Issue: September 2013 - The TIFF Issue

Essential Canadian Cinema: Café de Flore

Café de Flore is a film by Jean-Marc Vallée, about love, music, and fate, exploring questions like “does everybody have a soul-mate? What happens when your soul-mate drifts away? Can a person have more than one?” The narrative follows two seemingly unconnected storylines, separated by time and space, one in 1960s Paris, the other in Montreal, 2011. The first follows Jacqueline, a single mother raising her young boy Laurent, who has Down Syndrome. Jacqueline is extremely protective of Laurent, and when he meets another girl at school named Vero, who also has DS, he falls in love with her...

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The allure of Benedict Cumberbatch

With three starring roles at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, it seems as though this was the year of the Benedict (and not the egg). Benedict Cumberbatch literally opened the festival with his controversial role as Julian Assange in The Fifth Estate. Crowds lined up for hours to catch a glimpse of him at the premieres of both The Fifth Estate and 12 Years a Slave, with the latter already pegged by many to be a front runner in the 2014 Oscar race. At the 12 Years a Slave premiere, the Toronto Star reported that fans begun chanting...

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TFS Essentials: Meryl Streep as cinema’s most prolific mother

Meryl Streep’s status as perhaps the best living screen actor can hardly be contested. A record number of seventeen Oscar nominations (and 3 wins) alone attests to this. Streep has played dozens of memorable characters, among them strong women, confused women, loving women, cold women, crazy women…the list goes on. But for anyone who has followed her career closely, a curious pattern emerges. Meryl has played a lot of mothers. A lot. Meryl has acted in or lent her voice to a good 50 films to date (this is including August: Osage County which just recently debuted at TIFF and...

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Cinema Revisited: Evil Dead and the evolution of Aghastist Cinema

On April 5, 2013, the remake of Evil Dead was released in theatres, and it became the top-grossing feature that weekend. Devin Faraci, writer and editor for Badass Digest, wrote the following statement in his review for the remake: … this is certainly one of the most relentlessly bloody major releases ever… It feels like ‘Walking Dead’ fallout; in a world where zombies munch guts in prime time, how does a ‘transgressive’ horror film keep up? The answer is to pump up the Karo syrup, and it seems as though the MPAA is willing to accept that our culture...

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Why winning the People’s Choice Award at TIFF matters

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) has a reputation for being widely accessible to the public. The annual mid-September festival is considered a great place for films to test the upcoming fall film season waters, while also getting geared up for awards season. Every year when TIFF comes to a close, winners of the People’s Choice Awards are announced. The award is given to the film chosen by festival-goers. In recent years, the films that have won this award have gone on to be nominated for and win major honours at the Academy Awards, Golden Globes, BAFTAs, as well...

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How TIFF evolved over a decade

It’s hard to believe that I have been going to the Toronto International Film Festival for a decade. When I first went to the festival in 2003, I was a very naive 21-year-old, who didn’t really know how to plan for the festival experience. I remember heading down to the festival box office at College Park, two days into the festival, and I expected to easily get tickets for films, such as Billy Ray’s Shattered Glass, Alejandro González Iñárritu’s 21 Grams and Jim Jarmusch’s Coffee and Cigarettes. Imagine my shock when I found out all those films were offsale and I had to scramble...

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TFS Explains: a film market

When I first heard the term “film market”, it conjured images of some kind of sprawling field of farmer’s stands where, instead of piles of freshly caught fish or freshly picked peaches, the burly salesmen are hawking movies. When I attended my first film market in Cannes a few years ago, I was surprised to find that my mental image wasn’t that far off. Film markets are industry events which are held annually in various locations around the globe, where films are bought and sold, and deals are made. Film markets are a bit like trade shows or conventions...

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