Toronto Film Festival 2013 – The Retrospectives
One more post before tomorrow’s final summary and method statement, just to set the tone and expectations for the following ten days – Jesus, I clearly do need a holiday as my programme management speak is incrementally bleeding into my hobbies – I think it’s time to update the critical path risk register. Like all respected festivals with a few quid to chuck around this year’s specialist TIFF team have commissioned or acquired prints of recently restored classics, a historic celebration of the art form to align with new talents and contemporary voices, so here is a brief summary of what’s in store retrospective wise at this year’ festival;
Gun Crazy – I think it was during my ‘The Best Films You’ve Never Seen‘ post that I admitted to my omission of Gun Crazy from my noir list of the usual suspects, so the chance to finally apprehend this monochrome forerunner to Bonnie & Clyde, Badlands, and just about any other homicidal couple on the run picture, a series which continues with this years Malickian Ain’t Them Bodies Saints. I’m pretty sure that these must be the same prints that the BFI commissioned a couple of years back, so effectively I have travelled an ocean to finally plug this win with a bellyful of hot lead.
Rome Open City – One of the core texts of the Italian Neo-Realist film movement, those socially arrayed, macro attuned films shot in the closing months and immediate aftermath of the second world war, cobbled together on scraps of film stock with an urgent political reality by the likes of Vittorio De Sica, Luchino Visconti and in this case Roberto Rossellini (father of Isabella since you ask). This is text-book film studies 101 viewing for any budding cinephile although my personal favourite was always the devastating Umberto D, so we’ll see how the campaign develops – I’m fairly sure it clashes with All Cheerleaders Die and we all know who’s gonna win that conflict, right?
Shivers – As I mentioned before Cronenberg’s original infection has been given a digital antiseptic bath, as I only reviewed the film a couple of weeks ago I can’t say I’ll be killing myself to assimilate this horrid little herald of things to come, but we’ll see how events organically unfold with my competing priorities – I’m sick like that.
Hiroshima Mon Amour – I first saw this world cinema masterpiece around ten years ago when I was as my friends would have it a little bit squinty, quite what possessed me to fire up a black & white subtitled art house artefact after a Friday evening on the ales is beyond me, but nevertheless I remember a fantastically interwoven love story which flits and flutters through its cinematic temporal dimensions. This was a genuinely revolutionary film for its period which prefigured the mosaic methodologies of Roeg and more recently Nolan and Carruthers, by inspiring them to manipulate definitions of time and space and abandon the restraining straightjacket of causality and the strictly observed momentum of narrative logic, so the chance to see this with the celluloid still dripping fresh really should not be missed.
An Autumn Afternoon – A change of pace from the hectic speed of Canada’s most populous and economically driven city should be provided by a refreshing sip of one of Ozu’s modest masterpieces, I’m really going to make an effort to see this as other than that viewing of Tokyo Story a few years back my track record with the big screen sensei has been simply appalling, as in non-existent. I’m not sure if this is a digital scan or an analogue restoration, hopefully the latter for ancient authenticity but these days given the relentless march of technology I doubt it.