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Darren H

TIFF 2011

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Trying to see if I can make it work. I'll only have vacation time left to cover a 5-day trip, including two weekend days, and unless I pay the $20 per ticket price, I can't get any ticket package smaller than the 30-film. I can't imagine being able to see 30 films in 5 days-- even 25-27 will be tough if I catch a few Midnight Madness screenings-- but I'ma little gunshy after last year's scaling back of daytime screenings. I saw somewhere a promise that there would be more daytime screenings this year, but I'm still going to look for some assurance I won't be burning more than 5 or 6 of my tickets.

In my seven years, I've never not been able to get into a screening.

I'm still smarting from being left out of THE COLONY; I was next in the rush line to get in.

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I was next in the rush line to get in.

And that person who was in front of you got the seat beside me, which I'd been protecting at the risk of grave bodily harm. I'm still surprised Colony didn't find a bigger audience. Distribution is a fickle game.

I've also heard that they're scheduling more day films, but that probably won't be confirmed until the schedule is released. Another thing to consider: when you pre-order your 30-ticket package, you can double-book a couple timeslots and then sell the extras at face value to people in the rush line. Just remember to double-book for the same theater, preferably one with smaller rooms, like the AMC.

I'm glad to hear you might make it, even if for only a few days.

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Another thing to consider: when you pre-order your 30-ticket package, you can double-book a couple timeslots and then sell the extras at face value to people in the rush line.

That's a really great suggestion.

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This Future Projections item sounds great to me:

James Franco and Gus Van Sant: Memories of Idaho (1991; 2010 and 2011). In 1991, Gus Van Sant's My Own Private Idaho and its central performance by River Phoenix had an enormous cultural impact, not least on a budding young actor named James Franco (127 Hours, James Dean). Now Franco has collaborated with Van Sant to create Memories of Idaho, a meditation on the seminal film in multiple parts. At the work's core are two new films, projected sequentially, in a darkened, generic space. The first film, My Own Private River, is a feature-length chronological reassemblage of excised scenes and alternate takes from the original shoot, radically foregrounding Phoenix. The second film, Idaho, comes from one of three scripts Van Sant used to create the original film, its Super-8 texture meant to be a "ghost" of his original conception. Van Sant contributes ghosts of his own, large-format photographs of actual Portland street hustlers who appeared in, and provided inspiration and source material for, the film. Presented at TIFF Bell Lightbox Atrium, 350 King Street West. September 8 to 18. Note: The above image is a view of Franco and Van Sant's installation Unfinished, a precursor to Memories, which was at the Gagosian gallery in Los Angeles earlier this year. Joe Utichi reviewed the show for the Guardian.

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Just found out that the new Toshiaki Toyoda -- Monster's Club -- will be screening at TIFF 2011. One of his previous films, 9 Souls, is one of my favorite TIFF discoveries of all time.

Edited by opus

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With yesterday's title dump, I've officially hit that point where I throw my hands up in the air and admit that I'm just going to have to miss a lot of really great films. It happens every year but seems especially overwhelming this time around. Even now, before next week's announcement of the Masters program (Dardennes, Tarr, Sokurov, Dumont, Akerman, Kaurismaki, Ceylan, and Hong are all likely), I'm looking at a list of 40 films I'd love to see, one of which, the new one by Lav Diaz, is six hours long. I'll only be able to see 25-30 films, maybe even fewer if I get in a couple interviews. As another friend put it yesterday, there are so many must-see films by established filmmakers in this year's lineup, I won't have many opportunities to do much exploring.

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All of the directors I'd anticipated for Masters, except for Hong, are on the list. And they also added a new film by Kore-eda. This lineup is crazy.

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The lineup is pretty impressive.

I really, really wish I could get out there to see Sokurov's FAUST!

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[...]Dardennes, Tarr, Sokurov, Dumont, Akerman, Kaurismaki, Ceylan, and Hong [...] the new one by Lav Diaz, is six hours long.

Gaaaaaadzooks. I'm nauseous with envy. I especially want to hear a detailed account on that Lav Diaz, I have to live vicariously through the people fortunate enough to see his films.

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I'm roughing out a first draft of my schedule, and the list of want-to-see-but-can't-see films this year is especially brutal. Tarr's Horse of Turin hurts the worst, but I also can't see Diaz, Dumont, Von Trier, Klotz, Naranjo, Hansen-Love, or Kaurismaki, all of which have or should have American distribution, and I'm going to have to make some more tough choices once I get there. Still, I'll be spending the 10th anniversary of 9/11 watching new films by Chantal Akerman, Philippe Garrel, Coppola or Stillman (one of those tough choices), and Nathaniel Dorsky, so I won't complain.

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Still, I'll be spending the 10th anniversary of 9/11 watching new films by Chantal Akerman, Philippe Garrel, Coppola or Stillman (one of those tough choices), and Nathaniel Dorsky, so I won't complain.

10th anniversary of 9/11. Hard to believe. The 11th is also my wife's 30th birthday. Last year she got to see Colin Firth after THE KING'S SPEECH. Not sure what she'll think of ending the day with either new Davies or Sokurov.

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My schedule is starting to take shape. I've already put in a request to interview the Dardennes, and I'm also hoping to speak with Chantal Akerman and Philippe Garrel.

Thursday, 9/8

This is Not a Film (Jafar Panahi)

Elena (Andrey Zvyagintsev)

Play (Ruben Östlund)

Friday, 9/9

House of Tolerance (Bertrand Bonello)

A Dangerous Method (David Cronenberg)

The Kid with a Bike (Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne)

Take Shelter (Jeff Nichols) OR The River Used to Be a Man (Jan Zabeil)

Wavelengths 1: Analogue Arcadia

Saturday, 9/10

The Silver Cliff (Karim Aïnouz) OR Oslo, August 31st (Joachim Trier)

Keyhole (Guy Maddin)

Separation (Asghar Farhadi)

Wavelengths 2: Twenty Cigarettes (James Benning)

Wavelengths 3: Serial Rhythms

Sunday, 9/11

Almayer's Folly (Chantal Akerman)

That Summer (Philippe Garrel)

Twixt (Francis Ford Coppola)

Wavelengths 4: Space is the Place

Wavelengths 5: The Return/Aberration of Light

Monday, 9/12

Shame (Steve McQueen)

The Cardboard Village (Ermanno Olmi)

ALPS (Yorgos Lanthimos)

Mushrooms (Vimukthi Jayasundara)

Martha Marcy May Marlene (Sean Durkin)

Tuesday, 9/13

Sleeping Beauty (Julia Leigh)

The Woman in the Fifth (Pawel Pawlikowski) OR Goodbye First Love (Mia Hansen-Løve)

Land of Oblivion (Michale Boganim)

Trishna (Michael Winterbottom)

The Invader (Nicolas Provost)

Wednesday, 9/14

Damsels in Distress (Whit Stillman)

CRAZY HORSE (Frederick Wiseman)

Faust (Alexander Sokurov)

Chicken with Plumbs (Marjane Satrapi & Vincent Paronnaud)

The Student (Santiago Mitre)

Thursday, 9/15

Nuit #1 (Anne Emond) OR Invasion (Hugo Santiago)

Edited by Darren H

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Looks fantastic - I can't wait to see your reports (esp. on the Cronenberg and Olmi), and this inspires me to maybe work a bit of overtime and save my pennies for 2012.

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That's what I do, Andrew. I hate sitting back down at the computer at the end of a long day, but my trips are always funded by freelance work.

I hope you can make a return trip soon. It'd be good to see you again.

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Thanks, Darren - I'd love to meet up again with you and the other cineastes with whom I crossed paths in Toronto in 2007.

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Oh, great line-up, Darren. Be sure to let me know of what you think of TWIXT and FAUST.

Oh, and what did you make of YOUTH WITHOUT YOUTH?

Edited by Ryan H.

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This was my eighth trip to TIFF, and over the years I've learned that 30 films in one week is my sweet spot. I inevitably have to miss a few must-sees because of scheduling conflicts (this year the major casualties were The Turin Horse and Melancholia), but by sticking to 30 films I can see most of the best films from Berlin, Rotterdam, Cannes, and Venice, along with a TIFF premiere or two and not waste any precious time on crap. This year I only saw two features I didn't like. All the rest were good to great, although I don't think there was a masterpiece among them, which is a bit disappointing.

The 26 features I saw, more or less in preferential order:

Top Tier: All will likely find a way onto my year-end top 10s

Low Life (Klotz and Perceval)

The Loneliest Planet (Loktev)

Almayer's Folly (Akerman)

House of Tolerance (Bonello)

That Summer (Garrel)

Kid with a Bike (Dardenne and Dardenne)

Fatherland (Prividera)

Dreileben - Beats Being Dead (Petzold)

Tier Two: Very good films

ALPS (Lanthimos)

Faust (Sokurov)

Elena (Zvyagintsev)

Keyhole (Maddin)

Cardboard Village (Olmi)

The Silver Cliff (Aïnouz)

Dreileben - Don't Follow Me Around (Graf)

Crazy Horse (Wiseman)

The Student (Mitre)

Into the Abyss (Herzog)

Tier Three: Good and interesting but disappointing in some respect

20 Cigarettes (Benning)

Outside Satan (Dumont)

Goodbye First Love (Hansen-Løve)

Dreileben - One Minute of Darkness (Hochhäusler)

Invasion (Santiago)

Mushrooms (Jayasundara)

And These

Wuthering Heights (Arnold)

Shame (McQueen)

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This was my eighth trip to TIFF, and over the years I've learned that 30 films in one week is my sweet spot. I inevitably have to miss a few must-sees because of scheduling conflicts (this year the major casualties were The Turin Horse and Melancholia), but by sticking to 30 films I can see most of the best films from Berlin, Rotterdam, Cannes, and Venice, along with a TIFF premiere or two and not waste any precious time on crap. This year I only saw two features I didn't like. All the rest were good to great, although I don't think there was a masterpiece among them, which is a bit disappointing.

The 26 features I saw, more or less in preferential order:

Top Tier: All will likely find a way onto my year-end top 10s

Low Life (Klotz and Perceval)

The Loneliest Planet (Loktev)

Almayer's Folly (Akerman)

House of Tolerance (Bonello)

That Summer (Garrel)

Kid with a Bike (Dardenne and Dardenne)

Fatherland (Prividera)

Dreileben - Beats Being Dead (Petzold)

I always admire your contributions to this forum, but looking over this, reading about these films, and watching available footage firmly establishes for me how very different our tastes are when it comes to film (and, in some ways, how different my tastes are from the A&F mainstream, as demonstrated by my lack of affection for the work of the Dardennes).

Edited by Ryan H.

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I'm certainly drawn to a particular type of filmmaking, and I know it's not an especially popular type. That's one of the many reasons I never aspired to be a film reviewer. ;)

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Darren - I'd love to read your thoughts on Low Life, as Klotz's Heartbeat Detector is so brilliant and significant.

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Cracking stuff. A few comments:

1. The slow demise of Dumont as an image-maker makes me appreciate a literary auteur like Civeyrac all the more.

2. The Low Life paragraph is on my list of favorite things read about film in 2011. I am electric with anticipation for this one.

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I'm glad to hear that you agree with my comments about Dumont. I rewatched most of his films before TIFF in hopes that I'd be less ambivalent about his recent work. But, sure enough, The Life of Jesus really is his best film, and a few of them are just bad. Did you hear Juliette Binoche is in his new one?

If I could rewatch any 2011 film tonight, it would be Low Life. I doubt it will get any distribution in the States, but hopefully it'll show up on a streaming service or DVD in the next year or two.

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I'm glad to hear that you agree with my comments about Dumont. I rewatched most of his films before TIFF in hopes that I'd be less ambivalent about his recent work. But, sure enough, The Life of Jesus really is his best film, and a few of them are just bad. Did you hear Juliette Binoche is in his new one?

I didn't. Think she will be as well utilized as in Certified Copy? I am almost shudder at the prospect. I have written more on Life of Jesus lately, even up to depositing an essay in an upcoming book on theology and cinema about the film as a rich reflection on trauma and memory.

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