TIFF 2008: Horizontal Cuts
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TIFF 2008: Horizontal Cuts

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Today’s Listings:
12:00 p.m. – Detroit Metal City (Scotiabank 2) Review
3:15 p.m. – Vinyan (Scotiabank 2)
6:00 p.m. – Flame & Citron (pictured above, Scotiabank 2)
8:00 p.m. – Pontypool (AMC 6)
8:15 p.m. – Cold Lunch (Varsity 3)
9:00 p.m. – Wavelengths: Horizontal Boundaries (Jackman Hall)
9:30 p.m. – Short Cuts Canada Programme 1 (AMC 3)
9:30 p.m. – Hunger (Scotiabank 1)
11:59 p.m. – Deadgirl (Ryerson)
After the jump, reviews for tonight’s screenings of Vinyan, Wavelengths: Horizontal Boundaries and Short Cuts Canada Programme 1.


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Vinyan (Fabrice Du Welz)
We’re pretty sure every review of Vinyan you read is going to compare it with Don’t Look Now, so why break ranks—Vinyan is a slow-moving horror film very much in the style of that classic, as a couple head into the depths of tsunami-ravaged Burma in an attempt to find their missing son, or at least closure. There is an absolutely fantastic, noisy discordant soundtrack paired with some clever visual turns but they’re used jarringly (which can be a good thing in some kinds of horror films, but not this one), and there’s never any doubt that it’s all going to go wrong (any sane viewer will spot that Emmanuelle Béart’s distraught mother is completely bonkers within seconds of the film starting), which means that the ending is relieving rather than satisfying. It’s still gloriously creepy at points, though. 2.5/5
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Wavelengths: Horizontal Boundaries
Horizontal Boundaries (Pat O’Neill) – The centerpiece of this selection of experimental shorts, this is a constantly shifting series of images of Los Angeles, with different layers, effects, techniques applied. We think it goes on slightly too long, but it is hypnotic. 3/5
Lossless #2 (Rebecca Baron, Douglas Goodwin; pictured above) – Supposedly just the result of a broken BitTorrent download, this is an exciting visual mess as artifacts transform scenes from Meshes of the Afternoon into a disorientating but clever new form. Someone will steal this concept for a music video soon. 4/5
Also playing as part of Wavelengths: Horizontal Boundaries: Refraction Series (Chris Gherman), Public Domain (Jim Jennings), Dig (Robert Todd), Optra Field III-VI (T. Marie) and Garden/ing (Eriko Sonoda). Wavelengths: Horizontal Boundaries plays Jackman Hall at 9 p.m..
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Short Cuts Canada Programme 1
Hungu (Nicholas Brault) – A son must leave his mother to die in the sand in this shadow puppet-esque short. Vaguely entertaining, but there’s nothing interesting about it. 2/5
Next Floor (Denis Villeneuve) – Easily the most-hyped short of the festival (as winner of the Best Short Film Award at Cannes this year) we have to say this is completely style over substance. Gourmands as barbarians is a played out concept and here it ultimately means nothing; at least it’s a very stylish nothing. 2.5/5
The Earring (Nicholas and Sheila Pye; pictured above) – Gasp! After two years of us considering Nicholas and Shelia Pye’s shorts at TIFF over-egged and uninteresting, they strike back with a stripped down short that’s really good. A pair of girls in lovely dresses go for a walk in the woods; one proves to be better at climbing a tree in heels than you’d think (but not good enough). Expresses its tone well thanks to a strong soundtrack paired well with the imagery. 3.5/5
Baghdad Twist (Joe Balass) – If someone said “imagine an NFB documentary” we’d at least some of the time say “someone talks to a mumbling relative about their past, over a bunch of archival footage.” And in this case we’d be right! There’s one neat piece of archival footage right at the beginning, but at over half an hour we were quickly bored. 1.5/5
Also playing as part of Short Cuts Canada Programme 1: Cattle Call (Matthew Rankin, Mike Maryniuk), Us Chickens (Mark Van de Ven) and Belonging (Elizabeth Lazenbnik). Short Cuts Canada Programme 1 plays AMC 3 at 9:30 p.m., and Jackman Hall September 7th at 12 p.m..

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