Storytelling and philosophizing mark TIFF’s first fully loaded day of screenings.
Wondering how to navigate the torrent of films? Our growing list of TIFF reviews is right here.
If yesterday might go down in the books for Kristen Stewart’s Frida Kahlo-inspired look on the red carpet—with apologies to those who suffered for it, namely the devoted Midnight Madness crowd at the Ryerson who found Dredd 3D () pushed back an hour on account of On the Road’s late start—today is the day TIFF 2012 will properly launch its first full day of programming.
There’s a lot to choose from, including some strong documentaries from both local and international talents. Sarah Polley’s Stories We Tell () is one you’ll want to brave the rush line for. For her third feature, Polley turns to personal matters, crafting a very moving ode to her enigmatic mother while examining how family narratives can become battlegrounds where siblings, parents, and even Academy Award-nominated children-turned-directors stake their claims to stories that don’t necessarily have clear boundaries. It’s an emotionally rich film, a sort of exposé of the mechanics of family myth-making. Looking outside of Canada, we also quite liked The Gatekeepers (), an unflinching look at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the testimonials of six former heads of the Israel Security Agency. It’s gripping, once you get past the odd CGI interludes.
If documentaries aren’t your thing, you might consider the first of TIFF’s six Short Cuts Canada () programmes. The individual shorts vary in quality, and they’re thematically linked only by a recurring preoccupation with artists and surrealism, but the imagery in selections like Bydlo is astonishing. Today’s also a good time to dive into the City to City programme, with the second screening of the philosophically dense but humane Ship of Theseus (), which explores the titular paradox about a broken-down ship refashioned from spare parts through the lens of three contemporary stories about organ transplants in Mumbai.