How unusual! Not a lot of festivals this week. Just the Indie Can Film Festival this weekend, and the Toronto Arab Film Festival starting on Wednesday.
Of course, Cinematheque Ontario continues with their exhaustive Roberto Rossellini retrospective and the Toronto premiere of the acclaimed Au-Dela De La Haine (given glowing reviews in both Eye and Now) but our pick of the week has to be tomorrow afternoon’s matinee, Night of the Hunter. Robert Mitchum is incomparably powerful in the film noir fairytale and it remains an underappreciated masterpiece, so, you know, go and appreciate it. (2pm, Jackman Hall, AGO 317 Dundas W.)
Not underappreciated this week is the release of Pedro Almodóvar’s Volver; reviewed by Torontoist prior to TIFF we gave it the highest honors, and we haven’t changed our minds; it’s a strange film full of Almodóvar tropes that’s a little histrionic but it works.
No one is saying good things about Tenacious D: The Pick of Destiny, however. “Note to JB and KG: this horse is dead, so stop beating it.” Is practically the least mean thing anyone says about it, and that’s from Now’s John Harkness. But can anyone blame him? It’s rather hard to not bang on about Mr. Show again (sorry) but considering David Cross and Bob Odenkirk were instrumental in writing the “D”‘s HBO show and are not involved with the film, that it sucks is no surprise (we don’t really rate Liam Lynch, sadly.)
Wonderboy is still a great song, though; and we’ll have a review of their Toronto live show next week, which is hopefully far better than we hear the film is.
Anyway, also out: The History Boys (Now’s Cameron Bailey claims, “The History Boys is sure to warm the heart of anyone who spent time as an English schoolboy.” Seriously, Cameron, how many of the readers of Now would that be?) Old Joy (starring Will Oldham, Adam Nayman says “The slenderest American feature of the year is also the best”) Deck the Halls and Bobby (Jason Anderson gets quote of the week for “You could call it a dream cast, but it’s the kind of dream from which most people wake up screaming.”)
Our advice this week? Consider yourself a failure if you don’t get along to Innis Town Hall (2 Sussex) at 7pm tonight for the U of T Cinema Studies Student Union’s Free Friday Film, which is, yes! A kung-fu double bill curated by Kung Fu Friday’s Colin Geddes. Featuring The Dragon, The Hero, and Flirting Scholar (starring Kung Fu Hustle’s Stephen Chow, who is excellent) how can you miss it? It’s free!