TIFF Daily Tip Sheet: Tuesday, September 11
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TIFF Daily Tip Sheet: Tuesday, September 11

A pair of Canadian debuts and two thrillers round out TIFF day 6.

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

Still from Tower.

It might seem to go without saying, given that festivals tend to highlight their own national product, but TIFF’s Canadian offerings are uncommonly strong this year, with solid work from Peter Mettler, Sarah Polley, and even the usually restless Xavier Dolan. Today might be a good time, then, to catch up with a number of homegrown selections, including a couple of impressive feature debuts.

Kazik Radwanski’s Tower () is one of our favourites in the Discovery programme. A modest, finely-tuned character study of an unemployed animator who finds himself in a prolonged turf war with a raccoon, the film reveals surprising emotional depths without overreaching, and makes good use of its Toronto locales. Igor Drljaca’s Krivina () is a bit more adventurous—and uneven as a result. Drljaca stages an engrossing mystery about the protagonist’s long-lost friend alongside the more compelling story of an immigrant’s experience in Canada; it’s worth a look for those who can handle their films more deliberately paced than usual.

Should you be in the mood for an international chaser after all that Canadiana, there’s always Ben Wheatley’s Sightseers, about two lovers who go on a killing spree in the English countryside. If it’s anything like his last film Kill List, a demonic thriller that begins as a treatise on the economic crisis, it’ll be funny, tense, and thoughtful in roughly equal measure. The biggest ticket item for trashy thriller enthusiasts, though, has to be Brian De Palma’s Passion, a florid noir that’s been met with both praise and derision from those who’ve seen it so far. Might as well see it and pick a side.