Toronto Films November

This Week in Film: Mysteries of Lisbon, Melancholia, J. Edgar, Under Control, AluCINE, Laugh Your Balls Off Comedy Shorts, and what's new on DVD and Blu Ray

This Week in Film rounds up noteworthy new releases in theatres, as well as key DVD / Blu-Ray releases, festivals, and other cinema-related events happening in Toronto.


Melancholia (Varsity)

First, ignore the inane Nazi-comment kerfuffle. It has no business being tied to Melancholia any more than any of Lars von Trier films, and it's distracting people from the point, which is that this is probably the Danish master's most personal film, and among the two or three best of his career. It pleases with its pure spectacle and human drama, but what lingers is its corrosive condemnation of the way we adhere to rituals as a means of forgetting life's essential sadness. Alas, this is a product from the mind of a man who's suffered a great deal from depression. That it resonates so resoundingly with pretty much everyone who sees it might be its most revealing quality. Melancholia will open a week later, on November 18, at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. For more on his TIFF retrospective, check out our preview.

Mysteries of Lisbon (TIFF Bell Lightbox)

The final film by the late Chilean filmmaker Raúl Ruiz. When this 4.5-hour film premiered at TIFF in 2010, it was rumoured that Ruiz (69 at the time) made it with the impression that he was terminally ill, motivating him to pour everything he had into the production. Allegedly miraculously cured by the time it hit the festival circuit, things didn't end up working out for his health, and this ended up being his official swan song. From a man who made more than 110 films in his career, it's difficult to know where to begin (and, please, do begin somewhere; Raúl Ruiz is a bona fide master). Encompassing most of his filmography's themes in a sprawling, endlessly entertaining package, Mysteries of Lisbon turns out to be a perfect introduction.

J. Edgar (Rainbow Market Square, Scotiabank, Varsity)

Who doesn't like watching Leo play dress-up? This is obviously aiming to be a big player in the upcoming Oscar season, and if it's anything like its cousin, The Aviator, it should do well with that (and Clint Eastwood isn't exactly a stranger around them parts). Looking over the trailer, some reviews, and Hoover's soap operatic biography, this project has basically arrived in our cinemas deterministically; it doesn't really make sense that it wouldn't exist right now. If that isn't an 'event' film, I don't want to know what is.

Also in General Release This Week


For recommendations on what to catch at Toronto's rep cinema's this week, check out This Week in Rep Cinema.


Under Control - An Archaeology of Nuclear Energy (Innis Town Hall, Friday, November, 11, 6PM)

The Goethe-Institut Toronto has quietly been programming some of the most exciting film events in the city for the past year. This is partly because German cinema is awesome, and partly because they are. Many of the screenings take place right at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, but this one will be at Innis. Under Control is essentially an avant-garde film that documents the inner workings of a German nuclear plant via a languorously gliding camera. Gathering great notices at the Berlinale last Winter, it scared the wits out of some spectators, suggesting yet again that in this day and age documentaries are the purest form of horror film.


AluCINE Toronto Latin Film & Media Art Festival (Revue Cinema)
Organized by Southern Currents / Corrientes del Sur, AluCINE is a non-profit organization dedicated to presenting media art by local artists of Latin American heritage. Going strong since 1993, AluCINE remains the most prominent outlet for Latino artists and filmmakers in Toronto. This year's selection offers an eclectic lineup of shorts, performances, exhibitions, and even a feature film (Los extraños presagios de León Prozak by Carlos Santa). Runs November 15-19; check their website for times and alternative locations.

Laugh Your Balls Off Comedy Shorts Film Festival (Innis Town Hall)
More of a short film programme than a festival. Thirteen films compose the lineup, and we'd wager that you don't even need balls to get most of the jokes. Doors open at 7:30PM on November 17.


On shelves November 15:


We have 10 double passes to give away to tonight's premiere screening of The Immortals. The first 10 people to go to this link and enter the Pin Code THEIMMORTALBLOG win the passes. Want to know more about the film? Check the trailer embedded below:

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