TIFF ends not with a bang or a whimper but a free screening.
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It’s finally here: not the end of time, the subject of Peter Mettler’s playful documentary by that name, but certainly the end of the festival. TIFF’s last day is always a bittersweet affair, and our picks for it are fittingly a mix of the dark and the light.
For those who can stomach its uncompromising portrait of an aging couple’s slog against the indignities of illness, there’s Michael Haneke’s Palme d’Or winning Amour (). Haneke’s most humane film in some time, free of the programmatic nastiness of The White Ribbon, the film is grounded by two astonishing performances from Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva, both of them semi-retired French acting royalty.
Just as difficult but significantly funnier—it would be hard not to be—is Ulrich Seidl’s Paradise: Love (), a pitch black comedy about an Austrian woman’s sexual tourism in Kenya, where she samples a bevy of young locals who hock their bodies to her on the beach. The first entry in a planned trilogy, it’s a disturbing and morbidly fascinating look at how global politics and colonial entitlement play out in the most intimate of circumstances.
If you’d rather end your festival experience on a positive note, your best bet might be Spike Lee’s Bad 25 (), a high-energy track-by-track retrospective of Michael Jackson’s titular album featuring recent interviews from Yeezy himself, and Kanye West, among others. Once that’s done, you might as well head for the Ryerson to queue for TIFF’s free screening of the Blackberry People’s Choice Award winner. We don’t have any inside scoops on what it’ll be, and we’re reticent to even guess after last year’s middling left-field winner Where Do We Go Now?, but odds are it’s something uplifting—which means no free Amour screenings, sadly.