New contributor Mathew will be posting regular on all things TIFF. Here goes:
With only a few days to go until individual tickets go on sale for the Toronto Film Festival (7am on September 7th) and tickets hitting the heights of $20 when you factor in GST (over $35 for Gala tickets, which should be sold out by now, actually) it’s definitely time for film lovers to begin their research into which films to spend their hard earned cash on seeing. Today, Torontoist investigates the Midnight Madness Programme.
Torontoist has long been a fan of the woefully under attended bi-weekly (that’s twice monthly, not twice weekly, fans of confusing English) Kung Fu Friday nights at the Royal Cinema on College Street, where the classic Art Deco cinema hosts vintage Kung Fu flicks with tongue in cheek compeering from Colin Geddes, the TIFF Midnight Madness programmer. So it’s with no hesitation that we turn our first spotlight upon his programme. Though you’ll (obviously) have to stay up out past your bedtime, this year it’s well worth it, with our picks this year going to:
Takashii Miike’s ‘The Great Yokai War‘ – while nothing compared to previous Midnight Madness Miikes like Ichi the Killer or Audition (certainly by virtue of being a fairly family orientated film in Japan) The Great Yokai War makes as little sense as Miike’s best, featuring a variety of nightmarish monsters from Japanese mythology being protected from Kill Bill’s Chiaki Kuruyama (in a natty beehive) by the lonely young boy Tadashii, with a gibberish ending and theme music that sounds like it’s being sung by Richard from ‘Happiness of the Katakuris’ (which I hope it was).
Pornchai Hongrattanaporn’s Bangkok Loco – People in Thailand have roughly the longest names possible, and they didn’t reach the 70’s until 1982, the setting of a film in which young Thai drummer Bay has to become the legendary Drum God, solve the murder of his landlady (supposedly performed by his own hand) and woo his fellow drum student Don (she’s female, uh, we promise) while on the run from Inspector Black Ears (we swear we’re not making this up). With roughly a million references to pop culture from across the globe, rockin’ songs and a good dose of humor, this film is sure to be a wild ride with the Midnight Madness audience, even if it’s ending is slightly (oh so slightly) unsatisfying.
Also showing this year, and worth seeing if you can keep your eyes open, are French parkour inspired “This year’s Ong Bak?’ Banlieue 13, Aron Gauder’s ‘Eastern European South Park’ The District, and Eli Roth’s love song to Miike’s Audition – “Hostel“, in which the advance buzz from a TIFF Insider is that it takes the horror so far that by the end they were actually crying. Scratch that earlier statement. Perhaps you should close your eyes for that one.