TIFF 2014 is finally upon us! With that in mind, I present to you my schedule for the festivities. For up-to-the-minute coverage, reviews, media, Q and A, etc…make sure to follow me on twitter (@cinema_monster).
The 50 Year Argument: Martin Scorsese, David Tedeschi
Premium Screening with co-director Martin Scorsese in attendance.
Martin Scorsese co-directs this documentary tribute to the New York Review of Books, whose six-decade history saw it frequently on the frontlines of cultural and political debate.
’71: Yann Demange
In the divided city of Belfast at the height of The Troubles, a rookie British soldier (Jack O’Connell, Starred Up) finds himself separated from his unit and lost in IRA-controlled territory.
99 Homes: Ramin Bahrani
Premium Screening with Michael Shannon, Andrew Garfield, and director Ramin Bahrani in attendance.
Desperate to save his family home, an unemployed construction worker (Andrew Garfield) joins an unscrupulous realtor (Michael Shannon) in the dirty business of foreclosing on the disenfranchised.
Clouds of Sils Maria: Olivier Assayas
A veteran stage star (Juliette Binoche) turns to her assistant (Kristen Stewart) for solace as she jousts with an arrogant younger actress (Chloë Grace Moretz).
The Drop: Michael R. Roskam
A Brooklyn bartender finds himself caught between the cops and a crew of Chechen mobsters, in this gritty crime drama starring Tom Hardy, Matthias Schoenaerts (Rust & Bone), Noomi Rapace and the late, great James Gandolfini.
The Guest: Adam Wingard
Premium Screening with Dan Stevens and writer-director duo Simon Barrett and Adam Wingard in attendance.
Writer-director duo Simon Barrett and Adam Wingard (A Horrible Way to Die, You’re Next) serve up a slick, eighties-style action thriller with this story of a mysterious and devastatingly charming visitor (Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens) who arrives at the home of a bereaved family claiming to be the best friend of their dead son.
The Imitation Game: Morten Tyldum
Premium Screening with Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, and director Morten Tyldum in attendance.
Benedict Cumberbatch stars as brilliant Cambridge mathematician, cryptanalyst and pioneering computer scientist Alan Turing, who spearheaded the Enigma code-breaking operation during World War II and was later persecuted by the British government for his homosexuality.
Laggies: Lynn Shelton
Premium Screening with Chloe Grace Moretz, Keira Knightley, and Sam Rockwell in attendance.
Following a dismal high school reunion and a disastrous proposal of marriage, a going-nowhere twentysomething (Keira Knightley) falls in with a carefree teenager (Chloë Grace Moretz) and takes a week off to reassess her life. Co-starring Sam Rockwell (Moon).
Maps to the Stars: David Cronenberg
Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, John Cusack, Sarah Gadon, and Robert Pattinson star in this acidulous vision of Tinseltown from Canadian master David Cronenberg.
Nightcrawler: Dan Gilroy
A drifter and petty thief (Jake Gyllenhaal) joins the nocturnal legions of scuzzy freelance photographers who scour the city for gruesome crime-scene footage, in this gripping portrait of the dark side of L.A. from veteran screenwriter and first-time director Dan Gilroy.
The Theory of Everything: James Marsh
While students at Cambridge, Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne, Les Misérables) and Jane (Felicity Jones, The Invisible Woman) fall deeply in love. His earth-shattering diagnosis leads him to embark on his ambitious study of the nature of time with Jane fighting tirelessly by his side, in this moving adaptation of Jane Hawking’s memoir from Academy Award-winning director James Marsh (Man on Wire).
Which film are you most looking forward to at TIFF 2014? Be sure to let me know what your thoughts on the festival and my schedule are below!
Whether you’re following vast, deep footprints through destruction and carnage, searching for a safe zone, or staring down a snarling, drooling, gargantuan beast face-to-face. Nothing beats the sheer adrenaline, fear, and conscientious clarity that comes with outrunning, out-thinking, and hopefully beating the best movie monsters. Sure, there will undoubtedly be casualties and the emergence of this immense life-form could possibly spell the end of civilization as we know it. But, in all honesty, how awesome would it be to take down one of these mothers? But I digress…
For the record, I am not including monsters based off of existing creatures. This means that “Jurassic Park,” “Jaws,” and “King Kong” will all be excluded from the list. However, this mention is somewhat of a shout-out to each films ability to create truly terrifying, malicious beasts out of prehistoric or current beings.
So, without further ado, let’s get into it!
10: “Super 8” alien life form (J.J Abrams, 2011). I know that a lot of you will disagree with this choice. I know the film might have been a bit to nostalgic or cliche for some, but I absolutely adore this J.J Abrams flick for precisely those reasons…oh, and the monster!
9: “Ghostbusters” Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man (Ivan Reitman, 1984). I know it’s a little wimpy, kind-of funny, but it is still a lot of fun and unnerving…down-right disturbing actually.
8: “Monsters” alien life form (Gareth Edwards, 2010). I know most of you won’t agree with this choice, most of you probably haven’t even seen the film. But it is low-budget, science-fiction brilliance and the aliens are just astounding and atmospheric.
7: “Pacific Rim” Kaiju (Guillermo Del Toro, 2013). I know it is a bit recent and that some didn’t enjoy the film. However, there is no denying the coolness of the Kaiju.
6: “The Fly” Brundlefly (David Cronenberg, 1986). Okay, it may not be as monstrous or destructive as the other creatures on this list. Nonetheless, Brundlefly is quite possibly the most petrifying.
5: “The Thing” (John Carpenter, 1982). I don’t really know what to say about this one. The Thing is a sick, twisted, malicious being that doesn’t stop until everyone and everything is dead.
4: “Cloverfield” alien life form (Matt Reeves, 2008). The scene where one of the main protagonists is consumed by this foul being still haunts my dreams to this very day.
3: “The Host” mutated amphibious life form (Joon-ho Bong, 2006). An outstanding monster flick that tackles more than its fair share of questionable subject matter. “The Host” has a misunderstood, agile monster at its centre, but make no mistake, it is badass.
2: “Godzilla” I am not going to put a specific film or director on this one, seeing as the franchise continues to rejuvenate. This is the ultimate, timeless, gigantic monster. The only surprise here is that you all expected it to be at number 1.
1: “Alien” franchise, Xenomorph. Hands down my all time favourite movie monster. The Xenomorph embodies everything a movie monster should be and so much more.
Okay all, that’ll do it for this week’s edition of the top 10. I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed compiling it. As always, if you feel I’ve overlooked a monster or listed one that shouldn’t have been ranked, please comment below. Have a great weekend!
Cosmopolis’s ability to extract the listlessness and monotonous atmosphere from its source material is flawless. Based on the book of the same title written by satirical novelist Don DeLillo, Cosmopolis is a Cronenberg film through and through. Starring the polarizing Robert Pattinson, Cosmopolis’s depressing, realistic insight into the populaces current state of desensitization and the restlessness of its growing boredom is unflinching. The limited setting and narrow storyline combined with a terrifically terrifying emotionless performance from Pattinson will definitely discourage. But to those who can appreciate its simplicity and stomach its message of the lifeless direction humanity is heading towards, Cosmopolis is a mirror into the soul of civilization. Directed by David Cronenberg who also adapts Cosmopolis to the screen. This unique view of society’s heart is heartbreaking to say the least.
Eric Packer (Pattinson) is a 28 year old billionaire riding across Manhattan to get a haircut. He is riding in his limousine which also acts as his office from day to day. Eric needs his haircut to be from his preferred barber, which he is willing to travel to, even through traffic. The traffic is caused by the president of the United States. At different points in the day, Eric meets with his wife who is unwilling to have sex with him. Stopping at various destinations for sex, food, a doctors appointment, and to discuss business, all mostly occurring in his limousine, Eric begins traveling down a path to self-destruction.
Those who’ve read DeLillo’s novel are aware it has divided his audience. Cosmopolis is thought by some to be a contrived effort not meant to grace the pages of a paperback, let alone the big screen. Others perceive it as an unblinking eye gazing into the tasteless abyss consuming us, the consumers. The themes and subject matter of Cosmopolis are intentionally shallow. Shedding light onto sham marriages, our cultures obsession with outward looks, social sex, our numb toleration of violence, and the deadening praise to unworthy idols. To say that nothing occurs in Cosmopolis is defamation. Countless situations and events take place, there is simply no structure to them and Cronenberg honours that. The notion that books with no plots or foundation make bad movies is a fabrication. It is not the norm however and ones ability to surpass the conception of these patterns will greatly enhance the viewing of Cosmopolis.
Now that my rant is out of the way. Cosmopolis might not be Cronenberg’s best outing, but it’s still a Cronenberg film. His ability to create relevant films whether or not they sit well with the audience is unmatched. Cronenberg is aware of his following and what they can tolerate. Cosmopolis might test that notion more than Cronenberg’s past pictures, but even if it disperses his following, Cronenberg is staying true to his obscure roots. As for performances, Robert Pattinson’s is the only one worth discussing. Even if a emotionless, bereaved role is in his sweet spot, Pattinson surprised many. Not only by being cast in this Cronenberg film, but the outcome of his dead faced performance. Pattinson captures Eric Packer like lighting in a bottle.
Cosmopolis’s deep message and ugly surface are a hefty contrast. But for those who can take the punch, it is a redemptive reward.
Cosmopolis: 7 out of 10.