Some time last week as I was driving on back roads between two small Ontario towns, I began to feel my pulse race about TIFF. After six days of road trip, my dog hana was still refusing to sit or lie down in the backseat, her body leaned up against the cushions and her gaze fixed firmly on the road through the windshield. We were chatting, she and I, about the strange unexpected contrasts life offers. It's been a tough summer in some ways and a brilliant summer in others. I was carrying both of these truths in my bones, looking out onto haystacks and solar farms, glistening ponds and silent lakes.
|Hou Hsiao-Hsien's The Assassin won the Taiwanese master the|
palme for Best Director at Cannes
|Andrew Cividino's Sleeping Giant|
While the presence of Canadian content in Cannes was less than last year, it is at least an improvement to see a Canadian film and filmmaker opening TIFF after several years of American product holding the esteemed spot. Jean-Marc Vallée's Demolition has the honour. The director of last year's Wild and 2013's brilliant Dallas Buyers Club, in Demolition he turns his lens on the story of the grief-inspired destruction spree of an investment banker. Starring Jake Gyllenhall and Naomi Watts.
|Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood in Patricia Rozema's|
Into the Forest
Page will have a busy TIFF, as Freeheld makes its world premiere in Toronto. A true life drama, Page is co-starring with Julianne Moore who plays Laurel Hester, a New Jersey detective whose battle with cancer spearheaded the question of same sex couples receiving pension benefits. The Peter Sollett film is just one of a number of high profile lesbian dramas coming out this year, alongside Haynes' Carol, and Grandma starring Lily Tomlin (whose character is lesbian) which will be released next week. Corsini's La Belle Saison (Summertime - see below) also offers a love story among women.
|Maxim Gaudette and Karelle Tremblay in|
Québecois filmmaker Anne Émond's Les Êtres Chers
Earlier in June, the festival announced programming shuffles. The shorts programs have been blended. Future Projections has been absorbed into Wavelengths (good news). Mavericks has been renamed "In Conversation With...." (also good news - there were no mavericks in Mavericks last year) and there are two new programmes: Platform, a juried competitive new directors series meant to showcase "original, personal" filmmaking by directors of "high artistic merit" and Primetime, which looks at "Serial storytelling: television in its artistic renaissance". Both of these programs have been announced and will be featured in another blog post.
|Christopher Plummer in Atom Egoyan's Remember|
which will have its North American debut at TIFF.
|Cécile De France and Izïa Higelin in|
Catherine Corsini's La Belle Saison (or Summertime)
25 days and counting!