Toronto Film Festival lineup complete
After two months of tantalizing partial announcements, the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival finally uneviled its full lineup today, and in addition to the enticing prospects already known—new films by Richard Linklater, Claire Denis, Spike Lee, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Darren Aronofsky, Mike Leigh, and of course, the Van Damme-plays-himself movie—we'll be seeing new films by Olivier Assayas, Paul Schrader, Ramin Bahrani and—ahem—Rod Lurie. Other notables: another Iraq drama, The Lucky Ones, which should prompt autocomparisons with Kathryn Bigelow's already-announced The Hurt Locker; Pride and Glory, a much-delayed Ed Norton/Colin Farrell cop movie that's supposedly not all that bad; and The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond, a "rediscovered original screenplay" by Tennessee Williams that's been cast with…Chris Evans. (I'm also stoked about the Coen brothers' Burn After Reading, now officially part of the lineup, but it opens during the fest and so doesn't really count in my book.)
Toronto is widely regarded as the most humane of the major festivals, because it's easy to get into movies and because it offers such generous doses of cinephilia. A quick glance at the 249 feature titles, even without looking at the plot descriptions, yields at least 50 movies that I'm interested in seeing, which should make for an enjoyably chaotic week in and around the Cineplex Odeon Varsity. This blog will be fired up in September, so be sure to check back and sound off.
A few post-Cannes notes: Despite rumors that it was unreleasable, Steven Soderbergh's brilliant Che is back, and one hopes that this most audacious of movies will finally nab a distributor. One film missing from the Toronto lineup is Lucrecia Martel's The Headless Woman, unfairly maligned at Cannes, where it screened at precisely the point when journalists were suffering from maximum exhaustion. And the Palme d'Or winner The Class (Entre les Murs), which Toronto had previously announced as a special presentation, has gone AWOL from the final film list. An oversight? Or has it been removed from the lineup? (It's since been slated to open the New York Film Festival.) Please advise.