TiFFist: Galas and Masters
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TiFFist: Galas and Masters

Individual tickets for shows at the festival go on sale today, and Torontoist will admit that we’re a little behind on our TIFF programme previews (who puts a festival straight after Labour Day, eh?) So we’re going to speed it up a bit, with coverage of the ‘big’ films – the Galas and Masters today and we’ll clear up the rest over the next couple of days. If you seriously fancy any of the films we’re mentioning here you can easily pick up tickets online at the Toronto International Film Festival home page, but we’ve got no idea if there are any tickets left. So if you’ve got your heart set on something and they’re all gone, keep it in mind most of the films below will eventually come out and cost ordinary cinema prices, so maybe check out something that might not instead?

Well! The Galas themselves are an interesting bunch. While last year’s Galas included the likes of Ray, which went on to win, uh, I believe the scientific amount is ‘a buttload’ of Oscars, this year Torontoist’s hot tip for that kind of thing is probably not Walk the Line, even though Johnny Cash is a dead musician (I’m sure the academy is colorblind enough to not repeat themselves.) and the film looks great. Check out a trailer here to see how skilfully Joaquin Phoenix does the Man in Black.
Of course, Torontoist would be doing the city a disservice by forgetting about Toronto’s own David Cronenberg, showing A History of Violence, his new film starring Viggo Mortensen, which appears to entirely lack his usual stick of something really gross to shock the audience (remember when Madame Butterfly opened her kimono to reveal a dripping egg sac?!), relying on psychological horror to provide the thrills. Of course, some might say Viggo Mortensen’s face is freaky enough, which makes the fact that this gala is sponsored by ‘Handsome Male Models’ all the more funny (Sorry, Viggy.)
And, though he was born in B.C., we’ll give Atom Egoyan’s new film, Where the Truth Lies some props because he moved here at 18 and studied at U of T. (Though secretly, Torontoist has never been a big fan of his movies.)
Also showing are Cameron Crowe’s probably warm and funny and cool (or bland, depending on your opinion of him) Elizabethtown, Guy Ritchie’s ‘Let’s sweep away Swept Away’ Revolver, which will shock all by revealing Jason Stantham has hair, And Jackie Chan’s ‘NO MORE CHRIS TUCKER!’ celebration The Myth.
But Torontoist’s honest soft spot, and the one film it’s desperate to see, is Nick Park’s, absolutely cannot be bad at all, there’s no chance, Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were Rabbit. After the tragic lack of decent kids films last year that resulted in A Sharks’ Tale getting a Gala (what were they thinking?) TIFF come back and literally rock Torontoist’s wrong trousers right off.

Masters traditionally show new work from the big names of cinema (those, uh, not big enough to get a gala, I guess) and this year is no exception. People who loved ‘The Last Waltz’, Scorsese’s magical concert film with Ontario’s very own The Band (If Torontoist are ever drunk and loudly singing ‘The Weight’ at you, please let them get it out of their system, it’s easier for everyone) may or may not be pleased with No Direction Home: Bob Dylan. Having just read (if you can call it that) Dylan’s book Tarantula, Torontoist are less than convinced.
A probable must see, even if the showings are early in the morning and Zatoichi wasn’t a patch on the originals, is Takeshi Kitano’s Takeshis, considered so unothodox when it was sneak previewed at the Venice Film Festival that the audience had no idea what to do when it ended. Audiences didn’t understand the languid though gorgeous Dolls, though, so Torontoist remains excited.
Torontoist also want to point out Alexander Sokurov’s The Sun, as it might get overlooked. Sokurov’s astounding Russian Ark, a tour of the Hermitage in St. Petersburg done in one single shot was a treat, so Sokurov’s steady hand inspecting the concept of Emperor Hirohito’s divinity during WWII infers a likely hidden gem of the festival.
And finally, for those of you who have been burned by the Brothers Grimm (Torontoist hasn’t seen it, so can’t comment on the controversy) Gilliams real film, Tideland, the curious sounding story of a inquisitive girl living on the praries with her junkie parents. It’ll probably freak Torontoist out the way ‘The Fisher King’ did, all those years ago when Torontoist was a mere nipper. Who doesn’t like to get freaked out?