TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
A make-up day for the 11th, very good call on the part of
This festival has disipated rather than ended. People
started to leave as soon as they could, with flights starting a couple days ago
again. Without the parties, people stopped checking their mailboxes at the
press office. Gone is a sense of closure, and instead I am surrounded by the
few faces that I tend to see at the smaller, non-event screenings. The glamour
has faded early this year, and the film geeks stay to soak up the
I ended the fest on a good note, watching three fun films that
are unlikely to see wide release in multiplexland.
Given the events of
the last week, it's been a remarkably well run fest. Kudos primarily to the
organizers, but, above all, to the long-suffering volunteers. They are the
heart of this fest, and without them its clear that nothing would work at all.
See you next year!
Much Ado About
Directed by: Michael Rubbo
This documentary traces with a giddy
temperament the search for the "real" Shakespeare. It is a good doc for several
reasons - it presents its information in an interesting way, it asks many
questions, and, though it may not provide explicit answers, it opens up new
areas of inquiry. Very informative, it even has me questioning whether the man
we consider the Bard, the ontological foundation of English literature, could
in fact be simply an illiterate businessman from Stratford shilling for Marlowe
or some such character. Very fun to watch.
Directed by: Don Boyd
A fun retelling of the
Lear story, taking great liberties with the play's text that makes for a
certain amount of suspense even for those intimately familiar with the
original. Richard Harris is Sandeman, the leader of a Liverpudlian crime
family, a patriarch who has, of course, three daughters. His fav, the youngest,
rebels against his life as she tries to distance herself (the film actually
made me realize the Lear-ish elements in the Godfather - "they just keep
pulling me back in!!")
After his wife is murdered, Sandeman puts his
trust into his daughters. The castles of the the play he gets bounced between
are replaced with condos and massage parlours, creating interesting new
tensions within the narrative. In a stroke of genius, the film uses Sandeman's
grandson as his fool-like companion, providing both comic relief and
While feeling somewhat long, the film nonetheless
is a very interesting and compelling retooling of a classic.
Directed by: Fabian Bielinsky
Mamet-like confidence-game movie. The two leads meet when a making-change scam
fails at a gas stations. Lies within lies keep the story going fresh, and until
the ending you don't know just who is screwing whom out of their share of the
money. A fun, engaging film to close out the festival for me.