TIFFist: Visions, Special Presentations, Discovery, and Canada First!
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TIFFist: Visions, Special Presentations, Discovery, and Canada First!

So… The festival has been on for a full day, and Torontoist has very little to actually report, having stayed in for the night. Well, it did see the star of Short Cuts Canada film ‘Patterns’ (by Jamie Travis) wearing a stylish lime green dress and looking a bit confused, so there is that, if anything. That film is in Programme 5: Genre Redux, if you like the sound of her.

“The festival has already been going a full day!” you’re probably screaming, “get to the point!” So we’re going to do our best to be snappy this time round. Lie With Me, Clement Virgo’s Toronto based love story with lots and lots of sex. Probably much less grim than Battle in Heaven, art smut fans!
Matthew Barney must have decided to adapt a Japanese RPG rather than Donkey Kong with Drawing Restraint 9, which is the only possible reason for the absurd 3 hour running time. He’s not showing much restraint!!! (Are we the first to crack this? I bet we aren’t.)
Abel Ferrara takes on Mel Gibson with Mary, and by ‘take on’ we don’t mean ‘kill with a drill, or by repeatedly showing him Harvey Keitel’s cock’ but with cutting satire. Hooray! We’ve all had enough of Harvey Keitel’s cock.
Speaking of not seeing genitals, there are a gob-smacking zero full frontal nudity scenes in Wassup Rockers, Larry Clark’s 50/50 skate video/teen comedy odd change of direction.
The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes, made by the fantasist short maker the brothers Quay, is a strange little fairytale horror that might be overlooked. Terry Gilliam executive produced and has ranked some of their short films as his personal favourites.
Special Presentations

Uh… Torontoist forgot about this section. Which is a bit surprising, as it’s got some quite high profile films in it. Michael Gondry’s documentary/concert flick Dave Chappelle’s Block Party, which you probably have to like the Fugees to be interested (Torontoist doesn’t forgive them for murdering Killing Me Softly… Or did they update it for a contemporary audience skilfully? No. They murdered it. Irony!)
In Sympathy for Lady Vengance, Pak Chan-Wook completes his Vengance revenge trilogy, which has got steadily better (but then Sympathy for Mr. Vengance was terrible, in Torontoist’s opinion.) It’ll probably be oddly disturbing. South Koreans are some messed up dudes.
The listing for Beowulf and Grendel states that Grendel is a ‘Troll’ who is getting revenge for the murder of his father, this doesn’t sound like a particularly faithful translation of the Anglo Saxon classic. Nor does it appear to reference John Wagner’s masterful book ‘Grendel’. But it looks visually quite interesting.
Shopgirl is a big film, already pitched as ‘This year’s Sideways!’ which journalists might get bored of saying until someone makes Sideways II: The Corking. Jason Schwartzman needs to change his shtick fast, but Steve Martin is honestly great, even if normally his film role choices aren’t.
Everything is Illuminated starts Elijah Wood in an adaption of Safran Froer’s book of the same name. Torontoist is imaging his role as an anal retentive writer in the Ukraine is somewhat different from the last role we saw him in – Sin City’s silent killer with good taste in footwear.
Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story, might still manage to be overshadowed by star Steve Coogan’s alleged tryst with Courtney Love, a story mostly believed to be a lot of cock (or perhaps a load of bullocks.) Featuring a fine cast of British talent (including Dylan Moran, who is, uh, Irish) it’s a post modern flick about a film being filmed, not so much an actual adaptation of Tristram Shandy.

The point, of course, of the discovery programme is that most of the films are an unknown quantity. They’re so unknown that Torontoist really don’t know which ones to finger as being possibly good, but personally like the look of Sa-Kwa, a south Korean film about a disintegrating relationship probably isn’t oddly disturbing (or feature the eating or a live octopus, or anything.), and Day Break, and Iranian film about the capital punishment system of Iran, but of the rest Torontoist can’t find a particular star. Unless you like Margaret Cho, I guess…
Canada First!

Oh, Canada. Much like the discovery programme, most of these films are an unknown quantity. The stand out feature here is definitely the mockumentary The Life and Hard Times of Guy Terrifico, but The Cabin Movie sounds like an uncomfortable, if interesting, look at pervy Candians.
Torontoist, however, heartily recommends any part of the Short Cuts Canada programme. Why see one Canadian film when you can see 6 or 7 in the same time? Anyway, it was a really nice dress.