The lineup announcements for this year’s Toronto International Film Festival are coming fast and furious these days, with the full list of films to be announced on August 28th. I’m already having a hard time limiting myself to just ten films. I’m starting a new job in the next few weeks and can’t spare any time off, so I’m limiting myself to films on the weekends and in the evenings. Since I already have more than ten films, I’m hoping that laying them out here might help me narrow them down. Feel free to make comments, I could use the advice! Here are some I’m considering strong contenders:
Control (Director: Anton Corbijn): Biopic about doomed Joy Division singer Ian Curtis shot in moody black and white by famed rock photographer. I’m sure this will look amazing. I’m hopeful that the script and acting will pass muster, since the only recognizable name attached is Samantha Morton, playing Curtis’ wife, upon whose memoir the script is based. Mixed reception at Cannes, though it won an Honorable Mention for the Camera d’Or (for first films) and, in the Director’s Fortnight, won the Prix Regards Jeunes/Young Eyes Prize and the Label Europa Cinéma Prize (best European film).
Persepolis (Directors: Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud): Based upon Satrapi’s graphic novels about her adolescence in revolutionary Iran in the late 70s and early 80s. I’ve read the first book and the fact that Satrapi is bringing her own images and stories to the screen is a big plus. Co-winner of the Jury Prize (with Silent Light (Luz silenciosa)) at this year’s Cannes (and nominated for the Palme d’Or).
Jar City (Mýrin) (Director: Baltasar Kormákur): I’ve been following the work of Iceland’s Baltasar Kormákur since I saw both his work as an actor in Angels of the Universe (2000) and his directorial debut 101 Reykjavik (2000) at TIFF. His latest film is based on the bestselling novel Tainted Blood, by Arnaldur Indriðason, and it’s been the most successful Icelandic film in history, selling more than 100,000 tickets. That means that about a third of the country’s population has seen it. Here’s the canned synopsis, but make sure you check out the (unsubtitled) trailer for this stylish-looking thriller:
“An elderly man is found murdered in his basement flat. Inspector Erlendur and his crew don’t have much to go by in the investigation, but a photograph of a young girl’s grave gives them a lead. They discover that many years ago the victim was accused, though not convicted, of horrible crimes. Did the old man’s past come back to haunt him? As Erlendur reopens this very cold case, he follows a trail of unusual forensic evidence, uncovering secrets that are much larger than the murder of one old man — with clues knit into the genetic bloodline of an entire country.”