During TIFF we said, “if you’re as big a fan of Joy Division as Torontoist is, you’ll quickly come to terms with the fact that Control is simply one man’s interpretation of Deborah Curtis’s book Touching from a Distance, and your overall feelings will (probably) lie on how you feel about that interpretation,” and we stand by that even now—despite the gorgeous cinematography, which remains the film’s strongest point, we still like 24 Hour Party People better (even though that’s really about Tony Wilson).
Kevin McBride had a different opinion of Kenneth Branagh’s remake of 1972’s Sleuth, though, noting during TIFF that it was a “pleasure to watch the seemingly off-hand interaction between Michael Caine and Jude Law.” Rails & Ties also played this year’s TIFF, but we chose to skip it, even though it stars Kevin Bacon as a train driver who accidentally kills a mother in a town where nobody is allowed to dance. Or something. Alison Eastwood’s directorial debut has, at best, been damned with faint praise. Peter Howell of the Star’s comments are typical: “Eastwood has the advantage of two very fine actors…who have the ability to lift the most mediocre of material into another realm.”
Also opening: Dan in Real Life, which, by being about an advice columnist called Dan, can’t help but make us think about Dan Savage (not really very helpful) and Saw IV, the latest in quite possibly the most depressingly terrible series of meaningless wannabe torture porn.
And this week in festivals, the Estonian Documentary Film Festival and Planet in Focus Film Festivals continue, plus there’s also the Cuban Film Festival across the weekend.
Our pick of the week is Cinematheque Ontario’s offering—a retrospective of Tomo Uchida. Cinematheque programmer James Quandt says, amusingly, in his notes on the restrospective, “Oh Lord, another terrific Japanese director to discover?” But films including The Mad Fox (tonight at 7:30 p.m.) and Killing in Yoshiwara (Monday, 7:30 p.m.) sound well worth putting in the effort to discover.