tiff 2017

The top 10 foreign films to see at TIFF 2017

There’s undoubtedly a temptation to go into TIFF wanting to check out the next Moonlight or La La Land, but for many film buffs the real appeal of the festival is seizing the chance to see foreign films from all over the world – ones you might not get the chance to see again.

Here are my picks for the foreign films I'm most excited to see.

Ana, mon amour

Romanian director Calin Peter Netzer’s Ana, mon amour comes into the festival with a pre-approved pedigree, having won the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival. But what makes it especially appealing is its focus on a form of mental illness that’s rarely portrayed in film: panic attacks.

Catch the Wind

Movies about people starting their lives over in new places can often be remarkably poignant, which is why Catch the Wind is something to look forward to. Here the “fresh starter” is a French factory worker named Edit who moves to Tangiers to keep her job.

The Day After

Hong Sangsoo films are always a welcome annual TIFF tradition. The Day After sees him exploring a beloved preoccupation: identity play. This time we get philandering publishing manager who has a new assistant, whom his wife suspects of being a former lover of his.

Faces Places

On paper, Faces Places premise seems simple: famed French director Agnès Varda visits French villages with street artist JR, who then turns photos of the people they counter into huge murals. But even a short glimpse of the trailer makes clear this is will be a can't-miss delight.

The Guardians

When World War I descended on Europe, it not only impacted the men who served, but the mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters they left behind. French film The Guardians promises a welcome look at those who found themselves having to pick up the work left by men.

Happy End

It’s been five years since Austrian auteur Michael Haneke has made a film, so that alone makes Happy End a must-see. Even if, undoubtedly, it will be uncomfortable and unsettling like most Haneke films – this time with his acerbic eye trained on a bourgeois European family.

Manhunt

Since retreating from Hollywood action filmmaking in 2003, John Woo has shied away from shootouts and chase scene. That’s why Manhunt, a remake of a 1970s Japanese thriller about a framed man framed looking to clear his name, is so exciting. It promises a return of the slow-motion gunfight-loving John Woo we've all missed.

Sheikh Jackson

It’s hard to pass up this Egyptian film's inventive concept: an Islamic cleric’s life is thrown into turmoil when he hears that Michael Jackson—whom he was obsessed with in his teens—has died. It should prove a relatable exploration of how what we love can define who we are.

Thelma

Norway’s Joachim Trier’s work represents powerful depictions of existential angst (especially among twentysomethings). Thelma looks to explore similar territory with one tantalizing difference: the young person in question is a woman realizing she has dangerous supernatural powers.

The Third Murder

When a director swerves into new territory, it’s hard not to want to see the result. That applies to The Third Murder by Hirokazu Kore-eda (Still Walking, Nobody Knows), an almost 1990s-era John Grisham-like legal thriller about an attorney who believes his client, who confessed to a killing, may be actually innocent.

Lead photo by

Sheikh Jackson


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