Thursday, July 23, 2009

More Film Announcements

The festival announced more films today in across three of its programmes.

In the Special Presentations section, films announced include:

  • Broken Embraces (Los abrazos rotos), the latest from filmmaker Pedro Almodovar. Lluis Homar plays Harry Caine, a blind writer who has to face the submerged demons from his past. Also stars (of course) Penelope Cruz.
  • An Education, directed by Lone Scherfig from a Nick Hornby screenplay, set in 1960s London, and about a young teenage girl coming of age and having to make a decision between university and a much older man. Starring Carey Mulligan, Peter Sarsgaard, Alfred Molina, Rosamund Pike, Olivia Williams, and Emma Thompson among others.
  • The Front Line (La prima linea), from director Renato De Maria, following a couple that belongs to the left-wing terrorist group Prima Linea in Italy in the 1970s and 80s.
  • Glorious 39, from writer/director Stephen Poliakoff, a thriller set on the eve of World War II, with Romola Garai, Bill Nighy, Julie Christie, David Tennant, Christopher Lee, Hugh Bonneville, Jenny Agutter, Jeremy Northam, and others.
  • Kamui, Yoichi Sai's live-action version of the Japanese manga Kamui Gaiden (The Legend of Kamui), about ninja Kamui (Kenichi Matsuyama) trying to escape his clan. In his travels he meets ninja Sugaru (Koyuki) in a similar situation.
  • Life During Wartime, from writer/director Todd Solondz (Happiness, Storytelling), characterized as a "part-sequel, part-companion piece" to Happiness, with Shirley Henderson, Ciaran Hinds, Allison Janney, Ally Sheedy, Gaby Hoffman, Paul Reubens, Charlotte Rampling, and others.
  • A Prophet (Un prophète), about a young Arab man (Tahar Rahim), sent to a French prison, where he soon runs up against the Corsican gang that holds sway.
  • The Secret of Their Eyes (El secreto de sus ojos), from director/co-writer Juan José Campanella, about an Argentinian court secretary who decides to write a book about a 30-year old case that still haunts him.

In the Discovery programme, which focuses on films from new directors, 21 films were announced:

  • The Angel (Enkeli), the feature-film debut of Norwegian documentarian Margreth Olin, about a young mother with a past history of drug abuse.
  • Applause, from writer/director Martin Pieter Zandvliet, about an actress who, fresh from rehab, tries to reconnect with her two estranged sons while keeping her inner demons at bay.
  • Bare Essence of Life (Urutora mirakuru rabu sutôrî), finds Kenichi Matsuyama (who is also in the festival this year in Kamui) playing a farmer who falls in love for the first time with a Tokyo nursery school teacher still grieving over the death of her boyfriend.
  • Beautiful Kate, from director/screenwriter Rachel Ward based on a novel by Newton Thornburg, stars Ben Mendelsohn as a writer who is called home by his sister (Rachel Griffiths) to make peace with his dying father (Bryan Brown). While home, long buried secrets soon reveal themselves.
  • A Brand New Life, from writer/director Ounie Lecomte, about a young girl abandoned by her father in an orphanage.
  • The Disappearance of Alice Creed, from writer/director J. Blakeson, about a woman kidnapped by two ex-convicts. With Gemma Arterton, Eddie Marsan, and Martin Compston.
  • Eamon, from writer/director Margaret Corkery, about a love triangle between a father, mother, and son, brought to a head at a holiday gathering.
  • Every Day Is a Holiday (Chaque jour est une fête), from director Dima El-Horr, about three Lebanese women on a trip to visit their imprisoned mates.
  • Five Hours from Paris, from director/co-writer Leon Prudovsky, a romance between an Israeli cab driver and a Russian music teacher in Tel Aviv.
  • Heliopolis, from director/writer Ahmad Abdalla, about a day in the life of a group of people in a Cairo neighbourhood.
  • The Day Will Come (Es kommt der Tag), from director Susanne Schneider, about a woman tracked down by the-now adult daughter she once gave up for adoption, so she could go underground and join a terrorist group.
  • Le Jour où Dieu est parti en voyage (aka Rwanda April 7, 1994), from director Philippe van Leeuw, a view of the Rwandan genocide through one woman's eyes.
  • Last Ride, from director Glendyn Ivin, about a man his 10-year old son on the run from the law.
  • My Dog Tulip, from husband-and-wife team Paul Fierlinger and Sandra Fierlinger, an animated film about an old man and his dog, with the voices of Christopher Plummer and Isabella Rossellini.
  • My Tehran for Sale, from director/writer Granaz Moussavi, about a young actress in Tehran forced to keep her artistic expression hidden, who is offered a way out by a young Irani man now living in Australia.
  • Northless (Norteado), from director Rigoberto Perezcano, a view of Tijuana seen through the eyes of a young man waiting to sneak across the border into the US.
  • La Soga, from director Josh Crook, a drama set in the Dominican Republic.
  • Shirley Adams, from Oliver Hermanus, about the life of a woman abandoned by her husband and committed to tend to her son, partially paralyzed from a shooting.
  • Toad's Oil (Gama no abura), from star/director/co-writer Koji Yakusho, about a day trader who tries to reconnect with his young son after a tragedy befalls the family.
  • Together Matias (Sammen), from director/writer Armand Jordal, about a father and son who must find a way to build a new relationship after an accident shatters their family.
  • The Unloved, the directorial debut of actor Samantha Morton, about a young girl taken from her abusive family and put into government care. Starring Robert Carlyle.

Finally, the festival announced 9 new films for the Vanguard programme:

  • Accident (Yi ngoi), from director Soi Cheang, about a group of assassins who stage accidents to conceal their kills.
  • The Ape (Apan), from writer/director Jesper Ganslandt, about a man who must rebuild his life after a tragedy. I saw one of Ganslandt's previous films, Falkenberg Farewell, at the festival back in 2006.
  • Bunny and the Bull, from writer/director Paul King, about two friends who relive a European road trip without leaving their living room.
  • The Dirty Saints (Rio Fijman), from Luis Ortega, about five people who flee the ruins of the city to reach their salvation in "El Lugar", but must face mysterious forces trying to stop them.
  • Enter the Void (Soudain le vide), from writer/director Gaspar Noé, about a drug dealer who traverses the void between life and death in Japan.
  • Hipsters (Stilyagi), a musical from writer/director/librettist Valery Todorovsky, about "style hunters", youth obsessed with western culture, in 50's Russia.
  • The Misfortunates (De helaasheid der dingen), from director/co-writer Felix Van Groeningen, about a young teenaged boy and his drunken father and uncles.
  • My Queen Karo, from writer/director Dorothée van den Berghe, about a young girl and her family, who move to a squatter community in Amsterdam in the 70's.
  • Spring Fever (Chun feng chen zui de ye wan), from director Ye Lou, about a doomed gay love triangle.


My experiences at the Toronto International Film Festival. Note this blog is not affiliated with the Toronto International Film Festival Group or the festival itself.
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