Matt's picks for TIFF 2007

The complete schedule for this year's Toronto International Film Festival was released yesterday, as was the year's programme book; pass holders around the city are now feverishly charting out their first and second choices, which are due in about 40 hours. (That's Friday at 1:00, in case my math sucks.)

What to pick? Well, take it from someone who just spent the day creating a 2-layer grid of fifty first picks and fifty second picks, none of which overlap and all of which must have appropriate travel time in between: it ain't easy.

Factors in my choices: Nothing that's getting a 3,000-screen release next month, nothing programmed by Cameron Bailey, anything programmed by Colin Geddes, nothing before noon, nothing from a country with a GDP less than ten billion USD, everything with Ellen Page in it, and at least one exception to even my best-considered rules.

Here's a flick for each day of the festival, the one that I am looking forward to above everything else that day:

Thursday the 6th: Persepolis

Gorgeous black-and-white animated film about a young Muslim woman coming of age in Tehran, based on the graphic novels.

Friday the 7th: Lust, Caution

Ang Lee's new film just got slapped with an NC-17 in the States, making its release future uncertain. See it while you can.

Saturday the 8th: Chacun son cinema

Nearly three dozen filmmakers make 3-minute films apiece for this massive anthology work.

Sunday the 9th: The World Unseen

Lesbian love during Apartheid. Right on!

Monday the 10th: Une vielle maitresse

I'm a fan of Catherine Breillat's work, and am looking forward to seeing what she cooks up in this adaptation of a 19th century novel about sexual intrigue.

Tuesday the 11th: Very Young Girls

I can't imagine this documentary about underage prostitutes will be terribly fun to watch, but then, last year's best film (Lake of Fire) was no chuckler either.

Wednesday the 12th: The Tracey Fragments

Bruce McDonald's experimentalish feature covers the tormented inner world of a teenage girl in an audacious split-screened visual design. (Don't worry, I'm sure it's more fun than that sounds.)

Thursday the 13th: Smiley Face

Gregg Araki's stoner comedy? SOLD.

Friday the 14th: Son of Rambow

Two British boys go overboard when they're exposed to the first Rambo film. Hey, I can relate.

Saturday the 15th: A l'interieur

The Saturday night closing Midnight Madness is the slam-bang party the end of the festival deserves. And this one's being called the goriest film since Dead Alive.

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