Samuel Maoz's Lebanon. Image courtesy of Toronto International Film festival.
The festival is over, and in lieu of some final analysis and recollections of my time there, I offer the following assessments on the films I saw.
I’m leaving one very important film out, only because it was not part of the official program but the sales agent very graciously allowed me entrance to a buyers’ screening. I’ll have something longer to report on that work very soon.
The Men who Stare at Goats B-
Henri Georges-Clouzot’s Inferno B+
A Serious Man A-
Up in the Air B-
The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers B
Michael Stuhlbarg in the Coens' A Serious Man. (Ethan Coen called this the Howard Roark pose.)
My sabbatical, I’m happy to report, is over.
My extended absence is due to the fact much of my time has been spent working on a side project and doing my sports work that helps pay the bills.
Also, I just returned from Toronto, where I watched some thirty films, did some interviews, saw old friends and met some new ones. The festival allowed a late switch with my accreditation after the publication I was previously assigned was not able to use my services this year.
Because that magazine was my official accreditation, I wanted my first piece there to appear before any other work migrated to this space. (A two-part wrap up and analysis will follow early in the week.)
I was planning to attend Venice this year, but logistically I couldn’t make it work and Toronto became the necessary fallback.
This was my screening schedule in Toronto—
The Men who Stare at Goats L'enfer de Henri-Georges Clouzot
A Serious Man Up in the Air Hadewijch Daybreakers
The Most Dangerous Man in the America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers Accident The Road Making Plans for Lena (Honore)
Farewell Lebanon Independencia The Loved Ones
Chloe Warrior and the Wolf
Life During Wartime White Materials Rec (2)
The Bad Lieutenant: Port Call New Orleans A Single Man Bitch Slap My son, my son what have ye done
Whip It Slovenian Girl Ondine Trash Humpers The Unloved
Nicolas Cage and Eva Mendes, from Herzog's new Bad Lieutenant. (Images courtesy of Toronto International Film festival.)
Speaking of my sports work, every so often my two worlds entwine, like this piece I wrote about Robert Siegel’s Big Fan for the fall calendar of Chicago’s Music Box Theatre program.
I’ll have a great deal more on Toronto (including a special piece about the new work from a major French director that I was privileged to see).