Torontoist isn’t paid by the word, which is why we can allow ourselves long, rambling posts where we complain about the things that annoy us. Sorry, did we say “allow ourselves?” We meant “subject you to”. And here we go again.
Now, Toronto is a lovely place, and as places go, it’s done a lot for film. It’s cheap to film here! We’ve got the Toronto Film Festival! David Cronenberg. And… Keanu Reeves got his start here. We get the feeling that we’ve already complained about Keanu Reeves, but as the star of A Scanner Darkly, Richard Linklater’s cel-shaded adaptation of the Phillip K Dick novel, Hollywood has gone too far. His confused pause during the reading of the line “My brain has… Two Hemispheres?” In the trailer might match his terrific pause during the Matrix Revolutions in the line “Love? But that is a… Human emotion”.
Oh, we’re sure he’s a lovely guy, and in every interview we’ve seen with him he’s been witty, intelligent and god damned interesting, which makes us wonder how he manages to be such a horrific dullard in everything he’s in. We don’t wish him dead, or anything, but we sure would like to beat him around the face with a bag full of door knobs till he’s too disfigured to be a bankable star.
Still, we guess, perhaps the trailer shows Keanu at his worst. NOW’s Andrew Dowler does at least say “star Reeves has never been more animated. That makes him less believable as a burnout, but anything’s an improvement in an actor whose usual range is wooden to leaden.” That’s some bloody faint praise, we think, particularly in a film that’s apparently “among the most satisfying of the many PKD adaptations since Blade Runner”, according to Eye’s Jason Anderson.
Thank goodness we’ve got actors like Johnny Depp, who doesn’t so much chew the scenery as nibble and lick at it provocatively. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest must be one of the films most looked forward to this summer, even by people who normally hate blockbusters, and/or actors whose usual range is wooden to leaden (we’re talking to you, Knightley and Bloom), and it’s given a nice full review by NOW’s Deirdre Swann. Eye didn’t manage to get a review in time, so for some absurd reason they’ve filled the space with the kind of uninspired nonsense that we’d expect from a British tabloid. Poor show, lads.
They make up for it, though, with a nice feature on Cinematheque Ontario’s Michelangelo Antonioni season, which starts today. Most interesting to us is Story of a Love Affair (July 12, 6:30pm), Antonioni’s version of The Postman Always Rings Twice, probably because the Mamet version made us want to fall out of a speeding car headfirst onto a jagged rock, but there’s lots to see if you’ve got an interest, and even if you don’t, there’s a lot more good stuff coming up from Cinematheque Ontario… Not least their Summer Samurai. (All showings at Jackman Hall, AGO, 317 Dundas W.)
The Toronto Film Festival Group have actually been quite busy, announcing some more films for this year’s festival, such as Steven Zaillian’s adaptation of Robert Penn Warren’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, All the King’s Men. Full Press Release is here.
Ach, and with the Festival chain of cinemas lying dead in the gutter, the Rep listings are painfully small, but there’s still one small festival to mention: the Beats, Breaks & Culture Festival, showing Parliament Funkadelic: One Nation Under A Groove. If you’re already singing the song in your head you may want to pop by the Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay W.) and check it out. You know. Just for the funk of it.