Yeesh; another week, another pile of movies which were at the Toronto International Film Festival. Considering there are, oh, 32,064 or so films at each TIFF we should probably get over this as soon as possible, otherwise every week our column is going to sound the same.
Still! At least this week we’ve seen some of them. Burtynsky doc Manufactured Landscapes is the big dog of the week, having been covered heavily and given glowing reviews by pretty much everyone, but, well, we didn’t like it. We said “there’s something wrong with this documentary … the images are all nice but there’s some vital hook missing to make it more than the sum of its parts.” And a couple of weeks thinking time hasn’t changed our opinion. The images are nice, though, they really are; and with luck we’ll have some coverage of a Q&A with Edward Burtynsky this weekend.
A far better bet is the beautiful The Journals of Knud Rasmussen (above). We said “A perhaps slow but intimate look at how western explorers change the life of an Inuit Shaman and his family, this is a gorgeous film with a very moving conclusion.” And a couple of weeks thinking time? We like it even more in retrospect. Jason Anderson has written an excellent article on it in this week’s Eye, too.
We didn’t see The U.S. vs. John Lennon, though. We like John Harkness’ take, in NOW; “The ongoing strip-mining of boomer nostalgia continues … A talking-heads rockumentary … designed to be watched on TV.”
Other flicks not-so-festivally: Open Season, in which Martin Lawrence plays a bear and Ashton Kutcher a deer, which is great, as in real life they should be hunted down and killed. The Kutcher horror continues in The Guardian, which is another double whammy of awful, as it also features Kevin Costner. Eye’s Adam Nayman hints so strongly that the film ends absurdly we almost want to see it, though. There’s also Keeping Mum (the reviews make it sound like they’d have trouble giving her away) and School for Scoundrels, the alternate title for which is, we think, “Jon Heder continues his slide into obscurity.”
Outside of the multiplex we’ve got some gems, though. Infernal Affairs is tonight’s Free Friday Film at Innis College Town Hall, (2 Sussex Ave), at 7pm. Why bother with the remake, The Departed? See the original! Free! Especially worth noting, too, is the Doc Soup film this Wednesday at the Bloor (506 Bloor W.), Shameless: The ART Of Disability.
If you’ve got kids (heck, if you are a kid) don’t forget that the Sprockets Globetrotter series starts this Sunday with The Horror Bus from the Netherlands.
Several festivals, too. The St. Lawrence Community Film Festival at the Rainbow Cinema (Market Square), and The Spinning Wheel Film Festival then the Year of Languages Film Festival at the Isabel Bader (93 Charles W).