-clad women enriched his friends and beguiled a nation.
A scene from Valerij Todorovski’s “Hipsters”
[Image courtesy of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival]
[TITLES: A - H]
Dir. by Soi Cheang, Hong Kong, China- North American Premiere
Gripping and smartly constructed, this unconventional crime thriller/psychological drama, revolves around assassins who commit murder by making perfectly staged crimes look like unfortunate accidents. Produced by Johnnie To.
Dir. by Jesper Ganslandt, Sweden - World Premiere
A descent into hell, Jesper Ganslandt’s disturbing and suspenseful second feature begins with a man waking up in unfamiliar surroundings, only to find the life he knew the day before is gone.
Bunny and the Bull
Dir. by Paul King, United Kingdom - World Premiere
Shy Stephen and his totally disordered boozehound of a best friend, Bunny, show us how to embark on an adventure-filled road trip without leaving the room.
Dir. by Denis Cote, Canada- North American Premiere
Quebec auteur Denis Cote brings us a beautiful story about an elderly man who lives in a junkyard surrounded by the detritus of culture and who is paid a surprise visit by a group of youths.
The Dirty Saints
Dir. by Luis Ortega, Argentina - World Premiere
Luis Ortega’s apocalyptic third feature follows a group of five survivors as they embark on a journey that will force them to face their fears, dreams and longings in their quest for salvation across the Fijman River.
Enter the Void
Dir. by Gaspar Noé, France/Germany/Italy - North American Premiere
Controversial filmmaker Gaspar Noé (Irreversible) is back with a mind-bending journey that transcends life and death as he follows the exploits of a young American drug dealer living in Japan.
Dir. by Andrea Arnold, United Kingdom - North American Premiere
Andrea Arnold’s assured follow-up to Red Road is a taboo-breaking love story about a violent teenaged girl transformed by desire for her mother’s new boyfriend.
Dir. by Valery Todorovsky, Russia - North American Premiere
In a fantastical 1950s Moscow, straight-laced Mels swaps his drab Communist uniform for a saxophone, pompadour and zoot suit in this vibrant musical that is bursting with razzle and dazzle and of course, rhythm.
A scene from Reginald Harkema’s “Leslie, My Name is Evil”
[Image courtesy of the filmmaker]
[TITLES: M - W]
Dir. by Felix Van Groeningen, Belgium/Holland - North American Premiere
From Belgium comes this rambunctious, vulgar story of a 13-year-old boy growing up in a small village with his father and three uncles, all drunken, incorrigible louts. Yet they are hilarious and they love Roy Orbison.
Leslie, My Name Is Evil
Dir. by Reginald Harkema, Canada - World Premiere
Perry, a sheltered chemist, falls in love with Leslie, a former homecoming princess, when he is selected to be a jury member at her hippie, death-cult murder trial. When Perry and Leslie lock eyes in court, Perry is forced to confront his deepest, darkest urges.
My Queen Karo
Dir. by Dorothée van den Berghe, Belgium - World Premiere
A young girl witnesses the moral dilemmas of free love when her parents join a squatter community in 1970s Amsterdam.
She, A Chinese
Dir. by Xiaolu Guo, United Kingdom/France/Germany - North American Premiere
A hybrid of documentary, creative writing, visual poetry and cinema, She, A Chinese is a rock-‘n’-roll odyssey that follows a young woman on a soul-searching journey from her native village in China to London. Celebrated novelist and filmmaker Xiaolu Guo recently won the Golden Leopard Grand Prize at the Locarno International Film Festival for this film. Her documentary, Once Upon A Time Proletarian: 12 Tales of a Country, is also being screened at the Festival.
Dir. by Lou Ye, China - North American Premiere
A lyrical and audacious portrait of a doomed gay love triangle that spins out of control, Spring Fever is inspired by prohibited Chinese novels from the 1920s and directed by controversial filmmaker Lou Ye.
The White Stripes Under Great White Northern Lights
Dir. by Emmett Malloy, USA - World Premiere
An intimate look inside The White Stripes’ cross-Canada tour, as Jack and Meg White touch down in remote northern communities and surprising city venues.
City To City
[FILMS: B - H]
Dir. by Niv Klainer, Israel/France - International Premiere
A Tel Aviv father tries to keep his schizophrenic son out of an institution, but when he takes in a Thai migrant worker, she disrupts the uneasy balance in their home.
Dir. by Efraim Kishon, Israel/USA/West Germany
One of the best-loved Israeli comedies of its era, Big Dig is a dizzying 1969 farce in which an inspired madman brings Tel Aviv to a halt with a jackhammer.
Dir. by Uri Zohar, Israel
From one of Israel’s most influential filmmakers, this classic depicts a Tel Aviv counterculture that is progressive and blessed with many delights, but also self-critical and perhaps a little exhausted by the push and pull of secularism and orthodoxy. Zohar himself stars as Benny Furman, a womanizing basketball coach forced to decide what he really wants in life.
Dir. by Eytan Fox, Israel
A defining work of recent Tel Aviv cinema, this multi-character story shows the city’s free-thinking liberals confronted with harsh political tensions.
A History of Israeli Cinema - Part 1
Dir. by Raphael Nadjari, Israel/France - North American Premiere
This invigorating exploration of Israeli cinema draws upon numerous clips and engrossing interviews with filmmakers and historians. Part 1 covers the years 1932 to 1978, chronicling the Zionist struggle to create a state and shape its identity.
A History of Israeli Cinema - Part 2
Dir. by Raphael Nadjari, Israel/France- North American Premiere
In the second of this two-part documentary, filmmakers and scholars explore the development of Israel’s film culture from 1978 to the present.
City To City
[FILMS: J - P]
Dir. by Keren Yedaya, Israel/France/Germany - North American Premiere
In this contemporary Romeo and Juliet story from Tel Aviv’s fabled sister city, a young Jewish woman and her Arab childhood sweetheart grow up side-by-side but are pulled apart by fate and passing years.
Dir. by Danny Lerner, Israel/France/USA - World Premiere
James Bond heroine Olga Kurylenko stars in this taut drama about a Russian illegal immigrant in Tel Aviv forced into violence even as she befriends a woman who needs her help.
Life According to Agfa
Dir. by Assi Dayan, Israel
Gila Almagor stars as the owner of a bar which sees its regulars suffer highs and lows as they come to reflect a microcosm of Tel Aviv.
Dir. by Yoav Paz and Doron Paz, Israel - World Premiere
This is a sharp, stylish debut feature about a young man hunkering down in his Tel Aviv apartment with a steady diet of TV and internet for companionship.
A scene from Martin Pieter Zandvliet ‘s “Applause”
[Image courtesy of the film’s website]
[TITLES: A - D]
Dir. by Margreth Olin, Norway/Sweden/Finland - World Premiere
A young mother (played brilliantly by Maria Bonnevie) struggles with a history of drug abuse in this exquisitely rendered and deeply compassionate piece, the first fiction film from one of Norway’s most respected documentary filmmakers.
Dir. by Martin Pieter Zandvliet, Denmark- North American Premiere
Paprika Steen delivers a tour-de-force performance in this devastating drama about an alcoholic actress trying to put her life back together.
Bare Essence of Life
Dir. by Satoko Yokohama, Japan - International Premiere
In this original fusion of black comedy, surreal fantasy and feel-good drama about a mentally challenged hero, Japanese heartthrob Kenichi Matsuyama plays a strange farmer who finds an unexpected path to the miracle of love.
Dir. by Rachel Ward, Australia - International Premiere
In order to make peace with his combative, dying father, a writer must return to his childhood home and confront long-suppressed memories of the mysterious deaths of his brother and twin sister.
A Brand New Life
Dir. by Ounie Lecomte, South Korea/France- North American Premiere
An impressive debut by French-Korean filmmaker Ounie Lecomte who, inspired by her childhood, recounts the emotional journey of a little girl abandoned by her father in an orphanage.
The Day Will Come
Dir. by Susanne Schneider, Germany/France- International Premiere
Thirty years after giving her daughter up for adoption to join the terrorist underground in Germany, Judith is tracked down by her now-adult daughter Alice to a vineyard in the Alsace where she is living with a new family and a new identity.
The Disappearance of Alice Creed
Dir. by J. Blakeson, United Kingdom - World Premiere
Two ex-cons kidnap a woman, but the tables turn and turn again in this tight, smart tale. This film is a terrific little thriller starring Eddie Marsan, Martin Compston and Gemma Arterton.
[TITLES: E - K]
Dir. by Margaret Corkery, Ireland- North American Premiere
A family holiday brings to a head the destructive love triangle between Eamon, a little boy with behavioural problems, his selfish mother Grace and his sexually frustrated father Daniel.
Every Day Is a Holiday
Dir. by Dima El-Horr, France/Germany/Lebanon- North American Premiere
From Lebanon, this is a striking debut about three women on the road to visit their imprisoned men. Mixing real politics and stark absurdity, El-Horr announces herself as a major new voice in Middle Eastern cinema.
Five Hours from Paris
Dir. by Leon Prudovsky, Israel - World Premiere
In a suburb of Tel Aviv, an Israeli cab driver who longs to fly and a Russian music teacher who is soon to board a plane find out that romance is only a cab ride away.
Dir. by Adrian Biniez, Uruguay/Germany/Argentina/The Netherlands - North American Premiere
Security guard Jara falls in love as he supervises staff through the closed-circuit cameras at a supermarket. First voyeur, then guardian angel, he protects and pursues the cleaning woman who has unknowingly captured his heart.
The Happiest Girl in the World
Dir. by Radu Jude, Romania/The Netherlands- North American Premiere
Family conflict produces comedy in this story of a young girl who wins a car in a lottery and her scheming parents who insist on selling it.
Dir. by Ahmad Abdalla, Egypt - World Premiere
An Egyptian art film with some major stars, Heliopolis weaves together portraits from one of Cairo’s most storied neighbourhoods.
Le Jour où Dieu est parti en voyage
Dir. by Philippe van Leeuw, Belgium - World Premiere
Offering a new take on the Rwandan genocide, acclaimed cinematographer van Leeuw’s directorial debut recreates the first-person experience of one woman as the horror descends.
Dir. by Ermek Tursunov, Kazakhstan - North American Premiere
A love story among the ragged steppes of ancient Kazakhstan is told in beautiful and poetic images, as a young love struggles to survive in the face of uncontrollable external factors.
Last edited by THEreelreviewer.com; 09-13-2009 at 10:55 PM.
A scene from Paul Fierlinger and Sandra Fierlinger’s “My Dog Tulip”
[Image courtesy of the film’s website]
[TITLES: L - P]
Dir. by Glendyn Ivin, Australia - International Premiere
A desperate father and his 10-year-old son flee into the wilderness of the desert and the human heart, battling the elements, the past and each other.
My Dog Tulip
Dir. by Paul Fierlinger and Sandra Fierlinger, USA - North American Premiere
Christopher Plummer and Isabella Rossellini voice this vividly animated, touching tale of friendship between an elderly bachelor and his German Shepherd.
My Tehran for Sale
Dir. by Granaz Moussavi, Australia/Iran - International Premiere
Shot underground on location in Tehran, the film tells the story of modern-day Iranian youth struggling for cultural freedom.
Dir. by Rigoberto Perezcano, Mexico/Spain - World Premiere
Andrés reaches the Mexican border to cross into the United States. As he waits between crossing attempts, he discovers the complicated border world of Tijuana.
Dir. by Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel, Austria/Italy - North American Premiere
A small abandoned girl is sheltered by a circus woman in this tale of courage, loss and togetherness.
[TITLES: S - U]
Samson and Delilah
Dir. by Warwick Thornton, Australia - North American Premiere
Teenagers Samson and Delilah live in an isolated Aboriginal community in the Central Australian desert. Their outsider status draws them closer together and they come to depend on each other when tragedy strikes.
Should I Really Do It
Dir. by Ismail Necmi, Turkey - North American Premiere
The concepts of real life and fiction, documentary and drama, are explored in this real-life feature which follows the unbelievable life of Petra, a German woman living in Turkey.
Dir. by Josh Crook, Dominican Republic/USA - World Premiere
This gritty and gripping drama explores political intrigue, love, death and the power of memory, set in the Dominican Republic.
Dir. by Oliver Hermanus, South Africa/USA - North American Premiere
This intimate, precise portrait focuses on a mother in Cape Town, South Africa, whose son is disabled in a neighbourhood shooting.
Dir. by Koji Yakusho, Japan - International Premiere
The story of Takuro Yazawa, a day-trader who claims he can earn hundreds of millions of yen in one day, and those around him as they attempt to cope with the death of his son and somehow find a way to benefit spiritually from the experience.
Dir. by Matias Armand Jordal, Norway - International Premiere
The tragic death of a mother causes her family to shatter when they struggle to cope with the loss.
Dir. by Samantha Morton, United Kingdom - International Premiere
Morton shifts from actor to director in this stark portrait of a young British girl plucked from an abusive family and thrown into the hands of government care.
A scene from Karyn Kusama’s “Jennifer’s Body.”
[Image courtesy of Fox Searchlight]
[TITLES: B - O]
Dir. by Rick Jacobson, USA - World Premiere
In this campy action comedy from the creators of Xena and Hercules, three hot-blooded women try to uncover some booty in the desert using feminine charms, fists and machine guns.
Dir. by Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig, Australia/USA - World Premiere
Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe and Sam Neill star in this sci-fi horror about a future populated by vampires where humans are the minority.
Dir. by Karyn Kusama, USA - World Premiere
Jennifer’s Body tells the story of small-town high-school student Jennifer (Megan Fox) who is possessed by a hungry demon and transitions from being “high school evil”—gorgeous (and doesn’t she know it), stuck up and ultra-attitudinal—to the real deal: evil/evil. The glittering beauty becomes a pale and sickly creature jonesing for a meaty snack, and guys who never stood a chance with the heartless babe take on new lustre in the light of her insatiable appetite. Meanwhile, Jennifer’s best friend, Needy (Amanda Seyfried), long relegated to living in Jennifer’s shadow, must step-up to protect the town’s young men, including her nerdy boyfriend Chip (Johnny Simmons). Written and executive produced by Oscar(R)-winner Diablo Cody (Juno).
The Loved Ones
Dir. by Sean Byrne, Australia - International Premiere
A troubled teen’s prom dreams are shattered by a series of painful events that take place under the mirrored disco ball, involving syringes, nails, power drills and a secret admirer in this wild mash-up of Pretty in Pink and Misery.
Ong Bak 2: The Beginning
Dir. by Tony Jaa, Thailand - Canadian Premiere
Martial-arts superstar Tony Jaa stars in and directs this epic tale of revenge set hundreds of years in the past. Featuring a huge cast and hordes of elephants, this prequel takes Jaa’s skills to the next level, showcasing him as a master of a wide range of martial-arts styles - while proving him to be a promising director as well.
[TITLES: R - T]
Dir. by Jaume Balaguero, Paco Plaza, Spain - North American Premiere
In the follow-up to the acclaimed [REC], a SWAT team enters the old apartment to control an epidemic with terrifying results.
Dir. by Michael J. Bassett, United Kingdom - World Premiere
From Robert E. Howard, the legendary creator of Conan, comes this tale of a savage mercenary in sixteeth-century Century England who owes the devil his soul and seeks to redeem himself by fighting evil.
George A. Romero’s "Survival of the Dead"
Dir. by George A. Romero, Canada - World Premiere
Master director George A. Romero returns to his world of the undead, this time pitting two feuding clans in the middle of the fallout of a zombie epidemic.
Dir. by Hitoshi Matsumoto, Japan - International Premiere
Japanese comedy superstar Hitoshi Matsumoto (DAINIPPONJIN) stars in and directs this absurd and outlandish comedy about a man trying to escape a unique dilemma.
A Town Called Panic
Dir. by Stephane Aubier and Vincent Patar, Belgium/Luxembourg/France - North American Premiere
An outlandish animation style captures the absurd wit and surreal adventures of plastic toys Cowboy, Indian and Horse.
Last edited by THEreelreviewer.com; 09-13-2009 at 11:03 PM.
[TITLES: B - I]
Between Two Worlds
Dir. by Vimukthi Jayasundara, Sri Lanka
- North American Premiere
Rajith, a young man, flees the city in which he lives and where violent confrontations are common. He goes to a village in a valley where the inhabitants seem to be still strongly influenced by an old legend.
Dir. by Tsai Ming-liang, France/Taiwan/The Netherlands/Belgium- North American Premiere
A tableau vivant adorned with Tsai Ming-Liang’s signature aesthetic portrays a special homage to the Nouvelle Vague and the Louvre, which co-produced the film and hosted its shooting.
Dir. by Jason Lehel, USA - World Premiere
A group of Native Americans discover a young woman, left for dead, in the Arizona desert and take her to their reservation. Through her relationship with American Natives she manages to re-connect with her own innocence, but is forced to make a choice between being reborn out of the chaos of her past and dying in the grips of her darkness.
Dir. by Pablo Stoll, Uruguay - World Premiere
Juan sings in a rock band, but he doesn’t talk much. He also works at a bakery during the night and sleeps most of the day. This is the story of one of his days and what happens when he wakes up. Hiroshima is a silent musical, based on real facts.
Dir. by Raya Martin, France- North American Premiere Mimicking early silent films, Independencia creates a lush metaphor that plays with cinematic illusions and the cultural and mythical history of the Philippines.
I Am Love
Dir. by Luca Guadagnino, Italy - International Premiere
Academy Award-winner Tilda Swinton stars in this drama about the devastating effects of a forbidden passion between a woman who belongs to a rich northern-Italian family and her son’s best friend, a cook.
Dir. by Alain Cavalier, France- North American Premiere
Filmmaker Alain Cavalier turns his personal grief of becoming a widower into a first-person subjective documentary that focuses on his diary entries.
[TITLES: K - T]
Dir. by Chris Chong Chan Fui, Malaysia- North American Premiere
Poetic, observant and allegorical, Karaoke juxtaposes a young man’s idealism with the reality of a changing Malaysia through karaoke videos.
Dir. by Samuel Maoz, Israel - North American Premiere
Set in June 1982 during the Israel-Lebanon War, the film follows a young and heroic tank crew that finds itself in a situation that cannot be contained. The crew copes with impossible conflicts, losing its way amid the chaos of war.
Dir. by Pen-Ek Ratanaruang,Thailand- North American Premiere
A haunting supernatural love affair set in a mysterious forest between a nymph and a couple who have drifted apart.
To Die Like a Man
Dir. by Joao Pedro Rodrigues, Portugal/France- North American Premiere
In order to forgive and be forgiven for the slights endured over a long life as a transsexual club performer, Tonia devolves her body back into a male form and seeks reconciliation with her estranged son.
To the Sea
Dir. by Pedro González-Rubio, Mexico - World Premiere
Before their inevitable farewell, a young Mexican man and his half Italian son, Natan, embark on an epic journey to the second-largest coral reef on the planet.
Special Presentations[TITLES: Ba - Br]
Dir. by Giuseppe Tornatore, Italy - International Premiere
From the acclaimed director of Cinema Paradiso comes an epic saga of life and death, love and hatred in a vibrant Sicilian town in the first half of the twentieth century. Following the life of Peppino Torrenuova (Francesco Scianna) from his upbringing as a high-spirited cowherders’ son, to his forbidden romance and marriage to the beautiful Mannina (Margareth Made) and culminating in his tumultuous and comical political career and home life, Baaria is a humourous and often heartbreaking tale of small-town family dynamics.
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans
Dir. by Werner Herzog, USA - North American Premiere
Terence McDonagh (Nicolas Cage), a homicide detective with the New Orleans Police Department, is promoted to Lieutenant after he saves a prisoner from drowning in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. However, during his heroic act, he severely injures his back and is put on prescription pain medication. A year later, Terence - struggling with his addictions to sex, Vicodin and cocaine - finds himself in the battle to bring down drug dealer Big Fate, who is suspected of massacring an entire family of African immigrants.
The Boys Are Back
Dir. by Scott Hicks, Australia/United Kingdom - World Premiere
Based on the memoir by Simon Carr, Scott Hicks (Shine) directs The Boys Are Back, inspired by the poignant, comic and uplifting true story of a man who must suddenly raise his two sons alone. After the untimely passing of his second wife, the ill-prepared Joe (Clive Owen), who is dealing with his own loss, is confronted with the daily challenges of parenthood while coping with his young son Artie’s expressions of grief. They are soon joined by Harry, Joe’s teenage son from his first marriage, who brings his own personal “baggage” into the mix. Also starring Laura Fraser and Emma Booth.
Dir. by Jane Campion, United Kingdom/Australia - North American Premiere
A drama based on the secret love affair between 23-year-old English poet John Keats (Ben Whishaw) and the girl next door, Fanny Brawne (Abbie Cornish), an outspoken student of fashion. Intensely and helplessly absorbed in each other, they rode a wave of romantic obsession that deepened as their troubles mounted. Only Keats’s illness and untimely death proved insurmountable.
Dir. by Pedro Almodovar, Spain - North American Premiere
Harry Caine, a blind writer, reaches a point when he has to heal his wounds from 14 years ago, when he was still known by his real name, Mateo Blanco, and directing his last movie. As the past is revisited, a story of “amour fou” unfolds, dominated by fatality, jealousy, the abuse of power, treachery and a guilt complex.
Last edited by THEreelreviewer.com; 09-28-2009 at 01:53 PM.
A scene from Michael Moore’s “Capitalism: A Love Story”
[Image courtesy of Overture Films]
[TITLES: Ca - D]
Dir. by Ruba Nadda, Canada/Ireland - World Premiere
Juliette (Patricia Clarkson), a magazine editor, arrives in Cairo to meet her husband Mark (Tom McCamus), a UN official in Gaza. When he is unavoidably delayed, Mark sends his friend and former security officer Tareq (Alexander Siddig) to show her around the city. As she gets used to the customs and rhythm of life in Cairo, Juliette finds herself falling not only for the city’s charms, but for Tareq as well.
Capitalism: A Love Story
Dir. by Michael Moore, USA - North American Premiere
On the 20-year anniversary of his groundbreaking masterpiece “Roger & Me”, Michael Moore’s “Capitalism: A Love Story” comes home to the issue he’s been examining throughout his career: the disastrous impact of corporate dominance on the everyday lives of Americans (and by default, the rest of the world). But this time the culprit is much bigger than General Motors, and the crime scene far wider than Flint, Michigan. From Middle America, to the halls of power in Washington, to the global financial epicenter in Manhattan, Michael Moore will once again take film-goers into uncharted territory.
City of Life and Death
Dir. by Lu Chuan, China - International Premiere
From acclaimed director Lu Chuan comes a devastating and controversial epic film based on the most atrocious holocaust in Chinese history, the Nanjing Massacre. The story unfolds as the Japanese take over the city in 1937 and everyone is struggling to survive in a city where death is easier than life. Starring Liu Ye and Gao Yuanyuan.
Dir. by Jordan Scott, Ireland - World Premiere
In an austere and remote girls’ boarding school, the most elite clique of girls are the illustrious members of the school’s diving team. As they compete for the attention of their glamorous teacher (Eva Green), the arrival of a beautiful Spanish girl disrupts the delicate social balance. In an attempt to put differences aside, a secret midnight party takes place that will change their lives forever.
Dir. by Peter Stebbings, Canada- World Premiere
Reality intersects with delusion in the mind of Arthur Poppington (Woody Harrelson), a regular man who adopts a superhero persona known as Defendor, and combs the city streets at night in search of his arch-enemy, Captain Industry. In his attempts to combat crime and bring down Captain Industry, a drug and weapons dealer who he mistakenly blames for the death of his mother, Defendor ends up befriending a young prostitute, Katerina Debrofkowitz (Kat Dennings). Armed with unconventional weapons of mass confusion, aided by his new friend, and putting his life on the line, Defendor proves that everyone is capable of making a difference.
Les Derniers Jours du Monde
Dir. by Arnaud Larrieu and Jean-Marie Larrieu, France/Spain/Taiwan, - North American Premiere
A global apocalypse is about to destroy all mankind. In a final quest, Robinson (Mathieu Amalric) sets out on a journey from France to Spain, searching for Laetitia, the woman he once loved, even if it means heading back to the centre of the danger zone. But as the world is turning upside down, most people - through their blind panic - have decided to simply enjoy their last days on the planet abandoning themselves to a few final moments of pleasure and lust.
Last edited by THEreelreviewer.com; 09-28-2009 at 01:54 PM.
[TITLES: E - G]
Dir. by Lone Scherfig, United Kingdom - Canadian Premiere
A coming-of-age story about a teenaged girl in 1960s suburban London and how her life changes with the arrival of a playboy nearly twice her age. Torn between her parents’ dream of going to Oxford University and a more tempting kind of life, she must decide if the new path is one that will trap her or set her free.
The Front Line
Dir. by Renato De Maria, Italy - World Premiere
Set during a turbulent period in 1970-80s Italy, the plot centres on passionate couple Sergio and Susanna, who have been living as fugitives. Pursuing an uncompromising cause as members of the notorious Prima Linea, they have become increasingly alienated from the real world. Their luck finally runs out when Susanna is captured and thrown in jail. Putting his life on the line, Sergio embarks on a radical plan.
Dir. by Stephen Poliakoff, United Kingdom - World Premiere
This tense conspiracy thriller set on the eve of World War II and based on disturbing real events, focuses on a young woman who stumbles across evidence of a sinister Nazi appeasement plot. As her close friends begin to die in suspicious circumstances, she finds her own life in danger from an increasingly menacing and powerful enemy.
Dir. by Jeff Stilson, USA - Canadian Premiere
Rendered speechless by his daughter’s question—“Daddy, how come I don’t have good hair?”—comedian Chris Rock embarks on a quest to understand African American hair culture.
The Good Heart
Dir. by Dagur Kari, Iceland - World Premiere
A homeless boy Lucas (Paul Dano), meets Jacques (Brian Cox), a grumpy bar-owner, whose unhealthy lifestyle has brought him five heart attacks. Jacques takes Lucas under his wing with the intention of having him continue his legacy. Everything is going according to plan until a drunken stewardess named April enters the bar.
Last edited by THEreelreviewer.com; 09-28-2009 at 01:55 PM.
A scene from Steven Soderbergh’s “The Informant”
[Image courtesy of Warner Brothers]
[TITLES: H - I]
Dir. by Bruno Dumont, France - World Premiere
Hadewijch is a religious novice whose ecstatic, blind faith leads to her expulsion from a convent. Returning to her former life, Hadewijch reverts to being Celine, a Parisienne and daughter of a diplomat. However, her passion for God, rage and encounters with Khaled and Nassir soon lead her down a dangerous path.
Dir. by Daniel Barber, United Kingdom - World Premiere
“Harry Brown” is a provocative and thought-provoking modern urban western featuring a tour-de-force lead performance from two-time Academy Award(R)-winner Michael Caine. Harry Brown has lived to see his community descend into crime and violence, and ruled over by a gang of teenage thugs. After his best friend is brutally murdered and the gang leader responsible walks free, Harry reaches a breaking point and revenge becomes his only aim.
Dir. by Joe Dante, USA - North American Premiere
After moving into a new town, brothers Dane and Lucas and their neighbour Julie discover a bottomless hole in their basement that brings their nightmares to life. With shadows lurking around every corner, they must face their darkest fears in order to put an end to the mystery of the hole.
Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel
Dir. by Brigitte Berman, Canada- World Premiere
An intimate look at the outspoken, flamboyant founder of the Playboy empire. With humour and insight, the film captures Hefner’s fierce battles with the government, the religious right and militant feminists. Rare footage and compelling interviews with a remarkable who’s who of 20th Century American pop culture, present a brilliant and entertaining snapshot of the life of an extraordinary man and the controversies that surrounded him.
Dir. by Steven Soderbergh, USA - North American Premiere
Mark Whitacre (Matt Damon), a rising star at agri-industry giant Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), suddenly turns whistleblower. Exposing his company’s multinational price-fixing conspiracy to the FBI, Whitacre imagines himself as a kind of de facto secret agent. Unfortunately for the FBI, their lead witness hasn’t been quite forthcoming about helping himself to the corporate coffers. Whitacre’s ever-changing account frustrates the agents and threatens the case against ADM as it becomes almost impossible to decipher what is real and what is the product of Whitacre’s rambling imagination. Based on the true story of the highest-ranking corporate whistleblower in U.S. history.
The Invention of Lying
Dir. by Ricky Gervais and Matthew Robinson, USA - World Premiere
From Ricky Gervais, the award-winning creator and star of the original BBC series The Office and HBO’s Extras, comes the new romantic comedy The Invention of Lying, which takes place in an alternate reality where lying—even the concept of a lie—does not even exist. Everyone—from politicians to advertisers to the man and woman on the street—speaks the truth and nothing but the truth with no thought of the consequences. But when a down-on-his-luck loser named Mark suddenly develops the ability to lie, he finds that dishonesty has its rewards. In a world where every word is assumed to be the absolute truth, Mark easily lies his way to fame and fortune. But lies have a way of spreading, and he begins to realize that things are getting out of control when some of his tallest tales are being taken as, well, gospel. With the entire world now hanging on his every word, there is only one thing Mark has not been able to lie his way into: the heart of the woman he loves.
Last edited by THEreelreviewer.com; 09-28-2009 at 01:56 PM.
[TITLES: J - Li]
J’ai Tue Ma Mere
Dir. by Xavier Dolan, Canada, English - Canada Premiere
Hubert, a brash 17-year-old, is confused and torn by a love-hate relationship with his mother that consumes him more and more each day. After distressing ordeals and tragic episodes, Hubert will find his mother on the banks of Saint Lawrence river, where he grew up, and where a murder will be committed: the murder of childhood.
Dir. by Derrick Borte, USA - World Premiere
In the comedic drama The Joneses, Kate Jones (Demi Moore) and Steve Jones (David Duchovny) are a picture-perfect couple who, at first glance, are the embodiment of the American dream. When they move their family into suburbia, the Joneses immediately become the envy of the residents around them with their luxury cars and their gorgeous home. But little do their neighbours realize that this family isn’t what it appears to be, and everyone is about to find out that keeping up with the Joneses isn’t as easy as it seems.
Dir. by Yoichi Sai, Japan - World Premiere
A crowd pleasing, sweeping epic brilliantly directed by one of Japan’s finest auteurs, Kamui is the adventurous story of a fugitive ninja played by superstar Kenichi Matsuyama.
Dir. by Christian Carion, France - World Premiere
In 1981 Moscow, a KGB colonel, disgusted with what Soviet policy has become, decides to break with the system. With the help of a French engineer he will play a part in one of the key events in world history: the collapse of the Soviet bloc.
Leaves of Grass
Dir. by Tim Blake Nelson, USA - World Premiere
Bill Kincaid, an Ivy League classics professor, returns to rural Oklahoma to bury his dangerously brilliant identical twin brother who had remained in their native state to grow hydroponic pot. Leaves of Grass is a fast-paced comic film that contrasts two distinct approaches to life. Featuring Edward Norton in the role of each twin.
Life During Wartime
Dir. by Todd Solondz, USA - North American Premiere
Happiness director Todd Solondz returns with another unsettling dark comedy about sexual obsession between friends, family and lovers struggling to find love, forgiveness and meaning in a war-torn world. Allison Janney and Ciaran Hinds star.
Last edited by THEreelreviewer.com; 09-28-2009 at 02:00 PM.
[TITLES: Lo - M]
Dir. by Rachid Bouchareb, United Kingdom/France/Algeria - North American Premiere
This intimate drama tells the story of two people, a Muslim man and a Christian woman, who are immediately affected by the July 2005 London bombings. Both of them are drawn to the British capital when their children go missing on the day of the attacks. Putting aside their cultural differences, they will give each other the strength to continue the search for their children and maintain their faith
Mao’s Last Dancer
Dir. by Bruce Beresford, Australia/USA/China - World Premiere
Adapted from his internationally best-selling memoir, the film tells the true story of Li Cunxin, a Chinese-trained ballet dancer. Plucked from his childhood village, subjected to years of vigorous training and threatened during the Cultural Revolution, Cunxin decides to leave China at great risk to himself and those he loves, for an uncertain future.
Dir. by Raoul Peck, Haiti/France - World Premiere
A democratically elected “President” and his closest collaborators are getting ready for a state celebration. But in the morning of the event, he wakes up to find the country inflamed and the streets in turmoil. Despite the situation, the President does not want to face reality and refuses to resign. Overwhelmed, he plunges into a deep mental confusion as the events unfold. Set in a castle in the clouds, Moloch Tropical is a Shakespearian, behind-the-scenes depiction of the end of power.
Dir. by Bong Joon-ho, South Korea - North American Premiere
A unique noir thriller that digs into the secrecy surrounding a terrible murder and the mystery of a mother’s primal love for her son. The films of director Bong Joon-ho regularly, and brilliantly, break with convention, thanks to an imagination that is not confined to the accepted parameters of humour, suspense or horror - Mother is no exception.
Dir. by Jaco Van Dormael, France/Germany/Canada/Belgium - North American Premiere
Mr. Nobody tells the story of Nemo (Jared Leto), the world’s oldest man. In 2092, Mars has become a trendy vacation destination and humans have achieved immortality, thanks to advances in genetics. At the age of 120 years, Nemo is the last mortal left on Earth. His death is drawing near, and media from all over the world are eager to cover the event. Nemo doesn’t really remember who he is, and is only able, while under hypnosis, to call up a few snippets of disordered memories. Also starring Sarah Polley, Diane Kruger, Linh-Dan Pham and Rhys Ifans.
My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done
Dir. by Werner Herzog, USA - Canadian Premiere
Inspired by true events, My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done, is a story of ancient myth and modern madness. Brad Macallam, an aspiring actor performing in a Greek tragedy, commits the crime he is to enact in the play by killing his mother. The mystery unfolds in a series of flashbacks displaying the psychological destruction of the killer set off by an ill-fated white-water kayaking trip in a distant land.
Last edited by THEreelreviewer.com; 09-28-2009 at 02:05 PM.
A scene from John Hillcoat’s “The Road”
[Image courtesy of The Weinstein Company]
[TITLES: O - Si]
Dir. by Neil Jordan, Ireland/USA - World Premiere
A lyrical, modern fairy tale that tells the story of Syracuse (Colin Farrell), an Irish fisherman whose life is transformed when he catches a beautiful and mysterious woman (Alicja Bachleda) in his nets. His daughter Annie (Alison Barry) comes to believe that the woman is a magical creature, while Syracuse falls helplessly in love. However, like all fairy tales, enchantment and darkness go hand in hand.
Dir. by Catherine Corsini, France - International Premiere
Suzanne (Kristin Scott Thomas) is a well-to-do married woman and mother in the south of France. Her idle bourgeois lifestyle gets her down and she decides to go back to work as a physiotherapist. Her husband agrees to fix-up a consulting room for her in their backyard. When Suzanne and the man (Sergi Lopez) hired to do the building meet, the mutual attraction is sudden and violent. Suzanne decides to give up everything and live this all-engulfing passion to the fullest.
Dir. by Ian Fitzgibbon, Ireland/United Kingdom - World Premiere
When Michael’s (Cillian Murphy) debt to Dublin kingpin Darren Perrier (Brendan Gleeson) is called in and one of Perrier’s goons accidentally ends up dead, Michael escapes to the mountains with his father Jim (Jim Broadbent) and best friend, Brenda. Flat broke, on the run and with only 24 hours to pay up, Michael is forced to confront his true feelings for Brenda and make amends with his father. However, with Perrier and his gang in hot pursuit, time is running out for Michael and only fate, a bit of luck and possibly a gang of savage dogs will save him, in this cracking gangster comedy.
Dir. by Jacques Audiard, France - North American Premiere
A young Arab man, Malik, is sent to a French prison where he is cornered by the leader of the ruling Corsican gang. He is given a number of “missions” to carry out, toughening him up and gaining the gang leader’s confidence in the process. But Malik is brave and a fast learner, daring to secretly develop his own plans.
Dir. by John Hillcoat, USA - North American Premiere
In this epic post-apocalyptic tale of the survival, a father (Academy Award(R) nominee Viggo Mortensen) and his young son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) journey across a barren America that was destroyed by a mysterious cataclysm. From author Cormac McCarthy (No Country For Old Men) comes the highly anticipated big screen adaptation of the beloved, best-selling and Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Road, also staring Charlize Theron, Robert Duvall and Guy Pearce.
Dir. by Dev Benegal, India/USA - World Premiere
Vishnu, a restless young man, rejects his father’s faltering hair oil business and hits the road with a travelling cinema. Colourful and full of unforgettable characters, Road, Movie celebrates India’s open road and the pure love of movies.
Scheherazade Tell Me a Story
Dir. by Yousry Nasrallah, Egypt - North American Premiere
Hebba is the host of a successful political talk show in present-day Cairo. Karim, her husband, is deputy editor-in-chief of a government-owned newspaper. When Party big shots imply his wife is meddling with opposition politics, Karim convinces her to start a series of talk shows around issues involving women. Hebba knows, of course, that women’s issues are political. But she could not imagine to what extent, and the tension eventually leads to the break-up of her marriage.
Last edited by THEreelreviewer.com; 09-28-2009 at 02:09 PM.