Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Our Top 5 Movie Picks For TIFF 2012

It’s the best time of the year to catch the stars here in Toronto because on September 6, The 37th annual Toronto International Film Festival begins! As always, Yorkville is the place to be as you might spot some of your favourite Hollywood celebrities and film visionaries shopping on Bloor Street and eating at Sassafraz.  Many of the films this year deal with crime, Hollywood, war, identity, sex, and art.  These five films seem like a sure bet.

To kick the festival off, Rian Johnson’s Looper has created a lot of buzz. Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, this futuristic thriller informed by epic sci-fi tradition (Blade Runner) promises to take you on a trippy intellectual ride. There’s a new way for the  mob to eliminate you. If you get caught, they’ll send you thirty years back in time as “loopers” take charge of disposing you. Joe Simmons (Joseeph Gordon-Levitt) cannot escape the ethical dilemma of his job as he discovers his next victim is himself.

Another crime thriller that looks like an incredible ride is a directorial debut from Paraguay’s new directing team Juan Carlos Maneglia and Tana Schembori. In Seven Boxes, a seventeen year-old wheelbarrow carter, Victor (Celso Franco) is promised hollywood fame if he delivers seven boxes to their secret locations. Armed only with a used cell phone to navigate his way, he gets in way over his head in a chase that involves thieves and rival gangs. The film subverts of the suspense-action tropes. Instead of a car chase, wooden-wheelbarrows add to the visceral experience.

If at all like his 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice starring Keira Knightley, Joe Wright’s vision of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina will have stunning cinematography and observant character exploration. Wright likes subtle details and nuances, so be attentive as this classic story of tragic love, and betrayal gets the full royal treatment.

The theme of Hollywood and crime continues in another much anticipated thriller. Argo is based on a true story of how the CIA tries to rescue six Americans out of Tehran by saying that they are a Hollywood film crew. Directed and starring Ben Affleck, similar to Seven Boxes, it critiques Hollywood with originality and humor.
As always, there are many interesting documentaries to see at the festival. If you like disco, the doc to see is Secret Disco Revolution. Directed by Jamie Kastner, (Toronto film director) the film explores the cultural influences behind the music as disco legends such as Gloria Gaynor (I will Survive), and other experts are interviewed on how the genre affected women, African-Americans, and gay men.

Single tickets go on sale September 2 at the TIFF Box Office - so act fast!

Which movies are you looking forward to at TIFF this year?

--- Leticia Cambre, blogs at artsynews.posterous.com

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