This Week in Film: The Deep Blue Sea, Keyhole, Happy People (A Year in the Taiga), Images Festival, TIFF Kids, and what's new in DVD and BluRay
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.
The Deep Blue Sea (Varsity)
This is the first narrative feature by British master Terrence Davies in almost a dozen years - his previous film, 2008's Of Time and the City, was a found footage essay about his home town, Liverpool. The wait was worth it. Adapted from the 1952 Terence Rattigan play of the same name, The Deep Blue Sea is about as hopelessly Romantic has a film can get without turning on the theatres fire safety sprinklers at the 2/3 mark.
In the film, the wife of a judge begins an affair with an RAF pilot; when the pilot's feeling toward her begin to change, she must grapple with her overflowing love that she has nowhere to place. If it all sounds melancholic beyond repair, Davies shows once again that he knows how to manage his tone better than almost any other active filmmaker, scraping against these intense sensations of anguish and despair without drowning us in them. Rachel Weisz's best performance ever; grainiest movie ever.
Keyhole (TIFF Bell Lightbox)
The expressionist Winnipegger's latest film Keyhole is just as singular as it is familiar, registering as an undeniable Guy Maddin experience, even if it could also be reduced to 'just another Guy Maddin experience'. Taking cues from cult icons The Bowery Bros., this Homer-inspired domestic epic is a free-wheelin', shapeless blast, if resolutely exhausting by the end. On the 'formal' front, little is surprising here - the film incorporates a hyper, black & white aesthetic that has long been Maddin's trademark. Intentionally hypnotized performances from his leads, including a a pretty inspired turn from Jason Patric, stamp the corners with a biting, absurdist humour that remains Maddin's purest talent. Looking sleek and professional in a crisp HD resolution, at least he's still having fun with his features, even if it would have had more impact four or five features ago.
Happy People: A Year In The Taiga (Bloor Hot Docs)
You had me at 'Herzog', frankly, and even though this was co-directed with Dmitry Vasyukov, it's a bit startling to see that a new film by the quirky German can still fly under the radar (Happy People first premiered over a year ago at an environmental film festival in San Francisco, and most cinephiles still have never heard of it). The history of the project goes back to a Vasyukov's four-hour version of this film, intended as a made-for-television miniseries about Siberian fur trappers. That's all still there, but Herzog came in and whittled it down to a modest 94 minutes, and transformed it into a typically elegiac and visual treatise on man and his place in the wilderness. On paper, this actually seems far more interesting than many of the projects he's been working on lately, even considering that he's on a bit of a winning streak.
IN REP CINEMA
or recommendations on what to catch at Toronto's rep cinema's this week, check out This Week in Rep Cinema.
Images Festival (April 12-21)
Judging by the sold out crowd for Lewis Klahr's masterpiece The Pettifogger at the Lightbox on Wednesday, the Images Festival needs no introduction. Those who were there now know the level of quality in store for the next week and a half, and those who weren't might want to take a look at our preview here and then get busy blocking out some evenings (or a full afternoon, in case you should choose to brave Lav Diaz's six-hour Florentina Hubaldo CTE on the festival's final day). This is Toronto's premiere avant-garde (near) fortnight, and every day offers something essential.
TIFF Kids International Film Festival (April 10-22)
Another festival already in progress is the TIFF Kids International Film Festival (formerly went by the name of Sprockets, but recently split into two - the other being TIFF Next Wave in mid-May). With a broad scope targeting an age range from 3 year olds to early teens, the festival offers the perfect cinematic relief to kick off the Summer break. TIFF Kids takes place at the TIFF Bell Lightbox; regular ticket prices apply and can be purchased online or at the box office.
DVD & BLU-RAY
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