TIFF 2009: Catastrophe In Comparison

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TIFF 2009: Catastrophe In Comparison

20090913tiff04.jpg Sawasdee Bangkok

Today’s Picks
1 p.m. – The Wild Hunt (Scotiabank 4) – 3/5
1:15 p.m. – Short Cuts Canada Programme 2 (Jackman Hall) – Review
2:30 p.m. – Valhalla Rising (Ryerson)
4 p.m. – Wavelengths 4: In Comparison (Jackman Hall) – Review
5:30 p.m. – Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould (AMC 7) – 2.5/5
6:15 p.m. – Carcasses (Scotiabank 4) – 3.5/5
6:30 p.m. – Wavelengths 5: Une Catastrophe (Jackman Hall) – Review
7 p.m. – Sawasdee Bangkok (AMC 2)
8:45 p.m. – I Am Not Your Friend (AMC 5)
9 p.m. – Short Cuts Canada Programme 3 (Jackman Hall) – Review
11:59 p.m. – The Loved Ones (Ryerson)
After the jump, reviews of Wavelengths 4: In Comparison, Wavelengths 5: Une Catastrophe, and Short Cuts Canada Programme 3.


Today’s Reviews

20090913tiff01.jpg In Comparison

Wavelengths 4: In Comparison< In Comparison (Harun Farocki) – Preceded by a minute-long short from Lisandro Alonso (director of last year’s Liverpool), In Comparison follows the production and use of bricks across the world. Beginning with the most basic forms of brick making still in use today all the way to the most advanced, there’s a sort of uneasy pacing that makes it oddly fascinating but at the same time pretty dull. What can we say? It’s a film about bricks. 3/5
Wavelengths 4: In Comparison plays Jackman Hall today at 4 p.m..

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A Letter to Uncle Boonmee

Wavelengths 5: Une Catastrophe
A Letter to Uncle Boonmee (Apichatpong Weerasethakul) – Captivating but completely enigmatic, a camera gazes across the homes in an almost completely empty village while the letter to Uncle Boonmee is recited repeatedly. Ominous but also obscure, it’s stuck with us even if we didn’t grasp it. 4/5

Wavelengths 5: Une Catastrophe also features
The Secret School; Une Catastrophe; Le Streghe, femmes entre elles; and Film for Invisible Ink, Case No. 142: Abbreviation for Dead Winter. It plays today at Jackman Hall at 6:30 p.m..

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Runaway / Man vs. Minivan

Short Cuts Canada Programme 3
Runaway (Cordell Barker) – The kind of silly animated short that the NFB does so well—and indeed, Cordell Barker is behind the beloved short The Cat Came Back—Runaway follows a train full of lunatics—split between the first and second class carriages—as it chugs away without a driver. Full of hilarious touches and just enough meaning, it’s great fun for all. 4/5
Pointless Film (Peter Wellington) – Not the best title in the world, because this short about a relentless haggler attempting to buy a futon has such a telegraphed punchline (that isn’t even especially funny) that it does, yeah, feel entirely pointless. 1.5/5
Man vs. Minivan (Spencer Maybee) – Maybe it’s the sheer reliability of the horror of being given a minivan—and the middle-aged lifestyle that it implies—that made us like this CFC short so much, but it’s an amusing take on the cold-feet cliché with one really great, minivan-related joke that pretty much pays off the whole thing. Not groundbreaking, but sweet enough. 4/5
Soap (Dusty Mancinelli) – Soap seems to have no particular conviction in its eighties setting, treating it as little more than a gimmick, and this makes it kind of hard to treat the story of a cheating spouse’s unexpected complications with any particular reverence either—especially when it’s as formulaic as this. 2/5
Homeland Security (Isaac Cravit) – We think that the punchline of this film about a seemingly paranoid customs agent is supposed to simultaneously make us laugh through its crudity and make us rethink what we’ve seen, but it really doesn’t work. As pointless as Pointless Film, but, sadly, longer. 1.5/5
The Island (Trevor Anderson) – Trevor Anderson does a short bit of what is essentially stand-up comedy considering the concept of putting all the world’s gays on an Island. There’s some cheap and tacky animation (bananas and coconuts representing male genitals? Really?) and the line of thought isn’t that funny in the first place. 1.5/5

Short Cuts Canada Programme 3 also features
Deadman. It plays tonight at Jackman Hall at 9 p.m., on September 14 at 3 p.m., and on September 18 at 7 p.m..

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