’TOON INTO ACADEMY AWARD CONTENDERS
Animated shorts World of Tomorrow, Love in the Time of March Madness 2 on short list coming to Carlton
The 17th Annual Animation Show of Shows: The city’s movie theatres may already be chock full of Cannes favourites and Oscar hopefuls but surely there’s room for some toons that are strong enough to rank with 2015’s best features. In fact, three of the 11 selections for the 17th Annual Animation Show of Shows — a travelling compilation that starts a bigscreen run at the Carlton this weekend — have already made the shortlist for the Academy Awards’ animated short category. At least one of them is a shoo-in for an Oscar nomination when those are announced on Thursday.
A major prizewinner at Sundance and SXSW last year, World of Tomor
row is the latest marvel by Austinbased animator Don Hertzfeldt. Mixing stick-figure drawings with more sophisticated hand-drawn and digital techniques, he’s crafted a darkly comedic science-fiction vignette about an unsettling encounter between a 4-year-old girl (voiced by the filmmaker’s niece) and her adult clone from the distant future. Rarely has the fundamental bleakness of the human condition been expressed with such an irrepressible sense of whimsy and invention. If the makers of AdventureTime ever tried to remake Chris Marker’s La Jetée, it’d feel something like this.
Launched in 1998 by Acme Filmworks founder Ron Diamond, the Animation Show of Shows maintains its reputation as an indispensable showcase for the world’s most adventurous animators. Other highlights of Diamond’s latest batch include Melissa Johnson and Robertino Zambrano’s Love in the Time of March Madness, which also made the Academy shortlist, and Geoffrey Godet and Burcu Sankur’s Tant de
Forêts, a gorgeous French short based on a poem by Jacques Prévert. The 17th annual edition opens today at the Carlton.
Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words: A new documentary by Swedish director Stig Björkman,
Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words uses home videos, personal letters and interviews to reveal the private side of one of Hollywood’s most iconic actresses. And since Bergman herself isn’t around to voice her unguarded thoughts, The Danish Girl’s Alicia Vikander does the honours for Björkman’s film, which starts a run at the Bloor today.
Goodfellas: An underworld saga that would rate as one of Martin Scorsese’s masterworks even if it didn’t include Joe Pesci’s greatest on-screen tantrum, Goodfellas recently celebrated its 25th anniversary with a 4K digital restoration. The festivities continue with screenings at Cineplex’s Yonge-Dundas location today at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. — a new making-of doc accompanies the feature. Wiseguys and gals can enjoy one more big-screen showing this week on Wednesday at 9 p.m. at the Carlton.
Japanese movies at the Bloor: An action comedy set in feudal Japan is the first of four recent Japanese movies getting free screenings at the Bloor this month. The Floating Castle plays Sunday at 1 p.m. Co-presented by the Japan Foundation and the
Consulate-General of Japan in Toronto, the series continues on Jan. 17 with matinees of Leaving on the 15th
Spring and Wood Job!
Welcome to Wakaliwood: Invasion
Canada!: Is it too early in the year to get your mind blown? Hopefully not, since the demented masterminds behind the Royal’s Laser Blast nights are delivering something very special to cult-cinema aficionados for its first 2016 edition. Dubbed Welcome to Wakaliwood: Invasion Canada!, the event celebrates an emerging movie industry in Wakaliga, a slum on the outskirts of the Ugandan capital of Kampala. Thanks to YouTube exposure and coverage by VICE and others, Wakaliwood’s filmmakers have been garnering international buzz for no-holds-barred, zero-budget action flicks like Operation Kakongoliro, Who Killed Captain Alex? and The Crazy World, the last of which features an
all-kids cast. Actor and producer Alan “Ssali” Hofmanis visits the Royal to present a sneak preview of the upcoming crime epic Bad Black along with more highlights of Wakaliwood’s wildest wares on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.
Shorts and panels at Canada’s Top
Ten: Though last year’s most acclaimed Canadian features inevitably get a big chunk of the spotlight at the Canada’s Top Ten festival, this week’s slate at TIFF Bell Lightbox includes a wealth of fine shorts programs, guest appearances and other special events. The Top Ten shorts play in two batches on Wednesday at 9 p.m. and Friday at 9 p.m. while the best student works play Friday at 6 p.m. In addition to onstage conversations with Tatiana Maslany on Jan. 9 and Kiefer Sutherland on Jan. 16, there’s a free screening of Can-film classic My
American Cousin on Jan. 15 at 3 p.m.
Sleeping Giant’s Andrew Cividino is also one of the guests for a free panel on coming-of-age stories on Jan. 15 at 1 p.m. (Full disclosure: I’ll be fulfilling my own patriotic duties as the panel’s moderator.)
á The Metropolitan Opera performs Wagner’s Tannhauser on the screens of select Cineplex locations on Saturday at noon.
á Still the ultimate in both Cute Sasquatch and Cute John Lithgow films,
Harry and the Hendersons plays a Cool Kids presentation at the Carlton on Saturday at 7 p.m.
á A newly minted favourite of badmovie connoisseurs, Dangerous Men plays the Royal on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
á Shorts That Are Not Pants unveils its first slate of mini-movies for 2016 at the Carlton on Thursday at 7 p.m.