Archive for August, 2012

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TIFF 2012 lineup

August 27, 2012

Since this will be my first experience at TIFF, I have to say that I’m rather pleased with the films that I’ll be seeing. If I had prior knowledge of the festival schedule before its release, I would have chosen the second weekend instead of the first. Films that I’ll have missed out on include: To the Wonder, No, Passion, Post Tenebras Lux, Antiviral, and Mekong HotelDue to my scheduling of films being a little later in the ticketing window, I unfortunately missed out on Anna Karenina and The Master. Not a huge deal since I’ll be able to catch the latter a few weeks later and the former a few months down the road. Holy Motors, which is one of my most anticipated films of the year, won’t even be playing at the fest this year. Another bummer, but what can you do? Even still, I’ve walked away rather unscathed through the whole mind-boggling process of planning travel arrangements, guessing which films would play, and the ticketing process. So, without further adieu, listed below are the films I’ll be catching at TIFF this year. Return here for more musings on the festival, as I’ll likely be linking my reviews from here to Sound on Sight; and follow me on twitter for TIFF coverage during my stay in Toronto.

Thursday 9/6
Sans soleil (free screening) noon
Tabu 6:15 pm
Dredd 3D 11:59 pm

Friday 9/7
Rust and Bone noon
Paradise: Love 3:00 pm
Frances, Ha 9:30 pm

Saturday 9/8
The Place Beyond the Pines 11:00 am
Amour 6:00 pm
Something in the Air 9:00 pm

Sunday 9/9
Like Someone in Love 9:00 am
Spring Breakers 3:00 pm
Byzantium 9:00 pm

– Ty Landis

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Shut Up and Play the Hits

August 25, 2012

directed by Will Lovelace and Dylan Southern, 2012

Hundreds of white balloons descend upon the Madison Square Garden audience during LCD Soundsystem’s final live show. A notable and influential band in their own right, frontman James Murphy decided to disband the group at the peak of their popularity in 2011, ensuring that the band would go out on top with what was arguably the band’s most ambitious concert of their career. Filmmakers Will Lovelace and Dylan Southern would chart that eventful night in New York, while also calling into question Murphy’s abrupt decision to call it quits. Being a fan of the group brings extra incentive and pleasure out of watching Murray wrestle with his decision throughout the film. We’re privy to his spiraling collective consciousness that remains undefined to a certain degree even after the film closes.

This isn’t to say that all of the film deals with such ramifications and regret on Murphy’s part; most of it functions as an energetic and lively party. We’re essentially front row for the concert, focusing in on the band and their faithful fans as each party comes to grips with saying goodbye; Lovelace and Southern give us a before and after concert look at Murphy, juxtaposing footage from the concert throughout – arguably the film’s bulkiest portion. It’s a simple editing maneuver that allows for narrative contemplation on Murphy’s behalf, as he’s interviewed regarding his decision roughly a week before the concert by writer Chuck Klosterman.

Full review at Sound on Sight

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Bachelorette

August 13, 2012

directed by Leslye Headland, 2012

Leave it to Bachelorette to be the first true dumpster fire attempting to live up to last year’s Bridesmaids; a film so crass and tiresome, as to feel overlong at a skimpy 90 minutes. As a whole, its biggest crime is that it doesn’t fully utilize its cast in the proper way. Sure, Kirsten Dunst is probably miscast in the lead role, but one would think having Lizzy Caplan, Isla Fisher, Adam Scott, James Mardsen, and Rebel Wilson would merit some comedic value. The cast is mostly game for director/writer Leslye Headland’s material, but it’s often mind-numbingly shallow and familiar, alienating the viewer into a vortex of been there done that, race against the clock profaneness.

It’d be a mistake to think the film was acting as a carbon copy to Bridesmaids measured and effortlessly staged raunchiness. There’s a consistent mean streak surrounding the film that increasingly fails to register as true or insightful. We’re painfully subjected to the shenanigans surrounding three friends who are asked to be bridesmaids at a wedding of a woman they used ridicule back in high school. The three friends: Regan (Dunst), Gena (Caplan), and Katie (Fisher), are dead in the water on arrival as they share little chemistry with one another from the onset. Their friend is Becky, played by Rebel Wilson from Bridesmaids. Becky is little more than a footnote throughout the film, playing second fiddle to the aforementioned trio’s drug-riddled and dim-witted antics. Most of the so-called humor revolves around low-grade oral sex jibber-jabber, cocaine binges, and taxing offensiveness that probably looked good on paper, but play as bland and juvenile.

Full review at Sound on Sight

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My Month in Films: July ’12

August 1, 2012

Total films seen: 20

Best first time viewings
1. Margaret (Lonergan, ’11)
2. The Yards (Gray, ’99)
3. The Gaze (Kaul, ’91)
4. We Own the Night (Gray, ’07)
5. Night on Earth (Jarmusch, ’91)
6. Duvidha (Kaul, ’73)
7. Lockout (Mather & St. Leger, ’12)
8. The Last Days of Disco (Stillman, ’98)
9. Savages (Stone, ’12)
10. Our Daily Bread (Kaul, ’70)

Worst
Bullhead (Roskam, ’11)
Safety Not Guaranteed (Trevorrow, ’12)