So much for all the buzz around The Fifth Estate, Bill Condon's frustratingly flat dramatization of the formation, triumphs, and sundering of WikiLeaks, the anarchist information-sharing website. Relying on tight close-ups and lengthy speeches, there is a distinctly made-for-TV feel to the proceedings which even great performances couldn't have overcome. But sadly, the biggest misstep falls on the shoulders of Benedict Cumberbatch.
A middle-aged man arrives at a seaside cottage. He closes the doors, hangs heavy black curtains over all of the windows, and then opens a duffle bag to reveal a little brown mutt. Soon thereafter, we learn that in his (unnamed) Islamic Republic, dogs have been banned. This is just the start of a thrilling, complex journey directed by infamous Iranian filmmaker, Jafar Panahi. It may be the biggest film I saw at TIFF.
Critics haven't been very kind to the Wikileaks/Julian Assange movie The Fifth Estate thus far. But ignoring the way the movie addresses the issue, and instead focusing on its message, might be the best way to look at it.
While it's always dangerous to draw universal lessons from anything as spectacularly evil as American slavery, "12 Years a Slave" is a film that challenges us to ask ourselves what dehumanizing systems we are part of. Not just our ancestors, but us, today.
In her latest project My Love Awaits Me by the Sea, Palestinian filmmaker Mais Darwazah decides to fall in love, and through that love, show the homeland she also discovers for the first time.
Candy is a short film that I wrote, directed, produced and acted in. It is eight minutes and 34 seconds. I am beyond thrilled for Candy to have its World Premiere at TIFF 2013!
I'd describe my own school experience as "hell." I'm 81 years old now, so you can imagine how bad it was back then. Canadian history, as taught in school, was really anti-First Nations people, depicting us as savages and really designed as a campaign of hate.
In director Yorgos Servetas' poignant film, a young woman goes back to a village she knows, and encounters both friends who are suffering direct hits of the crisis, but also a mafia-like system in place, which destroys bodies and souls.
I realize the film is already notorious for its lengthy and explicit lesbian sex scenes between stars Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos. But I truly hope the furor doesn't overshadow the incredible performance by Exarchopoulos, whose name I'm already learning to pronounce and spell in hopes that we'll be talking about her from now until Oscar night.
Metalhead is a personal film. I grew up in a small community in the remote part of Iceland and as a teenager sought refuge and inspiration in heavy metal music. With this film I want to celebrate the music and the impact and influence it has had on me and millions of others around the world.
I used to anticipate the Toronto International Film Festival (or TIFF, as it were) with something approaching glee. But as I prepare to head north on Sunday, I feel, well, not dread or even trepidation -- I guess resignation is the word I'm looking for.
Leading up to their 37th year, TIFF announced a fantastic lineup of films that--if films were chocolate--would make a cinema buff salivate. While the complete listing is a smorgasbord of foreign, local, big-name and independent items, there are a few that I particularly want to see. So here you have just a handful of entries on Shannon's list of films she hopes will make their way from TIFF to CIFF this year.
Twenty years ago, three young boys were found murdered in a forest. The crime scene was appalling and -- most mysteriously -- there was no hard evidence. Who could have committed these horrors? If the evil force that killed the boys couldn't be found, then a comprehensible solution needed to be conjured. For all the talk of Satanic ritual and blood sacrifices discussed in the case, it is my firm belief that the only real act of magic was performed by the prosecution team as they convinced a jury to find three young men guilty in the complete absence of any physical proof.
I've watched enough rabid fans make terrible stalking mistakes only to be shut down by security to know exactly how I would track down my favourite celebs if one day I were to lose my press credentials (knock on wood). So you want to meet famous people, too? Forget the TIFF 2013 premiere schedule; you've got much smarter stalking to do.
Some of the best places to spot celebs will be in those hotels, restaurants and coffee shops near the TIFF Bell Lightbox on King Street West or in the Bloor-Yorkville neighbourhood uptown. Both the King Street West Starbucks and the Starbucks between Yorkville and Bloor will be filled with Star power.
A part of me wanted to quit; it seemed pointless. I was only sent out for Native roles and even those were few and far between. Something was wrong with the industry. Growing up, I had almost never seen Native people on television. I was frustrated and angry, but something inside me told me if I wanted to change things, I had to stick with it.