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1-20 of 22 items from 2012   « Prev | Next »


Jews in the News: Three Films on the Holocaust: Three Generations

18 October 2012 6:30 AM, PDT | Sydney's Buzz | See recent Sydney's Buzz news »

Recently three outstanding pictures have come out that deal with the first, second and third generations of survivors of the Shoah.

The issues being dealt with in all three are memories of individuals and collective memory, as seen through the prism of the ever changing present. The present colors how memories are recalled from the past.  The subject of memory was dealt with brilliantly (aside from Proust) recently by  Asja Makarevic, the 20-something-year-old Manager of Sarajevo's Talent Campus who lived through the siege of Sarajevo as a young girl.  Using two 45 minute films made before the Bosnian war and after by Bosnian director Namik Kabil who lived in Santa Monica, Calfornia during the war, she presents a discussion of the present handling of memories from the recent seige of Bosnia-Herzogovina by the Serbians which lasted from 1992 to 1995.  The films explore how the past overshadows the present and shapes the characters’ and the real individuals’ present life situation.  The immense impact of the past on their present lives also distorts their visions of the future.   In fact, there is no future perspective.  The characters and the real people show a great reluctance to discuss war experiences and it results in their denial of the atrocities of war.  Makarevic asks, How can the future be anticipated if there are still unresolved issues with the past? 

All our lives are shaped by the memories of the past and how we deal with those memories in our ever-changing present.  These 3 films reflect on the souls of the victims and survivors of the Holocaust as they do on every group of peoples today.  We are all victims, survivors and perpetrators, even those who only read of wars in the comfort of their homes as they read the news over coffee and breakfast.

A documentary competing for a Academy Award nomination as Best Documentary, The Flat by Arnon Goldfinger  will open in New York on October 19 and in Los Angeles on October 24 and will continue rolling out nationally.   It has sold to IFC for U.S., where Sundance Select will release it, Scandinavia and U.K.  It ran for six months theatrically in Germany and was Israel's highest grossing theatrical documentary.  It has won the Ophir (the Israeli equivalent to the Academy Awards) for Best Documentary film for Art houses in Israel, The Best Documentary Directing Award at the Jerusalem Film Festival, the Bavarian Film Award for Best Documentary, Best Documentary Editing  at Tribeca, Best Doc at the Israeli Documentary Forum and the David A. Stein Memorial Award at the Toronto Jewish Film Festival.  International sales are by the German sales agent Salzgeber. 

The Flat tells the story of the grandson's search for answers to the enigma of his grandparents.  "The flat on the third floor of a Bauhaus building in Tel Aviv was where my grandparents lived since they immigrated to Palestine in the 1930s. Were it not for the view from the windows, one might have thought that the flat was in Berlin. When my grandmother passed away at the age of 98 we were called to the flat to clear out what was left. Objects, pictures, letters and documents awaited us, revealing traces of a troubled and unknown past."

The film which begins with the emptying out of the flat develops into a riveting tale of the grandparents of the filmmaker, a story of their lifelong friendship with the Nazi ideologue who invented The Final Solution and was Adolf Eichman’s boss.  The filmmaker’s own mother never knew anything about the friendship, and the grandson must search for answers as to why and how they could remain friends after their 1933 trip with him to Jerusalem and their subsequent patriation in Israel as Zionists the same year.  After the war they renewed their friendship.  The Nazi’s own daughter knew only part of this story of deeply repressed family emotions on both sides of the enemy line.

My discussion with Arnon Goldfinger began with my question of why he never made another film after his 2000 theatrical doc The Comediant which like The Flat also won the Israeli Film Award.  No reason other than he has been busy teaching film at all of Israel's film schools including the Sam Speigel School and currently Tel Aviv University film school where he received his own degree.  While I was not thrilled with the ending which seemed so unresolved, or with his mother who seemed too ignorant of her own parents' lives, Arnon stressed that the main thing was that he started asking questions and as he went deeper and deeper, there grew a sort of understaning that there are unsolvabble mysteries in memories;  one cannot enter people's hearts.  He paraphrased a phrase often heard on Israeli TV: "The present is happy now, the future is unpredictable; only the past keeps changing and changing."  He also notes that,  "even if no one in our family will admit it whole-heartedly, the fact that we are descendants of German Jews has had a profound effect on shaping each of our personalities.  And yet, the topic of our roots was never an issue or a subject for much discussion in our daily life in Israel.  Quite the contrary, the old-worldness of our grandparents was always treated with a sense of cynicism....it was only after my grandmother's death that I realized that the flat contained a treasure that could illuminate the present as well as the past."

The important thing is to be seeking the truth.  His mother was trained not to ask her parents about the past.  Unconsciously she understood there would a lot of pain anad suffering if her parents began to talk of their experiences.  But in the course of the film, she underwent a process from disinterest to interest; she went twice to Berlin.  She could not express it but something moved within her.  And at the other end, Arnon is still in touch with the German daughter of the Nazi friends of his grandparents and she accepted the film when she saw it.  There is no resolution of the paradox of his parents' friendship.  Arnon's main motivation in making the film was to learn what happened, but that became less important than learning that the reason people did not talk of the Nazi experience was not a matter of fact but of emotion and if one does not ask, one will not know that emotional impact.  Emotional impact itself is a continuing process.  Goldfinger still cannot assess the film's emotional impact on himself; it is a process that continues as must the discussion and questioning of the past;.  The impact is a continual process and the memories change shape as our present points of view change.

In Toronto I cited Margarethe Von Trotta’s Hannah Arendt, (Isa: The Match Factory is screening it at Afm November 1, 9 am)  in my blog When Are Films Political: The Brave Films of Toronto International Film Festival).  She herself was a survivor who, during her coverage of Eichman's trial in Jerusalem, found herself abandoned by many of her best friends in New York on account of her tough assessment of the nature of totalitarianism which includes victims and oppressors in a cycle of silence which in turn creates evil because no one speaks up to protest. Her implicating the Jews in this cycle caused outrage in the Jewish community.

Margarethe von Trotta, a filmmaker who is fearless in facing deeply philosophical and important issues, will be presented with the Leo Baeck Medal for this film which resonates profoundly in the tradition of Rabbi Leo Baeck and the Institute named in his honor.  As the last public representative of the Jewish Community of Germany under the Nazis, Leo Baeck worked to protect German Jews from persecution, helping many Jews emigrate and traveling widely to bring the plight of German Jews to international attention. He refused offers to save himself by emigrating and instead submitted to deportation to the Theresienstadt concentration camp rather than abandon his community. After the liberation, Baeck moved to London, but he continued to teach around the world, including in the United States, the nascent Federal Republic of Germany, and the State of Israel. Today, the work of the Leo Baeck Institute continues to reflect this commitment to dialogue. The annual Gala dinner will be held November 28 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York.

The third film, The Matchmaker (Isa and U.S. Distributor: Menamsha) is playing its 9th week in N.Y., played more than 9 weeks in L.A. and continues to open nationally as it earns prizes in festivals.  I loved this film with the old-fashioned love of good movies I used to feel before I “got in the business”, and yet it goes beyond the expected.  Kenneth Turan of L.A. Times gives it a sterling review for the same reasons, "more honest than formulaic, an offbeat look at an in-between, questioning time in Israeli history".  

Director Avi Nesher is quoted as saying, “Like many Sabras, I had a very difficult time understanding and accepting that the European Jews, like my parents, were ever so hapless during wartime in Europe.

We Israelis were brought up as the ‘new Jews/ and the ‘super Jews’. Empathy toward Holocaust survivors was discouraged. Indeed, we are guilty of a great sin. Our parents suffered greatly ‘there’ and we offered no sympathy ‘here’.

I wrote and directed the film The Matchmaker as an homage to my parents. I believe that no matter what the question is, love is always the answer. The film focuses on love to ease survivors' suffering. My parents used much love to create a life for my sister and me, and as sane a life as was possible for them under the circumstances. I find this hugely admirable and a true life lesson."

These three films are so powerful in pointing out the complexities and even contradictions of people wherever the Shoah is in the spotlight.  Human nature, being what it is, creates many shades of gray and these shades, discussed in these three films, are as fascinating as art by Mark Rothko or Joseph Albers.  Watching these three films is not only important but is totally compelling.

»

- Sydney Levine

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Toronto International Film Festival: The Female Factor

21 September 2012 4:30 AM, PDT | Sydney's Buzz | See recent Sydney's Buzz news »

This year’s Toronto  was competing in my psyche with the recent loss of my mother.  My focus was less on finding the greatest of films this year.  I hear from others that the festival offered a good mix, if not the most outstanding, selection of films.  Personally, I am discovering that a new community has opened its arms to me and the films that are standing out most for me are by women and about women.  My community, those women who have lost their mothers, is sharing a unique and profound rite of passage whose meaning continuously unfolds.

In Toronto I was hyper aware of the women and their position in this corner of the world I inhabit.  Canadian women, Helga Stephenson, Director Emerita of the Toronto Film Festival, predecessor to Piers Handling;  Michele Maheux, Executive Director and COO of Tiff ever since I've known her which has been a long time;  Linda Beath who headed United Artists when I was beginning my career and who has since moved to Europe where she teaches at Eave (European Audio Visual Entrepreneurs), Kay Armitrage, programmer of the festival for 24 years and professor at University of Toronto, are all women to helped me envisage myself as a professional in the film business, and they are still as vibrant and active as when we met more than 25 years ago.  Carolle Brabant, Telefilm Canada’s Executive Director continues Canada’s female lineage as does Karen Thorne-Stone, the President and CEO of Ontario Media Development Corporation. 

18 films currently are in a large part attributable to Omdc; they include Nisha Pahuja’s doc The World Before Her (contact Cinetic) (Best Doc Feature of 2012 Tribeca Ff), Sarah Polley’s Take This Waltz (Isa: TF1), Deepa Mehta’s Midnight’s Children (Isa: FilmNation), Anita Doron’s The Lesser Blessed, (Isa: EOne) Ruba Nadda’s Inescapable (Isa: Myriad), Alison Rose’s doc, Following the Wise Men.

Tiff’s  new program for year-round support of mid-level Canadian filmmakers, Studio, under the directorship of Hayet Benkara is bringing industry mentorship to 16 filmmakers with experience, shorts in the festival circuit, features in development.  Exactly half of these filmmakers are women.  This was a conscious move on Hayet’s part.  She said there is always such a predominance of males without thinking about it that she decided to bring balance.

Then a look at some more of the Canadian talent here brings me to the Birks Diamonds celebration of seven Canadian women: Anais Barbeau-Lavalette, Manon Briand, Anita Doron, Deepa Mehta (Midnight’s Children), Kate Melville, and Ruba Nadda which honored each with a Birks diamond pendant in a reception hosted by Shangri-La Hotel and Telefilm Canada where 300 guests mingled and caught up with each other.  The pre-eminence of women was again made so apparent to me.

Talking to publicist Jim Dobson at Indie PR at the reception of Jordanian filmmaker Annemarie Jacir whose film When I Saw You was so evocative of the 60s, a time of worldwide freedom and even optimism among the fedayeem in Jordan looking to resist the Expulsion of the Palestinians from Palestine; he said that all five of his clients here are women directors, “I had When I Saw You, (Isa: The Match Factory),  Satellite Boy (Isa: Celluloid Dreams/ Nightmare), Hannah Arendt (The Match Factory), Inch'allah  (Isa: eOne),  English Vinglish (Isa: Eros Int')."

Of the 289 features here at Tiff, Melissa Silverstein at Women and Hollywood is trying to zero in on the women directors, so watch her blogs More Women-Directed Films Nab Deals out of Tiff,  Tiff Preview: Women Directors to Watch  and Tiff Preview: The Female Directing Masters Playing at the 2012 Toronto Film Festival.

Add to this the upcoming Sundance initiative on women directors that Keri Putnam is heading up (more on that later!) and I am feeling heartened by the consciousness of women, directors and otherwise, out there.  That is saying a lot since last season in Cannes with the pathetic number of women directors showing up in the festival and sidebars this past spring.

Here is the Female Factor for Tiff 12 which scores an A in my book:

Gala Presentations  - 6 out of 20 = c. 30% which is way above the usual 13% which has been the average up until Cannes upended that with its paltry 2%..2 of these were opening night films.

Mira Nair The Reluctant Fundamentalist - Also showed in Venice.  Isa: K5. Picked up for U.S. and Canada by IFC. Shola Lynch Free Angela & All Political Prisoners.  Isa: Elle Driver Deepa Mehta Midnight’s Children. Isa: FilmNation already sold to Roadshow for Australia/ N.Z., Unikorea for So. Korea, DeaPlaneta for Spain. Ruba Nadda Inescapable.  Isa: Myriad.  Canada: Alliance. Liz Garbus Love, Marilyn. Isa: StudioCanal. HBO picked up No. American TV rights. Madman has Australia. Gauri Shinde English Vinglish. Isa: Eros International.

Masters – 0 – Could we say that women directors have not been around that long or shown such longevity as the men?  Lina Wertmiller was a long time ago.  I don’t even know if she is still alive.  Ida Lupino was an anomaly.  Who else was there in those early days?  Alice Guy-Blaché ?

Special Presentations - 13 out of  70 = 19%

Everybody Has A Plan - Argentina/ Germany/ Spain - Ana Piterbarg - Isa:  Twentieth Century Fox International - U.S.:  Ld Entertainment, U.K.: Metrodome Lines Of Wellington - Also in Venice, San Sebastian Ff - Portugal - Valeria Sarmiento - Isa: Alfama Films. Germany: Ksm Cloud Atlas--Germany - Lana  Wachowski, Tom  Tykwer, Andy  Wachowski - Isa: Focus Int'l. - U.S. and Canada: Warner Bros. , Brazil - Imagem, Finland - Future Film, Eastern Europe - Eeap, Germany X Verleih, Greece - Odeon, Iceland - Sensa, India - PVR, So. Korea - Bloomage, Benelux - Benelux Film Distributors, Inspire, Slovenia - Cenemania, Sweden - Noble, Switzerland - Ascot Elite, Taiwan - Long Shong, Turkey - Chantier Inch'allah – Canada - Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette - Isa and Canada: Entertainment One Films Hannah Arendt – Germany – Margarethe von Trotta – Isa: The Match Factory Imogine – U.S. – Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini  - Isa: Voltage.  U.S.: Lionsgate/ Roadside Attractions acquired from UTA, Netherlands: Independent Ginger and Rosa – U.K. – Sally  Potter –  Isa: The Match Factory.  U.S. contact Cinetic Love is All You Need – Also played in Venice) Denmark – Susanne Bier – Isa: TrustNordisk - U.S. : Sony Pictures Classics, Canada: Mongrel, Australia - Madman, Brazil - Art Films, Bulgaria - Pro Films, Colombia - Babilla Cine, Czech Republic - Aerofilms, Finland - Matila Rohr Nordisk, Germany - Prokino, Hungary - Cirko, Italy - Teodora, Japan - Longride, Poland - Gutek, Portugal - Pepperview Lore – Australia/ Germany/ U.K. – Cate Shortland – Isa: Memento. U.S.: Music Box, France: Memento, Germany - Piffl, Hong Hong - Encore Inlight, So. Korea - Line Tree, Benelux - ABC/ Cinemien, U.K., Artificial Eye Dreams for Sale – Japan – Miwa Nishkawa – Isa: Asmik Ace Stories We Tell – Canada – Sarah Polley - Isa: Nfb. U.K.: Artificial Eye Liverpool – Canada – Marion Briand - Isa: Max Films. Canada: Remstar Venus and Serena – U.S./ U.K. – Michelle Major, Maikin Baird. Producer's Rep: Cinetic 

Mavericks - 3 out of 7 “Conversations With” were with women (43%)

Discovery 11 out of 27 = 40% which includes The-Hottest-Public Ticket for the Israeli Film directly below (a Major Buzz Film Among its Public)

Fill the Void by Rama Burshtein, a first-time-ever Hasidic woman director Kate Melville’s Picture Day Alice Winocour Augustine - Isa: Kinology 7 Cajas by Tana Schembori from Paraguay - Isa: Shoreline Gabriela Pichler’s Eat Sleep Die from Sweden, Serbia and Croatia - Isa: Yellow Affair Oy Rola Nashef’s Detroit Unleaded France’s Sylive Michel’s Our Little Differences Contact producer Pallas Film Russian censored film Clip from Serbia by Maja Milos - Isa: Wide sold to Kmbo for France, Maywin for Sweden, Artspoitation for U.S. Satellite Boy by Australian Catriona McKenzie - Isa: Celluloid Dreams/ Nightmares Ramaa Mosley’s The Brass Teapot - Isa: TF1  sold to Magnolia for U.S., Intercontinental for Hong Kong, Cien for Mexico, Vendetta for New Zealand Veteran Korean-American Grace Lee’s Janeane from Des Moines.

Tiff Docs  7 out of 29 = 24% - Women traditionally have directed a greater portion of docs

Christine Cynn (codirector ) The Act of Killing - Isa: Cinephil Janet Tobias No Place on Earth - Isa: Global Screen Sarah Burns (codirector) The Central Park Five Isa: PBS sold to Sundance Select for U.S. Treva Wurmfeld Shepard & Dark - Contact Tangerine Entertainment Nina Davenport First Comes Love - Contact producer Marina Zenovich Roman Polanski: Odd Man Out - Isa: Films Distribution Halla Alabdalla As If We Were Catching a Cobra (Comme si nous attraptions un cobra) about the art of caricature in Egypt and Syria!  Halla is Syrian herself, studied science and sociology in Syria and Paris - Isa: Wide

Contemporary World Cinema 11 out of 61 = 18%

Children of Sarajevo by Aida Begic, Sarajevo - Isa: Pyramide Baby Blues by Katarzyna Rostaniec, Poland. Contact producer The Cowards Who Looked to the Sky by Yuki Tanada, Japan - Isa: Toei Comrade Kim Goes Flying by Anja Daelemans (co-director), Belgium/ No. Korea. The first western financed film out of No. Korea Three Worlds by Catherine Corsini, France - Isa: Pyramide sold to Lumiere for Benelux, Pathe for Switzerland Middle of Nowhere by Ava DuVernay, U.S. - Contact Paradigm Talent Agency The Lesser Blessed by Anita Doron, Canada - Isa: eOne Watchtower by Pelin Esmer, Turkey/ France/ Germany- Isa: Visit Films Jackie by Antoinette Beumer, Netherlands - Isa: Media Luna When I Saw You by Annemarie Jacir, Palestine,/ Jordan/ Greece All that Matters is Past by Sara Johnsen, Norway- Isa: TrustNordisk

Tiff Kids 0 out of 5.  Any meaning to this???

City To City – Mumbai 0 Out Of 10 Any meaning to this???

Vanguard  2 out of 15 = 13% (the average for most festivals)

90 Minutes– Norway – Eva Sorhaug - Isa: Level K Peaches Does Herself – Germany - Peaches. Contact producer.  See Indiewire review.

Midnight Madness 0 out of 9 which is fine with me, thank you.  This is a boy's genre or a date-night genre for girls and boys with a plan for the night.

»

- Sydney Levine

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When Are Films Political: The Brave Films of Toronto International Film Festival

17 September 2012 4:30 AM, PDT | Sydney's Buzz | See recent Sydney's Buzz news »

Five brave films have made Tiff stand out in a very particular way for me this year.  Usually I, among hordes of others, am busiest chasing down the next Academy Award contenders, the high priced U.S. acquisitions or the major sleeper of the festival.  Those films are repeatedly covered by the trades, and my Rights Roundup will keep a running talley on all announced pickups worldwide of all the films.  

These other brave films are the films which motivate our best filmmakers to create works of art in the first place of filmmaking on my charts.

I already covered Annemarie Jacir's newest film, When I Saw You (Isa: The Match Factory), about a young Palestinian boy in 1967 who, when placed in a Jordanian camp with his mother, insists on returning to his home to find his father. Annemarie is a beautifully determined Jordanian filmmaker who will make films which reflect our world's diversity, speaking out for women and children who would otherwise have no voice. Although there are several films dealing with these refugee camps of Palestinians which were supposed to be temporary but have remained in countries such as Lebanon and Jordan. for three generations, further marginalizing the dispossessed, this one stands out for me because it shows the woman and child in their own private spheres, marginalizing the male politics of the situation.  The child's refusal to accept artificial barriers and borders triumphs in the end. That is the only hope for world unity.

Its opposite is realized in Costa Gavras' new film Capital, where money and corporate interests know no borders, and the socialist dream is turned on its head. This film was supported by the French; When I Saw You was supported by Abu Dhabi film funds.  Both are important views of life in two vastly different segments of the world today.  Will either see wide distribution? The Match Factory who has the most films in Toronto of any sales agent is selling the former and Elle Driver is selling the latter.  We'll watch the sales on these two issue oriented dramas' sales.

Another film The Match Factory is handling is Hannah Arendt, directed by Margarethe von Trotta, another filmmaker who is fearless in facing deeply philosophical and important issue.  Hannah Arendt, one of the greatest political analysts of the Xx° century, who coined the phrase, "the banality of evil" when she covered the Jerusalem trial of Adolph Eichmann in 1961, and, in so doing, lost many of her best friends, is here portrayed by Barbara Sukowa, who revives the 60s in the New York German Jewish intellectual milieu, reminding us of the days when the New School was tackling tough issues and New Yorker magazine was articulating issues of great importance which today are just as urgent as they were then. The nature of totalitarianism includes victims and oppressors in a cycle of silence which in turn, creates evil because no one speaks up to protest.  It took Von Trotta 10 years to make this film in spite of her winning the Venice Fest's Golden Lion for Marianne and Juliane in 1981, a story sharing the theme that von Trotta uses throughout her works, that “the personal is political", or Barbara Sukowa's winning Best Actress for in Venice for the same movie and Best Actress at the 1986 Cannes Film Festival for her work in von Trotta's film Rosa Luxemburg.  The New York of this story ("Paradise" as the most wonderful Barbara Sukowa named it in Hannah Arendt) is so well captured because Barbara Sukowa is not only the consummate German as seen in her roles in Fassbinder's films but is also a longtime New Yorker, married to the artist Robert Longo.  In addition to those credentials, the scriptwriter is Pamela Katz who wrote Von Trotta's Rosenstrasse is also a New Yorker married to the German Dp Florian Ballhaus (The Devil Wears Prada), the son of the legendary Michael Ballhaus.  They all live in the same New York that they inherited from the very people they recreate in the film!

And yet another brave film about a brave woman is The Patience Stone (Isa: Le Pacte) by Atik Rahimi which was just picked up for U.S. by Sony Pictures Classics which will ignite a lot more sales for Le Pacte and which puts it into the Best Foreign Language Academy Award company for 2012. So far, Brazil is the only buyer registered on Cinando.  Watch the film on Cinando!  It is pure poetry.  Piers Handling himself recommended it and it was the buzz film of the festival.  It is a movie which Muslim fundamentalists would never allow to be made; and they will hate it.

The issue of religious fundamentalism was also treated with great delicacy in Mira Nair's story of cross cultural belief systems at odds. The Reluctant Fundamentalist (Isa: K5 International who also sold the great sleeper, The Visitors) stars Riz Ahmed, Kate Hudson, Liev Schreiber and Kiefer Sutherland.  Riz Ahmed who also starred in Trishna is someone who you will want to see again, and I hope we see him soon!  He graduated Oxford University with a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics and later enrolled into London's Central School of Speech and Drama.  He's quoted in IMDb as saying, "[Oxford University] is socially unrepresentative about the real world.  The first person I met, I asked to borrow a phone charger.  She looked at me, laughed in my face, and told me with no irony or malice that I looked just like Ali G."  Ironically, he reminds me of Gordon Warnicke who played Omar in My Beautiful Laundrette and who is British born of South American and German ancestry (and who is probably Jewish).  IFC snapped up North American rights to this outstanding film in which Pakistan and Wall Street unite and divide as a smart young Pakistani enters the Hallowed Halls of the Ivy League, Big Business on Wall Street and High Society via Romance until September 11, 2001 shatters the illusions of peace and prosperity we all had been harboring.

There are many more brave and wonderful films which screened this year at Tiff, but for me, these were the ones I was honored to catch.  I hope my readers get the chance to see these!

»

- Sydney Levine

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Tiff 2012. Correspondences #5

12 September 2012 10:36 PM, PDT | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

Dear Danny,

Ah, Passion. Perhaps not the film of the festival for me (that’s still Like Someone in Love), but certainly the one that most tickled my cinephilia. Like Kiarostami’s film, it’s a wondrous feat (a series of feats, really) of misdirection. Who are these characters who look like Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace and Karoline Herfurth but are actually gimlet-eyed projections from cinema’s past? Abstractions, sure, yet when do abstractions exude such a feeling of heated flesh, of shards of fantasies being moved around the screen like drops of mercury? The layers upon layers of De Palma’s artifice dare us to find out. It’s a crazy, thorny spiral of a movie, not “campy” but funny. Think of McAdams, done up like a parody of Grace Kelly (her blonde hair for some reason looking like a wig) in her wood-paneled office with the word “Image” spelled in red, »

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Tiff Capsule Review: 'Hannah Arendt'

9 September 2012 12:29 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

"Hannah Arendt" looks through a narrow window at the early 1960’s, when the German-born Jewish philosophy professor drew controversial conclusions in her 1963 New Yorker coverage of the Adolf Eichmann trial in Jerusalem. Arendt concluded that Eichmann, the runaway former Nazi official whom the Israelis kidnapped in Argentina in 1960, represented the "banality of evil," the bureaucratic willingness to follow the most evil of orders. She also pointed out that Jewish leaders helped organize deportation of Jews for the Nazis. In Margarethe von Trotta’s period drama, filmed in the grey tones of the time, we see Arendt defending herself, which she did against critics in the press, in her university, and in Israel (which sent officials to the Us to demand that she not publish a book based on her New Yorker articles). Barbara Sukowa (looking a bit more like Ayn Rand than Arendt) plays a tough Hannah, who stands her »

- David D'Arcy

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Toronto International Film Festival 2012 Lineup

22 August 2012 3:59 PM, PDT | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

Above: Ernie Gehr's Auto-Collider Xv.

The vast bulk of Tiff's 2012 has been announced and listed here, below. We'll be updating the lineup with the previous films announced, as well as updating links to specific films for more information on them in the coming days. Of particular note is that the Wavelengths and Visions programs have been combined to create what is undoubtedly the most interesting section of the festival. Stay tuned, too, for our own on the ground coverage of Tiff.

Galas

A Royal Affair (Nikolai Arcel, Demark/Sweden/Czech Republic/Germany)

Argo (Ben Affleck, USA)

The Company You Keep (Robert Redford, USA)

Dangerous Liaisons (Hur Jin-ho, China)

Emperor (Peter Webber, Japan/USA)

English Vinglish (Gauri Shinde, India)

Free Angela & All Political Prisoners (Shola Lynch)

Great Expectations (Mike Newell, UK)

Hyde Park on Hudson (Roger Michell, UK)

Inescapable (Ruba Nadda, Canada)

Jayne Mansfield's Car (Billy Bob Thorton, USA/Russia)

Looper (Rian Johnson, »

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2012 Toronto Film Festival Adds De Palma's 'Passion', Bier, 'Yellow,' 'Spring Breakers' and 'Smashed'

14 August 2012 11:03 AM, PDT | Rope of Silicon | See recent Rope Of Silicon news »

I now have to accept the fact there will be several films showing at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival that I simply won't be able to see. I have gone to Cannes three straight years and this will be my third year in Toronto and of the six festivals I've never seen a line-up packed with so many highly anticipated films and today the fest added even more. Sending out the complete line-up today the fest has added three films to their Galas selection and 18 Special Presentations along with several Contemporary World Cinema selections, the latter of which includes James Ponsoldt's Smashed which is said to feature a performance from Mary Elizabeth Winstead that may be up for Oscar consideration. The announcement confirmed Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master will be part of the Special Presentations selection as will Brian De Palma's Passion, a remake of Love Crime »

- Brad Brevet

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2012 Toronto International Film Festival Unveils Galas & Special Presentations; Hyde Park On Hudson, To The Wonder, The Place Beyond The Pines, Byzantium On Lineup

24 July 2012 9:25 AM, PDT | WeAreMovieGeeks.com | See recent WeAreMovieGeeks.com news »

Jayne Mansfield.s Car

Piers Handling, CEO and Director of Tiff, and Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director of the Toronto International Film Festival, made the first announcement of films to premiere at the 37th Toronto International Film Festival. Films announced include titles in the Galas and Special Presentations programmes. The announced films include 17 Galas and 45 Special Presentations, including 38 world premieres.

Toronto audiences will be the first to see the world premieres of films from directors Andrew Adamson, Ben Affleck, David Ayer, Maiken Baird, Noah Baumbach, J.A. Bayona, Stuart Blumberg, Josh Boone, Laurent Cantet, Sergio Castellitto, Stephen Chbosky, Lu Chuan, Derek Cianfrance, Nenad Cicin-Sain, Costa-Gavras, Ziad Doueiri, Liz Garbus, Dustin Hoffman, Rian Johnson, Neil Jordan, Baltasar Kormákur, Shola Lynch, Deepa Mehta, Roger Michell, Nishikawa Miwa, Ruba Nadda, Mike Newell, François Ozon, Sally Potter, Robert Pulcini & Shari Springer Berman, Eran Riklis, David O. Russell, Gauri Shinde, Ben Timlett & Bill Jones & Jeff Simpson, Tom Tykwer & Andy Wachowski & Lana Wachowski, »

- Michelle McCue

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Tiff announces typically stacked first wave of features

24 July 2012 8:59 AM, PDT | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

Terrence Malick.  Mateo Garrone. Rian Johnson. Noah Baumbach. Joss Whedon. Neil Jordan. Francois Ozon. Joe Wright. Thomas Vinterbeg. Derek Cianfrance. All of these filmmakers, plus loads more, will be among those presenting new feature films at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, which runs from Sept. 6th to 16th. Of the 61 films announced this morning, Rian Johnson’s sci-fi actioner Looper will open the fest (a clear upgrade from Score! A Hockey Musical, to be sure), while the others are divvied up between Gala and Special Presentation screenings. Of note: rumors of Terrence Malick’s swift return to the big screen have turned out to be well-founded (barring some last-minute delay); his To the Wonder has been confirmed, along with a raft of well-received Cannes exports like Pablo Lorrain’s No and Mateo Garrone’s Reality. The most insane part of today’s already-stellar announcement is that there’s loads more to come, »

- Simon Howell

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Toronto film festival 2012: the full programme

24 July 2012 8:57 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

The films screened at this year's Toronto film festival – as the programme release is staggered, this will be updated as more information comes in

The 37th Toronto Film Festival runs September 6 - 16 2012. This article will be updated as official announcements detailing the full line-up are released.

Opening night film

Looper, Dir: Rian Johnson

World premieres

Argo, Dir: Ben Affleck

Byzantium, Dir: Neil Jordan

Capital, Dir: Costa-Gavras

Cloud Atlas, Dir: Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski

The Deep (Djúpið), Dir: Baltasar Kormákur

Dreams for Sale, Dir: Nishikawa Miwa

End Of Watch, Dir: David Ayer

English Vinglish, Dir: Gauri Shinde

Foxfire, Dir: Laurent Cantet

Frances Ha, Dir: Noah Baumbach

Free Angela & All Political Prisoners, Dir: Shola Lynch

Ginger and Rosa, Dir: Sally Potter

Great Expectations, Dir: Mike Newell

Hannah Arendt, Dir: Margarethe von Trotta

Hyde Park on Hudson, Dir: Roger Michell

Imogene, Dir: Robert Pulcini

The Impossible, Dir: J.A. Bayona

In the House, »

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Rian Johnson’s “Looper” opening stellar Toronto International Film Fest

24 July 2012 8:30 AM, PDT | Hollywoodnews.com | See recent Hollywoodnews.com news »

By Sean O’Connell

Hollywoodnews.com: Rian Johnson’s time-travel thriller “Looper” will open the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, it was reported on Tuesday in Variety.

Johnson made splashes at Tiff with his previous films – the high-school-set film noir “Brick” and the quirky con caper “The Brothers Bloom.” But “Looper” finds him working with major Hollywood talents Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the story of an assassin (Gordon-Levitt) who eliminates criminals sent back through time to our present day. Troubles arise when Jgl’s next target is himself (Bruce Willis), from a not-so-distant future.

The first wave of Tiff programming reads like a laundry list of can’t-wait-to-see features for the upcoming awards season. Ben Affleck’s back with the political drama “Argo.” We’ll get our first look at “Cloud Atlas,” from Tom Tykwer and the Wachowskis. David O. Russell, Derek Cianfrance, Mike Newell, David Ayer, »

- Sean O'Connell

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Toronto 2012 unveils full slate of Galas and Special Presentations

24 July 2012 8:29 AM, PDT | Hollywoodnews.com | See recent Hollywoodnews.com news »

By Sean O’Connell

Hollywoodnews.com: Earlier, we brought you a snapshot glance at the first wave of programming announced for the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. Shortly after, the fest released a thorough breakdown of the Galas and Special Presentations for this year’s event, which kicks off on Thursday, Sept. 6.

So far, 17 Galas and 45 Special Presentations have been announced, including 38 world premieres. Andrew Adamson, Ben Affleck, David Ayer, Maiken Baird, Noah Baumbach, J.A. Bayona, Stuart Blumberg, Josh Boone, Laurent Cantet, Sergio Castellitto, Stephen Chbosky, Lu Chuan, Derek Cianfrance, Nenad Cicin-Sain, Costa-Gavras, Ziad Doueiri, Liz Garbus, Dustin Hoffman, Rian Johnson, Neil Jordan, Baltasar Kormákur, Shola Lynch, Deepa Mehta, Roger Michell, Nishikawa Miwa, Ruba Nadda, Mike Newell, François Ozon, Sally Potter, Robert Pulcini & Shari Springer Berman, Eran Riklis, David O. Russell, Gauri Shinde, Ben Timlett & Bill Jones & Jeff Simpson, Tom Tykwer & Andy Wachowski & Lana Wachowski, Margarethe von Trotta, Joss Whedon and »

- Sean O'Connell

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Toronto International Film Festival 2012 – The Films

24 July 2012 8:00 AM, PDT | Blogomatic3000 | See recent Blogomatic3000 news »

This years line-up for the Toronto Internation Film festival has been announced and yet again the festival is full of heavy-hitters, none moreso than Rian Johnson’s Looper starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis and Emily Blunt. A total of 61 Gala’s & Special Presentations have been confirmed to screen at the festival and we have the full organised list courtesy of Movie Knight.

Opening Night Film

Rian Johnson’s Looper

Gala’s

Ben Affleck’s Argo Billy Bob Thorton’s Jayne Mansfield’s Car Liz Garbus’ Love Marilyn Shola Lynch’s Free Angela and All Political Prisoners David O. Russell’s Silver Lining Playbook Derek Cianfrance’s The Place Beyond the Pines Deepa Mehta’s Midnight Children Roger Mitchell’s Hyde Park on Hudson Mike Newell’s Great Expectations Rubba Nadda’s Inescapable Sergio Castelitto’s Twice Born Gauri Shinde’s English Vinglish Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist Robert Redford »

- Phil

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Toronto International Film Festival Line-Up Includes Malick, Affleck, Wachowskis

24 July 2012 7:49 AM, PDT | MTV Movies Blog | See recent MTV Movies Blog news »

Has the summer movie season gotten you down? Did some of those hopeful-looking blockbusters disappoint you? Well, we have some good news for you. Today we learned the date of the start of fall movie season: September 6, the opening of the Toronto International Film Festival.

This year, the Tiff line-up is heavily skewed toward world premieres, instead of relying on repeats from Cannes and Sundance. Among the high-profile bows scheduled for the fest are Terrence Malick's "To The Wonder," the Wachowskis' "Cloud Atlas," and Rian Johnson's "Looper," which will open Tiff.

Read more about the line-up and check out the full list after the jump!

There's a lot to digest here, and every time we take another look at the list, we catch another surprise. There's "The Place Beyond The Pines," Derek Cianfrance's follow-up to "Blue Valentine" with Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper. "The Perks of Being a Wallflower »

- Kevin P. Sullivan

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Toronto Film Festival will feature 'Cloud Atlas,' 'Looper,' Terrence Malick, Joss Whedon, and more

24 July 2012 7:39 AM, PDT | EW - Inside Movies | See recent EW.com - Inside Movies news »

Organizers for September’s Toronto International Film Festival (Tiff) announced a slate of movies guaranteed to please cinephiles. The festival will open with Rian Johnson’s time-twisty thriller Looper, and will also include the world premiere of the mysterious Wachowski/Tykwer collabo-adaptation of Cloud Atlas, Ben Affleck’s true-life thriller Argo, David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook, and Joss Whedon’s shot-in-a-fortnight adaptation of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. The festival will also feature the next movie by auteur Terrence Malick, the Ben Affleck/Rachel McAdams headlined To The Wonder. (That makes two Terrence Malick movies in two consecutive years — a new record! »

- Darren Franich

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Toronto International Film Festival Line-Up Announced

24 July 2012 6:34 AM, PDT | HeyUGuys.co.uk | See recent HeyUGuys news »

The line-up for this year’s Toronto International Film Festival has been officially announced across the Atlantic this morning – local time, and it is simply amazing.

Opening the festival will be Rian Johnson’s hotly-anticipated Looper, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and joining it are a slew of fantastic films, many of which making their world / North American premieres, with highlights including Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing, Ben Affleck’s Argo, Derek Cianfrance’s The Place Beyond the Pines, Tom Tykwer and the Wachowski brothers’ Cloud Atlas, Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha, David Ayer’s End of Watch, Mike Newell’s Great Expectations, Stuart Blumberg’s Thanks for Sharing, and Terrence Malick’s To the Wonder.

That suggests that Nicolas Winding Refn’s Only God Forgives with Ryan Gosling is almost certainly going to be debuting at Venice, as expected.

Variety are the ones to officially confirm the line-up, which »

- Kenji Lloyd

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Amazing Lineup Announced for 2012 Toronto International Film Festival

24 July 2012 6:16 AM, PDT | Rope of Silicon | See recent Rope Of Silicon news »

The fact this is only the start of the films announced for the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival is staggering. I don't even think someone's wishlist could have matched what we're looking at and there is still more to be announced. But we'll worry about what's to come soon enough, let's have a look at what will be arriving. First taking a look at the World Premieres we see the opening night film, Rian Johnson's time travel feature Looper starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis and Emily Blunt followed by the highly anticipated Wachowski sibling feature Cloud Atlas; Ben Affleck will bring Argo to the fest just as he did The Town; David O. Russell's The Silver Linings Playbook will have its premiere; Blue Valentine helmer Derek Cianfrance will premiere The Place Beyond the Pines starring Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper and Eva Mendes; Mike Newell's Great Expectations will also »

- Brad Brevet

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Tiff 2012 Will Inlcude ‘Cloud Atlas,’ ‘Looper,’ ‘Argo,’ and ‘Byzantium’ Among Others

24 July 2012 6:04 AM, PDT | Destroy the Brain | See recent Destroy the Brain news »

With the fall movie season swiftly approaching, it’s not a stretch to say that many of the potential nominees for the Oscars and other end of year awards will finally be seeing a release.  This year is no different.  Though we have had a couple of films previously released that may be considered as possibilities in the awards race (Moonrise Kingdom, Beasts of the Southern Wild, and my personal favorite, The Grey), there’s a lot more right around the corner.  Some of these very films that many have high hopes for will first be seen by those living in Canada. Variety has released some of the upcoming films that will be making their debut at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival.  Or one can simply say just Tiff.  Of those films announced, quite a few of them will have genre fans like myself quite giddy.

I’ve marked my personal favorites in red below. »

- Michael Haffner

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2012 Tiff to Open with Looper, Malick, Cianfrance and Bahrani to Double Dip in Venice and Toronto

24 July 2012 6:00 AM, PDT | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

Couple of hours before Tiff is set to announce their 60 plus title announcement (loads of Cannes items), Variety breaks the news that some of our most highly anticipated titles such as Terrence Malick’s “To The Wonder“, Derek CianfranceThe Place Beyond The Pines” and Ramin Bahrani’s “At Any Price” will be the make-up of both Toronto and Venice. What we hope might trickle thru below are mentions today for the world or international premieres for Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master, Brian De Palma’s Passion, Manoel De Oliver’s Gebo Et L’Hombre, Olivier AssayasSomething In The Air, Nicolas Winding Refn’s Only God Forgives, Jonathan Glazer’s Under The Skin, Bahman Ghobadi’s Rhinos Season, Roman Coppola’s A Glimpse Inside The Mind Of Charles Swan III, Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring, Susanne Bier’s Love Is All You Need, Martin McDonagh’s Seven Psychopaths, »

- Eric Lavallee

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Tiff 2012 Selects ‘To the Wonder,’ ‘Cloud Atlas,’ ‘Beyond the Pines,’ ‘Argo,’ ‘Looper’ & More

24 July 2012 5:20 AM, PDT | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

2012′s Toronto International Film Festival is set to officially announce its initial line-up later today, but Variety let the cat out of the bag, at least partially; and it’s quite astounding. Most of our most-anticipated films of the year will be premiering at the Canadian festival, notably Terrence Malick‘s To the Wonder, Wachowskis & Tom Tykwer‘s epic-sounding Cloud Atlas, Rian Johnson‘s Looper (which will open the fest), Ben Affleck‘s Argo, Dereck Cianfrance‘s The Place Beyond the Pines and much, more more.

Coming from Sundance, the only mentioned film was Ben LewisJohn Hawkes-starring The Sessions, while Cannes premieres include Matteo Garrone‘s Reality, Thomas Vinterberg‘s The Hunt, Pablo Larrain‘s No and Jacques Audiard‘s Rust and Bone. One of the biggest surprises is a new film from Noah Baumbach, starring Greta Gerwing titled Frances Ha. There’s also The Avengers director Joss Whedon »

- jpraup@gmail.com (thefilmstage.com)

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