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Behind the Scenes: TIFF Programmers on Surviving the Festival

Omnipresent at screenings and events, TIFF’s cadre of programmers gets more time in front of audiences than most of the celebs and luminaries. Yet as glamorous as the gig may seem, the demands on programmers’ time during the 11-day festival are daunting. Soon to be tasked with being in eight places at once, Andréa Picard, […]

TIFF 2014: Your Guide to the Special Presentations

Typically the bastion for holdovers from the main competition at Cannes and fresher awards hopefuls eager to hit the fall festival, this year’s Special Presentations lineup is no less starrier or pedigreed than usual.

Four Fresh Toronto Faces at TIFF 2014

With all the hype and hysteria that accompanies the arrival of even the most marginal celebrities at TIFF (and I say this as someone who still talks about seeing Sinbad jaywalk across Bloor Street in 1992) it’s easy to forget how significant the festival is to people in the local film scene. In short: it’s […]

How to Eat Cheap (But Well) at TIFF

There’s a point at which the hardcore TIFF-goer’s regular diet of coffee and Clif bars just doesn’t cut it anymore. Sure, the toughest might make it to their 13th movie in four days running on that kind of fuel, but eventually even they’ll need to spend the extra 10 minutes and find some actual food […]

TIFF Survival Guide: Getting Celebrities on Camera

To capture the magic and misdeeds of TIFF, photographers on the red carpet and paparazzi in the streets arm themselves with some of the most expensive and advanced camera equipment available. But for celebrity-stalking success, precision (read: expensive) lenses, high-powered flashes, and fast memory cards aren’t the only requirements. Knowledge, a dose of serendipity, and […]

TIFF 2014

Now in its 39th year, TIFF is a behemoth cultural institution, a one-stop shop for everything from star-studded red carpets to North American premieres for some of the most lauded names in world cinema. The most prestigious public film festival in the world, TIFF is also major Toronto institution, turning King Street into ground zero […]

The Clouds of Sils Maria

Olivier Assayas (France/USA, Special Presentations) Dipping again into the metafictional waters of Irma Vep, Olivier Assayas delivers the ultimate in Kristen Stewart fan appreciation with The Clouds of Sils Maria. Stewart plays Valentine, personal assistant to major film and stage actress Maria Enders (Juliette Binoche). When the director behind her first starring role as an […]

Whiplash

Damien Chazelle (USA, Special Presentations) Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash made waves when it debuted earlier this year at Sundance, and despite its prickliness relative to the fest’s usual sunny hits, it’s not hard to see why. Starring Miles Teller as a jazz drum prodigy enrolled in a prestigious college music program and J.K. Simmons as his […]

Mommy

Xavier Dolan (Canada, Special Presentations) Though great Canadian filmmaking hope Xavier Dolan seemed disappointed to have nabbed only a third-place trophy at Cannes this May for Mommy—tied with that other other spring chicken, Jean-Luc Godard—he should buck up. If Mommy isn’t the revolutionary masterpiece its partisans want it to be, it’s at least an accomplished, […]

Mr. Turner

Mike Leigh (United Kingdom, Special Presentations) Timothy Spall deservedly nabbed the Best Actor prize at Cannes for his grunting, harumphing performance as famed English Romantic painter J.M.W. Turner in Mike Leigh’s typically smart but uncharacteristically beautiful Mr. Turner. An underrated character actor, Spall shines in this rare lead turn, which humanizes the artist by representing […]

Foxcatcher

Bennett Miller (USA, Gala Presentations) Bennett Miller returns to true crime with Foxcatcher, based on the eerie true story of multimillionaire amateur sports patron John Du Pont’s toxic relationship with Olympic wrestlers and brothers Mark and Dave Schultz. Anyone who knows how the story ends will feel a knot in their stomach as the sponsorship […]

Infinitely Polar Bear

Maya Forbes (USA, Gala Presentations) Though it’s the weaker of TIFF’s two Mark Ruffalo mental-illness dramas (after Foxcatcher), Maya Forbes’s Infinitely Polar Bear can at least claim to be the more heartwarming. Ruffalo plays a fictionalized version of the director’s father Cam, a bipolar, Ivy-educated Bostonian whose recovery following a nervous breakdown is endangered when […]

Maps to the Stars

David Cronenberg (Canada/Germany, Gala Presentations) Between the incest, the ghostly parents, and the mad children, Bruce Wagner’s script for Maps to the Stars seems as much an unwieldy collection of CanLit tropes as a soapy tribute to its director, body horror pioneer David Cronenberg. That gives the film an unhinged charm for anyone in on […]

6 Things You Need To Know About Toronto’s Version Of The Hamptons

On the shores of Lake Simcoe, 45 minutes outside the GTA, a new resort community is taking shape. At Friday Harbour, you can experience a day of golf and tennis, sandy beaches and nature trails, shopping, dining and more. 1. The Marina Village is the soul of this urban escape. Whether you’re looking for an […]

Historicist: Hans in the Kitchen

“I am sometimes like a little boy with a big mouth—when I am angry, I talk too much and it comes back to hurt me,” admitted Hans Fread. While his opinionated nature could backfire on him, it also provoked admiration and amusement. As Canada’s first celebrity chef of the television age, Fread took advantage of […]