Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Black Sheep Previews: TIFF 2009 (part two)

Another day has passed and I still haven't heard back from the wonderful people at TIFF as to whether or not they intend to accredit me for this year's festival. I sure hope they do. I would love to see Steven Soderbergh's THE INFORMANT or Drew Barrymore's WHIP IT or Jason Reitman's UP IN THE AIR. In the meantime though, I will focus my energies on the films I actually might be able to catch through the graciousness of Alliance films. Alliance has a strong showing at this year's festival and today, I will focus on the four that I am so excited to see: CAPITALISM: ALOVE STORY (Michael Moore), THE ROAD (John Hillcoat), A SERIOUS MAN (Joel and Ethan Coen) and YOUTH IN REVOLT (Miguel Arteta).

Directed by Michael Moore
Special Presentation

It's an important year for Mr. Moore. It is now 20 years that he has been making movies and rewriting what it means to make a documentary. And he has decided to tackle a topic this time out that is very close to America's heart and, more importantly, their wallets, the economy. Moore actually embarked on his criticism of America's love for capitalism before the economic downturn last fall so maybe, when he's done making movies, he can embark on a new career as a psychic.

Directed by John Hillcoat
Starring: Viggo Mortensen and Charlize Theron
Special Presentation

THE ROAD, based on the Corman McCarthy (NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN) novel about a post-apocalyptic struggle for one family, was scheduled to be released last year but was pushed back a whole year for more fine tuning and to avoid an already cluttered awards season. Apparently, the hard work has paid off as the cinematography and art direction are already being buzzed about. This is to be the thinking man's apocalypse movie.

Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen
Starring: Michael Stuhlbarg

Last year, the Coen brothers showed up at TIFF fresh off their Oscar win for NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN with BURN AFTER READING. It was the North American premiere and, aside from George Clooney, every cast member was present, from Brad Pitt to Tilda Swinton. This year, they return with what is being billed as their most personal story ever and they are doing it without any glitz. With no recognizable names in the cast, the Coen brothers have decided to let the story speak for itself.

Directed by Miguel Arteta
Starring: Michael Cera, Ray Liotta and Justin Long

I had a difficult time convincing friends of mine that Arteta's CHUCK & BUCK was one of the best films I had seen that year. It was an easier sell a couple of years later when he released THE GOOD GIRL, with Jennifer Aniston and Jake Gyllenhaal. His third feature film should prove to be his most wwell received as it stars not just one Michael Cera but two! Cera somehow splits into two personalities in order to win the love of a girl. I don't care how far fetched the premise is. I can't wait to see Cera play bad ass to his goody goody at the exact same time!

That's it for now. The schedule is online now at the Toronto International Film Festival website so get cracking. And if you're reading this and you happen to work in the media department at TIFF, call me!

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