TIFF 2011 Announces New Films With Nic Cage, Mr. Brainwash Appearance, Loads of Other Stuff
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TIFF 2011 Announces New Films With Nic Cage, Mr. Brainwash Appearance, Loads of Other Stuff

Eminent talents-turned-hacks Nicolas Cage and Nicole Kidman finally get together in a movie directed by Joel Schumacher. Our direct-to-DVD senses are tingling!

Some of the highlights of TIFF’s latest slew of announcements, which should mostly round out the lineup for the 36th annual Toronto International Film Festival. (The full list should be completed by next week.)
Starting with the big names, TIFF announced more Gala and Special Presentations movies. You know, the ones you spend $35 for a ticket to see even though they open theatrically like two weeks later? This year’s closing night Gala will be Page Eight, a David Hare–directed British spy thriller starring Bill Nighy. Other galas of note include Joel Schumacher’s home invasion thriller, Trespass, starring Nicolas Cage and Nicole Kidman, which will make its world premiere; the world premiere of Gary McKendry’s elite killer movie Killer Elite (starring Clive Owen, Jason Statham, and Robert DeNiro); the international premiere of Christophe Honoré’s Beloved. Special Presentations–wise, TIFF 2011 will see new films from international directors including Andrea Arnold (Wuthering Heights), Johnnie To (Life Without Principle), and Whit Stillman (Damsels in Distress).

This year’s Visions programme (“films from around the world by filmmakers who challenge audiences’ notions of mainstream cinema,” sayeth the press release) boasts the latest from Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos, whose Dogtooth was the best film in the running for the Best Foreign Film Oscar last year. Lanthimos’s latest, ALPS, deals with an illegal organization that provides stand-ins of the recently deceased in order to help ease the grieving process, which sounds interesting. Expect the same unblinkingly macabre satire of Dogtooth, a film about family solidarity through incest. Visions also presents the new anthology film from three of the Germany’s most prominent emerging auteurs: Christian Petzold, Dominik Graf, and Christoph Hochhäusler collaborate on the aptly named Dreileben (Three Lives). Also, films by Bertrand Bonello (House of Tolerance), Debbie Tucker Green (Random), and over a dozen more.

Some hungover Spanish dudes battle aliens in Nacho Vigalond’s new film.

Another of the festival’s more broad, eclectic programs, Contemporary World Cinema, announced 51 titles from around the globe today, representing cinema that is both a) contemporary and b) of the world. There’s sci-fi black comedy from Spain (Nacho Vigalond’s Extraterrestrial); social drama from the US (Bryan Wizemann’s Think of Me and Lynn Shelton’s Your Sister’s Sister); historical drama from Poland (Wojciech Smarzowski’s Rose); as well as pictures from Israel, Morocco, China, Germany, and all points in between.
Finally, for those of you who think that cinema in its narrative, plot-driven incarnations is a crutch or something, TIFF also announced their experimental Wavelengths programme. This year will see five specially curated Wavelengths screenings, including James Benning’s Twenty Cigarettes, a film showcasing 20 smokers working through a pack of cigarettes that is supposed to make you think about (or feel) duration but will probably just make you want to smoke a cigarette. This year’s Future Projections slate boasts installations, projections, “projects,” and other arty to-dos by a slew of artists working around the cinematic medium. Perhaps the most remarkable will be the appearance of Banksy-proxy Mr. Brainwash (made famous, in part, because of last year’s Exit Through the Gift Shop). Herr Brainwash will be perched outside of Roy Thompson Hall, providing “emergency assistance for evenings requiring additional glamour and pomp.” As NOW’s Norman Wilner noted on Twitter, this suggests that TIFF’s programmer missed the point of Exit Through the Gift Shop entirely.
So, there you have it. Nacho Vigalond, Mr. Brainwash, and Nicolas Friggin’ Cage. And there’s still more to come! You can read about TIFF announcements elsewhere, but not with the same snark and cheek. So keep checking back for more.
Stills courtesy of TIFF.
TIFF 2011 runs from September 8–18, 2011. For the complete list of today’s announcements, click here.