The Toronto International Film Festival Group’s Cinematheque Ontario has been running for most of the month but begins to kick into high gear (er, if you can really call it that) tomorrow night with the first screening of Sokurov’s most recent film Alexandra (pictured above) at 7 p.m. Films are often at their best when they relate to the world and situations that surround them, and Cinematheque Ontario senior programmer James Quandt wisely notes that the film “queries the Russian nation’s warring impulse in a time of resurgent militarism.”
Another film with its finger on the pulse on release this week is I.O.U.S.A. Despite a kind-of-irritating gimmicky title (apparently you can’t release a documentary without one—thanks a lot, Michael Moore) the doc is called “the most frightening film of the year” by NOW‘s Barrett Hooper and certainly sounds interesting to anyone (like us) who spends their time wondering how on earth countries get away with trillion-dollar debts. The short answer, we guess, is that they aren’t getting away with it after all.
Anyway, who cares about our impending financial doom? We’ve got a joke about a celebrity. It’s about Angelina Jolie! The joke is that she’s in the film Changeling, where she plays a woman who embarks on a quest to find her missing child after the LAPD bring her back the wrong one—but who ever heard of Angelina Jolie turning down a free child, right? Cue laughter, applause, etc.
Though, actually, no. Clint Eastwood’s latest film is based on a pretty serious true story (and adapted by J. Michael Straczynski), but the word is that it’s, at best, average. “Eastwood faces the stranger-than-fiction problem without ever facing up to it,” says The Globe and Mail‘s Rick Groen.
Your other choice if you simply have to go to a false identity film this week is Who is KK Downey? After playing the Toronto After Dark Film Festival (which ends tonight with I Sell The Dead at 7 p.m.) on Tuesday, it opens at the Royal tomorrow night at 7 p.m., with a Q&A with co-director Pat Kiely to follow.
Also opening this week: Pride and Glory, for the viewer who isn’t utterly sick of corrupt-cop dramas by now; The Tiger’s Tail, Deepa Mehta’s Heaven on Earth; and Towelhead.
This week’s festivals: the Planet in Focus Film Festival, the Toronto Israel Film Festival, and the Toronto Palestine Film Festival.