TIFF edition 2017 – September 11 2017

TIFF is over for me and I saw two films plus re-visiting a friend from earlier in the year.  I have also seen a couple other films as well.

TIFF was generally a sombre affair for me with two films that address loss in different ways.   The first was On Chesil Beach which starred Saoirse Ronan who was excellent in Brooklyn a couple years back.   Here she is part of a couple that meets and decides to get married in 1962.   This is a time where the sexual revolution has not occurred and the couple are filled with angst and misinformation about the physical aspects of love.   The wedding night does not goes as planned or as expected and a decision is made.  The consequences are then felt for the rest of the film.  I liked the performances.  The discomfort and level of uncertainty is palpable.  In the end you have such sympathy for characters who are prisoners in their own time in a way.   The best part of TIFF is when the people who created the film show up to answer questions and provide clarity.  Here the writer, director, producer and main male actor were all here.  The writer was very insightful.

Next came Euphoria last night where we have the relationship of two sisters explored in detail.  Sisters are played by Alicia Vikander and Eva Green.  Vikander’s production company produced it.  The sisters are very different people.   And they have done different things in their lives and chosen different paths.  Who ever said that you had to like your siblings, just because you have common life experiences in your youth?   The story addresses a difficult subject matter well and shows some aspects of life that for me were new and thought provoking.  Alicia was there, but unfortunately Eva Green was not.  For me the Green performance was more demanding and impressive.  Charlotte Rampling has a small but important part.   Girlfriend liked this film more than On Chesnil Beach.  She felt the characters and the relationship was better established.  I preferred the first as some aspects of this film did not work for me (the the closing choice of song).  Still it was a film that stayed with me and I think about.

Alicia Vikander Euphoria TIFF 2017

Sunday as you know was the Cinesphere playing of Dunkirk where Christopher Nolan was in attendance to answer questions and talk about his use of celluloid as opposed to filming digitally.  He and James Cameron would have a fun debate.   This to me is a marvellous film and one of the best in 2017.   On 70mm film it was even better. I cannot recommend this film more highly and it is an event to be seen in IMAX.

On Netflix I have watched The Space Between Us which feels like a compilation of a bunch of better films like The Martian, Star Man, The Fault In Our Stars and even The Boy in the Plastic Bubble.  It is a teen angst movie where the two teens are separated by planets; talk about the long distance relationship!   He was born on Mars unexpectedly, and somehow managed to connect with a pretty blonde in a classroom.   It is quite formulaic and nothing is really much of a surprise.

Finally I watched Demolition with Jake Gyl.   Here he plays a guy not fully engaged with his routine life.  He goes about his routine and days and then something happens to shake that up. He finds comfort and satisfaction with destruction.  First in small appliances and then to a house that is being gutted.  It moves to his own house.   He does many unexpected things.   He meets a woman through letters he wrote to complain about losing change in a vending machine.   There are revelations made that surprised me and took this in a new direction.  There is a scene with the Customer Service person’s son in the use of a firearm that quite simply had me stunned.  This was a TIFF film I had on my list from a couple years back that I did not see.  I am glad I did.  I am thankful it didn’t cost me $25.

What attracts me to TIFF are the people you meet in lines. The choice of films.  You see things here that aren’t in Cineplex theatres.  But you get the added bonus of the stars and people that create the film.  The extra colour are live bonus materials that shape and give texture to these stories.   Sometimes they clear up questions on what was the filmmaker’s intent.  On Chesil Beach had that aspect and I appreciated the clarity.   I do like the buzz in the city that is created downtown.  It’s a fun time of year and I look forward to it next year.  Enjoy your films!

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