This Week in Film: A Matter of Taste (Serving Up Paul Liebrandt), Toronto Film Challenge, The Guard, Restless, The Interrupters, Monthy Python and the Holy Grail, Bigger than Life
This week in film rounds up the most noteworthy independent screenings and cinema-related events happening in Toronto.
MONDAY OCTOBER 3RD / A MATTER OF TASTE: SERVING UP PAUL LIEBRANDT / TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX /
This seems to be a good year for foodies and cinephiles alike, as yet another food-based documentary comes to the TIFF Bell Lightbox this fall. A Matter of Taste specifically takes a decade-long look at Paul Liebrandt, a daring young chef who won three stars from the New York Times in 2002, the youngest chef ever to do so, and saw his career skyrocket ever since. For the post-Anthony Bourdain era, the film highlights things we have all come to know by now, the restaurant business is a grueling, thankless machine that will take talented young people and tear them apart, but occasionally, and in the case of Liebrandt, it will propel them. That is, until the next bad review. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased at the cinema or online.
TUESDAY OCTOBER 4TH / TORONTO FILM CHALLENGE: HORROR SHORTS / TORONTO UNDERGROUND CINEMA / 7PM
Last weekend, if you were lucky, you might have seen some ragtag teams of filmmakers running through the city, shooting left and right trying to figure out the best possible angle for a shot. I know I saw a crew on Queen West who fit that description. But these weren't just renegade film students, they were participants in this years Toronto Film Challenge. This year in partnership with the Toronto After Dark Film Festival, teams were challenged to create a horror short in 48 hours. With little to no sleep, nine teams finished in the allotted challenge time while three squeaked by shortly after. See the fruits of their exhausting labour and witness who takes home the coveted Audience Choice Award. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the cinema.
WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 5TH / THE GUARD / CUMBERLAND CINEMA / 7:15PM & 9:50PM
West meets West in this comedy about a small town Irish police officer who has his whole lazy work ethic disrupted when an FBI agent comes a-knocking about a potential drug smuggling ring. Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle have a comedic chemistry that is hard to beat, as the two butt heads at every path, working against a hilarious trio of villains who believe they have the whole plot figured out. The film is officially the most successful independent Irish film of all time and one of the funniest films I've seen all year. Tickets can be purchased at the cinema or online.
THURSDAY OCTOBER 6TH / RESTLESS / VARSITY CINEMA / 6:50 & 9:30PM
Gus Van Sant's newest work stars it-girl Mia Wasikowska as Annabel, a woman with terminal cancer who connects with a young, funeral crashed named Enoch. Her new friend has also been marked with death after the loss of his parents two years prior and has a hard time connecting with the living ever since. The two come together to enjoy the last few months of Annabel's life with an abandon and a fervor that neither had experienced before, embracing the subtleties in life around them. A bit of a turn from the subjects Van Sant usually tackles, Restless is a contemplative, slow-moving film that hopes to show life is more about the journey than the outcome. Tickets can be purchased at the cinema or online.
FRIDAY OCTOBER 7TH / THE INTERRUPTERS / TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX / 7PM
Steve James, director of Hoop Dreams, comes to the TIFF Bell Lightbox to introduce and attend a Q & A session about his most recent work, The Interrupters. Alongside New York Times columnist Alex Kotlowitz, the two spent a year following Ceasefire, a violence interruption group based in Chicago who aim to defuse violent confrontations between gangs and other drug-related circumstances, even if it puts their own life at risk. The film focuses on three interrupters who are all former gang members, as each of them try to make things right, when law enforcement would only look to arrest and prosecute. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased at the cinema or online.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 8TH / MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL / TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX / 11PM
This is the first of many screenings of Late Night: Python in Excelsis, a splendiforous program that showcases Monty Python film offerings as well as the directorial delights of Terry Gilliam, all at the convenient late hour for those of us who hate waking before 10pm at night. The first film at bat is arguably the most famous, Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The mayhem begins with King Arthur trying to round-up his wayward Knights of the Round Table in the hunt for a mythical chalice, while encountering wanton maids, talking trees and decidedly hard to kill villains along the way. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased at the cinema or online.
SUNDAY OCTOBER 9TH / BIGGER THAN LIFE / TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX / 1PM
Ed Avery, an all-American family man finds his whole life at risk when a recent illness consisting of severe headaches and blackouts is diagnosed as a life-threatening illness, only treatable with a highly controversial dose of cortisone hormones. With no other choice, he takes the drug, finds himself miraculously cured but transforms into a dark and dangerous version of the man he once was. Family values and patriarchal family life are critiqued as Ed seems convinced that father still knows best and insists on dominating and terrorizing his poor family. Shocking for its time, the film is still a dark reflection on a stifling era in American history. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased at the cinema or online.
For Toronto movie showtimes, view our Movie Listings section.
Still from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
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