What to see at TIFF 2012: Wavelengths
If you believe cinema should be challenging as well as entertaining, or simply want to see a film at the Toronto International Film Festival that isn't likely to make it to theatres, then the avant-garde Wavelengths programme (which has enveloped the former Visions programme) is just the ticket.
If I could only pick 5 films from the Wavelengths program, here's what I'd recommend.
Far From Afghanistan
John Gianvito, Travis Wilkerson, Jon Jost, Minda Martin, Soon-Mi Yoo (USA)
Five of the boldest and most prominent American militant filmmakers unite to create this fiery collaboration, inspired by the 1967 militant anthology film Far from Vietnam, which reveals the hidden costs of the most expensive and longest-running war in Canada/US history.
Thomas Demand (USA)
In 2010, a YouTube video of an Australian Pacific Sun cruise ship rocked by bad weather in the Tasman Sea, causing its furniture and passengers to sway back and forth in an eerie, otherworldly cadence, went viral. In one of his most ambitious works to date, internationally celebrated German visual artist Thomas Demand has recreated that 100 second video using a full-scale set constructed completely out of paper. Shot frame-by-frame, for a total of 2400 frames, a team of animators retraced each item several millimetres at a time over a period of fifteen months.
Post Tenebras Lux
Carlos Reygadas (Mexico/France/Netherlands/Germany)
In Post Tenebras Lux, meaning "After Darkness, Light", maverick director Carlos Reygadas presents a controversial and disorienting film of a family family sliding between tenderness and violence. A powerful exposure of the brutality at the heart of humanity and nature.
The Lebanese Rocket Society
Joana Hadjithomas , Khalil Joreige (France / Lebanon / UAE / Qatar)
This compelling documentary of Lebanon's all too brief flirtation with space exploration in the 1960s, is a poignant metaphor for the Arab world's forward thinking.
When Night Falls
Ying Liang (South Korea/China)
In 2008 a young man was accused of murdering six Shanghai police officers, this exceptional new film from independent Chinese auteur Ying Liang focuses on the killer's mother, as she struggles to comprehend her son's actions and is persecuted by a state that ignores its own laws. Winner of the Best Director and Actress awards at the Locarno Film Festival.
A complete list of films in the Wavelengths programme can be found on the TIFF website. The Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 6-16.