This Week in Film: Resurrect Dead, Persepolis, Jar City, Starbuck, The Last Circus, Nuit Blanche at TIFF, Poetry
This week in film rounds up the most noteworthy independent screenings and cinema-related events happening in Toronto.
MONDAY SEPTEMBER 26TH / RESURRECT DEAD: THE MYSTERY OF THE TOYNBEE TILES / ROYAL CINEMA / 9PM
A documentary 10 years in the making, Resurrect Dead follows filmmaker Jon Foy as he explores the mystery of the Toynbee Tiles, a curious street art project found from the east coast to the mid-west but centered in Philadelphia. The tiles would appear nondescript to those passing by inattentively, but have the same confusing message etched on each license-plate sized piece. Foy teams up with Toynbee-hunter Justin Duerr, who has been documenting the phenomenon since the mid-nineties and other 'tile enthusiasts' who each have their own theories about just how this mystery is going to play out. The film baffled and intrigued audience members at Sundance and Hot Docs earlier this year, and returns to Toronto at the Royal Cinema for a limited engagement. Tickets can be purchased at the theatre.
TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 27TH / THE BOOK REVUE PRESENTS: PERSEPOLIS / REVUE CINEMA / 6:45PM
Persepolis, based on the critically acclaimed autobiographical graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi, follows the Iranian revolution through the eyes of an adolescent in the eighties. The film mirrors the graphic novel series which documents Satrapi's life in Iran, her subsequent move to Austria at the request of her family and her return as an adult. At times touching and dark, Satrapi really captures her experiences being outcast from her own country by an oppressive regime and soul-searching in a different culture. The Book Revue is a monthly film series that includes a discussion period after the film to go into further detail about the adaptation and its importance. You don't need to read the book although for this week I highly recommend it. Tickets are $12 for this program and can be purchased at the cinema.
WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 28TH / NORDIC NIGHTS PRESENTS: JAR CITY / NFB MEDIATHEQUE / 7PM
'It's a typical Iceland murder, messy and pointless." The murder of an old man and subsequent investigation shine a light on crimes three decades cold. As investigators search deeper into the past of the deceased, troubling facts come to light, making it quite clear that the old man was a monster of his own right. By backtracking through small town secrets, a disturbing narrative begins to unravel. Contemporary Scandinavian cinema seems to be attracted to the sexually deviant and disturbing and Jar City is no exception. The film will be preceded by a reception with a performance by Sigrun Stella. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the NFB.
THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 29TH / STARBUCK / CUMBERLAND CINEMA / MULTIPLE SCREENINGS
David Wosniak is a dedicated sperm donor, in fact he's so consistent that throughout his life, his sperm has fathered over 533 children. Unfortunately, many of said kids are now lobbying for his information to be released, while his current pregnant girlfriend doubts his maturity and ability to be a father. Based on the true story of a bull whose sperm donations helped artificially inseminate hundreds of thousands of offspring, Starbuck is a different type of film about fatherhood and responsibility, and perhaps the sense of family that arises when more than 500 kids share your gene pool. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased at the cinema or online.
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 30TH / THE LAST CIRCUS / ROYAL CINEMA / 9:30PM
'If I weren't a clown, I'd be a murderer.' A troupe of circus performers find the walls a bit close for comfort as a love triangle threatens to tear their family apart. Sad Clown, Javier has fallen deeply in love with Natalia, a gorgeous acrobat and wife to the abusive Happy Clown, Sergio. As the two star-crossed lovers get closer, Sergio boils into a rage that threatens to burn down the city. Definitely a film that is Pagliacci-ish in concept, The Last Circus has been described as Fellini meets Del Toro, a Spanish contemporary film that collides with the phantom spectacle of Italian film, just toss in some ultra-violence and sex and you've got this film in a nutshell. It has a limited engagement at the Royal Cinema with multiple screening times. Tickets can be purchased at the theatre.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 1ST / NUIT BLANCHE @ TIFF / TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX / 7PM-7AM
TIFF continues to be a cinematic force for Nuit Blanche celebrations by revisiting some of the programming that was beloved from last year, and presenting some new initiatives. By popular demand, they are running an 80's version of Singing in the Dark, a live performance by the Royal Canadian Chiptunes Orchestra and other bands as they perform video game inspired music, a live digital performance will also accompany Dziga Vertov's classic Man with a Movie Camera and the Movie Studio Playhouse will allow participants to recreate films that will be projected throughout the Lightbox. All events are free but subject to massive, roaming, crowds. For full information, be sure to visit the TIFF Nuit Blanche page.
SUNDAY OCTOBER 2ND / POETRY / TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX / MULTIPLE SCREENINGS
Mija is an elderly woman struggling with Alzheimer's, who takes care of her ungrateful grandson and works a housemaid for an older gentleman who has a bit of a thing for her. She is also a glorious poet. Poetry finds Mija in a difficult period as she realizes the limitations that Alzheimer's is having on her creative processes and the way she connects to the world. At the same time she leans some difficult truths about her grandson and the illegal activities he's been involved in. Another tough, explorative film but the director of Secret Sunshine, one of my favourite films from 2007, Poetry is a look at a creative outlet that has become forgotten, a return to poetry and beauty in a dark world of which corruption has a firm grip. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased at the theatre or online.
For Toronto movie showtimes, view our Movie Listings section.
Still from Resurrect Dead
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