August 10, 2011

THE BIJOU @ TIFF: O Canadian Titles!

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Written by: Mitch Salem
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Although the word “International” is part of the name of the Toronto International Film Festival, it’s still Canada’s premier festival, and naturally features quite a few homegrown films.  Some of the most notable of these have already been announced (like David Cronenberg’s A DANGEROUS METHOD), and today TIFF announced the bulk of the rest.  Here are a few that sound intriguing:

CAFE DE FLORE:  From the director of Young Victoria, an “epic love story” that’s also a “mystical and supernatural odyssey,” starring Vanessa Paradis.
GOON:  In the popular Canadian genre of inspirational hockey dramas, this one boasts a script by Jay Baruchel and a fine cast:  Liev Schreiber, Allison Pill, Seann William Scott, Eugene Levy and Baruchel himself.
KEYHOLE:  Guy Maddin makes strangely arresting, often fascinating films that don’t look or behave like anyone else’s.  His latest is described as a “gangsters-meets-ghosts sonata,” and stars Maddin’s muse Isabella Rossellini along with Jason Patric.
THE MOTH DIARIES:  The new film from Mary Harron (American Psycho) is a thriller set in the everpopular locale of a girls’ school, where one girl thrives while another starts to weaken.  It stars Lily Cole, Sarah Bolger and Scott Speedman.
388 ARLETTA AVENUE:  Nick Stahl and Mia Kirshner in a film shot entirely from the point of view of surveillance cameras.  
DOPPELGANGER KARL:  I’m just going to reprint the festival description of this one in its entirety:  “Following a near-death experience, Karl comes to believe that Paul is his doppelgänger. When Karl finally reveals himself to Paul, a unique and troubled relationship begins to form, a relationship that is severely tested when Karl grants Paul the privilege of reading his 20,000 page manuscript, A Book About How Much I Hate Myself. When Karl’s book is published 17 months later in a vastly edited version credited to two other authors/doppelgängers, Karl and Paul hit the road to confront the plagiarists but end up confronting themselves instead.”
And that’s what film festivals are like.  More TIFF titles to come…

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."