TIFF Daily Tip Sheet: Friday, September 14
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TIFF Daily Tip Sheet: Friday, September 14

Heaps of fish, child soldiers, and James Franco’s shorts on TIFF’s ninth day.

Wondering how to navigate the torrent of films? Our growing list of TIFF reviews is right here.

Still from Leviathan, courtesy of TIFF.

It’s closing time at TIFF, with only three days to go before the 270-some films run together into a blurry false memory of Salman Rushdie sent back through time to snuff out Bruce Willis. Before it comes to that, why not spend the day with some films we liked?

Our top pick today—although we suspect the 20 or so people who walked out of its first screening won’t agree—is Leviathan (). Hatched by a pair of anthropologists at Harvard’s Sensory Ethnography Lab, the film is a documentary tour of a fishing vessel off the coast of New Bedford. The camera soars through the air as often as it crashes down in a mess of bloody chum. Gross as it all sounds, it’s a visual feast unlike anything at the festival. The film is somewhere between a gruesome autobiography of a fish and a no-nonsense profile of men at work.

Leviathan is not for everyone, to put it mildly, and neither is our next pick, Spring Breakers (). Enfant terrible Harmony Korine returns with the hedonistic comedy (starring who else but Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens!) about four vacationing coeds in search of Florida’s piece of the sublime. Props to James Franco, who goes whole hog as a drug dealer prone to boasting about his wide array of colourful shorts. Those seeking something a bit more traditional than either the fish or the Franco odyssey will be safer with Rebelle (), Kim Nguyen’s sensitive and nicely lensed first-person diary of a child soldier uprooted from her home.