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Spotlight on TIFF

2013-08-12-blog_spotlight_on_tiff_v01.jpg Jeremiah Chechik, a directing magician Helmed the story to film fruition Surrounding me with a most stellar cast A Canadian crew that were built to last And vistas that take your breath away It's no wonder I'm rhyming today
2013-08-12-blog_spotlight_on_tiff_v01.jpgHateship Loveship is a thematically inside out version of "Hateship Friendship Courtship Loveship Marriage"; Munro's story is about silence, whereas the movie is about finding a voice. Both are worthy stories, but Munro's asks more of the reader than Hateship Loveship does of the viewer.
2013-08-12-blog_spotlight_on_tiff_v01.jpgThe Wind Rises is a biopic of Jiro Horikoshi, the brilliant designer of Mitsubishi fighter planes used extensively in the Sino-Japanese War and WWII. Yet despite legendary director Hayao Miyazaki being an avowed pacifist, the film glosses over Horikoshi's culpability in making war machines. By avoiding politics, the movie becomes undone by it.
2013-08-12-blog_spotlight_on_tiff_v01.jpg This film, Denis Villeneuve's first in English, demonstrates a stirring talent on the rise. The tension, the anxiety, and even the damp cool of the late November air are delivered to us through a heap of well-chosen images, daring shot construction, and carefully-managed set design.
2013-08-12-blog_spotlight_on_tiff_v01.jpg A quick-paced, hard-charging adrenaline ride of a movie, Gravity takes us into the heart of an infinite darkness and then leads us home. As exciting as it is technically virtuosic, it invites us to reconsider the possibilities of the "popcorn movie." Thank god for that.
2013-08-12-blog_spotlight_on_tiff_v01.jpg Despite the utter unlikelihood of the plotting, everything about Enough Said feels lived in and true. Sparkling, light and yet awash in thoughtful insight into the particular challenges of new love in middle age, this was easily my favourite comedy of the festival so far.
2013-08-12-blog_spotlight_on_tiff_v01.jpg Like some psychedelic mash-up of Eyes Wide Shut, The Trial and Naked Lunch, R100 is by turns disgusting, hilarious, and tedious. For the most part the audience must surrender to the demented flow of the thing in order to have any fun.
2013-08-12-blog_spotlight_on_tiff_v01.jpg My novel Sex and Sunsets was optioned as a movie. The option ran out, and it was optioned again, and again. Option cheques arrived for 25 years. I gave up on it being made....
2013-08-12-blog_spotlight_on_tiff_v01.jpg Kelly Reichardt has made her career on the fringes of the Hollywood system, making complex, austere films on tiny budgets, and building up a reputation for a singular vision. But, with Night Moves, a generic take on the moral questions associated with terrorism, Reichardt's vision feels blinkered.
2013-08-12-blog_spotlight_on_tiff_v01.jpg Between long, punishing shots of brutal whippings, lynchings, hangings, and rape, and the pervasive repugnance of the situation more generally, Steve McQueen has mounted the most affecting film about American slavery that has ever been made. But, does that in and of itself recommend it?