A Gentle Breeze in the Village (Tennen kokekkô) (Director: Nobuhiro Yamashita): From the director of Linda Linda Linda, one of my favourites from TIFF 2005, this is another coming-of-age story set in a sleepy small town where Soyo is one of only six students in a combined primary and junior high school. The arrival of hip transfer student Osawa from Tokyo changes everything. The photography looks absolutely stunning and this promises to be a nice antidote to some of the more violent or depressing stuff I’ll be seeing.
Chaotic Ana (Caótica Ana) (Director: Julio Medem): I was recently mesmerized by Medem’s 1998 film Lovers of the Arctic Circle (Los Amantes del CÃrculo Polar) and wasn’t even aware he had a film in this year’s festival until Bob Turnbull posted about it. Thanks, Bob!
Medem seems to be a bit like Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski (another of my favourites) in his love for coincidences and recurring events. In this new film, “Ana’s existence seems to be a continuation of the lives of other young women, all of whom died tragically at the age of 22. Doomed to a chaotic fate, Ana must co-exist with these young women as they continue to live on in the abyss of her unconscious memory.” Another plus is the presence of Charlotte Rampling.
Le Voyage Du Ballon Rouge (Director: Hou Hsiao-hsien): I haven’t seen any of Hou’s films before but have heard great things about Three Times (2005) and Café Lumiere (2003), as well as about Juliette Binoche’s performance as a frazzled single mom who hires a Chinese nanny to watch her son. The nanny is also a film student who is making a film based on Albert Lamorisse’s 1956 classic The Red Balloon, which I dimly recall seeing as a boy.