Sunday, August 10, 2008

let the games begin!

You don't have to be an athlete to compete in that Olympic-sized sport - the countdown to TIFF! Now that the summer rains have drowned Southern Ontario out of any remaining hope of pure hot summer, it's time to start thinking of the fall and the banquet of moviegoing bliss that awaits. With much of the major programming already announced (and with much more to come in the next two weeks), TIFF 08 is already looking good. Here are some highlights.

Wavelengths, Sprockets Family Zone and Midnight Madness are always the first programmes to be announced in July. Wavelengths is the experimental programme of the film festival and always one of my favourites.

The quality of the film festival is all about its programmers - and someone who deserves great kudos for her work is Andrea Picard, the programmer for Wavelengths. She has an incredibly creative programming style, combining films of various genres and media in a way that speaks to their common underlying themes. She is also one of the best programme book writers. (Though the whole programme book will be available online by later this month, the write-ups are already available for Wavelengths and Midnight Madness.) This year Andrea has once again beautifully combined works from masters and newcomers alike. Of these, my high-starred pick is the Wavelengths 2 programme, already scheduled for Saturday September 6 at 6:30 at the AGO. Love in all its textures is the theme here, with films from David Gatten (How to Conduct a Love Affair), Hannes Schupbach (whose L'Atelier meditates on the rooftops of Paris - pictured at bottom), Charlotte Pryce (whose Parable of the Tulip Painter and the Fly - pictured at top - is described by Picard as having the "intoxicating colour and the velvety texture of a Dutch still life"), Astrid Ofner (who works with the love letters of Franz Kafka in Tell Me on Tuesday), Abraham Ravett (who meditates on embroidered tablecloths and napkins to convey themes of grief and loss in TZIPORAH - middle picture) and John Latham (represented by a posthumous restored print of enfant terrible). Exciting? You bet!

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