When it comes to film festivals and film watching Toronto is a Mecca and the Toronto International Film Festival is at the centre of the action.
The 10 days in September during which TIFF runs are awesome. The atmosphere is electric (lots of parties, street events and film screenings) and everyone is talking, thinking and breathing film. The entire movie universe descends on the city and it’s (as Frank the Tank would describe) glorious!
But the hype and excitement of the festival kind of overshadows the amazing work that TIFF does year round. There’s a slew of intriguing screenings, curated film programmes, retrospectives, exhibitions, filmmaker talks and special events. We’re lucky to have an abundance of culture right at our doorstep, although we probably take it a bit for granted.
The latest one arrived on my doorstep just the other day. And as usual it’s packed with a ton of awesome to-do’s and events to attend.
Here’s a quick iPhone tour of the contents…
GODARD! GODARD! GODARD! TIFF’s winter programming features a massive retrospective of French New Wave bad boy Jean-Luc Godard; a director TIFF calls “indisputably the most influential living filmmaker.”
Quentin Tarantino once said “Godard is to cinema what Bob Dylan is to music.”
Many of the films screened will be showcased on rare 35mm prints.
Before Godard was a filmmaker he was a film critic. TIFF is also screening a selection of classic films that were influential to Godard; among them Scarface (1932), The Lady from Shanghai (1948), and Shock Corridor (1963).
On another note, remember Showgirls (starring Jessie from Saved by the Bell)? How about the original Total Recall, RoboCop, Basic Instinct and Starship Troopers? Well, these were all directed by Dutch filmmaker Paul Verhoeven. TIFF has a full retrospective of his work.
And, some of the most memorable films come from the mind of Stephen King. Starting January 18th TIFF is showing some of the writers best films; Firestarter (JAN 18), Christine (FEB 1), The Shawshank Redemption (FEB 8), Stand by Me (FEB 15), Misery (MARCH 1),Carrie (MARCH 8) and The Shining (MARCH 15).
If you’re not into horror and desire some lighter fare, how about The Goonies, Big or E.T? All at TIFF just in time for March Break.
Have you ever attended a one movie marathon? Well, how about the latest and greatest from scandalous Danish filmmaker Lars Von Trier. His infamous Nymphomaniac runs as a two-part, eight chapter, five hour tour-de-force.
Here’s a trailer (be careful – it’s NSFW)
One of the most creative directors around is Canadian Robert Lepage. He spends most of his time toiling in opera and the theatre but he had made a number of memorable movies.
Robert LePage will actually be on hand to introduce some of his films in-person.
And if you’re eager to learn about the craft of filmmaking why not take in In Conversation With Agnieszka Holland (APRIL 1). Besides directing films (most recently nominated for an Academy Award with In Darkness) she has also directed episodes of the critically acclaimed HBO series The Wire.
MORE TALKING! MORE MEET-UPS!
If you’re a Foodie – check out FOOD ON FILM which brings together chefs, food experts and film lovers to enjoy culinary cinema and conversation.
And there’s also BOOKS ON FILM…
Finally, if you’ve got kids (or if you yourself happen to be) check out the abudnace (that’s another word for a lot) of kids activities.
Hope that you check out some of TIFF’s great programming. Let us know what you liked best or what you’re looking forward to seeing.