|Adele Exarcapoulos and Léa Seydoux in|
Blue is the Warmest Colour Adèle: Chapters 1 & 2
Actors have become directors. (Keanu Reeves, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ralph Fiennes have films they directed set to debut at TIFF13.) Canadians are making American films. And genre filmmaking is back in force (more on that in another post). Whether these trends will continue in the weeks to come is unknown. In many ways today's announcements are just the very tip of the iceberg content yet to come.
Just before the fest held its presser today, Cameron Bailey tweeted that they were 'honored' to be premiering Steve McQueen's Twelve Years a Slave, the true story of a free black man from the Northern United States kidnapped and sold into slavery during the years that precede the American Civil War. Race and history are two major themes of the first fruits of the global filmmaking crop of the past year. From The Fifth Estate, the Bill Conlon opening night film which tells the WikiLeaks story, to Justin Chadwick's, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, to Amma Asante's Belle, about a biracial daughter of a British Navy Admiral, filmmakers want to reimagine our history for us, and reveal the hidden stories behind the true stories of more recent times. They are not only the tales of injustice and imprisonment, these films of race and culture seem focused on how extraordinary individuals coped with the realities of his or her age.
|Agnieszka Holland's Burning Bush|
It was hard to read "USA", after the film titles of the latest works of Atom Egoyan (Devil's Knot), Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners) and Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyers Club), despite that it is a sign of their increasing success. Egoyan's film is about the West Memphis Three and stars Colin Firth (who seems to have been busy, appearing also in the much anticipated The Railway Man by Jonathan Teplitzky). Villeneuve's script is based on a project from The Black List, a script depot accessed by both filmmakers and screenwriters as a way of discovering projects. The story is a familiar one: a man whose daughter has disappeared takes up his own pursuit of her safety when police release the most likely suspect. Vallée's Dallas Buyers Club follows "the true story of accidental AIDS activist Ron Woodruff, whose cross-border smuggling network brought much-needed treatments into the hands of HIV and AIDS patients neglected by the medical establishment." It is not just that these Canadians are making films in the US, they're making such American films in the US! I am sure they will be great, but I hope so much they return home to Canada with whatever they're doing next!
|Don McKellar's The Grand Seduction|
Asghar Farhadi's first film since A Separation, Le Passé (The Past) starring Bérénice Bejo (The Artist), is a high seed, as are new films by Lukas Moodyson (We are the Best!), Caroline Link (Exit Marakkech) and Stephen Frears (Philomena), who is bringing to TIFF a star vehicle for Judi Dench that already has Oscar written all over it.
Much more to come!