Issue: September 2012 - TIFF

Cinema Revisited: awesome festival films that never found their audience

The great thing about giant film festivals like TIFF or Hot Docs is that you usually get a good mix of way off the radar films mixed in with all of the mainstream and popular fare. While some of those small films get a good boost from making the fest rounds and go on to achieve critical acclaim or a little bit of box office success, there are still a great many that never get the wide theatrical release they deserve. Here are just a few excellent but underseen festival films that have played in Toronto: Black Dynamite Opening...

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TFS Essential Canadian Cinema: The Sweet Hereafter

It’s the TIFF Issue, so we thought we would take a look at the work of a Festival regular: Atom Egoyan. Where better to start than with the film that marked a significant turning point in Egoyan’s career, The Sweet Hereafter . While the film did not screen at TIFF the year it was released, it was recognized at Cannes winning the Grand Prize, the International Critics’ Prize and the Ecumenical Prize. It was further recognized at the Academy Awards, being nominated for Best Director and Best Screenplay (losing out to Titanic and LA Confidential respectively), and was recognized...

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Never too many: film festivals you should know about

Filmmakers, festival addicts, and cinema lovers have it made here in Toronto. Not only do we boast, and I actually mean boast, the largest number of film festivals in the world, but some, including TIFF and Hot Docs, are considered leaders in the industry. That’s huge! Because Toronto has so much to offer in the way of film, we at Toronto Film Scene thought we should check out some awesome festivals the rest of the world puts on that you may or may not have heard about.   By no means is this a comprehensive list, but here are...

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Picnicface hits the big screen: An interview with Mark Little on Roller Town

When I spoke over the phone with Mark Little, writer and lead actor of the upcoming feature comedy Roller Town , we discussed what led he and co-writers Andrew Bush and Scott Vrooman to decide to make a feature-length film. “I think my approach to comedy has always been “˜just try everything,'” says Little. It was when B.C.-born Little moved to Halifax that he and his peers founded the incredibly popular YouTube sketch group Picnicface, famous for its viral Powerthirst videos. From there, Little tells me, “the natural extension of that was to try and move into areas where...

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TFS Essentials: Antonia’s Line

After all of the  clamour that followed the announcement of surprise contender Silver Linings Playbook winning the coveted People’s Choice Award at this year’s TIFF, I thought it might be worthwhile to check out yet another People’s Choice winner that’s kind of dropped off the radar since it took home the trophy in 1995. Antonia’s Line is by no means a wallflower of a film. Not only was it the darling of several prominent film festivals that year, but  it also received the Best Foreign Film  trophy at the 1996 Academy Awards, yet whenever I mention to people that...

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Guns, swords and cows: a look at Karl Urban’s movie career

With Dredd 3D showing up at TIFF this year, and arriving in theatres country-wide soon, I got to thinking about Karl Urban and his weird and wonderful career. You may ask, “Karl who?” You wouldn’t be alone. Despite Urban’s appearance in blockbuster films like RED , Star Trek , The Bourne Supremacy and the second and third Lord of the Rings films, The Two Towers and Return of the King , he is somehow still not a household name. One of the things I really like about Karl Urban’s character choices is that they alternate back and forth between...

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TIFF Interview: Rob Stewart on Revolution

What you get when you sit down with Rob Stewart is pretty much what you get when you watch his movie, Revolution . It’s the same. He’s just a guy trying to get the word out that we’re doomed. What you don’t get when you sit down with Rob Stewart is the same thing you don’t get when you watch his movie: guilt, brow-beaten and shamed into doing good things for the planet. A self-admitted hater of environmental documentaries, I sat down to chat with Rob about why that is. He was lovely, genuine and passionate about his cause,...

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