THURSDAY, SEPT 8
CWC D: Andrey Zvyagintsev w/ Nadezhda Markina, Andrey Smirnov. Russia. 109 min. Sep 8, 6:45 pm TIFF Bell Lightbox 2; Sep 10, noon AMC 9; Sep 18, 6:15 pm TIFF Bell Lightbox 1 Rating: NNNN With this immensely satisfying Hitchcockian tale of moral larceny, Zvyagintsev ( The Return) continues the exploration of family dynamics that’s become his trademark. Here, a gentle, dutiful wife (Markina) takes radical steps to protect herself and her son from a previous marriage from the machinations of her wealthy husband’s ( Smirnov) daughter.
The director highlights the basic class di ferences inherent in the marital relationship, giving his intriguing storyline more resonance. The primacy of the characters’ self- interest serves as an implied criticism of post-Soviet Russian society. An artful piece of solid entertainment. PE
MAST D: Aki Kaurismäki w/ André Wilms, Kati Outinen. Finland. 93 min. Sep 8, 9: 30 pm Visa Screening Room (Elgin); Sep 9, 1 pm Jackman Hall ( AGO) Rating: NNN Good- hearted bohemian Marcel ( Wilms) works shining shoes in the port city of Le Havre, and times are very tough. But he’s well loved by his friends, neighbours and especially his wife (Outinen), who is gravely ill, unbeknownst to Marcel.
When he decides to help an illegal refugee, he must engage the support of his friends and igure out a way to elude a very dogged police inspector ( JeanPierre Darroussin).
This fairy tail from the Finnish director doesn’t ooze irony like his other movies, but it expertly evokes its titular location and has many quiet pleasures, chief among them its deft performances. SGC
MAST D: Wim Wenders. Germany/ France. 103 min. Sep 8, 6: 30 pm TIFF Bell Lightbox 1; Sep 18, noon TIFF Bell
Lightbox 1 Rating: NNNN Wenders’s magni icent homage to dance great Pina Bausch doesn’t reveal a lot about the woman – she died right before shooting was set to begin – but captures
the essence of her art through excerpts from suggestive, richly dramatic works like The Rite Of Spring and Café Mueller.
3 D technology almost allows the viewer to feel the heat emanating from the dancers’ bodies. The range of settings includes traditional proscenium stages as well as parks and rivers outside Bausch’s Tanztheater Wuppertal.
The performers recall Bausch with a fection and intelligence, but communicate most through dance. GS
MM D: Gareth Evans w/ Iko Uwais, Yayan Ruhian. Indonesia. 100 min. Sep 8, 11: 59 pm Ryerson; Sep 10,
12:15 pm AMC 2 Rating: NNN In this Midnight Madness opener, director Evans is reunited with his charismatic Merantau star, Uwais, for an e fective but slightly monotonous crime actioner that showcases the Indonesian martial art of silat.
A SWAT team breaks into a rundown Jakarta apartment full of junkies and criminals to take down a drug lord. The cops then become the target until their team leader (Uwais) begins thwacking thugs and the minimal plot takes a couple of predictable twists.
Helped by a pulsating score and e fective sound e fects, Evans stages some jaw- dropping sequences and realistic deaths, including one involving a luorescent light bulb. But even a bit of humour and some wild overacting can’t relieve the limb- lying repetition at the midway point. GS
MAST D: Gus Van Sant w/ Henry Hopper, Mia Wasikowska. U. S. 95 min. Sep 8, 9 pm Ryerson; Sep 9,
4 pm TIFF Bell Lightbox 2 Rating: NN After the mainstream triumph of Milk, Van Sant swerves back into indieland with this Portlandset tale of a young funeral crasher (Hopper, lookalike son of Dennis) and the dying girl ( Wasikowska) who steals his heart and teaches him to love again. Also, his only friend is the ghost of a Japanese kamikaze (Ryo Kase) who likes to play Battleship. ( Yes, really. Battleship.)
Captivated by the a fectations and contrivances of Jason Lew’s script, which applies the Manic Pixie Dream Girl template to both lead characters, Van Sant has made his most unconvincing drama since Finding Forrester. It’s basically Elizabethtown with tumours.
THIS IS NOT A FILM (IN FILM NIST)
MAST D: Jafar Panahi, Mojtaba Mirtahmasb. Iran. 75 min. Sep 8, 9:45 pm TIFF Bell Lightbox 2; Sep 9, 4:45 pm TIFF Bell Lightbox 3 Rating: NNNNN Banned from making films and facing a six-year prison sentence, Panahi ( The White Balloon) speaks directly to the camera from his apartment. He sits at a small table eating breakfast while acknowledging his precarious legal position. Shot by shot, he describes the film
he’d been planning to make.
Brilliantly using masking tape, he turns his living room carpet into a proto- set as he recounts the script scene by scene. Reality and iction blur as the action progresses over the course of one day. This Is Not A Film is a de iant act of rebellion, an insightful look into a creative mind and a warm portrait of an artist. Even more astonishing, it’s an inventive piece of entertainment.
Mia Wasikowska and Henry Hopper get Restless. So do we.