This Week in Film: The Oxbow Cure, The World's End, The Grandmaster, Rebel Yell, See You Next Tuesday
This Week in Film rounds up noteworthy new releases in theatres, rep cinema and avant-garde screenings, festivals, and other special cinema-related events happening in Toronto.
The Oxbow Cure (TIFF Bell Lightbox)
DIY filmmaking duo Calvin Thomas and Yonah Lewis quietly made the best Canadian film of 2011 with their debut feature, Amy George, so you can imagine that, at least for those who were able to catch that film at TIFF11, the arrival of their sophomore effort arrives with considerable promise. While Amy George was a beautifully realized coming-of-age film, The Oxbow Cure represents a measurable divergence in setting, tone, and ambition for the two filmmakers.
Depicting an ambiguous narrative of a woman's psychological disarray as she quarantines herself in the unforgiving, wintry boonies of Ontario, Thomas and Lewis's latest is a moody and stirring piece that works in a quasi-experimental mode, shedding any reliance on dialogue and narrative conventions. The filmmakers will be present at the TIFF Bell Lightbox for a Q&A after the film's first screening on Friday, August 23 at 7:30PM.
The World's End (Carlton, Cineplex Yonge & Dundas)
If you liked Edgar Wright's Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, you're pretty well set to dig his latest. It's essentially the same movie. And as much as that is a recommendation - I like those two films a lot - it's also a criticism. One because I think filmmakers as talented as Wright ought to progress their styles and cover new territory, but also because there are so many potential new directions and bigger ideas in this film than he usually presents in his movies that it's kind of a cop out to fall back on the same old [not going to go any further; in case you haven't seen the trailer, this movie is highly spoilable, and one of its primary delights is in discovering the direction it goes in within the film itself (true of all movies, by the way), so I'll just stop there].
The Grandmaster (Varsity)
Wong Kar-wai is one of those top tier world cinema auteurs who makes films so rarely that whenever he does finally release something new (especially when it's been delayed as long as this one has), it becomes an event in and of itself. Following his first legitimate critical flop (My Blueberry Nights) since he became an 'it' guy in the 90s, The Grandmaster is a poetic, slo-mo-laden chronicle of Ip Man's life story. In case you have any doubts about Wong applying his languid style to a martial arts picture, you can get a taste of his adequacy with his 1994 wuxia picture, Ashes of Time.
Also opening in theatres this week:
Rebel Yell - A New Generation of Turkish Women Filmmakers (August 22-29; TIFF Bell Lightbox)
This programme of six fiction and documentary shorts and features spotlights vital new work being created by a rising generation of female Turkish filmmakers. Highlights of the series include Pelin Esmer's 2005 documentary The Play, which follows "nine women living in a mountain village in southern Turkey," and Belmin Sรถylemez's Present Tense, about "a young woman fleeing from a failing marriage takes a last-ditch job as a fortune teller in a small cafe."
Refocus: See You Next Tuesday (Thursday, August 29 at 9PM; Revue Cinema)
Another in Refocus' exciting series of bold and challenging American indie cinema, this month's screening is a debut feature from Drew Tobia, starring on the of the supporting actresses from Dan Sallitt's The Unspeakable Act. "Featuring a tapestry of diverse characters with varying levels of sanity and awful taste in wardrobe, See You Next Tuesday is a dark comedy the whole family can enjoy cutting themselves to."Director Drew Tobia and actress Eleanore Pienta will be present at the screening for a post-film Q&A. As always, Refocus screenings are free, and ask that attendees spread the word about the films on social media after the event.
Lead still from The Oxbow Cure.
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